Ratchet wrote:That was interesting... so why exactly are some/many people against it? The good seem to far outweigh any drawbacks of it, at least from what I gathered.
OK, here's how it works. We begin with a little history, to which I already alluded earlier. The "individual mandate," including the tax/penalty, portion of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (so-called "Obamacare")—the part to which the right wing so objects—actually had its genesis with conservatives/Republicans. Specifically, it originated with The Heritage Foundation
, a bona-fide conservative think tank, in 1989 as an alternative to the single-payer and employer mandate plans that Democrats favored. Even the renowned (to some extent deified) conservative-libertarian economist Milton Friedman
proposed an individual mandate in 1991. This plan was then officially adopted by the Republican Party in 1992 as its alternative to the universal health care plan being proposed by the Clintons (so-called "Hillarycare"—don't ask me why they do that). This, in turn, is what Rmoney's Massachusetts plan was based on. And it remained a part of the Republican platform and legislative agenda until as recently as 2006.
Then Obama comes along in 2008. He has stated that ideally he'd support a single-payer system, but he didn't believe that the country's political landscape was prepared for it, it was too divisive, and he didn't want to have that battle, with nothing ultimately getting accomplished as occurred in 1992. (Basically, much of Obama's Presidency, at least initially, was based on a) being overly "post-partisan", and b) trying to redo the Clinton Presidency without making the same mistakes early on. Which, of course, totally backfired. But I digress.) So, seeing that a third of the population was uninsured or underinsured, and that the rest were subject to high and rising premiums and denials of coverage and all the rest, he decided we needed to stop fighting and get something
done. So fine, let's go with the Republican plan. No big jumps, nothing radical, a conservative piecemeal approach based on individual responsibility (something Republicans used to stand for; now they're all about shirking it). Surely the Republicans can't object to a portion of their own platform, right?
Well, the Republicans, who entered 2009 with Mitch McConnell declaring on the Senate floor that their #1 priority will be to make Obama a one-term President (you know, rather than actually doing any business for the country), saw this and said, "wait a minute, he's going to co-opt our
idea and take all the credit for it and its success. Just like Clinton did with Welfare Reform, the Balanced Budget Act, DOMA, all those trade deals, etc. We can't allow this to happen again!"
So how does a party now oppose a plan for which it has advocated for nearly 20 years, and voted in favor of within just the last few, without coming off as petty and vindictive? Well, first they rely on the fact that most of the public are either too busy, turned-off, lazy, or otherwise uninterested to even be aware in the first place that the Republicans previously stood for that plan—that they're now doing a 180, effectively opposing themselves—or to read the journalism that points out this fact.
Then, they get Karl Rovian, completely reversing and concocting a new reality. Employ every logical fallacy they can, accuse the opposition of everything for which you yourself are guilty, and up it. Create and exploit a phony grass roots movement comprised of a bunch of spiteful, know-nothing rubes who will believe anything they're told, especially if it reinforces their prejudices. Start screaming with hysterical vitriol and making completely bogus claims and Chicken Little-esque warnings about creeping socialism, death panels, rationing, denial of choice, etc. Take it to court, call it unconstitutional, get Republican governors to threaten and even erect blockades, put on a big show about how it's a tyrannical overstep.
This massive dog and pony show accomplishes three things. First, it incites and propagandizes to those who live in the alternate reality of FOX News, talk radio, and right-wing websites. "Well, my favored demagogues said it, it must be true." That's a bloc automatically on their side, carrying their water, spreading the lies. For everyone else, it first serves as a distraction, taking all the focus off of the Republicans and placing it all on the other, the opposition, the enemy. And secondly, it plays a mind game with the casual observer. They hear all this hyperbole, superlative, and extreme vitriol and viciousness coming from the right—issuing accusations and leveling insults that traditionally would be considered absurd and even beyond the pale. Casual observer thinks, "wow, I may not know much, but if they're that worked up, then there must really be something to it! Maybe Obama and this Obamacare really is radical and unAmerican! Oh no! Hide the children!"
The fact is, surveys consistently demonstrate that when broken down into its component pieces (the pieces Cody linked to), a majority of Americans support everything in the PPACA, except the mandate. And that's largely because the GOP machine has successfully lied about what exactly the mandate is. They have also successfully conflated the mandate with the bill as a whole, and made up a whole lot of other falsehood garbage to throw in, which has resulted in the overall lack of support for the PPACA, despite the overwhelming support for its components.
sinewav wrote:A "good thing" would be universal health insurance, like civilized nations have. Obamacare doesn't go far enough.
Agreed. The most rational, efficient, affordable, ethical program to have would be Medicare for All. And the thing is, most Americans would support it, if honestly presented. Again, surveys have consistently shown this. America is not the conservative/right-wing country that the propagandists at FOX News would have people believe, or that Europeans do believe.
One of the main criticisms people on the left have had of Obama is that he's begun all his negotiations with the compromise with which he would ultimately be comfortable. Everyone knows you don't do that. Dude, WTF. Well, duh, the Republicans see that, laugh, and just start further right than they would have otherwise. Obama should have begun with "Medicare for All." If he had, what would the Republicans have offered as an alternative? I guarantee you it would have been something like the PPACA, including an individual mandate with penalty/tax. I f'ing guarantee it.
compguygene wrote:There are many provisions that have nothing to do with [the main subject of the legislation in question].
While being annoying and objectionable, you do realize that this is totally typical of how it goes, especially where really large bills are concerned, right? Not only on the Federal level, but all the way down to your city council as well. They're called riders
, usually in the pejorative as in the description there, though they can also be more uncontroversial/benign. I hope you don't think that's something exceptional about the PPACA in particular.
For instance, effective at the signing of the bill, any transactions where gold is purchased in an amount greater than $500 USD must be registered with the Federal Government by the Gold dealer.
Source, in the bill itself. Same for the rest of your claims. All bills are available in their totality online. Indeed, notice that the page Cody provided directly cites the sections in the bill itself.
But we are talking about government bureaucrats, whose primary motivation will be costs, determining who lives or dies.
Lies. Goddamnit, man, get a clue
I do agree there are bigger issues than killing Obamacare, for instance getting us out of the overly expensive and needless wars we are in and dealing with the crimes of the bankers that have committed massive fraud and are killing our economy for their gain.
Another moment of clarity. Too bad you won't support Obama or others in actually pursuing these actions. You'd rather blame specters.
Lucifer wrote:The President has the most power that any individual in government has.
Bit of a quibble with that paragraph. "President" should be replaced with "Executive Branch." The President himself actually handles very little (relatively speaking) hands-on, directly. There's just way too much to deal with; it would be impossible. And that's not even counting all that goes on with the various agencies that fall under the Executive Branch.
EDIT: No, I really did mean their diatribes have a thick viscosity!