Obamacare

Observations from a Congressional staffer on phone calls

At least somebody is paying attention:

It’s not even noon, and I’ve already answered dozens of phone calls from angry constituents. A single mother demanded answers as to where her family could turn for health-care services if Republicans repeal the Affordable Care Act. An older gentleman had to take a breath as he used some choice words to describe House Speaker Paul D. Ryan’s proposals to cut Medicare benefits. The resentment and anger are palpable. Seconds after I hang up, the phone rings again. And again. And again.

Democratic and Republican congressional offices have been inundated with calls, letters, tweets, posts and visits from impassioned people upset and outraged by the president’s actions, Cabinet nominations and executive orders. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer’s office reported an average of 1.5 million daily calls to the Senate in the first week of February alone. Phone lines are so gridlocked that lawmakers are nervously taking to social media to apologize that constituents can’t get through and reassure them that we hear them on Capitol Hill.

Before you start punching in numbers to say your piece, keep in mind the author works for a House Democrat. It's a good bet many Republicans have been seriously filtering their incoming correspondence, and then just making shit up to show evidence of support. But here are some examples of the effectiveness of issue-based advocacy:

Trump Regret Syndrome: Wait, you were serious about repealing Obamacare?

Believing the lies, ignoring the truth:

Representative Richard Hudson of North Carolina said Friday there is "a lot of angst in our state" over an Obamacare repeal and that he participated in a telephone town-hall with 12,000 people a day earlier.

"My constituents are freaking out about commercials they are seeing on TV about how they are going to lose their health care," he said. Hudson said he tells constituents regarding Republican efforts to devise a replacement plan, "If Obamacare is working for you, we want to hear you say that, too."

And before you even ask, yes, this is a huge flip-flop from Richard Hudson. He's been an adamant opponent of the Affordable Care Act since he's been in the House, and has been wailing about government overreach and how the mandate has been choking businesses. But now that a repeal is a distinct possibility, he's trying to cover his ass with his base and act like an innocent bystander. But the Internet is not so easily fooled:

For what it's worth

Here is my letter to my senators and representative (Holding) regarding the ACA. I don't pretend to think it will do any good, but at least maybe they will know that they are being held accountable for their role. Or maybe the effort will make me feel a little better.

Senator Burr
Senator Tillis
Representative Holding

Burr leans on bent think-tank to support his ACA alternative bill

Partisan politics and pseudo-scientific bullshit:

I certainly believe that both the Obama campaign and administration have sought to construct a political narrative that dispenses with inconvenient facts. The campaign narrative was that the U.S. economy was crumbling, broken by Republicans, and in need of being “rebuilt.”

That narrative supported “investments” — progressive-speak for massive federal spending — government takeovers where desired (health care) or needed by unions (autos), and massive deficits.

You're right, I put this diary together backwards, just so you browsers would get a taste of the "expert" that Senator Richard Burr hopes will give his horribly bad legislation a whiff of legitimacy:

Misogynist GOP Healthcare Plan

NC's own, Senator Richard Burr, is working on the health plan Republicans plan to propose as a replacement for Obamacare. One of the things setting the two plans apart is maternity coverage: Obamacare requires it, the Burr plan does not. Evidently, Senator Burr doesn't think health insurance needs to cover maternity care, even though about 54% of registered voters in North Carolina are women.

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