Some Unintended Consequences Of Federal Government Overreach

Yesterday I attended a meeting of the Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee in Raleigh, North Carolina. There were a number of items discussed–the Read to Achieve program, Charter Schools in North Carolina, the Founding Principles Act, and the complications in hiring substitute teachers caused by the implementation of ObamaCare. Yes, ObamaCare has made it more difficult for schools in North Carolina to hire the substitute teachers they need. Why? Because ObamaCare requires that every person working thirty hours a week be given health care.

ObamaCare requires that health benefits be extended to non-permanent full-time employees in North Carolina who traditionally have not been eligible for coverage under the State Health Plan. ObamaCare also complicates things for retired certified teachers covered under their retirement health plans. If they are substitute teaching more than 29 hours a week, they have to be covered by their employers and are no longer eligible for their retirement health care benefit.

There were two suggestions made for legislative options that would solve this problem, but my point is this, “How is it that the federal government created a problem for a state that has to be solved with a new state law?” What is the federal government doing saying anything about a state’s health care policies? The shortage of substitute teachers in North Carolina is only one of many reasons we need to rein in the federal government.

The Tenth Amendment states:

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.

From Healthcare to Common Core, it is time to get the federal government out of the states.

A Disturbing Video From Florida

On Friday the Weekly Standard reported on a committee hearing in Florida where the state is considering a bill to require abortionists to provide medical care to an infant who survives an abortion.

This is part of the video of that hearing:

The article reports:

Alisa LaPolt Snow, the lobbyist representing the Florida Alliance of Planned Parenthood Affiliates, testified that her organization believes the decision to kill an infant who survives a failed abortion should be left up to the woman seeking an abortion and her abortion doctor.

“So, um, it is just really hard for me to even ask you this question because I’m almost in disbelief,” said Rep. Jim Boyd. “If a baby is born on a table as a result of a botched abortion, what would Planned Parenthood want to have happen to that child that is struggling for life?”

“We believe that any decision that’s made should be left up to the woman, her family, and the physician,” said Planned Parenthood lobbyist Snow.

When questioned further, Ms. Snow simply stated that she was not a physician or an abortion provider and could not provide further information.

I have no comment.

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Facing Reality

As the Obama Administration pushed for national health care (the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act as it was officially known), one of their justifications for the government takeover of healthcare was the need to make sure people with pre-existing medical conditions could get health insurance and healthcare. Well, Obamacare was passed, but it may not actually work as planned–there may have been a reason insurance companies were reluctant to take on these clients.

The Associated Press is reporting today:

Citing financial concerns, the Obama administration has begun quietly winding down one of the earliest programs created by the president’s health care overhaul, a plan that helps people with medical problems who can’t get private insurance.

In an afternoon teleconference with state counterparts, administration officials said Friday the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan will stop taking new applications. People already in the plan will not lose coverage.

Why do you think these people can’t get private insurance? The insurance companies are in business to make a profit. There is nothing wrong with that–why stay in business if you are not going to make a profit? Now the government is discovering that the insurance companies actually knew what they were doing. Wow.

The article points out that enrollment in the program has been lower than expected because many people could not afford to pay the necessary premiums. Individual cases have turned out to be more expensive than originally thought.

The insurance companies would have told the Obama Administration all of this had they been asked or had the Obama Administration been willing to listen. We just spent a lot of taxpayer money reinventing the wheel when we could have simply improved the design while relying on the knowledge of those who had walked the road before. This is another example of why it is a bad idea to give the government money–they waste it.

I would have been open to the idea of the Obama Administration setting up health insurance pools similar to the high risk driver pools car insurance companies use. A program could be set up where people in that pool get help with their insurance premiums. That could have been done without ruining health insurance for those of us who were happy with the status quo.  Hopefully, if Obamacare is ever replaced, ideas similar to providing help for high risk people will be considered as one way to make sure everyone has access to health insurance. As it stands now, the part of Obamacare that actually solves an existing problem is being taken away.

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Elections Have Consequences

On Saturday, Breitbart.com posted an article about the impact Obamacare is having on jobs.

The article explains:

The Obamacare employer mandate doesn’t go into effect until January 1, 2014, but the government requires businesses to track worker schedules for three to 12 months in advance.  That means many employers plan to get a jump start on avoiding Obamacare’s $2,000 per-worker fine by firing workers now, reducing employee hours, or replacing full-time employees with part-time workers.

