Reader’s Write: Obamacare backers rely on name-calling

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It was right there for every one of your readers to see. 

Printed in each of his five Long Island newspapers, the editor of Blank State Media LLC. was defending “The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.” 

Unfortunately, even an accomplished journalist like he is, couldn’t let this opportunity go by without calling those of us who opposed his stand on Obamacare,” the fear mongering of the far right” and “Libertarians and free-market fanatics”. There must be something about healthcare, which brings out the worst in even the most sensible people. 

Many Democrats feel that their defense of Obamacare is not complete without an angry, condescending, and slanderous personal attack against anyone who dares disagree with them. 

A letter in The Williston Times called us “uncaring rich guys”. A reader of the Roslyn Times labeled me “ a right-wing Tea Party fanatic.” 

I am glad my parents are not alive to read that one. Do you remember when a liberal reader actually demanded that The Great Neck News stop publishing  any resident who opposes his point of view? 

In last week’s newspaper, a reader actually suggested that anyone who disagreed with Obamacare must be against all forms of healthcare reform. Period! What a stretch ? Perhaps the most hypocritical comment of all was the writer who wanted my weekly articles proof-read for any spelling or grammatical errors. Of course , anyone agreeing with his point of view should not have to suffer such a similar fate. I guess my spelling expertise is more important to that reader than my ideas. 

It’s not the censorship that only worries me. It’s  the personal attacks that chip away at our freedom. Must I remind you that the Liberal movement gained notoriety in the 1950s to prevent such abuses. Where are all those Progressives now? 

Aren’t there any liberal readers of the Manhasset Times who think that the constitutional rights of those with whom they disagree, should also be protected? Are there any subscribers to the New Hyde Park Herald Courier who are frightened by these obvious character assassinations. After all, you could be next. 

The editorial I am talking about was titled, “Obamacare at six months.” Six months? 

It should have been more accurately titled, “Four years and President Obama still can’t get it right!.”  

Obamacare started on March 23, 2010, not six months ago ! 

How could his editorial not include  the following?

1 – Everyone on the planet now knows that, under Obama are, most of us will lose our previous doctor. I guess the editor doesn’t think that this is important enough to include. 

2 – Every insurance policy must now include many new requirements, forcing most people to start looking for a new policy. Losing your old plan may not be important to this editor, but it may matter to the people whose new policy may be much more expensive.

3 – Everyone, not only Catholics and Orthodox Jews, must now pay for plans that cover abortion and birth control, even if it violates their own religious beliefs. Shouldn’t the lose of religious freedom scare this editor? Let’s hope that next month’s Supreme Court case, will result in an overturn of the obvious violation of our first amendment rights. 

4 –  Every taxpaying citizen will see their taxes going up to pay for other people’s subsidies. The Supreme Court ruled that all of ObamaCare’s  penalties and fees also must now be labeled taxes as well.  Just a minor financial setback to this editor. 

5 – The CBO now states that the 45 million uninsured, was grossly exaggerated. If you take out anyone who chooses not to have insurance (Obama has stripped them of that constitutional right as well), illegal immigrants, and the uninsured who were Medicaid-eligible anyway, it really is a more modest 12-15 million. This is not a small number, but a far cry from their initial estimate. 

6 – The CBO reported that healthcare costs have actually risen 12 percent since Obamacare started. Obviously, the editor didn’t want that bad news made public either. 

7 – The projected 10-year cost of Obamacare is now closer to 1.7 Trillion dollars, double the $850 billion that the administration had predicted!  (See CBO projections). Besides borrowing more money, how will this editor pay for his plan now? 

8 – Since one half of Obamacare’s initial cost will be taken out of Medicare, (read the bill ), the AARP’s promise that ObamaCare will strengthen Medicare, was blatantly false. 

We retirees fell for the promise that this 850 billion dollar cut  in Medicare would only come from fraud , duplication, and waste. We now know that’s impossible. 

9 – Since Obamacare funnels many more new uninsured people into New York State’s Medicaid program, New Yorkers will be paying higher state taxes. 

For the first three years, Obamacare  will pay for these increases. 

What the editor never mentioned was that, after the three years, each state will still be responsible for 10 percent of the increase. That comes to hundreds of millions of dollars more each year in New York State taxes. That is the reason so many states “ opted out” of Obama’s financial nightmare. 

We’ll never find out if Obamacare would have passed if we were told, in advance, the truth about this bill. 

When it was debated and finally passed, Democrats controlled both houses of congress!  But that doesn’t  let the Republicans entirely off the hook. 

Republicans never adequately  presented their own plan for covering preexisting conditions, removing lifetime limits, insuring the legitimate working poor, and controlling the spiraling costs of healthcare and medical insurance. 

Many other statements that the editor made must also be addressed: 

1 – The White House is proudly proclaiming that they have reached their goal of 7 million subscribers. According to your editorial, “These families can now see a doctor.” This is a gross distortion of the facts !

a) the great majority of these new sign-ups, were people who were Medicaid eligible anyway. 

They automatically are eligible for a government-paid. (not free) Medicaid doctor. Your editorial statement is really misleading . 

b) Their numbers included people who only initiated the process of selecting their insurance preference through the insurance exchanges. Most have not payed a single premium or received any proof of insurance. Actually they are still without medical coverage. Even Jay Carney, President Obama’s Press Secretary, was forced to admit this week, that his boss’s statement was way to optimistic. 

c)  In order to make the program financially viable, 40 percent have to be young and healthy. As of this date, only 25 percent of newly enrollees were in this age group.(see New York State statistics) 

d) Amazingly, Washington still refuses to say how many of these new patients were uninsured before they signed up .

e) New York State did report that in our state, only 25 percent of these new people, pay their own way! Seventy-five percent are getting a government subsidy! 

