My View: Shameless, deceptive ads flood Colorado | SkyHiNews.com

My View: Shameless, deceptive ads flood Colorado

Indeed, an anti-Sen. Mark Udall ad running in our market says Obamacare (ACA) is "about people," but the" people" referenced in the ad are not about the 7.1 million who signed up for private insurance through federal and state ACA exchange — or in Colorado 277,149 — who signed up as of March 31 for either commercial health insurance or Medicaid's expanded version. This anti-Udall ad shamelessly exaggerates the numbers who could not sign up after their insurance policies were cancelled. Shamelss, too, is the message of the ads: "repeal Obamacare," which means that coverage would be taken away from those people for whom it worked to get covered, especially nasty for those who never had health insurance before. The ads running in Colorado, tying Udall to Obamacare (ACA), attempt to bring attention to the fewer who drew the short stick instead of the more who benefitted. One sponsored by the Koch Brothers was truly misleading. That one featured an angry woman who lost her individual insurance and was suffering, though alternatives were never suggested or tried, and fact-checkers blew holes in that ad. The "about people ad" was about those who got cancellation notices. It a good example of hyping the ACA shortcomings, claiming "millions and millions" lost their insurance and could not get a replacement. Per a recent survey by the Rand Corporation, fewer than a million people who had health plans cancellations in 2013 are now uninsured. "We are talking about a very small fraction of the country" who lost coverage, said Katherine Carman, a Rand economist who oversaw the survey. While certainly a negative for those in that predicament, they are not the "millions and millions" the ad claims. Most deceptive in that 'about people ad" was that Obamacare forced persons to pay more for less coverage. The reason those who had individually purchased catastrophic policies got the discontinue notices was because it did not offer enough coverage Obamacare deemed basic. It is such a shame hospitals will see cuts to government subsidies, whines another ad, implying reduction in Medicare services to your parents and grandparents. Here is why that line is so deceptive: so many more will now have health insurance, uncompensated charity-care hospitals must cover less, and hospitals will be held to higher standards. In fact, The Congressional Budget Office projects that a decade has been added to the life of Medicare due to the cost-saving measures. Even Medicare Advantage serving 28 percent of seniors is projected to continue. Expect future ads to claim Obamacare "is" not working now because "in the future" premiums will soar as insurance companies drop out for lack of customers or not enough healthy sign up, causing a "death spiral." Those are scare tactics. The Congressional Budget office estimates it will take three years for all qualified to sign up. Even if young, invincibles fail to constitute 40 percent of the sign-ups, there should be enough for the "death spiral" not to happen, per the Kaiser Family Foundation. For links to sources on which the column was based, visit http://www.mufticforumblog.blogspot.com

My View: Sins in Obamacare war

Even after the web site was fixed and Pres. Obama apologized for misspeaking, , the GOP's war against Obamacare (ACA) rages on blithely spreading misinformation. While the GOP gleefully called the President a liar for promising those individually insured could keep their insurance if they liked it, the current Republican campaign against Obamacare is full of sins of omission and commission. It is the GOP's turn to apologize. Mitch McConnell, GOP Senate Minority Leader, flat fibbed when he misrepresented a report from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). He wrongfully claimed it meant that 2.5 million jobs would be lost thanks to Obamacare. Jobs would not disappear, but the CBO estimated that 2.5 million who had jobs would leave of their own choice, but not by employers killing job positions. GOP ads are already promoting their twisted version of the CBO report. Prior to Obamacare some were locked into their jobs because they needed employer provided insurance since that was the only way to get pre-existing conditions covered or to be able to afford coverage for their families. Obamacare frees them to retire early, start their own business, go part time, or stay home to care for their parents or young children. The GOP countered that such choice is bad because it would encourage people to stop working, reduce the workforce, and thus harm the economy. The CBO report indeed predicted there would be workforce reduction by 2024 by 2.5 million. That is about 1.5 percent of the total workforce, not exactly earthshaking and not because Obamacare killed jobs. A recent anti ACA ad omits so much information, it borders on deceptive advertising. Five million individually insured got letters from insurers discontinuing their substandard policies. To continue beating war drums that the President lied about their keeping insurance, an outside conservative group is running a commercial in our market that features a lupus sufferer who complains her $50 per month insurance now is $325, her deductibles are too high, she has to take on a second job, and she has to change doctors. She should be asked some hard questions. Did she apply for a subsidized health policy in the ACA exchanges? Was her annual income too high to qualify for a subsidy? What was her prior deductible with such low ball coverage of her old policy? The health care exchanges include a wide variety of insurance providers. Was her current physician participating in any of them? An estimated 60 percent of those receiving the letters can qualify for premium subsidies in the exchanges, or hardship exemptions, with access to better catastrophic insurance. Some GOP senators are pitching a replacement to Obamacare that buries a critical downside in small print. Their proposal would relieve employers, health care and device providers, individuals, and insurers from mandates and being taxed or getting fines for not providing or getting insurance. Good for them but bad for most everyone else. It would replace the funding to subsidize premiums with raising taxes on the 60 percent of Americans who get insurance through employers. The plan would declare most health insurance benefits taxable income. Forbes estimated that would be a tax increase of $1345 a year for a family of four in the 25 percent bracket, http://www.forbes.com/sites/matthewherper/2014/01/28. Families making between 300 percent to 400 percent above the poverty line would lose Obamacare insurance subsidies. For more, visit http://www.mufticforumblog.blogspot.com

