Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Obama(doesn't)care Taking Surprise Hits
Obama(doesn't)care Taking Surprise Hits
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
As President Barack Obama is attempting to steamroll yet another enormous policy change through Congress against the best interests of Americans, we would be well-advised to keep abreast of the frauds that are already being exposed about Obamacare.
Last week, reality dealt Obamacare twin blows -- not that Obama will care. An analysis inside his own administration and a report from New York state shed the grim light of reality on this monstrosity before its Draconian provisions have even gone into effect.
Economic experts at the Health and Human Services Department issued a report last week, conveniently after Obamacare was shoved through, finding that though more people will end up with health insurance (many of them against their will, of course), costs are going to increase. Shocker.
How could coverage not increase with the legal mandate forcing unwilling people to buy health insurance coverage? Today millions entitled to assistance don't avail themselves of it, but Obamacare will presumably be different because there will be a penalty for non-coverage -- an idea that Obama expediently mocked during the primary campaign.
But costs will also increase? I thought Obama promised to bend the cost curve down -- that he wouldn't add one dime to the deficit with Obamacare. But two dimes or a quarter are apparently a different matter.
The HHS analysis found Obamacare will raise projected spending by about 1 percent over 10 years -- and this is without even considering the impact of numerous gimmicks and camouflaged items, such as the Medicare "doctor fix." There are presently scheduled 21 percent cuts in Medicare reimbursements to physicians, but House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has promised that they won't be implemented. What a sham!
The report also revealed that Obamacare could drive 15 percent of hospitals into the red and possibly jeopardize access to care for seniors.
Meanwhile, The New York Times reported last week that New York's experience with provisions that parallel Obamacare do not portend well for Obamacare.
According to the Times (it's amazing it admitted this): "New York's insurance system has been a working laboratory for the core provision of the new federal health care law -- insurance even for those who are already sick and facing huge medical bills -- and an expensive lesson in unplanned consequences."
Translation: In 1993, New York forced insurance companies to cover individuals and small groups regardless of pre-existing illnesses. It also forced insurers to charge the same premium rates for the same benefits in every region of the state regardless of the demographics of those covered and the different risks that might exist. How about those "unplanned consequences"? You guessed it: "Premiums skyrocketed." Of course they did, because the state grossly interfered with market forces by prohibiting insurers from using risk assessment to set their premiums -- just as Obama, in his beneficence, will be doing for all of us under Obamacare.
Healthy people began to subsidize people who needed more health care. Duh. The healthier customers began to drop out, and the pool of covered people shrank and mostly included high-risk people. Since 2001, the number of people buying comprehensive individual policies through HMOs has dropped dramatically, from 128,000 to 31,000. And "New York has the highest average annual premiums for individual policies: $6,630 for single people and $13,296 for families in mid-2009, more than double the nationwide average."
Attentive readers might say, "Well, this won't happen under Obamadoesn'tcare because it forces people to buy health insurance whether they want it or not." Amazingly, again, the Times addressed that question, as well. Analysts, the Times said, conclude that this mandate "could prove meaningless if the government does not vigorously enforce the penalties" or if people opt out and pay the penalties.
Well, of course many of the healthy ones are going to opt out, because the penalties will probably be but a fraction of the premiums.
But these twin blows to Obamacare barely scratch the surface of the horror that awaits us. Respected health care expert Sally Pipes warns that Obamacare will add strain to an already burdened system by increasing the load on family doctors while imposing price controls on government plans. Those controls will inevitably be imposed on private plans, too, as they were in another state -- Massachusetts -- that is a partial microcosm of Obamacare.
So we'll have increased demand for medical care with price controls, which will necessitate rationing. But making matters worse, doctors are going to retire early; you've surely heard of the 2009 poll by Investor's Business Daily finding that 45 percent of doctors would consider quitting if Obamacare passed. You think the Obamacrats will try to amend the law to force doctors to keep their jobs? Why not? This living Constitution can be pretty handy in a pinch.
Can you believe there are actually Republicans out there contemplating forgoing a full repeal?
Robin Hood Politics with the Stimulus
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
I'll get a lot of hate mail for saying this, but I'm not a big fan of Sarah Palin. Check that...I'm not a big fan of Candidate Sarah Palin. When she was a spitfire governor of pristine Alaska, that Washington outsider narrative had some pop to it. Today, her Gomer Pyle-with-lipstick schtick wears thin. But what do I know? I'm considered by many to be an insider myself.
