Diagnosis for Democracy
Insights into the State of Our Union
A Blog by Rob Tenery, MD


November 24, 2014: Boondoggle?

By Rob Tenery, MD on November 24, 2014

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) became law on March 23, 2010. Appearing at a January 2012 symposium, MIT professor Jonathan Gruber stated, “What’s important to remember… if your state hasn’t set up an Exchange, your citizens don't get their tax credits (that fund their costs of participation in the ACA program), but your citizens still pay the taxes that support this bill.”

Gruber, who advised the Massachusetts legislature when it created Romneycare and the President’s administration when it crafted the Obamacare legislation, went on the explain: “So you’re essentially saying to your citizens, you’re going to pay all the taxes to help all the other states in the country.”

“We just tax the insurance companies. They pass on the higher prices that offset the tax break we get. It ends up being the same thing. It’s a very clever, basic exploitation of the lack of economic understanding of the American voter,” Gruber said in remarks in 2012 that aired on the television show, “On the Record with Greta Van Susteren.” On another occasion, Gruber said, “lack of transparency is a huge political advantage. And basically, call it the stupidity of the American voter, or whatever, but basically that was really critical for the thing (the Affordable Care Act) to pass.” At a separate event, while talking about tax credits in the Affordable Care Act, Gruber said, “American voters are too stupid to understand the difference.”

Recently, the Supreme Court has agreed to hear the legal challenge to the ACA legislation that asks if the ACA should be taken literally as outlined in the King v. Burwell brief. The core question raised by the brief is it constitutional for the citizens in states without State run exchanges to be able to use tax credits for payment of their health care fees in the exchanges?

Even though the Supreme Court has ruled that the ACA is constitutional, its ruling was based on the premise that the law was not a mandate, but a tax that is under the constitutional authority of the Congress.  At the same time, the high court ruled that the individual states reserved the right whether or not to establish an Exchange. If not, the law left it up to the federal authority to establish an Exchange in those states. The Supreme Court will hopefully sort out this question.

The important point raised by Jonathan Gruber’s presentation on this and evidently, at least, on four other occasions, was did the President and members of his administration willfully deceive the members of the Congress and certain influential members of the business and medical community into supporting his legislation.

Can patients keep their health plan if they want? Can they keep their doctor? The President told them they could. In the literal sense he was right. If they are willing to pay enough for their coverage, or out of their pocket! It would not necessarily be with their previous doctor or their previous insurance carrier, since some of these plans may no longer be available.

What about the health insurance companies that cannot afford to meet the criteria outlined in the ACA mandates for coverage? Are they being forced to raise their rates to noncompetitive levels, or will they drop out of the health care market all together? Where was that conversation brought into the dialogue before the vote in Congress was taken? Or when eliciting the support of the Board of Directors of the American Association of Retired Persons and the Board of Trustees of the American Medical Association?

Were these the revelations, Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi revealed to the press when she was quoted on Mar 09, 2010,  “we have to pass the  (health care) bill so that you can find out what is in it."

The questions that should now be asked of our elected representatives in Washington, D.C. are: Do they still feel that they were correct in their support for the proposed ACA legislation, given these new revelations concerning transparency? In retrospect, did they perform their due diligence before they cast their vote in early 2010? After hearing Jonathan Gruber’s presentations, do they feel that the President and his administration knowingly deceived them?

The same questions should be asked of the leaders of two of this country’s largest medical organizations--- the American Medical Association (AMA) and the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP),* that have supported and continue to support most of the proposed mandates put forth the in the Affordable Care Act.

*AAFP Letter Regarding Support for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, www.aafp org. Mar. 2009, 2010.




Leave a Comment


Share on Twitter Print


 






Additional Blog Posts

They Couldn't Believe It When Trump Said 'No'!

Do They Ever Vote for the 'Greater Good' in Washington?

Bernie Sanders Won't Be the Last

It's Time for Doctors to Speak Out

Stopping 'Black Swan' Slaughter

Is Taking the Knee Blacklash or a Push for Globalism?

Maybe the 'Deplorables' Knew What They Were Doing

It's The Cover-up That Should Get Them Convicted

The Demise of the Independent Physician

President Trump Trumps Obama(care)

Does Kaepernick Have a Point?

If Not Trump, It Would Have Been Ted Cruz…or even Jeb Bush

Take a Knee, Draw the Penalty

Crossing the Aisle on Healthcare Reform is the Only Option

The Conservative Movement's Last Chance

Political Correctness is Airbrushing Our History Away

Picking Your President Blindfolded

It Took Harvey to Bring Us Together

A Republicrat Fairy Tale

Where Does the Congress Go from Here?

