Fact Checking Factcheck.org 3

Factcheck has released yet another ridiculous truth-o-meter on the President and how he is selling the newly Constitutional PPACA. I think their points are worth refuting.

Fact Check States in their summary: Obama reiterated his “if you like your plan, you can keep your plan” refrain, despite the fact that at least a few million workers won’t keep their employer-sponsored plans, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

Really? You are suggesting that below average plans which leave subscribers underinsured, is definitely a product sentient beings want for their families. Three cheers for substandard insurance! PPACA is in part a regulation that mandates what a basic health plan must cover. It’s already that way for federal employees. There are two levels of health insurance, the standard, which has somewhat higher co-pays and high-options which cost more and cover more services. Previous to the law standards vary wildly state by state. Governments are supposed to regulate services that can affect the general wellbeing of the citizenry. I realize Republicans have made the claim over and over again that government is only to wage war and make it so businesses can rip off whomever they choose to rip off. American citizens deserve standardized insurance coverage that basic minimum requirements, and if an insurance company for some odd reason does not comply they will go out of business, does anyone see that happening? Nope. It isn’t as simple as Fact Check states, and it certainly isn’t a negative for the President for people to have standard and not substandard health services coverage. They have tried to twist it into a negative.

One more point, employers switch health plan providers every time they get a better deal. I mean you can’t be serious on that critique; currently no one can stop your employer from taking his business elsewhere. I am not sure why that fact works against the President and brings what he said into doubt.

Fact check states: The president also exaggerated the benefits of the law, such as the number of young adults who were able to join their parents’ plans.

Coverage for Young Adults:
Factcheck cited the Los Angeles Times claiming it refutes the claim that 6.6 million young adults have insurance because of ACA. Unfortunately for factcheck, the LA Times and the Commonwealth Fund, from the outset they actually misstate ACA, the passage in the times says this:

Not all of the estimated 6.6 million young adults who joined or stayed on their parents’ plans would have otherwise been uninsured, according to officials at the Commonwealth Fund, which is a leading source of healthcare research. At least some probably moved to their parents’ plans from other health insurance plans because the family plans were less costly or more comprehensive.

Take special note of the part I bolded, both not only is factcheck, because this is the Republican talking point of their argument and is a misstatement of the legislation
This is important: Young adults have the right to stay in a parent’s plan—or to get back into that plan—if they meet the following conditions:

1. Their parent has coverage through an employer or buys family coverage in the individual market.
2. Their parent’s health plan provides “dependent coverage”—that is, it covers children, spouses, or other family members.
In the past, some plans required children and young adults to be “dependents” for tax purposes before they could qualify for coverage on their parents’ plans. Under the new law, this is no longer the case. Nor does it matter whether or not the young adult is a student, lives with the parent, or receives financial support from the parent.
3. Insurance companies are only required to provide access to insurance for young adult children if the child does not have access to insurance through their employer.
But then factcheck states:

The White House told us that the president’s statement is correct because all 6.6 million benefited from the law, but some more than others. True.

What?

Factcheck claims the President has overstated the number of people affected by the preventive care coverage regulation.

Obama: [Insurance companies] are required to provide free preventive care like checkups and mammograms, a provision that’s already helped 54 million Americans with private insurance.

Fact Check’s complaint is: Obama would have been on safer ground if he had said the provision potentially helped 54 million.

This is a distinction without a difference. It has more than a potential to impact those 54 million people, it is a regulation, it is required by law that insurers implement these reforms. It is hard to tell what fact is distorted here, it directly affects those 54 million people why the word game? Is it to appear more balanced to Republicans, so factcheck has apparently decided to go full Orwellian Newspeak to twist their critique to appear legitimate, even when it isn’t.

Finally, factcheck goes all in and makes the claim that because the vast majority of those tax rebates are going to employers, people aren’t really getting a rebate. But it does mean the cost of their insurance will go down, and their premiums will reflect that fact. Not every savings will be in the form of a direct rebate for each and every person. But he isn’t exaggerating either, because rebate checks are going out. Costs will begin to stabilize across the country and that is positive news.

So factcheck, could you get anymore dramatic using the term overreach to describe the Presidents attempts to explain this law to people? Overreach is such an overused Republican word, they use it all the time, wasn’t Jim DeMint just claiming Overreach here and threatening nullification once again as their ultimate solution. I wonder how many times Sheldon Adelson is going to use your half-assed work to attack ACA and the President. I guess as many times as his money can purchase.

Crossposted @ DAGBlog and LittleGreenFootballs

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Filibuster Reform: The Silent Veto 1

Oh the filibuster, I hear Harry Reid was grousing about it yet again, and really, really threatening to reform the filibuster in January 2013, assuming of course he remains the Senate Majority Leader. It isn’t guaranteed Reid will be leader of the  Senate next year anyway, Republicans probably have a good chance of taking some more seats, how many is up in the air of course. But I find Reid to be the most disingenuous prick in the Senate.

We could have used this reform in 2009. Imagine if filibuster reform had been in place. Maybe there would be a public insurance option, a larger infrastructure package, more money for Pell grants, strengthened regulatory agencies, oil companies would have had their subsidies eliminated, Bush tax cuts would have expired, Gitmo might be closed, throngs of openings for federal judges could be filled quickly,  the list goes on and on and on, and yet it is only now Harry Reid is frustrated enough to say he might just do something about this filibuster abuse in January of 2013. Except he won’t, all the available evidence points in the direction of preserving the filibuster.

