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ACA Makes Medicare Better; Rounds Can’t Win on ObamaCare Fears

Two men losing no sleep over health insurance
Mike and Don Rounds, two rich men losing no sleep over health insurance.

Marion Michael Rounds will lose an ACA-Medicare debate to Rick Weiland. His "ObamaCare robs Medicare" scare ad is a lie four ways to Friday. And really, Mike? You want working South Dakotans to believe that you with your hefty insurance-salesman income and your dad with his oil-industry money are losing any sleep over health insurance issues? Give us a break.

John Tsitrian wants his fellow Republicans to get over the Affordable Care Act and campaign on issues where they stand a chance of beating the Democrats. He reminds Rounds that his own party thought squezing savings from Medicare was a good idea until it became part of the Affordable Care Act:

Mike Rounds is running against a long-term reduction in Medicare Advantage savings that his own party endorsed and proposed as recently as 2012. This is actually pathetic and in no way resembles the "common sense South Dakota" approach to doing business that he promises to take to Washington if elected to the Senate. If scaring seniors with half-, no, fully-baked, misrepresentations of the effects of ACA is the standard by which Rounds' campaign intends to move forward, I'd say he'll have his hands full when he faces up to the kind of grilling he'll get from his intra-party challengers (are you reading this, Stace Nelson?) during their SDPB gathering next week. Then there's the passionate and articulate Rick Weiland to contend with if Rounds makes it to the general. Then there are the voters themselves, South Dakotans who understand the difference between common sense and common baloney [John Tsitrian, "Pubs Just Got Whacked On Another Anti-ACA Talking Point. Meantime Mike Rounds Is Obsessed With Scaring Seniors About It," The Constant Commoner, 2014.05.08].

Say it again, friends: ObamaCare does not threaten Medicare. The Affordable Care Act makes Medicare stronger by saving money and making people healthier before they retire. Republicans, you just aren't going to win on the ACA.


  1. John Tsitrian 2014.05.09

    As an addendum to my piece, Cory, I posted Sections 3601 and 3602 of the Affordable Care Act. They unequivocally confirm that ACA can not and will not result in any loss or diminution of benefits guaranteed by Medicare and Medicare Advantage.

  2. Jerry 2014.05.09

    It is kind of cool to hear these guys blather about it though, the more they stay in that mode, the more Weiland can crush them with their own words. These guys think that the voters can't read reports and they disrespect the voters who have seen their costs actually go down. Pretty hard to tell Uncle Fred that he is not to believe his prescription costs that show a savings. But these guys have made a career out of lying so they should just keep it up.

  3. CK 2014.05.09

    If I had a dollar for every time a Republican said "Obamacare," I don't think I would need to work anymore.

  4. Lanny V Stricherz 2014.05.09

    Thanks larry kurtz, that is a very enlightening article. For what it is worth, I contacted KDLT by email complaining about the Rounds commercial as it is a lie. I could not find a link to do the same with KELO or KSFY. Yesterday as I mentioned I would do a couple of days ago, I emailed the FCC with the same complaint. I am sure they will respond, as they have in the past. I just hope that I am not disappointed in their response. The longer I have to wait for the response the more hopeful I will be, as I will take it to mean that they are actually investigating it.

    The Argus Leader had the same ad in the paper yesterday. Mr Rounds must be running out of ways to spend his 9 million and he must be more afraid of losing the primary, than one would think with his huge lead in the polls. I'll bet the primary cannot get here soon enough for him. Every day that goes by, there is more doubt in the electorate as to his acceptability as a US Senator.

  5. Jenny 2014.05.09

    John T and Larry S, thanks for getting the truth out there. Keep up the editorial writing, Larry! You know what you're talking about.

  6. Roger Cornelius 2014.05.09

    Let's wait and see how Rounds and others twist these lies, you know like we didn't lose any money on Northern Beef Packers.

  7. Jenny 2014.05.09

    I meant Lanny S (not Larry), in regards to my above comment.

  8. Lanny V Stricherz 2014.05.09

    Thanks Jenny, I get called Larry a lot. I also get called Lenny and my immediate response to that one is my name is Lanny, Lenny is Squiggie's buddy.

  9. Roger Cornelius 2014.05.09

    Republicans you have an 8,000,000 plus problem. With each attempt to repeal Obamacare you will have to answer to those enrolled in ACA.

    For the states that humanely offer Medicaid Expansion, Republicans will have to answer to them as well.

