Wednesday, July 30, 2014

GOP Caught on Three Sides as Obamacare, EPA Shine

Hospitals getting paid more because of Obamacare?
Oops, GOP, I thought you were the party of business...

Funny, but that's the case:
HCA Holdings Inc. (HCA), the largest for-profit hospital chain, yesterday raised its forecast and reported a 6.6 percent drop in uninsured patients at its 165 hospitals, a reduction that grows to 48 percent in four states that expanded Medicaid, a top initiative of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. WellPoint Inc. (WLP), which made the biggest commitment of any publicly traded insurer to the Obamacare markets, raised its guidance today after handily beating analyst estimates for the quarter on rising membership linked to the overhaul.

Taxpayers too may be benefiting from the law approved in 2010. Medicare spending rose by just $1 per beneficiary in 2013, the fourth year in a row that saw a slowdown, the government reported yesterday.
"Obamacare's turned out to be quite good for health-care companies," said Les Funtleyder, a portfolio manager at Esquared asset management, in a telephone interview.
From "Obamacare's a disaster on all levels" to "OMG Obamacare's a freaking winner," along with the general GOP silence on the matter as we head to the 2014 elections, you'd think at some point it might start to be a losing issue for the GOP. I think you might be right. Here's the Dems starting to push:
“In order to better understand the basis for your opposition, I request that you provide ... copies of any state-specific analyses, studies, or reports that you ordered, requested or relied on to inform your decision,” Cummings said in the letters.
He specifically asked for how much funding the states would forgo by rejecting Medicaid expansion, how much the states themselves would have had to pay, how many jobs would have been created with Medicaid expansion, and how many residents would have to forgo "preventive services and other medicare care" without expansion.
At the same time, Cummings asked three Republican governors who decided to accept Medicaid expansion -- Arizona's Jan Brewer, Ohio's John Kasich and New Jersey's Chris Christie -- for the same kind of information, to help explain why they did elect to adopt a key provision of Obamacare.
It's easy to dismiss this as a stunt -- since maybe it is -- but all the same it's part of a pattern that's emerging of pressure building on the GOP governors and legislatures to explain why the poor have to die in their states. I see it building. We'll all see as the season goes on.

On another front, conservative environmentalists -- evangelical ones at that -- are parting company with conservative obstructionists and are openly praising Obama for his EPA actions:
WASHINGTON — The Rev. Lennox Yearwood punched his fist in the air as he rhythmically boomed into the microphone: “This is a moment for great leadership. This is a moment for our country to stand up. This is our moment.”
But Mr. Yearwood’s audience was not a church. It was the Environmental Protection Agency.
The E.P.A. on Tuesday held the first of two days of public hearings on its proposed regulation to cut carbon pollution from power plants, and mixed in with the coal lobbyists and business executives were conservative religious leaders reasserting their support for President Obama’s environmental policies — at a time when Republican Party orthodoxy continues to question the science of climate change.
More than two dozen faith leaders, including evangelicals and conservative Christians, are expected to speak at the E.P.A. headquarters in Washington by the time the hearings conclude on Wednesday.
“The science is clear,” said Lisa Sharon Harper, the senior director of mobilizing for Sojourners, an evangelical organization with a social justice focus. “The calls of city governments — who are trying to create sustainable environments for 25, 50 years — that’s clear.”
I've always thought that conservatives should be among the loudest calling for sustainable environments. It's good to see it happening.

No comments:

Post a Comment