Archive for Monday, March 10, 2014

Obamacare is ‘actuarially unsound,’ Jenkins argues in Baldwin City

March 10, 2014


— Lawrence Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins said Monday in Baldwin City that the Affordable Care Act, frequently referred to as Obamacare, was “actuarially unsound” and vowed Republican efforts to repeal President Barack Obama’s signature legislation would continue.

“We haven’t given up hope the whole thing won’t collapse under its own weight,” she said. “I will tell you the fight remains, if you all think the discussion on health care is over, you are sorely mistaken.”

The 2nd District Republican U.S. House representative addressed a group of residents Monday at a coffee meeting at the The Lodge. Jenkins followed the coffee with a tour of McFarlane Aviation in Vinland.

Jenkins said Obamacare was “unsustainable as written” but that Republicans couldn’t repeal the legislation as long as Democrats controlled the U.S. Senate and Obama was president.

But Jenkins said House Republicans would continue to propose changes in the law. Such an action was taken last week when the House passed a measure Jenkins sponsored that would delay by one year the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate. The legislation is not expected to go anywhere in the Senate, and the president has already promised a veto should the legislation make it to his desk.

Jenkins and other House Republicans have been criticized for passing 50 bills to amend or repeal Obamacare with the knowledge they wouldn’t get Senate approval, Jenkins said. Those critics ignore the seven changes to the original legislation made because of bills the House passed, she said.

“If we can get seven changes for every 50 we tee up, we’re going to tee up 50 more next week,” she said. “That’s moving the ball in the right direction.”

In response to a question from the audience, Jenkins said there was little chance Congress would act to raise the minimum wage. Such legislation has failed to make it through the Democrat-controlled Senate, and House Republicans don’t support the move, she said.

Jenkins said a better way to get more money in the pockets of low-wage workers would be to repeal the rule in Obamacare that requires employers to provide health care to all those working 30 hours or more.

“You get more money in people’s pockets just by letting them work full-time than bumping the minimum wage to $10.10,” she said.


Steve Jacob 4 years ago

Obamacare is flawed, but what great plan do the Republicans have if it's repealed? And how do you repeal it in 2017 (at the earliest) without consequences?

Bob Smith 4 years ago

Leaving it to stagger on and be changed at every whim will have major consequences.

James Howlette 4 years ago

Repealing it without a replacement will have worse consequences. Your point?

James Howlette 4 years ago

Ah yes. Hot air. Always a reliable source for... well, nothing but hot air.

Brian Hall 4 years ago

So I'm assuming that Social Security, Medicare, and everything else that Congress has ever passed was perfect as is when it landed on the president's desk?

You know what really tightens my britches? The fact that our representatives always schedule these things in the middle of the day when people are at work and not in the evening when people can actually make it. They also never go to places where they may actually have to handle people who may disagree with them and when they do, it's usually for a fee or you have to be part of some club or a business owner. And I'm not saying Democrats don't do it either, they have but all of our Democrats seem a lot more open to dissent and the people than our Republican reps.

William Weissbeck 4 years ago

Remember the town hall debacles of 2010? Because of Tea Party childishness (remember Claire McCaskell trying to keep the class in order), and the GOP running only to its base - true, open town hall meetings are a thing of the past. Candidates just can't risk the video so long as there are groups who can bus in "concerned citizens."

James Howlette 4 years ago

I would actually support removing the employee mandate and putting it all on the individual. It removes even more job lock and the shenanigans of temper tantruming companies that now suddenly don't want to cover birth control, for example. It also gives more consumer choice when all individuals could shop around on the exchange instead of just those without employer coverage.

However, they still need that minimum wage increase. And no, it won't suddenly turn 25 hour a week employees into 40 hour a week employees if their employer doesn't need to pay for insurance. Their employer still doesn't want to pay the other benefits it offers full time employees without any sort of mandate. Same as it ever was.

dale thompson 4 years ago

yes, like un-employment insurance, and matching ss contributions and vacation/sick days benefits that kick in at 40hrs a week.

