Monday, July 19, 2010

The reality of health care "reform" keeps getting uglier each day

Robert Samuelson, on what we've learned from Massachusetts' fiasco:

"All this anticipates Obamacare. Even if its modest measures to restrain costs succeed -- which seems unlikely -- the effect on overall spending would be slight. The system's fundamental incentives won't change. The lesson from Massachusetts is that genuine cost control is avoided because it's so politically difficult. It means curbing the incomes of doctors, hospitals and other providers. They object. To encourage 'accountable care organizations' would limit consumer choice of doctors and hospitals. That's unpopular. Spending restrictions, whether imposed by regulation or 'global payments,' raise the specter of essential care denied. Also unpopular.

Obama dodged the tough issues in favor of grandstanding. Imitating Patrick, he's already denouncing insurers' rates, as if that would solve the spending problem. What's occurring in Massachusetts is the plausible future: Unchecked health spending determines government priorities and inflates budget deficits and taxes, with small health gains. And they call this 'reform'?

Actually, the Dems/Lefties/"Progressives" are now calling it what they refused to call it before the abomination became law....a tax:

"When Congress required most Americans to obtain health insurance or pay a penalty, Democrats denied that they were creating a new tax. But in court, the Obama administration and its allies now defend the requirement as an exercise of the government’s 'power to lay and collect taxes.'

.....'For us to say that you’ve got to take a responsibility to get health insurance is absolutely not a tax increase,' the president said last September, in a spirited exchange with George Stephanopoulos on the ABC News program 'This Week.'

When Mr. Stephanopoulos said the penalty appeared to fit the dictionary definition of a tax, Mr. Obama replied, 'I absolutely reject that notion.'"

Meanwhile, back in Taxachusetts, what the "progressives" and Obama insisted would NOT happen under Obamacare is now happening in the Bay State. Companies are canceling their group health coverage. "But it's not a trend!" is the first thing out of the cheerleaders' mouths.


"The state’s landmark 2006 health insurance overhaul included regulations designed to discourage low-wage employees from opting for state health insurance over their companies’ often more pricey coverage. It denied eligibility to any one whose employer had offered him or her coverage in the past six months and paid at least 33 percent toward the individual’s plan.

Most health care advocates and brokers had widely interpreted that to include even workers whose companies had dropped coverage. But recently, some companies that have terminated their group plans have tested those waters and found that their employees were accepted for state-subsidized coverage."

Here's more on the incentives for employers to drop their employees' health plan coverage:
"The National Federation of Independent Business has noted several serious problems the law will cause for small businesses and for employment.

For example, because the law requires employers with 50 or more employees to provide health coverage or pay a fine, small businesses will be discouraged from hiring more workers if it would push their staff above the threshold.

They also might be inclined to lay off employees to get under the threshold. The small-business tax credits that would offset the cost of providing employees health care last only six years. After that, small businesses will carry the entire load.

Employees of large companies also have reason for concern, according to Forbes magazine. This is because it would cost a large employer far more to provide employee health care than simply to pay the federal fine for failing to do so."

Hat tip: Laura Ingraham, who adds:

"After claiming that the overhaul would 'bend the cost curve down,' President Barack Obama and the Democratic majority barely managed to force the legislation through Congress, using political bribery and procedural sleight of hand in the face of hostile public opinion.

In fact, the legislation contains little that will moderate the increases in the cost of health care and much that will drive increases. "

The lies they told to get this thing through are legendary, but we can't say we weren't warned about this catastrophe.

We know that we can't expect the "regressive" "progressive" statists to change their zombie-mindedness on agenda issues like this. We will have to salvage what we can by re-taking Congress this November, getting rid of this outrage of a president in the '12 election, and praying to God we can limit the damage already caused.

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