How the Obama/Baucus health care takeover will ruin America’s health care.
(Page 2 of 3)
Even supposed moderate Democrats are now saying on TV that doctors and hospitals will just make up for these cuts in volume. What exactly does that mean for patients? It means precisely less time, fewer resources, and less care for each patient, and longer delays and waiting time for what they can get.
The Baucus bill further provides for an Independent Medicare Advisory Commission with the power to adopt still more Medicare cuts. These cuts would be adopted by unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats, and Obama and the Democrats will say those cuts had nothing to do with them.
Eventually, these Medicare cuts would be expanded to all doctors and hospitals under Obamacare, resulting in rationing for everyone. Further rationing would be imposed under so-called “comparative effectiveness,” where the government, not your doctor, decides what health care works and what doesn’t, and under “cost-effectiveness” where the government decides whether your health care is worth the cost. These decisions will be again enforced under the payment system for doctors and hospitals.
Literal clowns like Michael Moore and Wanda Sykes ridicule the notion that any such rationing and death panels are included in Obamacare. Glenn Beck already wrote a book responding to such uneducated foolishness, Arguing with Idiots. The whole Baucus bill is a death panel, as explained above.
The Baucus bill will cause health insurance premiums to soar, as a new Price Waterhouse study confirmed on Monday. The study shows that an average family health insurance policy costing $12,300 today will explode under the bill to $17,200 by 2013, $21,300 by 2016, and $25,900 by 2019.
This will result in part because the bill forces everyone to purchase a health insurance plan specified by the government, with all the expensive, politically correct benefits like coverage for abortion. The Baucus bill will also add a new tax on health insurance that will be passed along to consumers. The bill further adds costly new regulations on health insurance, such as guaranteed issue, which requires coverage for all new applicants regardless of how sick they already are, and community rating, which requires the same premiums for new applicants regardless of health condition. This regulation is like requiring fire insurance companies to insure new applicants whose houses are already on fire, charging them no more than anyone else. Such regulations cause health insurance premiums to soar even in the context of broader health reform, as we have seen in Massachusetts.
But health insurance premiums will also rise because the Obama/Baucus health overhaul would radically increase incentives to demand more health care, with the government paying for everything or paying for health insurance to pay for everything. At the same time, it would radically reduce the incentives to supply health care by clamping down more and more on payments to doctors, hospitals and other health providers for health care services. Increasing demand while reducing supply will produce skyrocketing health costs, which will further increase health insurance premiums.
AARP’s John Rother shamefully attacked the Price Waterhouse study as not worth the paper it is printed on. But he has nothing to base that on. AARP has never responded to the arguments presented above, because it is a liberal/left front group specializing not in representing seniors but in political propaganda promoting socialized medicine, big government, and other left-wing causes. Average citizens wonder what they can do to fight back against President Obama’s left-wing tide. One thing you can do is quit any membership you have in AARP, and urge all of your friends, neighbors, and relatives to do the same. Seriously, the decline in AARP membership because of its mindless support for Obama’s government health care takeover is being monitored in Washington as a measure of public opinion.
The Price Waterhouse study did not even take into account all of the above factors that would increase health insurance premiums. But we can see the impact that would result in Massachusetts where Obama/Baucus-style reforms have already been adopted. Health insurance premiums for families in Massachusetts are already approaching $20,000 a year, the highest in the country. In Iowa, you can get adequate coverage for less than $2,000 per year. As one commentator has said, we have already conducted an experiment in the states as to what works in health reform, and Obama and the Washington Democrats are choosing to adopt what has failed.
New Entitlement Spending
America already faces a looming entitlement crisis. Costs for Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid are already projected to explode, causing federal spending as a percentage of GDP to almost double in the next couple of decades as the baby boom retires. We already can’t pay for all of the entitlement promises we have made.
Yet, instead of addressing these serious problems, the Baucus bill increases entitlement spending further. It expands Medicaid to cover millions more people, increasing government spending for the states as well in the process. And it provides new federal subsidies for the purchase of health insurance for families earning as much as $88,000 per year! CBO projects these new subsidies will cost close to $500 billion to start. Remember in 1965 the government projected that Medicare would cost $12 billion by 1990. When we actually got to 1990, it cost $110 billion.
How could this be more irresponsible? It is an outright abuse of public office.
Tax Increases on the Middle Class
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?