Robin Jones 4 years ago

I would suggest starting your own business. Then you wouldn't have to deal with those nefarious, evil employers.

James Howlette 4 years ago

Already have, but thanks for the tip. I also work a well-paid full time job with full benefits from an employer I consider neither evil nor nefarious. I would suggest tossing out your assumptions. They're clearly defective.

However, I still have to deal with the "evil nefarious" employer types, because as a taxpayer, I'm paying for their underpaid employees to get public assistance whether I choose to shop there or not.

dale thompson 4 years ago

Jenkins said a better way to get more money in the pockets of low-wage workers would be to repeal the rule in Obamacare that requires employers to provide health care to all those working 30 hours or more........ So let the poorest people work more hours, and do without health care. So they can go to the er, not pay the bill, and drive up health costs for everyone. I.E. the same old same old. THAT is the republican plan. Gee Marie Antoinette, may they have some cake too?

Ron Holzwarth 4 years ago

I think the term ‘actuarially unsound’ could be very appropriately applied to all of the United States' fiscal policies.

Or, you could just shorten it to 'unwise.'

It's all because of the same problem that we've had for decades - the country is being run by politicians instead of statesmen, and that's because statesmen are not very popular at the polls.

"Remember, Democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts and murders itself! There never was a democracy that did not commit suicide."
- John Adams (October 30, 1735 - July 4, 1826), American Founding Father, statesman, diplomat, and the second President of the United States (1797–1801)

Phillip Chappuie 4 years ago

What this political hack Ms. Jenkins does not do is offer some alternative. I would think the Republicans would be better off to provide adjustments to the things they don't really like about the ACA? They have nothing. I don't suppose those however many million people that just finally got some coverage will be very happy about a repeal. Poppa always said the health care problem will not be solved until they can figure out how to get rid of the insurance companies.

Julius Nolan 4 years ago

Seems the JW didn't like my pointing out that Lynn probably doesn't understand what "actuarially unsound" actually is. My post was disappeared.

William Weissbeck 4 years ago

The states already have to provide healthcare to prisoners. They really are their brother's keeper. So you were already paying for it.

Mike Ford 4 years ago

I can't tell the truth about the $48 million this politician has wasted opposing the aca on the house floor as reported on Miami Channel 4 and the Topeka Capital Journal letter to the editor I wrote last summer......what's freedom of reporting coming to?

Ron Holzwarth 4 years ago

"News is what somebody somewhere wants to suppress; all the rest is advertising."
- Lord Northcliffe, British publisher (1865-1922)

William Weissbeck 4 years ago

The GOP way of thinking: a full time job at $8.25 with no benefits is better than a part-time job at $10.10. It's $27/week better, but you still don't have healthcare. The GOP refuses to address the question of whether the norm should be that health insurance is a cost of doing business no matter who you are. People forget that Hillarycare was for an employer mandate, not an individual one (it was Dole who proposed the later), and George W Bush floated the idea of creating co-ops for small employers to purchase group health insurance. Everyone recognizes the problem that across the wide spectrum of jobs and industries, it is far easier for some employers to provide health insurance coverage for employees, and prohibitively expensive for other employers. And then there is the self-employed. The GOP, however, is stuck in a mindset of what cannot be done, but no vision of what can.

James Howlette 4 years ago

A public option would solve a lot of the mess, but I don't think we'll see it anytime soon.

Richard Payton 4 years ago

The government say's 3 or 4 million have signed up. The government won't say 15% haven't even paid the first month's insurance premium. The line that it's the price of your cell phone bill was a lie in my case. All plans I looked at an the marketplace exchange was $300 to $400 a month. Twenty seven Democrats voted in favor of delaying the individual mandate in the house.

