The IUSB Vision Weblog

The way to crush the middle class is to grind them between the millstones of taxation and inflation. – Vladimir Lenin

Health Care News Roundup for October

Posted by iusbvision on October 23, 2009

The biggest news here is the lack of transparency going on with the current process and of course all the new taxes the Democrats promised they wouldn’t levy…

In violation of the spirit of the process the bills are being merged behind closed doors with the Republicans being locked out. Remember when Obama promised transparency and how the hearings and such on the health care bill would all be on C-Span and not behind closed doors??

Just a reminder, here are Obama’s seven lies in under two minutes.

Below you will read about how what are called “Cadillac Plans” will be taxed at 40%.  The bill also requires that those with pre-existing conditions and the sick cannot be turned down. It also mandates that there be limits on the differences in premiums between the old and young, healthy and sick. This will make the costs of premium go way up especially for the young. The young will choose to pay the tax penalty rather than get the insurance. But no worries, when you get sick go buy the insurance and when your better drop it.

The end result? Premiums  will go up in cost and become considered Cadillac plans over time. Most good plans that are as good or better than the public option will be considered “Cadillac Plans” over time. using price forces to send you into the public option, which is the goal.

This will also make an adversarial relation ship between the doctor and the patient. The doctor will have budget schedules to meet and you will need  the best care possible. One cannot serve two gods. perhaps this is why presidential advisors have said that the Hippocratic oath is taken too seriously and is a part of the problem.

This brings us back to the death panels again. Dick Morris believes that the final versions of the bill will have the same cost/benefit analysis called QARY (Quality Adjusted Remaining Years). So if you are 95 and need a pacemaker , well odds are you wont live much longer so the cost divided out over your QARY is too high so the answer is no.  I know a nice married couple in their late 80’s who are in better physical shape than I am and very active. This is exactly why doctors and individuals need to make these choices and not a cost benefit analysis. And before it is said in the comments, death panels does not mean that they will decide who gets the plug pulled, rather it decides who gets the plug plugged in in the first place.

Washington Examiner via Michell Malkin:

Dems lied, transparency died: Senate Finance Committee nixes Obamacare online disclosure
By Michelle Malkin

The Senate majority’s contempt for the American people rears its ugly head again. The Senate Finance Committee just voted down a GOP amendment requiring that Obamacare legislation be available online 72 hours before the panel votes. Instead, the Democrats offered to make “conceptual language” available.
Dems lied, transparency died:

WASHINGTON — Senate Finance Committee Democrats have rejected a GOP amendment that would have required a health overhaul bill to be available online for 72 hours before the committee votes.

Republicans argued that transparency is an Obama administration goal. They also noted that their constituents are demanding that they read bills before voting.

Democrats said it was a delay tactic that could have postponed a vote for weeks.

Democrat leaders legislating in special deals for their states

Oct. 20 (Bloomberg) — Nevada would get help with its Medicaid bills. The elderly in Florida and New York would receive additional Medicare benefits. And workers in so-called high-risk professions such as firefighting and construction would get a break on a new insurance tax.

Those are provisions that Senate Democrats, including Majority Leader Harry Reid, put in an $829 billion health-care bill to shield constituents from measures intended to pay for the biggest overhaul of the medical system in four decades.

The result is the new policies may be unevenly administered, with some U.S. states getting preferential treatment, a possibility that has given Republican lawmakers ammunition to attack the legislation.

“It’s going to hurt the bill and raise the level of cynicism about Washington politics,” said Senator Lamar Alexander, a Tennessee Republican. “The provisions ought to be applied to all of the states.”

The number of special provisions is likely to grow as the full Senate begins debating the measure in coming weeks. Because Democrats are unlikely to win many Republican votes, individual lawmakers will have leverage to demand changes to satisfy parochial interests.

 

Baucus Senate Health Bill Costs Skyrocket Over Time

Remember when health-care reform was supposed to make life better for the middle class? That dream began to unravel this past summer when Congress proposed a bill that failed to include any competition-based reforms that would actually bend the curve of health-care costs. It fell apart completely when Democrats began papering over the gaping holes their plan would rip in the federal budget.

