Georgia has good options on ObamaCare’s first anniversary

A year ago this week, Democrats in Washington gave us ObamaCare, whether we wanted it or not. I would compare it to a big dose of castor oil, if castor oil made you more sick and its price rose nearly every day.

Little about the year-old health law has turned out as promised. A few of its already apparent shortcomings:

  • Just 3 percent of those with pre-existing conditions who were expected to buy insurance thanks to the law have done so.
  • The Obama administration has issued more than 1,000 waivers from the law’s requirements to companies and — especially — labor unions that insure their employees, because the president’s “you can keep the coverage you have” pledge turned out to be wrong.
  • The 10-year cost of the law’s provisions has been revised upward by tens of billions of dollars — even before Congress eschews the Medicare cuts and new taxes on which projected deficit reductions are based.
  • State governments’ health-care costs already are rising by hundreds of millions of dollars — even before the law expands their Medicaid rolls.

While ObamaCare founders, the states are looking for ways to improve their health-insurance markets in spite of the law. Georgia missed one opportunity but may redeem itself yet.

The missed opportunity is one I described at length in this space a few weeks ago: building a health-insurance exchange that works for Georgia, regardless of the federal law. Utah has set an example in this regard, and Georgia was poised to join the Beehive State until complaints from tea party groups gave legislators cold feet.

The tea partyers had good intentions: Like them, I don’t want to end up with ObamaCare in Georgia even if the law is repealed or thrown out by the Supreme Court.

But there’s nothing wrong with a health exchange per se. The devil is in the details, and the Georgia bill (HB 476) would have allowed Georgia to set up an exchange that made sense here. Then, if ObamaCare did hold up, state officials could have dared the feds to tinker with a well-functioning system.

One ObamaCare opponent who debated me on the issue likened that approach to Russian roulette. No, Russian roulette is pinning one’s hopes on either repealing ObamaCare or the prospect that the law will be ruled unconstitutional.

That two-pronged gamble is the real Russian roulette because, if we lose, the feds will come in and build an exchange themselves, without our input.

Gov. Nathan Deal would be wise to proceed with a study of what an exchange in Georgia ought to look like, and to reintroduce similar legislation next year with a clearer picture of where the project is heading.

In the meantime, another state bill would complement those efforts and needs to become law this year.

I’m talking about HB 47, which would allow health insurers in Georgia to sell plans approved in other states. The difference involves coverage mandates — the minimum level of health procedures and services that a plan has to include.

Only 19 states mandate more benefits than Georgia does. Some benefits drive up premiums more than others, and Georgia requires most of the more-costly ones.

But the question is really about choice. Individual consumers in Georgia should have access to a wider array of health plans. (Group plans would be unaffected.)

Some scaremongers warn of an invasion of plans that, to use their examples, wouldn’t cover mammograms or overnight hospital stays for new moms. In fact, those very benefits are among the ones all 50 states require. Let consumers decide the value of other coverages.

States are the right level of government for regulating health markets. Georgia will be better off with these measures even if ObamaCare doesn’t live to see more anniversaries.

– By Kyle Wingfield

Find me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter

Or tweet this blog post:

101 comments Add your comment

I Report (-: You Whine )-: Thee Magnificent!!! mmm, mmmm, mmmmm! Just sayin...

March 23rd, 2011
8:14 pm

Man, I sure wish they would quit showing Hillary Clinton’s picture around so much.

ew

Georgia Voter

March 23rd, 2011
8:36 pm

Criticism of “ObamaCare” is criticism for the sake of criticism. It’s not hate for ObamaCare. It’s hate for the Democrat, any Democrat, in the White House. If I recall correctly, they impeached the last one.

Republicans had no problem with putting two wars and Medicare Part D on the credit card. Medicare Part D increases the deficit more than TARP, the stimulus, and the health care law combined (the CBO estimates that the health care law reduces the deficit by over a trillion dollars over two decades).

They had no problem “RomneyCare” during the ‘08 election. In fact, the de facto Tea Party leader in the Senate, Jim DeMint, endorsed the guy.

Republicans loved mandates (it was their idea) until the point that Dems dropped the public option. Then, the GOP wouldn’t take yes for an answer and turned their attention to another target. A target, by the way, that many of them expressed support for in the days and weeks leading up to their sudden opposition.

