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SunsetDreams

Profile Information

Gender: Female
Current location: Oklahoma
Member since: Sun Mar 9, 2008, 12:02 PM
Number of posts: 8,571

About Me

I live in deep red country, and like to see myself as a bright shining blue star in a sky full of red hues. It\'s not easy living in an area surrounded by Republicans, but I truly believe in my role of changing a heart and mind one person at a time. DU for me has became a safe haven, where I can come in gather knowledge and fellowship with Democrats, and be refueled to go out and fight yet another day.

Journal Archives

ACA Mandate Myths & How the Affordable Care Law Affects You

Mandate myths

Myth 1: Everyone is required to buy insurance.

That’s not true. Over 80%* of Americans have insurance through their employers or receive insurance because they are in the military or are veterans or are poor or old. No one in these categories is required to buy individual insurance.

(Actually no one at all has to buy health insurance because, if they fall under that provision and don’t buy it, they can pay the penalty instead. The penalty is far cheaper than the cost of insurance.)

*81% of Americans under 65 have insurance. People over 65 have single-payer coverage; i.e., Medicare (with some holding additional private insurance).

Myth 2: People who don’t have insurance will be forced to buy insurance they can’t afford.

This is also untrue.

People with the lowest incomes are covered under Medicaid, which was expanded by the ACA for those with incomes up to 133% of the poverty level.

For those with incomes between 133% and 400% of the poverty level, subsidies are available so they can afford to buy health coverage in the new health care exchange.

There is a hardship exemption for those who don’t have insurance and say they can’t afford it.

And, as noted under myth 1, no one actually must buy health insurance, since they can pay the penalty instead.

(Please Go To Pollways Link For Other Myths, very informative)


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ACA Provisions

How does the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) change health coverage in the U.S.?

The ACA makes dramatic changes to the way millions of Americans access health care. This comprehensive reform of health insurance attempts to make insurance more affordable, higher in quality and more accessible for people. It also expands Medicaid, imposes new responsibilities on individuals to purchase insurance and provides new incentives for employers to provide insurance for their employees. Together, these changes are estimated to expand coverage to 32 million people who were previously uninsured.

Insurance reforms

Beginning in 2014, the ACA requires health insurers to accept all applicants for insurance, regardless of their health status. In addition, insurers will no longer be allowed to charge higher premiums or exclude benefits because someone has a pre-existing condition. Most insurers will also be required to provide coverage that meets federal standards for benefits and cost-sharing.

As of September 23, 2010, a number of insurance reforms went into effect, including requiring insurers to:

Cover certain preventive services without deductibles or cost-sharing
Allow parents to keep adult children up to age 26 on their insurance
Cover all children under the age of 19, regardless of health status
Create an internal and external appeals process to handle consumer complaints and denials
Eliminate lifetime limits on benefits and significantly raise the annual limits for benefits (eventually it will also eliminate annual limits)
Spend a minimum of 80 percent of premiums on medical services and quality improvement
Justify unreasonable premium increases
Eliminate the practice of rescissions (when a health plan retroactively cancels coverage after the enrollee gets sick)
Allow patients to choose their health care professional as a primary care provide


Much more on ACA Provisions at community catalyst here

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For those that are uninsured
Without question, uninsured Americans will be most affected by health care reform. If you don’t have health insurance because you’re unemployed or don’t make enough to afford it, you’re going to get a subsidy to help cover the cost of coverage. The subsidy will be based on your income, but the result will be that at least 30 million people who couldn’t afford insurance will now theoretically be able to.

And if you have lingering doubts that this group of people really needed the government’s help, check out a couple of news stories we recently did about how the uninsured suffer:

This one is called Killer Hospital Bills: it’s about an uninsured woman went to the emergency room with stomach pains and emerged hours later with a $12,000 bill.
And here’s one about a senior citizen who had to file bankruptcy because of health costs.

So the news is good for uninsured Americans who needed and wanted coverage, but there’s another group of uninsured who may not be so happy: those that can afford insurance but choose to forgo the expense by going without. In an effort to encourage all Americans to have health insurance, beginning in 2014 these people will face fines for that kind of risk-taking. The proposed fine is 2.5% of income, up to $2,085, so the incentive to have insurance will be powerful.


