Friday, July 26, 2013

If Steve Israel Wasn't Head Of The DCCC, Peter King's Votes Against Healthcare Would Doom His Reelection Chances... If, If, If...


Peter King, Steve Israel-- Princesses: Long Island

Monday, Steve Benen, set out to define exactly what progressives mean when they say Republicans are sabotaging the Affordable Health Act. Their nihilism and class war are unlike anything since the Civil War. "[I]t's easy to lose sight sometimes of just how sweeping the GOP efforts to impair the federal health care law really are," he writes. "We've never seen anything like this-- it is literally without precedent-- and for millions of Americans, very little matters more."

Benen comes up with several specifics: "First, congressional Republicans are actively trying to undermine the federal health care system by refusing to help their own constituents navigate the system... Second, there's systemic lying to the public."

In recent weeks, officials in states like New York and California have boasted about lower premiums for residents thanks to the Affordable Care Act. But on Friday, Indiana, where Republican officials dominate, announced the law would force a premium increase of 72%. How it that possible? As Sarah Kliff, Jonathan Cohn, and others explained over the weekend, GOP policymakers in the state arrived at the figure by cooking the books and jumping to conclusions based on incomplete information.

Indiana Republicans wanted to push a political narrative, and generate some headlines, but they had to play fast and loose with the facts, on purpose, in the hopes of fooling the public.

Third, there are the dozens upon dozens of repeal votes congressional Republicans keep holding. The latest was last week, and yesterday, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) vowed to hold even more, saying he still hopes to "derail this thing," and adding, "We're going to do everything we can to make sure it never happens." (Boehner said the exact opposite last November.)

These repeal votes tell the public that the future of the law is still in doubt-- a significant chunk of the country actually believes the Affordable Care Act has already been repealed-- and discourages participation needed to make the law work.

Fourth, congressional Republicans have repeatedly denied the Obama administration funds needed for implementation. Fifth, GOP leaders have shamelessly discouraged private-sector partnerships with Washington on public-awareness campaigns, in the hopes that public ignorance might help undermine the efficacy of the system. Sixth, many Republicans at the state level are refusing to allow Medicaid expansion, no matter how much damage it does to their state. And seventh, these same GOP officials in the states are refusing to create exchanges, making it that much more difficult for federal officials to meet deadlines and fully implement the law on time.

When I talk about efforts to "sabotage" Obamacare, this is what I'm talking about.

Again, don't forget that this has simply never happened before. There is no precedent in American history for Congress approving a massive new public benefit, a president signing it into law, the Supreme Court endorsing the benefit's legality, and then having an entire political party actively and shamelessly working to sabotage the law.

We can talk about why Republicans are doing this-- Paul Krugman has some compelling thoughts on the matter-- but the fact that these sabotage efforts are underway is undeniable.

As Jonathan Bernstein recently explained, "It's possible that the ACA will collapse. But if it does, it's unlikely it will be the result of inherent problems with the legislation. If Obamacare fails, it's going to be because the Republican Party's all-out war on it-- a war that doesn't seem to have any concern at all for health-care consumers or the economy-- succeeds. Whether that's a good thing for health care? Well, that doesn't seem to be part of the equation."
One Republican who likes portraying himself as somewhat mainstream to his constituents is Peter King (R-NY), the Republican congressman of Long Island's three. Obama did better in King's district than in the 2 other Long Island districts. Obama beat McCain there 51-48% in 2008 and beat Romney 52-47%. But King is close with DCCC chair Steve Israel and Israel prevents effective recruitment of a Democrat in the district and refuses to let the DCCC help any Democrats who do take on King. There are 12 districts with PVIs of R+1. Democrats hold 4 of them and the other 8 should be prime DCCC targets. But King's is never on the list and isn't on the list this cycle either. And yet King has voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act every time Boehner and Cantor brought it up. For all King's efforts to sound "moderate," he votes with the teabaggers and neo-Confederates when it comes to healthcare and other programs that benefit ordinary working families and the middle class. Instead of making him pay, Israel rewards him for his behavior.

The DCCC could take that seat in a heartbeat... if they tried. Obamacare alone would win them the district, which is benefiting tremendously from the law already, despite King's sabotage.
5,000 young adults in the district now have health insurance through their parents’ plan.

More than 9,700 seniors in the district received prescription drug discounts worth $14.8 million, an average discount of $700 per person in 2011, $730 in 2012, and $400 thus far in 2013.

122,000 seniors in the district are now eligible for Medicare preventive services without paying any co-pays, coinsurance, or deductible.

222,000 individuals in the district-- including 53,000 children and 89,000 women-- now have health insurance that covers preventive services without any co-pays, coinsurance, or deductible.

231,000 individuals in the district are saving money due to ACA provisions that prevent insurance companies from spending more than 20% of their premiums on profits and administrative overhead. Because of these protections, over 43,400 consumers in the district received approximately $5.1 million in insurance company rebates in 2011 and 2012-- an average rebate of $92 per family in 2012 and $138 per family in 2011.

Up to 41,000 children in the district with preexisting health conditions can no longer be denied coverage by health insurers.

268,000 individuals in the district now have insurance that cannot place lifetime limits on their coverage and will not face annual limits on coverage starting in 2014.

76,000 individuals in the district who lack health insurance will have access to quality, affordable coverage without fear of discrimination or higher rates because of a preexisting health condition. In addition, the 26,000 individuals who currently purchase private health insurance on the individual or small group market will have access to more secure, higher quality coverage and many will be eligible for financial assistance.
If you're unfortunate enough to be watching the really awful BRAVO series, Princesses: Long Island you're probably aware that most of the vapid, self-indulgent, shallow rich girls are from the North Shore, Steve Israel's district. These aren't people who need or want Medicare or ObamaCare. However, one of the main characters, Joey, lives with her parents on the South Shore, where people very much do need and want ObamaCare. King's district, which has moved considerably east into Suffolk County, stretches from working class suburbs like Ronkonkoma, Bayport and Sayville through Islip, Bay Shore, Babylon and Amityville to Levittown and Seaford. Those are not towns with the mansions and estates of Brookville-- the wealthiest town in America-- Great Neck, Lloyd Harbor, Sands Point, Roslyn Estates, Oyster Bay, Muttontown, Old Westbury, and North Hills, all in Steve Israel's district and the setting of the wretched Princesses.

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At 7:51 AM, Blogger Renie said...

You are absolutely correct! I have worked on several campaigns to oust king and no one at the nat'l level ever puts any funds into getting him out!


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