Affordable Care Act and Republican Objections

Why the Affordable Care Act must not be repealed.

As I hear and read the rants coming from the Republicans about the Supreme Court upholding the Affordable Care Act, I’m amused by much of their so-called argument. First, they scream that government should not be able to make anyone buy something they don’t want. What’s amusing about this argument is that they are perfectly content with requiring hospitals, nurses, doctors, and other health professionals to provide care to these very people who refuse to buy insurance. Why is it, according to them, truly unconstitutional to require someone to buy health insurance, but perfectly constitutional to require professionals to provide their services for free? Interestingly, the Republicans carefully dodge this question.

Second, they talk about how much this program will cost. From what I’ve read, it will cost about a third what the tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires cost. And as we approach the election, how to pay for the Affordable Care Act is clearly spelled out, while the Republicans have not offered any explanation for how to pay for the tax cuts. It’s interesting, though, how they always manage to find the money when the rich benefit, but have major problems when the rest of us do.

Third, Justice Thomas did not recuse himself from considering this Act even though he has profited from fighting it all along and stood to profit even more if it had been defeated. If you recall, Justice Kagan recused herself from considering the Arizona immigration law because of her previous positions on the issue. It was disappointing, but not surprising, that Justice Thomas did not have enough integrity to do the same thing. Fortunately, Justice Roberts, unlike most of the other justices, based his decision on the law, not political ideology.

Going forward, the Republicans have pledged to do all they can to eliminate the Affordable Care Act. So as you consider the upcoming election, look at what you stand to lose: exemption from preexisting conditions, children allowed to remain on parents’ health insurance until age 26, funds to help offset the costs of the donut hole in Medicare for senior citizens, free essential health screenings, and more. These will disappear if the Republicans have their way. Their win would seriously damage millions of Americans who are now receiving coverage under the Affordable Care Act. Learn the facts about this ACT, commonly called “Obamacare.”  Read about it and learn the truth. Then make your decision about the upcoming election.

Chuck Teeter

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Bob July 11, 2012 at 12:58 PM
Stuart, obviously you're not a small businessman. You don't base your hiring plans on what the demand and profitbility for growth is TODAY, you base hiring form what you expect the demand to be six months, a year, five years from now. If there is tremendous uncertainty about costs due to an overly complicated and risky Obamacare program, you don't hire until you can assess the costs and determine if hiring will make economic sense. On the profitability side, when a bellicose POTUS keeps telling you how he's going to tax profits to unconscionable levels if he gets a chance, and appointed regulators keep coming up with ridiculous reulings that add substantially to cost, that creates downside risk that works against a decision to hire. This is what drives markets and hiring, and Obama's policies of increasing tax burdens on small businesses and sucessful entrepreneurs inhibits making the decision to hire. Perhaps the strongest incentive to hiring would be for Obama to be dethroned and the Senate to change hands. Having someone who understands economic growth models and policies, and is supportive of them, is perhaps the best thing we could do to get money sitting on the sidelines invested and hiring to take off.
Bob July 11, 2012 at 01:04 PM
Denise, that's a typical response for someone who can't think more than one step at a time. What do you think will happen when more people are insured, will demand for medical care increase or decrease? When demand increases, what do think will happen to prices? When prices increase because of the increased demand for medical services (many unnecessary or trivial), who do you think will be forced to pay the higher fees? That's right, the other insured and the taxpayers. You really ought to learn to play chess. Sound policy evaluation requires thinking about more than one move at a time!
