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I have been reading the postings on this thread and I never cease to be amused by the so-called "conservatives" who post on this board. There are probably very few true conservatives left any more I presume. The "conservative" movement that was characterized by Ronald Reagan and his predecessors has been hijacked by a rabid right wing band of nut cases with the intent of repealing the entire 20th century and "taking the country back" to the golded age of the 1880s.
Those posters (and you know who you are) like to blame everything on President Obama. No doubt they will blame the next Atlantic hurricane on him as well. Here are some immutable facts that seem to be lost in this discussion.
1. The sequester is completely a product of the Republicans in the House of Representatives. Sure President Obama signed the bill into law that contained the sequester. But he was being held hostage by tea party Republicans in the house over increasing the nation's debt ceiling which was needed so that the country could pay its bills.
2. The sequester was something of a last resort that was perceived as being so drastic and across the board that neither party would want that to happen. It was expected that both political parties would reach some kind of deficit reduction agreement before it was to take effect.
3. Of course that never happened as both parties dug in their heels and refused to compromise on a workable deficit reduction bill. Most of the blame has to go to the Republicans who are adamant that any deficit reduction not include any increase in revenues. This is nothing but a fairy tale that the deficit cound be brought under control only by spending cuts.
4. Much of the ACA has yet to take effect and the "700 billion" in "Medicare cuts" that the Republican party has been campaigning on since the bill was written is actually a reduction in the growth of Medicare spending spread out over a decade beginning in 2011 through 2020. This has as much to do with those cancer clinics turning away Medicare patients as the weather.
The bottom line is that something has to be done to control the ever increasing cost of health care in the United States. The ACA is only a start and does not completely address the issue as I have posted numerous times. But the Republican party has thus far proposed no viable alternative to the ACA that will reduce the number of uninsured in the United States or reduce the increase in health care costs. Do they expect that should the ACA fail (and they are doing everything they can to make sure that it fails) in its objectives of covering most of the nation's uninsured and reducing the growth of health care costs that things will return to the status quo that existed prior to the passage of the ACA? Once the toothpaste is out of the tube, can all of it be put back inside the tube? Of course not. Nor will the nation's health care system return to the status quo that existed before the ACA.
The United States is undergoing a sea change in health care right now. It has been evident for a long time that the system of health care and health insurance that has existed in the United States for the past 45 years is seriously broken and cannot be sustained. Cancer care is expensive and can now work miracles. But is it worth the cost in every case? Does it make sense to gove expensive cancer treatment to someone who is at an advanced age where the liklihood of success (measured by a five year survival rate) is minimal? Or does it make more sense to comfort the patient and let nature take its course?
This country squanders billions if not trillions of dollars in health care given to terminally ill patients who are insured because there is insurance to pay for the treatment. In many instances, that care, which is very expensive, does not improve the quality of life nor does it extend the life of the patient beyond a few years. While at the same time, millions of younger people are going without necessary medical care simply because they lack the means to pay for the medical care. People die in the United States because they lack health insurance! Many of those deaths are needless, because if they had health insurance and access to preventative and primary care, the condition that caused the death might have been nipped in the bud.
But beyond those who meet a premature death because they could not get cancer screenings that might have detected that cancer in its early stages because they lacked health insurance are the millions more who suffer from ailments that prevent them from being as productive as they are able. They range from children who do not do as well in school because of some preventable illness or condition to young adults that cannot get mental health care because community clinics are overwhelmed, under staffed and under funded.
To those people who accuse this forum of being some kind of Obama love fest; they are only showing their complete ignorance and disregard of reality. First, President Obama was re-elected to a second term. In fact his margin of victory, while not spectacular, was greater than George W Bush's margin of victory over John Kerry in 2004. Therefore he will be president until January 2017 and no amount of complaining can change that fact. If all the Republican party can do is blame President Obama for everything wrong in the country without proposing any viable alternatives; that all they are doing is to make sure that President Obama's successor is another Democrat. If anyone believes that the Ryan budget is a viable alternative, then they had better check what they put in their coffee this morning.