King stands in defense of Obamacare

U.S. Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, told his colleagues Wednesday that if they intend to defund and dismantle the Affordable Care Act, he will be among those standing in the way.

Sun Journal file photo 2013

U.S. Sen. Angus King, I-Maine.

"The estimates are between 20,000 and 30,000 of those people die each year because of the lack of health insurance," King said during a speech on the Senate floor. "Why doesn't that bother us?"

King spoke late in the day following a more than 20-hour filibuster by Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, who spoke against the ACA and about why the legislation should be dismantled and defunded. King said he was discouraged the focus wasn't on fixing the legislation.

The Senate was debating a bill that would cut funding to the legislation, commonly called "Obamacare."  Some Republicans have said they will not support a continuing federal budget resolution if Obamacare is not gutted. The impasse could lead to a federal government shutdown, if a compromise is not reached.

"Why aren't we spending days and nights here talking about how to solve this problem instead of how to dismantle the most significant health care program that's come to this country in years?" King asked.

He said the reason was because those thousands of deaths happen one at time and are largely "invisible" to the politicians in Washington.

"They happen one at a time," King said. "In Greenville, Maine; in Portland, Maine, in San Diego, California and El Paso, Texas, nobody knows — It's not listed in the obituary: 'Died because of no health insurance.'"

King said if that many people all died on the same day at the same place Congress would act. "We would be turning the world upside down to solve the problem," King said. "Imagine, it's the loss of small town in your state every year."

He said shuttering the federal government over the political dispute around the ACA was unfathomable to him. "I hope this weekend we can let go of this idea that a minority of the government can hold it hostage because of one particular piece of legislation that they don't like," King said.

"This is an economic, but it's also a moral issue," King said. 

Obamacare was not perfect and King said he was willing to work with his Republican colleagues to make changes to the law to improve it. 

"To those who want to fix it, I stand ready to help," King said. "To those who have ideas and suggestions, I stand ready to listen. To those who want to destroy it, however, I stand in your way."

The Senate was expected to finish its debate and vote on the matter by the end of the day on Sunday.

sthistle@sunjournal.com

What do you think of this story?

Login to post comments

In order to make comments, you must create a subscription.

In order to comment on SunJournal.com, you must hold a valid subscription allowing access to this website. You must use your real name and include the town in which you live in your SunJournal.com profile. To subscribe or link your existing subscription click here.

Login or create an account here.

Our policy prohibits comments that are:

  • Defamatory, abusive, obscene, racist, or otherwise hateful
  • Excessively foul and/or vulgar
  • Inappropriately sexual
  • Baseless personal attacks or otherwise threatening
  • Contain illegal material, or material that infringes on the rights of others
  • Commercial postings attempting to sell a product/item
If you violate this policy, your comment will be removed and your account may be banned from posting comments.

Advertisement

Comments

Thank you Sen. King, this is

Thank you Sen. King, this is exactly why I voted for you.

CLAIRE GAMACHE's picture

Logic

Wouldn't you think that if Republicans were really so sure that the Affordable Care Act was so horrific, so God awful costly, so mind boggling confusing, so frantically job killing, so democracy demolishing that they would want it to be enacted so that we could all see how right they are? Instead they are so determined to keep us from finding that out that they are willing to kill the economy not only our country's but the world's by shutting down the government and holding the debt ceiling hostage. It certainly makes you wonder if they aren't afraid we will like it and that it will actually take a huge weight off our economy by lowering health care costs and that they will be proven wrong yet again. Why is it they are so afraid to give it a try? If it is as bad as they say repealing it will be a cinch and the democrats will have to answer for their terrible legislating. What would be so bad about that ?

JERRY ARIPEZ's picture

The better part of it;;

The teabaggers/Repukes have no plan, nothing to replace or to modify the existing to keep healthcare on the front burner. They have one solution....nothing for everybody, keep it as is with sky rocket medical and folks losing homes, savings and lives.

They would at least look some sort of intelligent if they came up with a positive solution, instead of the doom and gloom predictions before it is even out the gate.

They care only for themselves and for nothing more...

MARK GRAVEL's picture

A good question to ask Anus

A good question to ask Anus King is whether he even read the law? Does he even know what is in the law?

Jason Theriault's picture

Have you?

Have you?
I read the law the day it was published. Took me about an hour or so, as I remember(it's a real page turner)

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Yeah, but Mark, that's just

Yeah, but Mark, that's just Angus being an "independent". He does that all the time.