Marie July 11, 2012 at 01:05 PM
Denise, we are not going to pay less. There are close to two dozen new taxes that the federal government will rely upon to fund the ACA as it currently exists. Those taxes are not absorbed by the health care providers/suppliers, etc., those taxes are paid by us. To believe we will pay less and get better and more care is naive. Cost containment will be reached by service reduction. I do believe our health care system needs to be reformed. The process in which we witnessed the passage was corrupt. This was not a transparent, comprehensive, bipartisan and honest process. The health care system was overhauled by political ideologues and career politicians in back rooms with bribes to each other and lies to the nation that the implementation would not be tax-based. Had this been done by Republicans, I would be just as disgusted, and I am sure you would be, too. The process was corrupt and tainted; the result is a behemoth of taxes and government control over our health care. Roberts was right when he deemed the ACA constitutional as a tax on the nation's citizenry. It's a shame that our president and those politicians who took part of the political shell game with our health care system lied about it in order to get it passed.
Bob July 11, 2012 at 01:25 PM
Stuart, I dispute your numbers. According to Russ link above, ALL Federal income taxes were 1.145 trillion in 2001, and they were 1.45 trillion in 2008, a 26.6% increase. The CPI calculator shows an increase of 21.5% in that period, showing that Federal income tax revenues increased at a rate of 25% above inflation. The numbers are even stronger when measure against 2002 figures. That's good tax policy. Perhaps the greatest value of the Bush tax cuts was the increase in GDP. In 2001 the GDP was $10.3 trillion, and in 2008 it skyrocketed to $14.4 trillion, an increase of about 40%. When tax policy increases income tax revenues by 25% above inflation over 7 years, and increases GDP growth by 86% above inflation, there's little you can say about the policy other than it was a spectacular success. Gee, how much did Obama's "stimulus" and Obamacare increase GDP and tax revenues?LOL There's also little you can say about an idiotic plan to raise taxes and provide disincentives to investment in this economy besides it being counterproductive, wrong headed, and hateful of those who area successful and drive this economy. In otherwords, it's pure Democrat and Obama hateful and envious class warfare, not sound economic policy.
Bob July 11, 2012 at 04:24 PM
OK, Denise. You claim that there is not a liberal bias in the reporting staff of the Patch. There's a simple way to test this theory. Please name all the staff contributors on the Patch in our area who've consistently posted conservative (or Republican) positions on issues. Tap tap...Denise, are you there? Denise?
Russ July 11, 2012 at 04:25 PM
Bob, yes you do base hiring on the need of what your selling today. Entrepreneurs start small businesses and quickly find that to increase their profit they need to hire help,because they can't do all the work by themselves.Your survival depends on what you do today .If you worried about tomorrow, you would never try to go into business.
Bob July 11, 2012 at 04:28 PM
So tell us Russ, what business that does hiring do you own?
Russ July 11, 2012 at 04:31 PM
And your point is?
Bob July 11, 2012 at 05:55 PM
BTW, sgt, thank you for your service if you were in the military. " The government is NOT a charity organization" You were JOKING about this, right? Much, if not most, of the benefits paid out from government are indeed "charity" and entitlements, not benefits earned by long years of paying into a system to cover the cost. Much of the Food Stamp program that has skyrocketed under Obama is no more than a giveaway, often to people here illegally or who have never paid a nickel to taxes that pay for the system. Medicaid is another massive entitlement that is no more than "charity" since many on it have never paid income taxes to support the program, and in some cases are making TWICE the poverty level of income. Our biggest problems in the country, IMHO, is an increasingly burdensome and parasitic government (state AND Federal) who will suck this nation dry unless we swat them down and change the priority from people serving the government to government serving THE PEOPLE. Isn't that what America is supposed to be all about?
Stuart Kurtz July 11, 2012 at 06:26 PM
Bob, there's not a thing wrong with my numbers, they're just not the numbers you'd chose. Having lost one game, you're not proposing another, going from collected personal income taxes to all income taxes, and also insisting using the bubble year of 2008 as an end point. Let's suppose we play your new game your way, looking CPI corrected federal income taxes over a six year period from 2002 to 2008. In 2002 total collected federal income tax was $1.0064T, and in 2008 it was $1.4501T. Correcting for the CPI, the 2001 federal collected income tax was $1.2044T in 2008 dollars, a growth of 20.4%, or 3.14%/year over inflation compounded. But now, for a fair comparison, let's do the same calculation for the corresponding years of Mr. Clinton's administration, 1994 ($683.4B) vs 2000 ($1211.7B). Correcting the 1994 to 2000 dollars gives $794.1B in collected federal income taxes, for a 6-year growth rate of 52.6%, or 7.3%/year over inflation compounded. So, an apples-to-apples calculation show that the Bush-era tax cuts reduced the rate of growth of federal income by 57%, so the result of the cuts was not only an immediate reduction in revenue, but slower revenue growth subsequently.
