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7/28/2009
FAMILIARITY BREEDS CONTEMPT WITH HEALTH CARE REFORM

My latest piece is up at AIP and its about how health care reform reminds me a lot of my ex-wife:

I think it would be extremely helpful if Americans began to think of President Obama’s health care reform proposals the same way I think of my first wife. The more you know about it, the less you like it.

And the fact that it lacks common sense, spends too much of your money, makes decisions that would be better left in your hands, and is attractive on the outside while being insidiously rotten on the inside is also reminiscent of my former beloved, although at least my ex-amour was a great dancer and a decent cook. Otherwise, I would recommend a Vegas divorce for this monstrosity of a bill.

One of the major selling points that the president used for his national health care reform was that it would lower insurance premiums substantially. He promised on his campaign web site, in the second presidential debate, and in the third debate:

“If you have health insurance, then you don’t have to do anything. If you’ve got health insurance through your employer, you can keep your health insurance, keep your choice of doctor, keep your plan. … And we estimate we can cut the average family’s premium by about $2,500 per year.”

We Americans can be a pretty cynical lot when it comes to believing politicians so it is a wonder that we actually fell for this little prevarication from Candidate Obama.

We know now that the prospects of keeping your insurance depends on how willing you are to overspend for it. That’s because Candidate Obama’s promise to lower your premiums by $2500 are about as believable as my ex-wife’s explanation for why she spent $1500 on a dress. “But it was on sale…” just doesn’t cut it.

Supporters will probably tell me I’m all wet, that we will save money on our premiums, that we won’t be forced on to the government plan, that costs will come down simply by government waving a magic wand,…

Sorry, but you can spin what’s in the bill all you want and it won’t change the practical effect of what is implied in adopting many of the measures in the bill. This is what supporters refuse to address.

Is there anything in the bill that would require you to drop your insurance that you have now? No - but the practical effect would be to make it prohibitively expensive and force you to choose less coverage for more money - unless you are eligible for the subsidy that doesn’t cover you if you’re part of an employer based insurance plan.

Faulty numbers, insidious requirements, stealth mandates - its all there.

Do I have a viable alternative? No, I don’t. But others do and, as I have said before, it is criminally negligent of the Democrats to present this monstrosity of a bill as the only alternative - that there’s no other game in town. Baucus is looking at some of those alternatives as I write this, although without including a public option in his compromise, it is doubtful that Obama will sign it much less the liberals in the House support it.

I have to believe there is a third way - somewhere. There has got to be a combination out there of public and private that will cover the uninsured and those with pre-existing conditions, bring down costs intelligently, while keeping the best of the private health care system in place, and not cost us $1.5 trillion I refuse to believe that this is not possible - even in our current partisan atmosphere.

I agree we cannot go on as we are now. Those who say we don’t need reform are crazy. Rising health care costs will bankrupt us in 20 years. But to support this bill is to support catastrophe for our health care system as well as for our fiscal situation. Don’t believe me? Ask other Democrats who are the ones standing in the way of passing this bill, not Republicans.

Don’t tell me this is as good as we can do “realistically.” I don’t believe that for a moment. They are big boys and girls in the White House and Capitol Hill. If things are as bad as they say - and they are, except it’s not quite the “emergency” we are being led to believe - then the judgment of the people who believe that this is a crucial issue will be severe if nothing is done.

And, I daresay, the blame will go to both parties. The GOP cannot be accused of “obstructionism” - not with the gigantic Democratic majorities in both chambers. But they will be blamed for not offering solid alternatives. Republicans should be out there every day touting their own plan. Instead, they have decided to treat it as a PR gimmick rather than a serious legislative initiative.

And I will repeat - Obama is not taking the lead on this as he should. He is not being realistic in his criticisms, nor is he doing much besides jawboning from the sidelines. His one effort at compromise - the health commission - was shot down by the CBO as being meaningless in controlling costs. Face it- the guy is an empty suit; all talk and no action.

In that respect, if health care reform is dropped or goes down to defeat, President Obama will be as much to blame as anyone.

By: Rick Moran at 9:52 am
11 Responses to “FAMILIARITY BREEDS CONTEMPT WITH HEALTH CARE REFORM”
  1. 1
    HyperIon Said:
    10:59 am 

    It’s already prohibitively expensive. But since it is paid by the employer in many cases, the cost is not recognized by the worker. The current system is NOT sustainable. Something must be done and we should look to other countries for models.

