President Barack Obama adjusts his earpiece during a town hall event with television hosts Jose Diaz Balart and Enrique Acevedo, far left, at the Newseum in Washington. The event was broadcast in both English and Spanish languages
President Barack Obama walks back to the Oval Office after attending a town hall event on the importance of the benefits of the Affordable Care Act for Hispanic community at the Newseum in Washington
A quick trip down memory lane. Democrats had suffered a crushing blow on no other day than the 1st Anniversary of Pres Obama’s Inauguration into office. Jan 20, 2010. We had lost Sen Ted Kennedy’s seat. The fate of the Healthcare bill hung in a balance. It had passed the House earlier in December 2009. The Senate version passed in a cliffhanger moment with ailing WV Senator Robert Bird being wheeled in, and Sen Sherrod Brown flown in by WH straight from a funeral, to cast the critical filibuster-proof vote just a breath before Christmas Day 2009 rolled in, and start of congressional winter recess.
But come January 2010, the two bills needed to be reconciled. On this anniversary date, Scott Brown trounced Martha Cokeley in the MA senate special election. Democrats’ threadbare 60 filibuster-proof caucus, gone. Healthcare reform teetered on brink of collapse. Many Very Serious People in the Beltway, pundits and Democrats told the President to give or radically scale back his Healthcare quest. Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel read him the “Political-Implications-Riot-Act.” WH was in a deep funk.
Then came the Republican House’s grand invitation to Pres Obama visit their caucus retreat in Baltimore, MD. They probably wanted to humiliate the president for his recent loss, through fake chivalry.
WH RSVPed with one tiny request, whose acceptance a House GOP member later said was the biggest mistake they ever made. Pres Obama had asked to bring camera crew along.
First were his opening remarks calling for both parties to work together:
There’s a reason that the 1 hr 20 minute Q&A section that followed these opening remarks shook the Beltway political universe, prompting media calls for British-style “Prime Minister’s question Time” tradition to be established here in the US, to engender real dialog among political parties. Of course GOP rejected the idea and it fizzled. But for many Democrats, what became known as The Baltimore Massacre, would be grist for partisan loremaking. One man. 183 GOP congresscritters & their families. (Sinews taut). Room darkened, spotlight on POTUS against black curtained backdrop. T’was like oratory in a theater. No notes. Brilliance extempore.
The entire exchange is worth spending time listening to again in its entirety just for the sheer thrill of watching President Obama glow in the den of the opposition.
However, there is a segment key to the subject of this essay; that President Obama foresaw exactly the predicament that Republicans would be in now, incapable of saying “Yes” to anything he proposes, offers or agrees with them on, that they become convulsed contortionists.
Rep Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) had asked Pres Obama why he won’t take GOP (harebrained) plans on healthcare reform. He patiently tried to explain to her that Democrats HAD included many Republican ideas into the healthcare bills if they were objectively shown to be workable. But the critical point he made was that their reflexive rejection of anything he’s proposed including personal demonization of him, was going to hurt them in the long run.
So, 45 months ago President Obama predicted exactly to a T the current GOP Convulsions. We’ve seen this phenomenon play out over and over, but none of those prior occasions have been as dire as the shutdown we’re in the midst of and the looming economic catastrophe should we enter default.
Speaker Boehner, there is a way to retreat from that feeble ledge. President Obama WILL help you if you let him.
USA Today: Review: Healthcare.gov A Winner Despite Glitches
The most important is whether HealthCare.gov meets its fundamental task — creating a marketplace with an array of choices and competitive prices. The other is whether it explains insurance so people understand it — how to buy it, why they should, how the law’s subsidies work, and helps them start grasping which policy works for them.
On those counts, HealthCare.gov is an out-of-the-box success. To look at HealthCare.gov, especially knowing some Internet history and health insurance, is to understand it will sell tons of insurance. To start with, 2.8 million people crashing a site on Day One is considered a high-class problem. “It shows they’ve hit the target,” says venture capitalist David Jones, ex-chairman of health insurer Humana. “It’s obvious.”
Karen Weise: People Are Calling This ObamaCare Insurance Exchange In Tears
When the exchange opened—17 minutes later than the 8 a.m. scheduled start time—the website and call centers were flooded with inquiries. Walsh said that in the first few hours“it was just raw emotion calling in.” People eager for insurance, at times in tears, wanted to get coverage that they didn’t have before.