Your solution : Give it more time. Okay, you better do that! But please don’t distort your numbers. 

2 – Lets now take a look at the editor’s claim that “the penalties are fair”.   

a) Penalties should not be fair. Their purpose is to act as an incentive to force people to buy the insurance. If these penalties are small (fair), people, especially the young and healthy, will just pay it, and wait until they need health insurance.  

Millions are doing just that. Remember, they can’t be denied, at any time, due to any preexisting condition. Its not advantageous to have a small penalty if your goal is to force everyone into buying insurance.

b) What exactly are these penalties?  Initially it’s $95 for any uninsured adult. And $47.50 for each uninsured child. The maximum penalty is $285 per family. 

Your editor is quite right. It is  “cheap.” But that penalty ( tax!!)  only applies to low-income families. That’s why many are choosing to pay it!  

If you read the bill that Nancy Pelosi never read, you will find out that any working person making a decent living, is supporting those receiving a government subsidy. The “rich guy’s” penalty for not having insurance is 1% of their gross adjusted  income, if that amount is greater than the basic penalty. I’ll bet you never heard that one!  

A married couple making $130,000 would pay a  $1,097 penalty, and a single taxpayer earning $130,000 would pay almost $2,000. You better call your accountant. 

3 – A reader  wrote:”The IRS only gets involved when citizens need subsidies.” I guess she never read the bill either. 

The IRS will review everyone’s tax return to see if you have health-care insurance. Got it? Everyone! No exceptions! 

The IRS not only determines if you are eligible for a subsidy, but if you don’t have any insurance, the IRS will collect the penalty. 

They will bill you for it, take it from your tax refund or if necessary, garnish it from your salary. To say that the IRS plays only a minor role is deceitful and blatantly incorrect.

4 –  “Obamacare has been good for America” Really? Its certainly not good for retired Americans!   

a)  In case you haven’t heard the news, The  Mayo Clinic does not accept Medicare anymore. 

Four years was enough time for them. They tried to continue providing their world class medical treatment, but they couldn’t make it work with the ridiculously low reimbursement rates and Obamacare’s  interference in their medical treatment. 

b) I guess the editor doesn’t know that doctors are opting out of Medicare in droves. According to the government’s own statistics, three times the number of doctors nationally, dropped out of Medicare this year, compared to the year before. Amazing what you can find out if you really look. 

c) Newsday reported that “some of America’s best cancer hospitals are off limits to the new health care program.” 

Seattle Cancer Care Alliance is excluded in five of the eight of Washington State’s insurance exchanges. The same is true in Houston and around the country. 

Memorial Sloan Kettering, where I had my own cancer surgery, is only included in two of the nine plans! 

Overall only four of the 19 nationally recognized comprehensive cancer centers are accepting all the insurance companies in their states exchanges.   

5 – You said “businesses will not reduce their employees hours to less than the required 30” and “We have  not seen any statistics to justify this fear “  

Well, I don’t know where thus editor has been, but according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 75 percent of all new jobs ( that’s right, all new jobs!!) produced last year were part-time!

6 – To call Obamacare anything other than government-run, socialized medicine, is just not accepting reality. 

A letter-writer amazingly stated that the two government committees running ObamaCare,  (the Preventative Service Task Force and the Independent Payment Board) are not government committees at all. Really? 

Their members are appointed by the government.

They use government facilities.

They follow all government rules and procedures. 

What exactly are they ? 

a) Have you ever watched their public hearings? Of course not!  There are none! They are secret!! You may call it private if you like. 

b) Have you ever read the minutes of their discussions? Of course not!  They are not published!  

c) Have you ever heard dissenting opinions? Of course not. They are not made public either. And worse of all,

d) they are permitted, for the first time, to use cost as their only consideration when they evaluate any medical treatment.

Okay, You don’t want to call them “death panels”? Let’s call them “end of life medical decision-makers”. Are you happy now? 

Do you want part time, government “experts” doing this incredibly important work ? I don’t ! But that’s what you get when a government bureaucracy determines the doctors and hospital reimbursement fees, and tells the medical community what medical procedures they may or may not perform. .  

7 – A letter writer wrote, Obamacare “gives all Americans the opportunity to buy medical insurance”.  Really. Please get this straight. They are buying it using our taxpayer money to provide their subsidy! Anyone making less than $45,960 and a family making less than $94,200 can now purchase insurance at a discounted rate, i.e. a subsidy. This subsidy does not magically appear. It certainly is not free. It is paid  by: 

a) $1 trillion dollars of new fees and penalties! ( remember the new tax on medical devices?)

b) major reductions in Medicare services.

c) increased premiums for everyone purchasing their own private insurance.  

Someone has to pay for the subsidies, and the taxpayers are the chosen ones. 

Try resisting name calling. Listen to other ideas. Don’t ignore legitimate criticism. 

On the pretext of correcting the flaws in our healthcare system, President Obama and his Democratic supporters, are ruining the greatest healthcare system on the planet. 

Dr. Stephen Morris, DDS

North Hills

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