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Jay Lake
Date: 2013-10-03 06:43
Subject: [politics|cancer] The government shutdown and the ACA and me
Security: Public
Tags:cancer, health, personal, politics
When you get right down to it, I have never seen a rational basis for the conservative opposition to the Affordable Care Act. After all, the core of the ACA was a proposal originating from the Heritage Foundation, a deeply conservative think tank. The template for the ACA was a highly successful state-level implementation led by then-Republican governor and later GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney. The basic mechanism of the ACA is to swell the customer rolls of for-profit insurance companies competing on policy price and features, relying on the free market.

Why is this such a threat to American freedom? In all but name, the ACA is a conservative program implemented from conservative proposals rooted in conservative ideals.

And now the government shutdown. Which doesn't even defund the ACA itself, just pretty much everything else. Are the Republicans so infuriated at the success of their own ideas that they must punish the entire country and economy. How does this make sense?

As for me personally, without the ACA I would be bankrupt or dead by now. Likely both. One of the first provisions of the ACA to come into effect was a ban on the lifetime spending caps most health insurance policies historically enforced. As a long-term cancer patient, I'm now about 25% over the spending cap my own insurance policy used to have. Without the ACA, my last year and more of treatment would have been completely uncovered. This would have required me to spend about $250,000 out of pocket, or go without treatment.

So opposition to the ACA is quite literally saying to me, "Go ahead and die already."

As [info]ericjamesstone said to me a while back, anecdote makes bad law. (That's not a precise quote, but I believe that's the sense of what he told me.) My death would just be an anecdote, not a policy point. But my life is kind of important to me.

And in all the angry conservative rhetoric about the ACA, I have never seen any proposals that would keep me personally alive.

So this furious, unprecedented opposition to a piece of settled law — passed by Congress, signed by the president, litigated to the Supreme Court — that will benefit both me personally as well as tens of millions of other Americans, makes no sense to me either as a matter of policy or as a matter of my individual situation.

Does it make sense to you? Have you seen anywhere a fact-based explanation of why the ACA should be so vigorously opposed?

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Thom Marrion
User: xnbach
Date: 2013-10-03 15:12 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
GOP bullshit isn't going t kill us, but it did defund my wife's program and put her unemployment. Since I had already been laid off and don't start a new day job for two weeks, it also now threatens unemployment benefits, which are our only source of income at the moment.

All to defund a conservative health care plan that has already been passed into law.

And it's not like this is a big moral issue they are shutting down the government for. They're not going to emancipate the slaves or end child labor or anything, they're doing this so they can deny health care to people that uses the plan they came up with in the first place.

I think a huge chunk of it is the racist platform of opposing everything our first Black president does at any cost. If Obama went on record to say that puppies are cute or chocolate tastes yummy, the Republicans would break their necks rushing to proclaim the opposite.

The other part of course is that Republicans believe they have to appeal to the crazy people now in order to win elections, which means in a lot f cases that only the crazy ones get elected.
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They Didn't Ask Me
User: dr_phil_physics
Date: 2013-10-03 15:57 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Anecdotes are not data, true. But too many people look at their own lives and say I don't need health care (right now), why should I pay? But as you say, anecdotes are real individuals.

Had the ACA been in effect perhaps ten years ago, I could have this discussion with my sister. Instead she had no health insurance -- she had what appears to be the pseudo-conservative's Don't Get Sick plan -- and died two years ago of metastasized uterine cancer she didn't even know she had.

Talk to more and more people and suddenly those anecdotes start looking like data. Data which lends support to the idea of an inhuman policy plan to kill Americans.

Much of the rest of the First World shakes their head, wondering how you can do this to your own people.

The answer seems to be, we're not the pseudo-conservatives' people.

Dr. Phil

Edited at 2013-10-03 03:59 pm (UTC)
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User: emerald_green37
Date: 2013-10-03 17:45 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
It makes no sense to me. My husband was self-employed ever since he left the Navy. Paid his insurance faithfully. Had a heart attack. That was the end of the insurance. Of course they didn't "cancel" his policy, they "chose not to renew" his policy. Cute little difference, isn't it?

Fast forward fifteen years after a full recovery and still no medical coverage. Now he's got a nagging little cough. Turned out to be lung cancer due to severe exposure to asbestos while in the Navy. By the time we'd lost enough to qualify for state medical assistance, he was terminal. By the time the Navy paperwork went through, he was dead.