    Those numbers translate into voters

  10. Jenny 2014.05.09

    Boy, look at all the anti-Rounds people commenting on the Obamacare robs medicare ad in the link above, Cory. I was surprised to see that many people commenting against Rounds. South Dakotans don't like the outright lies and it's nice to see the people awakening.

  11. Joan Brown 2014.05.09

    Well Lanny, I have had people call me JoAnn since I was in elementary school and it really annoys me. There is a difference in the way the two names should be spelled. Several years ago I had a past due bill and one night a lady from a collection agency called and wanted to speak to JoAnn or Joanne, whichever, and I told her there wasn't anybody here by that name. She wanted to know my name and when I told her Joan, she replied "Joan, JoAnn, what difference does it make?" I hung up on her.

  12. grudznick 2014.05.09

    I have the same problems, Ms. Brown, I have always found that paying my bills is the best way to avoid talking to those sorts of people.

  13. Gayle 2014.05.09

    Rounds ad has been out for what??? a few weeks? Finally someone said something about it! I find it very disturbing, not only the lies, but his fake smile. Thought John T did a great job on his blog.

  14. JeniW 2014.05.09

    Mike has 9 million dollars and is not able/willing to help his father with his medical bills?!

  15. grudznick 2014.05.09

    Obamacare has been angering people for a long time.
    But this incessant Grandpa Don blather is really getting on me nerves.

  16. Lanny V Stricherz 2014.05.09

    I plead guilty Joan. I have a very good friend that I called Joan for years and found out at our 50th class reunion that her name is JoAnne.

  17. Lanny V Stricherz 2014.05.09

    whose blather grudz. ours or that of the ex governor?

  18. Lanny V Stricherz 2014.05.09

    That was really a cheap shot that you took on Joan Brown, grudz. I personally know 3 Joan Brown. Everybody knows there could only ever be one grudznick, cause, no one else would keep that as their name, if they were baptized with it.

  19. grudznick 2014.05.09

    Mr. Stricherz, I have always found Ms. Brown's bloggings here to be amongst the best. And I have never called her "Jo Anne" or "Joanie" or other incorrect pronounciations of her name. I strive to be as accurate as I can, Mr. Stricherz. That's why when names get too confusing for me to spell I go with Mr. H, or Mr. C.

    You, sir, are almost Mr. S, but I can always read your name on the blog in front of me and try and be polite enough to type it correctly.

    Ms. Brown, who is a very nice lady, I can just remember how to type her name. I mean no offense by that.

  20. Lanny V Stricherz 2014.05.09

    Thanks you grudz, for apologizing to Joan Brown.

  21. Donald Pay 2014.05.09

    I actually think he's being politically smart. He's blowing his dog whistle. He has to find some way to appeal to the 40 percent of the Republican Party that is absolutely clueless and motivated by non-fact-based ideology. It appears the establishment wing of the party has decided they have to lie about the ACA and Benghazi in order to appeal to those folks who actually believe the distortion spewed from right wing radio and FOX News.

    He's probably not going to get too many of these folks' votes in the primary, though. This is about Mike Rounds spending a little cash now to assure these folks will come around to him in the general election.

  22. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.05.10

    Donald, does the ObamaCare shouting do any good in the primary? Every Republican says it, so it's not really a distinguishing point now. And heck, if Rounds makes it to the general, he could be drowned out by Howie's more consistent record on ACA opposition and defused by Weiland's call for changing the ACA. Will the dog whistle keep working?

  23. Thad Wasson 2014.05.10

    The Dems have beat into the American conscience that we have 45 million uninsured citizens. So why after 4 years of planning and a mandate to enroll by the end of March, we only have 8 million signed for health insurance?

    The ACA will soon provide care that equals the Phoenix V.A.

  24. Donald Pay 2014.05.10

    I notice, Thad, you have no suggestions, which is what we expect of the right.

    The exchange was meant to deal with one segment of the uninsured, not the entire population of the uninsured. Other parts have already been done---allowing young adults to remain on their parents insurance, Medicaid expansion (in those states that care about their uninsured citizens). Some other parts (business mandates) have been delayed for a couple years. Try to become more fact-based in your understanding of health coverage. It will vastly improve your credibility.

  25. Les 2014.05.10

    I note, Donald, from your comments you are not the minority who pays their own way on health care insurance. Try to become more fact based on those of us who pay our own way, now drowning in med care costs and explain why I should be so happy with the ACA.