More at MoneyTalksNewshere

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This DHS site has some great information as well
Affordable Care Act: Opportunities for the Aging Network
http://aoa.gov/Aging_Statistics/Health_care_reform.aspx


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Link to the Affordable Care Act (Full Law) here
Link to Affordable Care Act (Amendments) here

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Here is a nifty tool from WaPo that you can use to determine how your family might be affected by ACA.
What does the Supreme Court's health-care ruling mean for me?
The court's decision to uphold all but one component of the health-care law means new rules for insurers that have already taken effect will remain in place. Beginning in 2014, virtually all Americans will have to obtain health insurance or pay a penalty. There also will be new opportunities to get coverage, including state-based marketplaces known as exchanges* (through which individuals will be able to purchase private plans that meet strict benchmarks for quality) and federal subsidies to help low-income people buy plans on the exchanges. The law will also expand the eligibility rules for Medicaid, but the Court found that states can not be penalized if they decline to comply with the expansion, raising questions as to how effectively the federal government will be able to implement it.


Take the quiz at the link and find out

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http://www.healthcare.gov/ is an excellent source of info and policy plans available to you.

Thank you Honeycombe8 for pointing out this one.

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The Affordable Care Act is a step in the right direction. With it in place I believe it will be easier to progress to single payer in the future. The purpose of this OP is for anyone who might not know what all is in the ACA and how it might affect them.

TAKE ACTION!!! Let's not let them bury Democracy. Let's FIGHT!

Right-wing media are arguing that Wisconsin governor Scott Walker's victory in the Wisconsin recall election was a victory for the grassroots over unions and progressives. But, due to Citizens United and a loophole in Wisconsin campaign finance laws, the progressive message was swamped by conservative special interest money.

In Fact, Walker Had A Massive Fundraising Advantage

Wisconsin Campaign Finance Watchdog Group: "Pro-Walker Forces Have Spent About $48 Million Compared To $19 Million For Anti-Walker Forces." A June 4 Chicago Sun-Times article quoted campaign finance watchdog group Wisconsin Democracy Campaign who estimated that campaign spending benefitting Walker totaled about $48 million compared to $19 million for Barett.

Two-Thirds Of Walker's Direct Donations Came From Out-Of-State. The Chicago Sun-Times article further noted that the majority of Walker's direct contributions came from out-of-state donors.

...

Corporations, GOP Interest Groups, And Conservative Activists Spent Big Money On Behalf Of Walker.

NRA Spent $646,000 To Defeat Barrett. [Wisconsin Democracy Alliance, accessed 6/6/12]
Caterpillar Gave $40,000 To Walker. [Wisconsin Democracy Alliance, 2/28/12]
Tea Party Group FreedomWorks For America - Wisconsin Spent $46,445 On Behalf Of Walker. [Wisconsin Democracy Alliance, 5/9/12]
Conservative Activist And Rick Santorum Donor Foster Friess Donated $100,000 To Walker. [Wisconsin Democracy Alliance, 11/16/11]
Conservative Activist And Newt Gingrich Donor Sheldon Adelson Gave $250,000 To Walker. [Wisconsin Democracy Alliance, 3/30/12]
Texas Conservative Activist Bob Perry Gave More Than $500,000 To Walker. [Wisconsin Democracy Alliance, 11/16/11, 1/17/12]


http://mediamatters.org/research/201206060008

(Let's not forget the Koch Brothers helped buy this election too)





Wisconsin Recall Breaks Record Thanks To Outside Cash
Citizens United came down, it didn’t just nullify Wisconsin’s 1905 ban on corporate campaign cash, it also plunged much of the state’s campaign finance reporting into darkness.

“Because corporate and labor expenditures were previously illegal, there were no disclosure laws to regulate their spending,” said McCabe. “There’s been a precipitous drop off in transparency.”

Since Citizens United, Wisconsin’s Government Accountability Board requires independent expenditure groups to register as so-called “1.91 groups,” named for the state rule that created them. Of the more than $63 million spent in the race, $22 million has come from these groups — $16.3 million of it from Walker supporters — according to the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign.

Similar to federal super PACs, 1.91 groups can raise and spend unlimited corporate or union dollars and urge voters to support or oppose a candidate. Also, like federal super PACs, they must report their donors — except when they can avoid it.


http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/03/wisconsin-recall-unions_n_1565921.html



Total spending on the race exceeded $65 million, and the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign’s Mike McCabe said once all the numbers are totaled that figure could exceed $75 million, doubling the maximum ever spent on any political campaign in the state.

That number was buttressed by a loophole in Wisconsin law that allowed Walker to raise unlimited donations from individuals for months, while Barrett had hard caps on his donations and could only begin fundraising two months ago when the recall became official. That allowed Walker to raise nearly $30 million and outspend Barrett by nearly 10-to-1. Walker and his allies more than doubled the amount Barrett and his backers spent on the race.


http://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/231119-gov-walker-fends-of-recall-effort-in-wisconsin


In the Badger State, Democratic gubernatorial challenger Tom Barrett is the one primarily relying on third-party efforts. Since he entered the fray in late March, the Milwaukee mayor has raised a mere $4 million for his campaign and is depending on outside groups backed by the labor movement to carry him to victory. By contrast, Scott Walker, the incumbent governor, has taken advantage of an arcane loophole in Wisconsin campaign-finance law, which has allowed him to take in contributions of more than $500,000 apiece from well-heeled supporters and build up a massive war chest of more than $30 million since he took office last year.

