Think About What’s Fair

Yesterday the US House of Representatives voted 244 to 185 to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.  Every Republican member of Congress and a few Democrats voted to repeal.  That means every Republican member of the Georgia Congressional delegation voted to repeal the Act, which means every Republican member of Congress voted to deny health care benefits to hundreds of thousands of Georgins who don’t have healthcare coverage.

Washington politicos predict the repeal will not pass the United States Senate but around the country governors, state Attorney Generals and politicos are not so certain this will matter to millions of uninsured Americans. The recent US Supreme Court decision allows states to decline to participate and some states are considering cuts to their current Medicaid porgrams.  Georgians will suffer if Governor Nathan Deal, Attorney General Sam Olens and the Republican leadership have their way.  Who are these Georgians?  They are our neighbors, our church members.  They are families living close to the financial brink and working in low paying jobs in a state where the unemployment rate has hovered over the national average unemployment rate for more than 3 years.

I have healthcare coverage and so do my family members, but I signed the Moveon.org petition because I care about the rising cost of healthcare for all Georgians.  I signed it because the cost of healthcare rises when the unisured can’t afford preventive care and rely instead on emergency treatment.  I signed it because I believe access to affordable and quality is a fair and just way to treat our neighbors and their families.  I signed because children learn better when they are healthy.  I signed it because working people contribute their talents and hard work to the overall success of America’s economy so it is only fair that they and their families have access to quality, affordable health care.

You can sign it here.

When you think about how Georgia should treat other Georgians, forget the politics and political rhetoric. Instead think about what is fair.

Comments

  1. I have grown tired over hearing the political types use the term “fair” to substantiate whatever their agenda may be. To try to make our society “fair” via legislation issued from bureaucrats is an impossible and unrealistic goal. The reason for this because what is fair to one person is usually unfair to another. When you give a persons time or resourcess to one those resources and time must be taken from another. Health insurance (not healthcare) is no different than any resource. Isit fair that 45 percent of Americans pay zero in federal income tax but still use the resources the 55 percent pay for. Is it fair that my neighbor gets her groceries paid for and I have topay for mine out of my income, no of course not. Who is the judge of what is fair or the right thing to do? A bureaucrat who is beholden to those that help him get elected? No way. What we should be doing is helping those in need witha hand us so they can be self sufficient. A hand up not a hand out. Life isn’t fair but our great country does reward those who have a desire to work hard and be self sufficient in almost every case. Time and the opportunity to make something of that time is about the only thing in this life that is equal and their fore “fair”.

    • Phil the Tremolo King says:

      Denying poor people health care for political reasons is NOT FAIR. It’s also WRONG. That seems pretty obvious to me. And morals absolutely have a place in politics, in fact politics is all about morals, or should be.

  2. Burroughston Broch says:

    Healthcare for all is not a right under our Constitution. If you think that it should be, then follow the process for amending the Constitution. Until that time, end runs around the Constitution should cease.

  3. Julie Brown says:

    I am tired… of a select group of Americans who carry a bible in one hand and a gun in the other hand….crying “self sufficient.” I wonder if my Ancestors who built America told Mr. Charlie to become self sufficient and ‘let my people go.’
    Now, in the 20th Century, our Country is great and with the historic
    Presidential election of 2008 and the passage of the Affordable Healthcare Act of 2010, America is moving towards a more perfect union.
    Yes!!! I signed the petition and I concur with the late Senator Edward Kennedy when he stated “affordable healthcare is a fundamental right for all Americans.”

    • Burroughston Broch says:

      @ Julie Brown
      Just because Sen. Edward Kennedy said something doesn’t make it so. The Constitution is what governs this country. Until you and other people get the Constitution amended, healthcare is not a right.

      • Julie Brown says:

        It’s the LAW. Roberts Rule!!!

        • Corvair66 says:

          I usually vote Republican. I do like the way Roberts worded his decision. Call it what you want it is a tax. Congress needs to move on with the peoples business.Quit beating the same old dead horse.People need health care. I went without for about 1 year I now have bills that will take years to pay.I am still very fortunate I now have great insurance again through my wifes employer. Thank you Justice Roberts for being the deciding vote.

  4. Burroughston Broch says:

    Not until after this year’s elections are settled.

