Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Author of Republicans' “Waterloo” has Plan B: Repeal the Bill

Senator Jim DeMint, Republican of South Carolina, seeks to revive his “Waterloo” prediction -– “it’s Waterloo all right: ours,” wrote conservative David Frum -– by introducing a bill to repeal healthcare reform. DeMint, not the brightest bulb in a party populated by dimwits and troglodytes, is infamous for his trenchant prediction that healthcare reform would be President Obama’s Waterloo and “break” him.

Extending the Napoleonic metaphor to its logical conclusion, DeMint seems determined to fate the GOP to “exile” in the Isle of St. Helena with another volcanic blunder of Mount St. Helens proportions for Republicans. As any fifth-grade civics student outside Texas could tell DeMint, even if the Republicans succeeded in their repeal scheme the President would veto it.

Good luck, Senator DeMint, getting enough votes to override:
  • A prohibition on pre-existing condition exclusions;
  • Insurance for 32 million uninsured Americans;
  • A prohibition on dropping people from coverage when they get sick in all individual plans;
  • Closing the prescription drug donut hole for seniors;
  • Tax credits for small businesses to purchase coverage;
  • Eliminating lifetime limits and restrictive annual limits on benefits in all plans;
  • Requiring plans to cover an enrollee's dependent children until age 26;
  • Preventive care services and immunizations without cost-sharing;
  • Internal and external appeals process for consumers to appeal new insurance plan decisions;
  • Premium rebates to enrollees from insurers with high administrative expenditures;
  • Public disclosure of the percent of premiums applied to overhead costs;
  • Enhanced fraud, waste, and abuse screening;
  • Medicare expansion to underserved rural areas;
  • Medical loss ratio of 85 percent or more for Blue Cross/Blue Shield to take advantage of IRS tax benefits;
  • Better early retiree health benefits for persons aged 55-64 to reduce coverage costs;
  • Better consumer information on the Net;
  • A two-year temporary credit to encourage investment in new therapies for the prevention and treatment of illnesses.
Democrats will be “deelighted!”-- to borrow Teddy Roosevelt’s effusive expression of optimism -- to stand in opposition to the Republicans’ Dickensian plans. T.R. was the first president to propose universal healthcare, and he never backed down from a good fight. Democrats head into the November mid-term elections with the historic accomplishment of healthcare reform -- the missing third leg (after Social Security and Medicare) in the Democratic Party’s great progressive platform, as President Obama said, “after a century of striving,” with the winds of change at our backs.

Healthcare reform is now the law of the land.

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