Streams

Are Republicans Afraid that Obamacare Will Work?

Monday, October 07, 2013

Senator Ted Cruz on the Senate floor. Cruz held the floor to speak against Obamacare for more than 15 hours. (C-SPAN/Twitter)

Vanity Fair contributing editor Kurt Eichenwald talks about his latest blog piece on Vanityfair.com’s The Eichen-blog: “Are Republicans So Frantic to Stop Obamacare Because They Fear It Will Work?” He looks at why the Republican opposition to the Affordable Care Act has led to the government shutdown.

Guests:

Kurt Eichenwald

Comments [38]

BTW: Anyone seeking a clue to the source of the guest's venomous patina, should peruse his self-indulgent exercise in "My Family, Our Cancer, and the Murderous Cruelty of Conservatives" at http://www.vanityfair.com/online/eichenwald/2013/07/family-cancer-cruelty-conservatives.

Oct. 08 2013 09:28 AM

@RUCB_Alum:

" . . . Did anyone catch Sibelius on The Daily Show tonight? 85% of Americans are already covered by their employee health insurance plan. ObamaCare changes nothing for them...at least for a while. After ObamaCare is implemented the other 15% (45 million people) will now be required to buy insurance. Exchanges are there to help them find a provider and subsidies for those who cannot afford it. 45 million can now *buy* insurance...and if they don't want to, they will be fined. . . . "

? 85% of all Americans are already covered by their employee health insurance plan?

or

? 85% of all Americans covered by a health insurance plan are covered by a plan provided by their employer?

They're not the same the same number and one of them is probably invalid given the number (or percentage) of the unemployed population and the number "not participating" in the "workforce". But the "3-card-monte" rhetoric, that BOTH factions couch their pseudo-arguments in, require the maximum opacity that language can provide. (I think that's what the spin-masters call "framing".)

" . . . and I would say that the Constitution requires it. What if the Democratic Congress of 2006 had withheld government funding until all troops pulled out of Iraq or the Bush tax cuts were repealed? Get real. . . . "
" . . . If I were Prez, I'd lock them in the chamber until they voted on something."

I'm sure you and your ilk would be chaffing at the bit to do more than "lock them in a chamber" except for your respect for Constitutional limitations on government power. {snark, snark}
And if the Democrat Congress had been successful in forcing the withdrawal from Iraq and/or the repeal of the Bush tax cuts, then Obama and his sycophants would be doing the war dance to intervene on behalf of the Iraqi as well as the Syrian, population; and he would be re-instituting rather than continuing the majority, by dollar amount, of the "Bush" tax cuts.

The Nazis thought they were the "true" keepers of the socialist ethic.
(German Nazism subscribed to theories of racial hierarchy and social Darwinism, asserted the superiority of an Aryan master race and criticised both capitalism and communism for being associated with Jewish materialism. It rejected the Marxist concept of class struggle, promoting instead the idea of "Volksgemeinschaft", or "people's community".
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nazism )

Oct. 08 2013 09:13 AM

@CaptainDrG

"Obama care was passed in the last hours of a lame-duck Congress..."

Again with this lie? How is a law signed in March of 2010 the last hours of a lame duck Congress. Get some facts.

Arguably, BHO may have been better off leaving healthcare alone (the Tea Party would have to find a new magnetic North) but since he got the law passed why don't we follow the process and let it flop rather than trying to hijack the government and punish us all. I thought collective punishment was a war crime.

Oct. 08 2013 12:51 AM

@hmi from Park Slope

"Eichenwald suggest Republicans should win elections..." (sic)

and I would say that the Constitution requires it. What if the Democratic Congress of 2006 had withheld government funding until all troops pulled out of Iraq or the Bush tax cuts were repealed? Get real.

@Amy from Manhattan

"Why *aren't* the Democrats responding better to the easily refutable false accusations..."

Why should they. Shouldn't an intelligent listener be able to judge this for themselves? Or are we truly just sheep?

@hmi

in your response to DanK, you said

"The "capital" is capitalism is first and foremost accumulated surplus saved up for investment, not just "borrowing" beyond current income. Now where, exactly, is that accumulated surplus?"