  5. why is it people believe that health care is based on the very poor.If you recieve welfare ,ssi or .ssd you have medicaid. if you are fortunate enough to have a job with benefits depending of the size of the company you may even get it at a discounted rate.If you are you are more mid to upper income you may be able to afford to pay your your own insurance.But what about all those people who do work and also pay their share of taxes that are still in the lower mid income level who can not afford it not because they do not want to pay but to make ends meet,but who make to much for to recieve medicaid.Tell me is that fair.They pay their fair share of taxes & still have to support the poor as well as the wealthy who have a lower tax bracket to pay or a small business who cannot get the same rate as a corporation or larger business because you “DO NOT” have enough employees.Everyone is not looking for a hand out they are trying to survive.My husband and I alone would have to pay almost 700 or more a MONTH for health insurance, it’s a choice of should you eat or pay for insurance.Health care is astronomical in America.We are one of the highest around the globe.We talk about long waits & inadequate care… for many that is a reality now. Why deny people with pre-existing conditions isn’t that what health care is for?my son is in college he was cut off of chip when he turned 18.he is trying to better his life, we just pray he stays healthy.So what is really not fair, to not help people who really need health care that pay their own share or let selfish people who are more worried about themselves and not the welfare of the american people take the reform act away.Remember regardless of whatever class your in or political party in….sorry to tell you we are ALL the same.Let us be treated that way

    /

    • Julie Brown says:

      Liz – You made some excellent points!! Please know, the fashionly known Obamacare of 2010 – EXTENSION OF DEPENDENT section clearly states, that young adults are now allowed to stay on their parents’ health insurance plans until they turn 26 years old. This law went into effect in 2011. Prior to the passage of Obamacare, in February of 2009, President Obama signed a five year $33 billion Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) extention into law. In the Obamacare ‘Roberts Rule’ law, the President added an additional six years and expanded the funding to $19.2 billion in 2014 and $21.1 billion in 2015.
      With the November Presidential elections 3 1/2 months away, voters should know that Republican Presidential nominee, Mitt Romney publicly stated that he supports the Ryan Budget. Introduced in April of this year (2012) by Congressman Paul Ryan (R-Wis) the GOP’s flawed 85-page budget blueprint would have elminated tens of billions of dollars for the CHIP with ONLY an annual funding of $5.7 billion. Also, in the flawed budget blueprint, Medicaid would have been cut by $771 billion over the next decade. Keep in mind, the Republican House of Representatives at tax payers expense voted to repeal Obamacare 33 times. The cost of keeping Congress open for a single workday is $30,275,229.
      It should be duly noted that the CHIP was a bipartisian piece of legislation spearheaded by Senators’ Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and the Ted Kennedy (D-Mass in 1997 with a ten year fiscal note.
      In 2007, the CHIP was re-authorized however, then President George W. Bush (GWB) cut the federal matching dollars for State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) dramatically.[under-funded just like the leave no child behind act] At that time, the Democrats in the House and Senate passed legislation two expand the CHIP to include MORE children, GWB VETOED the measure twice. This is the same George W. Bush who wiped out a $5.6 trillion surplus in two years and the national debt hit $10 trillion while he was in office. President Bush spent upward $1 trillion dollars on the war’s in Iraq and Afganistan, but could not fund affordable healthcare for our children.
      If elected, Governor Romney would govern by GWB playbook. America cannot afford to turn-back the clock. We must move ‘FORWARD’ with President Obama’s agenda.

    • Burroughston Broch says:

      @ Liz
      Obamacare will not remedy your problems or your son’s.
      He will be forced to buy health insurance or pay a tax; odds are that he will not have any expensive treatments for a number of years. His payments will subsidize healthcare for you and your husband. Is that “fair” for him?
      After 2016, I will game the system by paying the tax and not buying insurance. If I am diagnosed with any problem requiring expensive treatment, I will buy insurance then at a cheap cost (no pre-existing conditions requirement) and cancel it as soon as my treatment is complete. Is that “fair”?

      • Fairness? Is it fair that I already subsidize the healthcare expenses of every uninsured person that walks into an urgent care facility for any sort of diagnosis and treatment? You cannot credibly throw the constitution around whenever it suits you, and cherry pick your points to interpret much the way men like to do with the bible. Health care may not be a legally scripted right anymore than most of the things American like to cling to but it is morally righteous to care for those in need. God knows we have the means to do it and anyone who wants to argue about a federal deficit needs to step back and educate themselves on the endless ways to prioritize how their tax dollars are already being spent. You have nothing to argue with. I will vote to reflect the compassionate American that I am. Obamacares and you should too. It will save YOU money in the long run.

      • Julie Brown says:

        B. Broch – Wow, you sound like a die hard Republican … “Game the System.” This is why the American people are fed up with the GOP. One would think, the Party of No would have learn
        from Richard Nixon and Jack Abramoff ‘gaming the system’
        rather than becoming their clone.

