Opinion by Patricia L Johnson
The following thirteen Attorneys General sent an 8-page letter on August 14, 2013 to Department of Health and Human Services, Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.
Personally, I love the last paragraph of the letter “We appreciate your prompt attention to these critical questions and request a response by August 28, 2013.”
“Critical questions”? If the answers to these questions are so critical why is it they waited almost three and a half years to ask, but more importantly why are they asking at all? The questions these thirteen Republican Attorneys General are asking pertain to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Public Law 111-148 and the Health Care and Education and Reconciliation Act of 2010, Public Law 111-152, both signed into law in March of 2010.
On June 13, 2013 nine Republican U.S. Senators sent a similar letter to Secretary Sebelius asking what they considered to be “critical questions”.
Not to be outdone, various Republican members of the U.S. House of Representatives have also sent letters to Secretary Sebelius asking their ‘critical questions’.
Republicans have tried every way humanely possible to repeal and/or defund “Obamacare” and it hasn’t worked and the ratings at the polls are indicating the seriousness of their actions, so they have now passed the buck so the questions are being asked outside the Walls of Congress, but the answers remain the same.
Gary Cohen J.D., Deputy Administrator and Director, Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Department of Health and Human Services testified before the U.S. House of Representatives, Committee on Oversight and Government Reform on May 21, 2013. The subject of the Mr. Cohen’s testimony was “The Navigators and Assisters Program”.
Rules governing privacy issues on the Navigators and Assistance Programs are outlined in the Code of Federal Regulations listed below which may be found at the following link.
The Exchange regulations, at 45 CFR 155.260(a), establish privacy and security standards for Exchanges, and § 155.260(b) provides that Exchanges must require Navigators and other non- Exchange entities to abide by the same or more stringent privacy and security standards as a condition of contract or agreement with such entities.
Pasted from <http://www.hhs.gov/asl/testify/2013/05/t20130521a.html>
Members of the Republican Party are doing the exact same thing they have done since they lost the White House in 2009. They are attempting to sway the public with allegations of wrongdoing on the part of the Obama Administration and/or threatening a government shutdown over “Obamacare”. There is nothing wrong with asking a legitimate question, but the questions they are asking are not legitimate. They are questions intended to force the average American to shy away from “Obamacare” in fear.
The only way the United States will be able to maintain a health care system that covers all will be for people to sign up. Young, healthy individuals need to sign up to offset the costs of the older, sicker adults. The more, young, healthy individuals that sign up for “Obamacare”, the cheaper the insurance costs will be for all of us.
“Medical Bankruptcy in the United States, 2007: Results of a National Study” is a clinical research study completed in 2009, by the Department of Medicine, Cambridge Hospital/Harvard Medical School, the Department of Sociology, Ohio University and Harvard Law School and published in the American Journal of Medicine.
Two thousand, three hundred and fourteen, 2007 bankruptcy filers were surveyed for this study by reviewing their court records and or direct interviews. It was determined that of the 2,314 filers, 62.1 percent were designated as ‘medical’ bankruptcies, due to either having medical debt of more than $5,000 or 10% of pretax family income, losing significant income due to illness and/or mortgaging their home to pay for medical costs.
It’s almost impossible to believe that most of the medical debtors in this study were middle class, well educated, owned homes and more than ¾ had medical insurance. It’s a pretty sad state of affairs when you have medical insurance, but still have to file bankruptcy due to medical debts.
A prior study completed in 2001 and using the same criteria for both 2001 and 2007, indicates medical bankruptcies in the United States rose 49.6 percent between 2001 and 2007. What’s the next study going to show?
H.R 2009, a Republican sponsored bill “To prohibit the Secretary of the Treasury from enforcing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010”, dated May 16, 2013, was the 40th attempt by Republican Members of the U.S. House of Representatives to repeal a portion of “Obamacare”.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor [R-VA] stated, when asked about this particular bill “We care about the health and well-being of the American people, which is why this bill is coming to the floor”.
Back in 2012 the Congressional Budget Office and the Joint Committee on Taxation prepared an estimate of the spending and revenue effects of repealing “Obamacare”. Bottom line, repealing “Obamacare” would create an increase in budget deficits of $109 billion dollars over the 2013-2022 periods. The repeal would create an increase in direct spending of $890 billion, while also reducing revenues by $1 trillion dollars; hence the deficit.
Republicans, in general, don’t give a rat’s buht about the American people. If they did, they would do what they are paid to do instead of wasting everyone’s time, money and energy trying to repeal, or defund a law that has not only been in place for three and a half-years, but has also been confirmed by the U.S. Supreme Court.
The U.S. Oath of Office taken by all Members of Congress on the first day of Congress states they will support and defend the Constitution of the United States.
U.S. SENATE OATH OF OFFICE
I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.
U.S. HOUSE OATH OF OFFICE
“I, (name of Member), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God” (5 U.S.C. §3331).
Pasted from <http://clerk.house.gov/member_info/memberfaq.aspx>
Article VI, Section 2 of the United States Constitution states the Constitution, and the LAWS of the United States are the supreme Law of the Land, as follows:
This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land;
In simple English – “Obamacare” is the Law of the Land and if the Republican Party does not want to support this law, then all members of that Party, along with any Democrats that don’t support the law need to immediately resign because they are in violation of their Oath of Office.
What can you do? Contact your elected officials and demand they put your healthcare above partisan politics.
© 2013 Patricia L Johnson