They’re for no-fly zones when Obama is reluctant and against no-fly zones when Obama carries them out. For evidence , see Bookman’s post today on Newt Gingrich.

GOP political strategist, Roger Stone said, “Hit it from every angle. Open multiple fronts on your enemy. He must be confused, and feel besieged on every side.” KW is just doing his part to carry out the battle plan.

Tech Man

March 23rd, 2011
9:57 pm

The just released CBO scoring for the Senate bill and reconciliation package comes in at $940 billion over ten years.

A reminder: the benefits (i.e. spending) don’t begin until 2014. The taxation (revenue collection) begins immediately.

A true number? The CBO says the cost over the first 4 years would be $17 billion. The last 6 would equal $923 billion. So isn’t this a better representation of true cost?

$923/6*10 = $1,538 trillion or over 1.5 trillion dollars if the spending is factored evenly over the 10 years like it will be the following 10 years.

And that doesn’t include the $200 billion yearly “doc fix” which was deliberately taken out of the bill to make it seem like less spending. Add that to their claimed “net” and see what it gets you. It’s certainly not $794 over 10 years or any deficit reduction. Author: Bruce McQuain

Tech Man

March 23rd, 2011
10:07 pm

Harry Reid, “This war is lost!”

Political gamesmanship goes both ways. Why not everyone in DC is making great money with great benefits.

Real world: Obamacare is bad legislation forced through to avoid compromise. the unintended consequences due to poor planning and implementation is horrific.

[...] are filing  lawsuits to overturn its content and the very people it was supposed to help are still refusing to buy coverage, even though it’s now offered. These obstacles are a direct result [...]

Michael H. Smith

March 24th, 2011
3:43 am

Kyle, I hope you keep pounding away on establishing a viable State healthcare program here in Georgia, at the State level. We both know, as does TEA PARTY leaders Debbie and Juliann that only the State governments have the ‘Constitutional Right and Authority under the U,S. Constitution’ to legislate a healthcare program or plan for its’ Citizens. What the Federal Government has done with healthcare is unconstitutional: For no where in the U.S. Constitution has the Federal Government been given Authority to mandate/nationalize healthcare.

It is my further hope, even a public challenge (here and now) to all other TEA PARTY leaders and members to come together, work together and develop an acceptable alternative to obamaCare that is Constitutional which we can all live with, participate in, have peace of mind about and a clear conscience once we have finished the task before us.

Let’s first see what we can agree upon, shall we?

Can we agree to having the least amount of mandates with the greatest amount of options possible?

Can we agree that healthcare should be individualized: The individual shall buy it, own it and control it with the least amount of State government oversight as is legally necessary ?

Can we agree that if no plan offered is acceptable to an individual for whatever their personal reason not to buy healthcare coverage, that they can obtain a ‘conditional waiver’ from the State to avoid mandates and penalties and thereby be considered self-insuring, assuming all healthcare risk and costs upon themselves, whereby it shall relieve any ‘onus’ upon the State?

UIC

March 24th, 2011
7:42 am

Kyle…it’s difficult to assume this editorial will have a reasoned argument when you refer to the legislation as “ObamaCare.” My memory is that it is actually was named the Affordable Care Act. Maybe if in the past you would have called “Operation Iraqi Freedom,” the soldier killing, tax money wasting, quagmire in Iraq, built on a litany of lies from Bush, then your use of the term ObamaCare could be understood. I’d think you’d be better than to parrot Sean, Rush, Sarah, et al.

UIC

March 24th, 2011
8:05 am

To: Michael H. Smith, you ask, “Can we agree that if no plan offered is acceptable to an individual for whatever their personal reason not to buy healthcare coverage, that they can obtain a ‘conditional waiver’ from the State to avoid mandates and penalties and thereby be considered self-insuring, assuming all healthcare risk and costs upon themselves, whereby it shall relieve any ‘onus’ upon the State?”
Sure we can, but can we also agree that when the same self insured person is traveling down the road at 70MPH, has a front tire blowout, wrecks and is comatose, they will not be taken to any hospital with access to taxpayer money. The police can notify the victim’s relatives as to where along I-75 the body can be retrieved. And don’t get all bleeding heart liberal and think the patient will pay the bill when they heal. No they won’t. You and I will pay the bill. As for the pregnant girl without insurance, she and the father either need to post a $50,000 bond with the hospital or hope a private, non-Medicaid funded provider will work out arrangements. Color me pessimistic Michael, I’m guessing your back-up plan is for me to pay the bill.