The article lists companies in various industries that have been forced to layoff employees or cut employee hours in order to avoid the fines that will be imposed on them by Obamacare if they do not meet the specific requirements of Obamacare in the health care they provide.

The article reminds us that unemployment is currently much higher than it normally is during a ‘recovery’ from a recession:

The looming Obamacare layoffs and hiring freezes come as a Labor Department report announced today that the unemployment rate remains at 7.8% (revised up from the originally reported 7.7%).  Presently, 22.6 million Americans are either unemployed, underemployed, or marginally attached to the work force. 

If we want to see the economy grow, we need to take a serious look at the policies of the federal government and the impact they are having on businesses.

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Sometimes The Solution Is Worse Than The Problem

On Monday, Forbes Magazine posted an article about the changes Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick has made to the health care plan originally passed under Governor Mitt Romney. Because the costs of the original plan have spiraled out of control, Governor Patrick is working to slow the growth of the cost of medical care in Massachusetts. His heart may be in the right place, but his plan will do considerable damage to an already broken system.

The article reports:

Insurers and large hospitals in Massachusetts will also have to pay $225 million in surcharges over four years, starting in 2013. The measure’s backers project savings of $200 billion over 15 years.

Massachusetts State Rep. Steven Levy (R-Marlborough) has noted that the law contains no specifics as to how the savings it mandates will actually come into being. He’s also called the gross state product a “random” number with which to straitjacket the healthcare budget.

The article further explains that part of the changes to the law include the creation of two new state agencies–the Health Policy Commission and the Center for Health Information Analysis. How is it possible to save money when you have created two new agencies staffed with people who have to be paid, office space that has to be rented, and office supplies that have to be purchased?

The article further reports:

Witness the impact that previous rounds of government-directed “reform” have already had. A study published last year in the New England Journal of Medicine noted that the Bay State’s 2006 health reform package had been associated with rapid new hiring in the Massachusetts health system.

That might sound like good news. But it wasn’t doctors or nurses getting hired. Rather, it was scores of administrative workers, who were needed to process all the new paperwork mandated by the reform effort.

I hate to be difficult, but is anyone concerned about the medical care for the patients in this scenario?

The article reports:

…The Massachusetts Medical Society has predicted that Gov. Patrick’s law will force many hospitals to cut staff and result in delayed care for some patients.

Bay Staters already have to wait 45 days on average for an appointment with a family medicine doctor, according to the Society. That’s a 50 percent jump in wait time since 2010.

If the Massachusetts heath care reform bill is the model for Obamacare, we need to pay attention as Massachusetts shows us why we need to end Obamacare!

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Just A Short Rant (Well, Not So Short)

I am a registered Republican. I am not always in agreement with the Republican party (particularly here in Massachusetts), but it’s the best I can do at this particular moment. I will be voting for Mitt Romney unless the October surprise from the Obama campaign is proof that Mitt Romney is an alien ax murderer sent from the planet Zenon to invade the earth. Then I might possible rethink my vote–but I doubt it. Anyway, I listen to talk radio and I listen to the people around me, and I hear a lot of comments about Governor Romney and the fact that he was Governor of Massachusetts when the Massachusetts healthcare law was passed. I am not a fan of Massachusetts healthcare. I will tell you why.

I have had cataract surgery twice. Both times I had good medical insurance through my husband’s workplace. The first surgery cost me $250 out of pocket, and the second surgery cost me $2450 out of pocket. What was the difference? In both cases the lens of my eye was replaced with a prescription lens–I have worn thick glasses since I was a small child. Before Massachusetts healthcare was passed, the prescription lens was included. After Massachusetts healthcare was passed, the prescription lens was optional–I could have had them put in a clear lens and it would have cost me $250, but if I wanted the best possible outcome–being able to see without glasses, it was extra. Think about this–the medical care I needed was available–the lens with the cataract was replaced, but if I wanted the best outcome, it was not covered by insurance. That is what government insurance does–it saves money by compromising on the quality of care.

