Free Obamacare!

The Truth team wants me to let all my friends and family to know the truth about Obamacare. Well, I have tried my best.

David —

It’s crazy to think that there are groups in this country whose existence is based purely on hiding the facts about Obamacare from the American people.

So, from time to time, we’re going to call on the Truth Team to fight back by shining a light on the very real, very awesome facts about Obamacare.

This week, we’re talking about how the law is already lowering health care costs for millions of Americans by providing preventive care — without any out-of-pocket expenses. Yup, that’s right — free preventive care in ways that are potentially live saving: FREE annual check-ups, FREE mammograms and other cancer screenings, FREE blood pressure screenings, FREE diabetes screenings, FREE contraception, and FREE vaccinations.

This might not be news to you — but way too few of our friends and family members know about this.

If you’re proud that Obamacare guarantees that health care plans provide this kind of preventive care, share this infographic on all the ways Obamacare is providing care for millions of families:

There’s a reason the other side wants to keep these facts under wraps: When people find out about these benefits, they’re happy about it.

They start to realize that all the hot air about Obamacare might be nothing more than partisanship.

And most importantly, people start to take advantage of the law — because preventive care isn’t about the money saved, it’s about saving lives.

Obamacare is about helping people get the better health care they need — to keep us well by providing preventive care, and help us when we’re sick by lowering what folks spend on doctors, hospitals, prescriptions, and more.

That’s truly great news — and it’s up to us to make sure people know about it.

Thanks,

Erin

Erin Hannigan
Health Care Campaign Manager
Organizing for Action

The thing is that none of those benefits are actually free. The recipients may not be paying for them, but someone is. Now, when you are paying for something out of your own pocket, you are naturally concerned about the cost. You might decide you don’t really need that blood pressure screening or that contraception. You might shop around to find the most reasonable deal. If you are not paying for something yourself, you don’t really care what the cost is. Maybe you don’t need that check up, but who cares, it’s free. Maybe your health care provider is overcharging for procedures. Who cares, you’re not paying for it. That is the problem with providing anything for free. People will naturally want more of it that they would if they are paying for it. Economists call this increasing the demand for that good or service.

Under normal circumstances, increasing the demand for a good or service tends to increase the price for that service. As the price increases, demand starts to decrease while the providers of that good or service, sensing profit, will try to produce more of the good or service. Eventually the price and amount produced will reach an equilibrium, until something happens to change the supply or demand.

Under Obamacare, the demand for healthcare will increase, thus causing the price to increase. I am not sure if there will be any real incentive for healthcare providers to increase the supply of services, especially if there is some sort of price cap to control expenses, so there may not be anything that might slow down or reverse the increase in price due to the increase in demand.  Obamacare will not make healthcare more affordable in the long run because it cannot make it more affordable in the long run. You cannot defy the laws of economics any more than you can defy the law of gravity.

To make matters worse, eventually there will have to be some method of controlling costs imposed. As the cost of healthcare increases, it will start to occur to people, even in Washington, that the government cannot spend an infinite amount of money on healthcare. This means that either they are going to have to stop offering free healthcare and start charging something close to the actual cost of each test or procedure, or they are going to have to impose rationing. This means that the government will tell you whether or not you need that blood pressure screening or that cancer treatment. In order to control costs, they may very well decide to deny you treatment if you are old or handicapped. Looking at the matter cold bloodedly, it is difficult to justify spending money on  chemotherapy for a man who is 75 years old. He is going to die within a few years anyway, so why not just fill him with pain medication and let him go?

People mocked Sarah Palin for announcing that death panels would be a part of Obamacare. She was more astute than her attackers. I doubt if anyone who wrote the laws that make up Obamacare ever intended to create death panels, but it doesn’t matter. Something like death panels are going to have to be a feature. The economic logic of the situation makes them inevitable.

So, there you go. I have done as Erin asked and made sure everyone knows the truth about Obamacare.

Raising the Minimum

Organizing for Action wants to raise the minimum wage.

David —

Let’s do something about this:

Even though our economy is on its way back, millions of Americans — people who work full time — are still living well below the poverty line.

That’s because they earn the minimum wage — something designed to help make sure that any American willing to work hard and play by the rules has enough to make ends meet. That’s not the reality right now for way too many people.

If a living wage is something you can get behind, then you should join the fight to raise the minimum wage.

President Obama is helping to lead on this issue — and dozens of allied organizations have been working hard to get a minimum wage increase passed by Congress.

There’s a lot to do, and OFA supporters are going to play a big role in making this happen.

