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Today’s the day that some important, initial provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) go into effect.  Given that a majority of the 23% of Missourians who participated in last August’s primaries voted to challenge the ACA, and that state GOPers are still making wild claims about what it will or won’t do, clear, simple, unbiased explanations of the law’s provisions are more important than ever, and that’s exactly what the video below offers. It’s produced by the Kaiser Family Foundation Health Reform Source, an excellent resource, by the way, and it offers a succinct, easy to understand, nine minute summary of the provisions of the ACA and the controversies that surround them:  

http://c.brightcove.com/services/viewer/federated_f9?isVid=1

As Think Progress notes, it’s ironic that on what is essentially ACA day zero, Congressional Republicans released their “Pledge to America,” the GOP plan for the 112th Congress if they take charge after November. An important part of their agenda is the repeal and “replacement” of the ACA. This should not come as a suprise to us in Missouri; state GOPers  have been throwing tantrums since the legislation passed. Its repeal is even included in Roy Blunt’s corporate giveaway list jobs plan:

Repeal and Replace Obamacare – The Democrats’ Government Takeover will cost at least a trillion dollars, according to the Congressional Budget Office.  I’m for repeal of this massive spending bill and replacing it with common sense health care solutions that will create jobs and drive down health care costs.

Oddly enough, though, as The Wonk Room‘s Igor Volsky observes, most of the replacements to ACA provisions that the GOP document puts forward are all already included in the ACA itself. We have to assume that these are also the replacements that Roy Blunt is speaking about in his jobs plan since they echo his past proposals. What is not included, though, is:

… how Republicans plan to offset the $140 billion deficit increase that will result from repealing the ACA or how they’ll lower health care spending. The Congressional Budget Office estimated that the GOP’s previous very similar health care plan  – presented by House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) as an alternative to the House health care bill – would increase the number of uninsured to 52 million in 2019 and reduce the deficit by only $68 billion over the 2010-2019 period.

Since the national GOP “Pledge” and Roy Blunt’s very compatible “Jobs Plan” are both really big on railing about deficits – at least in the abstract – it’s surprising that neither address this concern. Perhaps the best characterization of the “Pledge,” and one that can be equally applied to Blunt’s jobs plan, comes from a conservative blogger, Erik Erikson of RedState, who charged that “This document proves the GOP is more focused on the acquisition of power than the advocacy of long term sound public policy.” Well Duh! Maybe more Missourians should keep that in mind when they see ads dinging Carnahan for supporting health care reform.