Things That Don’t Add Up

So for the last few weeks, I’ve been immersed in the hubbub over the budget, the government shutdown, the debt ceiling, “Obamacare,” TeaPartiers, Cruz, Rand, Boehner, Pelosi, Hoyer, Rove, Clinton – all the brouhaha and blah blah blah.

I’ve been attentive. Almost every day, I’ve checked into CSPAN, read or viewed the NYTimes, the HuffPost, Reuters, the Washington Post, the WSJ even. I’ve researched bills and laws and legislators through Gov.Track. I’ve checked links provided by progressives, liberals, Hillary supporters, OFA, the Democratic Campaign Committee, MediaMatters, ThinkProgress, TheNewDeal, Politico, TheHill, and a whole bunch more. I consider myself fairly well versed.

So I just don’t understand some of the mantras I hear – mostly from Tea Party Republicans – regarding the budget, funding the government, and that huge red herring, the Affordable Care Act.

March 23, 2010 – President Obama signs into law the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Doug Mills/The New York Times

Nobody understands it!

That incredulous statement and its variant, “We don’t know what’s in it!” is a refrain coming from anti-ACA politicians on the Hill.

The ACA became law in March 2010. after a year of Congressional fighting. It originated from the House of Representatives, was okayed by the Senate and passed along to President Obama, who signed it into law. Then it passed the review of the Supreme Court.

GOP naysayers are asking us to believe that in those three-plus years of consideration, they never had the time or opportunity to acquaint themselves with the contents of the ACA.

Employers are cutting hours!

Now, I haven’t done my research here but I’ve been alive for the past few years, and I know for damn sure that employers were already firmly embarked on a part-time workforce strategy well before the ACA came to town. If anything, the ACA is giving them an excuse to cry bloody murder and then with a wink and a grin cut even more employees, depriving them of benefits like vacation, sick leave, paid holidays and the like. Thus, despite the clamoring of the Tea Partiers, these employers are actually saving money by filling their coffers with the revenue that previously streamed to their employees.

Premiums are going up!

This actually may be true but – and this is an important but – premiums quoted are likely for the relatively few currently insured folks who are likely choosing the higher priced options.

The other Big But has to do with the way insurance works, hypothetically, at least.  Most of us know that you get better rates as a member of a group program than as an individual buying for herself. Why? It’s the old cheaper-by-the-dozen formula. The more people pooling their monies into the plan, the less the premiums.

Likewise, ACA is relatively new, actually it doesn’t even officially begin until October 1. What that means is that relatively speaking, there are not a lot of people in the program, state-by-state and nationally. Ergo, the rates reflect that smaller pool.

What that also means is that come October 1, when millions and millions of Americans join the party, the rates should go down – big time!

Of course, there are guys out there who filled in the GOP Tea Party on this actuality, and the result is the massive and crazed denunciation of the health reform plan. These guys know that come October 1, things will change dramatically.

And that is really all we need to know about this 11th hour strategizing to shut down the government/defund Obamacare push.

The plan WILL be successful. President Obama will score a huge hit against the Tea Party. The people will love him and his Democrat allies. The GOP can say goodbye to any possibility of a majority in upcoming elections.

’nuff said.

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