If this is something that matters to you, add your name today and help fight for a better bargain for working Americans:

http://my.barackobama.com/Raise-the-Minimum-Wage

Thanks — more soon,

Jon

Jon Carson
Executive Director
Organizing for Action

Actually, thanks to the president’s signature piece of legislation, Obamacare, a lot of people have had to be content with part time work. But I think raising the minimum wage is a terrific idea. Why not increase the cost of labor so that companies have to raise prices or hire fewer people? Maybe we can get unemployment back above 8% again. Maybe, if we raise it enough, we can have another recession. Many people on minimum wage are young people just entering the job market. If we make it harder for them to find jobs, they can live at home with their parents. We could offer them unlimited unemployment benefits and get an entire generation dependent on the government for survival. Sounds like a plan.

What I am going to say now may seem mean. I hope not, since that is not my intention. I think that if you are living on minimum wage and are not just entering the work force, then something is wrong. You should take stock of yourself and consider what skills and experience you may have that will get you a job that pays better than minimum wage. If you do not have such skills or experience, then you need to find out how to get them. You should also take a look at your work ethic. Do you show up for work on time? Do you perform the duties of your job, and maybe a little more? Are you someone your boss can depend upon? If not, than you must become the sort of person that people can rely on. Whatever you do, I think that you can do better than minimum wage.

This is the difference between Jon Carson’s outlook and mine. People like him want you to work for minimum wage and look to the government for any improvement in your pitiful life. I think you can do better than that. I think that if you apply yourself, you can earn a living wage.

 

Quality or Quantity

I was thinking about the e-mail I received from Organizing for Action the other day; the one criticizing Speaker Boehner for claiming that Congress should be judged by the number of laws that are repealed. It occurs to me that the standard they are using to judge Congress is based on the number of bills passed rather than whether the bills are actually good ideas. Surely it is better to pass one good law than ten bad ones, and surely it is better to repeal ten laws known to be bad than to pass one law which may be good. I really wish we could somehow get away from the mentality that the solution to any problem is pass legislation quickly without thinking too much about whether it might have any unintended consequences.

It is not too hard to imagine why politicians of every party prefer to be judged by quantity rather than quality and why they would rather not be judged by results. If people ever realized that they would be better off trying to solve their problems on their own, rather than expecting the government to do something, and that the sort of person who runs for office is the last one you should depend on,  then most politicians would be out of a job.

Do Nothing Congress

I got another email from Organizing for Action.

David —

Think about this:

Yesterday, the speaker of the House went on national TV and said that Congress “should not be judged on how many new laws we create,” but rather on “how many laws … we repeal.”

It’s just embarrassing. Within hours of his interview, Boehner’s remarks were making headlines across the country — and even overseas.

We elected our members of Congress to work on the issues we care about: creating jobs, fixing our immigration system, fighting climate change, and passing laws to reduce gun violence.

We didn’t put them in office to sit there and wind back the clock.

All next month, while our members of Congress are home on recess, we’ll be holding Action August events and making our voices heard. I’m asking you to help make sure they go back to Washington with a message for John Boehner.

Chip in $5 or more to support our grassroots organization today:

Thanks,

Jon

Jon Carson
Executive Director
Organizing for Action

P.S. — Last week, the House voted to kill or delay Obamacare for the 39th time. That’s the kind of obstructionism we’re up against. Donate today.

I am not ashamed at all. Considering that the Code of Laws of the United States of America runs to over 200,000 pages, I don’t think we have a shortage of laws.

I think that the best thing that Congress could possibly do for America would be to take a break from any new legislation for the next couple of years. Instead, they should go through the entire body of federal law and eliminate every law, regulation, statute that is unnecessary, burdensome, superfluous, or has an effect contrary to the intent of the legislators. First on the list would be Obamacare. After all this is done and the federal law code is streamlined and efficient, we can start passing new laws. It would probably be a good idea to include an expiration date for any new laws so that Congress can be forced to go back and investigate how effective the laws actually were.

This is not likely to happen, though. Until it does, I’ll settle for obstructionism.

 

Bracing for Climate Change Policies

Brace yourselves. President Obama is getting ready to address climate change.

David, this is huge news:

President Obama is set to announce his plan this week to address the growing threat of climate change.

We’ll know more specifics on Tuesday, but it’s expected he’ll offer a bold, national approach to reducing carbon pollution — and lay out a vision to lead global efforts to fight climate change.

The powerful, well-financed forces who still deny the science behind climate change aren’t going to like this — and they’ll be fighting this progress every step of the way. In fact, before he’s even seen the plan, House Speaker John Boehner is calling it “absolutely crazy.”

