Tuesday, October 25, 2011

If you can't beat them, join them. The embracing of "Obamacare."

Since the Republicans are in the business of relabeling anything they hate, or fear, the administration has decided to embrace the word "Obamacare" and cut through the mountain of misinformation to explain exactly what it does for Americans.

If you visit this website it will give you the rundown of ten things that "Obamacare" does to improve access to health care in this country.

One of the most important in my opinion is this one:


 In 2010, Obamacare made it illegal for insurance companies to deny coverage to children under the age of 19 based on a pre-existing condition. In 2014, insurance companies cannot refuse to sell coverage or renew policies to anyone based on a pre-existing condition.

That was a huge concession from the health care companies.  And yes I know it would all have been better if we could have done away with the insurance companies altogether and simply expanded Medicare for all, but the realists among us also realize that was not politically viable, and recognize the accomplishment that "Obamacare" represents.

Personally I always view health care reform as a work in progress.  I believe that President Obama has a long term goal which he is not sharing publicly, and if we can get him re-elected and provide a cushion of Democratic Congressional support for his plans, that we will see his end game play out before 2016.


  1. But what about the death panels?

    STFU, Sarah. Just take your fucking meds (paid for with insurance, no doubt) and go your cottage-cheese dimpled ass to bed for a couple of days.

  2. Anonymous6:47 AM

    Our family has already benefited from ObamaCare. I can provide coverage to my 18 year old (graduated from high school, now out on his own) and my 22 year old (in college in another state) with the same insurance coverage (and monthly premium cost) we have always had. Under the old rules, both the 18 year old and the 22 year old would not have coverage.


  3. Yea Gryphen! You have really done some excellent posts highlighting the positive things our President has done and is doing (or trying to)- my favorite picture is still the one where Healthcare Reform has just passed (such that it is and I too consider it a work in progress) and he and Hillary are walking towards each other smiling with arms outstretched to hug! I love it.

    Unfortunately, being in the mental health business and being my hubby's office manager and dealing with the insurance companies: they are still doing little things to try and circumvent the new requirements that are placed on them and will be placed on them. Right now, seemingly, by putting in place "panels" of their own (which we are on because to not be means our clients will just search for someone who is)they still increase the cost of therapy to the clients, decrease the amount paid to us as a provider, and these "panels" - the middle man - gets their cut (the amount we "write off" or as they put it the discount). It is complicated; I don't fully understand it all and how they are able to do this and I don't know who to talk to about it.

  4. On a more positive note: I love ShesToast's comment and also Anonymous at 6:47am: yes, we too have seen where being able to keep your child on your policy until 25 is great! We love it.

  5. Hey and don't you know that eventually they will just hate it when Obamacare works and the "hate-FULL" label THEY put on it becomes synonymous with success, accomplishment, etc.

  6. Anonymous7:04 AM

    I believe that President Obama has a long term goal which he is not sharing publicly, and if we can get him re-elected and provide a cushion of Democratic Congressional support for his plans, that we will see his end game play out before 2016.

    Sounds as compelling as Herman "Now I don't have the facts to back this up" Cain.

  7. Anonymous7:44 AM

    I personally will benefit from Obama Cares. I quit my job of 27 years to provide in home care to my aging Mother as her health issues began to complicate and compromise her abilities to care for herself. With the job went the health insurance. My Mother passed recently, and 2 months to the date I suffered a major medical crisis which left me in the ICU for 9 days. I am alive, I am regaining my health, yet every financial resource I did have will now be used to satisfy my medical expenses. That's the way life goes sometimes. But knowing that with a newly acquired preexisting condition, I will at least not be denied insurance in the future will have a very important impact on my health, my sense of security, and my desire to be financially responsible and accountable. To me that is a BFD!

    I believe as Gryphen does that this is just the beginning of the journey towards universal care. I know all the staff at the hospital that cared for me believes in it, as we had many engaging discussions. Of course we must vote into Congress lawmakers that are dedicated to serving the needs of the American people and will work with President Obama in a reasonable and purposeful way. The Republicans have simply shown that the needs of average Americans, and the urgency of our problems simply do not matter to them. I say we occupy the voting booth in 2012.....the quality of our lives depends on it.

