Sen. Claire McCaskill Just Does Not Get It Whatsoever on ObamaCare Opposition!

Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill just not getting it whatsoever in relation to Most Americans opposition to ObamaCare is the subject of this Big B File.

Over the past six months or so, I have signed a number of petitions regarding the repeal of the Affordable Care Act a.k.a. ObamaCare…..or at the very least The HHS Contraception Mandate, to which dozens or Catholic and Protestant Businesses, organizations, one Television Network, and numerous Roman Catholic Dioceses across the country have sued the Obama Administration trying to block.   All that time, not a single response from Senator Claire McCaskill until now when she sends me get this….a form letter!!  Below is that form letter from Senator McCaskill with my responses in Red Letters)

Dear Senator McCaskill,

With all do respect Sen. Claire McCaskill…….YOU JUST DON’T GET IT WHATSOEVER!!!  Let me address a few of your points….. (see your original emailed letter below with my responses in Red)

Sent: Friday, December 13, 2013 12:01 PM
To:Bryan V. Hewing
Subject: Reply from Senator McCaskill

Dear Mr. Hewing,

Thank you for contacting me regarding implementation of the Affordable Care Act.  I appreciate hearing from you and welcome the opportunity to respond

As you may know, on October 1, 2013, the health insurance marketplaces established by the Affordable Care Act opened to consumers.  The marketplaces, also known as “exchanges,” allow individuals to purchase health insurance with the ability to compare private, brand-name insurance options based on price, benefits, quality, and other features.  All health plans offered through the exchanges are required to meet minimum benefit and cost standards, including coverage of essential health benefits, such as hospitalization, mental health services, and prescription drugs, among others.  The exchanges can also help Missourians determine whether they qualify for Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), whether they are eligible for premium tax credits and cost-sharing subsidies to help lower their healthcare costs (unless they make too much or other reasons, which most people don’t qualify for the subsides) or whether they are exempt from the requirement to purchase insurance, commonly known as the “individual mandate.”  Missourians who do not have coverage through their employer, Medicare, Medicaid, CHIP, TRICARE, or a veterans health program can enroll in health coverage through the health insurance marketplaces anytime between now and March 31, 2014 by visiting http://www.healthcare.gov or calling a 24-hour consumer call center at (800) 318-2596.  I have included additional information regarding enrollment in the exchanges on an attached document.

I recognize that, as with the rollouts of past reforms to our healthcare system, including the Medicare prescription drug benefit in 2005, the introduction of Healthcare.gov has been accompanied by significant technical issues.  The Administration has dedicated substantial resources to addressing this unacceptable situation and reports that the website is operating far more effectively as of the beginning of December.  I will continue to closely monitor this situation. (Since when?!?  There have cases if IDs being stolen by people who signed up for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) a.k.a. Obamacare through the ObamaCare website itself. Even a supporter of Obamacare who  is an IT Expert has said the website is  nowhere near secure! (see http://www.foxnews.com/tech/2013/11/19/healthcaregov-already-compromised-security-expert-says/)).

I support the Affordable Care Act because it includes numerous provisions to expand access to affordable healthcare, keep costs down, promote prevention, and hold health insurance companies accountable.  The cornerstone of the law is a collection of new rules and insurance market reforms, such as preventing insurance companies from denying health coverage to those with pre-existing conditions, requiring insurance companies to spend the vast majority of the premiums they collect from consumers on providing healthcare, rather than on excessive executive pay or to hire more staff to deny claims, and preventing health insurance companies from kicking those who get sick off their coverage. News articles say you are signing up for ObamaCare via the state exchanges and the website…none say that you have.  Why don’t you prove that you actually signed up for ObamaCare by producing documentation like say a receipt, letter, screenshot, and/or printout of the page that says you actually signed up for the ObamaCare via the Exchange…..as well as producing documentation that proves you had foregone the subsidy as well.

