I thought it would take a little longer, but after just one day of John Boehner's Republicans taking control of the House I'm already seriously sick from their crazed commitment to repealing 2010's hard-won health care reform legislation.
The craziness starts with the name they've given to H.R. 2, inaccurately termed “Repealing the Job Killing Health Care Act.” Actually the facts are exactly opposite -- which is common with the truth-killing B.S. Republicans like to spew.
Here's what is genuinely job-killing: the hugely inefficient and ineffective American health care non-system, which costs businesses and individuals double what other industrialized nations pay, and gives us poorer results.
A paper on "Healthcare costs and U.S. competitiveness" discusses the burden this places on companies that have to compete with overseas firms enjoying much lower labor costs.
The United States spends an estimated $2 trillion annually on healthcare expenses, more than any other industrialized country. According to data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the United States spends two-and-a-half times more than the OECD average, and yet ranks with Turkey and Mexico as the only OECD countries without universal health coverage. Some analysts say an increasing number of U.S. businesses are less competitive globally because of ballooning healthcare costs.
...Some economists say these ballooning dollar figures place a heavy burden on companies doing business in the United States and can put them at a substantial competitive disadvantage in the international marketplace. For large multinational corporations, footing healthcare costs presents an enormous expense. General Motors, for instance, covers more than 1.1 million employees and former employees, and the company says it spends roughly $5 billion on healthcare expenses annually. GM says healthcare costs add between $1,500 and $2,000 to the sticker price of every automobile it makes.
Sure, the cost control aspect of the health care reform bill, a.k.a. "Obamacare," doesn't go far enough. But by insuring tens of millions of additional Americans, the cost of the charity (uncompensated) care they get now won't be passed on by health care providers to those with private insurance -- as it is currently.
And there are numerous provisions in Obamacare which stand a good chance of bending the health care cost curve downward. Encouraging studies of what sorts of medical care are most effective, for one; promoting electronic medical records, for two.
Indeed, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) concluded that Obamacare will reduce the federal deficit by $230 billion over the next ten years. Conversely, of course, that's how much the deficit will increase if the Republicans had their repeal way (which they won't, thankfully, owing to a Democratic Senate and President).
"But wait," you may be thinking, "how can this be when Republicans campaigned in the mid-terms on a promise of fiscal responsibility and deficit reduction?" Good question.
Now we're learning the answer.
Boehner and company aren't serious about these goals; they simply wanted to make empty promises in order to fool voters into choosing "R" over "D." This is why the House Republicans are ignoring the Congressional Budget Office figures which show that Obamacare will reduce the deficit substantially.
House Speaker John Boehner said today that the Congressional Budget Office is "entitled to their own opinion" - a striking statement in light of the deference usually shown information from the nonpartisan CBO from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.
Boehner was objecting to a preliminary CBO finding that repealing the health care reform legislation, as Boehner's House GOP plans to vote to do, would cost the government roughly $230 billion over ten years.
CBS News asked Boehner whether that finding prompted concern that he is sending a signal that he is not serious about addressing the debt and deficit when "the first major legislative action you take will increase the debt."
The Daily Kos has a great post that documents how much deference Republicans gave to the CBO in the past. But since truthiness is their watchword -- facts and reality are whatever they want them to be, even if people are dying and taxes are wasted -- the House Republicans are embracing hypocrisy and hoping citizens won't notice.
Well, I am. And I'm sickened by what they're doing.
Keep your damn hands off of my health care reform, Boehner! I've got no interest in giving greedy private insurance companies any more power than they already have to interfere with medical decisions that should be the province of a person and his/her physican.
Read "When Insurers Put Profits Between Doctor and Patient," which describes how an evil insurance company sentenced a 17 year old girl to death by denying coverage for her liver transplant.
This shows that Obamacare isn't any sort of danger to our health. It's our current health care system. The sooner it gets reformed, the better -- for both our wellbeing and our pocketbook.