One reason for this switch: the loophole allowing unlimited donations benefits only candidates facing possible recall efforts, in this case, Walker. The law was passed in 1987 (and supported by then-state representative Barrett) to level the playing field for incumbents facing recall challenges, who would be otherwise handicapped by Wisconsin’s strict campaign-finance laws. Walker took this small loophole, designed to even the odds when state and local candidates faced an unexpected election, and used it to rake in tens of millions of dollars. Yet this loophole hasn’t necessarily increased the amount of money Walker has received to beat back the recall effort; rather it seems that large donations from millionaires and billionaires such as Sheldon Adelson and Foster Friess, which normally would have been directed to super PACs and third-party groups, have instead gone directly into the campaign’s coffers.


http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/06/03/wisconsin-recall-bucking-the-super-pac-trend.html


Democracy dies when you can buy elections. Democracy dies when the will of the people are drowned and outnumbered by Corporations and Powerful Interest who can freely buy elections and favors thanks to a Conservative Supreme Court who will gladly do their bidding. Democracy dies when one party sends out robocalls telling citizens they need not show up to vote, that their vote was already counted when they signed a petition...LIES.

Let's not let them stick the last nail in Democracy's Coffin. Let's not let them bury Democracy. Let's FIGHT!!! Let's Occupy the Damn Supreme Court!! Start writing letters to your Senator's, hell write to all Democratic Senators and House Members. Let's take back this country. Write to the DOJ. Tell them you expect action to be taken in all the voter purging NOW! Take to twitter, facebook, tumblr, social media websites...etc Get up and do something! It will be a hard fight but the History of this nation, shows the American People do not give up!!!

Tell the GOP and all their Cronies NO!!!!

U.S Congress http://usgovinfo.about.com/gi/o.htm?zi=1/XJ&zTi=1&sdn=usgovinfo&cdn=newsissues&tm=13&f=00&su=p284.13.342.ip_&tt=2&bt=1&bts=0&zu=https%3A//writerep.house.gov/writerep/welcome.shtml

Directory here http://usgovinfo.about.com/gi/o.htm?zi=1/XJ&zTi=1&sdn=usgovinfo&cdn=newsissues&tm=13&f=00&su=p284.13.342.ip_&tt=2&bt=1&bts=0&zu=https%3A//writerep.house.gov/writerep/welcome.shtml

U.S. Senator's Websites and Mailing Addresses http://usgovinfo.about.com/gi/o.htm?zi=1/XJ&zTi=1&sdn=usgovinfo&cdn=newsissues&tm=22&f=00&su=p284.13.342.ip_&tt=2&bt=0&bts=0&zu=https%3A//www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm

U.S. Supreme Court Addresses http://usgovinfo.about.com/blsupct.htm


Posted by SunsetDreams | Wed Jun 6, 2012, 12:15 PM (3 replies)

Mitt Romney's Skeleton Closet: Scandals, Quotes, and Character

Medicare Fraud That Made Him Rich


In 1989, Romney led Bain Capital's purchase of Damon Corp., a medical testing company, and took a seat on the Board of Directors to better manage it. During Romney's four years, Bain tripled its investment, and Romney personally made $473,000 -- while Damon plumped its profits with Medicare fraud (running thousands of medical tests doctors didn't want, and billing Medicare for them). The company pled guilty to crimes committed during his tenure and paid a record fine of $119 million. Company President Joseph Isola pleaded no contest to fraud, and a vice president was also convicted.

Romney claims he "uncovered" the fraudulent claims and "took corrective action," but court records show that he did not notify prosecutors or stop the fraudulent billing. He just asked company lawyers what changes they could make to avoid prosecution, after the feds' LABSCAM prosecution targeted a different medical testing firm. The cheating continued, prosecutors say, until the day Bain sold the company to Corning. Furthermore, Damon Corp. was required to list in various SEC filings any significant legal risks it faced. Romney made no mention of the fraud he "uncovered," even though it led to a $119 million fine, the largest in history. Damon Corp. is another Bain acquisition that later went bankrupt, killing over a thousand jobs -- but not before Bain made $7.4 million in profit. By amazing coincidence, Rick Santorum also made a lot of money off of a company involved in Medicare fraud: Universal Health Care.