As it now stands, the plan proposed by Democrats and the Obama administration would not only fail to reduce the cost burden on middle-class families, it would make that burden significantly worse.

Consider the bill put forward by the Senate Finance Committee. From a budgetary perspective, it is straightforward. The bill creates a new health entitlement program that the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates will grow over the longer term at a rate of 8% annually, which is much faster than the growth rate of the economy or tax revenues. This is the same growth rate as the House bill that Sen. Kent Conrad (D., N.D.) deep-sixed by asking the CBO to tell the truth about its impact on health-care costs.

To avoid the fate of the House bill and achieve a veneer of fiscal sensibility, the Senate did three things: It omitted inconvenient truths, it promised that future Congresses will make tough choices to slow entitlement spending, and it dropped the hammer on the middle class.

One inconvenient truth is the fact that Congress will not allow doctors to suffer a 24% cut in their Medicare reimbursements. Senate Democrats chose to ignore this reality and rely on the promise of a cut to make their bill add up. Taking note of this fact pushes the total cost of the bill well over $1 trillion and destroys any pretense of budget balance.

It is beyond fantastic to promise that future Congresses, for 10 straight years, will allow planned cuts in reimbursements to hospitals, other providers, and Medicare Advantage (thereby reducing the benefits of 25% of seniors in Medicare). The 1997 Balanced Budget Act pursued this strategy and successive Congresses steadily unwound its provisions. The very fact that this Congress is pursuing an expensive new entitlement belies the notion that members would be willing to cut existing ones.

Most astounding of all is what this Congress is willing to do to struggling middle-class families. The bill would impose nearly $400 billion in new taxes and fees. Nearly 90% of that burden will be shouldered by those making $200,000 or less.

It might not appear that way at first, because the dollars are collected via a 40% tax on sales by insurers of “Cadillac” policies, fees on health insurers, drug companies and device manufacturers, and an assortment of odds and ends.

But the economics are clear. These costs will be passed on to consumers by either directly raising insurance premiums, or by fueling higher health-care costs that inevitably lead to higher premiums. Consumers will pay the excise tax on high-cost plans. The Joint Committee on Taxation indicates that 87% of the burden would fall on Americans making less than $200,000, and more than half on those earning under $100,000.

Industry fees are even worse because Democrats chose to make these fees nondeductible. This means that insurance companies will have to raise premiums significantly just to break even. American families will bear a burden even greater than the $130 billion in fees that the bill intends to collect. According to my analysis, premiums will rise by as much as $200 billion over the next 10 years—and 90% will again fall on the middle class.

Senate Democrats are also erecting new barriers to middle-class ascent. A family of four making $54,000 would pay $4,800 for health insurance, with the remainder coming from subsidies. If they work harder and raise their income to $66,000, their cost of insurance rises by $2,800. In other words, earning another $12,000 raises their bill by $2,800—a marginal tax rate of 23%. Double-digit increases in effective tax rates will have detrimental effects on the incentives of millions of Americans.

Lieberman Says Baucus Health Bill Will Raise Prices and Taxes by $400 Billion:

Pricewaterhouse Coopers Report Baucus Bill will cause premiums to rise by $1700 per family by 2013.

You can examine the report yourself HERE. Fox News Analysis did an analysis with a GOP Senator

Clinton Advisor Dick Morris on What the Obama-care Bills Mean for You

Morris gives more details about the high price of Obama-care  HERE and HERE.

Were Saved! New House Health Bill Only Costs $900 Billion and Will be Deficit Neutral for 10 Years….

Al-Reuters:

House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Tuesday new estimates showed a healthcare overhaul drafted by Democrats would reduce the U.S. budget deficit over 10 years and cost less than $900 billion.
The preliminary estimates from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office moved Democratic leaders closer to finishing a merger of three separate healthcare reform bills into one for debate on the House floor.

