Posts Tagged ‘letter

15
Nov
13

Make Your Voices Heard

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Written by our very own Judith Fardig

Letters to the editor, The Oregonian

R.E. front-page article, Obama bends on health cancellations 11/15/13

If you received a cancellation letter from your insurance company, don’t try to hang on to your sub-standard policy without calling Cover Oregon first at 1-855-268-3767 to find out if you could get a better deal. Individuals making up to $45,960 and families of 4 up to $92,400 may be eligible for federal subsidies which you won’t get if you keep your old policy.

The Affordable Care Act grandfathered all the individual policies that were in place at the time the law was enacted, hence President Obama’s statement that you could keep your plan if you liked it. There were limits on the amount of increase in premiums or deductibles to keep this grandfathered status. The plans being cancelled because they don’t meet the minimal standards were introduced by private insurers after passage of the ACA, knowing they wouldn’t be in compliance by 1/1/14. The insurers should have disclosed this when they issued the policy. Now they are trying to blame their lack of transparency on the President.

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A great way to be proactive about ObamaCare, is to write to your local paper if there is an avenue for that. Thanks Judith, for the inspiration and for doing your part to spread facts about the wonderful law that is the Affordable Care Act.

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15
Nov
13

A Democrat with a backbone: Gov Deval Patrick

Letter From Governor Patrick to the Massachusetts Congressional Delegation on the Affordable Care Act

Friday, November 15, 2013 – Governor Deval Patrick today sent the following letter regarding the Affordable Care Act to the Massachusetts Congressional Delegation:

As you consider current proposals to change the Affordable Care Act (ACA), I write to remind you about what we have learned from health care reform in Massachusetts, and to inform you of some of our experiences so far with implementing it.

We have seen firsthand the positive changes brought about by a strong individual insurance market with protections that ensure a basic level of care. Individuals are protected from being dropped from insurance when they need it most, or being denied coverage because of a pre-existing condition. Benefits must meet minimum standards, and there are limits on individuals’ exposure to out-of-pocket costs for needed health care. And the rest of us are protected against having our premiums inflated or our taxes tapped to pick up the tab for the uninsured or underinsured. With these basic features in place, we have achieved near universal coverage, better health and slower growth in health costs. With the ACA, the same can and will happen for the country.

Much has been made of the fact that some Americans have had their current policies canceled by their insurers. Some of that, we know, is in the normal course of annual insurance renewals. Some is because the existing policies do not provide the minimum level of coverage required by the ACA. So long as the means for individuals to learn about and enroll in affordable alternatives is available, through an improved website, a call center or otherwise, the transition of people from non-compliant policies to compliant ones should proceed.

Nonetheless, the public has been poorly informed about this transition, and too many consumers are unable to enroll conveniently in compliant plans. For some, the temporary delay proposed yesterday by the President may be appropriate. Our experience in Massachusetts tells us that our health plans and their customers have prepared for the transition and are unlikely to need or to use the additional time.

However, any delay in requiring plans to meet the basic standards of the ACA must only be temporary. Leaving non-compliant plans to remain permanently in place means we revert to the status quo: a broken health care system where many people carry policies that don’t cover them when they get seriously ill, and where those with comprehensive coverage pay for those uninsured or underinsured in higher premiums and taxes. Permitting plans to be permanently non-compliant means the pool of individuals who do purchase plans through the marketplaces will likely be sicker on average, and their options will be more expensive and constrained. And it will disrupt the market-based model on which premiums and policy options hinge.

We benefit in Massachusetts from broad, bipartisan support for health reform and the willingness of our legislature — encouraged by business, labor, industry, patient advocates and others — to make refinements to our plan as we go. The President does not enjoy that collaboration with the Congress, and the American people suffer as a result. If you wish to take further legislative action to ensure the successful extension of the benefits of the ACA to all our citizens, I would humbly propose that you consider granting the administration broader authority to make adjustments to the ACA by regulation so long as such regulations advance the fundamental goal. That way any administration can make changes in the details of implementation quickly in response to lessons learned along the way.

The fundamental goal of the Affordable Care Act is to give all Americans access to reliable, quality health insurance at a reasonable cost. Guaranteeing a basic level of coverage for everyone is the first step towards fixing our broken health care system and promoting a healthier population. We have seen in Massachusetts how well it works and how important it is. While the transition is challenging for some, I urge you not to lose sight of the long-term good for all as you consider any changes or adjustments to the Affordable Care Act.