Now, about Mitt Romney and Massachusetts healthcare. The people of Massachusetts (after all, this is Massachusetts) wanted universal health coverage. Universal coverage was going to pass the legislation. There was no way Mitt Romney could have stopped it. He did attempt to curb some of its provisions, but there was no way it was going to be stopped. I don’t blame Mitt Romney for Massachusetts healthcare–I blame the voters of Massachusetts who are content with a one-party state that allows corruption at a level where it is routine for the Speaker of the House to serve jail time for his actions as speaker. This has happened often enough so that it is almost routine. Don’t blame Romney–blame to voters!

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Keeping Your Doctor

Yesterday’s Wall Street Journal posted an article by Dan Henninger entitled, “ObamaCare‘s Lost Tribe: Doctors.” The article quotes the promise President Obama made to the American Medical Association’s annual meeting in 2009. The President stated, “No matter how we reform health care, we will keep this promise: If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor. Period.”

Well, did anyone ask the doctors about this? Somehow lost in the discussions of the processing of healthcare claims, the demand that everyone must have health insurance, and the institutional representatives of hospitals, drug companies, and insurance companies, we have forgotten what healthcare actual boils down to–a relationship between a doctor and a patient.

The article in the Wall Street Journal reminds us:

A Wall Street Journal story the day after the Supreme Court ruling examined in detail its impact across the “health sector.” The words “doctor,” “physician” and “nurse” appeared nowhere in this report. The piece, however, did cite the view of one CEO who runs a chain of hospitals, explaining how they’d deal with the law’s expected $155 billion in compensation cuts. “We will make it up in volume,” he said.

Volume? Would that be another word for human beings? It is now. At Obama Memorial, docs won’t be treating patients. They’ll be processing “volume.” And then, with what time and energy remains in the day, they’ll be inputting medical data to comply with the law’s new Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS), lodged in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid.

This may be good for the government, but it is not good for the patient. The article in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal goes on to explain how the emphasis in Obamacare on volume will impact medical care in America. Healthcare needs to be reformed, but Obamacare is not the answer. 

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An Alternative To Obamacare

Congressman Tom Price, M.D. (R-GA) posted a press release on his website upon his introduction of H. R. 3000, the Empowering Patients First Act.

The Press Release read:

“True health reform in this country must put patients first while working to improve accessibility to, and affordability of, quality health care,” said Congressman Price.  “Over the past year and a half we have seen plenty of signs that President Obama’s health care bill will be every bit the disaster we warned it would be when the then-Democrat majority jammed the bill through the last Congress.  Thousands of pages of regulations complicating the health care process, mandates on individuals and businesses, higher taxes, and fewer choices will do nothing to improve the quality and affordability of care in this country.  ObamaCare has only just begun to show the incredible cost – monetary and otherwise – that it will have, adversely affecting our American health care system.

‪“Rather than granting government more authority in the lives of patients and their doctors, we must seek reforms that empower patients while advancing the principles of accessibility, affordability, and quality of care.  The Empowering Patients First Act would provide the opportunity for all Americans to have health coverage, solve the insurance challenges of portability of health insurance and pre-existing illnesses and injuries, end the practice of defensive medicine with robust lawsuit abuse reform, all without putting the government in charge!

‪“Where ObamaCare believes in government, the Empowering Patients First Act believes in patients and their doctors.  It ensures that individuals maintain control of their health care decisions.  Patient-centered, positive solutions are at the core of moving our nation in the right direction. This bill does just that.”

The bill has 35 co-sponsors. Details of the bill can be found at Thomas.gov. It was introduced in late 2011 and on 11/18/2011 was referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Training.

There are three things we need in a healthcare program–tort reform, portability across state lines and when a person changes jobs, and tax credits for individuals buying health insurance to help defer the cost. Those three things would solve our healthcare problem.


 

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Obamacare Is Already Costing Americans A Lot Of Money

This is a chart from the Washington Free Beacon showing the financial impact of Obamacare even before it is completely put into effect:

Obamacare's $17 trillion surprise

The article reports:

Staff at the Senate Budget Committee, which calculated the figure using methods based on those used by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), found that total unfunded obligations for federal health care programs have jumped from $65 trillion in 2009 to $82 trillion in 2011.

Added to the government’s existing obligation for entitlement programs like Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, the total now comes to almost $100 trillion.

That is almost seven times the United States’ annual gross domestic product (GDP).