    Thanks Gryphen for your steadfast support of President Obama, and your willingness to raise these issues through your blog. No longer can we trust our MSM to present unbiased and factual information, which is essential to a healthy Democracy. You are doing important work, and as a very concerned citizen I greatly appreciate your efforts. Namaste.

  8. This law is a life-changer for me and my family. The three provisions that are saving my life (literally and financially) are: no pre-exising condition denial (I've had cancer); no life-time limits (see above); and being able to keep my children on until they are 26.

  9. Anonymous7:49 AM

    Sounds as compelling as Herman "Now I don't have the facts to back this up" Cain.

    7:04 AM
    Why so bitter Sarah? Did it not occur to you that Herman Cain is running for President and Gryphen is running a personal blog? Slight difference there. Hard for you to grasp the concept I'm sure. Its okay. You're special needs but I think you'll catch on eventually. You finally did sit down and shut up when you realized you aren't good enough for America. It just takes you a little longer.

    PS- You should probably stick to trolling the posts about babygate so as not to appear SO pathetic and out of your league.

  10. Anonymous7:51 AM

    Hey Sarah how's that lie about death panels thingy workin' out for ya? Did ya stop Obamacare? Is Tri-G safe? HAHAHAHA

  11. Ask any person who has been denied life saving medications or treatments by their insurance company.

    Those are death panels.
    And they happen every single day.

  12. Beldar HERBCAIN2013 Conehead8:27 AM

    Excellent points, all, Gryphen. I hope you're right about President Obama promoting a more progressive health care agenda in his second term, but I have serious doubts that effective Democratic legislative majorities will accompany that administration.

    Slightly O/T: I hope I can count on your support for my massive grass roots get-out-the-vote effort for Herb Cain in 2013. You can't deny that Herb Cain is THE most exciting, energizing, creative empty suit in a formidable pantheon of empty suits in the pathetic GOP clown car of presidential wannabes. He brings fresh new unworkable ideas and pipin' hot mediocre pizza to every problem he approaches and we DESPERATELY NEED that kind of dynamism!! But, of course, we don't actually need it NOW and that's why I've timed the groundswell of support to peak sometime in 2013. The exact timing of that groundswell isn't important as the nation will hopefully be more interested in what's happening in the real world of the re-elected Obama administration. Please consider making a sizable campaign contribution at www.herbcain2013forabrighterfutureforamericaandallamericanscitizensofallracescolorscreedsandreligions.org

  13. Kimosabe8:47 AM

    There are two evils in the American health care system:

    1. Profiteering from people's illness. This is what for-profit hospitals, HMOs, lawyers, and many doctors do (I am thinking of doctors that over-refer patients to labs, radiology, etc. owned by the doctors).

    2. Profiteering by NOT providing health care services. This is what insurance companies do. (remember, an ins. company's profit depends on collecting premiums and not paying claims). Individual executives get bonuses and incentives for finding ways to not pay claims). This is the greater evil.

  14. Anonymous8:50 AM

    I suspect that some day soon, we will look back on this period as being one of the most barbaric and contentious in our history.

    How can Republicans be more for waging war than caring for our own people? How can they be comfortable spending money on bullets and bombs but not on basic health care? How can they believe that giving more money to the already obscenely wealthy is better than helping people ensure they have safe places to live, enough food on the table to feed themselves and their families, and access to affordable health care?

    Hopefully, we will look back and feel stunned that anyone ever supported the cruel and merciless policies that the GOP, Tea Party and Libertarians now hold so dear to their hearts (if they have any).

    Thank you Gryphen for reminding us how fortunate we are to have President Obama leading the nation.

    May we indeed surround him with a like-minded Congress next year so we can save lives and livelihoods and end this reign of do-nothing-but-destroy terror the GOP-TP coalition has inflicted upon our country.

  15. Anonymous8:54 AM

    I am relieved to see the administration embrace the term Obamacare because it will soon become a badge of honor instead of derision.

    As people learn about and benefit from its provisions, they will wonder why in the world any politician ever tried to destroy it.

    Maybe now the education of our nation on the benefits of Obamacare can begin in earnest.

    Thanks for being part of that and providing a forum for your readers to share their gratitude for the provision that have already kicked-in. That list of grateful citizens will grow over time as more provisions are understood and activated.