For these reasons, I urge you to oppose any bill that extends access to non-compliant plans beyond a short transition period.

With continued thanks for your partnership, I am

Respectfully yours,

Governor Deval L. Patrick

08
Oct
13

Rise and Shine

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Today:

The President has no public events scheduled

1:30 EDT: Jay Carney briefs the press

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ThinkProgress: Oklahoma Woman Tells GOP Lawmakers: Without Obamacare, ‘I Will Be Dead Before My 27th Birthday’

As the deadline approached for Congress to pass a continuing resolution to keep the government funded, Republicans refused to strike a deal unless it defunded or delayed Obamacare. Now, a week later, GOP lawmakers still seem unwilling to compromise unless they are able to dismantle some of the health reform law. One Oklahoma resident wants them to understand the human impact of that political position.

On the eve of the looming government shutdown, 26-year-old Kendall Brown published an open letter to the lawmakers who wanted to delay Obamacare for one year before agreeing to pass a funding bill. Brown didn’t mince words. “I am dying, because of the political games you are playing right now,” her op-ed began.

More here

An excerpt from the letter:

Open Letter to Lawmakers: The Human Cost

Dear lawmakers currently attempting to shut down Obamacare,

My name is Kendall Brown. I am a 26-year-old, college graduate with a full-time job…

And I am dying, because of the political games you are playing right now.

You see, I was born with Crohn’s Disease. This didn’t happen because I ate unhealthy food, or because I smoked, or because of any of the other reasons we use to victim blame sick people and justify not giving our countrymen adequate health care. I became severely ill beginning in the third grade because I won a genetic lottery that left me with a disease that would quickly drop me to 87 pounds, render me unable to walk at times, and nearly kill me twice…..

…. I don’t tell you this to make you feel sorry for me, Mr or Mrs lawmaker. I tell you this because I am tired of being reduced to a number, a statistic or, even worse, being described as a freeloader that wants to live off of the government health care teat. I tell you this because if you defund Obamacare, or delay it even for one year, as you are debating today, then this will be my last letter to you. I will be dead before my 27th birthday.

If you think that my life, and the lives of thousands of other people like me have no value, then by all means, delay the ACA. But before you do so, I’d like to invite you to hear stories from others like me, or, if you find yourself in the great state of Oklahoma, come meet me. I’d love to show you around and buy you a cup of coffee — and to introduce you to the woman you are killing.

Sincerely,

Kendall Brown

See the full letter at OKC.net

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Eugene Robinson: Obamacare is here. Get used to it.

While Republicans were throwing their silly tantrum, Obamacare became a fact. There is no turning back.

The point of no return was reached when millions of people crashed the Web sites of the new Affordable Care Act exchanges while trying to buy health insurance. Republicans can fight rear-guard battles if they want, but last Tuesday they lost the war. All they can do at this point is harm the nation — and their political prospects.

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Medicare guaranteed health care for the elderly, Medicaid for the poor. Obamacare begins to fill the remaining gaps. It will get better over time, but already — crashing Web sites and all — it’s a beautiful thing.

Full post here

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TPM: Carl Bernstein Slams Media’s ’50/50′ Shutdown Coverage: ‘This Is About The Republican Party’

Longtime journalist Carl Bernstein on Tuesday called on the press to abandon the false equivalence that’s colored much of the coverage of the government shutdown.

Appearing on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” the man who helped break the Watergate scandal said that the current budget impasse is not a two-sided matter.

“This is about the Republican Party and what it’s going to be,” Bernstein said. “Is it going to conduct a fact-based, philosophical argument in our political system or is it going to be a nihilistic, hateful, asymmetrical in terms of facts and the truth part of the party, as in Joe McCarthy?”

More here

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TPM: Harry Reid: GOP Obsession With Defunding Obamacare Is ‘Insanity’

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said Saturday that Republicans’ preoccupation with defunding Obamacare amounts to “insanity.”

The Nevada Democrat explained in an interview with Esquire magazine why he recently said the Tea Party caucus is losing their minds.

“The reason I said that is that Einstein said the sign of insanity is when you do something over and over again and expect a different result,” he said. “They’ve voted forty-four times to defund Obamacare. Is that insanity? I think so.”

