Why Republicans want to kill Obamacare in its Infancy!

Mar 2010
Near Austin TX
While millions may dislike it for partisan reasons, they will become an ever marginalized minority. That's what happens when legislation like this get more popular. And even many of them who will not like it, won't simply because it's not single payer for all.

The GOP has done their work and made the economy stagnant. BTW, it's not socialism that are hurting other countries. Its the single currency of the EU not having fiscal unity, like the US does with the dollar.
Then this is definitely something to wait and see.
Oct 2010
In the empty heads of the right wingers I own
you're going to have to expound upon that argument for me...
FDR and Democrats and the actual socialist wing of the GOP (sadly, the progressive history of some people in the Republican Party over the past 160 years gets limited to Lincoln freeing the slaves) saw the need to help the elderly, widows, dependent children and disabled out after the Great Depression started.


Former Staff
Dec 2009
This story makes propaganda points in support, but is totally wrong in describing why Reps in Congress want to kill the law. Yes, millions of Americans will like the law because it is better than what they had. But so too, millions will dislike and/or hate the law in comparison. Everyone has their own unique needs, and like any law, this one will dissatisfy as many as it pleases.

However, there is another reason the GOP fights the bill. They are sure it will stagnate the economy and eventually drive the economy to a bankrupt, or near-bankrupt, status as all heavily socialized economies have experienced.

Yeah, yeah, that's what Reps/cons have been saying over SS, Medicare, ad naseum. How come they don't say the tax cuts for the uber wealthy is stagnating the economy and driving it to bankruptcy. I know why, because they just figure, take from the middle class and give to the rich, the trickle up trick.
Jan 2008
Vertiform City
I see that you didn't provide a link, so am I supposed to take your word for it when I have articles that refute it?

... (snip) ...

Looks like pure speculation on your part. Provide some links to prove it. I've already given you a "Republican" site that says you're wrong.
Okay, I would like to address this point in detail.

It will take me several posts to do so. So please, I'd like you to get the "whole picture" before you comment on the individual bits and pieces. (Because individually, each item can easily be picked apart in a partisan manner, but taken together they present a very clear pattern in terms of the relationship between government, Big Insurance and Big Pharma (which is what we're talking about here - the "people who wrote the healthcare bill"), and their financiers the banks, people like Goldman Sachs and so on (they used to be called "investment bankers", but now they're just "the banks").

Now, let's begin by taking a trip back in time about... oh.... 3 years or so. To 2009, when Merck & Co. acquired its rival Schering-Plough for 44-some-odd billion dollars. Well, the context that's important here, is the reason for that merger. It wasn't just corporate raiding. Read:

Faced with tough competition from generics, fewer potential blockbuster drugs in development and the prospect of a government overhaul of the U.S. healthcare system, drug makers are consolidating.
And just months earlier, Pfizer bought Wyeth, and Roche bought Genentech, and basically this entire set of predictions came true in a very predictable fashion.

And the same thing was happening in the insurance industry at the time, and still is.

Big pHarma and Big Insurance are not stupid. They knew the ACA was coming. Hillary Clinton tried it and it failed, but it was only a matter of time before an Obama came along to reintroduce it.

The important point here is: they knew it was coming and they had plenty of time to put strategies into place to position themselves in advance.

Big Pharma bulks up with Merck-Schering deal - Los Angeles Times

This is the part of the article I would like to point out in passing though:

Banks that have received billions of federal dollars to encourage them to make loans -- JPMorgan Chase & Co., Goldman Sachs Group, Citigroup Inc. and Bank of America Corp. -- are lending money to Pfizer and Merck, who in turn are planning aggressive cost-cutting.

In the case of Pfizer, a takeover of vaccine specialist Wyeth would be expected to cost at least 19,000 jobs, including some in the companies' overseas operations. A Merck takeover of Schering-Plough should yield about 16,000 layoffs. Combined, the cuts represent about 15% of those companies' total workforces.
Note the "logic" here, because this is the pattern. This is how these people operate. Merge, lay off and cut costs, and thereby gain market share and increased security and decreased risk.