Muftic: Why people love to hate Obamacare

There are millions who are giving thanks this season for Obamacare (ACA). A recent Gallup poll disclosed that 70 percent of those who signed up for it like it, few plan to drop it. By the end of 2015 around a total of over 17 million will have subscribed to it, even discounting a 400,000 recently reported 2014 miscount and updated forecasts. Yet the law is still more unpopular than popular. Why? One reason is that only 16.5 percent of Americans could not afford or qualify for health insurance before Obamacare. The rest of us with employer insurance, or Medicare or Medicaid, or individual private market insurance had to be convinced that either we were not harmed or we benefited from the law. The administration did not help its popularity when it bungled the roll out and made some misrepresentations that if the 3 million individuals with substandard policies liked their insurance or doctor, they could keep them. The GOP raised a ruckus. However, when it comes to the many millions who signed up for Obamacare, the GOP is raising no ruckus about those they would leave high and dry without insurance. They still plan a vote to repeal Obamacare while not offering another way to provide similar benefits to the same numbers. The GOP also used fear mongering and flat out lies to turn people against Obamacare. Remember "death panels" and "death spirals" or costs bankrupting the country or Medicare being robbed to pay for the ACA? Remember when the GOP told us exchange premiums would soar so high that Obamacare would collapse in a financially unsustainable "death spiral"? It is not happening. For 2015 exchange premiums have risen only 1 percent on average nationwide. No government panel has told anyone to pull the plug on Grandma. The GOP inferred that the ACA would take away Medicare benefits. Instead, the savings in the law added 14 years to the life of Medicare per the non-partisan independent Congressional Budget Office (CBO), and no traditional benefits have been lost. The challenge for the administration was to convince the public that even those who had insurance were now protected from abuse from anti-consumer practices of insurance companies. Most consumers did not even know they were victims until they faced bankruptcy because of their inadequate policies. Employees' human resources departments provided them with limited choices and left buried in fine print caps on coverage, dumping the sick, not covering some pre-existing conditions, discrimination against women, and using premiums for over inflated overhead instead of covering medical services . The GOP wants employees to return to "those good ole 'days" by removing mandates on employers to provide insurance. The CBO originally concluded the ACA would reduce the deficit over 10 years. Those forecasts have changed relatively little compared to the size of the deficit. Simply repealing the ACA, per the CBO, would run up the deficit. Chipping away at income streams, taxes, mandate fines without finding other "pay fors" as the GOP wants to do, would also rack up the deficit. For data sources, visit http://www.mufticforumblog.blogspot.com.

