Obamacare means premature death for Americans, as Nancy P. and Debbie W-S will learn soon enough.
Despite November’s New Deal magnitude political earthquake, surviving House Democrats just laughed off their historic 63 seat loss and reelected ultra-left San Francisco Democrat Nancy Pelosi as House Minority Leader, a position she will now apparently hold for life. Somehow Democrats are convinced that the American people will come to realize the error of their ways and turn to embrace taxation that seizes most of their money for the government to spend, rejecting traditional American prosperity. Good luck with that.
But Democrats have now repeated the folly by choosing Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) to head the Democratic National Committee. Schultz is just as left wing as Pelosi, but less soft spoken and even more transparently unreasoned.
Schultz wasted no time in demonstrating this. She said regarding the Medicare reforms in Paul Ryan’s House GOP budget plan, “No longer would Medicare be a guarantee of health insurance coverage. Instead Medicare would become little more than a discount card. This plan would literally be a death trap for seniors.”
But it was Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Nancy Pelosi, and the rest of the House Democrats who already voted for the death trap for seniors in whooping through Obamacare during their temporary and final House majority of last year. The best that can be said of them is that now that they have passed the bill they still don’t understand what is in it.
The Deadly Democrat Medicare Cuts
While the Democrats still do not understand what they have done with Obamacare, the government’s actuaries and accountants do, and have been telling us in official government publications and documents. The 2010 Financial Statement of the United States Government, published by the Treasury Department in December, is the most clear. That report discloses repeatedly in several tables of data that the total of future cuts in payments to doctors and hospitals under Medicare as provided in current law due to Obamacare and President Obama’s Medicare reimbursement policies is $15 trillion!
Indeed, the Treasury report effectively touts the draconian Medicare cuts due to Obamacare, stating, “The 2010 projection is lower than the 2009 projection in every year of the projection period almost entirely as a result of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which is projected to significantly lower Medicare spending and raise receipts.”
That $15 trillion is such a big number that it is hard to understand what it means. But the government’s own actuaries and accountants have been explaining that as well. Medicare’s Chief Actuary reports that even before these cuts already two-thirds of hospitals were losing money on Medicare patients. With $15 trillion in future cuts, health providers will either have to withdraw from serving Medicare patients, or eventually go into bankruptcy. The unworkable, draconian effect of these Medicare cuts is why the U.S. Government Accountability Office issued a disclaimer of opinion on the Statement of Social Insurance component of the federal government’s 2010 Financial Statement, saying, “Unless providers could reduce their cost per service correspondingly, through productivity improvements, or other steps, they would eventually become unwilling or unable to treat Medicare beneficiaries.”
Ryan’s Reforms Are Better for Seniors
Unlike Ryan’s Medicare reforms, the draconian, unworkable, Obamacare cuts to Medicare apply to seniors already retired today. Ryan exempts from any change all seniors retired today and everyone over age 55.
For future, new retirees starting in 2022, seniors will enjoy the freedom to choose private health insurance coverage from among a menu of guaranteed, government approved and regulated plans. Exactly the contrary to Schultz’s uninformed criticisms, Medicare would precisely be a guarantee of health insurance coverage. The problem that the socialist Schultz has is that this would be private health insurance coverage.
Seniors won’t have that problem. Under Ryan’s reforms, all of Medicare would be like the popular Medicare Advantage program, under which one fourth of seniors have already chosen a private insurer for superior Medicare coverage. It would be the same as well as the health insurance system that federal employees enjoy, where workers each choose among a menu of private health insurance alternatives.
Under Ryan’s reforms, each senior would enjoy control over $15,000 for the year to start to devote to the private health insurance of their choice. That amount would also grow each year under an index of price growth. Yes, more well-off seniors may pay more over time for their coverage than under the current system. That is where the cost savings come from. But it is not a matter over which reasonable people can differ that taxpayers cannot afford the current Medicare system, with its unfunded liabilities rapidly growing towards $100 trillion.
In addition, the Ryan plan would provide more each year for lower income seniors to protect them from rising costs. More would be paid as well for those who were sicker so that plans could finance their more expensive care.
Ryan’s brilliant plan also harnesses the competition and innovation of the free market to provide better coverage for seniors at lower cost. Private insurers will compete to find ways to reduce costs for seniors, and innovate with different benefits to better serve and attract customers. Seniors would be free to choose Health Savings Accounts for their coverage, which would maximize patient power and control over their own health care, with powerful market incentives to control and reduce costs. In the Medicare Part D prescription drug program, precisely these market mechanisms were proven to reduce health costs 40% below projections, while Medicare Advantage shows how market competition leads to better benefits for seniors. Of course, the socialists like Pelosi and Schultz that run today’s Democrat party do not understand any of this.
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?