Ragnar Danneskjöld

March 24th, 2011
8:13 am

Good morning all. Well-argued, Kyle. While I appreciate the sentiment behind the “tea party” philosophy – most simply described as analogous to a high-stakes version of the highway challenge called “chicken” – it does not logically follow that “nothing” is best for Georgia. The fact that one small provision within ObamaCare hinted toward something moderately rational like the insurance exchange does not mean that an insurance exchange is a bad idea. While I am delighted that our overlords are intimidated by the “tea party,” whoever that is, intimidation is not a good reason for passivity adverse to the best interests of Georgians.

Ragnar Danneskjöld

March 24th, 2011
8:19 am

Dear Michael @ 3:43, also well argued, consistent with our host’s essay.

Dear UIC @ 8:03, why so sensitive about the appellation “ObamaCare.” If it was a good thing, wouldn’t he want his name attached to it? Perhaps we can agree that the only way to repeal ObamaCare will be to rescind the error of 2008?

InSpiteOfWhat?

March 24th, 2011
8:31 am

Kyle writes “While ObamaCare founders, the states are looking for ways to improve their health-insurance markets in spite of the law.” Are you kidding? Change that to “because of the law” and you are correct. Otherwise Georgia would continue (as it currently is) doing nothing.

Georgia Voter

March 24th, 2011
8:38 am

KW wrote, “…the Georgia bill (HB 476) would have allowed Georgia to set up an exchange that made sense here. Then, if ObamaCare did hold up, state officials could have dared the feds to tinker with a well-functioning system.”

————————————————–

It doesn’t help KW’s anti-Obama cause for readers to know this, but the White House announced last month that states that want to reach the same policy goals on their own, outside the framework of the health care law, were welcome to do so.

Obama specifically told the nation’s governors, “If you can come up with a better system for your state to provide coverage of the same quality and affordability as the Affordable Care Act, you can take that route instead.” Obama has already endorsed the kind of state-based flexibility Republicans say they want.

Sorry Wingfield, but Obama has already “dared” state officials to create a well-functioning system. To date, it looks like Georgia has no intention of taking him up on it.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/01/us/politics/01health.html?_r=1&hp=&adxnnl=1&adxnnlx=1300970114-r1T33FjREf7WHDTC9hH20g

UIC

March 24th, 2011
8:40 am

Dear Ragnar Danneskjold @ 8:19. It’s not sensitive, it’s the use of the term as invective; it doesn’t further the argument. Just argue the merits, pro and con. Just curious, if it’s your decision, what do you do with the uninsured pregnant girl who shows up at the hospital ready to deliver?

No Obamacare

March 24th, 2011
8:54 am

I wouldn’t sign up for Obamacare if I was on my deathbed and had NO other alternative. Just by signing up for it you give those beuracrats access to your checking account to take out whatever they want. Like that? How about the ability to track what you eat, drink or do to relax? Another word, to take over your life. I would rather die than have a government agency running every aspect of my life.

Ragnar Danneskjöld

March 24th, 2011
9:01 am

Dear UIC @ 8:40, I respectfully disagree. “It’s not sensitive, it’s the use of the term as invective; it doesn’t further the argument.” Like any name it is a shorthand, and it is a shorthand that all understand. If you apply your argument to the Patriot Act – now what was that acronym? – for example, you will see that your objection is manifestly silly.

You are surely beginning to realize that “ObamaCare” is an epithet, not because the president’s name is an epithet – although that may have a core element of truth to it – but because the coercive elements within the legislation, and the method of enactment, are anathema to normal Americans.

“if it’s your decision, what do you do with the uninsured pregnant girl who shows up at the hospital ready to deliver?” It it’s my hospital, I tell her she needs to push. Even though I have never delivered a baby, I do not leave someone in distress. On the other hand, I certainly would never demand that someone else provide professional services without reasonable expectation of compensation – that is “slavery” and is prohibited by the 13th amendment. So the uninsured pregnant girl pays the price of her indiscretion (failure to purchase insurance) in that she gets my unprofessional assistance.

