Letter writer: Congress must fully repeal Affordable Care Act

Write to Mountain Xpress
Graphic by Lori Deaton

Congress must first fully repeal the unworkable and un-Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) through “budget reconciliation” and provide for a smooth transition to market based, patient-centered, higher-quality health care options that improve on the prior system.

Americans are suffering with a socialist model of one size fits all that has increased the average plan by 25 percent this year and for others, as much as a 116 percent. North Carolina is now bracing for a 24 percent hike!

Customers in 70 percent of U.S. counties are now forced to buy health insurance from only one or two companies. Sign-ups at the federal exchanges have dropped by 400,000 — further signaling Obamacare’s abysmal failure.

Elections have consequences. The voters soundly rejected government engineering (and have for the past eight years) and demanded the freedom to choose a health plan that meets their needs and reflects their values.

Call Congress! #FullRepeal first, then replace.

— Jane Bilello
Hendersonville

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22 thoughts on “Letter writer: Congress must fully repeal Affordable Care Act

  1. John Penley

    The Tea Party, Republicans,CPAC and Conservatives have been railing on about Government spending and the National Debt for years. Trump gets elected and announces massive spending on Immigrant roundups and deportations, a border wall, a new nuclear arms race and military buildup, national Infrastructure rebuilding projects, Federal police enforcement against legal marijuana [so much for State’s Rights], expanding use of private prisons and who knows what else and none of the entities I mentioned above are even talking about it and are cheering him on. Just goes to show you how totally hypocritical they really are. Go Trump raise the National Debt and break the bank. He also announced large corporate and other tax cuts so how in hell is he going to pay for all the new spending he has just announced ?

  2. luther blissett

    Jane Bilello should stick to raffling off assault rifles for fun.

    States that adopted Medicaid expansion saw the lowest increase in premiums: some even saw decreases. NC was not one of those states, thanks to the Republicans. Where’s the plan to address chronic illness and pre-existing conditions? The GOP doesn’t have one, other than talking about “choice” and “personal responsibility.” Who knew that having a genetic susceptibility to breast cancer means it was an irresponsible choice to be born?

    “Elections have consequences” says Ms Bilello. And yet many WNC voters who supported Republicans admitted to the C-T that they rely upon premium credits and were refused coverage before the ACA was implemented. Perhaps the “Asheville Tea Party” will raffle off some more AR-15s to cover diabetes supplies or a six-figure chemotherapy bill?

  3. NFB

    The letter appeared in the Asheville Citizen Times several days ago. Does MX have a policy about printing letters already printed in another publication?

    • Able Allen

      Yes. We do make effort not to print letters that have been submitted elsewhere. Unfortunately they do occasionally slip through.

      • Deplorable Infidel

        Not a good ‘policy’…the reason why letters get submitted to different publications is because each reaches different demographics. Why does any publication care about that? ridiculous and condescending to the patrons.

  4. luther blissett

    Let’s add a few more details:

    – Aetna pulled out of NC and other ACA exchanges out of spite, because the federal government blocked its merger plans with Humana on anti-competitiveness grounds.
    – United pulled out because its exchange policies incurred losses, even though its group policy profits compensated for those losses. When people have deferred treatment for years or even decades, the initial costs are inevitably high.
    – “Market-based” insurance means annual limits, lifetime limits and pre-existing condition exclusions. The market that matters is Wall Street.
    – “Patient choice” means turning coverage of chronic and severe illness into riders, setting up the conditions for adverse selection and a classic actuarial death spiral. Americans want to choose their doctors and facilities; they don’t want to choose between $5m of cancer coverage, $1m of cancer coverage, or no coverage at all.
    – Paul Ryan has proposed converting Medicare into an ACA-style exchange-based system with tax credits. If the ACA’s exchanges are inherently bad, why are they acceptable for seniors? (We know the answer to that question.)
    – The GOP had seven years to come up with a workable replacement that satisfies conservative principles. It has failed, because the ACA is a fundamentally conservative law, built upon Heritage Foundation proposals and the model introduced by Mitt Romney in Massachusetts.

    • luther blissett

      A few more details: twice as much is spent per capita on healthcare in the US as in the world’s best-rated healthcare systems, with slightly worse outcomes; about as much is spent out of public funds (Medicare, Medicaid, CHIP, etc.) as in those systems.

      To deliver world-class healthcare in developed nations costs around $4,000 per person per year. We know this because there are multiple nations that manage to hit this target, all of which have very different ways of organizing their healthcare systems. We know that the US has that money to spend, because it already spends twice as much. It just spends it on the wrong things.

  5. bsummers

    Elections have consequences. The voters soundly rejected government engineering (and have for the past eight years)

    I’ll remind Jane and everyone else that the Democratic candidate for President in each of the past three elections has gotten substantially more votes than the Republican. They ran on the platform of increased govt. intervention in the healthcare field. Hillary Clinton, as flawed as she was, was not “soundly rejected” – she got 3 million more votes than Trump. There is no mandate to sweep aside the ACA, and GOP legislators know that they have nothing to replace it with. They also know that the consequences of full repeal without a serious replacement plan will be disastrous – both for the millions of people depending on ACA, and for GOP political fortunes in the next election.

    Fix whatever problems exist with the ACA, embrace it as the Republican-conceived plan that it is (Bob Dole, “Romneycare”, etc.), and claim victory. That’s my suggestion, unless you want to lose the House and the Senate in 2018, and be responsible for the deaths and diminished lives resulting from kicking millions of people off their health insurance.

    • holidayrevell

      Really? Then why have the democrats lost so many seats in the House of Representatives, Senate not to mention state houses and Governorships in the last several cycles of elections? Tell the whole story, bsummers! Why do you think you are entitled to other peoples’ property? Your sense of entitlement is amazing to me!