Stuart Kurtz July 11, 2012 at 07:06 PM
Bob, > Stuart, obviously you're not a small businessman. Are you doing so badly that you have to go ad hominem already? Whether or not I'm a small business man depends on the definition. Are you? I've managed a couple of business units for my employer, with bottom line accountability. I have a small side business consulting, and file Schedule C as needed. I suspect the latter means that I'm included in the number of small businessmen as cited by the Republican party. Time is the most valuable of all perishable commodities. Good money that you leave on the table today will be picked up by your competition, to your disadvantage. So if there's business today, and by hiring today you can take on that business at a profit, that's what you do. The question of expected future demand is relevant only if a hire involves substantial up-front costs (moving, training, "signing bonuses," etc.) that have to be amortized, but these are rarely relevant when hiring hourly employees. You hurt your case by making hyperbolic claims, e.g., that the current President is "bellicose," or that he's going to "tax profits to unconscionable levels." I'll note, e.g., that the proposed increases on the marginal personal income taxes for high-income filers (39.6% income + 3.8% PPACA = 43.4% overall) is significantly less than it was during most of the Reagan administration (50.0%) let alone the Eisenhower administration (91%).
John Roberts July 11, 2012 at 07:11 PM
Quote from Blue cross..$1300 a month for family of 5,average rent in Joliet $750 to $1200 a month,bills $250 to $450 a month,food and personal products $150 to $250 a week,gas for work $60 to $150 a week adds up to being flat broke,and family anger over money
John Roberts July 11, 2012 at 07:12 PM
Remember you have to have adequate insurance..if your insurance does not cover heart attack you do not have adequate insurance..
Denise Du Vernay July 11, 2012 at 07:41 PM
Bob, I just love when you put words on my fingers. I typed, and I paste, "There are partisan opinions on Patch, sure, but I'd be willing to bet my favorite Chuck Taylors that you can't find an instance where Michael slanted the news." I don't read every article, but I can't name a single SW 'burbs Patch local editor who has slanted their stories or made their politics obvious. I know many of them personally and I don't even know their politics. (Disagreeing with or correcting you does not count as a political bias, by the way). But even if they did show their politics, Bob, that would be okay in the comments section or, say, in a Reporter's Notebook piece, because it is clear on Patch which articles are news, which are opinion, and which are infotainment, like pizza polls and photo galleries. Prove me wrong, Bob! I hope you wear a size 5 Chuck Taylor.
Denise Du Vernay July 11, 2012 at 07:58 PM
P.S. Frankfort Patch has offered a platform for the Republican mayor to speak and for citizens to ask him questions, such as the live chat shown here: http://frankfort.patch.com/articles/live-chat-ask-mayor-your-questions-on-electricity-aggregation
Bob July 12, 2012 at 03:47 AM
Denise, I asked you if you could name a single paid contributor to Patch who was either a Republican or consistently conservative when they provided opinions. I take your more than little evasive answer to that question as "no". On the other hand, it's pretty easy find patch staff who arae just a little to the left oc Chairman Mao...You and Dennis Robough for starters! unlike some other posters here, Ithink that by and large the people in charge have less left wing bias than the Southtown, Regional Newsapers, and certainly the "Orland Parker" which despite having the editor feeding at the GOP pol trough (Cicero) has a distinct left wing bent. I got "unfriended" by him when I he was insulting Palin and I questioned the ethics of Michele Obama being paid over $300K per year as "diversity director" after her hubby was elected Senator, then the position was abolished when she went to the White House.
