Obviously someone from the right wing noise machine has gotten through to FT reporters Jeremy Lemer and Ed Crooks, and given them just the right talking points.Â For example, when discussing state insurance exchanges, they write:
Where they have been used at state level, their record has been mixed; they have failed in Texas, Florida, North Carolina and California.
I literally don’t know what they are talking about: Schwarzenegger signed California’s legislation to create its exchange just a few weeks before leaving office.Â Maybe it’s those high-risk pools that Harold has often criticized: but those are not the same as the insurance exchanges that the ACA will set up in 2014.
Then Lemer and Crooks say that the ACA’s promised cost savings might not materialize, which why “business opposition” has materialized.Â And what might that opposition be?Â Why, the US Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers,Â and the National Federation of Independent Business, essentially groups that are allied with the Republican Party.Â This, of course, is never mentioned by the FT — and neither is the fact that had it not been for such groups, ACA implementation would have occurred earlier, and states would not have to rely on the high-risk pools that they earlier criticize.
Pat Felder, who runs a car parts distributor in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, says her employee insurance premiums went up by 17 per cent last year, and she has been warned to expect a 20 per cent-plus rise this year. She says the insurance companies blame the rise on the new legislation.
(emphasis added).Â Well, yes, they would, wouldn’t they?Â Earlier, Lemer and Crooks noted that for years, rates have been increasing at more than 20%.Â So why blame this latest one on the ACA?
And finally, we get the pure GOP talking points:
Critics are offering alternative proposals. Republicans in Congress want to curb medical litigation, which encourages unnecessary tests and procedures to avoid lawsuits. Many businesses favour abolishing regulations that prevent health insurance being sold across state lines, limiting choice.
Funny, I thought Rupert Murdoch had bought The Times, not the FT….
Author: Jonathan Zasloff
Jonathan Zasloff teaches Torts, Land Use, Environmental Law, Comparative Urban Planning Law, Legal History, and Public Policy Clinic - Land Use, the Environment and Local Government. He grew up and still lives in the San Fernando Valley, about which he remains immensely proud (to the mystification of his friends and colleagues). After graduating from Yale Law School, and while clerking for a federal appeals court judge in Boston, he decided to return to Los Angeles shortly after the January 1994 Northridge earthquake, reasoning that he would gladly risk tremors in order to avoid the average New England wind chill temperature of negative 55 degrees.
Professor Zasloff has a keen interest in world politics; he holds a PhD in the history of American foreign policy from Harvard and an M.Phil. in International Relations from Cambridge University. Much of his recent work concerns the influence of lawyers and legalism in US external relations, and has published articles on these subjects in the New York University Law Review and the Yale Law Journal. More generally, his recent interests focus on the response of public institutions to social problems, and the role of ideology in framing policy responses.
Professor Zasloff has long been active in state and local politics and policy. He recently co-authored an article discussing the relationship of Proposition 13 (California's landmark tax limitation initiative) and school finance reform, and served for several years as a senior policy advisor to the Speaker of California Assembly. His practice background reflects these interests: for two years, he represented welfare recipients attempting to obtain child care benefits and microbusinesses in low income areas. He then practiced for two more years at one of Los Angeles' leading public interest environmental and land use firms, challenging poorly planned development and working to expand the network of the city's urban park system. He currently serves as a member of the boards of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy (a state agency charged with purchasing and protecting open space), the Los Angeles Center for Law and Justice (the leading legal service firm for low-income clients in east Los Angeles), and Friends of Israel's Environment. Professor Zasloff's other major activity consists in explaining the Triangle Offense to his very patient wife, Kathy.
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