William Weissbeck 4 years ago

That's really pretty reasonable for full coverage. At least Kansas somehow has managed to have competition. I on the other hand have looked into the Indiana policies. Much, much more, starting at $525, and only 2 companies. Compare that to Illinois - lower rates, again more competition. The issue is not the law - it's the insurance companies. And keep in mind that this may be more health insurance coverage than you wanted, but this was the trade-off to have the insurance companies insure your sicker, less healthy neighbor. The alternative is single payer. That way it won't seem like your large group insured buddies are getting a better deal. And if you agree to up the estate tax and the top marginal rates, you won't pay the difference. Such a trade-off - don't insure your fellow man or woman (or their kids) in need, or tax the very rich both living and dead. This is not sarcasm. You complain about the cost. You want to say these people aren't really needy. That allows the very rich to pull you into the argument that they don't need to be taxed.

Mike Ford 4 years ago

I've already paid three premiums....what's the point of your fiction or Lynn Jenkin's fiction for that matter?

Richard Payton 4 years ago

The feds are looking into a second state ran exchange. Oregon and Maryland are being questioned about possible fraud allegations into their exchanges. How many tax dollars have been wasted on these roll outs? This isn't about the rich and poor but poor management.

Richard Heckler 4 years ago

Rep Jenkins and her ALEC party companions have not put forth any change whatsoever in the past 33 years.

The medical insurance industry is deregulated. And the industry donates so much money to political campaigns that elected officials are so afraid to take a stand on behalf of consumers.

The industry donates so much money to political campaigns that raises the question "Is this appropriate use of healthcare dollars? Seems quite unethical.

Richard Heckler 4 years ago

Where does Jenkins acquire her guidelines?

Efforts to Limit Patient Rights and Undermine Safety Net Programs for Older Americans and Others Health, Pharmaceuticals, and Safety Net Programs

The bills on this page reveal how ALEC corporations and their legislative partners would privatize Medicare, deregulate health insurers, protect negligent doctors, and cut holes in the safety net.

These anti-patient "model bills" advance the interests of global drug companies and the health insurance industry, while eroding the rights and health of Americans.

Through ALEC, corporations have both a VOICE and a VOTE on specific changes to our public health laws through these model bills. Do you?,_Pharmaceuticals,_and_Safety_Net_Programs

Bob Smith 4 years ago

And in other "throwing away tax dollars" news: "Congress’s investigative arm said Wednesday it will audit Oregon’s broken healthcare exchange site, which has yet to enroll even one person despite spending $304 million in federal funds…"

Read more:

James Howlette 4 years ago

Not enrolling through the website doesn't mean not enrolling. "Oregon continues to rank in the middle of the pack for states with their own exchanges, despite the nonworking enrollment function. The state joined with Cover Oregon to spend millions on a manual processing backup plan that used hundreds of workers to process applications."

Beator 4 years ago

Lesson 1: The Massachusetts plan does not control costs. Lesson 2: Community rating, guaranteed issue and mandated benefits swell costs. Lesson 3: Huge subsidies for low-to-medium earners could prove extremely expensive. Lesson 4: The exchanges reward people for working less and earning less. Lesson 5: The generous plans and added mandates give employers an incentive to drop health insurance.

Danger ahead? Massachusetts health costs are rising – fast.

Massachusetts has been at the forefront of experimenting with new ways to keep health-care spending down after decades of sharp increases. Last year, it passed a law that put health costs under a global budget: They cannot grow faster than the rest of the Bay State economy.

BOSTON — Gov. Deval Patrick’s new special assistant in charge of overseeing the repair of the Health Connector’s troubled enrollment website told lawmakers on Wednesday that the state was seeking a six-month extension from the federal government to keep subscribers enrolled in current coverage plans beyond the March 31 deadline to give ample time to repair the faulty site.

James Howlette 4 years ago

Actually, the ACA has more emphasis on cost control from the start. Mass just started working on that part. That's one of the perks about having data from a test case before you go national. Nice try, though.

Richard Payton 4 years ago

Obama quietly added another exemption according to Fox News. (14) You experienced another hardship in obtaining health insurance. Why would he veto Lynn Jenkins bill when he just did what her bill was suggesting.

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