        • Burroughston Broch says:

          I am an independent and not tied to any party, although it seems that you are.

          I stated how the system can be gamed, and if I can figure it out then a lot of other people will also. As presently planned, it will bankrupt this country in my lifetime. What a legacy to leave for my children and grandchildren – healthcare for all while we kick the can down the road for them to pay the bill.

          Neither you nor Fran directly addressed my questions about “fairness.”

          • Julie Brown says:

            Cry me a River!! America was not built on fairness. I respectfully suggest that you contact Bush & Cheney and ask for some of the $ 1 trillion ‘fairness’ dollars back that was spent on the war(s). Since you claim to be an independent voter, try being an independent thinker. As a wise man once said, “a mind is a terrible thing to waste.”
            And yes you did say that you would game the system in 2016. You are not a good liar…I guess this is another Romney/Bain moment.
            I cannot speak for Fran however, it is not my job to explain anything to you. The glass is half empty or it’s full. There are those who know and those who don’t….Go Figure!!

  6. Burroughston Broch says:

    @ Julie Brown
    I should have indicated that I intended “fairness” as sarcasm, since it seems to be the battle cry of Democrats/Progressives these days. I don’t care about “fairness” since it is a euphemism for equality of outcome. I believe in equality of opportunity, as embodied in the Constitution, but not equality of outcome.

    As far as independence of thought, you seem to be a die-hard, knee-jerk Democrat, so why don’t you lecture us all on the subject?

    I would love to get some money back that Bush squandered in 8 years, as I would the money that Obama has poured down his ratholes in Afghanistan and Pakistan during the past 3.5 years. He is every bit as culpable as Bush, and is a more accomplished liar. A pox on both their houses.

    I will game the Obamacare system in 2016 unless it is changed, but I believe that it will be.

    You answer for Fran when it suits your purpose and dodge when it doesn’t. Coward!

  7. Burroughston Broch says:

    I should have indicated that I was being sarcastic when I wrote of “fairness.” It seems to be the Democratic/Progressive mantra du jour. “Fairness” today means equality of outcome, which Obama promises to those who will listen. I believe in equality of opportunity, which is part of our Constitution.

    I would love to have back our treasure that Bush 43 squandered, just as I would what Obama has in his present wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Being realistic, it’s not going to happen.

    Since you seem to be a confirmed Democrat spouting the re-election line, why don’t you presume to lecture us all on independent thought? Ever voted for anyone not a Democrat?

    I will game the Obamacare system in 2016 if it survives in its present form, which I think unlikely.

    You seem to want to speak for Fran when it suits you, and duck & cover when it doesn’t. Coward.

    Looking at the glass as either half full or half empty is very shallow thought. Far better to recognize all potential levels and whether the level is increasing or decreasing.

  8. I’m GUESSING Jesus wouldn’t spend his summer trying to take health care away from 30 million poor people. If you are going to be the party that talks about morals, Christianity and taking America back to it’s glory days shouldn’t you at least act like you believe the soundbites you repeat? IJS! I am self employed and have been for 15 years. In the early days there were many times I had to forego health insurance. It is by the grace of God that I am able to afford it now. I can’t help but wonder as health care cost climb & our economy crumbles how much longer I will be able to afford it. Speaking of which the ACA really has potential to help many republicans ie: Doctors, medical & technology business owners, etc. so it compels me to believe that once again the GOP is playing with the lives of millions of Americans just to “DEFEAT” Obama. Wow, even in 2012 hate & racism are powerful vial forces that even turn good Christians into idiot assholes.

  9. For all the talk of Obama being anti-small business, think of all the people working at companies they hate doing jobs they hate simply because they need the insurance for their families. Some of these people have dreams of starting their own companies but cannot afford to pay out of pocket for health insurance. I AM ONE OF THEM!!! This ‘Obamacare’ as ppl love to call it; means FREEDOM for some of us who would rather invest our time into developing a new product or process, than wasting away at corporations that care very little for anything but their bottom line (as they should). Not having insurance for yourself or your family is IRRESPONSIBLE, at least with the individual mandate, everyone HAS to pay into the system that uses it or in some cases ABUSES it.

    • Julie Brown says:

      Wendy, you are on point. Well said.

    • Burroughston Broch says:

      Am I correct that you have group insurance now, part of which is paid by your employer? And when you start your own company you will have medical insurance under Obamacare? Exactly how much are you going to save on medical insurance under Obamacare? And how have you calculated it?