  26. Donald Pay 2014.05.10

    No, Les, I work for a living. My employers pays part of my health care premium, and I pay part. Essentially, my employer is paying health coverage in lieu of salary that would otherwise go to me. This benefits both my employer and me.

    My employer, as many employers in Wisconsin, have an exchange (sometimes called a "cafeteria" or "open enrollment"), very similar to the ACA exchange, which allows me to select from six different plans with different coverage levels, co-pays, premiums, etc. The ACA and the Massachusetts plan supported by Romney have an exchange component for the individual market that was pioneered by private sector and public sector employers and used extensively by businesses and governments in many states.

    Because I have choice in an exchange, I have been able to lower my premium costs by going from a lower to a higher co-pay. I'm also one of those folks who asks hard questions about costs when my doctor suggests routine tests. I'm not someone who sits back and takes whatever the medical industry tells me.

    So, Les, I am firmly in the fact-based column on this.

  27. JeniW 2014.05.10

    What puzzles me is that the health care issues were in existence long before Obama became president, for example, many people, including myself were not able to purchase insurance due to "pre-existing condition," why didn't the legislators address those issues? If they had addressed those issues in a positive and constructive manner, maybe would would not be where we are today with the ACA.

    The legislators failed us, and many people over the years, and currently did and are paying the price of sweeping the issues under the carpet and pretending like they did not exist.

  28. TG 2014.05.10

    Kudos to Obama for at least trying something, anything, but it just wasn't ready to roll out and need(ed)s lots of modifications and open air. They shouldn't have voted for it until at least the ones in DC understood it. The insurance companies are struggling to decipher the rules and implement it. If 400 or however many legislators there are in DC didn't understand it, how did they expect the thousands of insurance companies to implement it and the millions of people to utilize it?

  29. Lanny V Stricherz 2014.05.10

    Thad Wasson, I think, or probably I should say, I hope you are wrong on that. But you make a great point. I have said for years, as one who drove DAV vans to several different hospitals, it makes no sense to have VA hospitals all over the country. The VA needs to have three or four specialty hospitals, and let the veterans who do not need specialty care, get their healthcare in their local community. that would save the VA millions of dollars in travel pay every week.

    But that is where Universal Single Payer healthcare comes in. With that, the insurance industry would be taken out of the mix for everything except the paperwork. The insurance companies wouldn't be charging us to pay their executives 7 and 8 digit salaries plus bonuses every year. Every country that has it, doctors included love it and that would bring down the cost of healthcare drastically. Sure it would come out of tax dollars to pay for it, but the way we pay for it now is also a tax if you look at healthcare realistically.

    Besides, when you realize that foreign countries provide their people with nationalized healthcare, that gives foreign companies a huge advantage over US companies who have to compete with them.

  30. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.05.10

    Yet, TG, millions of people are using it and paying their premiums (premia?).

    Lanny's right again. Universal single payer would help everyone sleep better... except for insurance salesmen.

  31. Douglas Wiken 2014.05.10

    Republicans are holding an empty bag and blowing hot air into it hoping it floats. The current Republican Party is irrelevant in opposition or in power. Why anybody continues to defend their nonsense, mythology, outright lies, factless facts, factoids,etc. is a source of continuous amazement.

  32. Les 2014.05.10

    Whether your employer pays or you pay because in some reality it is all your wages, Donald, you are working from a tiered system due to the economy of scale or however it might be explained away not available to those of us on our own. And that's a fact

  33. Donald Pay 2014.05.10

    Yes, economies of scale work on behalf of those who are in a group. It was progressives who fought for single payer, which provides for one big group. Conservatives didn't want that, so progressives proposed a public option, which essentially created the possibility of a large group to compete with the private individual market. Conservatives didn't want that. There are lots of options that could have been proposed by conservatives that would have formed groups out of the individual market. They didn't do that. They were too wedded to health insurers being able to scam people in the individual market, the very thing that you seem to be criticizing. In practice, though, the ACA provided a large number of new enrollees with a regulated marketplace, so this sort of functioned as a group.

  34. hmr59 2014.05.11

    Let's all remember that Don Rounds was the hired flack for the petroleum companies for years - he's got no problems coming up with the $$ for health care. Plus, his son runs possibly the largest health insurance company in the state - so, if there are problems, he can just blame Marion for not doing his job. BTW - somebody should check out who administers the health care policies for employees of the State of South Dakota. I don't know myself, but have heard from others that a certain candidate's company may have something to do with it. If true, gee, wonder how that happened??

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