31 May 2013
Next month summer begins. So does an education war by the government to put one thing on the front lines of everyone's mind: Obamacare (Affordable Care Act). So when the two major parties in our political system butt heads, Tea Partiers hone in on Michele Bachmann's talking head on Fox News, and that poor independent voter in Los Angeles scratches his head in search of non-partisan-funded studies online, who should everyone trust on Obamacare?
From each political affiliation there is rhetoric to expect over the summer. Like a murder mystery, to find the truth we must inquire "Who benefits?" In other words, there are motives from every politician who speaks on Obamacare. Here's how you can judge who's living in reality or living in fallacy.
As Speaker of the House of Representatives, John Boehner once said Obamacare is the law of the land. He's also led Congress to vote 37 times to repeal Obamacare. But here's the stinker: in March Boehner sent the President this letter, refusing to select a 15-member panel (as mandated by Obamacare) that would keep Medicare spending under control. His justification was the panel might cut spending and reduce Medicare coverage. Admirable, right? Unfortunately, by declining to select a panel Republicans surrendered the mediation of Medicare spending to the Secretary of Health and Human Services, a key player in Obamacare's implementation in the first place. Does he even read the rules anymore or is Boehner spamming the (A) button on his Nintendo DS to simply skip the dialogue?
In other words, Boehner's self-proclaimed duty, as mentioned in his letter, is to lead a party to vote entirely against Obamacare until it's erased from the books. This rules him out as a credible source to objectively judge Obamacare. If he attempts to school us on its benefits or malfeasances, ignore that elephant in the room. No pundit intended.
Next up: President Obamacare. I mean, President Obama. It's just so easy to end his name with "care" when all you write is Obamacare. Speaking of which, his Affordable Care Act law was nicknamed after him, so he isn't expected to be squeaky clean by fact checker standards either.
In February's State of the Union address, President Obama said healthcare spending has slowed since Obamacare became law in 2010. In fact, due to the recession preceding Obamcare's passage, jobs were lost and uninsured people stopped paying for healthcare they couldn't afford. That mainly contributed to slower spending. While the majority of Obamacare hasn't been implemented, it's hard to judge how much or if at all it's helped slow spending in healthcare.
In other words, President Obama touting the benefits to a law with his namesake before the bulk of benefits even kicks in is equal to Ronald touting the Big Mac's health benefits before nutritionists prove it causes heart disease. Note: I'm not admitting Obamacare will give anyone health problems, just the spokesperson with his name on the product is obliged to support it subjectively.
So who do what do we take from the Obamacare outreach this summer? As noted yesterday, self-proclaimed "independent" studies are often funded by political parties or corporations to mislead the public. Until 2014, when the Exchanges operate and most of Obamacare's regulations go into effect, find true non-partisan research at "Factcheck.org" or Pulitizer Prize-winner Glenn Kessler's Factchecker, who's split almost 50-50 between Republicans and Democrats and gives both sides ratings between 1 and 4 Pinnochios. Also, Haronian Insurance strives to deliver the facts, so check us out too. And thanks for reading this far!
Don't just blindly accept Obamacare outreach this summer, reach out and find facts yourself. After all is said or skewed, the only thing that interferes with learning is education.
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