The feds give money to the banks, the banks loan it to businesses, who then turn around and do not invest it into their businesses, but rather buy up the competition, and merge to ensure market share. What they're doing is not "investing into the business", what they're doing is making money, by buying up other businesses that are not "their" business.

'Kay? So that's the first essential piece of context. This is the "business backdrop" within/against which the ACA is occurring.
Sep 2007
N48 51.489 E2 17.67119
Why would Republicans want to assault human rights, liberty and freedom, is what I can't understand about them.
For them its about redistributing wealth, concentrating it into a very few hands, political power and control. Human rights, liberty and freedom are pretty much enemies to their control.
Jan 2008
Vertiform City
Now, on to "who wrote the actual bill".

Well, it seems, the truth is, that everyone and their brother was allowed to participate.

Lots of people wrote it - including a bunch of euthanasia advocates formerly known as the Hemlock Society (now knows as Compassion & Choices) who had a hand in authoring section 1233. Spearheaded by Earl Blumenauer (D-OR). http://www.patientsrightscouncil.org/site/health-care-reform/

Also Rahm Emanuel's brother Ezekiel was advising the Obama administration at the time and apparently provided some input to the actual verbiage. Dr. Emanuel is a noted bioethicist and it makes sense that he should have been involved, however there are other noted bioethicists whose brothers aren't the President's chief of staff. Hm. Ezekiel Emanuel - - HealthCare Reform Moves to OMB - Policy and Medicine

Now meanwhile, there were a bunch of people involved in the former healthcare bill (the Hillary Clinton version), who were hanging around the edges of Weaselton trying to "participate" (mostly with lobbying dollars) - like Nancy Deparle for instance. health-reform-czar-i-nancy-deparle-her-companies-lobbyists-got-the-attention-you-never-will (I worked for two of the companies on the list there, I'm very familiar with Ms. Deparle). Health Reform Czar I, Nancy Deparle – Her Companies’ Lobbyists Got The Attention You Never Will - The Liberty Journal

Now, sometime right around Aug 2009, when this whole thing was in full swing, and the bill was actually being written, this was the reaction from the insurance companies that people have said "don't like this bill" and "lobbied against it":

Obama launched his Administration vowing to extend coverage to all Americans and help pay for it by reining in insurance costs. Seven months later, insurers and pharmaceutical manufacturers that appeared vulnerable to a regulatory crackdown have been welcomed to the negotiating table by the President's own party.

Executives from UnitedHealth certainly showed no signs of worry on the mid-July day that Senate Democrats proposed to help pay for reform with a new tax on the insurance industry. Instead, UnitedHealth parked a shiny 18-wheeler outfitted with high-tech medical gear near the Capitol and invited members of Congress aboard. Inside the mobile diagnostic center, which enables doctors to examine distant patients via satellite television, Representative Jim Matheson didn't disguise his wonderment. "Fascinating, fascinating," said the Democrat from Utah. "Amazing."
Here is a specific example of how the "relationships with government leaders" actually works:

And that Democratic proposal to tax insurance companies? It seems to be fading after the industry said it would raise rates for workers and their families.

UnitedHealth's relationship with Democratic Senator Mark R. Warner of Virginia illustrates the industry's subtle role. Elected last fall, Warner, a former governor of his state and a wealthy ex-businessman, received a choice assignment as the Senate Democrats' liaison to business. The rookie senator landed in the center of a high-visibility political drama—and in a position to earn the gratitude of a health insurance industry that has donated more than $19 million to federal candidates since 2007, 56% of which has gone to Democrats.

UnitedHealth has periodically served as a valuable extension of Warner's office, providing research and analysis to support his initiatives. Corporations and trade groups play this role in all kinds of contexts, but few do it with the effectiveness of the insurers. In June, Warner introduced legislation expanding government-backed Medicare and Medicaid coverage for hospice stays for the terminally ill and other treatment in life's final stages. The issue isn't a top UnitedHealth priority. But the corporation wanted to help Warner with his argument that in the long run, better hospice coverage would save money. UnitedHealth prepared a report for lawmakers finding that 27% of Medicare's budget is now spent during the last year of older patients' lives, often on questionable hospital tests and procedures. Expanded hospice coverage and other services could save $18 billion over 10 years, UnitedHealth asserted.

