The Duncan Banner


December 4, 2013

Affordable healthcare is here

DUNCAN — The Republican Party’s angst against the colloquially named “Obamacare” is probably due to the millions of dollars they have wasted demeaning it. Whether they like it or not, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) can only be reversed if voters become lazy and allow Republicans to gain control of all three branches of our federal government. What both parties should do is look ahead to when the PPACA is fully implemented. Then, evaluate the final results when affordable healthcare for everyone is completed. A negative critique of a project at its inception is a wasteful effort in futility, politically and financially.

Those that see the PPACA as a form of socialism are only fooling their constituents. Health insurance plans we purchase come from private insurance companies, not the U.S. Government. PPACA Exchanges (Marketplaces) were designed to be state-operated from the beginning. However, 36 states - with Republicans in full control of those governments - refused to establish the anticipated Exchanges. Those states’ refusals left it up to the Federal Government to fill the void. Ergo, when the Federal Marketplace opened up for online operation, it was overwhelmed by the millions of people who were abandoned by their state governments. Isn’t it ironic how history repeats itself?

The same problems occurred when Medicare Part D was initiated under the George W. Bush presidency even with a Republican-controlled House and Senate.

Recently, we were reminded of the equally controversial roll-outs of both E-Bay and Amazon. What short, selective memories we have.

Today, in most part, Republicans are putting forth misinformation designed to convince the public that what we had before the PPACA was enacted is still the best healthcare we can ever have. With that concept now being discovered false, they are at loss regarding what to use to generate their next fear-tactics rhetoric. The House has enacted challenges to repeal all or parts of the PPACA 46 times - all to no avail.

Because Governor Fallin and her Republican legislators refused to adopt the PPACA , according to the Kaiser Foundation, 144,480 citizens of Oklahoma (ages 26-65) will “fall into the uninsured gap” - being neither eligible for Medicaid nor able to qualify for Marketplace subsidies to help pay their insurance premiums.

Most of the truly important parts of the PPACA have already taken effect, and hundreds of millions of Americans are benefiting from its passage. What the Republicans, in their battle against affordable healthcare, hope we haven’t discovered are:

(1) Young adults may now remain on their parent’s health plan until age 26.

(2) We cannot be denied health insurance due to a pre-existing medical condition or have a plan cancelled because of a pay-out cap for a catastrophic illness.

(3) In states which expanded their Medicaid programs, (OKLAHOMA DID NOT) young adults whose parents carry no insurance - and those older than 26 - may now be eligible for Medicaid. Because the federal government also operates an Insurance Marketplace, qualifying young adults of Oklahoma may apply for health insurance and receive subsidies to assist in paying the premiums.

(4) Everyone currently enrolled in Medicaid, or who obtains health coverage through the Marketplace, will have preventive care with regular exams from the medical profession. (This part of the Act will also affect seniors 65 or older as there are no co-pays for these yearly procedures.)

(5) Pregnant women of Oklahoma, fortunate enough to afford health insurance, will now receive pre-natal care which was not offered prior to the PPACA.

Readers, take note! More Republican fear tactics are forthcoming! They now have a new list of phrases to use in future town hall meetings, i.e., “I Lost My insurance” - “Cost of Healthcare Increasing,”- “Negative Stories Heard,” etc..

In the months leading up to 2014 elections, another coordinated attack on both Democrats and the PPACA - to generate groundless fears - will come!

Kenneth Wells


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    April 9, 2014

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    Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that federal campaign laws that limit the total amount of money donors can give to political parties, committees and candidates for federal office (U.S. House, Senate, and President) was unconstitutional. The ruling will not increase the current $2,600 limit on how much a donor can give to a federal candidate in each primary and general election or the $32,400 limit that can go to a national party committee. Those limits are still in place.  The ruling will instead remove the limit on how many candidates/committees to which a donor can contribute.

    April 9, 2014

  • Legislative goals crucial to priorities in education

    I am a member of several professional organizations where I attend regular meetings, network with colleagues, and stay abreast and informed on education best practices.  The Cooperative Council for Oklahoma School Administration, better known as CCOSA, is a nonprofit organization that establishes close and continuous communication and cooperation between educators, taxpayers, and legislators to improve the effectiveness of professional school administrators and to communicate the needs of schools. Attendance this time of year is especially critical because legislators are in session.

    March 28, 2014

  • An impressive ranking that could be better

    That Duncan was named one of the best 15 communities in Oklahoma by Movoto, a national Real Estate company, is news worth celebrating.
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    March 9, 2014

  • Kids shouldn’t have to pay for having punster parents

    Friends and neighbors, I’ve been cloistered in my Thought Chamber for the past few days, contemplating many high-brow philosophies and haughty hypothesis that we who think on a different level use to exercise our finely-tuned minds and remain intellectually superior to the Great Unwashed.
    As you see, the time alone has been intellectually beneficial. I just composed an opening sentence (what we in the journalism dodge call a “lead”) that’s 46 words long.

    March 9, 2014

  • The blissful serenity of No-TV Land

    Life without TV is possible. Maybe you should try it. I did. It’s a do-able thing, I tell you. I’m still here, no worse the wear, no oozing wounds, no serious loss of brainwave activity except for the slow, inexorable downhill decline that already started when TV viewing was a daily occurrence.

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    March 9, 2014

  • Cooper’s message is to remain active

    Dr. Kenneth Cooper, the Dallas physician who coined the phrase “aerobics” more than four decades ago, who has become a world leader in physical fitness and who has saved, literally, thousands of lives by promoting the value of an active lifestyle, shared his philosophy of life here last week.

    March 9, 2014

  • Time to take the “B” out of the “Three R’s”

    Our young folks are hitting the stretch drive toward the end of another school year, during which they’ve been taught “Three R’s”, which are not really “r’s” at all.
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    February 23, 2014

  • Thank you for lettin’ me be myself again

    Friends and neighbors, hope I don’t sound like the biggest egomaniac since Donald Trump, but you know, I am the most interesting person I’ve ever known.
    Forgive me if — on first blush — that sounds like the most totally self-aggrandizing statement you’ve ever heard. And if you’ve headed to the restroom to express an editorial opinion about the statement above, I’ll stop for a couple minutes.

    February 15, 2014

  • Buzz misfired in Vanity Fair body slam of Duncan

    As the new kid in town, I’m reluctant to leap atop the ramparts to defend the honor of Duncan, Okla., my new adopted hometown.
    But to heck with that. When an out-of-towner comes into your house and soils your rug, it’s on.
    I speak, of course, about the article in Vanity Fair magazine about Duncan and the  killing last year of Chris Lane, the Australian who was gunned down in August.

    January 24, 2014