The Stench from the Swamp is Getting Worse

Jorge Ramos Might Take a Lesson from His Native Mexico

The 'People' Deserve 'Their Day in Court'

Which Party is 'Wagging the Dog'

The Goldwater Rule Could Come Back to Haunt Trump's Critics

The Deep State--- Possibly Watergate on Steroids

The Republicans Don't Know Whether to Duck or Fall in Line

Insurrection at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue

Many 'Ivory Towers' Have Become Bastions of Indoctrination

Should Sicker Patients Pay More for Health Care?

It's Not Only Black Lives That Matter

The Democrats Might Want to Move to the Right

It Could Be That We Are in For a Long Four Years

Warren Buffet Might Have the Answer to Health Care Reform

You Have to Give up the Kool-aid to Find the Truth

Bashing Trump has been Personal from the Beginning

Gorsuch May Come Back to Bite the Democrats on the Butt

The Mayors Seem to Forget They are Not Rulers of Their Own Fiefdoms

The Republicans Just Couldn't Get Their Act Together

The Alarming Reach by the Federal Courts

Maybe I'm Becoming One of Those Conspiracy Nuts

Maybe It's Time to Let California Go

The Land of Opportunity. But for Whom, and at What Cost?

No More Mr. Nice Guy

The Health Care Debts We Must Prevent

When Social Disobedience Becomes a Habit

Don't Forget the Foundations of Health Care Delivery

The Difficulties in Providing Health Care Coverage to the Uninsured

The Underlying Concerns of Health Care Reformation

How Managed Care Threatens the Doctor/Patient Relationship

As the Feds Cover More, They Pay Doctors Less

How Third Party Payers Took Over

How Liability Concerns Shape Health Care Delivery

'Marketing' is Medicine's Double-Edged Sword

The Changing Role of the Health Care Professional

Is Medical Care a Right or a Privilege?

Clinton's Loss Was Just the Tip of the Iceberg

Maybe the KGB is in on It Too

A Relook at the Draft

Will President Trump Determine Hillary Clinton's Fate?

Our Illegal Immigrants Could Tip the Presidential Election

Stopping this Country's Descent into Mediocracy

Advice from Churchill and Lincoln

Trump's Gettysburg Address Should Serve as the Template

I Might Not Invite Trump Over for Dinner, but I'll Still vote for Him

When the Dust Settles

Economic Globalism May Be Setting Us Up for the Big Fall

Stripping the Presidential Candidates Down to Their Bare Bones

Is Donald Trump Racist?

The Democrats May Need Joe Biden Yet

Colin Kaepernick: A Poor Big Rich Kid?

How the Government Subsidies Will 'Break Our Bank'

It's Impossible That Hillary Doesn't Know

Are Gold Star Families Being Used to Pimp for the Political Parties?

If the Republicans Abolished Slavery, Why Do Most Blacks Vote Democratic?

Are the Police Racial Profiling?

Trying to Understand the Black Perspective

Will Obama Ever Get Beyond His Color?

A Takeover Without a Shot Being Fired

The Main Reason to Vote for Trump is Hillary Clinton

Two Black Men Who Had a Chance to Change the World

How the Opponents of Voter ID are Gaming the System

If Trump Wins It Will Be a Miracle...

Their Chance to Move Up has to Start by K1

If Obamacare Comes Off the Track

Political Correctness is Taking Over

The Real 'Donkey' in the Room That's Not Closing Our Borders

Should Our President 'Tighten His Belt'?

The Drug Epidemic is Symptomatic of Much Bigger Problems

Trump May Be a Visionary, but Is That Enough?

It's Not the Voters, Stupid. It's the Party!

There Will be Others after Bernie Sanders

Are 'Black Lives' Being Taken for a Ride?

Taking a Closer Look at John Kasich

Critiquing Ted Cruz

Who Will End Up Taking the Blame?

Dump Trump? Not So Fast!

I Don't Like Donald Trump, But ---

Maybe It's Time to Lighten Up on George W. Bush

Have the Clintons Permanently Tarnished the White House?

'Chasing the Ponytail'

The Silent Majority Had Better Speak Up

It Should Be about Who Has the Right to Vote

A New 'Centrist' Party--- It Could Happen

How Much Money Does This Country Really Owe?

Truth or Dare: Is Trump's Campaign for Real?

It Happened Without a Shot Being Fired

Is Uncle Sam the Refugees' Bogeyman?

Another Trudeau Takes Over in Canada

Are We Crazy? The Junior Varsity Is for Real

Capping Congressional Shenanigans

When Will the Senate Democrats Stop Cowing to Harry Reid?

The 'Hunger Games' Debate

October 26, 2015 : Why Not Just Tell the Truth?

October 19, 2015: One Election Away from a Possible Constitutional Convention

October 12, 2015: Sanctuary Cities Could Be Our Downfall

October 6, 2015: Is Donald Trump Presidential?

September 30, 2015: Facing the Real Threat of Terrorism

September 14, 2015: Have the Clintons Used Up Their Nine Lives?

September 8, 2015: Because of Trump, the Mongrel Dog Might Catch a Break

September 1, 2015: Is This Just Wag the Dog?