  16. Gasman8:59 AM

    While there have been a few reforms in healthcare, in my mind this represents one of Obama's single greatest failures of his presidency. The reason we don't have universal, single payer healthcare is not because it was not politically viable, it is because the president and the Democrats in Congress never even fought that battle. We don't know how that battle would have played out because the president flew the white flag concerning single payer before any conflicts stated. Additionally, President Obama ceded the healthcare debate to the GOP before it even began. We had MONTHS of unchallenged GOP hyperbolic bullshit and at best anemic responses from the president.

    President Obama came into office with a HUGE reservoir of political capital and goodwill from the American public. He appears to have squandered those very tangible assets that could have been employed to at least pummel the GOP/insurance industry positions. However, he never even attempted to use his giant cudgel the election gave him.

    If we had to settle for the reforms we got, I would have at least liked to see the president fight the GOP and their paymasters in insurance and pharma industries tooth and nail. I would have felt much better if he'd won these concessions by fighting aggressively for the the American people. As it was, he mostly just rolled over and let them control the debate and the negotiations.

    Before we start crowing about doing away with pre-existing conditions barriers to healthcare, let's remember that that particular benefit doesn't take effect for more than two more years. Additionally, while the insurance companies won't technically be able to deny you coverage based upon pre-existing conditions, they CAN raise your rates so exorbitantly that they effectively deny you coverage. Does anybody think that the insurance companies WON'T use this avenue to avoid paying out claims? I haver no doubt that even that tactic will ultimately become illegal, but not before tens of thousands of individuals are screwed out of coverage because of this glaring loophole.

    Every single one of the Western democracies most like us has some sort of universal single payer coverage for their citizens. If they can make those systems work, we sure as hell can as well. The reason we don't have such a system is because of the incestuous relationship between politics and insurance/pharma cash financing political coffers. It should be noted that the president has not been immune from such influences either.

    Our healthcare system was a giant shit sandwich and all Obamacare did was to take off a few of the biggest turds. We've STILL got a shit sandwich on our plate. At best, it will be a stepping stone to universal healthcare. At it's worst, it will simply be a variation on the shit sandwich on which we've been dining for years as the insurance companies find ways to game the system in their favor.

    I'd rather not settle for shit.

  17. Anonymous9:15 AM

    Anon @ 8:59

    While I respect your right to your opinion....I am curious how you think he would have accompolished it .....with a 60 person super majority required, and intransigent Republicans and worse some bull headed blue dog Democrats. I think we are fortunate we are where we are.
    We can agree to disagree. Sorry you think you got a shit sandwhich, I'll take progress even if it comes in steps.

  18. Anonymous9:18 AM

    Obamacare still needs work but as a mother of an almost 18 year old who would never be able to have her own health insurance before due to pre-exisitng condition rules, I'll take what we can get for now.

    The old way of punishing people for being ill was just plain evil.

  19. Well, two years ago my health insurance company forced me out by catastrophically raising my premiums overnight when they saw signs that in the not terribly distant future, they might actually have to spend some money on medical care for me - something they had pretty much avoided through the first $150,000 or so that I paid to them.

    I hope I make it to 2014, so I can get coverage again.

  20. This calls to mind all the retired people I know who have settled in Mexico and rave about how inexpensive their health care insurance is. Also, over the years the quality of medical care has improved dramatically. Years ago people would race back to the U.S. if they had anything serious to deal with. Now they are staying in (or going to) Mexico to get things done. I have spent a lot of time there since the mid-80s, and I personally have seen and experienced the changes. Outrageously expensive prescriptions in the U.S. are a fraction of the cost, and you don't need a pointless (in some cases) doctor appointment to get most medications...just a knowledgeable pharmacist to advise you onsite. And, hey, you can get excellent dental care for a fraction (about 20%) of the U.S. cost...so much that it will pay for a great vacation in Mexico at the same time.

    Now I'm going to go online and search for an Obamacare bumper sticker to go with my 2008 and 2012 Obama/Biden stickers.

  21. Anonymous9:33 AM

    One important thing to note. The requirement for people (who can)to purchase insurance goes hand in hand with coverage for pre-existing conditions. If people are allowed to go without insurance and then purchase it the day they get a diagnosis there will only be people who are heavy insurance users in the pool.