Muftic: GOP still tilts at Obamacare windmills

I constantly ask myself why there are so many determined to deprive people of their health insurance? For the 56th time, the GOP-dominated House voted to repeal the ACA (Obamacare) last week. It was a futile exercise because President Obama still has veto power. Do they just not care that insurance was unaffordable for millions before the ACA, or are there other reasons? I can speculate on the answers. Ideology plays a big role. I often hear expressed fear of federal government taking over. Small government is always better. States' rights should prevail. Private enterprise should always do it instead. There are those who do not want any government to mandate them to do anything, much less help anyone else to be able to afford health insurance. The old status quo was tolerable, say some. Emergency rooms are good enough care; preventative care is not that important. So what if charity care and unpaid medical bills hike everyone else's premiums. It is OK those stuck with unaffordable medical bills lose their homes or go bankrupt. Deficit hawks care more than anything that the ACA will run up the deficit in the next 10 years. At least that is how Senate Republicans interpret a recent government report. Prior year reports showed it would reduce the deficit. Next year could show something different. Legislative tweaks with pay-for strategies and tackling entitlements are tougher to do. However, the reason for Obamacare in the first place was private sector insurers had already failed to cover so many and states other than Massachusetts were unwilling to provide a solution. So far the GOP has failed to agree among themselves on a comparably effective replacement. And then there are partisan loyalists and Obama haters whose main motivation is to cripple President Obama. There is a lawsuit now before the Supreme Court, which could rule that insurance premium subsidies issued through the federal website were illegal; subsidies could only be provided through state exchanges. The chief plaintiff bringing the suit, David M. King, thinks the president is an "idiot" and has posted altered images of the first lady in Middle Eastern clothing. A court ruling against Obamacare would mean 80 percent of the 9 million beneficiaries of the ACA who receive those subsidies through the federal exchanges would be unable to afford their health insurance premiums. That the 35 states refusing to set up state exchanges would reverse themselves is slim since they have state houses controlled by Republicans hostile to Obamacare. Obamacare is a failure? In spite of reparable computer glitches, the ACA is doing what it was designed to do even part of the way to full implementation. By the end of 2016, 24 million fewer Americans will lack insurance, per the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. Independent factcheck.org concluded premiums for employed and individuals have risen at a much lower rate than in the Bush years even accounting for the recession's effect, nor will the ACA cost thousands for everyone insured. Fewer adults reported medical bill problems. Destroying Obamacare would reverse those gains. To see sources tapped for column, visit http://www.mufticforumblog.blogpost.com.

Muftic: Why Obamcare wasn’t so big on campaign trail

If you believed the pundits at the beginning of this summer, the midterms were going to be about Obamacare and the economy. In fact, jobs and the economy were at the top of the voter concern list in any poll. But in nearly every Senate race, not only in Colorado, it became as much or more about social issues and last-minute fearmongering about the rise of ISIS and Ebola. How did that happen? Aside from campaign strategy that crafted negative political ads to put fire in the belly of specific demographic groups, something else was at work. Neither Obamacare nor the economy turned out to be political gold mines. None of the disasters predicted earlier happened to Obamacare. In fact, the American Medical Association said it was working as designed: Eight million both signed up and paid premiums and would not take kindly to the GOP trying to yank away insurance the most ever were able to afford for the first time in their lives. Nationwide, ACA premiums did not soar. The GOP came up with no viable alternatives, so calls for repeal became underplayed lip service. In Grand County the percentage of the uninsured was cut by half in the first nine months of the year, and the ACA will kick into higher gear with mid-November enrollments. The premiums in the Colorado exchange will rise only a little over 1 percent this coming year and the silver plan will fall by over 10 percent. Nationwide ACA premium increases came in under 5 percent increase. In Connecticut 2014 rates had been very high, but giant United HealthCare decided to participate in the state ACA exchange for 2015, and premiums dropped by nearly 5 percent. Partisanship was another factor. Voters viewed Obamacare through glasses tinted by their politics. Democrats liked it; Republicans did not. Polls showed that individual provisions of Obamacare, with subsidies and Medicaid expansion making insurance affordable for the lower middle class and providing coverage of pre-existing conditions, were always popular. Better-heeled Republicans still thought Obamacare was a failure. It did not benefit them, and besides, Obama's name was attached. Polls were so dismal that Democrats could not make a big deal of its success. The economy had improved considerably, but not enough for everyone to beat the drums of victory or to damn the results with any credibility. Many in the lower income brackets had found jobs, but wages were depressed, and trickle-down economics barely dripped or worse. On the other hand, core constituents of the GOP, those in the upper income levels and most seniors, were doing fine, thank you. They felt the rewards of a booming Wall Street and a more robust business sector, but they wanted it to do even better. Democrats did accuse the Republicans of opposing minimum wage or making it more expensive to finance college, but it never seemed to be a decisive argument that appealed to the middle class. Only incumbent governor John Hickenlooper made it a campaign slogan that "Colorado was back" and the economy was among the best in the country. For more, visit http://www.mufticforumblog.blogspot.com.