That’s why President Obama is calling on all of us — anyone who believes that climate change is a threat — to join him in taking action right now.

Add your name today — say you’ll do your part to help fight climate change:

http://my.barackobama.com/Stand-Up-Against-Climate-Change

Thanks — more on this soon.

Jon

Jon Carson
Executive Director
Organizing for Action

Get ready for higher electric bills and gasoline prices, if Obama manages to have his way on this.

By the way, Britain just had its coldest spring since 1962, and the fifth coolest spring since they began keeping records. This is part of global warming, no doubt.

Unicorns

I got another e-mail from Organizing for Action.

David —

If I said to you: “Unicorns exist, I totally just saw one galloping down the street,” most likely you’d give me a sad look and get on with your day.

But what if House Speaker Boehner and the chairman of the House Science Committee said they didn’t know if the science behind climate change was real. (Yeah. That actually happened.)

Now obviously, it doesn’t matter if I just make stuff up about unicorns. But it matters, and it matters a whole lot, that so many of our elected officials in Washington who represent us are denying science and using that denial to refuse to take action on climate change.

It’s actually dangerous — and it matters how we react.

Each and every day that congressional leaders hold on to their bizarre fantasy world, OFA is going to be there, not letting them get away with it.

Add your name and say you’re ready to hold climate deniers accountable.

We’re going to make them say it out loud — either double-down on their claims, or come to their senses. The National Academy of Sciences and more than 13,000 peer-reviewed scientific papers all confirm that the carbon pollution in our atmosphere today is causing dangerous climate change.

The sticky thing about the truth is that it’s the truth whether Congress likes it or not.

Unicorns don’t exist, climate change is real, and we said we weren’t going to let this go.

Sign here and help Congress get real:

http://my.barackobama.com/Hold-Climate-Deniers-Accountable

Thanks,

Ivan

Ivan Frishberg
Climate Campaign Manager
Organizing for Action

I wouldn’t necessarily dismiss out of hand an account of a unicorn viewing out. Although I have never seen a unicorn, that does not mean they don’t exist, although I have to admit the evidence that unicorns are real is slim. If a person who I know to be honest and not subject to hallucinations were to tell me that he saw a unicorn, I would believe that he either saw a real unicorn or something that resembled a unicorn until I found evidence to the contrary. On the other hand, if a person who has had a history of not being very honest or who has often made doomsday predictions that have never come to pass, than I would be more skeptical.

I do not believe that climate change is settled science. I am not a climate scientist, so it is not likely that I possess the information and training to determine that on my own. Nevertheless, I have observed that the people who have been pushing the climate change hypothesis have not acted in an honest or honorable fashion. There is the use of the word “denier” with the implied resemblance to Holocaust denial. This is not a scientific or logical argument. This is name calling. There is the rebranding of the name of the crisis. You never hear “global warming” any more. The expression now is “climate change”. Why is that? Could it be that the Earth has not warmed significantly in the past few decades? There are scientists who are apparently communicating with each other on the best means of manipulating data to obtain the desired results. Shouldn’t science be in the business of following where the data leads, even if it disproves a cherished hypothesis? What is carbon pollution? Carbon dioxide is a naturally occurring component of the Earth’s atmosphere. Every animal exhales carbon dioxide as a waste product of respiration.

Then there is the fact that for most of my life I have been told that an environmental catastrophe is just around the corner unless drastic action, which somehow always seems to involve an expansion of government into everyone’s personal lives, is begun right now! There is no time to debate! We have to act! And yet, the catastrophe never comes. How many times do we have to listen to the boy who cried “Wolf!” before we stop listening to him?

It would be better if Ivan Frishberg stuck to believing in unicorns. Believing in unicorns would do a lot less damage.

 

Assignment

Well, I’ve gotten my first assignment from Organizing for Action. I am supposed to forward this e-mail.

David —

President Obama has asked Congress to pass legislation to help protect our kids and reduce gun violence — and we need to do everything we can to help. Forward this email — and spread the word today:

Tell Congress it's time to act to reduce gun violence.

The first thought that crossed my mind when I saw this was the old classic advice from everyone’s mother; if 92 of all Americans decided to jump off a bridge, would you jump too?

Without commenting on the advisability of universal background checks, I would say that it does not matter to me in the slightest whether 10% or 99% of the population supports any given policy. If it is unconstitutional, it is still unconstitutional, no matter how many people are for or against it. If it is a dumb idea, it is still a dumb idea no matter how many people support it. If Obama’s people want to convince me that something they want is desirable, then they are going to have to give me good and logical reasons to support it, not just tell me to support x because everyone else wants it.