      • bsummers

        Local elections are one thing. The Presidency is different – it’s the only national election. If you want a referendum on national issues – that’s it. It was well know that Obama and then Clinton planned on expanding govt. intervention in our messed up healthcare sector. They got more votes. There is no mandate to repeal the ACA.

        entitled to other people’s property? I have to assume you mean that my support of the ACA means I want to take someone else’s stuff… OK, so we’ll ignore that most developed countries in the world have some form of universal healthcare.

    • Huhsure

      The are already signs that GOP reps are backtracking from repeal. Not because it was never feasible, but because of the tongue-lashing they got at town halls.

      Nothing like a crowd of angry (white, elderly) constituents to make a Republican reprioritize.

      • The Real World

        You may want to do some online searching about the “organizing” of attendees at recent townhall events. For some, perhaps buses and money were involved. Would hardly be the first time. All is not as it appears.

        By the way, the ACA does not affect elderly people. So, there’s a flag right there, isn’t it?

        • Huhsure

          ZOMG! Commies!

          Oh, wait. Sorry, I’m just being informed that I got that wrong.

          https://twitter.com/scottwongDC/status/832259927511019520

          “Simply refer to this posting at any one of those merchandise stands and enjoy a complimentary gift or cash voucher as a gesture of appreciation for coming out to show your support.”

          Commies!

          I like this line of yours: “for some, perhaps buses and money were involved.” In other words, you have _no_ proof of _any_ paid protesters at any event, you’re just dissembling. Gotcha.

          BTW, organizations “organizing” is not paying people. And organizations arranging busing or arranging carpooling to events is not paying people. Is it that you don’t like organizations? Or you just don’t like _some_ organizations? Maybe what’s sticking in your craw is that this _grassroots_ organizing is completely eclipsing the Koch brothers’ astroturf Tea Party organizing.

          • bsummers

            Wow, a “complimentary gift or cash voucher” just for showing up at a Trump rally! I may have to switch sides.

        • Huhsure

          “By the way, the ACA does not affect elderly people.”

          That’s a lie.

          bit.ly/2mpdQMN

          *The ACA reduces prescription drug prices for seniors and closes the coverage gap, known as the “donut hole.”

          *Free preventative care: “because of the ACA, over 39 million seniors have received at least one of these preventive services with no out-of-pocket costs.”

          *Lower Medicare Part B Premiums

          *Improvements for Medicare Advantage Plan Members

          * Over the past three years, the government recovered over $10.7 billion from individuals and companies seeking fraudulent payments.

          *The ACA establishes the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation to test new ways of delivering care that are intended to improve quality while reducing the rate of growth in Medicare spending.

          From another page:

          *If the time comes for your loved ones to select a nursing home for you, then the health law makes more information available to compare homes and monitor care.

          *Increased consumer protection for nursing homes residents. It’s now easier for your loved one to file complaints about the quality of care in a nursing home. Your state is required to have a process in place to resolve complaints and to ensure that you’re not retaliated against.

        • bsummers

          You may want to do some online searching about the “organizing” of attendees at recent townhall events.

          Hey, that was a good suggestion. Here’s what I came up with:

          Tea Party Town Hall Strategy: “Rattle Them,” “Stand Up And Shout”
          http://talkingpointsmemo.com/dc/tea-party-town-hall-strategy-rattle-them-stand-up-and-shout
          “one tea-party friendly group has disseminated a strategy memo for other anti-reform and anti-government groups, outlining what they consider best-practices for protesters who plan to enter and disrupt town hall events hosted by members of Congress… “rock-the-boat early in the Rep’s presentation…to yell out and challenge the Rep’s statements early…. to rattle him, get him off his prepared script and agenda…stand up and shout and sit right back down.””

          Protesters disrupt town-hall healthcare talks
          http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-healthcare-townhalls-idUSTRE5765QH20090808
          “A group called the Tea Party protesters — named for the Boston tax revolt that helped spark the American Revolution — has launched a campaign to disrupt Democratic town hall meetings on healthcare.”

          Oh, wait – sorry. Those are from 2009. Does “launch a campaign” or “disseminate a strategy memo” have the same nefarious meaning as “organize”?

        • luther blissett

          “For some, perhaps buses and money were involved.”

          perhaps [citation needed]?

          “By the way, the ACA does not affect elderly people.”

          By the way, that’s not true.

    • bsummers

      BTW, I’m disappointed that 24 hours later, not one local Trump supporter has repeated their earlier comments about we’ll be seeing proof of those 3 – 5 million illegal votes for Hillary, soon… very soon.

  6. The Real World

    I’ve provided specific info many times on many topics but it make no difference to the hystericals. If you show them 6 different calendars, plus the date on your phone, plus 3 people confirm that today is Sunday they will simply refuse to believe it, if they don’t want to believe it is. Reality is irrelevant, only the dream.

    How about this civility thing; it’s awesome. So much has changed!

    • luther blissett

      I hear that large groups of people who have similar beliefs are showing up together right now at large events to sing and chant things. Buses and money may be involved!

      All is not what it appears at those churches.

    • bsummers

      Your “specific info” as often as not, turns out to be false.

      As for civility, yes – calling people who challenge you: “hystericals” – that’s as civil as all get-out.

  7. Steve Rinsler, MD

    Re the letter from Jane Bilello calling for the immediate repeal of the ACA.

    I agree that a better solution for providing essential disease care to all the people in the U.S. is needed.

    However, eliminating the existing Act WITHOUT a better one is insane. It would put many who have benefited from it back in a situation where they don’t get treatment for significant medical problems.

    So, let us first get a plan produced that does better (at a feasible cost to the nation) and then we will find general agreement to replace the ACA.

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