Posts Tagged - ‘2010 elections’

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Oklahoma Passes Ban On Health Insurance Plan Mandate

Monday, November 8th, 2010

Image: KB35 under CC 3.0

The big story involving last week’s elections is the resurgence of Republicans; they took over the House, and made up lost ground in the Senate. That will surely impact several policy priorities, including healthcare reform repeal.

Voters in Oklahoma also spoke out by passing an amendment to their state constitution that prohibits the federal government from forcing residents to purchase a health insurance plan, in response to the unpopular mandate provision.

Two thirds of voters in the state sent a message that the Obama administration should not become involved in Oklahoma health insurance matters. However, the amendment will probably have little actual impact on the federal government’s actions.

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Arizona Proposition Would Ban Affordable Health Insurance Mandate

Wednesday, September 29th, 2010

The issue of healthcare reform is very controversial. Proponents admit that while the bill isn’t perfect, one of the most unpopular elements is necessary. Basically, in order to provide affordable health insurance without a public option or a national health service, private health insurers must be induced to accept the more popular regulations (such as accepting people with pre-existing conditions) by guaranteeing them a larger supply of healthy consumers, which is where the individual mandate comes in.

In November, Arizona voters will try to launch a challenge to that provision. Proposition 106 would write a ban against forcing residents to buy health coverage into the state constitution. Tea party groups believe that the Healthcare Freedom Act will inspire conservative voters to head to the polls, voting for Republican candidates at the same time. A similar proposition narrowly failed in 2008.

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Health Insurance Plans’ Autism Coverage Under Fire

Tuesday, September 28th, 2010

Image: Bob Bobster under CC 3.0

Republicans running for Congress this year are touting their anti-Obamacare credentials. Nevada’s Sharron Angle is no different. Boosted by the tea party past a more moderate candidate in the GOP primary, she is going up against Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in November. As one of the key architects behind the controversial healthcare reform law, Reid is in danger of losing his seat.

Angle is obviously against the individual coverage mandate, as well as health insurance plans being forced to cover certain conditions. She blames the latter for raising costs. Video from a speech last year on that issue has recently been released to controversy. In that speech, Angle railed against a state law that requires health insurers to cover early treatment for autism spectrum disorders. When she mentioned the word “autism”, she used air quotes, which some have interpreted as meaning that she doesn’t believe that autism is a legitimate condition that children’s health insurance should treat.

Not done offending people, Angle went on to say that maternity coverage should not be mandated, since she herself is done having children.

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Florida Individual Health Insurance Controversy Rages On

Tuesday, July 6th, 2010

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Months after national healthcare reform passed, it is still a hot topic during state election primaries. Florida is a case in point. As expected, Democratic candidate Alex Sink supports it. Lawton “Bud” Chiles, an independent, is ambivalent; he thinks the law should stand with some modifications.

One of the Republican contenders for governor, Bill McCollum, is best known as the attorney general behind the class-action lawsuit against the law, which over 20 states have joined. He contends that the provision that serves as a Florida individual health insurance mandate is unconstitutional, because it forces residents to purchase the product. Obviously, he is highlighting his opposition as a campaign talking point.

The other man in the race, Rick Scott, is also against the law. In the 1990s, he ran a hospital chain that was accused of Medicare fraud. More recently, he spent $5 million of his own money to defeat the legislation. Scott also wants “Obamacare” repealed. We will see what happens during the 2010 election primaries next month.

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New Pro-Healthcare Reform Ad

Friday, June 11th, 2010

Image: videocrab under CC 3.0

Gearing up for the midterm elections, Democrats have recently started airing a TV commercial that makes their argument in favor of healthcare reform. It points out that Republicans are calling for a wholesale repeal of the law.

It’s a risky tactic, but recent polls show that a slight majority of Americans prefer that the law be given a chance to work and then modified–instead of throwing it out entirely.

The advertisement also highlights the affordable health insurance benefits that come into effect this year.

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Voters Want Healthcare Reform Changes, Not Repeal

Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

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The news isn’t great for Democrats who supported the healthcare reform overhaul: a majority of likely voters in the November midterm elections still aren’t big fans of the legislation. Republicans counting on an electoral sweep shouldn’t be too happy either; the wholesale repeal of the bill they have been pushing for isn’t very popular either.