“They were calling up saying, ‘Can I get my coverage today so I can see my doctor this afternoon?’” he says. “That is in one sense moving but also frustrating because, sure, you can sign up—but the coverage can’t be effective until Jan. 1.”
Walsh says his team has been working around the clock, so much so that on Wednesday he sent one of his development managers home to take a nap. “He didn’t want to quit, but his brain wasn’t working anymore,” Walsh says.
Leslie Foster, a 28-year-old freelance filmmaker in Hollywood, is among the first to sign up for an insurance plan. After spending several hours browsing the California insurance “exchange” late Tuesday night—when traffic was lower and the online marketplace operated more smoothly—Mr. Foster made his choice at about 10 a.m. Wednesday.
At $62 a month in direct costs to him, the plan, offered by managed-care firm Health Net Inc., is “a great deal,” Mr. Foster said. Because he earns only about $20,000 a year doing freelance videography and odd jobs, Mr. Foster qualifies for federal subsidies that cut deep into the premiums for health plans available in the new marketplaces, which opened Tuesday morning.
When we board a plane what is the first thing Flight Attendants demonstrating passenger safety instructions, tell us to do in case of emergency? “…an oxygen mask will automatically appear in front of you… secure your mask on first, and then assist the other person.” That’s Rational Self Interest.
With the exception of religious cultists who abdicate control over their own being, we as INDIVIDUALS instinctively strive for SELF-PRESERVATION especially when our life is threatened. It’s an existential article of faith. And nothing crystalizes this fact more readily than when we NEED healthcare to prevent or cure illness.
Rational Self-Interest in economics is when a person “makes economic decisions that benefit them the most.” Is that not what we’ve been told real capitalism is supposed to be about? Marketplaces, competition, and consumers making choices based on what is best for them? So why do the GOP and their wealthy backers hate PBO for enacting this model of capitalism?
He is exposing them for their fake capitalism. Jig is up.
In the perverse Ayn Randian philosophy that the likes of the Koch brothers espouse, there’s talk of pursuing one’s own interests only. But in actuality what they have told their rubes is that they must sacrifice their economic interests in service of ideology. In other words 1%ers preach cultural adherence and ideological purity to their followers while they themselves siphon every public asset and good to themselves. It’s a faith-based heist of the commonweal.
President Obama co-opted Ayn Rand’s idea of rational self-interest, turned it on its head, and the Republican Kochsters HATE him for it. The ACA challenges the ability of the Bircher puppetmasters and their corporate ilk to control their rubes over the single most important and intimate aspect of their lives; healthcare. But worse for them it has electoral implications, at least in the near term. Kochsters know it, we know it, and ordinary Americans will soon know it too. As VP Biden said, it’s a BFD, positively for ordinary Americans, and negatively for the Kochsters.
Healthcare is ground zero. It’s a singular necessity of life in which no one can live vicariously through another person’s. In an airplane emergency if your oxygen mask IS working you hold on to yours for dear life regardless of whether the passenger in seat 53G’s mask is working or not. That’s Rational Self-Interest. You can’t bullshit people about what they are getting or not getting. Healthcare is personal. Too intimate. No one ever forgets what that experience is like or costs. The impact is visceral. The numbers don’t lie. People know that they paid $1500 out of pocket last year for an MRI and now it is covered under ACA.
1. Starting now and on October 1st you can go to healthcare.gov or call (1-800-318-2596; TTY: 1-855-889-4325) to compare options and select health coverage.
2. Thanks to ObamaCare, insurance companies must cover mental health, substance-use disorder, alcohol misuse screening, domestic violence screening, depression screening, etc. under “essential health benefits.”
3. ObamaCare will increase the need for doctors, nurses, nurse practitioners, medical assistants, health information specialists, medical billers, medical sonography, home-care aides, lab technicians, etc. Now, that’s job creation!
11. 8.5 million Americans from the 19 states already operating health insurance exchanges will use ObamaCare to purchase insurance. It far outstrips the government’s estimate of 7 million new customers in all 50 states.
12. CDC predicts that 200,000 heart disease related deaths per year could be prevented because of ObamaCare.
13. Thanks to ObamaCare, 6.4 million Americans will be able to purchase insurance for $100 a month or less.
14. A fun quiz that tests your ObamaCare knowledge and helps correct confusions and lies.
15. Five great ways ObamaCare helps small businesses.