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Destroy Obama Care.

It should come as no surprise to anyone that there has been a number of right wing cyber attacks on the healthcare.gov site.  

It seems that there has been a concerted effort on several fronts in an all out Republican led war to kill and destroy the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

One has to ask if this war on Obamacare has been an intentional and coordinated effort.

Republican lawmakers have voted 47 times to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas-far right) and his Republican colleagues shut the government down in an effort to de-fund Obamacare. And now we have learned that a group of cyber hacks have attacked the site, making it inaccessible to millions of potential users.

We have also learned that the insurance companies have played their role in the grand sabotage by deceiving their customers about Obamacare.  Instead of informing clients about their healthcare insurance options on the exchanges, the insurance sharks tricked customers into buying more expensive policies. Of course the sharks blamed their evil doing con artistry on Obamacare.

There seems to be a lot of potential criminal acts involved in this very sick and twisted war against uninsured Americans.

One would think there is a whole lot of explaining to do.

This time it won't be coming from the President.

Roberta Stempfley highlighted one successful attack that is designed to deny access to the website called a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack. A DDoS attack is designed to make a network unavailable to intended users, generally through a concerted effort to disrupt service such as repeatedly accessing the servers, saturating them with more traffic than the website is designed to handle.

Right wingers have been distributing the link to the necessary tools to perform the attacks on the Healthcare.gov website through social networking, as pointed out by Information Week, and other websites .

The name of the attack tool is called, "Destroy Obama Care!"

Meanwhile, Obamacare is humming along in the states that set up its own exchanges.

Cross posted on Texas Kaos.  Please join me under the orange croissant.  

Despite the fact that there have been sixteen cyber attacks to the healthcare.gov site and a Republican led relentless smear campaign against Obamacare, the program is already a success in some states.  These states are the ones that set up their own insurance exchanges.  Most if not all of these states have Democratic governors.  Not to mention the fact that federally expanded Medicaid enrollments are booming.

Despite an early bad start, the Health and Human Services Department reports that 26,876,527 separate individuals have visited healthcare.gov, since the web-site opened on October 1, 2013. An additional 3,158,527 people have called the Affordable Care Act call center helpline, over the same period of time.
Fortunately none of the users' personal data was compromised by the hacking efforts. But one has to wonder about the Republican obsession with cyber attacks on subscribers' personal data records.  

Is it possible that the Destroy Obamacare Republicans have known about this cynical and potentially criminal cyber attack on the healthcare.gov site all along?  

While the healthcare.gov web-site did receive at least 16 major threat level hacking attempts, it appears that no data was compromised. According to officials with the Department of Health and Human Services, attempts to sabotage the new healthcare web-site did not have any significant effect on the system.

Republican sabotage of the Affordable Care Act, on the other hand, has had some devastating effects. Those effects will be experienced by consumers living in states where republican governors refused to expand medicaid and rejected the provision to establish their own web-sites. In essence, when states refused to create their own web-sites, they placed a greater burden on the single healthcare.gov site. The National Memo explains it like this: “By opting out, states made the success of the president’s signature legislative accomplishment dependent on one single portal that needed to reach its tentacles into three dozen complex insurance markets at one time.”

In doing this, Republicans not only sabotaged the President, but they made it more difficult for people who need healthcare to be able to access it. The effects were not merely accidental. Instead, they were deliberate and well planned. The original plot was hatched inside the Libertarian Cato Institute, by a man named Michael Cannon. Cannon, an adversary of the Affordable Care Act from the beginning, convinced republican officials that by refusing to create their own web-sites, they could bring the Affordable Care Act to a halt. And for a while, they did.

The Republican Party, of course, has no alternative to a program it has spent the last three and a half years trying to destroy.

Denying millions of Texans access to affordable care.

The situation for uninsured residents in Texas is especially grim. Many would qualify for federally expanded Medicaid, however, Rick Perry refuses to accept its benefits despite the fact that the state will lose $79 billion by rejecting it.

“These are not numbers. These are people,” said Rawlings, saying there are about 500,000 uninsured in Dallas County. “This is a serious issue we’ve all got to understand,” he said.
I am afraid Rick Perry, the Texas Republican Party and the Tea Party could care less about uninsured Texans.