The filibuster is effectively a veto of any legislation that could be passed by a majority in both houses. If a lose coalition of folks decided to stop certain kinds of legislation or appointments, they do, with gusto.  The Senate has resisted democratizing their rules  for a century. Harry Reid has been saying something needs to be done about the filibuster rule since 2010.

Even in 2011 Harry Reid threatened to change the rules, but he didn’t have the heart to give up his own silent veto, because you never know when you will need such things. I don’t really take his threat seriously this time. I think it is too much power for individuals to give up.

Sorry Harry, I’ll believe it when I actually see it, unlike your raving masses who are praising you over your sudden anger and threats to reform the filibuster. But I’ll tell you what, when we could have used that particular reform you failed to deliver. Until it is reformed there will be no real progress for America because like the One Ring, power is too much for people, they can’t seem to give it up once they have it, Senators are just Gollum in Armani.

Overreach 4

I thought we might be finished, I thought Republicans might retreat from some from their extremist anti-womyn, anti-contraception, anti-human medieval belief that females are chattle. Did they, nope, they doubled down dug themselves a trench of quicksand. It is unbelievable what these dudes are willing to do to destroy their party with their public jihad against womyn.  In their massive opposition to prescription drug coverage for womyn they remind  me of the old story of Bison following each other mindlessly off a cliff, this cliff being the cliff of fair and equal access to  prescription drug coverage for womyn.

Yesterday began with Daryl Issa’s, Chairman of House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, holding a hearing hilariously and ironically titled:  “Lines Crossed:  Separation of Church and State. Has the Obama Administration Trampled on Freedom of Religion and Freedom of Conscience?” It was great because of course Congressman Issa had no womyn on his original panel of dudes he called to testify on behalf of Issa’s conclusion which came long before he called this hearing,  It is obvious that for Issa and his pals in congress that hearing on contraceptive coverage was held to find a way to get to no, using whatever possible including banning womyn who are pro-choice from testifying at the hearing.

That is how the day began, but as we moved quickly into afternoon we heard Rick Santorums SuperPac guy Mr. Foster Friese. Friese stunned Andrea Mitchell when he made the statement that womyn in his era used and asprin between their legs as their form of contraception, which I guess explains all those teenagers getting married in the 1950’s and early 60’s.  He was doing what all those old guys do, he was inferring that womyn who use  contraception are sluts. Yikes, and all Santorum’s staff can say, is that Friese doesn’t work for the campaign. Umm, Okay.

Overreach is the word of the day, Republicans are carrying on in Newt’s footsteps, they love overreach, although they don’t see it as overreach. Issa and his crew make excuses, THIS ISN’T ABOUT CONTRACEPTION, they scream, no, no, this is about RELIGIOUS FREEDUMB. You stick with that dudes, and you will see your party shrink enough for us to drown it in the bathtub, to quote your leader Grover Norquist.

This is part and parcel of what Julian Sanchez , David Frum, Jon Chait were discussing all last year, the Epistemic Closure of the Republican Party. It isn’t only the case that Republicans are purging some of their best thinkers from their club, David Frum from the American Enterprise Institute or Andrew Sullivan a man who was once considered a “good conservative” and Bruce Bartlett, who was fired by a right wing think tank called the National Center for Policy Analysis in 2005 for writing a book critical of George W. Bush’s policies, who has written that he even lost a great many friends and been shunned by conservative society in Washington, DC after his book came out, sacrilege!

And then of course there is this little piece of information from a survey conducted by Democracy Corps, which finds the Republican brand:

is in a state of collapse — over 50 percent of voters give the Republican Party a cool, negative rating. The presidential race and the congressional battles are interacting with each other to drive down their lead candidate, the party, and perceptions of the congressional Republicans.”

According to that survey those voters who gave Democrats victories in 2006 and 2008 are back, in a big way, in particular among unmarried womyn.  Their direct assault on our rights is going to kill off their chances in the fall, it will mostly likely affect those running down ticket as well, this issue alone will relegate Republicans to a smaller and smaller slice of the electorate.  And they don’t seem to care one bit.

Rep. Jack Kingston: Bailouts for Him but Not for GM 3

Today on Martin Bashir’s show on MSNBC I caught an amazing clip of Bashir interviewing one Representative Jack Kingston of Georgia. The discussion gets lively at the 1:07 mark. Bashir asks a simple question of Kingston, who voted against the bailout of General Motors, this was a lead into the widespread Republican criticism of the General Motors Superbowl commercial.

By now everyone has heard of the Karl Rove proclaimed and hyped controversy of the Pro-Obama General Motors commercial that the most liberal man in Hollywood participated in,  no not Alec Baldwin the other super liberal man in Hollywood, Clint Eastwood who went all in on his Obama, Kenya loving, Mao worshiping, fascist, socialist from Hawaii, Africa, lovin’.

Kingston is still disgusted by the Bailout of General Motors, making the claim that bankruptcy was the way to go and the company would have been better going through bankruptcy. Of course he went on to insist that the company and economy would be better had GM gone through bankruptcy, even if lots of Americans lose their jobs. Kingston also insisted that GM is using public dollars for those pro-bama advertisements.

Poor Mr. Kingston, no one takes his advice. But Mr. Kingston is a purist, he insists there should be no bailouts for anyone not corporations not wall street not anyone or anything, unless of course it has to do with him and the value of property he personally owns.

Recently Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA) got $6.3 million in taxpayer dollars to fix-up the beach next to his island vacation home, he insisted that would not affect the value of his property either, this is necessary and must be done, it is to preserve the environment. We all know Jack Kingston as a friend to environment.

Check out the video of Bashir’s smackdown of Kingston!