Chronicles of Bob July 12, 2012 at 05:27 AM
Bob, "IMHO" might be the funniest thing you have ever said. You do realize, though sometimes right, anytime anyone has disagreed with anything you have said, you've always told them they are dumb, uneducated, wrong, and need to get their facts straight. Im just saying, IMHO ...
cjhmarine July 12, 2012 at 06:25 AM
All in all I think the federal goverment should be in on certain things but mostly stay out of our lives. We dont need them making us get health care, giving us a ticket if we dont wear our seat belt, forcing us to give to people that dont work and abuse our system. Its supposed to be OF the People BY the people and For the people not the people for the government but the govenment for the people. Government has overstepped its boundaries when it comes to our civil liberty and constitutional rights. "In this present crisis government is not the solution to our problem , Govenment IS the problem"
Bob July 12, 2012 at 12:40 PM
COB, are you questioning my humility? Only a dumb, uneducated, and wrong person could possibly do such thing!LOL Seriously, I REALLY hate it when people spout out positions that they have no factual basis to make. What I try to do is inject some logic, reason, and unbiased research into the argument, and actually get those who have opposing opinions to check the facts on which those positions are based. Too often many use "lawyer logic" in developing reasoned policy decisions; they start with a conclusion and then try to "cherry pick" data to support that conclusion. When I see bloggers using this approach, I try to bring up data they chose to ignore becasue it didn't suit their conclusion. I try to balance this out. MOVEON.ORG types from the Goebbels school of public information (with a concentration on "The Big Lie") puts out some of the most misleading info out there in support of policy destructive to the value of the dollar and the American economy because that's what George Soros funds them to do. I try to provide counterpoint, and appreciate the clearly left wing Patch staff for givng me that opportunity. Of course, encouraging conservative blogging is just good business. People are rejecting liberal outlets like MSNBC and "Progressive radio" in droves, while conservative media like Fox and conservative radio are doing very well. I look forward to our next jousting match!
Chronicles of Bob July 12, 2012 at 03:55 PM
I am not agreeing if the health care act is wrong or right. I just find it funny that for an act that really hasn't had time to develop or even be in existence your facts are so accurate while others are so wrong. All these "facts" about the act are projections/predictions. Yet, you as well find the numbers that make the act potentially look bad and go with it. You do the same thing that you claim others do. I have no problem if someone poses an opposite view. However, that's what it is, a view. What about taking $$ from the miltary budget (as an example) to subsidize health care on a sliding scale for people below the poverty line? Don't make anyone buy it, and anyone over a certain earning level and their on their own. Keep pre-exisiting/can't cut people and some other good parts for everyone. I also feel Ins comp should have some regulation as well. You know as well as I do that their are certain companies/businesses that get some really nice advantages and perks that have nothing to do with supply and demand... However, a conservitive will still say no... They'll say so you want us to get attacked... Garbage like that. When we all know our def budget is bigger than virtually every other country combined.
laura July 12, 2012 at 04:03 PM
The gist of the issue is: Should someone be allowed to die (or suffer from an otherwise treatable chronic illness) due to lack of (adequate) health insurance? Truly, this isn't a political issue; it is a social, moral and ethical one. At what point should money equate quality of healthcare... or even life itself?
Marie July 12, 2012 at 04:47 PM
Another way to look at this is: should government bureaucrats have control over your health care decisions? If you believe this, it is a political issue.
Chronicles of Bob July 12, 2012 at 05:00 PM
They dont have control over your health care decisions.
Marie July 12, 2012 at 05:07 PM
First, we were told we had to wait for the ACA/tax to be passed before we could see what's in it, COB. Now, we have to wait for its implementation before we see the results of whatever it is they passed. I cast a big NO vote of confidence in anything our government does lately, because they apparently don't even know what they're doing.
