Hey, you folks who live in states represented by United States Senators who are not unprincipled hacks with only a passing relationship to reality, we must ask: what is that like? See, here in our beloved adopted state of California we are represented by one Dianne Feinstein – or DiFi if you’re nasty – and good Lord and butter would we like to read one thing about her that does not make us want to stick a piano wire through our eyeball directly into our brain and then swirl it around for awhile.
What is DiFi doing today to make us all stabby? Not much, just joining with Bill Clinton in wetting her pants because people who have been paying no attention to the Obamacare debate for the last five years suddenly realized “Holy crap, this is going to change our health insurance plans! What should we do?”
If you are a politician with half a brain you saw this coming a long time ago and ordered your constituent services people to get up to speed on the law’s changes so they could educate the general public. Maybe you even set up forums and did community outreach, made sure your state grabbed some Navigator grants, tried to get people up to speed on what to expect.
Now, if you’re a Republican with a vested interest in killing the law, you can be a dick about these things. And if you are a Democrat, you can wait until the law goes into effect and 30,000 people call your office to complain about it (out of a statewide population of around 38 million), and then you can panic and jump on a bill that will undo the major reforms that the law brought into effect. Would anyone like to guess which path DiFi chose?
“The Affordable Care Act is a good law, but it is not perfect,” Feinstein said. “I believe the Landrieu bill is a commonsense fix that will protect individuals in the private insurance market from being forced to change their insurance plan. I hope Congress moves quickly to enact it.”
The Landrieu bill, offered by Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA), is not a commonsense fix. One of the key goals of the Affordable Care Act was to establish minimum benefit levels for insurance plans. Companies have been cancelling these plans left and right and offering ACA-compliant plans with vastly increased premiums. Which sucks! But the Landrieu bill would force insurers to continue offering indefinitely these individual junk policies they have been suckering people into buying for years, which lets the insurers off the hook for being rapacious scumbags who would fleece your grandmother for every last nickel if it meant their stock prices would tick up a couple of points. Here, let’s let a perfesser of health law at Washington and Lee University sexplain it to you, sexily.
“This basically repeals the market reforms,” Tim Jost, a professor of health law at Washington and Lee University who supports Obamacare, told TPM earlier this month. “You’re continuing to allow people to buy a defective product. Mechanically it’s very difficult and it denies people the community rating advantages that were the whole reason — or one of the reasons — for the law in the first place. … So I think it would be significantly disruptive to the law’s goals.”
In other words, thanks for the market reforms that we fought so hard to get passed, President Obama. Now that insurance companies have decided to use the opportunity to screw over their customers and the Republicans have poisoned minds by screaming “SOCIALISM! REPEAL! BOOGA BOOGA!” nonstop for five years, would you mind terribly if we send you a bill to undo them?
We have already taken the Big Dog to task for his opportunistic triangulating on this issue. And we have defended DiFi on other issues, even though we think her bringing back the assault weapons ban after Newtown was a knee-jerk response that in no way addressed the underlying issues causing gun violence in this country and gave the wingnuts an easy issue to demagogue instead of talking about those issues. (The way she told Ted Cruz to FOAD is still pretty awesome.) And we voted for her in 2012, mostly because we wanted no part of turning the Senate over to Yertle the Turtle and his band of scabies-ridden howler monkeys. But good God, woman, at a time when we need proponents of the ACA to sack up, with you representing the largest state in the union with a golden opportunity to find ways in which the ACA might be benefiting people, you instead revert back to your natural quisling state.
When is she up for re-election? Oh not until 2018. Someone fetch us that piano wire.