I will say this: Palin has put her finger smack dab on the pulse of this country when it comes to frustration and outright disdain for the federal government. And like a PETA activist with a piece of fur, she's not letting go.
The public's disgust was documented again in historical proportions last week with the Pew Research Center's release of a poll surveying voters' trust in government. Four in five Americans - Democrat, Republican and independent alike - told Pew's researchers they've reached their tipping point. The Federal City is a modern day Sodom. They can't trust our national government, and they no longer have faith the federal machine is capable of addressing our nation's most significant problems, no matter how much money officials throw at them or how many bureaucrats they hire.
This isn’t an epidemic peddled only by a disgruntled few from the Tea Party Movement. This sentiment is pervasive, and brewing to the top of every American’s mind. Enough is enough. In less than 18 months, President Robin Hood and his band of Merry Men have managed to create a twisted economic cycle where the unemployment rate actually tracks increased percentages in federal spending: the more the White House cuts checks, the more businesses cut jobs. Somebody please tell me he didn't do that on purpose. The tag line for this White House's style of financial fixes should now read, "It's the economy, by stupid." Friar Geithner's policies fail to grasp even basic fundamentals of supply and demand, notwithstanding the intrinsic, long-term value of private over public investments.
What has gone unnoticed and unreported, however, is that while economic indicators worsened, the federal government quietly began setting aside millions in hopes of changing American lifestyles over fixing Americans’ lifelines.
The Communities Putting Prevention to Work (CPPW) initiative, for example, allocated $650 million worth of stimulus funding to projects in attempts to change the consumption and recreational habits of Americans. You read that correctly. Apparently, getting little Timmy to throw the frisbee at a state park instead of playing Xbox somehow constitutes "job creation" to Biden's bean counters off 17th street. From backyard gardening in Boston to private gym memberships in Maine, Obama's stimulus package moved millions of dollars from potentially worthy job creation initiatives to some social engineering exercises.
But wait, it gets better. According to a new watchdog website (mywastedtaxdollars.org), some CPPW programs actually used stimulus funds to advocate for higher state taxes. It seems salted foods, tobacco and sweetened beverages are the new Bernie Madoffs of the Treasury Department, and so Congress allocated stimulus dollars to programs that castigate individuals who consume fast food and puff cigarettes. The irony is not lost that this is the same blue collar demographic hardest hit by the recession. It's getting so you can't even have a smoke while standing in the unemployment line.
This is mission creep, leftist style. The Mafia Don, Rahm Emmanuel, said it best when he admonished his team to "never let a crisis go to waste." Even after knowing the CPPW initiative irresponsibly allocated funds to backyard gardening, radio dramas and tax-hiking lobbying efforts, lawmakers decided to expand the program. Including nearly identical language in the Senate’s health reform package (Sections 4002 and 4201), Congress has committed another $2 billion or more annually (beginning in 2015) to frivolous projects that try to control Americans’ recreational and consumption habits. At a time when nearly half of surveyed Americans report the government negatively affects their daily lives, legislators continue to increase their reach into our everyday functions.
Fellow Americans, we’ve entered an entirely new dimension of the ends justifying the means. These new federal programs weren’t well-intentioned, altruistic notions in the drawing room that suddenly veered off course once a null bureaucrat got his hands on them. No, they did exactly what they were designed to do – quietly grow the reach of government.
No other explanation makes sense. During the darkest days of this recession, even some conservative economists privately and sheepishly stated a trillion dollar stimulus package may not be enough to help the economy find its footing again. A trillion dollars – not enough. And so, the compromise stimulus plan passes with less than that amount, and the masses are led to believe every dollar spent will be watched like a hawk, because “nobody messes with (BFD) Joe!”
At the exact moment when there were so many real and true demands for stimulative action these federal dollars would leverage, the White House stashes away slush money to later dole out to its leftist friends interested in a socioeconomic experiment.
Who isn't for healthier lifestyles? No one I can name. But don't try to pretend these programs are worthy of receiving monies intended to spur job creation and economic growth. The president misses a larger point here. When he attempts to cater to his special interest friends by asking for more than he allegedly needed, his arguments (and credibility) are cheapened.
Listen, we know this reads like insanity with outrage and contempt for how Stimulus dollars are being spent. Believe me when I tell you that it's impossible for me to make this stuff up. Just read the links and website references for yourself above and draw your own disgusting and pathetic conclusions about this Whitehouse and Congress. You are the final judge as to whether they're acting in the best interest of our country's severe economic downturn in how they're recklessly spending this money.
Posted by Brett at 4:12 PM