The letter “Obama Has Failed” by Thomas Peterson, August 1, is angry, disrespectful and mostly fact-free. It would take too long a letter to respond to all of his sound-bite opinions, but some deserve rebuttal.
How has President Obama encouraged illegal immigration, when he is accused by many on the Democratic left of being the “Deporter in Chief?”
About the IRS “harassing his political opponents,” presumably targeting only right wing Tea Party groups in seeing whether nonprofit organizations applying for tax-exempt status under Internal Revenue Codes 501c3 and 4, which required civic organizations to be operated exclusively (not primarily) for promotion of social welfare, left leaning nonprofits were also investigated. After a lot of partisan accusations, and House Oversight Committee hearings, an FBI report in January said there was no evidence to warrant the filing of criminal charges and revealed that the IRS was a mismanaged bureaucracy operating under rules it did not fully understand.
The one about “wreaking havoc on the greatest medical system in the world” is exaggerated. If Mr. Peterson is referring to the difficulties in implementing the availability of health insurance to the 40 million uninsured Americans when the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was passed, the federal website difficulties were resolved, through the help of techies from outside the government (Time magazine told this story). The individual mandate is a conservative idea. In 1989 a Heritage Foundation brief, “Assuring Affordable Health Care for All Americans,” proposed the individual mandate as a counterpoint to the single-payer system and the employer mandate, which were favored in Democratic circles.
The people he should direct his anger at are the Republican governors of states, whose needs for accessibility of its citizens to affordable medical care are some of the greatest in the nation, who have refused, for ideological reasons, the Medicaid expansion under the ACA. This defies common sense, since the federal government subsidizes the cost in the first three years, and 90 perscent thereafter (www.medicaid.gov), costing states practically nothing.
Regarding “the greatest medical system in the world,” the World Health Organization’s last ranking lists the US as 37th, out of 190. In the Bloomberg ratings of most efficient health care systems in advanced economies, the US is ranked 46th out of 48 (Bloomberg Best and Worst; www.bloomberg.com). The US spends the most on health care on a relative cost basis with the worst outcome.
Much of the rest of Mr. Peterson’s assertions can be refuted by consulting Obama’s Numbers (July 2014 Update) on FactCheck.org.
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