Friday, September 13, 2013

Republicans' "Destroy Obamacare" campaign continues with relentless ideological abandon

By Michael J.W. Stickings

Yes, Republicans are still doing everything they can to destroy Obamacare and take access to health insurance away from tens of millions of Americans:

The House has passed legislation aimed at preventing people from receiving health insurance subsidies under ObamaCare until a better system is put in place to verify who is eligible for those subsidies.

Members passed the No Subsidies Without Verification Act, H.R. 2775, in a 235-191 vote that saw support from five Democrats.

But like dozens of other bills from the House meant to tweak or repeal ObamaCare, this one also seems likely to go nowhere in the Senate. The White House has said the bill is unnecessary, and President Obama would veto it if it were presented for his signature.

The bill from Rep. Diane Black (R-Tenn.) is a response to a July regulation issued by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). That rule gives state-run health insurance exchanges some flexibility when examining whether people are qualified for insurance subsidies, which are tax credits that can be used right away to buy insurance.

It's a minor matter and a moot point. (Read the full article for the details.) Basically, Republicans are claiming that this flexibility opens the door to abuse and fraud: applicants lying about low income so as to qualify and some slipping through the cracks due to insufficient initial checks. But the reality is that everyone would eventually be checked for eligibility and that the IRS could retroactively claw back the subsidies. What's more, the rule only applies to a small number of applicants in any event.

But this isn't really about this one rule, nor even about abuse and fraud generally. It's about using any and all means to block implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Republicans, particularly in the House, are throwing everything they can at it hoping that something ultimately brings it down.

They lost the issue, they lost the vote, public opinion is against them, and Obamacare is becoming the law of the land and an essential part of the social fabric, but as usual Republicans have their extreme right-wing agenda that for them comes before all else, including country and of course the lives and well-being of most Americans, and they'll do whatever it takes, stopping at nothing, to get their way.

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