They failed to replace it or outright kill it, so now the Trump administration is trying to undermine the Affordable Care Act with some pretty underhanded tricks. Some of them make it harder to enroll this year:
- They cut the enrollment period to less than half what it was before, just 45 days, from Nov. 1st to Dec. 15th.
- They plan to shut down the enrollment servers on Sundays during the enrollment period for “routine maintenance.” By the way, most working folks and college students enroll on weekends, and especially on Sunday, when they have more spare time.
- They will also shut down the federal exchange — healthcare.gov — overnight on the first day of open enrollment, Nov. 1st. More than three dozen states use that exchange for their marketplaces.
- They cut the advertising budget by 90 percent. It’s unlikely that you’ll see an enrollment ad this year.
- They also slashed the budget to agencies that help people enroll.
“Open enrollment” for health care began Saturday and continues through Dec. 15. Many Clackamas County folks call this the month of confusion because of all the mixed information floating about. Example: If you live in Clackamas County you have to enroll for Medicare Plan B (presuming you’re over 65 and already have Plan A) at county offices. Wrong. Social Security now handles that, and you can do it over the web or on the phone; they’ll mail you the easy paperwork. Continue reading
“Then you say you will, and then you won’t. You’re undecided now. So what are you gonna do?” If you recognize those words, you’re certifiably old; they come from a dandy old Ella Fitzgerald tune, “Undecided.”
However, today they refer to Monica Wehby’s problem with where she stands on the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare. Again, a national website, Daily Kos, brings Wehby’s foibles to our attention. Fact: Wehby’s wishy-washy positioning in her race against Oregon Democratic Senator Jeff Merkley. (You’ll not see this in The Oregonian, which proudly endorsed her in the primary.)
Unfortunately for pediatric neurosurgeon Wehby, Obamacare is supposed to be her forte, her reason for running, her area of expertise. Not quite. Maybe she should try singing instead.
When you’re driving on I-205 in Gladstone and see those ugly billboards personally attacking President Obama and our senior Senator Ron Wyden, have you wondered where the nasty inspiration for such abusive messages comes from? The answer, it would appear, is the Koch Brothers, Karl Rove, and the rest of those awful characters. Their current target is the Affordable Care Act; they want it inoperable, unfunded, and meaningless. And they’re putting up $20 million so far in the attack.
Our own Congressman, Kurt Schrader, seems to have escaped the wrath — for now. Stay tuned to see where this goes on the Clackamas and Oregon front.
By Peter Toll
Plenty of ironies to keep us alive in Clackamas County and elsewhere with the famous John Ludlow-Tootie Smith combination kicking off today’s list.
The county roads are old, overused, and deteriorating. They were mostly constructed with the largesse of the federal government back in the day (40-50 years ago) when infrastructure was not only needed but the work provided a wealth of family wage jobs, too.
Ludlow and the Tootster had a revelation the other day considering a $20 million bond issue to upgrade and repair county roads. This will be a tough sell to the taxpaying public, they mused aloud. Trying to educate the voters will require going back to kindergarten, muttered Tootie with a certain level of disgust under her breath.
The irony, of course, is that Ludlow and Tootie were brought into office by these tax-hating, anti-government, anti-light rail, and anti-any-authority-except-their-own, tea party wackos. Continue reading
While many on the Democratic side of the aisle would prefer a single payer medical system for the country like Medicare, the Affordable Care Act going into action today as Cover Oregon in our state is the first step in that direction.
Oregon’s implementation of Obamacare, as it is known, provides a guaranteed level of health insurance including maternity. birth control, and mental health services while increasing the amount of coverage people get and reducing the profit margin of the insurance companies.
Many other services previously only available on expensive employer-funded plans are now available to all and there can no longer be a restriction of coverage due to pre-existing conditions. Continue reading