Investment equals savings which is accumulated surplus. But not necessarily accumulated by the individuals -- banks, investment banks and stock markets are great ways to 'acquire'/rent/borrow capital.

Currently, too much of America's surplus - much of it collected and loaned back to the government - is being sucked out of the treasury by the rich and the poor. Or invested overseas.

Did anyone catch Sibelius on The Daily Show tonight? 85% of Americans are already covered by their employee health insurance plan. ObamaCare changes nothing for them...at least for a while. After ObamaCare is implemented the other 15% (45 million people) will now be required to buy insurance. Exchanges are there to help them find a provider and subsidies for those who cannot afford it. 45 million can now *buy* insurance...and if they don't want to, they will be fined. That's what the fight is about. 45 million people being able to buy insurance or get fined. Is that really worth shutting down the government? The GOP is lucky. If I were Prez, I'd lock them in the chamber until they voted on something.

Oct. 08 2013 12:40 AM

“I think you’re wrong”

More accurately, I'm not so sure your analysis is correct.

Generally, national policy has encouraged substantial market distortions for medical services and products since the "Wage and Price" Controls of World War II facilitated the "employer based" and "tax advantaged" third party health insurance model that Business and Labor found convenient to mitigate the government's control over rising wages. The end of the "wage control" regime did not bring about the end of the tax regime it had engendered - owing to the constituencies that had grown accustomed to profiting from them. Medical service and product suppliers were also advantaged by the "faux" market continuity.

The "progressive" social movements of the 1960s were successful in establishing the "social health insurance " program, Medicare (basically for the elderly), and the social welfare program of Medicaid, intended for the "the poor". Both of these programs were promoted, not only as minimum essential societal responses to our fellow citizens' needs, but also as means for repaying "society" for its support of the "more well off'. It was also attractive to have the financing of these programs promoted as "low cost", "no cost", "someone else's cost", or, at the very least, "cost-lowering".
[The unrecognized perniciousness of the legal provisions establishing "wealth spend down and transfer" gambits that allow persons to protect their wealth for their "designees" are seldom part of this discussion. Wouldn't want Granny to chose between leaving a substantial legacy and paying for long term or "heroic" health services.]

Add to these the expansion of the types of costs covered by Medicare and Medicaid, and the total refusal to recognize the role of "actuarial" concepts in determining the "costs" of insurance, social or otherwise, and what's left is a circumstance more reminiscent of
https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQ4BiBSy0o1goMS6GM7qMCgyOur6aJU9gkiE1mrSlBjmJ8Hk1UVsw
than of the
https://encrypted-tbn3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRyGlxoIDLNC5Mrosc6BDkkku2m-mT1YIAzOxCuIV7r0b6sqxJMCw

I think the ACA's marketing promise of no cost, low cost, cost-lowering, and, in any event, someone else's cost for medical services is the same policy mistake.

Oct. 07 2013 09:43 PM
Meredith from nyc

so Amy, where's your list, of why aren't they saying? wnyc not good enough?

Oct. 07 2013 02:12 PM

If you want a better description of Obamney Care, how about the
"Compulsory Payments to Giant Insurance Corporations With a History of Stiffing Sick-People Act"?
That's more accurate than using "Affordable" or "Care".

Oct. 07 2013 01:52 PM

Obama care was passed in the last hours of a lame-duck Congress, that had been un-elected to prevent them from inflicting Obomney Care on the country. Before it passed, it evolved into a scheme sponsored by the insurance companies to force people to do business with them.

Oct. 07 2013 01:46 PM

Kurt Eichenwald seems as unreliable a narrator as the host of the "Let It Heal On Its Own" show that WNYC has been advertising.

Oct. 07 2013 01:40 PM
Jim

@fuva

'Analytical flaccidity?' Not sure exactly what you meant. It reads like an insult. But I will take it as a complement if it is reflection of my need todiscard raging partisan 'journalism' that seeks to sway opinion through ad hominem attacks and unvetted talking points.

Funny how the guest rants about false equivalencies in journalism. The fact that this disgustingly acerbic and disingenuous 'article' is getting so much attention is clear evidence of false equivalency in journalism in that this is not journalism at all. Democracy is failing before our eyes because this sort of crap is being regarded as journalism.