It seems to me that it is becoming very obvious that Obamacare will not save Americans any money. There are much better ways to do healthcare reform–tort reform, portability, risk pools for people with pre-existing conditions. All of these can be done without federal control. It’s time to remind the government that they govern at the consent of the governed–we are citizens–not subjects.

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Can The Government Force Me To Buy Broccoli ? Do I Have To Eat It If I Buy It ?

In a nutshell, that is my reaction to Obamacare. I am being forced to buy something simply because I am a live person. The only way I can avoid buying this or paying a fine is to be a dead person. I really don’t like the choice involved.

Yesterday Michael Walsh at The Corner at National Review Online posted a short article that I believe sums up the entire healthcare debate.

Mr. Walsh asks if Obamacare is really about healthcare:

For if it’s about “health care,” aren’t there a myriad of ways in which the system could be improved without a “comprehensive” top-down solution? At a time of extreme economic dislocation, was there a nationwide clamor to make “health care” the top priority of the new administration?

Or is it really about the exercise of raw governmental power, to teach the citizenry an object lesson about the coming brave new world, one that surely will get even worse once Obama is safely past the shoals of his last election? 

Can the government force you to buy something just because you exist (even if it is for the ‘public good’)?

One of the most logical arguments I have heard against Obamacare is that it violates the basic concept of a contract. A contract is an agreement entered into voluntarily by two or more people. If the agreement is not voluntary, it is no longer a contract. Hopefully, the eventual decision of the Supreme Court will recognize the right of Americans to enter into contracts voluntarily. I happen to like broccoli, but I don’t want anyone forcing me to buy it or eat it.

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Two Very Good Articles On ObamaCare On The Internet Today

There are two very good articles on ObamaCare on the Internet today. The first was posted yesterday at Investors.com and the second is in today’s Wall Street Journal. The Supreme Court will begin arguing ObamaCare on Monday.

The Investors.com article points how ObamaCare will increase the cost of medical care and insurance for the people who are insured–not actually lower the cost for anyone.

The article reports:

…By 2019, roughly 16 million people out of the 50 million uninsured will be forced into coverage thanks to the individual mandate. Of those 16 million, some 6 million to 7 million will be covered for the first time by Medicaid and, to a lesser extent, the Children’s Health Insurance Program.

Medicaid, however, provides very low reimbursement rates to participating doctors and hospitals — only 58% of those normally paid by insurance companies. Medicaid often doesn’t pay enough to cover a provider’s costs.

Under the government’s logic, hospitals and doctors will be forced to raise prices for the insured to cover their costs, which will be passed along as higher premiums. The total cost shift under Medicaid is substantially greater than for the uninsured who fail to pay their bills.

Moreover, the increased cost-shifting phenomenon used by the government to justify the individual mandate will only grow worse as Medicaid enrollment expands due to the mandate.

ObamaCare will totally ruin any part of the medical insurance and patient care system that currently works.

The Wall Street Journal article is entitled, “Liberty and ObamaCare.” It deals with the constitutional question of the individual mandate. The article also gives some insight on how the Obama Administration will argue the case:

Consider a White House strategy memo that leaked this month, revealing that senior Administration officials are coordinating with liberal advocacy groups to pressure the Court. “Frame the Supreme Court oral arguments in terms of real people and real benefits that would be lost if the law were overturned,” the memo notes, rather than “the individual responsibility piece of the law and the legal precedence [sic].” Those nonpolitical details are merely what “lawyers will be talking about.”

Does anyone remember the old lawyers’ joke, “If the law is on your side, pound the law; if the evidence is on your side, pound the evidence; if neither is on your side, pound the table.” It sounds as if the Obama Administration plans to pound the table.

Talk radio host Hugh Hewitt (a law professor and practicing lawyer) has promised to highlight the arguments on his radio show (6 pm to 9 pm East Coast Time). I am looking forward to what he has to say.

 

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Pay Attention–You Are About To Be Spun

Today the Heritage Foundation posted an article about the coming effort to convince the American public that ObamaCare is a good thing. The Heritage Foundation managed to get their hands on a four-page memo which revealed how the Obama Administration plans to see the program.

The article reports the plans listed in the memo:

“Remind people that the law is already benefiting millions of Americans by providing health care coverage, reducing costs and providing access to healthcare coverage. This message will include the ideas that these are benefits that politicans/the Court art (sic) are trying to take away from average Americans.”