Top Aide Illegally Impersonating Police Officers

Well, it gets worse. According to three different anonymous sources, one who works for the Romney campaign, Garrity made up fake police badges -- bright silver plates with the seal of Massachusetts on them -- and gave them to several other staffers, who used them to order reporters and other people out of events, get past security guards, and avoid paying highway tolls. In fact, Garrity has been handing out badges since Romney was governor of Massachusetts.

So this was not just one staffer's personal fetish. Sources named at least two other Romney staffers who used the badges -- Mark Glanville and William Ritter. "They knew the badges were fake and probably illegal," the campaign source said. In fact, Garrity was Romney's right-hand man and rarely left his side. It's hard to believe that Mitt Romney himself did not notice the fact that Garrity was constantly flashing a police badge as they blew through security into various events. The Romney campaign has not commented on whether Mitt Romney knew about the badges.


http://www.realchange.org/romney.htm


"I saw my father march with Martin Luther King." (Romney's campaign later admitted that they didn't march on the same day, or in the same city)

"PETA is not happy that my dog likes fresh air." --on strapping his dog to the top of the car

"Hugo Chavez has tried to steal an inspiring phrase 'Patria o muerte, venceremos.' It does not belong to him. It belongs to a free Cuba." --invoking a phrase that translates to "Fatherland or death, we shall overcome," which Fidel Castro has used to close his speeches for years, and which is associated with Cuban oppression

"We should double Guantanamo!"

http://politicalhumor.about.com/od/mittromney/a/romneyquotes.htm



Dumb Mitt Romney Quotes
Top 10 Dumbest Mitt Romney Quotes (So Far)


1. "Corporations are people, my friend… of course they are. Everything corporations earn ultimately goes to the people. Where do you think it goes? Whose pockets? Whose pockets? People's pockets. Human beings, my friend." —Mitt Romney to a heckler at the Iowa State Fair who suggested that taxes should be raised on corporations as part of balancing the budget (August 2011)

2. "I like being able to fire people who provide services to me." –Mitt Romney, using an unfortunate choice of words while advocating for consumer choice in health insurance plans (January 2012)

...

5. "I should tell my story. I'm also unemployed." —Mitt Romney, speaking in 2011 to unemployed people in Florida. Romney's net worth is over $200 million.

6. "There were a couple of times I wondered whether I was going to get a pink slip" –Mitt Romney, attempting to identify with the problems of average folk (January 2012)


http://politicalhumor.about.com/od/mittromney/a/Mitt-Romney-Quotes.htm




Mitt Romney - Maine GOP Caucus Fraud here


Mitt Romney, bully with Rachel Maddow


Very long article but well worth the read.
Mitt Romney’s prep school classmates recall pranks, but also troubling incidents

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/mitt-romneys-prep-school-classmates-recall-pranks-but-also-troubling-incidents/2012/05/10/gIQA3WOKFU_story.html

Failed as Governor
Romney economics didn’t work then, and it won’t work now:


Ten years ago, Mitt Romney told the people of Massachusetts that his experience in business uniquely qualified him to strengthen the state’s economy. Foreshadowing the message of his current campaign, Romney presented himself as a “job creator,” whose experience as a corporate buyout specialist had given him special insight into how to grow the economy.

It was a false representation. For, as even his colleagues have acknowledged, Romney’s goal in business was never job creation. It was to maximize quick profits for himself and his investors, and those profits often came at the expense of the long-term growth of the companies they took over and the well-being of the men and women who worked there. Whether companies succeeded or failed, Romney Economics netted huge profits for him and his investors, but sometimes proved devastating for the middle-class workers whose jobs, benefits and pensions were put at risk.

So what did that experience mean for Massachusetts?

Romney campaigned for Governor on the promises of more jobs, decreased debt and smaller government. He served during a nationwide economic expansion, and when he entered office Massachusetts’ unemployment rate was still below the national average – where it had been for nearly a decade. Republicans and Democrats across the state were hopeful that he would deliver on his promises. When he left office, however, state debt had increased, the size of government had grown, and over his four years, Massachusetts’ record of job creation was among the worst in the nation.

Now Romney’s back, making the same pitch to America that he did to the people of Massachusetts. “I’ve had a real job,” he says. “I think it helps to have a real job, to be able to create real jobs.”


http://www.theliberaloc.com/2012/06/01/romney-economics-didnt-work-then-wont-work-now/


Romney Economics Failures
IN DETAIL: Massachusetts And Bain Capital
Almost 18 minutes long



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Feel free to add your own. Keep Romney's greedy little hands off our White House!
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