Oct. 07 2013 01:17 PM

I wish journalists would call Affordable Care exactly that instead of Obamacare. It's a bit like women seeking to reclaim the word b***h - no matter how you slice it or seek to redefine it, the word is derogatory in most people's minds. The coup being attempted by Republicans would be more outrageous & perhaps unacceptable to more Republicans if it were about stopping affordable care.

Oct. 07 2013 12:49 PM
Carlton from Princeton, NJ

Leonard

What rubbish your guest spews. Obama by fiat and not though normal procedures willfully does not implement the Affordable Healthcare Act and defers business for 1 year? How is this not lawlessness in the simplest explanation? It it very worrisome to hear more and more disdain for our laws coming out of this current administration. Keep in mind that 60% of the time Dems have raised the debt ceiling, 25% split congress, 15% Republicans. If I had a budget like the government and spent more than my means, am I obligated to pilfer my neighbor for my lifestyle?

Oct. 07 2013 12:49 PM
The Truth from Becky

Of course, the republicans are terrified that the AFFORDABLE HEALTH CARE ACT will work. They do not want President Obama to leave office with that plus on his legacy.

Oct. 07 2013 12:42 PM
simpsonsmovieblew

I take it back -- not Gary Noll without the helpful tips.

It's Dick Cavett minus the punchline.

PLEASE: Dick Cavett on Obamacare tomorrow!

Oct. 07 2013 12:37 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

Okay, put the insurance companies out of the health insurance business, and their workers out of work, and then who will pay for all the newly insured? Somebody has to pay for the poor who cannot pay for themselves. Who does most of the paying is what this question is all about.

Oct. 07 2013 12:36 PM
Mike from Manhattan

Please ask your guest why we just keep preaching to the choir? Your audience is primarily progressive voters. Why aren't Dems or progressive voices addressing Tea Party dogma head-on and getting that message to red state voters?

Oct. 07 2013 12:32 PM
Carolyn from Queens

I LOVE your guest for saying that sometimes there is REALITY and NOT one side and another (he used imagined commentary on the Nazi party as his example.) Simple, brilliant.

Oct. 07 2013 12:32 PM
Freddy from Ridgewood

Why not just ask these Republicans about federal aid to Israel? Shutting down the government impact that. So they are against Israel. This will end real fast.

Oct. 07 2013 12:32 PM
Amy from Manhattan

Why *aren't* the Democrats responding better to the easily refutable false accusations of the hard right? I have a list of "Why aren't they saying...?"--where should I send it??

Oct. 07 2013 12:31 PM
Syd UWS from New York City

How can Lopate let this guest go on like this!?!? He is ridulous and offensive on so many levels. Republicans DID use the democratic system to combat Obamacare -- They booted the dems out of the house and have been trying to repeal the law ever since! They ARE winning elections. He is calling Republicans idiots and never turns to the president of the democrats for any crticism. Very dissapointing. Leonard should be doing a better job moderating this. Absolutely WRONG.

Oct. 07 2013 12:31 PM
john from office

Most of the opposition to Obama is because he is Black. Once he is out of office the nuts will calm down. A large group of Americans cannot believe a Black man is in the White House.

Oct. 07 2013 12:30 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

Ask your guest if he thinks there will be MORE doctors or FEWER doctors with ACA? Many are leaving the profession, from what I read.

Oct. 07 2013 12:29 PM

@DanK

The "capital" is capitalism is first and foremost accumulated surplus saved up for investment, not just "borrowing" beyond current income. Now where, exactly, is that accumulated surplus?

Oct. 07 2013 12:28 PM
John A

I used to vote for the republican party (minus Reagan) when they were mature people. Not any more. Not since Newt Gingrich. Seems like they found a way, however to get votes without me. I fear they are all cheap votes unfortunately. Cultivating and reaping the undereducated for votes is a terrible strategy for the USA.

Oct. 07 2013 12:27 PM
superf88

Lopate agress. Please stay on topic.