“Frame the Supreme Court oral arguments in terms of real people and real benefits that would be lost if the law were overturned. While lawyers will be talking about the individual responsibility piece of the law and the legal precedence, organizations on the ground should continue to focus on these more tangible results of the law.”

Unfortunately (as usual), feelings and sympathy are being played up instead of actual facts.

The article at the Heritage Foundation lists some inconvenient information:

…The latest news of Obamacare’s impact came from a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report released this week. In one of the CBO’s reported scenarios, 20 million Americans could lose their employer-sponsored health benefits, and 49 million more Americans could become dependent on government-sponsored health care. And it won’t come cheaply for American taxpayers. Projecting through 2022, Obamacare could cost as much as $2.134 trillion, and individual and employer mandate penalties could hit $221 billion.

Then there’s the issue of the unconstitutional individual mandate that forces Americans to buy government dictated health insurance or pay a penalty, as well as the anti-conscience mandate that religious employers, including schools, hospitals, and charities, must provide abortion-inducing drugs and contraception despite the fact that such services totally contradict many of these groups’ core religious beliefs.

Under Obamacare, costs will go up, people will lose the coverage they have, and quality of care will decline. Individuals and businesses will face penalties, seniors will feel the effects of Obamacare’s cuts to Medicare, doctors will suffer from increased regulation and lower government reimbursement for services, taxpayers will face new taxes, jobs will be lost, millions of Americans will remain uninsured and stuck in overcrowded emergency rooms, religious institutions and the faithful will suffer the loss of their religious liberties, and future generations will pay the costs.

It will be interesting to see how this media campaign to promote the benefits of Obamacare will do. Americans are getting smarter–they are beginning to suspect that what they are being told in the major media may not be totally accurate.

Just in case you are interested–this is the organizational chart for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare):

 

I can’t figure out how to make it bigger, but here is the link (Senate.gov). In case you missed it, the patient is the star in the lower right corner–there is only one line that links to him. All the other lines are bureaucracy connections.

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Some Changes To RomneyCare You Might Have Missed

As the presidential campaign continues, there will be much discussion about the differences between RomneyCare and ObamaCare. The major difference, of course, is that the state has the power to try to deal with its healthcare challenges as it sees fit. It becomes a different issue when the government tries to take over the healthcare section of the American economy. However, there have been some subtle changes in RomneyCare that have occurred since Governor Patrick took office in Massachusetts.

On Monday night, I had a chance to see a presentation by Mike Stopa in Northborough on the subject of ObamaCare and the impact it will have on healthcare in America if it is not repealed. Mike Stopa is a Physicist specializing in computation and nanoscience in the Physics Department at Harvard University. He is the director of the National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network Computation Project and a recognized expert on nanoscale electronics and computation. He has over 75 publications and over a thousand citations to his work in the physics literature. His homepage at Harvard can be found here. Mike is a life-long, fiscally conservative Republican, which is not a popular ideology at Harvard. He was recently a first-time candidate for Congress in the third district of Massachusetts.

In the course of his discussion he repeated some aspects of the Massachusetts healthcare law that he had discussed in an article at the MetroWest Daily News in April of 2011.

This is a direct quote from his article:

“…because the terminally ill often are hospitalized and may be candidates for the intensive care unit (ICU), and because the ICU is particularly resource-intensive, reducing use of the ICU among such patients appears to present unique opportunities for cost reduction.”

Nevertheless, a recently released report by the Expert Panel on End of Life Care organized under Governor Patrick’s Health Care Quality and Cost Control Council emphasizes that many more of us would rather die at home; that we want that familiar view out our bedroom window instead of those cold, faceless hospital rooms with all those complicated machines. Many of us are willing, nay eager to let slip the mortal coil if we can only do so in a more caring, dignified environment. In short, in the words of panel co-chair Lachlan Forrow: “our expert commission actually wanted people not to think about cost. That’s not the point.”

The report by the End of Life Experts suggests many carrots to entice the terminally ill to get out of the hospital, but it also contains one simple, all-encompassing stick. Specifically, the Experts recommend that “any Commonwealth payment reform initiative should be designed to ensure that, for all patients with serious advancing illness…payment for medical services requires adequate documentation that they are based on the well-informed wishes of patients (or appropriate surrogates), including understanding of life-prolonging and palliative care or hospice alternatives.”

