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Fluke writes: "As President Obama has acknowledged, this law isn't perfect and we should work to improve it where needed. But repealing it would take our country, our economy, and the financial security of millions of Americans in a dangerous direction. It would quite literally put lives on the line."

Sandra Fluke testifies before the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee Feb. 23, 2012 in Washington. (photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Sandra Fluke testifies before the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee Feb. 23, 2012 in Washington. (photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images)



Why Obamacare Is Worth Fighting For

By Sandra Fluke, Guardian UK

30 June 12

 

ow that the supreme court has declared, once and for all, the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, much of the debate has turned to the politics of the ruling and what it means for the coming election. It's events like Thursday's that shine a light on the stark contrasts between our two presidential candidates.

In the hours after yesterday's ruling, Governor Romney wasted no time reminding us that repealing Obamacare will be a top priority if he's elected, egged on by congressional Republicans who had already scheduled a vote to dismantle the law. Meanwhile, President Obama continued to focus on the real-world benefits this law will bring to millions of Americans.

I agree with the president that we cannot lose sight of the human impact this law will have on young women and men just graduating from college; on mothers, fathers, and children alike. And while the supreme court's decision was a decisive victory for the American people, it does also underscore just how much is at stake in this election.

Let's consider just what Romney and Republican lawmakers would be repealing. As the Affordable Care Act continues to take effect, insurance companies will no longer be allowed to engage in "gender rating" – the discriminatory practice of charging women higher premiums for the same coverage as men. This alone could put $1bn per year back in women's pocketbooks.

Insurance companies will be required to use your premium dollars for your healthcare. Nearly 13 million Americans can expect a rebate soon, because their insurance company spent too much on administrative costs last year.

Pregnant women will be guaranteed maternity coverage to ensure their health and to give their children a healthy start in life. Forty-five million women will have no co-pays for preventative care, such as pap smears, mammograms, birth control, STI testing, well-woman check-ups, and immunizations. Insurance companies will be banned from requiring women to get pre-authorization or referrals in order to access routine gynaecological care.

Americans earning low and modest incomes – between $14,404 to $43,320 for individuals, and between $29,326 to $88,200 for a family of four – will have the choice of getting a subsidy to help pay for insurance.

Governor Romney's objection to this law is hypocrisy at its worst – especially since he enacted a very similar health reform measure in Massachusetts. But for Romney, that's not really the point. For him, this is about politics. And that's where he and our president couldn't be farther apart.

In addressing our country following this historic ruling, President Obama reminded us that this law and his decision to fight to enact it was never about politics. Popular or not, it was about a belief that "here in America – in the wealthiest nation on Earth – no illness or accident should lead to any family's financial ruin."

Here in America, in 2010 – the same year the law was enacted – 26,000 people between the ages of 25 and 64 died prematurely because they didn't have health insurance. That's tens of thousands of American lives that might have been saved if a law like the Affordable Care Act had been in place earlier.

As President Obama has acknowledged, this law isn't perfect and we should work to improve it where needed. But repealing it would take our country, our economy, and the financial security of millions of Americans in a dangerous direction. It would quite literally put lives on the line.

That is why we must all fight, in the voting booth, to protect this law and protect each other's access to the quality, affordable healthcare we need and deserve.

 

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-7 # WASABIMON 2012-06-30 10:13
while i think that the health care system in this country needs help---this was not the way to do it--obama--bein g the corporate schill and supporter that he is--again as is his record---suppor ted the corporate end of this scam.The corporations got a giant--trillion s---guaranteed paycheck--while we the people got a mediocre --if not useless bill of health-----All the waste is still there---all the constantly rising costs are still there-----When our clown president started off his speech about healthcare with " the health industry in this country makes up 1/6 th of the economy " i knew we were screwed----he hopped right on the corporate side of the game and gave them everything while giving us crumbs-----HEAL TH INSURANCE SHOULD BE A NON PROFIT ENTITY AT THE LEAST---
 
 
0 # geraldom 2012-07-01 10:20
WASABIMON, I'm sorry you're getting a net negative rating. I fully agree with you, but people who continue to support Obama but aren't fully happy with his performance since he took office, want to treat him with kid gloves.

Read my postings below. ABen claims that the Dems needed 60+ votes to pass this bad compromise of a healthcare Bill because of the filibuster threat, but it was passed by less than 60 votes because of "Budget Reconciliation."

It't my contention that Obama could've passed a govt-controlled single-payer healthcare Bill completely excluding the healthcare insurance companies under "Budget Reconciliation" via a simple majority vote, but that he himself was unsupportive of such a Bill.

Even if it were possible to force Obama to follow thru with the (false) promises he made as candidate Obama via the power of his voting base, via the people who helped make him president, the biggest mistake that was made, not only by his voting base, but by so-called progressive & liberal channels on TV like the Thom Hartmann program for example on FSTV, was to treat him with kid gloves, not to come down very hard on him in an unforgiving manner, to get the message out to Obama that he must change, really change, if he & the Congressional Dems want to win in Nov.