Yesterday, I checked out the exchanges that opened up here in Oregon. For the first time since he died, I have a chance at medical insurance for myself. There is absolutely nothing the conservatives could say to prove that I somehow don't deserve medical care.
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User: shelly_rae
Date: 2013-10-03 18:10 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Not only have I maxed out my lifetime cap but I have a "pre-existing condition" or do I? It's an ongoing fight made moot by ACA and I'm grateful for that. I'm using up all my savings on medical bills not covered and I have insurance. If I had to pay for everything considered pre-existing, well, bankruptcy would be my option. Not that I have a house, or a own anything to take. It's likely I never will. And yet, I've managed to keep jobs, finish school and pay off my student loans. I'm no deadbeat. I work hard. I do good. Yet. My situation is tenuous at best.

Still. Life is good. And carpe diem.
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User: msconduct
Date: 2013-10-03 20:57 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Dammit, I was hoping you would explain it, because none of it makes any sense to me as a non-American. Not why they are so opposed to such a modest change to the healthcare system (not to bag it, it's going to do a lot of good, but it's not a radical switch, as you say). And not about the shutdown itself, which I surely must be misunderstanding. Since the shutdown doesn't affect Obamacare itself, is it that the Republicans are attempting by refusing appropriations to blackmail the Democrats into withdrawing Obamacare, a law that has been passed and tested by the Supreme Court? But that is such an appalling perversion of democracy that surely I have it wrong.
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2013-10-03 22:04 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
But that is such an appalling perversion of democracy that surely I have it wrong.

Welcome to Republican America. This is the party that openly boasts of reducing the minority vote to improve their own electoral performance and lies blatantly about their own platform and voting records, after all.

History will be very, very unkind to the current GOP, but in the meanwhile the rest of us have to suffer with the madness.
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User: deire
Date: 2013-10-03 22:55 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I have yet to see anything that is not an inaccuracy, an outright lie, or a mean spirited wish for 'useless' people to die.
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Little and foxy and sexy... what more do you want?
User: little_foxy
Date: 2013-10-04 01:03 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
As a non-american I don't understand how a government can be shut down and why someone thought this was a good idea? Is there something in legislation that allows this? I know in our history it happened once, and because government couldn't function the governed general fired the prime minister, appointed the opposition leader who got the legislation through, and then the rest of the Parliament carried a noconfidence motion and Parliament was dissolved and we had an election 4 weeks later, that was 1975. The fact that this can occur and these guys get to keep their jobs is mindboggling.

The healthcare thing just doesn't make sense to m at all... it was reported here the other day that now 45 million people can now access healthcare in the US, that is nearly twice the total population of my country, and these people only now have access? It would be nice to see some facts to try and make sense of it for someone looking in from the outside. I am thankful for my country's healthcare as my recent surgery was completely covered, my only out of pocket expenses were blood tests and an ultrasound and that is only because of that particular pathology company not bulk billing. That amounted to about $300.
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2013-10-04 01:07 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
The US government really isn't supposed to work this way, even in our system. You have a relatively small group of legislators willing to burn down our figurative political house over a series of bizarre untruths about a healthcare plan which originated within their own party.

As for the millions of uninsured, covering them is socialism and we can't have that. A happy, healthy population of the less fortune is unAmerican - ask any conservative.
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Little and foxy and sexy... what more do you want?
User: little_foxy
Date: 2013-10-06 05:08 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Sad to think that it isn't supposed to work that way, yet they have worked it so that they can...

Of course, how silly of me to not have remembered that! Thanks for reminding me!
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User: gwyd
Date: 2013-10-04 02:43 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Conservative Republican Ben Stein was on Craig Ferguson condemning the Shutdown and coming Debt Ceiling crap "pure spite."
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User: ericjamesstone
Date: 2013-10-05 02:43 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
The precise quote is "Hard cases make bad law." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hard_cases_make_bad_law

> As for me personally, without the ACA I would be bankrupt or
> dead by now. Likely both.

I sincerely doubt that. You raised $48,000 for an extreme long-shot treatment option. I think that in a campaign to fund your ordinary treatment after your insurance maximum, your friends and fans would have risen to the occasion and raised over $250,000. (Of course, there's the perfectly legitimate policy question of what should be done about people with medical bills like yours but who lack a wide social network. But right now we're talking about you, personally.)
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2013-10-05 03:47 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Thanks for the help on the quote! I think I got the sense right.

$250,000? I'd be amazed. But ok. And with about $27,000 in new costs per bimonthly period right now (the time between CT scans, specifically), that number would roughly double every year. Even the immense generosity of my friends and fans, yourself included, cannot reach that far.
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User: livejournal
Date: 2013-10-10 15:15 (UTC)
Subject: Lakeshore - [politics|cancer] The government shutdown and the ACA and me
User natf referenced to your post from Lakeshore - [politics|cancer] The government shutdown and the ACA and me saying: [...] ously opposed? Source: Lakeshore - [politics|cancer] The government shutdown and the ACA and me [...]
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