<“Are Republicans So Frantic to Stop Obamacare Because They Fear It Will Work?” ...why the Republican opposition to the Affordable Care Act has led to the government shutdown.>

Oct. 07 2013 12:26 PM
Syd UWS from NYC

I find your guest, Kurt, to be offensive and ridiculous. He seems to be unable to make a point without calling those with whom he disagrees "stupid," which speaks to his character. Ghastly man, ghastly guest. Bringing out the very worst in Lopate.

Oct. 07 2013 12:26 PM
Joe Mirsky from Pompton Lakes, NJ

Wisdom is knowing when smart people say dumb things.

Oct. 07 2013 12:24 PM
Ferra from UES

I don't understand, Republicans were against pre-existing condition coverage of children for decades. Now it's a good thing? What else are they for?

Oct. 07 2013 12:23 PM
Dan K from Park Slope

It's funny to me how the Tea Party, ostensibly created after Rick Santelli's rant about not bailing out irresponsible borrowers and lenders, because they issued and signed up for bad loans, which they could not afford, is now the party in Congress prepared to default on our loans, which we can afford.

They say we can't spend beyond what we earn, but isn't that what Capitalism is? The word "Capital," in Capitalism stands for borrowing beyond our current income, in order to invest in a larger future payout.

Oct. 07 2013 12:22 PM
hmi from Park Slope

Eichenwald suggest Republicans should win elections to get their agenda into law. Good news: they did, and took back the House. Now they are working on making law reflect their agenda.

Oct. 07 2013 12:20 PM
fuva from harlemworld

Yes, results from Obamacare polls are rather inconclusive. Not all of them show a majority against it. Furthermore, many of those who poll against it are (1) nevertheless FOR the Affordable Care Act and most of its provisions and (2) for single payer. AND YET, almost NO reporters check the GOP on this and other fallacies they are promoting during this fight.

Can't tell you how weak much of the reporting and interviewing around this crisis has been. Again, the conflation of balance and false equivalency is failing us, and enabling the analytical flaccidity of people like JIM.

It is easy to equally blame both. But such intellectual laziness does nothing to help us solve the nuanced problems we face. The media needs to self-reflect on the roles it plays here.

Oct. 07 2013 12:17 PM
Truth & Beauty from Brooklyn

GOP Motto: Entrenched belief is never altered by the facts.

Oct. 07 2013 12:15 PM
Joel Schwalb from Nyack, NY

Please read in today's online edition of the New Yorker the article by James Surowiecki: Why Obamacare Is Good For Small Business.

Oct. 07 2013 12:14 PM
Yea Yea Yea

We know all this.

What's the point without response/rebuttal?

It's like the Gary Noll Show without the tips.

Oct. 07 2013 12:14 PM
antonio ortiz from baySide

The tea party believes this is 'single-payer?' This was a republican idea (heritage foundation) implemented by a republican governor...

Oct. 07 2013 12:12 PM

Another "reporter" trying to predict future outcomes when the ACA hasn't even been fully implemented????

It's time for editors to stop acting for predictions & go after events that have actually happened.

Oct. 07 2013 11:53 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

We are in a very new world now. Never before in history has there ever been so many old people, and others dependent on a stagnant work force. Never before have women outnumbered men in the paid work force. Never before has abortion reduced the number of children to work in the future. Some of this is thanks to government programs, social security, medicare, medicaid, welfare, etc. We are treading on new ground. Adding totally socialized medicine is another new step. The results are yet to be fully appreciated.

Oct. 07 2013 11:43 AM
Jim

The article opens with:

"What is it about Obamacare that compels seemingly intelligent people to explode in bubbling spasms of stupid? Are they misinformed? Unable to see past the rage-fueled partisan sweat dripping into their eyes? Or just plain dishonest?"

And then the article continues on to be just as intellectually dishonest and misinforming as every other opinion piece ever written on the topic. The gist of the article is: 'Predictions of doom gloom have not come to pass.' Well, ACA has not been implemented yet. An article based on this premise cannot be honestly written for at least another 5 years. The premise of the article politically motivated and intellectually dishonest, the tone is ragingly partisan, and the 'conclusions' are based on predictions.

Both 'parties' continue to be rabidly partisan and illogical on this topic. Unless you enjoy rabid partisanship, you might want to skip both the article and the segment.

Oct. 07 2013 08:56 AM

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