As ObamaCare is implemented, one of the things that will occur is that younger Americans will be asked to subsidize the healthcare costs of older Americans. It is a pretty safe bet that once they figure out what is going on, younger Americans are not going to be thrilled with that concept. Add to that the fact that a large part of the generation they will be asked to subsidize will be the generation that legalized abortion–the killing of their generation. Because of legalized abortion, there will not be enough of the younger generation to shoulder comfortably the burden of caring for their elderly parents. The irony of this is amazing. At some point, our younger generation will become the first generation to kill their parents legally (euthanasia) just as their parents were the first generation to kill their children legally (abortion).

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Why We Don’t Need Obamacare

Yesterday the Wall Street Journal posted an article detailing how much healthcare costs have risen in America during the decade of 2000 to 2010.

The article reports:

New data show that health spending over the past several years has been normalizing toward the rate of general inflation, rather than growing higher and higher, as had been the case almost continuously since the 1970s. This moderation in the growth rate of spending predates the national recession. And it puts the lie to the claim that we need government to put the brakes on an “out-of-control” health-care system.

As the graph nearby shows, the growth rate of national health expenditures, according to data compiled by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, has been moderating since 2002.

[Kleinke]

The chart shows that all of the hype about runaway healthcare costs was simply political hype.

J. D. Kleinke, who wrote the article, has the solution for fixing healthcare in America:

But we know that this slow, steady moderation in health-care spending is good news. True, it is not fast enough. But the decade-long trendline shows the way toward good policy for the future. If we really want to tame the health-care cost beast and make insurance “affordable,” we would double down on all of the positive developments.

We would liberate people with their own money from layer upon layer of arcane, localized insurance rules. We would fix the tax code to uncouple health insurance from employment and let people purchase their own mix of services and coverage. And we would let them do so in a competitive, national market just like with auto insurance—instead of holding them hostage in fragmented, local markets while shaking down their employers to subsidize a system that wants desperately to change itself.

The bottom line here is simple–people do a better job of spending their own money than the government does. Taking the government bureaucracy out of healthcare will make it more available and less expensive for everyone.

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The Federal Budget Has Become One Big Slush Fund

 

On Thursday the Washington Times reported that Congress took money slated for ObamaCare for the third time this year. Please understand, I don’t support ObamaCare, but there are a few things to look at here. One of the reasons ObamaCare could be passed off as a deficit-reducing program was that the money to pay for it would be collected for years before anyone was able to benefit from the program. That way, the first year or two or the program wouldn’t seem to cost much because the money would have already been collected. Later on, of course, when the initial money ran out and the program was supposed to support itself, it would become a typical Washington program and begin to lose money quickly. (I think Congress has its own idea of how numbers work.) Well, times are tough, even in Washington, so Congress is raiding Obamacare.

The article reports:

Congress last week axed a part of Democrats’ signature domestic achievement to find $11 billion to cover the cost of repealing a withholding tax that otherwise would have hit government contractors in 2013. Mr. Obama signed that bill into law on Monday.

The withholding bill follows two other efforts — one in December and another in April — that reworked the health care law to squeeze savings for other priorities. The December bill funded higher payments for doctors who treat Medicare patients, and the April legislation repealed a paperwork provision in the original health care law that businesses said would be onerous.

All told, Congress and the president have tapped some $50 billion earmarked to pay for benefits and programs in the health care overhaul in future years to fund more-immediate spending needs.

One of the problems with the healthcare bill as it is currently written is the philosophy behind it. As usual, it is a follow-the-money issue. The healthcare bill is partially paid for by a $500 billion cut to Medicare. That money is used to expand Medicaid programs which provide healthcare to the poor. I am not opposed to providing healthcare to the poor, but we need to remember that no person in America in need of medical care who shows up at a hospital can legally be denied treatment, regardless of their ability to pay for it. The bulk of medical expenses in a persons life occur in the last two years of their life. The transfer of money from Medicare to Medicaid is the beginning of rationing that care. We also need to remember that a large amount of the money in ObamaCare will go toward supporting a brand new federal bureaucracy, which will ad expense to medical care–not reduce it.

Anyway, my wish is that the Supreme Court will get rid of ObamaCare before Congress can raid it anymore and before it can do any further damage!

