Keeping up with the president’s chronic lies, deceptions, misrepresentations and other health-care fairy tales.
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Private health plans will not be able to compete with a public government plan that has lower costs because it dictates lower payment rates to doctors and hospitals. Indeed, the current experience with Medicaid and Medicare is that these government plans drive up the cost of private health plans, as doctors and hospitals underpaid by the government health plans try to recover the losses by charging more to privately insured patients. Private health plans trying to compete with the government public option would consequently be at even more of a competitive disadvantage.
Obama also repeatedly says that under his health plan if you like your doctor, you will be able to keep him, or her. But the question is whether under his plan, with the government so sharply underpaying the doctors, your doctor will be willing to keep you.
Government-Run Health Care
In the town hall meeting in New Hampshire last week, Obama said about his health care overhaul plan “This is not about putting the government in charge of your health insurance.”
Oh, really. Faithfully to the Obama plan, the bills before Congress create a government bureaucracy that will dictate to the insurance companies exactly what benefits and coverage they must provide. The bills also dictate who the insurers must cover, with guaranteed issue for whoever shows up regardless of health condition. The bills also specify in detail what the insurance companies can charge, with community rating for everyone who applies, regardless of health condition. The government will let the insurer vary premiums by age up to a ratio of 2 to 1. How flexible.
The government will also dictate what deductibles, co-pays, and other out of pocket expenses the insurance company can offer. If you are one of the almost 12 million Americans with low cost Health Savings Account insurance plans or similar high deductible plans, and you like it, too bad, because Obama’s promise of allowing you to keep your plan does not apply to you.
The bills also provide for a government bureaucracy that will “risk adjust” premium income to insurance companies by redistributing funds from insurers whose covered customers are healthier and lower cost than average, to insurers whose covered customers are sicker and higher cost than average, as determined by the bureaucracy.
Oh, no. The Obama plan “is not about putting the government in charge of your health insurance.” No way.
Peddling Still More Falsehoods
Also in the New Hampshire town hall last week, President Obama said that under his health plan,
[I]nsurance companies…will not be able to drop your coverage if you get sick. They will not be able to water down your coverage when you need it. Your health insurance should be there for you when it counts — not just when you’re paying premiums, but when you actually get sick. And it will be when we pass this plan.
But dropping or watering down your health insurance coverage after you get sick has long been illegal in America, and well it should be. Health insurance that can be cut off after you get sick is like fire insurance that can be cut off after your house catches fire. That is not health insurance, it is fraud.
The prohibition against this fraud was nationalized by the Congressional Republican majorities in the landmark HIPAA legislation in 1996. That legislation even provided that if you lose employer provided health insurance coverage for any reason (changing jobs, layoffs, employer goes out of business, divorce) any private insurer you apply to within 2 months must take you, regardless of health condition. Even failing that, Republicans have long advocated uninsurable risk pools for every state, which would provide government subsidized coverage to anyone who couldn’t get coverage anywhere else. Such risk pools have long worked quite well in over 30 states.
There may still be some loopholes in the employer group market that should be closed. But in making this argument, President Obama is trying to take credit for solving a problem that has already been basically solved, and does not require the massive government takeover of health care that he is advocating.
Rationing and Denying You Health Care
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?