Chronicles of Bob July 12, 2012 at 07:11 PM
Were you allowed to drive your car for 5 years before buying it? Were you allowed to live in your house before signing the mortgage? If God himself came down and said this to will cost $ and add to the deficit but will help more people than it hurts you would still be against it. You people live so much better than most. You take for granted simple things like cars, food, and blankets. You fight over your taxes going up on your 5 bedroom homes while others starve and get get simple things like shots... Pathetic, really... You protect companies that make billion $$ profits, have dozens of laws in their favor, while defend the very ones responsible for much of the heartache.
Marie July 12, 2012 at 07:51 PM
COB, the process to pass the ACA was deliberately hidden, partisan, presented dishonestly to the public, and used taxpayer money in the form of bribes to garner votes. The approval process of the ACA was so bad that it had to be crafted out of sight of the very people it will affect - the nation's citizens. I do not have confidence in it or in the individuals who took part of passing it or the government agents who will execute it. As I stated earlier, had this been done by Republican ideologues rather than Democrat Ideologues, I would be just as disgusted. Health care reform is definitely needed in our country. A health care reform act debated with full transparency and a knowledge of what is in it before voting on it, without lying to the citizens about the funding, and with bipartisan support, would be a good start. Unfortunately, career politicians from both sides have created a political cesspool, and nothing good can come from it at this point. I wouldn't think God looks too kindly upon "trusted" elected officials who lie to their constituents and the country for political gain, either.
Chronicles of Bob July 12, 2012 at 10:50 PM
Much of what you just said i would support and agree with. Especially the career polititian on both sides. We have public servants that are paid a moderate salary for their sacrifice to the people who leave as retired fireman, teachers, and soliders. Then you have public servants who are paid a moderate salary that leave as millionaire's with agendas and favors that they filled for the few, not the many.
Bob July 15, 2012 at 02:03 PM
Stuart, you obvioulsy have no sens of history ifyou really think that people were paying 91% rates back in the 50s. While that was the MARGINAL rate, there were so many deductions and exclusions back then that the ACTUAL rates they were paying were far lower, and the "Rich" who could afford tax shelters paid far lower rates than those with rising incomes but not million dollar assets. This is why JFK took a leadership role in reforming the tax code by reducing the MARGINAL rates and adjusting deductions and exclusions to increase investment in growing industries and encouraging capital gains which grow the economy. This was probably the greatest legacy of his Presidency.
Bob July 15, 2012 at 02:03 PM
This worked so well that in fact the vast majority of Presidents since his tenure has followed that trend, and the result was growing the GDP, increasing jobs, and increasing tax revenues. Whenever a President deviated in this path, GB I, the results have been negative. Clinton was something of a unique, and very lucky, case. During his tenure the productivity of the American worker exploded, allowing for an increase in real wages and creating world leadership of the world in this high value commerce. By 1999, this productivity growth was maxing out, so we needed to go back to growth fundamentals. GDP growth, even after the disaster in 9/11, was testament to the correctness of the tax cuts and economic policy. Obama is trying to reverse this decades long trend for growth. He needs to go!
Stuart Kurtz July 15, 2012 at 09:33 PM
Bob, Note that I referred to various tax rates as "marginal personal income taxes for high-income," so your "corrections" speak to your lack of reading comprehension and generosity rather than to any historical misunderstandings on my part. Of course there were deductions then, just as there are deductions now. There are also differences in capital gains taxes, which are extremely low today by historical standards. It's a bit harder to document effective income tax rates. There's a 2007 graphic from the NYT, which claims effective tax rates for the upper 0.01% of about 70% in the early 60's, vs. about 35% in 2004. For the upper 1%, it was about 45% in the early 60's, vs. about 32% in 2004. Obama's proposals would be expected to raise these effective rates to roughly 40% and 37% respectively, which is less than the average of the comparable rates during the Reagan administration. Your claim of a significant linkage between GDP growth and effective tax rates is not supported by the evidence. If anything, average GDP growth in the 60s was higher than average GDP growth subsequently, and yet tax rates were higher then than subsequently.


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