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Emerson: Only 1 scenario would allow repeal of health reform law

Sunday, September 9, 2012

The likelihood of a repeal of federal health care reforms was discussed Saturday as Rep. Jo Ann Emerson spoke to health care professionals during a women's health symposium in Cape Girardeau.

The event, hosted by the Cape Girardeau County Area Medical Society, drew about 20 doctors, nurses and other health care providers to the Plaza Conference Center.

Dr. Ramiro Icaza asked Emerson if there is a chance to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act if President Barack Obama is not re-elected. Emerson said the only scenario in which that could happen is if the Republican Party wins a majority in the U.S. Senate and Republican Mitt Romney is elected president.

Because the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling on the legislation declared the fines individuals would be required to pay for not purchasing insurance coverage are really a tax, it would take 51 votes in the Senate to repeal the tax, Emerson said.

She said there are 21 new taxes included in the health care reform legislation.

"You can't just say 'I repeal this' and do an executive order. It's far too complicated. That sounds like a great sound bite, but the law doesn't allow that," she said. "You repeal those 21 taxes and then you start taking apart the law piece by piece."

The Affordable Care Act is expected to cost between $1.74 trillion and $1.9 trillion to implement, Emerson said. It also includes a $716 billion Medicare cut made up of decreases in reimbursements for home health, hospice, Medicare Advantage and nursing homes.

In Missouri, health care reform is expected to cost the state $335 million between 2014 and 2020, she said. Missouri is also one of 34 states that will lose child-only insurance policies, which are not allowed under the Affordable Care Act.

There are, however, some elements of the legislation that have broad support from both sides of the aisle, including requiring insurance companies to cover people with pre-existing conditions, allowing parents to keep their children on their health insurance plans until age 26 and preventive screenings provided at no cost to the insured.

Emerson estimates that doctors' incomes will decrease as much as 15 to 20 percent, depending on their specialty.

Dr. John Moll said a lot of private practitioners will no longer see their private practice as viable and will end up working for hospitals.

"One thing that concerns me is the right to practice according to what they believe and their own moral principles," Moll said.

Emerson said the House has passed legislation to ensure that all providers can "follow their consciences" but that it doesn't go far enough.

"When it comes to the Affordable Care Act, we've got some grave concerns," she said.

While many are talking about repealing or chipping away at health care reform, Dr. Don Centro of Sikeston, Mo., asked if anyone has come up with an alternative plan.

"There is doubt among a lot of my colleagues that the whole system is broken," Emerson said. "We know health care costs are rising far too high far too fast and that health care is taking over the discretionary budget we have far too quickly and that something has to be done."

The lack of competition in the marketplace is problematic, she said.



Pertinent address:

Cape Girardeau, MO

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Once a supporter, I have lost all respect for Emerson. During her campaign ads, and during this meeting, she consistently lied through her teeth about the ACU. She parrots the party line, and exaggerates such items as the $716 million that supposedly would hurt providers. Earlier in her ads, she lead people to believe it would affect benefits, a flagrant lie. What the $716 million comes from, is eliminating fraud by providers, something that is rampant. It also prevents insurance companies from raking in an extra thousand dollars PER HEAD for Medicare Advantage that the rest of people on Medicare have to pay for. Medicare advantage was a scam under Bush, that gave insurance companies extra money to provide things like spas, and eyeglasses to people on Advantage, that the rest of us pay for. THAT REPRESENTATIVE IS THE TRUTH, AND YOU BLOODY WELL KNOW IT!

-- Posted by foxtrot007 on Sun, Sep 9, 2012, at 8:42 AM

I do not understand why people do not want their fellow mankind to have healthcare. It's down right mean.

-- Posted by Make no mistake about it on Sun, Sep 9, 2012, at 8:46 AM

Here's another idea.

States should just nullify it. It's the UNION of STATES from which the federal government springs.

SCOTUS produces de facto affirmation? Too bad. It's irrelevant. Of course the out of control federal government, via its handmaiden the federal judiciary, would refuse to strike it down. That's what the federal government does...validates itself, over and over, as it runs roughshod over the Constitution.

Requiring insurance companies to provide coverage for pre-existing conditions is a device to guarantee that all the insurance companies either jack up their premiums to make their policies unaffordable (Medical rationing alert!), jack up the cost of everything (Medical rationing alert!), or that we'll devolve down to only the government providing care (Medical rationing alert!).

Will someone please explain who will pay for the "preventive screenings provided at no cost to the insured?" Please? I'd really like to understand this. Is Mr. Bernanke going to drop money out of a helicopter?

"You repeal those 21 taxes and then you start taking apart the law piece by piece," means job security for federal legislators! They'll have so much "important" work to do...it will last forever!

I cannot believe what is happening in this country. It absolutely defies any rational explanation whatsoever.

-- Posted by Givemeliberty on Sun, Sep 9, 2012, at 9:37 AM

I especially like the part in this story wherein Emerson was asked if anyone has come up with an alternative plan. She didn't answer that question because to do so would be to admit that neither she, nor any Republican, has come up with any alternative to the Affordable Care Act.

Like most other Republicans, she just wants to whine, lie about the details and show her exasperation that the President did something that will improve the average health of Americans at a price we can afford.

-- Posted by Raunchy on Sun, Sep 9, 2012, at 11:00 AM

Sounds like JoAnn is sticking to the party lines.

Let's talk about these alleged Medicare cuts. The $716 Billion was cut to subsidies to insurance companies decided by a committee that did not do anything to help with medical care. The money closed the prescription "doughnut whole" saving, at least myself, thousands of dollars a year. Insurance companies now have to use at least 80% of their money for medical care or refund the money. The past 2 years insurance increases have been below 4% for the first time IN 50 YEARS! Seems like "Obamacare" is turning out to be a good thing.