Then, what does the American public want? According to a poll by the Wall Street Journal and NBC News, a majority would vote for a candidate that is willing to give the law a chance to work, but fix and improve it. Independent voters are especially open to that strategy by a 57%-40% margin. Although they’re still skeptical that the law will have a positive impact and make affordable health insurance more widely available, just 42% prefer the hypothetical candidate that would go back to the drawing board and repeal the current legislation.

Indeed, last month’s special election in Pennsylvania seems to confirm this viewpoint. The Democratic candidate, who expressed similar views (he would have voted against the bill, but looks to make improvements to what is now law), defeated the Republican candidate who sought total repeal.

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Amendment Against Ohio Health Insurance Mandate?

Friday, May 28th, 2010

Image: Snassek under CC 3.0

In Ohio, a group of “tea party” activists are looking to enact a state constitutional amendment that would exempt them from one of the major elements of healthcare reform: the individual mandate.

Ohio Liberty and American Patriots Against Government Excess want to put the Health Care Freedom Amendment on this November’s ballot, and are currently gathering petitions. If it passes, it would prevent any state or federal agency from mandating a person or employer to purchase Ohio health insurance–or pay a penalty or fine for failing to do so.

Laws in place before March 19th (prior to President Obama signing the health care bill) will not be affected.

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California Republicans Worry About Healthcare Reform

Wednesday, May 5th, 2010

Image: WhatDaHeck.com

In liberal states like California, GOP candidates are caught between a rock and a hard place. To win the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate seat, three candidates must tack right to appeal to primary voters, who are more partisan than the general election population. That means full-throated opposition about health insurance reform. Carly Fiorina, Chuck DeVore, and and Tom Campbell all want what they consider to be unconstitutional legislation to be repealed.

While that isn’t hard in most states, polls continue to show that a majority of California residents approve of the law. Conservative registered Republicans are an exception in the state. After winning the nomination, they will have to convince those general election voters to vote for them instead of Democrat Barbara Boxer.

Either way, they’ll be accused of hypocrisy. President Obama still has relatively high approval ratings in the state, so the candidate will probably have to tone down their bashing of his affordable health insurance plan to get elected. Doing so will alienate the Tea Party contingent, but they may hold their nose and vote for the lesser of two evils.

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Health Insurance Mandate Will Be On FL Ballot

Friday, April 23rd, 2010

Image: Skirsner under CC 3.0

Republicans in the Florida state legislature just passed a measure that will put healthcare reform on November’s ballot. The amendment would change the state constitution so that the state would be exempted from the health insurance mandate.

If passed by the voting public, the amendment will set the stage for the Supreme Court showdown Attorney General and candidate for governor Bill McCollum has been chomping at the bit for–he is spearheading the multi-state lawsuit that claims the mandate provision is unconstitutional. In order to mount an effective challenge, the federal government must be overreaching against specific state laws.

Even those who realize that the supremacy clause of the United States constitution will probably nullify their own amendment are thinking ahead: they are considering the possibility that Florida legislators in the future would consider similar reforms of health insurance plans. Cynics would claim that the ballot measure is an attempt to inspire more conservative turnout at the polls, especially for the heated Senate race.

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Democratic Rep Wins Post-Healthcare Reform Special Election

Friday, April 16th, 2010

The very first vote for national office since the passage of affordable health insurance reform occurred in Florida this past week. Many have considered these elections to be a referendum on the law.

Although Republicans are still predicted to take many seats in Congress this fall due to the controversy over healthcare reform, a Democrat won a seat in Florida this week. During a fundraiser in Miami, President Obama cheered the victory of Ted Deutch, who will be replacing retiring Dem Robert Wexler in the House of Representatives.

Granted, a special election during an off-year normally has low turnout. However, political pundits have predicted that would work in favor of the health insurance law’s opponents, who have fired-up supporters and senior citizens–who are more likely to vote–on their side. Still, it’s a sign that Democrats may not suffer in this fall’s mid-term elections as much as previously thought.

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