His ads on tv when he was

His ads on tv when he was running for the US Senate were a joke. king Independent for Maine!
I'm sure he's for a single payer socialized health insurance. You can't be for that and be a independent. What liberals issues are he against? He's more liberal than alot of Democrats in Washington.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Independent of or from what?

Independent of or from what?

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Rationality and honesty. He

Rationality and honesty. He runs as an independent but when he walks and talks he is pure left wing liberal.

Jason Theriault's picture

Really Pirate?

Really Pirate - you're telling me that King isn't being rational because he disagrees with you, meanwhile you have Republican State congressmen Bill O'Brian saying the ACA is as destructive to personal freedom as the fugitive slave act.

You guys better pray this doesn't work, because if the ACA saves people money and helps bring costs down, your gonna look really stupid.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

I notice you didn't challenge

I notice you didn't challenge the "honesty" part of my post. Honesty is a hard to thing to find in ol' Angus, isn't it?

Jason Theriault's picture

I notice you didn't respond

I notice you didn't respond to my challenging of your claim of irrational behavior.
So I will take it you concede that Democrats and Senator King are being rational while Republicans are not.

And I do think King is being honest.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

What's the point of

What's the point of bantering? We can play I said you said all day long and get nowhere. The only thing I'll concede to is that rarely can you be reasoned with.

Jason Theriault's picture

No, I can always be reasoned with.

No, I can always be reasoned with. And I think that I usually try to avoid emotional arguments. I may not agree with you, but that doesn't mean I'm unreasonable.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Step away from the rabbit

Step away from the rabbit hole.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

King doesn't disagree with

King doesn't disagree with me, it is I who considers him to be full of crap.
I hope you won't be too disappointed when you have to stand in line with the rest of us to see a doctor, or find out you have a two year wait to have a cancerous cyst removed.

JERRY ARIPEZ's picture

BS

BS......

to stand in line with the rest of us to see a doctor, or find out you have a two year wait to have a cancerous cyst removed.....

Honesty with you is like asking a crook if he ever stole and you believe that too.

NOBODY OR ACA is not denying you your choice unless you fall under the lowest premium plan and that too is all speculation. If you can now you will be able to for a lifetime...nobody or nothing is going to deny you any treatment under the policy standards.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

And if you had another wit,

And if you had another wit, you'd be a half wit.
Thank you once again for your expert and non factual opinion on the biggest joke of our lifetimes.

JERRY ARIPEZ's picture

Besides

You should leave your family IQ of 20 out of the realm of exposure to the air, you could dry up and blow away.....you have nothing, mostly all the time....you never ever provide facts just your drooling of right wing fox noise slant like Arsenault.....

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

That's really witty,

That's really witty, skidmark. Let me give you a bit of advice. You can bully your way around these forums like you do and I'll put up with your bull s**t, being the gentleman that I am, but you bring my family into this and you would do well to ask yourself if you really want to go down that road.

JERRY ARIPEZ's picture

Bring it

Your threats are moot....

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

I'm not threatening you. I'm

I'm not threatening you. I'm asking you to keep it civil.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

SM has the skill set of a

SM has the skill set of a liberal, and he can get pretty catty when you threaten his belief system.

JERRY ARIPEZ's picture

Think back...

Who threw the half wit remark for a response... Mr. I am a Gentleman that wants to keep it civil?

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

You look back and read your

You look back and read your post that led to that remark. The one in which you challenged my honesty. You're no gentleman. You consider yourself to be a hammer and you haven't learned yet that everyone who posts here that disagrees with you isn't necessarily a nail for you to pound on. I'll keep it as civil as you do; you get to set the tone.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Hey, I think you hit on

Hey, I think you hit on nickname for Jerry - Skidmark! What do you think?

JERRY ARIPEZ's picture

Exactly what you spew

non factual opinions....no backup, no facts, nada....you aren't worth a quarter of a wit....backup your non-facts chump.....

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Is King, Anus the face of

Is King, Anus the face of MaineCare debacle?

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

I guess he is now.

I guess he is now.

If Obama can give Angus King

If Obama can give Angus King and all the other politicians and their staffers a 75%
subsidy on buying health care thru exchanges, every american deserves the same deal. The deal was that they would have the same option as every American, but they dont live in the same world we live in, because they are the special ones.

JERRY ARIPEZ's picture

75%, where did you get that one for just Politicians?

Obamacare, the massive health care reform law passed in 2010, will make its latest mark with the launch of its health insurance exchanges. When they officially open for business, 240 million Americans will have to start doing this: {Stay on their plans}...........