Muftic: The Republican’s health-scare bill (column)

Sen. Angus King (I-ME) recently called the GOP/Trumpcare replacement plan for the ACA/Obamacare,"Shift and shaft; repeal and wreck." The legislation is now going through the Republican dominated House of Representatives. King is not the only one opposing it: So have American Medical Association and the American Hospital Association, the insurance company trade association, and the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP.) Some conservatives also oppose it because they want to do away with any insurance premium subsidies as being "socialism." The GOP purrs no one will lose health insurance who has it today under Obamacare/ACA. That's today, but by 2018, and many millions of individuals will realize they have been shafted.The Brookings Institute estimates fifteen million more than today will be uninsured and the Congressional Budget Office estimates fourteen million by 2018. Premiums on individual markets will rise first but ten years later they will decrease only by 10 percent over now but 58 million will be uninsured by then, close to pre-Obamacare figures. It saves $ 300 billion reducing deficit in ten years by dropping Medicaid expansion and reducing subsidies (tax credits) to one half of Obamacare subsidies. Medicaid expansion being phased out affects 11 million now in that program as are 7 million seniors in nursing homes. Yes,the GOP reassures us, it will be patient-centered because patients can make more choices. Some choice when 24 million more than now cannot even afford premiums much less make choices of insurance plan benefits. What is wrecked is the mechanism used to finance premium subsidies and the coverage of pre-existing conditions. Obamacare/ACA depended on taxes on the top 1 percent and others. The ACA put those who have high demand on health care, such as seniors and those who were sick, into large pools that included those with less frequent use of services paying in, too, to spread the cost of premiums around. $600 billion of taxes are being eliminated, mostly benefiting the rich, and the pools are being broken up into segregated ones for high users and/ or charging some more for fewer benefits. .The shaft to consumers who still can afford premiums is that their benefits they get now will become optional and their premiums, especially paid by Americans over 50 years old, will pay 25 to 35 percent more per AARP. No longer required to be included in all insurance plans would be such benefits as prescription drug coverage, annual physicals, no-copay cancer screenings, prenatal/maternal care, and mental health and drug rehab coverage. These will become optional benefits for which you must pay extra or pay for them out of your own pocket or will not be included in your "affordable" policies which shrink to the catastrophic coverage category. The shift is obvious. "The bill would cut more than 20 taxes enacted under President Barack Obama's heath law, saving taxpayers nearly $600 billion over the next decade. The bulk of the money would go to the wealthiest Americans" per an Associated Press analysis. The burden would be shifted to the the poor and older Americans . While The Trump/GOP plan calls for reduction and elimation of Medicaid expansion, older Americans will also shoulder the burden. Obamacare subsidies were based on income but Trumpcare would base tax credits on age, providing only $4 thousand tax credits to older people, yet permitting insurance companies to charge five times the premium costs of younger customers . For more, visit http://www.mufticforumblog.blogspot.com

Muftic column: Hard to pull plug on Obamacare

Crowd chanting and party platforms cheered on GOP candidates to support repeal of Obamacare in 2016. Now that the GOP controls both the White House and Congress, they are finding themselves on the receiving end of a consumer revolt. Twenty million are suddenly realizing they may lose high-quality health insurance they can afford for the first time in years. The chants of audiences at the rowdy town halls are instead "don't take away my insurance." Donald Trump calls the town hall attendees a small, noisy minority of paid activists. The GOP and he are fooling themselves. Take a look at the polls. Those angry attendees represent the majority opinion. Obamacare for the first time is polling more popular than not. Where were these defenders of Obamacare last November? They were lulled and fooled. They awoke in January/February thanks to the marches and rowdy town halls. They had been soothed by promises of some in the GOP, and especially Donald Trump, that the health care law would be replaced with something "better." Others were dreaming for single payer systems. Ignorance also shaped public opinion. Thirty-five percent of Americans polled did not know Obamacare and the ACA were one in the same and are just learning their newly acquired insurance they may lose was indeed Obamacare. Many of GOP plans in formation now would eliminate subsidies that make the plans affordable for those in the lower middle class, and even eliminate medicaid expansion, taking away insurance from those who cannot afford to pay even minimum premiums. What polls do show is that "mandates" are what most voters want repealed. "Mandate " is a turn-off term. For most that means to eliminate requirements all must carry health insurance or face a penalty. But "benefit" is a nicer word and the GOP wants to call "benefits" mandates, too. Those nasty mandates are benefits required by the ACA to be included in all insurance plans, whether individually bought, employer-provided, subsidized through the exchanges and Medicare and Medicaid. They include: low co-pay annual physicals, and cancer screenings for both sexes such as mammograms and colonoscopies, banning life time limits, and providing pre-natal care. The GOP wants to make these benefits optional in the name of being "patient centered." Unfortunately those "mandates/benefits" are what makes the ACA affordable because it keeps the "pool" large enough so that those who do not use or need all of benefits now or in the future pay for those who do. The larger the pool, the lower the cost for all — an actuarial fact. The GOP has challenges replacing the ACA. They will have to show that the costs to the federal budget will be less than is the ACA. Cutting benefits and to take away insurance from many who have it now will be an unpopular political option. The hottest political backfire will happen in the states Trump carried in 2016. 64% of the 2017 ACA subscribers are in those states. GOP governors are protesting repeal, too, since abandoning Medicaid expansion would seriously dent their budgets. Rural hospitals would lose paying customers and close their doors. Miners would lose black lung coverage. Jobs would be lost in the health care sector. The GOP has grabbed a political tiger by its tail. For sources and polls, visit Mufticforumblog.blogspot.com.