I am not being callous – I actually have a history of similar action. On a little league baseball field, a young player on my team – the child of an uninsured/unemployed fellow – had a permanent tooth knocked out. Amazingly we found the tooth – whole, including the root – so I reinserted the clean tooth. You are horrified at my poor judgment, but that is what I did.

JF McNamara

March 24th, 2011
9:04 am

I was hoping that ObamaCare would decouple having a job with getting cheap insurance over time. Why does where I work have to do with my health insurance?

Whether it be exchange or whatever, we’ll all be better off with a truly free market for health insurance. Put in our baseline rules and let everyone compete for the business. Take down the high barrier of regulations and let competition grow.

Right now, my company negotiates and passes the bill on to me, and if I quit I have no bargaining power. Obamacare is better than what we have now, so I’m for that. If you show me something better, then I’ll be for that.

jconservative

March 24th, 2011
9:08 am

The problem with health care in Georgia is the mandated minimums Kyle describes, all put in at the insistence of the insurance lobbies in Georgia.

While we are discussing the cost of Obamacare I find it curious that no one is discussing the cost of the Bush 43 Medicare Part D which will cost twice what Obamacare will cost over the next 30 years. I find it curious that I am the only voice calling for the repeal of Bush 43 Medicare Part D.

Curious!

Ragnar Danneskjöld

March 24th, 2011
9:16 am

Dear jconservative @ 9:08, good morning. I dispute your analysis of Medicare part D, although I am not entirely certain it is working as planned. The theory behind part D was that drug therapy is cheaper than surgery or doctor visits. To the extent that there is an effective trade-off, I like the theory. The problem – if there is one – would be that doctor visits are yet undiminished. Thus it shares the ObamaCare problem, it stimulates use of “other people’s money,” with no potential personal downside.

The rational way to rein in the costs, of course, is the ensure that market forces are allowed to work. Instead of insurances (medicare or otherwise) paying the first dollar of every cost, or a majority of every cost, they should all pay only after the individual pays a reasonable portion. That would give the user of the benefit an incentive to reduce costs.

retiredds

March 24th, 2011
9:42 am

As I see it the Republicans, from the get-go, have been against the reform of health care (and almost everything else this president does). Instead of taking the initiative and working with the president and Democrats to offer the American people the best in health care that is accessible to all hard working Americans the Republicans have focused on repeal.

Let’s face it, if nothing had been done, health premiums would be increasing at higher than inflation rates for the foreseeable future. So the Republican platform of repeal (forget replace, that is just a ruse) was the keep the status quo. Their plan is “no plan”.

And while I’m at it, check out Aaron Gould Sheinin article in this morning’s AJC, “A lot of noise, but not jobs plan”. The R’s have been in total control of GA for eight plus years and still they have no jobs plan. This is the mantra they shouted out over and over, “jobs, jobs, jobs”. (Yeah, we already know that they plan to change the tax code, but it won’t happen this year when it’s needed). So Kyle, how about doing a piece on the Republican jobs plan. You could entitle it “Jobs, jobs, jobs, the Republican ruse to get reelected”.

UIC

March 24th, 2011
9:53 am

Dear Ragnar Danneskjöld @ 9:01, Allow me to respectfully disagree with your comment, “If you apply your argument to the Patriot Act” – maybe it’s that I do not remember the term Patriot Act used as invective. To say other wise “is manifestly silly.”
And if you want to use an epithet, wouldn’t “NationCare” be more appropriate? More than 50% of the country agreed with the legislation when it was written into law and just over 50% still agree with it today; 40% now oppose the legislation. Given that “normal Americans” now fund medical costs to the uninsured in the amount of $60B, the administration decided that everyone should have a stake in their healthcare. I think it is paying $60B for the “indiscretion” of others that is the true “anathema to normal Americans.”
Regarding your comment, “If it’s my hospital, I tell her she needs to push,” no argument here. Unfortunately, what I hear from the Republican side is that the uninsured mother/child are the two most precious humans in the history of the world, until it is 2 seconds old. Then, all of the sudden, it becomes another welfare child on the public dole. And I’ll assure you, Republicans will place so many roadblocks in front of that child, it will be a miracle if he/she succeeds in life.
Also, a small point, that I also didn’t specifically mention, your comment, “the uninsured pregnant girl pays the price of her indiscretion,” assuming we can rule out Immaculate Conception, it was a two person task.
But, please advance your “she needs to push” program, and please include this additional stipulation, if you are in a horrible accident and previously made the conscious decision to not purchase insurance, too bad. I am not being callous either; I’m just real big on personal responsibility.

jconservative

March 24th, 2011
10:11 am

Rags at 9:16 am. Agree with the first paragraph of your comment.

