Arthur Schaper: Markey: Missing the Mark on ObamaCare
Friday, March 07, 2014
What about 2014?
The Commonwealth already hemorrhages under the highest health care costs in the nation. RomneyCare was a careless plan to begin with, and Obamacare has only made things worse.
“Mister Governor” Deval Patrick called out the technicians who had set up the Bay State version of healthcare.gov, and suspended payments to the company until all the kinks were ironed out.
What about Markey? Has he left anything besides his mark of approval on Obamacare?
Writing for the Huffington Post (hardly sterling credentials in the first place), Markey offered:
I was proud then to support health care reform, to ensure all Americans could get access to
affordable coverage, and I'm proud today that we've expanded access to preventive care,
curbed insurance company abuses, and lowered the cost of prescription drugs for seniors.
Are these claims remotely true?
Forbes Magazine disputed this claim categorically, pointing out that health care premiums were rising in states like North Carolina, Illinois, and California.
Too business-friendly? Too conservative a source? The Boston Globe reported on higher medical costs taking off in the Commonwealth, in spite of Governor Patrick’s caps on health care costs the year before. Employers are facing higher costs, too, despite the promises inherent in the law to drive these costs down. So much for affordable. While United Independent Gubernatorial Candidate Evan Falchuk wants to blame the “Robber Baron” hospitals, the truth remains that health care is skyrocketing because of Obamacare.
What about the costs to seniors?
The Heritage Foundation reported that seniors will face all the bugaboos afflicting everyone else, except with more severity. From higher costs, to less access, to fewer doctors, plus the depleting funds from Medicare and its still uncertain future, seniors are not making off with anything better because of Obamacare. Medicare Advantage patients are witnessing a 6% cut to their funding already.
Too right-wing a source? How about the New York Daily News?
Due to reductions in funding under the law, the Medicare Advantage programs, in which Medicare provides money for private insurers to cover seniors, have quietly started to cancel the contracts of providers to save money.
This story highlights a personal accounts as well as statewide reactions to Obamacare in New York.
Bloomberg News also reported that seniors are blaming Obamacare for higher costs for medication, along with reporting that seniors are cutting back on basic expenses in anticipation of rising costs from Obamacare. Granted, the report highlights Obamacare supporters, who share frustration with seniors’ lack of knowledge about the laws purported benefits.
What about Massachusetts? How are Bay State residents reacting to the new law?
WWLP reported that Obamacare is increasing health care costs for Massachusetts residents. The President of Health New England Peter Straley reminded viewers that the expansive legislation imposes new taxes on health care related firms, like insurance companies (as well as medical device manufacturing firms) to pay for coverage for those previously uninsured. Obamacare website glitches also negatively affected Bay State residents. GoLocalWorcester also registered discontent about Obamacare from most Americans.
Yet Markey stands by his support for Obamacare, championing his vote for the law:
“It was the proudest vote of my career.”
Then he shared:
“There are provisions in there which need to be looked at,” citing the medical device tax.
Still, Americans throughtout are decrying the negative effects of this law, but instead of pressing for reforms within the law, or its outright repeal, Markey is taking aim at guns, demanding technology which will only permit the authorized owner of the firearm to be able to use the gun.
The federal health care website was a disaster, and President Obama’s vain ambitions of comprehensive gun control have met with defeat, even in the Senate, where his party still holds the majority, yet Markey presses on.
Critics from The Gun Owners Action League of Massachusetts pounced on Markey’s off-the-mark legislative showmanship:
‘‘No technology should stand between a lawful gun owner using his/her firearm. We also find it more than disingenuous that a senator with very little knowledge of firearms, who has worked to stifle the Second Amendment, would offer mandated technology that gun owners have not asked for, nor supported.’’
Another view affirms how the limiting technology would make it harder for law-abiding citizens to defend themselves. Further studies have confirmed that such “smart-gun” technology is currently unreliable as well as nascent. A USA Today editorial sounded off on the unstable nature of the technology, and argued instead for voluntary promotion of such technology as opposed to government mandate.
Would that someone had advanced the same arguments about keeping the government out of the American People’s health care.
Markey wants to take the aim off of Obamacare and onto guns, but he may find himself in a shooting gallery with other Democrats across the country this year, as Americans get tired of government micromanagement of their gun rights and health care.
Arthur Christopher Schaper is a teacher-turned-writer on topics both timeless and timely; political, cultural, and eternal. A life-long Southern California resident, Arthur currently lives in Torrance. Follow him on Twitter @ArthurCSchaper, reach him at [email protected], and read more at Schaper's Corner and As He Is, So Are We Ministries.
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