My View: The incredible shrinking Obamacare issue

The Obamacare (Affordable Care Act, ACA) controversy has been rolled into reforming entitlements as part of the dealing with the White House on raising the debt ceiling.and deficit reduction. However, the GOP's rationale for defunding, repealing, delaying or sabotaging the ACA because it would increase the deficit is bogus. In fact, the GOP proposals would add to the deficit. The GOP House of Representatives has reduced its conditions to ending the shutdown or raising the debt ceiling from defunding the ACA to delaying it a year to just removing the tax on medical devices, or removing the penalty on individuals who fail to sign up for insurance by March 31. Rep. Paul Ryan did not even mention the ACA in an op-ed in the New York Times as he tried to move the GOP goal to reforming all entitlements as a debt ceiling and deficit reducing bargaining chip. Tea Party diehards still want to include the ACA in the entitlement discussion. To tie the ACA to deficit negotiations is nonsensical. The Congressional Budget Office said the ACA would decrease the deficit by $109 billion over 10 years and that the ACA added 12 years to the life of Medicare. The ACA has a "pay for" built in through a variety of mechanisms: reducing the overpayment to insurers for coverage and holding them to no more than 20 percent of premiums for overhead; reducing payments to hospitals because they no longer have to absorb the costs of treating uninsured patients who could not pay their bills. The previously uninsured now have affordable access to insurance. Competition within the marketplace exchanges are resulting in premiums which are even 16 percent lower than original predictions. Unnecessary but expensive subsidies to Medicare Advantage private insurer administrators have ended. Some taxes and penalties will also produce revenue. Some fear that increasing the debt limit is a go-ahead to go into debt more in the future. Lifting the debt limit does not approve more expenditures than Congress has already approved. There are those that contend that if the debt limit increase is not approved, nothing will happen. There is no one in the business community or at Wall Street or the prime funders of the Tea Party movement, the Koch Brothers, who agree with that. The GOP advocates could make the deficit worse. For example, removing the tax on medical devices could add to the deficit by at least $29 billion in lost revenue over 10 years. Another "pay for" should be included in any deal to maintain the ACA's contribution to deficit reduction. Some deal is likely since the President says it is not a "core" part of the ACA. Another GOP proposal, to delay the penalties associated with the mandate for young people to sign up is a "core" attack on the ACA. Not bringing the younger and healthy into the insurance pool would sabotage the affordability of covering pre-existing conditions because that is what makes that part of the ACA affordable. The GOP argues the President let large businesses off the hook for a year from being fined for not having health insurance for their employees. The difference is the impact on the cost of the ACA. Only a very small percent of large businesses do not already provide employee insurance. Using computer glitches in the federal website as a reason to delay is a weak argument since computer software can be fixed and administrators have until March 31, 2014 . Fourteen states like Colorado that opted to run their own systems have better results than the states who relied on the federal system. Sign-up by computer Is not the only method to enroll. Marketplace exchanges provide telephone and in-person enrollment as alternatives to online sign-ups. For more, visit www. mufticforumblog.blogspot.com

Lawsuits, ignorance threaten Obamacare

There is a great deal of confusion over the recent appeals courts' decisions about Obamacare (ACA) in the Halbig suit. At issue is whether the law permits those who got Obamacare through the federal exchanges to get their premiums subsidized by taxpayers to make them affordable. One three-person panel appeals court dominated by Republicans ruled against the ACA subsidies of federal exchange-issued policies, and the other with more Democrats ruled in support of the subsidies. The administration is appealing the anti-ACA decision to have a ruling of the full bench of justices. The issue could still go to the Supreme Court. What sort of a reaction could we expect if the Supreme Court rules against Obamacare subsidies? There will not be much impact in Colorado because Colorado and 14 other states set up their own exchanges and can clearly subsidize premiums. Colorado has also expanded Medicaid to the near-poor. Ten million people would lose their tax credits, and the ACA would be eliminated in 24 states, per the Kaiser Family Foundation, Aug. 4, Wall Street Journal blog, because they have refused both to expand Medicaid and to set up their own state-run exchanges. Twelve states expanded Medicaid but did not set up state exchanges, so those who signed up through the federal exchanges would lose affordable subsidies. For those 4.7 million (of a potential total over three years of 9.5 million) who would lose their affordable insurance they already obtained, the reaction would be an angry one. The Journal of the American Medical Association, July 9, noted "that 87 percent of the people signing up for coverage in the federal marketplace qualify for income-based premium subsidies that lower their average premium from $346 per month to $82, a reduction of 76 percent." Many would not be angry. About 60 percent polled recently by the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) said they had not been affected by the law, yet the majority still disapprove of the law. Approval of the ACA is about 38 percent, though approval or disapproval mostly depends on party affiliation. Still 60 percent did not want it repealed but improved instead. The ACA's acceptance has been slow because experience with it has been short, and partisanship and ignorance influence public opinion. Per KFF polls, more than 6 out of 10 did not even know or were not sure they had a choice of private plans, the basic feature of the ACA. Nearly 40 percent of enrollees in federal Obamacare exchanges did not even know they were getting federal subsidies. Those receiving insurance from employers may not realize Obamacare has stopped insurance companies from overcharging (resulting in refunds to consumers), or charging higher premiums for women and setting lifetime caps or that the ACA is responsible for covering cancer screenings without copays. Those advantages will only be fully appreciated and understood when consumers experience them or if the GOP repeals the ACA and takes these benefits away. For more, visit http://www.mufticforumblog.blogspot.com

Muftic: Trump loses independents mostly because of the Obamacare repeal replace fiasco (column)

Donald Trump won the electoral vote while losing the popular vote. His overall approval rating this month is at 40 to 42 percent, down from his 46 percent popular vote in 2016. Polls show now that, while he has kept his base happy, he is losing independent voters mostly over the Obamacare repeal/replace effort. A Wall Street Journal/NBC in a mid April poll found 24-point swing in disapproval of Trump by independent voters versus his disapproval rate in February. While President Trump retains support of 96 percent of his 2016 voters, per an ABC/Washington Post poll, the problem is that his base alone is not enough to get him reelected nor is it enough to give the GOP helpful coattails in Congressional races in 2018. His leverage over those GOP senators and representatives to support his legislative agenda until then is weakened, too. He needs those independent voters In the recent Georgia House District 6 and in the recent Kansas election, there has been a 20-percent swing against the GOP even in traditional deep red districts. While it may not be enough to turn many of those red districts blue, it signals some Republican incumbents in less deeply red districts are vulnerable and are feeling freer to distance themselves from Trump and his positions. So far Trump's followers are giving him an A for effort regardless of limited success. They approve of his legislative agenda, his appointee's approval for the Supreme Court, a saber rattling foreign policy, and use of executive orders. His draining the swamp promise has been kept, though limited to purging Obama's loyalists and leaving those positions vacant or replacing them with an invasive species of Wall Streeters and foxes to guard the hen house door pledged to sabotage the Obama legacy. So why the swing in the mood of independent voters? Per the WSJ poll, "more believe the government should do more to help them." Why? Their poll showed the repeal/replace Obamacare legislative fiasco dramatized that Trump had promised to replace Obamacare with something better but instead the GOP plan he backed was harmful to millions and to them, too. The debate also reminded non-ideological independents that the federal government's role after could have value to their own health, life, and family finances. Only 17 percent of all voters now approve of the GOP plan that would have made access to affordable health care insurance and benefits dramatically worse and would cost them more from their own pockets. Rumors of compromise details in a plan reboot reveal improvements could be undone by states. Voters also became better educated about the health insurance issue with the focus of media coverage on the Congressional machinations. At the beginning of the year, 35 percent of voters wanted Obamacare repealed but in their ignorance had not realized their newly acquired, and about to be lost, affordable insurance obtained through the ACA and the exchanges was the same as Obamacare. For others, longer experience with the benefits of the ACA helped them understand small government ideology does not pay their medical bills or keep them healthy as well as the ACA (Obamacare) does. What also helped educate them? Chalk it up to the Resistance and Indivisible movements waving message signs while marching and raising a ruckus at legislators' town halls in red and blue districts and the media coverage that they generated. For more, visit http://www.mufticforumblog.blogspot.com