Amodei, Amadavat, and Affordable Health Care

Things beginning with A-M:  Amodei (R-NV2) and Amadavat.  The latter being an Asian weaverbird often kept caged for its pleasant singing.   The former known for his ability to pleasantly sing the Republican Party Anthem no matter what new variations are put on the basic incantations.   Representative Amodei’s reaction to the Supreme Court’s declaration that the Affordable Care Act is, in fact, constitutional, perches him solidly in the Amadavat Chorus of GOP Talking Points du jour.

Advocates for Washington-based management of health care and unprecedented tax increases on the middle class won today. However, I will continue to work for patient-centered solutions, reductions in health care costs, and improving health care access for all Nevadans.” [Amodei]

Oh, the horror! “Unprecedented tax increases on the middle class?”  So, how does any of the taxation in the Affordable Care Act stack up compared to the Reagan Tax Increase of 1982?  One more glance at the chart of tax increases in recent memory:

And, what, pray tell, is a “patient centered solution?”  Let’s guess that the phrase “market based solution” isn’t going over so well in the Luntz focus groups these days after the revelations about Barclay’s diddling with the LIBOR and the “mis-selling” of interest rate swaps to small business owners.  Americans also seem a bit put off by the fumbling explanation of “off shoring/outsourcing” from the Romney camp.  By deftly swapping Patient Centered for Market Based, we now have a New Idea…except it isn’t new, it’s the same old YOYO.  (You’re on Your Own)  The Really Big GOP New Idea? Promote the sale of individual health insurance plans by giving tax deductions for them, and for allowing tax free HSAs to be used for paying health care insurance premiums.  There’s no limit to what the health insurance corporation could charge you for one of their plans, nor is there any provision for requiring that the insurance corporation actually spend most your premium dollars on health care — as opposed to CEO compensation, advertising, etc.

I look forward to the opportunity to vote the week of July 9 for full repeal of this harmful government intrusion into health care. Congress created this mess and it’s our responsibility to clean it up. We owe it to the middle class to give them specific, well-thought out options focusing on portability of insurance across state lines and affordability, while not interfering with the patient-doctor relationship.”  [Amodei]

The underlined phrases highlight the basic Amadavat Song.  Government + Intrusion = Really Bad.  But wait, what’s harmful?  How many Americans are harmed by having the government require that health insurance corporations not discriminate against women? Or, refuse to offer coverage to those with a pre-existing medical condition? Or, abuse rescission clauses to dump coverage after a person becomes ill or injured? Or, refuse to offer basic childhood vaccinations as part of basic coverage?

How many Nevadans are harmed by requiring basic coverage insurance plans to include mammograms, prostate cancer screenings?  Diabetes and heart disease screenings?  Autism screening for toddlers?

Yes, Nevadans — and all other Americans — are owed “specific, well thought out options,” BUT portability is a euphemism for a race to the bottom in health insurance coverage.  Representative Amodei is now full throatedly singing The Insurance Corporation Anthem.  For years now the insurance industry has attempted to bypass consumer protections at the state level by getting “portability,”  by getting federal permission to offer only that coverage which is included in the least restrictive state.

“Doctor- Patient” relationship?  Please.  As noted earlier today:

Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, all Americans joining new insurance plans have the freedom to choose from any primary care provider, OB-GYN, or pediatrician in their health plan’s network, or emergency care outside of the plan’s network, without a referral.” [HHS]

That, not the restrictions of the health insurance conglomerates, is NOT interfering in a doctor- patient relationship.

“This 2,700-page monster offends seniors, veterans, middle class families and employers. I will continue to take every opportunity to repeal and address this mess for Nevadans in a practical way without picking political winners and losers.”  [Amodei]

Please, the Word Salad Random Talking Point Generator needn’t be in over-drive.   How are any of the groups “offended?”  How are seniors offended by closing the infamous Medicare Part D do-nut hole?  How are veterans affected by the bill?  Other than say, getting preventative health care access for those not qualified for VA administered programs?   How are middle class families “offended” by a statute which requires insurance corporations to offer coverage without artificial life-time limits or other forms of junk insurance plans?

Without picking winners and losers?”  Did Representative Amodei get his anti-alternative energy statement mixed up with his anti-affordable health care message?  This is not a chocolate + peanut butter combo accident.  Who are the winners? The losers?  Don’t Nevadans win when their health insurance plans must cover a person without regard to gender?  Don’t Nevadans win when pre-natal care must be offered as part of basic health insurance policies?

After cranking up his GOP Random Talking Point Generator, and singing from his gilded Insurance Corporation Cage, Representative Amodei must sound truly pleasant to the CEOs of Big Insurance and their other amadavats in the Republican Party.

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