      You hope to open your own business and I hope that you are successful. You and others like you will lead the jobs growth to get us out of this recession. But, are you aware that the President said last week, “If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.”? How does that make you feel? Do you like being dissed? Who else is going to make it happen other than you?

  10. Julie Brown says:

    Wendy, the President said and I quote ” If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that.”

    Interesting enough, on yesterday, Mitt Romney said the following ” So “that” = “roads and bridges.” It equals the American economic system and the teachers and other people who helped you along the way.” Mitt Romney said the exact same thing yesterday!!!

    • Burroughston Broch says:

      I suggest that you be courteous to Wendy and give her time to respond to posts directed at her. Unless you and Wendy are the same person. Are you?

      I have been in business for 42 years, and know how businesses are begun and built. While no man is an island, the founder of a business is the most important person in that business. If you built a business, it’s mainly because of YOUR effort. You are the person who makes the difference. If you don’t invest your time and treasure and energy, it doesn’t matter who taught you or who built roads and bridges. The President is way off base trying to diminish your efforts – just because you had some help. If Mitt Romney said the same thing then I would disagree with him also.

      The President says one thing and does another. He says that creating jobs is his #1 priority, and yet his widely-ballyhooed jobs council hasn’t met in 6 months because he is too busy. Too busy to pay attention to your #1 priority? Creating jobs is not his #1 priority – his re-election is #1. Ignore what he says and watch what he does.

      • Julie Brown says:

        Let Me Be Crystal Clear:
        I adamantly suggest that you refrain from suggesting when I (Julie Brown) should post a comment and to whom.

        • Burroughston Broch says:

          I was taught as a young child that intruding uninvited into a conversation between other people was rude. I specifically responded to Wendy’s post, not to you, and you chose to intrude. You were rude. And I will say so again if you do so again.

          I know nothing about you, but I suspect your mother and grandmother taught you the same.

          • Julie Brown says:

            LMBO!!! You have got to be kidding!!! The owner of this blog is former Mayor Shirley Franklin. Don’t get it twisted…apparently your mother forgot to teach you common-sense.

          • Julie Brown says:

            ROMNEY CARE + OBAMA CARE = AFFORDABLE HEALTH CARE for ALL

  11. Julie Brown says:

    ROMNEYCARE:

    The Massachusetts health care insurance reform law, informally referred to as Romneycare, enacted in 2006, mandates that nearly every resident of Massachusetts obtain a state-government-regulated minimum level of healthcare insurance coverage and provides free health care insurance for residents earning less than 150% of the federal poverty level (FPL). The bill aims to cover 95% of the state’s 500,000 uninsured within a three year period.

    In November 2004, political leaders began advocating major reforms of the Massachusetts health care insurance system to expand coverage. First, the Senate President Robert Travaglini called for a plan to reduce the number of uninsured by half. A few days later, the Governor, Mitt Romney, announced that he would propose a plan to cover virtually all of the uninsured.

    Romneycare expanded MassHealth (Medicaid and SCHIP) coverage to low-income children and restoring funding for public health programs. The most controversial change was the addition of a provision which requires firms with 11 or more workers that do not provide “fair and reasonable” health coverage to their workers to pay an annual penalty. This contribution, initially $295 annually per worker, is intended to equalize the free care pool charges imposed on employers who do and do not cover their workers.

    On April 12, 2006, Governor Mitt Romney signed the health legislation.

    Romneycare aka – Commonwealth Care is one of the newest subsidized health insurance programs offered by the Commonwealth, and is a key part of Health Care Insurance Reform in Massachusetts. It is designed primarily for income-eligible Massachusetts adult residents who are not otherwise eligible for MassHealth (Medicaid), who either do not work or who work for employers that do not offer health insurance. Specifically, it allows eligible residents access to certain subsidized private insurance health plans – currently a choice of five plans – for individuals without health insurance who make below 300% of the federal poverty level. There are no deductibles. For individuals below 150% of the federal poverty level, no premiums will be charged; for those below the poverty level, dental insurance is also provided. For those above 150% of the federal poverty level, a sliding scale premium schedule based on income is used to determine the amount of money a person contributes to their policy. Commonwealth Care for those below poverty has been available through the Connector since October 1, 2006. Plans for those between 100% and 300% of the poverty line have been available since January 1, 2007. As of June 2009, 177,000 people had enrolled in Commonwealth Care according to the Massachusetts Department of Healthcare Finance and Policy. The five Massachusetts health plans contracted with the state to serve the Commonwealth Care population as of April 2010 include: Boston Medical Center HealthNet Plan, CeltiCare, Fallon Community Health Plan, Neighborhood Health Plan, and Network Health. Celticare is offered by a for-profit insurance company, Centene, of St. Louis, MO and the rest are offered by Massachusetts-based non-profits.

