Sunday, June 17, 2012

New College Grads: Did You Hear About the "Slacker Mandate"?

Yes, I'm addressing all you newly matriculated college grads, many of you inundated with debt from Stafford or other (private) loans, maybe compliments of Sallie Mae. Here you are, with barely a 6 months pass, before the collectors come calling, and you are boarding with Mom and Pop to save $$ while you toil (if lucky) as a Starbucks barista.

You may have little to crow about in this savage loan payment -debt predicament, but I'd like to give you something: Did you know that thanks to the Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act you are on your parents' health insurance policy at least until age 26? That means, should some insane customer toss hot coffee on you and give you 2nd degree burns, or you fall off your bike on the way to work and get concussed - or are clobbered by a hit and run driver while crossing Main St. - you are taken care of! You will NOT be brutalized by additional medical debt on top of college loan debt!

Now, alas, it seems that some heartless, right wing nincompoops - such as Michelle Malkin - about whose idiocy I've blogged on already, e.g.

aren't too thrilled by this medical lifeline to the young, debt-ridden and underemployed. In fact, she calls the provision in the Affordable Care Act, a "Slacker Mandate." Thus, she's calling you all "slackers" because you haven't nailed down 6-figure salaries right out of the hallowed halls of academe, so you can afford your own $13, 500/year health insurance!

Don't believe me? Then consult her website (google 'Michelle Malkin' and you'll get it) where she also takes aim at Republicans who support this provision! She calls them 'surrenderists'. As she puts it:

"GOP Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri, vice chair of the Senate GOP Conference, told a St. Louis radio station two weeks ago that he supports keeping at least three Obamacare regulatory pillars: federally imposed coverage of "children" up to age 26 on their parents' health insurance policies (the infamous, unfunded "slacker mandate"), federally mandated coverage regardless of pre-existing conditions ("guaranteed issue," which leads to an adverse-selection death spiral) and closure of the coverage gap in the massive Bush-backed Medicare drug entitlement (the "donut hole fix" that will obliterate the program's cost-controls). "

How much sense is there in that? Michelle is obviously exercised at Sen. Blunt because he's broken off from the parroting flying monkeys like Boehner and McConnell whose only responses are 'No, no and no!' to anything that helps citizens whether young or old. Thus, what Michelle calls a "slacker mandate" actually protects families and young people in their most tentative early earning years.

It also appears that Malkin, who usually professes to be a free market acolyte, isn't aware (or deliberately has concealed) the fact that this past week the UnitedHealth Group pledged to maintain certain provisions of the Affordable Care Act. That is, regardless of the outcome of legal proceedings to try and scuttle it. These provisions include allowing parents to insure children up to age 26. Other major voices ensconced in Malkin's precious free market include insurers Aetna and Humana, who have followed suit.

The question that arises is whether Malkin agrees with these insurers or not? If not, she must surely be against what free marketeering private health insurers are for!

As for the pre-existing conditions, all truly humanitarian nations have already banished these from their litmus tests to gain access to health care. They recognize that most of us will come to health care with such conditions, and it is both dastardly and inhuman to invoke them as impediments to deny care or make it ten times more costly - increasing the debt of the most vulnerable - while exposing them to the calumny and felonious acts of medical bill collectors.

Meanwhile, the partial elimination of the donut hole (created in the 2003 'Medicare Modernization Act' - as a boon for PhrMA) was a move long overdue since it added hundreds of billions in annual medical costs for seniors. Little Michelle yaps about the provision "eliminating the program's cost controls" but this is nonsense. The fact is, the Lords of Big PhrMa are already doing very well, since they're allowed to sell their wares on the commercial TV stations, and in most cases their ads are subsidized by taxpayers.....via their taxes. (Contrary to widely spread myths, and as reported by an AARP Bulletin expose back in 2003, more than 45% of PhrMa monies are for advertising expenses, not research for new drugs!)

Thus, they ought to be grateful to give some of that largesse back by offsetting the worst elements of the donut hole. (Wherein beyond a certain threshold, those needing meds have to pay the full costs which can be horrendous).

Meanwhile, Little Miss Malkin had fierce words for another Repub as well:

"Some Republicans are even trying to out-Obama Obamacare. GOP Rep. Steve Stivers of Ohio is pushing a proposal to increase the mandatory coverage age for dependents to age 31. "

Maybe Rep. Stivers knows something Malkin doesn't: that there's a good chance many young college grads and others (perhaps not college educated) may well be struggling in this low aggregate demand economy into their early 30s - and so deserve a break! But for heartless harridans like Malkin, no one deserves a break....and thus, she'd rather have most of the money that supports the unemployed or under-employed young and elderly infirm going for wars and defense.

In that case Mitt Romney will be her guy, and those who think like her, since he promises to double the defense budget which now eats up 58 cents of every dollar yearly.

No comments: