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Letters to the Editor: A Public Forum
Health Care
Wednesday, August 6, 2014 • Posted August 6, 2014

Dear Editor,

Let me respond, please, to the July 30, 2014, diatribe against those who oppose President Obama’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

The writer states that he read the actual law. I congratulate him, but believe he may have wasted his time reading the law passed by Congress.

Let’s talk about those who didn’t read the law—most of the Democrat Congress that passed the law, for starters, if we can believe the news reports from that time. President Obama didn’t read the law. If he had, he’d have known that no, you can’t keep your doctor, you can’t keep your plan, period! no matter how much you like them, no matter how well they suit your needs. If President Obama had read the law, he’d have seen the weaknesses in it; he could have had provisions changed before it was passed. He’d then not have had to change it 30 or more times, using his pen and phone, after it became law, not once referring his changes to Congress for its action.

Democratic Senators who voted for but must have not read the bill include Mark Begich, Kay Hagan, Mary Landrieu, Mark Pryor, Jeanne Shaheen, and Mark Udall, all of whom are on camera making a variation of the statement that if you like your doctor you can keep your doctor. No wonder they’re all running away from President Obama in their reelection campaigns. Even Kathleen Sibelius, Secretary of HHS, responsible for implementing the law, made much the same statement. How could she not have read it?

Another who apparently didn’t read the bill was Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi who told the 2010 Legislative Conference for the National Association of Counties “we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it.…” So now the bill is passed and no one yet knows all of what’s in it because President Obama keeps changing it.

There are some who did read the law. Employees of IRS and Treasury were charged with developing regulations around the premium tax credits. Their initial reviews of the law clearly indicated that they questioned whether they had statutory authority to allow credits for the federal exchange. It was only after pressure from above and consultation with HHS that IRS issued final regulations allowing credits for the federal exchange. Now one court has told IRS that credits are allowable only for state exchanges, not the federal exchange.

The writer of the diatribe states that the whole thing is in place and functioning, mostly. No, it’s not in place, so we don’t know if it’s functioning or even can function. The employer mandate, delayed by President Obama’s pen, begins next year, unless the politics of the 2016 election require that it be further delayed. All the other delays and changes made, waivers granted, etc., by the President with his pen, will keep us guessing about how the law might work if it were ever to be implemented, as written, in its entirety. So the writer’s comments, if based on the law as he read it, are flawed because the law being implemented is not the law Congress passed.

The writer claims surprise that a large portion of his fellow Americans swallowed whole the hysterical nonsense being spouted in opposition to the law. Think back to the 2010 election, the first after passage of the law. There was a massive turnover in the House resulting in a Republican majority. Were the voters then swayed by hysterical nonsense, or had they already formed their own opinions about the law? The 2012 election? Still a Republican House. More hysterical nonsense? I think not. A recent CNN poll shows that 59% of Americans disapprove of the law, while just 40% approve; a mere 18% say they’ve been helped by it, while 35% say they’re worse off than before. A Rasmussen Reports poll published July 28, 2014, shows dislike of the law at its highest level in several months. Fifty-seven percent (57%) have an unfavorable view of the law, including 41% with a very unfavorable view. The writer says that his fellow Americans are busy, they think politics is boring, they won’t go out and vote. That may be. I prefer to think now, four years after the law was signed, that my fellow Americans are knowledgeable about the law, have seen it in operation, have formed their own opinions, they don’t like it, and they will vote.

There’s one thing for which I’m grateful to the writer. He’s advanced my education. He closed his diatribe with the Latin phrase Ab Irato. I had to look it up. I found in Wikipedia that the phrase means “from an angry man.” And I can see from what he’s written that he is angry. Wikipedia expands on the definition to say that the phrase is used in law to describe a decision or action that is detrimental to those it affects and was made based on hatred or anger, rather than on reason. Yes, his closing fits.

Ad altiora tendo.

George Eastes

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