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Friday, March 23, 2012

GOP Leaders vs "Obamacare"/ Affordable Health Care (Negative Rhetoric vs Facts)

Political Parties duel on health law anniversary

The White House and congressional Republicans marked the two-year anniversary of President Obama's healthcare reform law with dueling messages Friday.

The administration released a new report — the fifth this week — highlighting the parts of the law that have taken effect. Many of the healthcare law's provisions, including insurance subsidies and Medicaid expansion to millions of Americans, have yet to begin, but Democrats are seeking to highlight the benefits that they say voters would lose now if the law were repealed or struck down by the Supreme Court.

The Republican National Committee attacked the law on the anniversary, releasing a Web video mocking the law's "lonely birthday" after Obama opted to keep a low profile ahead of Supreme Court arguments next week.
The RNC video features a bill, wearing a birthday hat, crying in front of well-known Washington landmarks.

"Nobody in America likes me," the bill says. "Even Obama won't celebrate my birthday now!"

The RNC also hung a banner outside its headquarters in Washington that reads: "Happy Birthday Obamacare! We didn't forget you."

The healthcare law has moved to the political forefront ahead of next week's oral arguments in the Supreme Court. Justices have blocked off three days to hear oral arguments over the law and its controversial insurance mandate, and a frenzy of demonstrations for and against the law are expected outside the courthouse.

The high court is expected to decide the fate of the healthcare law this summer, just months before the presidential election.

Surveys show the public remains sharply divided over the law two years after passage. An average of polls collected by Real Clear Politics found that 50.5 percent of Americans oppose the healthcare law. That's on par with the 50.4 percent who were opposed when Congress passed the law two years ago.

According to the administration's report, current effects of the law include:

• 2.5 million more young adults who have health insurance on their parents' plan;

• 5.1 million people with Medicare who saved an average of $635 on the cost of their prescription drugs, and 32.5 million Medicare seniors who received at least one preventive benefit without cost-sharing in 2011;

• 54 million people with private health plans had at least one new preventive service, such as mammograms, with no cost-sharing in 2011;

• people with private plans who benefited from new requirements that insurers spend at least 80 percent of premium dollars on healthcare and publicly justify rate hikes of more than 10 percent; and

• children with pre-existing conditions now can't be denied coverage.

"Today, two years after we passed health care reform, more young adults have insurance, more seniors are saving money on their prescription drugs, and more Americans can rest easy knowing they won't be dropped from their insurance plans if they get sick," Obama said in a statement. "The law has made a difference for millions of Americans, and over time, it will help give even more working and middle-class families the security they deserve."

Sources: CBS News, CATO Institute, The Hill, Youtube

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