But the problem with Medicare Part D is that it is not paid for by anyone but taxpayers. The recipients of Medicare Part D have paid nothing into the system, pay nothing and get a free ride from the taxpayers as the funds come from the general tax fund.

Regular old fashioned Medicare at least has the recipient paying into the system. If you draw a paycheck each payday you pay into Medicare for Medicare Part A, hospitalization. Once you enroll in Medicare a minimum amount is deducted from your Social Security check, the minimum today is $96.40 per month. That pays for doctor bills, etc, etc.

At least the receipient is paying for part of the ride.

Nothing is paid into Medicare Part D by anyone but taxpayers.

And if you are retired and most of your income is Social Security, then you pay zero income tax.

Pure undisguised socialism.

Bob

March 24th, 2011
10:21 am

I’ll concede that the Affordable Care Act — passed by a large majority in Congress and approved of by more than 50% of the population (and hardly just President Obama, but thanks for continuing the right’s history of snark and bile) — could be better. But here’s my problem — when the bill was being floated, there were no Republican suggestions. When Democrats asked Republicans how the bill could be improved, the answer was “burn it, you freedom-killing, death-paneling evil Nazi sons of ______!!!!!!1!!1!” And, umm…no. We were going to have a health plan, one way or another.

And so now, on its anniversary, I hear two things. One is more of the same — you may have seen Ron Johnson’s article in the WSJ the other day in which he called the Act the worst assault on freedom in his lifetime. No, he wasn’t talking about 9/11…he was talking about poor people getting insurance. THAT was the worst assault on freedom in his lifetime. (It would, he claimed, have killed his daughter…somehow.) I think we can all agree that these lunatics are counter-productive — they’re not talking about any reality known to us Earthlings.

But then we also get responses like Kyle’s — with fair, and often legitimate, criticisms. I don’t agree with all of them, and I think there’s a bit of over-dramatic hand-wringing going on here. (As someone else said, for Republicans, the merits of the ideas contained here seem to depend on the letter next to the names of the people who proposed them.) But here’s my problem with that hand-wringing…YOU SHOULD HAVE SPOKEN UP EARLIER. When Republican leaders were asked for their input, and instead decided to make healthcare about “hurting the democrats” rather than “improving the country,” they forfeited the right to complain about the fine details.

You want input? You want improvement? Then stop electing people whose only concern is winning at all costs — who will burn their country to win an office. Otherwise, don’t come to me complaining that the Democrats — working on their own, for lack of any sane input from across the aisle — didn’t get it perfectly right. If you’re not helping, you can’t be complaining.

george

March 24th, 2011
10:22 am

if the republicans have a better plan, why don’t they present it. what have they done the past year except complain. their only idea is to improve the doctor/patient relationship. what is that?

Mr. Dithers

March 24th, 2011
11:00 am

I have to agree with Bob. Despite Tech Man’s rewriting of history to suggest the law was pushed through to “avoid compromise”, the truth is that there was no possibility of compromise. The GOP and their leadership (?) simply opposed everything. They made it clear they wouldn’t vote for it and by God, not a one did. You can’t compromise with a wall. You either go through it or around, but you don’t stand there and talk to it. That’s all the GOP was in this process, a wall.

Ragnar Danneskjöld

March 24th, 2011
11:20 am

Dear UIC @ 9:53, contrary to your assertions

(1) the leftists certainly endeavored to make “Patriot Act” and “Reaganomics” an epithet, but the effort was unsuccessful. The effort was generally marked by codes words “so-called” and similar vacuous verbiage.