When Warner went to the Senate floor on June 15 to offer his bill, he cited those exact figures. He thanked the company for its support and put a letter from UnitedHealth applauding him in the Congressional Record.

Warner acknowledges in an interview that he worked on the hospice-care legislation with UnitedHealth executives. But he stresses that he has long experience with health issues and has formed his own views. The senator echoes UnitedHealth's contention that a so-called public option could be a "Trojan horse for a single-payer system," meaning government-run medical care. Warner has heard from some of UnitedHealth's largest employer clients, such as Delta Air Lines (SWY). Delta CEO Richard H. Anderson, a former UnitedHealth executive, has told Warner and other lawmakers that big companies don't want government to limit their flexibility in crafting employee health benefits.

ACTUARIAL ASSUMPTIONObama's promise to boost competition and lower costs by having the government play a much broader role in health coverage has been steadily compromised because of the resistance of such Democrats as Warner. "There are different ways to skin this and get competition" in the insurance market, Warner says.

Warner and other opponents of a public plan have relied on an estimate by John Sheils, an actuary who says that 88 million people, or 56% of those with employer-provided coverage, would desert private insurance for a government-run program. That would destabilize the marketplace and potentially kill the private insurance industry, according to Sheils, who works for the Lewin Group, a corporate consulting firm in Falls Church, Va.

UnitedHealth lobbyists routinely cite Lewin's work, as do Senator Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah), the second-ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, and Eric Cantor (R-Va.), the House Republican Whip. Left out of these testimonials or buried in the fine print is that a UnitedHealth unit owns the Lewin Group and thus is ultimately responsible for Sheils' paycheck. In an interview, Sheils says UnitedHealth gives him and the Lewin firm complete independence: "We call it like we see it," he adds.

Some Democrats differ. Says Representative Pete Stark, the liberal California Democrat who chairs the House Ways & Means health subcommittee: "The Lewin Group's so-called analysis is suspect." The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has stated that the Sheils-Lewin figure is far too high.

UnitedHealth brings a mixed record to its role helping to guide health reform. The company has repeatedly hit smaller employers and consumers with double-digit rate hikes in recent years, far greater than the overall rate of inflation. An investigation last year by New York's Attorney General will force the company to stop running two huge databases used widely within the insurance industry. By allegedly setting medical reimbursements too low—that is, skewing statistics in favor of insurers by understating "usual and customary" physician fees—the databases had resulted in the overcharging of consumers by billions of dollars nationwide. In January, UnitedHealth agreed to resolve the situation by paying $400 million in a pair of agreements with the New York Attorney General and the American Medical Assn., although it didn't admit any wrongdoing.

In a separate case last year, UnitedHealth was forced to stop selling "limited benefit" plans with capped payouts under the imprimatur of the senior citizen group AARP. It turned out that the policies provided very modest coverage, catching many customers off guard, according to Senator Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa), who helped bring the practice to light. Grassley pointed out that UnitedHealth paid as little as $5,000 toward surgery costing several times as much.

Despite such episodes, UnitedHealth is generally well received in legislative circles in Washington. In late May its in-house point man on reform, Simon Stevens, hand-delivered a report to key senators detailing ways to save an estimated $540 billion in federal spending over 10 years. A week later, on June 4, Stevens accompanied UnitedHealth's chief executive, Stephen J. Hemsley, to a meeting with Senator Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), an influential moderate member of the Senate Finance Committee. Conrad has since led an effort to create nonprofit medical cooperatives that would operate much like utility co-ops as a substitute for a federally run plan. With less heft than a proposed national plan, the state medical cooperatives would pose a far weaker competitive threat to private insurers.
Steven J Hemsley, he's the guy with a billion dollar compensation package. Seriously. A billion dollars. Whew.

The Health Insurers Have Already Won - Businessweek