|Family Research Council happy about possible Obamacare repeal.|
Even though this blog focuses specifically on lgbt issues, there are times I have to comment on other issues. And regarding the issue of the GOP attempting to repeal Obamacare, I must say that I am amazed and disturbed about the spin the Family Research Council is attempting to put over on its supporters:
President Obama has been unwilling -- and soon, unable -- to undo his policy blunders like Obamacare, but Congress is giving his successor a chance to try. In the wee hours of this morning, the Senate took the first step of a journey that Republicans have been on for the last seven years: the repeal of Obamacare and the defunding of Planned Parenthood. For all of the question marks heading into last night's marathon session, Senate Majority Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) delivered on his biggest promise -- to pass a budget resolution that would clear the decks for rolling back Obama's worst atrocities.
By the slimmest of margins, 51-48, he held together his coalition -- which was no small feat after the threats of at least five moderate Republicans earlier in the week. By 1:36 a.m., when members finally walked bleary-eyed to their cars, 180 amendments had been filed (and 20 voted on) in the unique budget free-for-all -- which, for all the frenzy, isn't even legally binding. As it has for years, the Senate uses this crazy process to map out a budget blueprint. The benefit is that, unlike other legislative business, leaders can offer an unlimited number of amendments without worrying about filibusters. That usually means senators will take the opportunity to make a political point -- or try to get their colleagues on the record on an issue that they can use to their advantage in campaign ads later on. "Unlike normal legislation, which can be debated for weeks on end, this law limits the total debate time for a budget resolution to 50 hours... This is quite different from the process on a normal bill," former Senate staffer Keith Hennessey once explained, "where you can offer an amendment but not be assured of a quick vote."
By the end, the Senate will typically have crammed in a third of their votes for the year into this one chaotic night. While our government affairs team worked late tracking amendments, there were a few surprises. As usual, the president's party tried to throw a few wrenches into the process, including Senator Kirsten Gillibrand's (D-N.Y.) "women's health" amendment, which would have stopped the GOP from making any changes to Obamacare that affect the contraception mandate or taxpayer-funded abortion. Fortunately, the Senate deadlocked, killing it by a tie vote (49-49).
Although no one is settled on an official replacement plan for Obamacare, the hows and whens took a backseat to getting this crucial vote out of the way. Knowing that America is also on the path to hollowing out federal tax funding of Planned Parenthood should taste sweet to the millions of voters who streamed into polling places to protect the unborn. The bottom line is the bottom line: Planned Parenthood doesn't need taxpayer dollars. All the government's contributions do is enable Cecile Richards's group to spend more money on politics and candidates who support their radical agenda. This forced partnership must end. And thanks to Senator Mitch McConnell's leadership, it's well on its way.
Granted, I despise the Family Research Council because the group was founded to undermine lgbt equality via lies and junk science under the guise of religion. But I am also incredibly disturbed how unbelievably tone deaf the group is about the dangers of an Obamacare repeal.
FRC puts the focus on Planned Parenthood, a long time whipping post of the religious right, by claiming that millions of voters will be happy that it will suffer from an Obamacare repeal. However, the organization seems to be deliberately omitting the large number of people (a lot being Trump voters) who are just plain scared of a possibility of losing Obamacare.
Here is something else FRC conveniently neglected to mention. According to a recent issue of Mother Jones, the repeal could leave 23 million Americans without health coverage:
While most Americans say they dislike Obamacare, they actually like most of its provisions. According to a recent Kaiser Family Foundation poll, every major part of the Affordable Care Act is exceedingly popular except for one—the imposition of fines for not having health coverage. This might explain why some Trump voters are reacting with alarm now that they realize some kind of ACA repeal looks likely.
If Obamacare is fully repealed, most Americans will see a modest tax cut, while tens of millions will face a loss of coverage or become uninsurable. And thousands could die from lack of access to medical care. As Obamacare slips back into critical condition, here's a look at these and other consequences of its possible demise.
And according to Politifact:
A full repeal would definitely impact Medicare, the health care program for Americans 65 and over.
For instance, a repeal would restore higher payments for services performed under the managed-care portion of Medicare known as Medicare Advantage, according to the Kaiser analysis. This, in turn, would likely lead to increased premiums for people who are signed up for Medicare Advantage. And an end to the law’s guarantees that preventive services be provided free to patients could also raise premiums, out-of-pocket costs, or both.
Perhaps the most notable change would be to reverse efforts to close the "doughnut hole" for prescription drugs. One provision of the Affordable Care Act dramatically cut the amount that seniors on Medicare have to pay for their medicines. (This is known as "closing the doughnut hole" because prior to the law’s passage, beneficiaries got some coverage up to a certain dollar amount, and then none until high-dollar, catastrophic coverage provisions kicked in.)
Rejoicing over an act which could cause Medicare premiums to rise and possibly leave 23 million people without health coverage hardly seems like the act an organization claiming to represent Christian values would do. After all, healing the sick - and without charging for it - is one of the main things Jesus was known for.
Perhaps FRC feels that suffering is good for the soul. I wonder if the organization is going to blame the lgbt community for this one? After all, they blame us for everything else.