Insurance sharks.  The need for insurance reform.

Meanwhile, leave it to the insurance companies to  deceive their customers about their healthcare options.  Some insurance companies have lied to their customers in an attempt to trick them into buying more expensive policies.  They blame the increased costs on Obamacare, of course.

Obamacare has set certain standards for the kinds of policies insurance companies could sell.  Prior to the ACA many insurance companies sold their clients junk policies.  These policies were fine if one did not get sick.  In many cases if one did get sick one would learn that their policies didn't cover much. Folks ended up paying a lot for little.  NPR interviewed a woman last week who learned her policy covered only $50.00 when she fell ill.  

Obamacare took the junk policies out of the market.  

But greedy cynics in the insurance industry could not resist ripping off some of its most vulnerable customers.

The way insurance companies tried to pull one over on their policy holders was to inform them that their policies would no longer be valid “because of ObamaCare,” and their plan will turn into a higher priced one, sometimes 10 times their old rate.  They conveniently left out, however, that they had other options and would be able to find a comparable priced policy on healthcare.gov or a correspondent state exchange.

Even this is not the full story.

The way the insurance companies informed their policy holders of their canceled policy, was to tell them to do nothing, and their old plan would automatically transfer to the new plan.  This deceived many in to believing they had to stick with their insurance company.  Some governors, I’m looking at you Rick Scott, required insurance companies that were canceling their plans to blame ObamaCare, even if that was not the reason at all.

 

How Blue Cross stuck it to their customers.

“Blue Cross successfully enticed tens of thousands of its individual policyholders to switch out of their grandfathered health plans and forever lose their protected grandfathered status,” states the lawsuit. “Blue Cross concealed information about the consequences of switching plans and intentionally misled its policyholders to encourage the replacement of grandfathered policies.”

As we know many liberal Democrats like me were never completely satisfied with Obamacare.  It is in essence a conservative plan.  The Heritage Foundation designed the program. It became what we now know as Romneycare in MA. In turn, Romneycare  became a blue print for Obamacare.

Democrats pushed hard for a public option but it fell by the wayside during the difficult negotiations with Republicans in 2009.

But for all of its flaws, Obamacare is far better than the previous status quo.

The letters that are being sent out by insurance companies are not proof that ObamaCare is a failure.  In fact, it is just the opposite.  Insurance companies are going to be insurance companies, and these actions just prove the need for extensive insurance reform.  There are talks of allowing junk plans to still exist.  If this happens, who will pick up the tab when one of these policy holders develops cancer, gets in a car accident, or anything else life throws at us?
The Republican Party has spent years trying to kill a conservative healthcare plan that, though few Democrats love, we support it as a beginning of insurance reform in this country.  But as we have witnessed since the day the President was elected in 2008, Republicans cannot deal with change, even if change would help the vast majority of their constituents.
Conservatism, by definition, means resisting change, and it is the Right that is currently hold us back from taking care of every citizen in the country.  Sad, for a party that claims to love god and family so much.  Then again, when have we ever expected consistency from a Republican.
The solution?  Vote the most extreme right wing Republicans out of office.  Elect good Democrats who will push for insurance reform and Medicare for all. Demand an investigation of the hackactivists who tried to deny access to healthcare.gov for millions of Americans. Elect a democratic majority to the U.S. House so Nancy Pelosi can investigate the Obama Care Destroy Republican plotters, schemers, manipulators and enablers.

How do we get there?  Please join us at Battleground Texas.  Register voters. Join with us to make phone calls on behalf of Wendy Davis and other Democratic candidates who are running for office in Texas. Help us by informing our neighbors about Obamacare.  If you can do none of the above, a donation would be appreciated.  None is too small.  One can donate to BGTX or directly to Wendy Davis.

In the meantime we will identify Democratic precinct chairs and judges in our state's cities, towns, suburbs and villages.  

It all comes down to elections and the vote.

Originally posted to Libby Shaw on Sun Nov 17, 2013 at 07:37 AM PST.

Also republished by TexKos-Messing with Texas with Nothing but Love for Texans, Houston Area Kossacks, and Turning Texas: Election Digest.

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