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Posts published in “Day: September 11, 2014”

ACA is worth debating

trahant MARK
TRAHANT

 
Austerity

Newsflash: Republicans hate the Affordable Care Act. Of course they can’t even call it that; it’s only “Obamacare.” A word that’s pronounced with a sneer, derision and contempt.

Ok. That’s not news. The message about how evil the Affordable Care Act was branded around the fiftieth time that House Republicans voted for repeal.

But how does it stand as an election issue? Should candidates run on the merits of the Affordable Care Act?

If the question is asked and answered as a political one, then probably not. The law is still not all that popular.

A poll released this week by the Kaiser Family Foundation reflects that unpopularity. “Registered voters are more likely to have an unfavorable view of the ACA than a favorable one (49 percent versus 35 percent),” Kaiser reports. “Opinion tilts even more negative among likely voters1 (51 percent versus 35 percent).”

But the health care law is also not as a big deal with voters as it was a few months ago. “Asked to name in their own words the two most important issues in deciding their vote for Congress, the most frequently-mentioned issue is the economy and jobs (21 percent),” according to Kaiser. “Thirteen percent of voters name health care as a top issue, including just 3 percent who specifically mention the Affordable Care Act. Those who view the law favorably are about equally likely to mention health care as a top issue in their vote as are those with an unfavorable view (12 percent versus 15 percent).

I would suspect that Indian Country is no exception to this polling. Most of the people I have talked to are not keen on the paperwork associated with the Affordable Care Act and don’t like the idea that insurance will be a major funding source for the Indian health system.

That’s an notion that makes sense — unless you consider the alternative. The alternative is nothing. There is no plan from those advocating repeal to improve funding for the Indian health system. (One funding test for Indian health will come from the House Continuing Resolution budget, a short-term spending bill, and those details are expected shortly.)

There are important questions that should be asked of every candidate: If you support repeal, then what happens to the funding mechanisms for Indian health? How will that money be replaced in this austere climate? I have asked many Republicans running for office across the country and I have yet to hear one single satisfactory answer. (more…)

On the front pages

news

Here’s what public affairs news made the front page of newspapers in the Northwest today, excluding local crime, features and sports stories. (Newspaper names contracted with location)

Payette Brewery (Garden City) poised to grow (Boise Statesman)
IF sees enterovirus cases (IF Post Register)
Hobby Lobby may open store at Ammon (IF Post Register)
Hixon said to have misused campaign funds (Nampa Press Tribune)
Panera Bread Bakery may build in Nampa (Nampa Press Tribune)
Bottled water only in Raft River for now (TF Times News)

NW pot producers will need mroe electricity (Corvallis Gazette)
More new school students than were expected (Corvallis Gazette)
Parts of Oregon at high fire danger (Corvallis Gazette)
Eugene city hall work closes some offices (Eugene Register Guard)
Unveiling new Made in Oregon on 5th street (Eugene Register Guard)
Running Y ranch may see major upgrades (KF Herald & News)
Oregon schools test scores released Medford Tribune, Pendleton E Oregonian
Question raised on prison inmate shooting (Portland Oregonian)
South Salem park plan draws neighbor critics (Salem Statesman Journal)

New state ferries chief chosen (Seattle Times, Tacoma News Tribune, Bremerton Sun)
Changes in funding for Sheldon Senate race (Bremerton Sun)
Cowlitz, Wahkiakum approve garbage deal (Longview News)
Olympia church starts homeless shelter (Olympian)
Pot grow site will be assessed (Port Angeles News)
Senate challenge also backs zombie TV show (Spokane Spokesman)
Vancouver councils considers blocking oil (Vancouver Columbian)
Yakima reconsiders massage licenses (Yakima Herald Republic)