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Pre-Existing Conditions Good Issue for Bjorkman to Use Against Johnson

To win the race for South Dakota’s lone House seat, Tim Bjorkman doesn’t need to make hay of Dusty Johnson’s association with accused Russian spy Maria Butina (although it wouldn’t hurt!). Bjorkman could just focus on the Affordable Care Act and its popular provision stopping insurers from yanking insurance from folks who’ve been sick:

With less than four months to go until the Congressional midterm general election, a candidate’s position on continuing protections for people with pre-existing health conditions is at the forefront of the many health care issues on voters’ minds, finds the latest Kaiser Family Foundation tracking poll.

Continuing pre-existing condition protections ranks first among six other candidate positions on health care issues with 63 percent of voters rating it the “most important” or a “very important” factor. Pre-existing condition protections rank highly across party identification, with majorities of Democratic (74%), independent (64%) and half of Republican (49%) voters saying a candidate’s position on this issue is either the “most important factor” in their vote or “very important, but not the most important factor” [Kaiser Family Foundation, “Most Americans—Across Parties—Say 2018 Candidates’ Position on Pre-Existing Condition Protections Will Matter to Their Vote…,” 2018.07.25].

Johnson complains about his high COBRA payments, but he has stated multiple times that he wants to repeal the ACA, which would make protections for policyholders with pre-existing conditions go poof. The best he offers folks with pre-existing conditions is general hand-waving toward hoping states post-ACA-repeal could resort to the old, less effective, and more expensive model of high-risk pools. Bjorkman supports ACA pre-existing protections and, as an attorney, fought insurance companies pre-ACA who were trying to take coverage away from sick people.

Even if Johnson triangulates to some quasi-repeal or repeal-and-replace that more firmly defends pre-existing protections, Bjorkman can take heart: as has been the case since Trump took office, more people like the ACA than hate it:

KFF, Kaiser health Tracking Poll—July 2018, 2018.07.25
KFF, Kaiser health Tracking Poll—July 2018, 2018.07.25

I like to shout “Run hard, turn left!” to my fellow Democrats, but on protecting policyholders with pre-existing conditions and the Affordable Care Act in general, Bjorkman can run hard right down the middle, where we find more Americans supporting the healthier status quo Barack Obama and the Democratic Congress of 2010 (you remember, the last Congress that got stuff done, before Kristi Noem got there) gave us than the mess Trumpublicans like Johnson advocate.


  1. jerry 2018-07-26 13:19

    Comrade Dusty’s COBRA payments are much lower than what he would pay on individual coverage with the same benefits. Someone ask him the particulars and don’t let him get away with not knowing what he is complaining about. That is a fact that can be proven with ease. With the group health insurance, it was pretty much, just your name and age in the past as it is today. So the ACA had little, if anything to do with premium prices. Comrade Dusty, is telling a big fib. Tim does need to call him out on it.

    Regarding the pre existing though, that is a whole nother thing. In the pre ACA, your medical records were scrutinized just about from the time you were house broken. If there was anything, including a broken bone, medical records were accessed. Even Comrade Dusty has secrets that he does not want to indulge regarding his health, that is out the window and why it needs protected.

  2. Debbo 2018-07-26 16:12

    WaPo listed 5 areas where Democrats hold very large advantages over the Russpublicans among Democrats, independents and Russpublicans, and healthcare was one of them. I can’t find the article now for the entire list. I’ll post a link when I do.
    (More likely, someone else will beat me to it. 😊)

  3. mike from iowa 2018-07-26 16:19

    Wingnuts can apply for disability because they all have a handicap named Drumpf and it is pre-existing. He has been goofy his entire life.

  4. Jason 2018-07-30 07:34

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Sen. Bernie Sanders’ “Medicare for all” plan would increase government health care spending by $32.6 trillion over 10 years, according to a study by a university-based libertarian policy center.

    That’s trillion with a “T.”

  5. jerry 2018-07-30 08:47

    Excellent link Jason! Yes, this would indeed work for all including for Long Term Care, dental, vision as well, a comprehensive health plan from cradle to grave!

    “The Mercatus Center was founded and is funded by the Koch Family Foundations. According to financial records, the Koch family has contributed more than thirty million dollars to George Mason University, much of which has gone to the Mercatus Center, a nonprofit organization. Democratic strategist Rob Stein described the Mercatus Center as “ground zero for deregulation policy in Washington.” George Mason Uni itself was only founded in 1972 on a campus just outside Washington DC. It is now Virginia’s largest public research university with 34,000 students on campus, ten schools and colleges.”

