Thursday, July 18, 2013

Affordable Care Act (ACA) is Working to the Dismay of the GOP and Koch Bros

Koch Bros launch disinformation campaign using their Americans for Prosperity (AFP) against the Affordable Care Act (ACT) with support from Republicans

July 18, 2013 | 15:49 | Public Domain
President Obama explains how the Affordable Care Act is putting money back into the pockets of millions of Americans thanks to a provision in the health reform law that requires insurance companies spend 80 percent of its customers premiums on medical care, rather than administrative costs.
You have the facts on what is happening with the ACA from the President along with studies that have been done like those from Kaiser Family Foundation that back the Administration versus the disinformation campaign of the Koch Bros.  Makes you wonder why the Koch Bros are leading the fight against a health care program that is working.   Do the Koch Bros hate the President that much to spend millions through Americans for Prosperity (AFP) in a disinformation campaign for Republicans or is it their bottom line as they are cheapskates when it comes to their employees or is it both?  Are they afraid ACA will be successful and they will have to provide the coverage for their employees?  Do the Koch Bros currently provide second rate health care coverage to employees?   

From Think Progress comes the video of their first ad by their mouthpiece group Americans for Prosperity which is actually a lie but guess that is what a disinformation campaign is all about -- lies.  Even the Wall Street Journal which AFP spokesman gave as a link to substantiate their claim actually undermines the AFP ad:
Americans for Prosperity — a conservative group funded by the Koch brothers — is spending millions on ads that aim to turn Americans against the Affordable Care Act, just as government officials prepare to enroll the uninsured in the law’s new health care exchanges beginning on October 1. The campaign will eschew attacks on President Obama in favor of a new non-ideological tone that could appeal “young women” who watch the Food Network, “Law & Order,” and “Good Morning America.” 
The goal is to “start softening the ground” ahead of implementation, Tim Phillips, the group’s president told the New York Times. “Too often we fell into a broad-based ideological argument, and I think we failed to get at ‘Look at what they’re doing and how it impacts you,’ ” he said. “I think where we win is on the impact of a specific policy.” 
But if the group’s first TV ad, titled “Questions,” is any indication the new spots are no more honest than the partisan advertisements from 2012. The commercial opens with “Julie,” a mother of two, who tells the camera that she “has some questions about Obamacare,” but is then quick to offer false answers about the effects of reform: 
JULIE: If we can’t pick our own doctor, how do I know our family is going to get the care they need? And what am I getting in exchange for higher premiums and a smaller paycheck? Can I really try the folks in Washington with my family’s health care? I think we all deserve some answers.
Nothing in the law prevents patients from choosing their own doctors — uninsured patients who seek coverage through the exchanges will have access to the doctors who accept the private insurers that participate in the new marketplaces and individuals and families with employer-based coverage probably won’t see any changes at all. 
Asked to substantiate Julie’s claim, AFP spokesperson Levi Russell pointed to a Wall Street Journal article from March of 2013, which actually seems to undermine the ad’s argument.
Have conservatives forgotten how to tell the truth?  Yesterday the House GOP took another vote against ACA this time to delay individual implementation which they know full well will never get through the Senate and would be vetoed by the President.  Are they that stupid or do they want to make sure they are still supported by the Koch Bros and their organizations for their campaigns?  Actually I think they are both stupid and bought and paid for by the Koch Bros.  Voters need to take notice House Republicans could care less about the American people and refuse to work with anyone who doesn't subscribe to their agenda.  Their oath means nothing to this group of do-nothing House Republicans as they continue to obstruct.

Looks like Republicans are having a meltdown because the facts are coming out on how the ACA is saving money.  There is a catch that most likey bothers Republicans and some donors -- insurance companies have to pay 80 to 85 percent of premium dollars on actual health care instead of administrative costs.  Is this why some insurance companies are giving big donations to Republicans?  Are some insurance companies opposed to spending money they collect from premiums on better health care instead of more bureaucracy? 
According to a new report, Americans buying individual market health insurance saved $1.2 billion in 2011 and $2.1 billion in 2012 because law has begun to hold insurance companies accountable. 
Under the Affordable Care Act, insurance companies are required to spend 80 to 85 percent of premium dollars on medical care and health care quality improvement, rather than on administrative costs. If they don’t, the insurance companies must provide a rebate to their customers. Last year, over 13 million consumers received $1.1 billion in rebates – the average consumer rebate was around $151. 
Today a new analysis from the Kaiser Family Foundation provides the most complete look yet at the benefits of the policy. In addition to rebates from insurers who are charging more for overhead than care (those with medical loss ratios below 80 percent), the report estimates the savings that resulted from insurers exceeding 80 percent, who provided more value for each consumer dollar than history shows they otherwise would have. 
The study found that the average medical loss ratio went from 78 percent in the individual market in 2010 to 83 percent in 2012 in the individual market. Had medical loss ratios remained at 2010 levels, premiums would have been much higher than they actually were. Combining these savings from better medical loss ratios with rebates, the Kaiser analysis estimates that the 80 / 20 rule yielded $3.2 billion in lower health care costs to consumers – not counting savings to employers’ health plans. 
And the 2012 rebates for consumers are on their way. While final rebate totals are still being tallied, some States are reporting early results. According to the Los Angeles Times, so far, insurers in California will provide rebates totaling $44.5 million by August. For example, Blue Shield of California will provide $24.5 million in rebates to 29,000 small businesses with 90,000 enrollees. Kaiser Permanente will provide $2.7 million to 66,000 enrollees in the individual market.
Welcome to Oklahoma one of the Red States owned by ALEC and the Koch Brothers who are fighting the Affordable Care Act:
Thousands to lose health coverage if changes not made to “Insure Oklahoma” 
Posted on: 11:28 am, July 18, 2013, by KFOR-TV 
OKLAHOMA CITY–Thousands of Oklahomans who relay on the state to help with affordable health care could soon be losing their coverage. 
The state was warned in May that if changes were not made to the “Insure Oklahoma” program to comply with the Affordable Care Act, federal funding for the program would end. 
Recently, two senators attempted to make changes to Senate Bill 640. 
However, it was not brought up before the end of the session. 
Now, some lawmakers are wanting to call a special session to address the deadline. 
They say if the Legislature does not act, more than 30,000 residents would lose their coverage.
Because of the stubbornness of the Oklahoma legislature in not taking care of Oklahomans, over 30,000 residents could lose their health care coverage.   It is quite obvious that at all levels the new hard right Republicans don't care about people or who they hurt as long as they keep their hard right base happy along with wealthy donors.

For a state that is so quick to offer help to their neighbors in an emergency, it is ludicrous to have a legislature who is against the Affordable Care Act which will help people because it comes from a Democrat President.  That is just flat out childish on the part of Republicans and their hard right followers.

Will Oklahoma residents wake up to what has happened to our State since Republicans took full control of the State Legislature and now Statewide offices?  Will Oklahoma voters rebel in November 2014?   Oklahoma Democrats need leadership that will take on the hard right and go toe to toe with them.  Right now that State leadership seems to be missing.

It is not healthy for any one party to control a state IMO - you need checks and balances.  We have none in Oklahoma.  Time for change!

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