    As Krugman recently noted, there are no examples of successful health care based on the principles of the free market. There must be a public option.

  2. 2
    Carole Sluis Said:
    12:10 pm 

    For some this healthcare may be an improvement but not likely for the majority. Notice it is never paraphrased as better healthcare just more affordable. Wake up!! Contact your representatives andlet them know that if they support this venture you will support their defeat at their next reelection. Support the fact that all of those with government jobs (elected and employed)have the same coverage as their constituency. If it is so great then they will jump at the chance…don’t hold your breath! What good is healthcare if you can’t be treated? Wake up! Wake up!Wake up!!!

  3. 3
    Chuck Tucson Said:
    12:22 pm 

    I’m beginning to think that the entire United States Senate, and a good majority of House is literally employed by the health insurance corporations. Fucking cowards, every last one of them.

  4. 4
    Wramblin' Wreck Said:
    12:37 pm 

    We already have a government Health Care agency. Its called the Veteran’s Administration! Just scale this up x100 and Taa Daa! instant health care while-u-wait.

  5. 5
    Arthur Said:
    1:19 pm 

    > Rising health care costs will bankrupt us in 20 years.

    Health care costs will continue to rise until they become too expensive - at that point they’ll level off. Supply and Demand.

  6. 6
    Gayle Miller Said:
    1:38 pm 

    My doctor is rushing to do some necessary roto-rooter work on two fairly well blocked carotid arteries in my neck - that’s how excited he is about Obamacare! I’m letting him get away with it because that’s how excited I am about it!

  7. 7
    Gayle Miller Said:
    1:41 pm 

    Hyperion - have you carefully examined the health care provided in those other countries. The long, sometimes fatal, waits for treatment, the necessary procedures denied. Have you actually read this behemoth of a bill? I especially love the provision that seniors are required to meet with their physician every five years to discuss and plan end of life options - not with your attorney, mind you, with your doctor. If that doesn’t sound like a door opening onto the “carousel” (did you see Logan’s Run?) of euthanasia, nothing does! Using the VA as an example - I have friends who depend on the VA for their health care - and they aren’t all that healthy!

  8. 8
    KenGirard Said:
    2:18 pm 

    Gayle Miller - What does a lawyer know about my medical health?
    I don’t talk to my lawyer about repairing my car, for the same reason I don’t talk to my lawyer about what to do with my beat up old body. The lawyer is not the person doing the work, nor is he an expert in the field. Now once I’ve discussed all the options and made a decision, then is the time to call in my lawyer and tell him to write it all up legal like.
    I don’t ask my lawyer’s opinion on what he thinks my odds are of recovering once the cancer has spread to my brain, I ask my doctor.
    When a loved one has been kept alive on a machine for 6 months, you don’t ask your lawyer what he thinks of the situation, you ask the doctor.

    The VA - underfunded, understaffed. And kept that way so that people will use their work supplied big insurance company instead. If the Vets had a plan worthy of them, then the big insurance companies would loose all that money.

  9. 9
    Harry O Said:
    3:43 pm 

    If the Dems’ plan is so great why are they delaying implementation till 2012 or 2013? I see they are not
    delaying collecting the money (2011).

    Do you think they might be afraid of how the voters react
    once they find out how the bill actually works? I do.

    And, there are no examples of successful health care based on the principles of the government market. And this has been tried but there is some question whether a true free market approach has ever been tried.

  10. 10
    CZ Said:
    4:42 pm 

    “And I will repeat - Obama is not taking the lead on this as he should.”

    Dang right! This is called wiggle-room. President “Stuidly” is sure to foist blame on somebody else when this rancid government healthcare fiasco goes tits up.

    Now, it’s on to cap and tax, the next turd swirling in his punchbowl.

  11. 11
    HyperIon Said:
    7:37 pm 

    Harry O: I would like to have the French or Swiss plan. Both heavily regulated by their government and achieve better outcomes for the patients for less than we pay. These are facts, not opinions.

    NO ONE experiences medical bankruptcy in other countries similar to the US in standard of living that have a national plan. It has been shown by a variety of unbiased measures that we pay more and get less. There is rationing in this country now if you don’t have insurance.

    Gayle, please explain the high approval rating given medicare by its audience. Why can’t I have the same type of plan?

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