  22. Anonymous9:51 AM

    You know, I've been dealing with the pre-existing condition issue for a quarter of a century now. As a young adult cancer survivor, I watched my friends and classmates take advantage of opportunities to experiment and explore, to move to new cities and try out new jobs, while I was stuck making every major decision about where I live, when I married, what jobs I or my spouse could accept, what risks we could or could not take, with the knowledge that without adequate insurance any one of several not-too-unlikely consequences of my disease and its treatment could destroy us - and our families - financially.

    As it is, I have been mostly very lucky, but every once in a while I look back and wonder where I might have ended up if my wings had not been clipped so early.

    Imperfect as they are, the protections for young adults and the pre-existing condition rule would still have made all the difference in the world for me. So yes I want it now, in fact I wanted it - needed it - more than two decades ago, but I'm still celebrating the fact that it is going to happen, period. Real people need it.

  23. Anonymous9:59 AM

    DaisyDem is touching on the thing that really troubles me about Obamacare. Yes, the insurance companies cannot deny coverage, but there's nothing controlling how much they can charge.

    So basically, he's sold us to the insurance companies and there's little stopping them from sucking us dry. I'd say Obamacare is a MASSIVE windfall for the insurance industry, though they'll continue to cry victim to justify further unethical activity.

    Unless I've missed something. (always possible)

    Look, I think capitalism is awesome when applied to things that make sense. But it is EVIL when applied to things where the method of profit earning is opposed to the service being rendered. Health insurance as a for-profit model is the very definition of "conflict of interest". They profit by NOT paying your claims.

    Also, here in AZ we've got privatized prisons. How do they make a profit? They get paid by the state on a per-head basis, and obviously they're continually finding new ways to cut corners in order to pocket even more of those tax dollars.

    Unsurprisingly, we've already had some indication that our teatard legislators are in bed to varying degrees with the corporation that runs those prisons.

    Is it any wonder that suddenly Sherrif Arpaio is suggesting that illegals should be sent to prison instead of "getting a free ride back home"?

    I wonder what his "finder's fee" is?

  24. Anonymous10:25 AM

    Call me an optimist but I believe our president knows exactly what he's doing. In the early going I think he hoped that the repubs wanted to actually do what was right for the country even though they wouldn't hand him any victory that wasn't hard won. I think the point being missed is that so much of the political maneuvering today is unprecedented in it's scope. Who could have predicted the absolute intransigence of the opposing party to get ANYTHING worthwhile done. The only issue being pushed with a vengeance is repealing Roe v Wade in any way, shape or form. Oh and them union's has got to go.

    I truly believe given a second term the president will take much firmer stands on important issues that will make us a better country. As it's been pointed out and repeated in various blogs over the past few days, look at the successes he's had when congress is not blocking his every move. I've got his back. Are you in?

  25. Anonymous10:40 AM

    i do agree with gasman somewhat, but am hopeful more shit is removed as time goes on. it's a baby step towards accountability that, hopefully, will make insurance companies honor their end of the bargain.

    my husband is a federal employee and we have the WORST insurance. won't pay until we fax a form stating why we went to emergency (if emergency) and our copay is sky high (it's almost cheaper to pay cash) and our dental is laughable. we pay so much for our premiums for years of being healthy, then when something happens, insurance dickers about paying up, yet they are one of the industries that are showing a profit. hmmm, wonder why?

  26. Anonymous11:01 AM

    I want to thank the President & the Congressional Democrats for ridding us of the Medicare donut hole.

    I was recently diagnosed with metastasized breast cancer. One of the drugs I take daily, & will take for the rest of my life (& I pray I live & live long) costs 11 dollars a day.

    If the donut hole still existed, I would die, as I would not be able to afford the medicine.

    Without Obamacare, my name would be on Palin's death panel list. Thankfully, the President is giving me a fair shot to fight to live.

    Thank you, Mr. President & thank you to the Congressional Democrats who voted for this wonderful gift.

    Republicans can go to hell.

  27. Anonymous11:09 AM

    My son has really benefited from this change and I am thankful for it every single day. He is 24 and was diagnosed with Crohn's disease. He is in college to boot. If he hadn't been able to stay on our plan his medications would cost over $500+ a month just for the one instead of $40 a month.

    Not only that but who would have given him a policy that didn't cost him a fortune?

    Anyone who bitches to me about Obama (you know the ones who never acknowledge him as President Obama) gets an earful from me;)

    Not only on the health care issues but ALL of his accomplishments (you know the ones Faux News never mentions).