In order to ensure the existence of these and other highly popular reforms (popular with Who?!? even a CBS News poll shows support for ObamaCare at a record low of 31%!**) and to guarantee fair healthcare pricing to Americans regardless of their health problems, the Affordable Care Act also included the requirement that people have insurance coverage.  Importantly, this requirement also prevents “free riders,” who can afford to buy insurance coverage but choose not to, from showing up in emergency rooms and receiving care that the rest of us end up paying for.  Lastly, recognizing that buying health insurance may be difficult for many working and middle class families, the Affordable Care Act includes premium tax credits and cost-sharing subsidies (which many of the Middle class don’t even qualify for), as well as some targeted exemptions from the individual mandate for those who cannot afford coverage.  The combination of all of these provisions, working together, is critical to ensuring access to health insurance for tens of millions of Americans who otherwise would not be able to afford coverage.

You should know that I am open to making commonsense improvements to the Affordable Care Act, a law that was produced after hundreds of hours of debate and that incorporated ideas from both sides of the aisle, including 147 Republican amendments that were added in committee  (then explain why you REFUSED to support the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act of 2011 +++ introduced by your fellow senator Roy Blunt and supported by this country’s Roman Catholic Bishops)  I previously supported the successful removal of a burdensome reporting requirement on businesses and voted for additional income verification requirements for individuals who may be eligible for tax credits to assist them in buying insurance through the Affordable Care Act’s insurance exchanges.  I have also introduced legislation to repeal a problematic provision of the Act that has caused some states to subsidize high wages at hospitals through Medicare reimbursements.  As with all laws, we learn in time what works and what does not, as well as how to make it better.  However, I do not support the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, which was passed by majorities in both the House of Representatives and the Senate (By all Democrats in both houses (So you now own it and any fallout from the ObamaCare implementation…..including any fallout from Millions of Americans losing their insurance coverage between 2012 and 2014 Midterm Elections), signed by the President, and upheld by the Supreme Court. (Does that mean that you support the largest tax increase in U.S. History?  After all, that is exactly the reasoning the Supreme Court used to uphold ObamaCare in 2012….saying that ObamaCare was constitutional under Congress’s taxing powers.)

While it is always appropriate to provide criticism of a law on the merits and to seek to advance one’s ideas based on facts, I am disappointed that opponents of the law have frequently spread misinformation about the law and its effects, rather than improving those aspects of the law that need to be changed and to make the law work to its fullest potential for Missourians.  I am particularly disappointed that the Missouri General Assembly has repeatedly voted to seek to block implementation of the law to the detriment of Missouri’s citizens. Detriment to Whom?!? The MO General Assembly, unlike you, are actually following the will of the people who voted for two Ballot Measures in 2010 (Proposition C – Approved by 71% of MO Voters) and 2012 (Proposition E – Approved by 62% of MO Voters), rejecting ObamaCare by wide margins both times!

Most Missourians support the goals of lowering health care costs, increasing access to care, and making sure health insurance companies are treating people fairly (Which ObamaCare does none of the Above).  You can learn more about the changes brought about through the new law by visiting a non-partisan website like the one sponsored by the Kaiser Family Foundation, http://www.kff.org/ (You mean the very people who conducted a tracking poll of ObamaCare and say that support is at an all-time low in their polls of a miserable 33%?^^^).  In addition, you can find important information dispelling several widespread myths and clarifying facts about the law on my website at http://www.mccaskill.senate.gov/?p=issue&id=313.  Please know that I am monitoring the implementation of the law closely and that I will keep your thoughts in mind as the Affordable Care Act is implemented in Missouri. (Not likely since you keep supporting a hugely unpopular law and sent me this form letter)

Again, thank you for contacting me. Please do not hesitate to contact me in the future if I can be of further assistance to you on this or any other issue.
Sincerely,
Claire McCaskill
United States Senator
 
P.S. If you would like more information about resources that can help Missourians, or what I am doing in the Senate on your behalf, please sign up for my email newsletter at http://mccaskill.senate.gov.
…..and that’s the Big B File.  Click on the Comments link below and tell me what you think……I’m Bryan Hewing.
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