Ben Hoffman has written a comment in response to my post of earlier today, “53% want repeal of health care law,” to let me know that he doesn’t believe that the Rassmussen Poll is accurate (or maybe it’s that I’m wrong.):
If people knew the truth about the reform, more would think it was good for our country. But right-wing propaganda has taken hold over facts. The main issue people cite when asked why they’re against it is the mandate, which won’t affect people who already have insurance and for those who don’t, well… they’re just sponging off the rest of us when they get sick or hurt and they have to go to the emergency room, so who cares what they think.
I disagree with Mr. Hoffman on whether or not people know “the truth” and whether or not they will like the healthcare bill as they learn more about it and about whether or not the mandate is the greatest objection or will affect other insurances. The mandate is bad enough – as is commonly repeated these days, if the government can force you to buy health care, it can force you to buy anything.
First, the poll itself is evidence that people are changing their minds as they learn. As I do, and as I’m sure you do, the people I’ve talked to are researching, following the news and the bits of the law and the regulations that are already coming to be known.
One bit of the law that has already affected many of us is the restriction on Health Savings Accounts. The before-tax contributions were limited, cutting the amount that people can save to pay for their own health care. We can no longer use our HSA to pay for over the counter meds and devices without risking a huge penalty. Doctors are being asked to write scripts for aspirin and other over the counter meds that are medically necessary, but no longer paid under the HSA regs.
Many of us are bothered by the waivers that are going out to some companies.
And, we laughed when we all found out that the Bill had no “separate and severability” clause and would have outlawed all Congressional staffers’ insurance if the Office of Personnel had not engaged in a slight-of-hand trick.
Personally, I found the rules change abuse by Senator Reid to be offensive. He has bound all further Congresses to his debate rules: no debate at all without a 2/3 majority vote and then very limited time for each side to present their case. He also forced any changes to go through the Senate Finance Committee.
However, the biggest danger has not kicked in, yet. The Independent Medicare Advisory Board will soon be mandating cuts in Medicare services by determining what is and is not medically and financially effective. Those cuts may only be overturned by the 2/3 vote, then Senate Finance Committee route, and then only if other cuts can be substituted to meet the same dollar amounts.
The IMAB will make us forget that we ever laughed at “death panels.” This is where the government will control what your doctor does in that little exam room. What Medicare does, everyone does or they risk “exclusion” from Medicare and all those who participate with Medicare.
And finally: “rightwing propaganda?” Please give people the same credit for thinking that you do, Mr. Hoffman.