Ok now how did they do it….. well this is the part where the proposal gets a lot less popular.

They do it by starting the new taxes now, cutting Medicare now, reducing the rates at which doctors are reimbursed now and kicking in the “reform” five years from now so that the new government expense for the program wont fully kick in for five years.

Those of you who are old enough to remember the 1970’s know what price controls do. They limit supply and choice. Oil lines, brown outs and rolling power outages in California etc.  When you can’t make sufficient profit to cover costs, growth, and unexpected economic shocks would you produce more of it?

Washington Post:

The $871 billion estimate — well under the $900 billion limit set by President Obama — is the latest of several versions scored by congressional budget analysts, according to a Democratic aide, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss private talks. The measure would include a government-run insurance plan that pays providers at rates tied to Medicare, the aide added. That so-called “robust” public option is preferred by liberals because it would save the government money and could force private insurers to lower their own reimbursement rates, driving down the cost of health care overall. (Thats price controls which result in long wait lines and reduced quality – Editor]

But the idea is opposed by many conservative Democrats from rural areas, where Medicare rates are well below the national average. A new insurance plan that paid such low rates would be devastating to their communities financially, these Democrats say. Instead, they argue that any public plan should negotiate rates directly with providers, as private plans do.

Ed Morrissey at Hotair.com has a nice detailed explanation HERE
Patientpowernow.com produced the following videos:   

They produced this video criticizing Oregon State run health care and yes this is what Oregon did.

Canadians Speak Out On Health Care

This is from the Mackinac Center who has more video’s and details.  

242 Patients Died of Malnutrition in British Health Service Hospitals in 2007

http://www.dailymail.co.uk

PRISONERS HAVE A BETTER DIET THAN NATIONAL HEALTH SERVICE HOSPITAL PATIENTS, SCIENTISTS WARN

Patients in Great Britain’s government-run National Health Service (NHS) hospitals are far more likely to go hungry than criminals in jail, scientists warn.

They say frail and elderly patients do not get the help they need with meals, and nobody checks whether they get enough to eat.  Despite years of Government promises to tackle poor hospital nutrition, food still arrives cold, and patients often miss out because meal times clash with tests and operations.  Meanwhile, prisoners are enjoying carbohydrate-rich, low-fat foods which in many cases are better than they would have been eating on the outside.

The Daily Mail has been highlighting the scandal of old people not being fed properly in hospital as part of its Dignity for the Elderly campaign.  Hospital meals are often taken away untouched, because they are either unappetizing or are placed out of patients’ reach:

  • The latest figures show 242 patients died of malnutrition in NHS hospitals in 2007 — the highest toll in a decade.
  • More than 8,000 left hospital under-nourished — double the figure when Labor came to power.
  • The NHS throws away 11million meals every year, and many nurses say they are too busy to help the frail eat.

Earlier this year the Mail revealed that some hospitals spend less on meals than the average prison:

  • Ten hospitals spent less on breakfast, lunch and an evening meal than the £2.12 (about U.S.$3.54) a day allocated for food by the prison service; one spent just £1 (about U.S.$1.67).
  • Although most hospitals do spend more than £2.12 (about U.S.$3.45), prisoners end up better nourished than patients, say experts from Bournemouth University.
  • After studying the food offered to inmates and across the NHS, they found patients face more barriers in getting good nutrition.

Liberal Democrat health spokesman Norman Lamb said: “It’s incredible that so many hospitals are failing to serve healthy meals.  If prisons can serve good food then so can hospitals.”

 

 

 

Obama Administration Violating Hatch Act by using Tax Dollars to Politic for ObamaCare

 

And yes it’s illegal. In short the Department of Health and Human Services Web Site has a section on the right hand side of the page to sign up to support and lobby Congress ObamaCare. Of course there is only one option, to support it.HHS support Obama1Senator Grassley fired off a letter to HHS letting them know that it is illegal.  Ed Morrissey at Hotair has more details. This administration seems to be politicizing most everything. Afghanistan, the CIA, FCC etc.

 

 

 

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