More here

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Missed this video the other day:

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ThinkProgress: Seven Big Companies Working To Help Americans Sign Up For Obamacare

Now that Obamacare’s new insurance marketplaces are open to the public, some uninsured Americans are eager to sign up. However, many others likely remain confused about their options under health reform, particularly as Obamacare continues to get caught in the political crossfire. In order to bridge the education gap about the health law, advocates are ramping up their enrollment efforts in creative ways. For instance, you can now text ENROLL to Planned Parenthood to receive information about health reform.

But nonprofit and government groups can’t do it all on their own. Here are seven large companies that are currently joining in on the effort and helping to spread the word about the new insurance options available under Obamacare:

See here

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Washington Post Editorial: The House GOP has nothing to show for its government shutdown

What have House Republicans managed to accomplish in a week of government shutdown?

Damage the livelihood of millions of Americans? Check. Government secretaries, food-truck operators, cleaners who work in motels near national parks: They’re all hurting.

Waste billions of taxpayer dollars? Check….

Interfere with key government operations? Check….

Rattle the markets, slow an economy in recovery, interrupt potentially lifesaving research at the National Institutes of Health? Check, check and check.

Derail the hated Obamacare? Ch . . . — oh, no, wait a minute…..

Full editorial here

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Link to Lawrence O’Donnell last night on the GOP’s attempts to ‘shut down the Presidency’: See here

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Liberal Librarian: The party of fear and the politics of Armageddon

I was looking through my personal library this past weekend, lost in my thoughts as to how we’ve come to this present pass in American politics, and came across a book I haven’t read in 20 years, but have clung to. The Party of Fear: The American Far Right from Nativism to the Militia Movement by David H. Bennett, was published in 1988 and revised in 1995. It makes for grim reading.

It’s a sad truism of the United States that we as a people are ahistorical. We have no memory of what happened last week, much less in the last century. If we were to remember our history, we might be better prepared for when it invariably rears its head again, the passions and bigotries of the past roaring out of the dark id of the American psyche. We fight the same battles over, because the causes of those battles are never fully addressed.

More here

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ThinkProgress: The Complete Guide To The Rise Of The Debt Ceiling Truthers

With just days to go until the nation hits the debt ceiling on October 17th, a growing chorus of Republican lawmakers have begun dismissing the dangers of national default, insisting that the government can continue paying interest on its debt and fund the most critical programs.

Economists have dismissed this prioritization scheme as chaotic and unworkable, warning that the United States would be “unable to pay between 40 to 45 percent of the 80 million payments it makes every month.” If the debt ceiling is not increased, the credit markets would freeze, the value of the dollar would plummet, interest rates would skyrocket, and a global recession would ensue.

But the so-called debt ceiling truthers, who swept into power after the 2010 midterm elections and, to the surprise of GOP leaders, took over the debt ceiling debate, continue to deny this reality. Below is a brief timeline showing how they rose to power and prominence within the Republican party…..

More here

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Charles Pierce: Where Are The Gutsy Republicans?

You’ll forgive me if, at the moment, I decline to believe that we will be saved from the Reign Of The Morons by unicorns, the Easter Bunny, or reasonable Republicans in either house of Congress who would gladly vote with the Democrats, if only evil castrato Speaker John Boehner would allow them to do it. You will also forgive me if, at the moment, I decline to believe in mermaids, the Pooka McPhillimey, or fed-up plutocrats who can find a sucker to primary Tea Party congresscritters from what passes for The Left in the Republican party these days.

… The Reign Of The Morons is many things, but one of its most obvious causes is a complete failure of political courage within the Republican party. It isn’t simply a matter of the party’s having created a monster that it can no longer control – although that’s undeniable part of it – it also is the fact that the party lacks a substantial center of power that even is willing to risk trying. Say what you will about Victor Frankenstein. He chased his creation to the ends of the earth. Where are the Republicans who are willing to ride the ice floe?

Full post here

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Steve Benen: Shutdown takes its toll on congressional GOP

As the deadline neared for the nation’s first-ever war-time government shutdown, the consensus was that congressional Republicans, already unpopular, would feel the brunt of the public backlash. So far, those expectations were correct.

A Washington Post/ABC News poll released yesterday found widespread dissatisfaction across the board, but Americans’ attitudes towards Republicans are especially brutal.

