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Thursday, August 1, 2013

Tim Kaine on Obamacare

Popvox forwards users' comments to their Congressmen. Recently I commented on bills meant to delay the train wreck called Obamacare. More recently, this web site displayed parts of Representative Morgan Griffith's replies, and today's e-mail contains replies from Senator Tim Kaine. Sigh...he just doesn't get it...

"
Ms. Priscilla King
Computer Center
Gate City, VA  24251
Dear Ms. King:

Thank you for contacting me about the health care reform law, known as the Affordable Care Act.  I appreciate your taking the time to share your views.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) was signed into law by President Obama on March 23, 2010.  I support the ACA as an important first step towards putting patients in charge of their own health care decisions and slowing the growth of health care costs.  Health care cost increases have bankrupted hundreds of thousands of people and imposed real financial burdens on businesses.  I find it intolerable that the wealthiest nation in the world spends more on health care than any other nation yet we receive second-rate results for our money.  ACA curbs the worst insurance company practices and increases access to affordable and quality health care to the tens of millions of Americans who are uninsured. 

Because of the ACA, millions of children can remain on their family's health insurance until they are 26 years old and insurance companies are prohibited from denying care to those with pre-existing conditions.  Seniors can receive free preventive care that will help reduce the cost and incidence of chronic diseases and purchase more affordable prescription drugs.  Forty-seven million American women now have access to preventive health services.  Small businesses are eligible for tax credits to help defray the costs of purchasing insurance for their employees.  And insurance companies are required to rebate excess premiums to their customers.  These measures represent just some of the positive effects of ACA. 
I oppose repealing the ACA and the benefits described above.  I acknowledge we have more to do to lower health care costs while improving the quality of care.  Other nations have shown it can be done through promoting preventive care, effectively using technology, paying our health care providers by patient outcomes, and finding ways to reduce defensive medicine and lower malpractice premiums without taking rights away from patients. 

Controlling the cost of health care is essential to reducing the deficit and our national debt.  I am ready to work with anyone interested in finding smart savings in health care, especially in Medicare.  Inaction is not a solution to our problems.  There are many good ideas for improving our health care system and through common ground and compromise, we can find credible solutions.
I will continue to work on improving ACA and reducing the cost of health care for Americans.  For more information about ACA, including how it will affect you, details about every feature of the law, and to read the text of the law itself, please visit www.healthcare.gov.

Thank you again for contacting me. 
Sincerely,

[nice signature graphic]
Tim Kaine"
 
And:
 
"
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) was signed into law by President Obama on March 23, 2010.  I support the ACA as an important first step towards putting patients in charge of their own health care decisions and slowing the growth of health care costs.  Health care cost increases have bankrupted hundreds of thousands of people and imposed real financial burdens on businesses.  I find it intolerable that the wealthiest nation in the world spends more on health care than any other nation yet we receive second-rate results for our money. 
As part of the ACA, the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) was created to reduce the per capita rate of growth in Medicare spending.  The IPAB will be composed of 15 members, nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate.  The IPAB's membership must have backgrounds in several relevant areas, such as health care economics, actuarial science, or health facility management. 
The IPAB is charged with recommending to Congress proposals for savings in Medicare if Medicare spending exceeds targeted growth rates, which will be based on inflation or, after 2020, the growth of the economy.  If Congress doesn't act on these recommendations within a designated timeframe, the Secretary of Health and Human Services will be required to implement the IPAB's recommendations.  The IPAB is prohibited from recommending changes that would reduce payments to providers before 2020 and cannot recommend any changes that would increase the premiums of Medicare beneficiaries, alter Medicare's eligibility, or lead to rationing of care. 
The growth in health care costs represents the biggest threat to Medicare and our ability to finance other budget priorities.  I acknowledge we have more to do to lower health care costs while improving the quality of care and through common ground and compromise, we can find credible solutions.  I will continue to work on improving the ACA and reducing the cost of health care for Americans.  For more information about the ACA, including how it will affect you, details about every feature of the law, and to read the text of the law itself, please visit www.healthcare.gov.
"
Yes, Senator...and the more we spend on medical insurance as distinct from the cost of medical care, the further below second-rate results we'll receive for our money...until we become a bankrupt nation and can't offer poor people any kind of medical help.
 

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