Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Perhaps the Republican's aggressive campaign against Obamacare has less to do with stopping increased health care services, and more about blocking the registration of new voters.

Courtesy of Mother Jones: 

Republicans have slammed Obamacare's health care exchanges—where uninsured Americans can apply for subsidized coverage—as "Democrat Party front organizations." That's because the millions of mostly low-income and minority applicants—who tend to vote Democratic—will be asked if they want to register to vote when they sign up for insurance through the exchanges, which open up next week. The administration has been adamant that it will not cede to the GOP on this provision. Until now. 

The 1993 National Voter Registration Act (NVRA), known as the Motor Voter law, says that DMVs and other state agencies that provide public assistance have to provide voter registration services. The Obama administration has said that means that both the state-run exchanges, and the federally-run exchanges that are being rolled out in states where Republican governors have refused to set them up, will have to comply with the Motor Voter law. But now it appears that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is wavering on whether it will require the 35 federally-run exchanges to offer voter registration, according to a recent report by the left-leaning policy shop Demos and the voting rights organization Project Vote. Congress also recently launched an inquiry into the matter, Hill staffers told Mother Jones. 

GOP opposition to signing up new voters through the health insurance exchanges has been fierce. Right-wing talk show yeller Rush Limbaugh said in June that it shows "the purpose of Obamacare... It's about building a permanent, undefeatable, always-funded Democrat majority." In March, Republicans on the House Ways and Means committee worried about how Obama-friendly "associations like the now-defunct ACORN"—such as FamiliesUSA and AARP that the administration will fund to help sign up the uninsured—would use applicants' voting information. Rep. Charles Boustany (R-La.) wrote a letter to HHS this past spring, charging that the health care law "does not give your Department an interest in whether individual Americans choose to vote," and asking HHS to provide justification for including voter registration questions in health insurance applications. 

Some conservative legal scholars have argued that since the exchanges operate as a marketplace for private insurance, they don't fall under the Motor Voter law's definition of social service providers, and therefore shouldn't be linked to voting. But the exchanges also provide government subsidies, and as recently as April, HHS made it clear that all health care exchanges would need to provide voter registration services.

Well that's a new one, I had not really even considered this as the possible reason for such stiff opposition to ACA.

But it makes sense. As we know the Republicans are flat out terrified of new voters joining the electorate, especially if those new voters are young, poor, or non-white. You know the very people best served by Obamacare.

However there are signs that the HHS was no longer planning to provide the same voter registration services that the Motor Voter law requires, essentially caving in to conservative pressure.

In my opinion they should leave it the way it is. After all our form of government benefits from having as many citizens involved in the process as possible. Unless of course you are a Republican, then keeping the electorate small and easily hoodwinked is of paramount importance.

However let's face it, even if the ACA does not offer voter registration services, the Republican base is shrinking and the Democratic base is swelling. It is really only a matter of time.


  1. Anonymous10:34 AM

    Just playing a little devils advocate here but... Even if someone registers to vote it doesn't mean they will go to the voting booth.

    BTW my husbands RW friends who have been brainwashed by the Ronnie's "Welfare Queen" propaganda have stopped discussing politics with him because I always give him FACTS to shoot them down. Especially his friend who needs $40,000 plus surgery but couldn't afford it until (wait for it) OBAMACARE!! LOL

  2. Anonymous10:45 AM

    It's because the more people who vote,...the less chance the GOP has to steal or influence an election. The GOP has ALWAYS been about having the "vote" in the hands of the GOP,...and not anyone else. They would restrict it to the top 3% if they thought they could do it without a major revolt.

    1. It's not who votes, it's who counts the votes.

      The Republicans own Diebold.

  3. hedgewytch11:04 AM

    Let's see, Post Office: register for voting and armed services.
    DMV: voter registration
    Library: voter registration
    I'm sure there are other places, that just what I come up with off the top of my head.

    The PO, DMV or the library also don't have much to do with voting, but they offer those services because it is a great point of contact to get many people. The GOP hasn't really a leg to stand on with that argument. It is obviously another way to suppress new voters.

  4. Boscoe11:34 AM

    Well, maybe the republicans should have thought about that before launching their efforts to demonize, vilify and disenfranchise people at the low end of the scale.

    Because the Repubs couldn't *possibly* be expecting the rest of us to reward THEIR bad decisions, right? Right?

    Sounds to me like it will soon be time for them to pull themselves up by their bootstraps and get new jobs.

    1. Anonymous12:00 PM

      The Repubs have never had the best interest of the masses in mind. They care about the wealthy folks.

    2. Leland2:29 PM

      Au contrare, 12:00! Au contrare! Prior to Nixon the repubes cared a fair amount and the Congress actually DID things. (Yeah, I know. Sounds impossible they did anything, right? But they did.) In fact, they had tried to get a version of public insurance passed themselves.

      It was with good ole Ronnie that things really started to go to hell! At least, for the most part. That's when the religious right started to gain control.

  5. Anonymous12:53 PM

    Fox News Sabotages Ted Cruz’s Defund Obamacare Filibuster by Cutting His Audio

    ...Fox News is doing everything they can to make sure that their viewers know as little as possible about Cruz’s efforts. Their strategy is to cut to a breaking news update, and show Cruz talking on the Senate floor. What they don’t provide is audio of what Cruz is saying. Instead, Fox News has guests talk about how Cruz’s efforts are going to fail, and what will happen in the House after the Senate sent them a clean continuing resolution.

    In short, Fox News put a gag on Ted Cruz. Fox has banished Cruz to a live video stream on their website. Fox News’ strategy is to take live looks at Cruz while providing no sound. Fox News described what Cruz is doing in their 3:30 PM ET update as, “He’s talking, and he’s talking. He’s probably going to talk for several hours.” Fox News then helpfully added that Cruz doesn’t have the votes to stop the vote.

    It is interesting to see the Fox News tactics usually used on Democrats being turned on Ted Cruz. As the Republican heavily hitters have taken action, we have seen the life sucked out of the defund Obamcare or shutdown the government movement. Now Fox News is doing their part to keep their viewed informed with only the information that they want them to have.

    Fox News hasn’t put a syllable of what Ted Cruz is saying on the air. They keeping the Texas senator almost out of sight, and definitely out of mind.


  6. Anonymous12:55 PM

    Missouri Republican Leaves a Loaded Gun In Public State Capitol Bathroom

    ...According to a Capitol Police incident report, a Kahr CM9 9mm pistol – later claimed by House Speaker Tim Jones’ legislative assistant Dave Evans – was found on top of the toilet paper dispenser in a men’s restroom in the Capitol basement Friday. The incident report states that the gun “was fully loaded with one round in the chamber and six rounds in the magazine.”


  7. Anonymous1:48 PM

    Control, control, control - obstruct, obstruct, obstruct - that is all the Republicans try to do! Vote them out of office whenever and wherever you can Americans!

    They have made the worse mess many of us have ever seen - knocking out the middle class and doing horrible things to the poor - such as making food less accessible to them.

    So many of them are also racist assholes!

  8. Grrrr !2:00 PM

    O/T (kind of) ... Gryphen -- have you seen this ?

    "An Even Dozen Signs We’re All Nuts"



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