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GOPocrisy, pure and simple

Michigan Republicans are still working to demonize the Affordable Care Act in any way they can. The most recent example is a bill reported out of the House Subcommittee on Insurance last week, H.B. 4816, which was introduced by Rep. Mike Shirkey. The bill, which you can read HERE (pdf), requires health insurers to report to their customers which part of their premium is due to the ACA.

Here's the bill's language (which differs somewhat from the original bill introduced in June):

By March 1, 2014 and annually after 2014 through December 31, 2018, an insurer or health maintenance organization shall communicate to policyholders or subscribers in written or electronic format an estimate of the impact on policy premiums, by business line, that is attributable to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Public Law 111-148, as amended by the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, Public Law 111-152, including but not limited to, taxes, assessments, and other requirements of that Act. The insurer or health maintenance organization shall include the following statement with the estimate required under this section: "This portion of the premium is attributable to the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and not the enactment of any laws, rules, or regulations of the Michigan Governor, the Michigan legislature, or Michigan's Department of Insurance and Financial Services.".
See what they did there? They want to be sure nobody ever blames them for increased costs. And they give the insurance companies free rein to decide what portion of their premiums to assign to the ACA. Now, if you're someone like Amy here at Eclectablog, your premium will actually DECREASE. No need for them to mention that in Shirkey's bill.

Democrats introduced an amendment to the bill that would also require the insurers to let you know the extra benefits you're getting thanks to Obamacare. Naturally, Republicans shot that down because this bill is about one thing and one thing only: convincing you that the ACA is making your life worse.

If this bill passes, the only stories we'll hear about in the news are those about people with increases in their premiums and nothing about improved coverage or lower premiums. Those won't be reported. It's hypocrisy for them to require only the premium increases to be reported and it shows them for the partisan hacks that they are.

Worse yet, they are lying about it. Rep. Lisa Posthumus Lyons told the Detroit Free Press this lie:

"It sheds light on the issue and it lets consumers exactly know what they're paying for," she said.
Nice try, Ms. Lyons. If what you said were true, you have accepted the Democrats' amendment. You did not.

It's also worth noting that Rep. Shirkey was one of a handful of Republicans who helped ensure that Medicaid expansion passed in Michigan. This bill is clearly an attempt to absolve himself of this "sin" in the eyes of his tea party constituents who are still fuming mad about our working poor getting any sort of help with their health care in Michigan. I don't see it working, frankly. The tea party types won't be so easily pacified and those of us who support Obamacare can see right through his charade.

The bill now goes to the full House and I have little doubt they will pass it. It serves no useful purpose but something tells me it will somehow also end up on Governor Snyder's agenda if it passes the Senate, too, which it undoubtedly will.

Originally posted to Eclectablog - eclectic blogging for a better tomorrow on Tue Nov 19, 2013 at 10:01 AM PST.

Also republished by Motor City Kossacks, Your Government at Work, State & Local ACTION Group, and Michigan, My Michigan.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (12+ / 0-)

    "Back off, man. I'm a scientist."
    -- Dr. Peter Venkman

    Join me, LOLGOP, Anne Savage, and Amy Lynn Smith at Eclectablog.

    by Eclectablog on Tue Nov 19, 2013 at 10:01:31 AM PST

  •  The GOP hates the free market. (6+ / 0-)

    Why else would they insist on keeping consumers in the dark about the reasons for the lowering of their policies, or policy improvements, or be against the creation of a marketplace where insurers compete?  

    If you have a policy that covers doctor's bills made necessary by a werewolf bite, and has the words "Health Insurance" on the cover, you can keep that policy!

    by Inland on Tue Nov 19, 2013 at 10:08:12 AM PST

  •  Like they have nothing more important to do in (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eclectablog, Matt Z, Eric Nelson, Abelia


    Tracy B Ann - technically that is my signature. If I had Bill Gates money, I'd buy Detroit.

    by ZenTrainer on Tue Nov 19, 2013 at 10:25:50 AM PST

  •  What Republicans are doing is making sure (0+ / 0-)

    the voters know that the state legislature is in charge of insurance company regulation. The point Democrats need to add is, given this truth, if health insurers or car insurers or home insurers were ripping their customers off, it's because the regulations passed by the legislature were not consumer friendly. Which makes sense since bankers and insurance brokers and mortgage brokers are the people in every community with plenty of time to run the chamber of commerce and propose candidates for all sorts of legislative bodies. Just as surely as insurance profits flow into bank coffers and then out into the pockets of developers and all the other folks down at the country club, it goes to reason that they have each other's back.
    Republicans are for the separation of business and government, except when it comes to being suckled by the public teat.

    Also, while it true that state and local government does not have an independent source of funds, the federal government makes all it's own money and it is because the Feds refuse to send the states enough that local governments have to borrow from banks to cover any capital expense -- borrow from banks that collect dollars at no cost and even lend them back to the Treasury to collect a dividend, thereby creating the "national debt" which only exists because Congress refuses to see to it that dollars flow back into Washington at the same rate they flow out to the
    The purpose of federal taxes is to return dollars to their source. Republicans are opposed to recycling. So, of course, they don't want to recycle dollars either. But, if we want an efficient economy, that's what has to happen. Dollars have to come back as fast as they go out.

  •  I just went to (0+ / 0-)

    My experience wasn't 100% positive. I tried to create an account and it never sent me the confirmation email.

    I'm not that angry though -- I've got plenty of time to sort that out.

    What I did find out, though, is I can get coverage for a lot less than I'm paying right now to COBRA. No tax credits, just a good selection of options that will cost from $50-$350 a month less than I'm paying now.

    I tried to create the account because my reaction was "Gimme some of that affordable care ASAP!"

    Right now, I'm paying $585 a month (plus another $51 for dental coverage) through COBRA. My COBRA is going to run out in September 2014 -- two years before I qualify for Medicare.

    But if the plans I saw this afternoon pan out, I'm going into the exchange Jan. 1. Forget COBRA, which is a pain in the ass to deal with. One of the FAQs on the website tells me I can opt out of COBRA and go into the exchange before my COBRA benefits run out.

    (My COBRA provider has no online presence and I have to mail them a paper check every month. There have been multiple screwups where they claim I haven't paid, when I can see they cashed the check. They seem to have trouble crediting it to the right account. I will be DELIGHTED to be rid of them.)

    If the website never gets straightened out, I'm going to enroll by phone.

    Wealth doesn't trickle down -- it rises up.

    by elsaf on Tue Nov 19, 2013 at 11:31:49 AM PST

  •  Republicans need to be Truthful (0+ / 0-)

    During the Republican Presidential Primary, before a decidedly Republican audience, the question was asked, if a person did not have health insurance because he had chosen not to purchase any, and he arrived for treatment with a life threatening condition , what should happen?

    This Republican audience yelled "Let him die!" Ron Paul agreed . This response met a deafening cheer and applause.

    Now, the Koch Brothers have been and continue to spend millions of dollars on ads and organizations to  repeal the ACA, while at the same time, aggressively encouraging young people and anyone one else, by using fear and untruths, not to buy  affordable health care insurance through the exchanges.

    The Republican Governors with a few exceptions, have refused free funds to expand medicaid to millions of their own constituents . "Let them Die"!

     The "Let him Die" groups and the "Don't  buy insurance Koch Brothers" should inform us about who is really running "Death Panels.    

  •  Where was everyone when (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lily O Lady

    health insurance, energy, college, and more was increasing 20% or more every year last decade?

    I'm living in America, and in America you're on your own. America's not a country. It's just a business.

    by CFAmick on Tue Nov 19, 2013 at 12:59:08 PM PST

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