Once more the Man Child president has descended from Mount Olympus to press his holy cause for the salvation of our health care system and through it, the American people. On September 9 our gracious leader addressed a joint session of Congress to put forth the good word, dismiss the heinous rumors of opponents, and give support to his disciples in Congress… Or more accurately spew the same old rhetoric that we have all heard and rejected in the vain hope that he can turn the tide for his destined to fail health care take-over.
While I did not listen to the speech – as I refuse to abuse myself in such a fashion (I’m no masochist) – I have taken the time to read the transcript and below you will find my responses to selected sections. Needless to say that there is much from the Man Child’s speech that beggars response – as most egregious lies, misrepresentations and half-truths do.
In this, Part 2 of my response, I will address the particular assertions of the Man Child regarding HR3200 and what it will and will not accomplish. If you haven’t read it already, please be sure to read Part 1.
First, if you are among the hundreds of millions of Americans who already have health insurance through your job, or Medicare, or Medicaid, or the V.A., nothing in this plan will require you or your employer to change the coverage or the doctor you have.
Here is a classic example of the “half-truth.” While the Man Child is technically correct – the plan does not expressly say that you must give up your private health insurance – the plan will still have the practical effect of pushing all of us (except the most wealthy and unions) on to the public plan. It will achieve this by driving private insurers out of business through mandates, costs and consumer economics.
What this plan will do is make the insurance you have work better for you. Under this plan, it will be against the law for insurance companies to deny you coverage because of a preexisting condition.
What it will do is drive these businesses out of business – once they are forced to cover every pre-existing condition their premiums will sky rocket and make them uncompetitive. The policy holders will balk at the constantly rising premiums and cancel their policies. Thus shrinking the risk pool and causing premiums to rise further. Rinse and repeat until the company is no more.
They will no longer be able to place some arbitrary cap on the amount of coverage you can receive in a given year or in a lifetime.
This combined with pre-existing conditions will only serve to hasten the demise of insurance companies. Keep in mind that the government will not be subject to this particular rule and will ration care based on what bureaucrats think is cost-to-benefit effective.
We will place a limit on how much you can be charged for out-of- pocket expenses, because in the United States of America, no one should go broke because they get sick.
And insurance companies will be required to cover, with no extra charge, routine checkups and preventive care, like mammograms and colonoscopies.
And all insurance companies that want access to this new marketplace will have to abide by the consumer protections I already mentioned.
Combine these mandates with pre-existing conditions and capped out of pocket expenses and you have a recipe for private insurance disaster. Insurance companies (especially the small ones) will fold like a house of cards under a stiff breeze. With mandates like these there can be no denying what Obama’s intentions really are. Private companies will simply be unable to compete with a tax-payer backed non-profit plan. It simply isn’t possible. Take in to account the fact that the government will set the rules for all private businesses and that private businesses have no recourse for government price-fixing and not even the most Kool-Aide drunk in the liberal bunch can deny the intent: single payer socialized medicine.
That’s why under my plan, individuals will be required to carry basic health insurance — just as most states require you to carry auto insurance.
Likewise — likewise, businesses will be required to either offer their workers health care, or chip in to help cover the cost of their workers.
There will be a hardship waiver for those individuals who still can’t afford coverage, and 95 percent of all small businesses, because of their size and narrow profit margin, would be exempt from these requirements.
Forget your liberty and your ability to choose – Nanny Obama will decide for you. Hey! Government knows best, right?
What do those hardship waivers mean? It means that once again Obama will be distributing the wealth. He will be taking the tax money from larger companies and essentially giving it to those small businesses that can’t afford the cost of insurance. Placing even more burden on the already over burdened and over taxed. Didn’t he just get through saying (in negative context) something about everyone else paying for those that don’t have insurance? Hmmm.
Some of people’s concerns have grown out of bogus claims spread by those whose only agenda is to kill reform at any cost. The best example is the claim, made not just by radio and cable talk show hosts, but by prominent politicians that we plan to set up panels of bureaucrats with the power to kill off senior citizens.
Now, such a charge would be laughable if it weren’t so cynical and irresponsible. It is a lie plain and simple.