When the Repubs did anything wrong, Thom Hartmann would mention them outright with disdain, but when he speaks of problems tied to Obama or the Dems, he never mentions them.
 
 
+10 # AMLLLLL 2012-06-30 10:57
It bothered me too, that single-payer never even reached it to the table. I'm up to hear with insurance companies, who not only rake in the dough, but then lend it out for mortgages, etc. while we pay inflated insurance rates to buy their advertising and lobbying.
 
 
+16 # ABen 2012-06-30 11:04
The ACA is far from a perfect piece of legislation, but it appears to be the best that could get through Congress. I agree with the comment above that the U.S. would benefit greatly from a single-payer system along the lines of what nearly every other major industrialized nation has in place. However, until the House is no longer controlled by Teabaggers and McConnell's goons in the Senate are precluded from forcing a super-majority for ANY legislation to come to a vote, 'we the people' will still be at the mercy of the for-profit health insurance industry. This has little to do with Obama--he is only the president, not a king. BTW, much of what is systemically wrong with our electoral process can be traced back to big money donors and lobbyists. Given the current makeup of the SCOTUS, we progressives must work to keep people like Romney (a true corporate shill if there ever was one) out of the White House, and to put liberals and rational repubs in office whenever possible. decisions are made by those who show up and vote.
 
 
+5 # T4D 2012-06-30 12:02
"As President Obama has acknowledged, this law isn't perfect and we should work to improve it where needed."

Can't wait to see Canadians importing our cheap American drugs.
 
 
+3 # geraldom 2012-06-30 17:03
I want to know why Barack Obama, when he only needed a 51 vote majority in the U.S. Senate to pass any healthcare reform Bill he wanted at the time because they were using "Budget Reconciliation" as the basis for the vote, why he didn't attempt to pass a single-payer healthcare system right from the start with the government running the show, not the private for-profit health insurers? At the time, the Senate had a 59 Democratic vote majority, and even if you discount the DINOs, the Democrats In Name Only, there still was enough votes left to get a simple majority of 51. Why did he pass this abortion of a Bill?

Maybe someone can explain to me the following. People will have two choices, at least the ones that are not yet on Medicare. Either to get insurance and pay the going rates forced upon them by the private for-profit insurance companies, or be penalized by paying a tax.

Basically, what it sounds like to me is that if Americans can't afford to pay the loan-shark exorbitant rates charged by the private for-profit insurance companies and survive at the same time, they will be paying a tax and still be without health coverage. Unless someone can tell me differently, what's to prevent these crooks from raising their rates sky-high? Is there something in the Bill that regulates what they can charge people for coverage?

Please, someone, enlighten me on how someone at the poverty level with a family to support will survive this?
 
 
+5 # ABen 2012-06-30 18:22
Mencher; although a simple majority is all that is needed to pass a piece of legislation, cloture (end debate and bring to a vote) now requires at least 60 votes. This is the case because of the way McConnell and his goon squad are using the filibuster. To his discredit, Read could have changed this but chose not to.
 
 
+1 # geraldom 2012-06-30 20:30
Quoting ABen:
Mencher; although a simple majority is all that is needed to pass a piece of legislation, cloture (end debate and bring to a vote) now requires at least 60 votes. This is the case because of the way McConnell and his goon squad are using the filibuster. To his discredit, Read could have changed this but chose not to.


ABen, I'm sorry, but your are in error. I give you the following article to read:

http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/ticket/could-republicans-really-repeal-obamacare-091546012.html

Obama and the Senate Democrats used "Budget Reconciliation" to pass the ACA in 2010 because, even with this abortion of a Bill, they didn't have enough votes in the Senate to overcome a filibuster. With "Budget Reconciliation" as the basis for voting on the ACA, they only needed a simple majority of 51 votes to pass it, and that's exactly what they did.
 
 
0 # LeeBlack 2012-07-01 13:47
Aben - glad you introduced these common sense views. To me it seems that the premise of Democracy is that we have informed, active citizens that must forever guard against the vested interests gaining too much power.

We've allowed the gerrymandering and other manipulations that give insurance companies and banks too much say in our government. So, we need to look in the mirror.
 
 
+5 # Gevurah 2012-06-30 21:44
Stop using the undignified media-created term "Obamacare".

Call it by its proper name: AFFORDABLE CARE ACT!!!!
 
 
0 # Hot Doggie 2012-07-01 08:52
S.Fluke said, "Now that the supreme court has declared, once and for all, the constitutionali ty of the Affordable Care Act..."

Why do people insist that We-The-People have no say in the governing of the USA? The U.S. supreme Court may have decided what they feel is constitutional but WTP still have THE VERY Last say. Remember, our forefathers wrote the constitution and by virtue of writing it became and are the owners of it. WTP can add to it and delete from it. WE can change it and override it as necessary. WTP can decide what is constitutional. Fluke can quit her attempted brainwashing of us by treating WTP as being subservient to government: we are the government.
 

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