  28. Anonymous11:28 AM

    I was happy to pay no attention to U.S. politics all my life, until the healthcare issue sprang up like a jack-in-the-box a few years back.

    As a dual citizen, my "half life" in CANADA allows me to experience the greatness of a universal plan. The only drawbacks to it, are that with no "deductible" to pay, many older, lonely people go to the doctor just to have someone to whine to about their aches and pains.

    And that, once the Canadian system produces a fine doctor or nurse, at taxpayers' expense, they realize they can make a lot more money practicing in the U.S. (and find the route to a green card to move there, paved with gold and lubricant).

    But other than that, its a marvelous system. Almost as good as the Federal Employees Healthcare Plan, which ALL of the blowhards in congress enjoy.

    YEAH: the ones who get up and scream about "socialism" and how Americans are big pussies about wanting cradle to grave government care, are enjoying that fabulous plan.

    They just don't think YOU, the unwashed, easily fooled public, deserve what they have.

    (Being what turned me into a loudmouthed, opinionated political pain in the ass.)

  29. Anonymous11:32 AM

    I just loved that first comment from ShesToast!

  30. Anonymous11:48 AM

    This maybe of topic but I hope Gryphen posts it anyway.

    Title: I am NOT Disappointed in President Obama

    This 6-minute video is a MUST-SEE! This gentleman quietly, decisively, and succinctly sums up why President Barack Obama is the epitome of "Promises Made and Promises Kept" and why some progressives and liberals are misguided in their expectations and criticisms of the POTUS.


  31. The part that is really big for our extended family is the provision that allows an adult child under 26 to stay on the family healthcare plan. My daughter was 27 before she finally worked for a big enough company to have health care. The next generation is having a hard time getting jobs to get started. This one is big.

  32. I can't wait until the provision that eliminates Bush's "donut hole" for Medicare Rx takes effect under Obamacare.

    My husband's two Alzheimers medications are the most expensive ones he takes -- without ANY insurance they'd cost $250/month apiece.

    With the Medicare Rx insurance they cost $45/month until we hit the "donut hole in the last 2-3 months of the year.

    We just did hit that hole; today I just paid $135 instead of $45 for one of those medications.

  33. Anonymous2:00 PM

    Given the fear mongering of the Republicans and their media friends during the health care debate, it's a miracle we got what we got. I consider what we have now as the first steps towards a real national health care system. To make progress, we have to get rid of the Republican majority in the House, enlarge the Democratic majority in the Senate and finally rid ourselves of the Republican 60 vote requirement to bring anything to the floor of the Senate. It's just plain unconstitutional!

  34. Anonymous2:08 PM

    I could be wrong, but most states have an insurance commission/board which must approve all rate hikes, to ensure that these rate hikes are "reasonable."


  35. Anonymous2:16 PM

    as someone whose husband has already gone thru 1 bout of genetic cancer and knowing that my teenage daughter could also test positive for the genetic cancer gene mutation, the pre-existing condition part of "obamacare" is the most important thing in my life.

    without this kind of protection, my husband and daughter could die.

  36. Anonymous2:55 PM

    President Obama wants to limit Medicaid to pay for corporate tax cuts.

    Please tell me again how much President Obama cares about sick people. Well, maybe if they can pay for overpriced so-called "health insurance," he acts like he cares about them.

    But if they're on Medicaid? Pffft.


  37. WakeUpAmerica3:30 PM

    FINALLY, the Democrats figure out how to toot their own horn! Sheesh. We suck at promoting our agenda.

  38. @anon 2:55

    It pays to read before freaking out. Right in the comments on TPM there's this clarification.

    "TPM’s reporting is off-base. The White House (WH) hasn’t done anything here, except say that they agree that a provision that was present in the original American Jobs Act should be passed, and a provision that will help determine how subsidies and cost-sharing reductions for the healthcare exchanges will be restructured.

    With regard to the 3% withholding on vendors, the WH statement says:
    “The Administration would be willing to work with the Congress to identify acceptable offsets for the budgetary costs associated with the repeal, which could include but are not limited to ones that are in the President’s detailed blueprint outlined to the Congress on September 19, 2011."

  39. Anonymous9:44 AM

    Obama care

    Republican Scare

    I think all democrats should call it "Obama cares" which would actually be a true description.

    ...So I suppose it should be Obama Cares, Republican's scare.


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