The health insurance exchanges that are rolling out next week are designed to make it easier for people without insurance, or who buy insurance on their own, to get coverage. But if you are one of the roughly 240 million Americans that already have insurance through an employer, or are enrolled in a government program like Medicare, you can stay on that plan.

For the millions of Americans that will begin shopping for health insurance on online marketplaces next week, your course of action will depend on which state you live in. So will the cost of coverage.

For a basic overview of how much you can expect to pay for your individual plan, check out this nifty Obamacare premium calculator, which gives you a basic overview of the rate and subsidies available to you, based on your income, state of residence and family size.

In order to qualify for coverage beginning next year, people must sign up before Dec. 14. So if you know anybody who is uninsured, share this calculator with them so they know what their options are. The more people who sign up, the lower the rates will be.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/27/obamacare-starts_n_3992907.html
-----------------------------
What Will You Pay For Obamacare? Depends On Where You Live (MAP)

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/25/obamacare-map-_n_3990491.html

----------------------------------There is your 75% savings for all Americans..........................

 's picture

Does any one know the penalty

Does any one know the penalty (fine) for not having insurance?

JERRY ARIPEZ's picture

Here you go;

Effective Jan. 1, 2014, Obamacare requires all eligible individuals, including children, to have health insurance. Failure to be insured can trigger a penalty fee of $95 per adult and $47.50 per child in 2014. If you have individual coverage but your dependent children aren't insured, you can still face penalties on them.

In 2014, the fee is $95 per adult or 1 percent of household income.

In 2015, the fee is $325 per adult or 2 percent of household income.

In 2016, the fee is $695 per adult or 2.5 percent of household income.

The penalties for children are half that for adults. And there is a cap on the penalties, regardless of income, which is the annual cost of a basic health insurance policy on a state health insurance exchange. That ceiling is not likely to be a factor this year, but it could come into play when the penalties get steeper.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

So paying the annual penalty

So paying the annual penalty could still be cheaper than buying healthcare on the exchange. Since preexisting conditions are covered, I can wait until I'm ill before purchasing healthcare. That sounds like a winner.

JERRY ARIPEZ's picture

In contrast

It is like all the non smokers receiving a lift on revenues for states needs off the smokers wallet who pay the high price of state and federal taxes to smoke.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Another tax that I also

Another tax that I also disapprove of. I personally think it is wrong to target a class of American's for "special" treatment of any kind. Tobacco taxes have morphed from begin a disincentive to the smoker to being a cash cow for states.

JERRY ARIPEZ's picture

Part Two: Which individuals must get health insurance in 2014.

The Affordable Care Act lists nine categories of individuals who will not be required to have health insurance coverage in 2014. The largest category is low-income Americans who cannot find affordable health insurance coverage.

In most cases, if you don't make enough money to file a federal tax return, you will be exempt from having to get health insurance next year. Whether you file a return or not, the specific affordability threshold is 8 percent of annual income for the cheapest available policy that offers minimum essential coverage. Choosing a so-called "Cadillac" health insurance policy whose premium is above 8 percent of your income won't exempt you from a penalty if you say you can't afford it.

Other reasons for an exemption from the individual mandate include:

Religion, specifically if your religion opposes accepting insurance benefits. The Social Security Administration will manage the recognition process. Members of a recognized health care sharing ministry are also eligible for an exemption.

Federally recognized Indian tribes.

Hardship exemptions are available from state health insurance exchanges.

Citizenship status. The individual mandate only applies to U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals and aliens lawfully present in the U.S.

Inmates in penal institutions are exempt from the individual mandate.

Health insurance coverage gaps of up to three months are allowed and will not violate the individual mandate.

Angus King is a hardcore

Angus King is a hardcore Liberal. No big suprise here. Ole Angus is getting a Obamcare Fix exemption on his healthcare. The so called Independent is very far from independent.

Jim Cyr's picture

King stands in Defense

of Obamacare but he and the rest of Congress will not participate !! Not to mention all the waivers already issued to big businesses and Unions !!

JERRY ARIPEZ's picture

Educate yourself

The waivers are giving those larger foundations and corporations that provide coverage for their employees more time to balance out their many different health plans.
In the six years I sat as a Trustee on our funds the Health laws and regulations are different from other plans and always need to be modified and changed as times go on.
If you knew anything about multiple plans, Health and Welfare Fund plans that are all over the map with their existing policies that you cannot change it all without getting your arms around what the requirements are to match and met the ACA rules for many Healthcare providers and states laws.

That is why that had every provider of the major health services sitting at the table who wrote the rules and regulations for the ACA.

Advertisement

Stay informed — Get the news delivered for free in your inbox.

I'm interested in ...