While approval for President Obama and congressional Democrats ticked higher in the wake of the government shutdown, approval for congressional Republicans dropped to a woeful 24%. Just as important, GOP lawmakers, who shut down the government exactly one week ago, have seen their disapproval ratings soar to 70%. A majority of Americans, 51%, now say they “strongly” disapprove of the nation’s far-right party.

More here

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Bob Cesca: The GOP Debt Ceiling Strategy: Lies, Grabassery and Default Denialism

The Republican Party’s geyser-like misinformation campaign regarding the government shutdown, accompanied by continued misinformation about the Affordable Care Act and the debt ceiling, has been almost too powerful to follow as it whizzes by.

The latest line, which appears to have convinced a majority of Republican voters, is that nothing will happen if the debt limit isn’t raised, least of all a default. As I pointed out yesterday, this is complete nonsense. We’ve heard this before in the form of denying the climate crisis in the face of almost unanimous scientific consensus. In this case, dozens of experts are forecasting the worst possible consequences if the House GOP doesn’t perform what was formerly a very customary task, devoid of melodrama or hostage-taking.

More here

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On This Day:

Oct 8, 2009: VP Biden and Jacqueline’s new best friend, Valerie Jarrett, leave the Economic Daily Briefing in the Oval Office (Pete Souza)

Oct 8, 2009: President Obama, along with members of Congress and Cabinet secretaries, jockeys for a rebound during a basketball game on the White House court (Pete Souza)

Oct 8, 2012: President Obama views a portrait of César Chávez before the César E. Chávez National Monument dedication ceremony in Keene, Calif. (Pete Souza)

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MooooOOOOoooorning!

21
Sep
13

ObamaCare: Spreading The Good News

by Africa (@lawalazu)

Chuck Todd inspired me to contact all my local media about presenting the facts on Obamacare. I sent this to my local paper yesterday. The executive editor replied me.

This is my letter:

I wish to make a suggestion to the News Journal. Please bear me out and read this to the end.

On October 1, the Affordable Care Act will go into effect. This law will impact the lives of millions of Americans. However there is a lot that many residents may not know about the law. Once implemented, the law is expected to help some 30 million Americans.

Already it is making an impact:

- Medicare’s preventive benefits now come with a free visit with your primary care doctor every year to plan out your prevention services. And there are no more co-pays for preventative services in Medicare.

- Small businesses get big tax credits—up to 50 percent of premium costs—for offering health insurance to their workers.

- Insurers with unusually high administrative costs have to offer rebates to their customers, and every insurance company has to reveal how much it spends on overhead.

- Free birth control and other preventative services for women, unless you work for a faith based organization that opposes birth control.

- Seniors get $250 towards closing the “doughnut hole” in their prescription drug coverage.

(Mother Jones)

And there is much, much more to come once the law is implemented.

I wonder if your newspaper would consider doing a town hall and inviting Pensacolans to hear about what the law offers. Many people do not know some of the simple, but major benefits in the law. For example, that no longer will people be denied service because of pre-existing conditions. Parents who wish to keep their children on their health insurance will be able to do so until the children turns 26. People suffering with substance abuse and mental health issues will no longer go uncovered. Under ACA, they will have insurance.

Just Wednesday, I was able to share this fact with the mother of a 22-year-old, who has a heart condition. While his condition is stable now, she wanted to make sure he had health insurance, in case he ever got sick again. I informed her about the pre-existing component. I also told her that her child could remain on her insurance until 26, if she so desired.

No longer will pregnancies be considered a pre-existing condition.

There are hundreds of thousands like this mom out there. A little bit of information will help residents. The goal is not to convince anyone, but present the facts about the law.

Continue reading ‘ObamaCare: Spreading The Good News’

12
Jun
13

Letter from a Hong Kong hotel suite

Cross-posted on The People’s View.

America’s history is written in blood and sacrifice. We have two holidays—Memorial Day and Veterans Day—which commemorate the sacrifices made by our military. But, we have only two national martyrs whom we acknowledge with holidays: Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King, Jr.

Both of our great martyrs died trying to expiate the sins of slavery and racism. Without their work, the America in which we live would be unrecognizable. In fact, there might very well be no America, as it would have split along the fissures caused by one of its two original sins, that of slavery.

Which is why it’s quite curious that Chris Hayes, on his show last night, brought up the memories of Dr. King and Rosa Parks when speaking of NSA leaker Edward Snowden.

Continue reading ‘Letter from a Hong Kong hotel suite’




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