    Employers with more than ten full-time equivalent employees (FTEs) must provide a “fair and reasonable contribution” to the premium of health insurance for employees. Employers who do not will be assessed an annual fair share contribution that will not exceed $295 per employee per year. The fair share contribution will be paid into the Commonwealth Care Trust Fund to fund Commonwealth Care and other health reform programs. The Division of Health Care Finance and Policy defined by regulation what contribution level meets the “fair and reasonable” test in the statute. The regulation imposes two tests. First, employers are deemed to have offered “fair and reasonable” coverage if at least 25% of their full-time workers are enrolled in the firm’s health plan. Alternatively, a company meets the standard if it offers to pay at least 33% of the premium cost of an individual health plan. For employers with 50 or more FTEs, both standards must be met, or 75% of full-time workers must be enrolled in the firm’s health plan. Regulatory and analytic information is available on the Division’s website. There is an additional Free Rider Surcharge that can be assessed to the employer. This surcharge is different from the fair share contribution. The surcharge is applied when an employer does not arrange for a pre-tax payroll deduction system for health insurance (a Section 125 plan, or a “cafeteria plan”), and has employees who receive care that is paid from the uncompensated care pool, renamed in October 2007 as the Health Safety Net.

    Beginning in July 2007, the Connector offers reduced benefit plans for young adults up to age 26 who do not have access to employer-based coverage.

    Residents of Massachusetts must have health insurance coverage. Residents must indicate on their tax forms if they had insurance on December 31 of that tax year, had a waiver for religious reasons, or had a waiver from the Connector. The Connector waiver can be obtained if the resident demonstrates that there is no available coverage that is defined by the Connector as affordable. In March 2007, the Connector adopted an affordability schedule that allows residents to seek a waiver. If a resident does not have coverage and does not have a waiver, the Department of Revenue will enforce the insurance requirBeginning in July 2007, the Connector offers reduced benefit plans for young adults up to age 26 who do not have access to employer-based coverage.ement by imposing a penalty. In 2007, the penalty was the loss of the personal exemption. Beginning in 2008, the penalty is half the cost of the lowest available yearly premium which will be enforced as an assessed addition to the individual’s income tax.

    Beginning in July 2007, the Connector offers reduced benefit plans for young adults up to age 26 who do not have access to employer-based coverage.

    From 2006, the number of uninsured Massachusetts residents dropped from about 6% to about 2% in 2010 according to the Massachusetts Department of Healthcare Finance and Policy (DHCFP). Approximately 400,00A study conducted by the Urban Institute and released in December 2010 by the Massachusetts Division of Health Care Finance and Policy stated that as of June 2010, 98.1 percent of state residents had coverage. This compared to 97.3 percent having coverage in the state in 2009 and 83.3 percent having coverage nationwide. Among children and seniors the 2010 coverage rate was even higher, at 99.8 percent and 99.6 percent respectively. The breakdown of insurance coverage consisted of that 65.1 percent of state residents being covered by employers, 16.4 percent by Medicare, and 16.6 percent via public plans such as Commonwealth Care. The state’s Secretary of Health and Human Services, JudyAnn Bigby, said, “Massachusetts’ achievements in health care reform have been nothing short of extraordinary. With employers, government and individuals all sharing the responsibility of reform, we continue to have the highest insurance rate in the nation.”

    In June 2011 a Boston Globe review concluded that the healthcare overhaul “has, after five years, worked as well as or better than expected.” A study by the fiscally conservative Beacon Hill Institute was of the view that the reform was “responsible for a dramatic increase in health care spending.”

    In March 2012, the National Bureau of Economic research released a working paper claiming “that health care reform in Massachusetts led to better overall self-assessed health… [and] improvements in several determinants of overall health, including physical health, mental health, functional limitations, joint disorders, body mass index, and moderate physical activity.”

  12. Burroughston Broch says:

    Oh, I get it now. ATTITUDE.
    Are you from Detroit?
    LOL

  13. Julie Brown says:

    I am from Palestine. I hope your grandmother taught you to never…ever wake up a sleeping giant.

    • Burroughston Broch says:

      Then I owe you an apology for expecting you to know standards of good behavior in the US.
      To what sleeping giant do you refer? There are many.