    Sanders plan would be $1.4 trillion a year, or about the same as Comrade trump’s tax cut for this year. What would you rather have America, a tax cut for the Koch brothers or comprehensive healthcare with no deductibles, dental, vision and long term care?

    Politifact shows that this will actually be more cost effective than where we are now.

    From the above article”
    “Under single-payer, people would no longer have to pay for insurance,” said Christine Eibner, a senior economist at the RAND Corp. “So even if it required new federal spending and commensurate tax increases, people would not necessarily be paying more for health care.”

  6. Jason 2018-07-30 12:22

    Jerry Wrote:

    “Sanders plan would be $1.4 trillion a year, or about the same as Comrade trump’s tax cut for this year.”

    Are you lying on purpose or are you just ignorant?

    The US revenue from income and other taxes (doesn’t include social insurance) in 2017 was 2.15 Trillion Dollars.

    And as for your Koch argument, it’s meaningless because another study was not paid for by the Koch’s.

    To recap, you know nothing Jerry.

  7. jerry 2018-07-30 13:23

    Comrade Jason, thanks for confirming the 1.4 trillion a year! The best news is that figure may be a little on the high side as we must consider the impact of not paying premium. This would of course take away state taxes that South Dakota and the rest of the states and Commonwealths receive for premiums paid!

    Medicare for all, not just for those over 65, rules baby!!

  8. Jason 2018-07-30 14:20

    I didn’t confirm your number Jerry.

    Let’s do some elementary math. Take 32.6T and divide it by 10 years. Tell us what you get Jerry.

  9. jerry 2018-07-30 17:59

    Yep, you did Comrade Jason, with your own post. Turns out you should have read it better rather than just the title. You are correct, some people are ignorant. Hint: Grab your mirror and see who is looking back at you.

    “Today in political own goals: A prominent conservative think-tanker appears to have published a white paper showing that Bernie Sanders’ plan for a national single-payer health care system could, in theory, reduce American health care spending by as much as $1.4 trillion. Take that, Medicare for all.

    The study was published by Charles Blahous of the libertarian Mercatus Center at George Mason University, who is known, among other things, for arguing that Social Security retirement benefits need to be cut. Blahous seems to have set out to show that, even if you assume switching to a single-payer system will lead to major cost savings on medical care and administrative expenses, it will still require a massive increase in federal spending. He calculates that if Sanders’ bill delivered on all of its promises, it would increase federal spending on health care by $32.6 trillion between 2022 and 2031—which is, of course, quite a bit of money, and the number that conservatives are choosing to focus on. But as economist Ernie Tedeschi noted on Twitter this morning, Blahous’ report also shows that total U.S. health care spending would fall by about $2.05 trillion during that time period, even as all Americans would finally have insurance, because the plan would reduce payments to doctors and hospitals to Medicare rates (which are lower than what private insurance pays) while saving on prescription drug costs and administrative expenses.”

    Tim Bjorkman, take a long look at the numbers here, they clearly show that they agree with your assessment on your view of healthcare. Use this as a club to beat Comrade Dusty like a pinata. The beautiful thing about it is that you have the Koch brothers own numbers to agree with you.

  10. Jason 2018-07-30 18:09


    The Urban Institute doesn’t show that in their study.

    Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders proposed a single-payer system to replace all current health coverage. His system would cover all medically necessary care, including long-term care, without cost-sharing. We estimate that the approach would decrease the uninsured by 28.3 million people in 2017. National health expenditures would increase by $6.6 trillion between 2017 and 2026, while federal expenditures would increase by $32.0 trillion over that period. Sanders’s revenue proposals, intended to finance all health and nonhealth spending he proposed, would raise $15.3 trillion from 2017 to 2026—thus, the proposed taxes are much too low to fully finance his health plan.

    On May 10, a typo on page 25 of this report was corrected; “$319.8 trillion” was corrected to read “$319.8 billion.”

  11. jerry 2018-07-30 21:53

    Comrade Jason, you should read your posts before you post them. Just because it looks shinny doesn’t mean a thing when it defeats your purpose. But like I said, thanks for the link, it was really a hoot and provided very good information on why the Koch brothers and my man, Bernie Sanders, were right on this with the yuuuuuge savings.

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