-- Posted by grandma73 on Sun, Sep 9, 2012, at 11:05 AM

Thanks grandma for making sense.

-- Posted by Dexterite1 on Sun, Sep 9, 2012, at 3:38 PM

There is a reason "Mediscare" adds worked for democrats for years. And there is a reason republicans are using this tactic now. It produces votes.

I figure at some point our political leaders will just lead off a cliff rather than risk an actual debate by tackling hard truths.

-- Posted by SamTheEagle on Sun, Sep 9, 2012, at 4:36 PM


"If you don't like it; [sic] don't use insurance companies or the government. Pay for medical care out of your pocket."

Out of my pocket? What if "my pocket" is empty, because either:

1) Government has taxed it empty to pay for some unconstitutional socialized medicine (and all its other failed redistributive schemes) for all/none of us, or

2) Hyperinflated away the value of the money in my pocket, by horribly mismanaging/destroying the currency (as is currently happening with "QE 1-2-3" courtesy of Ben Bernanke), or

3) The cost has gone OUT OF SIGHT because third party intrusion into the free market, between consumer and producer, interferes with the cost feedback of the supply-demand relationship????

Where, pray tell, is my choice? Where is my liberty? Liberty extends to economics! Economic liberty means you keep the fruits of your labor and dispose of it as you see fit. Rationing means shortages; shortage means cost increases; why should I have to pay for care I am not accessing at the "public" side of a two-tier system, while I have to scrape up enough to pay for care I want on the "private" side?

-- Posted by Givemeliberty on Sun, Sep 9, 2012, at 9:00 PM


No need to patronize. (The word has a common root with "paternal"...taking on the role of a parent, that is.)

And my handle is "Givemeliberty", not "GiveMe", as in "Give me YOUR money," "Give me YOUR liberty," "Give me YOUR time." Deal: I'll use your preferred name, and you'll use mine.

Whether or not I am a "poor person" is pretty much irrelevant, since that definition is very fluid and misused in infinite ways by government. Government is really more interested in controlling people: robbing from the "rich" (as they define it) to give to the "poor", seizing a goodly share of the proceeds in the process. As the wealth is confiscated, the government--or the insurance company--can declare, "Oh, no, we won't pay for (often mistakenly equated with 'you cannot have') this or that treatment." It DOES equate with a prohibition if government confiscates sufficient funds, either directly by taxes, or more insidiously with devaluation of the currency.

Who is wise enough/fair enough to adjudicate "poor"? Certainly not government!

Your unfounded and unguaranteed assurance of caring for someone, e.g., "We won't let you die," is nothing more than an old canard. Why not give the individual back the control, so THEY can decide what care they get?

But as I said earlier, it's really about controlling people, under the lofty claim of "caring" for the "poor." Those words seem to demand that we cede the moral high ground to the oh-so-altruistic "elected" officials and bureaucrats. That I refuse to do.

-- Posted by Givemeliberty on Mon, Sep 10, 2012, at 7:28 AM

More fear mongering by the Republicans. Vote Republican or (cue ominous music here) Obamacare will not be repealed.

Horse squeeze! Romney said this weekend that he would not repeal the ACA, only the parts that don't subsidize Big Pharma or the insurance giants. Rep Emerson parrots the GOP line.

The ACA has nothing to do with improving access to healthcare, or the quality of healthcare. It is a health insurance law, not a healthcare law. Healthcare is a scarce product like car tires or iPhones. There will never be enough to satisfy everyone. Price is what determines how products are distributed. The price of a product like healthcare can only be determined by how much is available, and what the consumer is willing to pay. Everytime the federal government manipulates the price of a product through subsidation or protectionism, the price of that product will increase, and its availability will decrease.

-- Posted by Simon Jester on Mon, Sep 10, 2012, at 7:54 AM


Who is this "we" who are defining who is "poor"?

Not sure my education was "free" (though it was in public schools), judging how much my parents paid in property taxes.

My spouse and I currently pay 85% of our property tax to the school district, which we haven't had a student in since 2004. Perhaps at one time we were subsidized; now we are subsidizers, and will be for the balance of our lives.

I quit my job, as it entailed reaping money (partly) that was redistributed from one group by force through the coercion of government, to another. Our household had a 55% drop in income. Can you top that? Haha, this is a great game, isn't it?

So, con, this game you seem to want to play can go on for a long time..."Yes, but YOU received THIS..." and "Okay, but YOU received THAT."

Shame on government, for pitting one citizen against another, tempting people (in a myriad of ways...under-reporting income, for example), and fomenting class envy. Class envy is a terrible poison.

-- Posted by Givemeliberty on Mon, Sep 10, 2012, at 2:23 PM

Before the health care act I was a person with a pre-existing and no insurance for years because of it. Nope, employers DON'T have to provide it. So if you got it you are lucky. Now, since the Health Care Act I have insurance.....and my cancer is back.....not a minute too soon. Thanks Obama for Caring....you got my vote in 2012 and not a republican will get one from me. They have proven their "christianity". They want me dead.

-- Posted by Mudflopper on Thu, Sep 13, 2012, at 9:32 AM

It's always interesting to read the 'Comments'. People are entitled to their opinions and I love living in a country where opinions can be readily shared. It's also interesting to hear what people believe to be true, and what information they take as fact; or what information they chose to diseminate - for reasons that they are entitled to as their own. Jo Ann Emerson has a clear voting record, openly and honestly explains her positions to all that care to listen. She attempts to represent as many constituents as possible, no easy task, and surely not everyone can agree with every vote she has made. I have decided to trust her instincts and appreciate the job she has done. Congresswoman Emerson is a keeper - and she has my vote.

-- Posted by blogbudsman on Fri, Sep 14, 2012, at 7:48 AM

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