(2) I have no desire to use “ObamaCare” as an epithet – I merely use it as a short-hand. Until you come to grips with “why” it is an epithet, you will never understand that epithets cannot be manufactured, and cannot be imposed – derogation of a mere label can only be earned. For the same reasons that “liberal,” “progressive,” and “socialist” are all effective epithets – it’s the ideology behind the label that makes the label odious.

I also respectfully reject the “50%” approval numbers you and Bob cite in your puff pieces. The numbers among taxpayers are closer to 2:1 against the new government spending and control program. It is only the leeches who admire the theft.

Ragnar Danneskjöld

March 24th, 2011
11:28 am

Dear jconservative @ 10:11,did you see that bizarre item in today’s WSJ, the judge who ruled that one cannot reject medicare coverage unless one also rejects social security coverage (and if socsec benes have been received, must repay all prior receipts?) Luncacy on steroids – we will not allow someone to pay his own way.

online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704461304576216872954763388.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_AboveLEFTTop

And contrary to what you might think, she was not a Carter appointee, nor a Clinton appointee, nor even an Obama appointee – W is responsible for her being on the court.

owl

March 24th, 2011
11:43 am

Looks like every potician and judge is now qualified to tell us to bend over and cough.

yuzeyurbrain

March 24th, 2011
11:45 am

Ragnar, you are getting a little testy with your use of epithets and slurs, yet I am sure you would be the first to scream foul if you were given labels emphasizing your way out of the mainstream views. Anyway, I am surprised you think the exchanges were an inconsequential positive detail in the Healthcare Reform law when in fact they are the core. Romney’s idea I have heard and before that, Nixon. Now, that socialist, liberal, communist Wingfield and his fellow-traveler, Deal, are for exchanges. The left-wing conspiracy thickens.

Bob

March 24th, 2011
11:54 am

@Ragnar: Why must we always explain again and again that words have meaning? Can we really not get past such childish games? But…ok, if we must, I think you’ve missed a big point — which is that “liberal” and “progressive” are only epithets to people who spit them at each other as insults. To most people, they’re accurate descriptions.

“Reaganomics,” though, IS an epithet. You like the philosophy and therefore refuse to let it be one — you’ve chosen to adopt the epithet and try to turn it into something of which you can be proud. But make no mistake — it is meant as an insult. You’re not insulted? Ok. But it is meant as an insult. So is “Obamacare” — it is meant to imply that the healthcare plan passed by Congress and supported by a majority of Americans is instead some sort of odd conspiratorial plot by an evil dictator. (God but Republicans can be drama queens sometimes.) We should be able to get past using such childish taunts — but instead we stand here arguing semiotics.

The same is true with polling — we should be able to just look at neutral polling by normal, sane, unbiased groups. Those polls show that a majority of Americans supported the bill as it stood (and that many of those who opposed did so because it did not go far enough). They also show that 59% oppose repeal — and 30% actually favor expansion.

By the way, one thing about “leeches” and “theft” — the people arguing against the bill are the only ones that seem to me to want to “leech” off anyone. Why is providing health insurance wrong? The answer I always hear is that people should be responsible for themselves. Except…they’re not. As has been explained time and again above, people who are injured or ill do not simply die. They are insured by the taxpayer on the back-end through government assistance and write-offs passed along to other customers. We insure them anyways, we just do so in the most bass-ackward way possible.

There is a die-hard minority that wants to remain “uninsured” in the traditional sense — claiming that they are individuals who want choice and blah blah blah. But guess what? When they get sick, it’s MY tax money — and my higher medical costs — that end up paying their bills. They’ve leeched off of me, the taxpayer. And I’d very much like if they’d stop, please. If it’s my money, then I want a choice — and my choice is to stop carrying them around like a deadweight. If we can’t let them die (and we can’t), then we need them insured efficiently and effectively — on the front-end.

Darwin

March 24th, 2011
11:55 am

I hope decades from now it’s still called ObamaCare by you guys. Long after a death panel has silenced you for good.

Georgia Voter

March 24th, 2011
11:57 am

Piggy backing on what Bob, Mr. Dithers, and others have said or implied, the Republican plan is to block any and all progress by a Democratic president. This is a strategy, not to protect against the imposition of liberal policies, but specifically and exclusively for political gain.