August 27, 2015: Where Are They Going To Get The Money?

August 10, 2015: Pushing for a National Police Force

August 3, 2015: The Only Solution to Illegal Immigration

July 27, 2015: What's So Great About Bernie Sanders?

July 20, 2015: Trying to Save the Middle East from Itself

July 13, 2015: What Difference Does It Make?

July 6, 2015: Maybe We Can Learn from the Lessons of ISIS

June 30, 2015: It's Time to Put the Confederate Flag to Rest

June 15, 2015: The President Has Already Decided on Global Warming for Us

June 8, 2015: This Century's Berlin Wall

June 2, 2015: Groveling for the Truth at the Trough

May 27, 2015: Would Our Forefathers Find Fault with Obama's Vision for America?

May 12, 2015: Do They Remind Us of the Thénardiers?

April 28, 2015: Why Politics and Religion Don't Mix

April 17, 2015: What It Takes to Have a 'Good' Marriage

April 13, 2015: We Live in One Big Infomercial

March 30, 2015: Our 'Kick It Down the Road' Generation

March 10, 2015: What Can President Obama Learn from Neville Chamberlin?

February 25, 2015: Are We Going to Look the Other Way, Again?

February 10, 2015: The Fall of the "American Empire"?

January 8, 2015: Physicians Desperately Need an American Medical Association

December 12, 2014: Doctors for Hire

November 24, 2014: Boondoggle?

November 3, 2014: 'Working for the Man'

October 10, 2014: Should Our "Squatters" Get a Free Ride?

September 10, 2014: The Crisis of Truth in the White House

August 11, 2014: A 'Fox' in the IRS's Henhouse

July 10, 2014: Houston: We Have Had a Problem!

June 10, 2014: The 'Perfect Storm' at the Veterans Administration

May 12, 2014: Border Boondoggle

April 30, 2014: The Reverend Jessie Jackson and Geronimo

April 21, 2014: The Surgeon General--- Where’s the Beef?

April 8, 2014: Complacency, Acceptance Then Dependency--- A Master Plan?

March 10, 2014: Does Bedside Manner Matter Anymore?

February 10, 2014: Outcome Measurements Could Be a Two-Edged Sword

January 10, 2014: It Always Seems to Boil Down to Politics

December 10, 2013: The End of the Shift or the Next Patient

November 11, 2013: Have We Given Up On Meaningful Dialogue?

October 11, 2013: Is This All Just About Obamacare?

September 10, 2013: Even the Lexicographers Have Noticed the Change

August 8, 2013: Where Did Physicians First Go Wrong?

July 10, 2013: It's Only a Matter of Time...

June 10, 2013: Maybe I Should Have Been a Veterinarian?

May 9, 2013: The Intangibles--- Why Paying Paying for Performance Won't Work

April 10, 2013: The Money Has to Come from Somewhere

March 11, 2013: Is Doing the Right Thing Passé?

February 11, 2013: What Would Hippocrates Do?

January 10, 2013: The Physicians' Vanishing Covenant

December 3, 2012: Where Is The Outrage?

November 19, 2012: Why Don't You Get In Line With Me?

October 29, 2012: Obamacare Has 'Thrown Our Seniors Under the Bus'

October 10, 2012: "I Don't Like Spinach"

September 10, 2012: The Widgets in Our Waiting Rooms

August 27, 2012: Once the Dust Settles

August 10, 2012: Same Song, Final Verse?

July 23, 2012: President Obama 1, President Clinton 0

July 10, 2012: Chief Justice Roberts' Decision Might Just Be a Stroke of Genius

June 11, 2012: The 1.5% Penalty

May 10, 2012: Groundhog Day---Our Boring Problems?

April 10, 2012: The Three Little 'Doctors'

March 9, 2012: Looking the Other Way

February 10, 2012: Mumble, Grumble, then Tumble

January 10, 2012: Thinking About Getting Out of Medicare? Think Again

December 12, 2011: Is Walmartcare the Answer?

November 10, 2011: Have Physicians Lost Their 'Shared Vision'?

October 10, 2011: Opt-In Versus Opt-Out: Petty or Important?

September 9, 2011: Whatever Happened to the 'Whole' Story?

August 10, 2011: Maybe This Wasn't George W. Bush's Recession?

July 11, 2011: Shotgun Medicine

June 10, 2011: Medicine's 'Tipping Point': What's Next?

May 10, 2011: Have Physicians Sold Their Souls?

April 11, 2011: Turf Battles, but on Whose Turf?

March 10, 2011: Death Panels: Probably Not------A Trojan Horse: Maybe

February 10, 2011: Individual Mandate: The Deeper Issues

January 10, 2011: What if There Were No AMA?

December 10, 2010: Birthright Citizenship: The Silent Costs

November 11, 2010: The State of the Medical Profession

Brown Books Digital