Once again we have a convenient half-truth. The bill does NOT specifically legislate the power to kill off seniors and other high cost / high maintenance people like the chronically ill. It does, however, put bureaucrats on panels that do decide what conditions get covered and how much care will be given based on cost-to-benefit. This is effectively health care rationing and will inevitably lead to the rationing of care for high cost short life patients (i.e. seniors and cancer patients).
Now, there are also those who claim that our reform efforts would insure illegal immigrants. This, too, is false. The reforms — the reforms I’m proposing would not apply to those who are here illegally.
I’ll quote Rep. Joe Wilson “You lie!” While the legislation does not specifically state that illegal immigrants will be covered… it does nothing to stop it. The current plan also mandates that if you have no insurance and go to the emergency room, you get enrolled in the public option. Current laws mandate that no person can be turned away from the emergency room, regardless of insurance status. This means that there is a virtual 100% guarantee that illegal immigrants will be enrolled in the public plan.
Unfortunately, in 34 states, 75 percent of the insurance market is controlled by five or fewer companies. In Alabama, almost 90 percent is controlled by just one company.
And without competition, the price of insurance goes up and quality goes down. And it makes it easier for insurance companies to treat their customers badly — by cherry-picking the healthiest individuals and trying to drop the sickest; by overcharging small businesses who have no leverage; and by jacking up rates.
This is entirely due to the fact that health insurance is not portable and the lack of competition from out of state companies. Federal and state laws prevent citizens from being able to purchase health care from companies across state lines. The solution to this problem is not a public option that does nothing to address the actual problem. The solution is to create a standard of coverage at a national level (due to the fact that each state has its own laws regarding minimal insurance coverage for policies) and to open the state boarders so that these companies can compete. Far more simplistic and costs infinitely less than public health insurance.
And the insurance reforms that I’ve already mentioned would do just that, but an additional step we can take to keep insurance companies honest is by making a not-for-profit public option available in the insurance exchange.
If by keeping them honest he means run them out of business and place the entirety of the American people (aside from bureaucrats, politicians and union members) under the oppressive thumb of government dependence… then yes, this is true.
It’s — it’s worth noting that a strong majority of Americans still favor a public insurance option of the sort I’ve proposed tonight.
Outright lie! The vast majority of Americans do NOT want the DMV health care system. As has been shown by the town halls this fall and the massive gatherings of patriots across this country in opposition of this massive power grab.
Now, Here’s what you need to know. First, I will not sign a plan that adds one dime to our deficits, either now or in the future.
Another outright lie. So says the CBO, Heritage, and virtually every watch dog group in the nation. Each one agrees that HR3200 is nowhere near budget neutral even with all of the fuzzy math being used by Congress. They also agree that after the first 10 years the cost of this plan will rapidly escalate. There simply isn’t enough money to pay for it. Period.
And this reform will charge insurance companies a fee for their most expensive policies, which will encourage them to provide greater value for the money — an idea which has the support of Democratic and Republican experts.
Another thing to pile on top of the private insurance companies to ensure they’re inevitable demise. Don’t forget… Union benefit plans are exempt from this tax – and Union plans are among the most generous and expensive plans in the nation. By itself (were this tax to apply to every platinum plated plan) this tax would be innocuous and hardly felt. But lump on all of the other onerous burdens that Obama calls for and it becomes a stack of straws that will break the proverbial camel’s back.
Now, I don’t believe malpractice reform is a silver bullet, but I’ve talked to enough doctors to know that defensive medicine may be contributing to unnecessary costs. So — so — so I’m proposing that we move forward on a range of ideas about how to put patient safety first and let doctors focus on practicing medicine. I know that the Bush administration considered authorizing demonstration projects in individual states to test these ideas. I think it’s a good idea, and I’m directing my secretary of health and human services to move forward on this initiative today.
If Obama is serious with this call for tort reform than I wholeheartedly support it and applaud it. However, his language seems to suggest timidity – something that he said this isn’t time for. I also doubt very seriously that the Democrats in Congress will support tort reform- they are, after all, half owned by the trial lawyers. The cynic in me says that this little blurb was more of a bone thrown to moderates and conservatives to show that he really is serious about bi-partisanship… while knowing full well that Congress will not support it. As for a demonstration of tort reform… look at Texas. It seems to have worked out very well for them. Time will tell, and while I doubt that I am, I sincerely hope that I am wrong… and that Obama is as serious about tort reform as he is about his public option.