As other right-wing pundits have done, Wingfield has stated, asserted, or implied that this President and the previous Democratic Congress were controlled by the liberals and they attempted to run over the minority with no efforts to compromise or work with them. But anybody who has paid attention knows that such statements are a lie.

For those of us on the left, our frustration with President Obama is that he doesn’t seemed to have learned that, with limited exceptions, Republicans won’t take yes for an answer. The result is that he gives on things that his base wants, specifically to attract GOP support, only to have his hand slapped away.

GOP wants tax cuts? Done. (1/3 of the stimulus were tax cuts to attract GOP votes)
GOP wants the stimulus to be smaller? Done. (The size of the stimulus was reduced to attract GOP votes.)
GOP wants Obama to drop the public option? Done.
Over the years, the GOP proposed, campaigned on, and publicly supported mandates? Done.
The GOP proposed cap-and-trade (McCain/Palin ran on cap-and-trade) as an alternative to a carbon tax? Done.
The GOP wants a no-fly zone over Libya? Done.
The GOP wants payroll freezes for federal workers? Done.
The GOP does NOT want limits on management pay in return for TARP funds? Done.
The GOP wants prioritizes budget cuts over jobs? Done. (See the last two budget resolutions.)
The GOP wants to allow the states to develop alternatives to the health care law? Done.

The list goes on and one. But no matter what President Obama does to attract GOP votes and support, he still gets little, if any, support from Republicans on the Hill, no credit from right-wing pundits, and endless lies and misrepresentations to undermine his accomplishments.

It’s frustrating, to say the least.

poison pen

March 24th, 2011
12:05 pm

I watched all of the Health care on c-span and then I had 5 days to read it if I wanted to make comments about it to my Congressman, it was a very transparent process, then Damn it I fell out of bed and woke up.

Paulo 977

March 24th, 2011
12:21 pm

Obamacare or no Obamacare we are a selfish , arrogant , uneducated people who just CANNOT figure out that a healthy band of workers bodes well even for our selfish goals!! We have not really tried to understand the societies of Canada UK, France and others which have Govt health care . We are centuries behind them . Even though Obama’s health care bill did not go far enough it still was a step in the right direction BUT as a nation are STILL fixated on the notion that even those who who cannot AFFORD the darn high premiums should pay them or die!!! Ask my daughter , she is a medical director of Pediatrics and confronted by misery often!!

Bob

March 24th, 2011
12:21 pm

@Poison Pen: I’ve never understood this complaint. I debated the specifics of the healthcare plan with my sister for weeks before its passage — yet after it was passed, I learned that no one else had been able to access it to see those specifics. Go figure.

Paulo 977

March 24th, 2011
12:27 pm

Bob

WELL , VERY WELL SAID!

HDB

March 24th, 2011
12:42 pm

Georgia Voter
March 24th, 2011
11:57 am

EXACTLY!!! BRAVO for pointing things out!!

Chris Matthews

March 24th, 2011
12:44 pm

ObamaCare will destroy the country! It will be repealed just like the Messiah! Obama makes Jimmy Carter seem smart!

TRUTH

March 24th, 2011
12:47 pm

@Georgia Voter, being a liberal Democrat as well, I echo your sentiment. This IS NOT about what is best for the country, but what is best for the Republicans, POLITICALLY… It’s about big business and power and frankly they’re desire to bilk the American public through lies and deceit. President Obama is very aware of the concessions he makes in an attempt to bring the two sides together, but he also knows that INTELLIGENCE will win out over ignorance every time. (See the list you just detailed). No other President has that last of accomplishments in such a short time.

To the Republican Noise Machine, Wingfield and the other pundit brotherhood, you can continue to trash this President, as you know you blindly will. The truth of the matter is the United States people. Wisonsin, is a prime example of having been duped by the misrepresentations of the Republicans, and now they have buyers remorse. To the point that they have resorted to the streets and public rage. I see this scene as something that will repeat itself over and over again as long as these attacks on Americans, particularly the poor and middle class, continue.

Thanks for logic @Georgia Voter!

DebbieDoRight

March 24th, 2011
12:54 pm

What the Federal Government has done with healthcare is unconstitutional: For no where in the U.S. Constitution has the Federal Government been given Authority to mandate/nationalize healthcare.

