Who’s Left?

February 3, 2014


By:  Rob JonesAs I research subject matter, to write my columns, I’ve found that it’s not as easy as I thought. Sometimes, it’s actually hard work, but I enjoy it too, so the payoff is worth it. I also learn a lot of things that I didn’t know, or just didn’t think about. In my columns, I haven’t written very much about West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin (D). I’ve written about Congresswoman Capito, Senator Manchin, and some up and comers, like Charlotte Lane, who are quietly climbing the ladder and making a difference. Today, that changes, as this column is fully about Governor Tomblin and his supporting Obamacare.

Governor Tomblin, in a press conference, said, “We anticipate expansion will allow us to provide insurance coverage to approximately 91,500 working West Virginians, significantly reducing the number of uninsured. A decision to expand today, however, does not end our efforts. We must carefully watch federal efforts. If the program becomes unsustainable, particularly after three years, or the federal government changes its promised funding allocations, we must be prepared to take action to protect our state. At the end of the day we have weighed our options and believe that expanding Medicaid is the best choice for West Virginia.”

The AP reported Tomblin based his decision on a financial analysis of the potential benefits and pitfalls of expansion. Under Obama’s health care reform law, Medicaid coverage would be available to anyone who earns up to 133 percent of the federal poverty level, which is $15,282 for a single person this year. States are allowed to opt out of the expansion, however, based on a Supreme Court ruling last year that Congress couldn’t mandate they enlarge Medicaid, which is jointly run and financed by the federal and state governments. The Obamacare Medicaid expansion brings unprecedented federal funding for the program. From next year through 2016, the federal government will pay the full cost of covering newly eligible people in states that undertake the expansion, after which the federal share shrinks over time until it reaches 90 percent in 2022 and future years. The federal government currently pays an average of 57 percent of the expenses for those already enrolled in Medicaid.

Many times, throughout America’s history, administrations have attempted to get a national health care takeover. Obama finally managed to do it, albeit with a Democrat controlled Congress and Senate and absolutely no Republican support. The bill was grown out of a hasty idea, thrown together, and forced through. It didn’t matter that the majority of the American people didn’t want it. It meant nothing that no one knew exactly what was in the bill! Not one person even stopped to think about any negative repercussions. They did not care, as long as they got their power grab. Let’s take a look at the healthcare history line:

  • 1912  Former President Theodore Roosevelt called for national health insurance as he unsuccessfully tries to ride his progressive Bull Moose Party back to the White House.
  • 1935  President Franklin D. Roosevelt favors creating national health insurance during the Great Depression, but decides to push for Social Security first.
  • 1942  Roosevelt establishes wage and price controls during World War II. Businesses can’t attract workers with higher pay, so they compete through added benefits, including health insurance, which grows into a work place perk.
  • 1945  President Harry Truman calls on Congress to create a national insurance program for those who pay voluntary fees. The American Medical Association denounces the idea as “socialized medicine” and it goes nowhere.
  • 1960  John F. Kennedy makes health care a major campaign issue, but as president can’t get a plan for the elderly through Congress.
  • 1965  President Lyndon B. Johnson’s legendary arm-twisting and a Congress dominated by his fellow Democrats lead to creation of two landmark government health programs: Medicare for the elderly and Medicaid for the poor.
  • 1974  President Richard Nixon wants to require employers to cover their workers and create federal subsidies to help everyone else buy private insurance.
  • 1976  President jimmy Carter pushes a mandatory national health plan, but economic recession helps push it aside.
  • 1986  President Ronald Reagan signs COBRA, a requirement that employers let former workers stay on the company health plan for 18 months after leaving a job, with workers bearing the cost.
  • 1988  Congress expands Medicare by adding a prescription drug benefit and catastrophic care coverage. It doesn’t last long. Barraged by protests from older Americans, upset about paying a tax to finance the additional coverage, Congress repeals the law the very next year.
  • 1993  President Bill Clinton puts first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton in charge of developing what becomes a 1,300-page plan for universal coverage. It requires businesses to cover their workers and mandates that everyone have health insurance. The plan meets Republican opposition, divides Democrats and comes under a firestorm of lobbying from businesses and the health care industry. It dies in the Senate.
  • 1997  Clinton signs bipartisan legislation creating a state-federal program to provide coverage for millions of children in families of modest means whose incomes are too high to qualify for Medicaid.
  • 2003  President George W. Bush persuades Congress to add prescription drug coverage to Medicare in a major expansion of the program for older people.
  • 2008  Hillary Rodham Clinton promotes a sweeping health care plan in her bid for the Democratic presidential nomination. She loses to Obama, who has a less comprehensive plan.
  • 2009 President Barack Obama and the Democratic-controlled Congress spend an intense year ironing out legislation to require most companies to cover their workers, mandate that everyone have coverage or pay a fine, require insurance companies to accept all comers, regardless of any pre-coverage conditions, and assist people who can’t afford insurance.
  • 2010  With no Republican support, Congress passes the measure, designed to extend health care coverage to more than 30 million people. Republican opponents scorned the law as “Obamacare”.
  • 2012  On a campaign tour in the Midwest, Obama himself embraces the term “Obamacare” and says the law shows “I do care.”

The number of Americans who oppose Obamacare has steadily grown since 2010. The number is now about 57 percent of the people. Still, Obama and the Democrats condemn anyone who attempts to change or repeal Obamacare. Governor Tomblin follows through with expanding the State Medicaid program, regardless of the problems that keep coming to light, with Obamacare. In a move to gain support, Obama said that people can keep their doctors and their health insurance plan, if they like them. Period. Well, that was a lie. Obama and Democrats said that Obamacare would lower the cost of insurance premiums. That was a lie too. To date, several million Americans have had health insurance plans canceled. Hard working Americans have seen the cost of their insurance plans double and even triple in cost.

The American people were sold a product under false pretenses. People can’t afford to purchase inferior health insurance, so they are facing the paying of a fine, for something they can’t afford. How is that fair? People have had top of the line health insurance plans canceled, just to find that the new plans are not only way more expensive, but inferior plans. Peoples deductibles are now outrageous. In some cases up to several thousand dollars a year!! This is before their inferior health insurance covers anything. Medicare people are finding that their drug costs have gone up to triple what they were paying and these elderly people have fixed incomes and can’t afford needed drugs now. Tomblin expanded a program that cash strapped West Virginians are going to be stuck handing out even more money to cover. This fiasco has become a money pit already and the writing on the wall says “Epic failure eminent”. We must continue to fight against this law and any embracing of it. God Bless You! God Bless West Virginia! God Bless America!



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