 

 

 

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The Problem With RomneyCare

Faneuil Hall circa 1890-1906

Image via Wikipedia

On October 27, the Boston Herald posted an article stating that under RomneyCare, free emergency healthcare for more than 52,000 illegal aliens in Massachusetts cost the Massachusetts taxpayers $35.7 million.

An e-mail from a friend reports:

Because of Andover’s Republican Representative Jim Lyons, the Patrick administration recently divulged the startling news that 55,000 illegal aliens received over $93 million in MassHealth emergency health services last year. Representative Lyons temporarily blocked a supplemental spending bill by refusing to leave the House chamber until the tell-tale numbers were made public.

A study by the Beacon Hill Institute (BHI) study suggests that RomneyCare has not delivered the lowered health care costs we were promised. To the contrary, while extending coverage to most residents, $8 billion of new costs were imposed on the federal government, Commonwealth residents and businesses. In addition, RomneyCare has triggered the loss of 18,000 jobs, and a reduction of disposable income.

This is a difficult issue. I do not want to deny emergency medical care to anyone, whether they are here legally or not. However, we need to find a responsible, cost effective way to deliver that care. RomneyCare is not it.

 

 

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Has Washington Lost Its Mind ?

Kathleen Sebelius alternate HHS portrait

Image via Wikipedia

CNS News is reporting today that the Health and Human Services Department has announced that it plans to spend $700 million building, expanding, and improving community health centers across the U.S.

The funding will also expand the infrastructure for Obamacare.

The article reports:

“For many Americans, community health centers are the major source of care that ranges from prevention to treatment,” said HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. “These funds will expand our ability to provide high-quality care to millions of people while supporting good paying jobs in communities across the country.”

Most of the taxpayer money — $600 million – will be spent on existing health centers for longer-term projects including facility expansion and hiring more employees to serve more patients. The remainder, around $100 million, will be spent on shorter-term projects addressing “immediate facility needs.”

What part of “we’re broke” do these people not understand?

The article further reports:

The $700 million announced on Friday is just the beginning: Over the next five years, the Affordable Care Act provides $11 billion in funding for the operation, expansion and construction of community health centers across the country. 

In 2010, community health centers employed more than 131,000 staff, including 9,600 physicians, 6,400 nurse practitioners, physicians’ assistants, and certified nurse midwives, 11,400 nurses, 9,500 dental staff, 4,200 behavioral health staff, and more than 12,000 case managers and health education, outreach, and transportation staff.  The centers currently serve nearly 20 million patients regardless of their ability to pay.

It is a good thing to provide medical care to people who may not be able to afford it. I agree with the concept. I just wonder if there is not a much more economical way to do it. The $700 million announced today is truly spending we cannot currently afford. Let’s look at places we can cut in order to provide these services. I am sure we can find some.
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We Knew This Was Coming

When the healthcare bill was being debated, President Obama told us, “If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor, period. If you like your health care plan, you’ll be able to keep your health care plan, period. No one will take it away, no matter what.” Well, I hope you weren’t counting on that.

Byron York at the Washington Examiner reports:

Now, it should surprise no one that more and more companies are exploring the possibility of dropping their employee health coverage in 2014. A new study from the benefits-consulting firm Towers Watson finds that nearly 10 percent of midsized to large companies are seriously considering doing just that, and another 20 percent are thinking about it. Still others don’t know. “Many are uncertain how they will respond to the looming impact of state-based insurance exchanges in 2014,” says Towers Watson.

The new healthcare system is designed to push people into healthcare exchanges, receiving healthcare subsidized by the government. This is the step toward the single-payer plan that Democrats in Congress was not able to pass. As private healthcare is phased out, government healthcare will be the only option.

The article reports:

The bottom line is that the new system appears designed to push more and more people into the exchanges, with more and more people receiving health coverage subsidized by the government. For the cynical, it might even appear that is what Obama and his Democratic allies wanted all along. Remember that Obama said, during a January 2008 debate that, “If I were designing a system from scratch, I would set up a single-payer system.” He couldn’t pass a single-payer system, or even a public-option system, even when he had filibuster-proof majorities in Congress. But he could enact a system that will take a slower route in that direction.

We need a Republican president and congress in 2012. Their first order of business should be to repeal Obamacare. Otherwise we will have government run healthcare with a year.

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