Speaking of the Constitution, could you please show me where in the constitution the words “healthcare” appear? I’ll wait.

Georgia Voter: Piggy backing on what Bob, Mr. Dithers, and others have said or implied, the Republican plan is to block any and all progress by a Democratic president. This is a strategy, not to protect against the imposition of liberal policies, but specifically and exclusively for political gain.

Yeah. That’s right! What GV said!!

Paulo77: Obamacare or no Obamacare we are a selfish , arrogant , uneducated people who just CANNOT figure out that a healthy band of workers bodes well even for our selfish goals!! We have not really tried to understand the societies of Canada UK, France and others which have Govt health care . We are centuries behind them .

Yeah. What Paulo said! I’m with it!

DebbieDoRight

March 24th, 2011
12:55 pm

ObamaCare will destroy the country! It will be repealed just like the Messiah! Obama makes Jimmy Carter seem smart!

Jimmy Carter IS smart — you’re the one that’s dumb. Sorry. :cry:

HDB

March 24th, 2011
1:02 pm

TRUTH
March 24th, 2011
12:47 pm
“….INTELLIGENCE will win out over ignorance every time.”

LET US HOPE……

Jefferson

March 24th, 2011
1:09 pm

We don’t need every state doing things different. Let the federal plan evolve into single payer, which is the best solution.

UIC

March 24th, 2011
1:41 pm

Dear Ragnar Danneskjöld @ 11:20, contrary to your assertions, Patriot Act is an acronym, not an epithet. The politicians labeled as the left, didn’t coin the phrase….those that wrote the law thought using the acronym Patriot was a pithy means of showing the country that they were all wrapped up in the flag. To be precise, you have to include USA in front of PATRIOT to get to, Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001 – (yes, you could write the entire name each time you referred to the legislation, but at some point you have to consider the cost of newsprint and the attention span of the reader, hence the Patriot Act.)

Ragnar Danneskjöld

March 24th, 2011
1:44 pm

Dear Brainy @ 11:45, “you are getting a little testy with your use of epithets and slurs” We would agree that my use of “ObamaCare” offends leftists. I am highly unlikely to divert course – it will be up to you guys to make us love Big Brother.

Dear Bob @ 11:54, you affirm that your intent to make “Reaganomics” an epithet thus makes it an epithet, and that I diminish the value of your epithet by affirming that I am a Reaganomist. Does that not prove my argument that a label can become an epithet only if the underlying policy is odious to the American public? Heck, I can call myself a classical liberal without shame, but there isn’t a democrat politician in Georgia who would call himself a “liberal.” Wake up and smell the coffee, bud. I think my definition of “drama queen” would include anyone who wastes 200+ words whining about the common term “ObamaCare.”

As to polling, 2008’s most accurate pollster – Rassmussen – suggsts you err, http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/current_events/healthcare/september_2009/health_care_reform

You describe those of us who object to paying the bills for others as “leeches.” Leftist logic, I suppose.

Ragnar Danneskjöld

March 24th, 2011
2:03 pm

Dear UIC @ 1:41, “Patriot Act is an acronym, not an epithet. The politicians labeled as the left, didn’t coin the phrase….those that wrote the law thought using the acronym Patriot was a pithy means of showing the country that they were all wrapped up in the flag.” I think you are too clever by half – it is both acronym and, to the left, an epithet. As best as I recall the act was proffered by Senate Majority Leader Daschle, D-SD; I am uncertain whether he coined the name.

Ragnar Danneskjöld

March 24th, 2011
2:05 pm

By the way UIC, what is the full name of “ObamaCare?”

Ragnar Danneskjöld

March 24th, 2011
2:09 pm

Oh, yes, “The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010.” PPACAaHCERA – doesn’t that spell “ObamaCare?”

UIC

March 24th, 2011
2:12 pm

I believe you’re referring to the Affordable Health Care for America Act, but I think Health Care Reform will suffice.

Ragnar Danneskjöld

March 24th, 2011
2:20 pm

Or we could start calling it the “democrat health care law.” While the opposition to the bill was bipartisan, only democrats voted for the abomination.

Ragnar Danneskjöld

March 24th, 2011
2:23 pm

“ObamaCare” is an efficient use of syllables. Only nine letters, and everyone knows what we are talking about. Or sneering at.