The Affordable Care Act has progressive elements contained within it.....Medicaid expansion, government subsidies for insurance exchange enrollees, new rules for insurance company outlays on actual health care delivered to customers....but the ACA should never be confused with a liberal program. Because it isn't.
A liberal program would be single payer, Medicare for all. Full stop.
It's odd that in a country where every national breeze of an event is responded to by claiming 'nothing is off the table'....but when it comes to the health and well-being of 300 million Americans, the most efficient and cost effective program, single payer, was never ON the table. I introduce the post today with that reminder to attempt to give some perspective to the shite-show staged by House Republicans yesterday in their interrogation of Kathleen Sebelius, Health & Human Services Director.
I actually watched a couple of hours of the alleged hearing on C-Span yesterday morning. The one thing I can be positive about is the classiness and professionalism of Ohio's own Kathleen Sebelius. I think that Sebelius' former experience dealing with extremist conservatives and confederate posers in her job as Kansas governor must have come in handy yesterday. She was one poised and under-control woman.
And to be fair, there were a few Republican House members who also acted professionally and not disrespectfully while questioning Sebelius about the ACA. I have no problem with elected officials holding hearings and asking relevant questions. But I do have a problem with the likes of Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Joe Barton (R-TX) and Mike Rogers (R-MI), Republicans who had no interest in hearing answers from Sebelius. Rather, they were interested in their own political preening before cameras.
Admittedly, the ACA is the most extensive national program in decades...if you set aside the anti-American Patriot Act. While parts of the ACA have already been implemented, the health insurance exchange portion of the law has only been active for FOUR WEEKS.
To Barton, Blackburn and Rogers, four weeks is long enough for them to condemn the entire program as a failure, pressure Sebelius to resign, and most likely, begin drawing up impeachment articles against Barack Obamacare because he fibbed about being able to keep your health insurance in some circumstances.
Barton and Blackburn are usual suspect buffoons who are regularly humiliated by your average cable teevee "news" host. But Mike Rogers, ex-FBI tough guy and chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, is a special prick worthy of more precise criticism. Rogers went on and on in serious, somber tones rambling angrily over "security" issues related to the online exchanges. Rogers was the rudest of all the Republicans, never permitting Sebelius to even begin to answer any of his questions...if they were actually questions. In spite of Rogers' total lack of civility, Sebelius kept her cool, calmly responding, when she had opportunity, that all security concerns were being addressed.
However, and at the same time, Rogers has NO concerns about security issues raised when NSA spooks hoover up and analyze all of the world's electronic communications. Additionally, as we've learned over a period of months this year, compliments of Edward Snowden, we now know that Rogers has lied repeatedly about what Big Gub'mint is actually doing with their gigantic Handy Vac. Here are a couple of examples from earlier this year....
Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.), the head of the House Intelligence committee, told CNN on Sunday that the NSA "is not listening to Americans' phone calls" or monitoring their e-mails, and any statements to the contrary are "misinformation." It would be "illegal" for the NSA to do that, Rogers said.
....he (Rogers) said that Snowden erred in believing that the NSA "could listen to Americans' calls. They cannot. And that they can read Americans' emails. They cannot."
Is there anyone who believes today that Rogers spoke the truth in those comments? Every new Snowden release, like the one yesterday about Yahoo and Google, confirms the lies of Mike Rogers, tough guy interrogator.
Summarizing.....the highest ranking House member in national security is Mike Rogers. A man who has repeatedly excused, defended, denied and lied about what the NSA is doing, has been doing and will continue to do.....i.e. violate the security of every U.S. citizen's electronic communications by collecting said communications, storing said communications and reviewing, secretly and on demand, any said communication. That, my blog friends, is as big and as blatant of a violation of the security of Americans' privacy as it gets.
Yet Rogers yesterday lost his shite in a rude and crude authoritarian display of angry, angry concern over the possibility, the possibility mind you, that information on a four week old national online insurance shopping and sign-up website might not be totally secure.
Rogers should simply ask his NSA buddies about how secure Healthcare.gov is....I'll guarantee you they know.