The IUSB Vision Weblog

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

Archive for July 21st, 2010

Rod Blagojevich explains why he will not testify “They proved my case”

Posted by iusbvision on July 21, 2010

I was ready to believe from moment one that Rod Blagojevich was a typical corrupt Chicago politician. I still think he is. However, I was also ready to believe that the government would not be able to prove its case righteously because the prosecutor, Patrick Fitzgerald, has a history of prosecutorial misconduct, media grandstanding and manipulating prosecutions and the media to aggrandize himself.

Telling the court that it would have witnesses for months and then only having a couple of days worth of testimony and resting its case with the defense not having witnesses ready to testify is another example of that misconduct. They do this in hopes that some witnesses will be unavailable and if they have a biased judge he would allow the defense to get screwed.

Interesting note, the judge demanded that Blago testify himself or that the judge would refuse to allow Blago to put on several of his own witnesses. This is unheard of and is grounds for an immediate appeal.

After all of Fitzgerald’s grandstanding, he just didn’t “have it” as journalists who have been attending the trial have been stating on WLS Radio. Every day the government went on their case was shrinking they said.

Posted in 2012, Blagojevich, Chuck Norton | 1 Comment »

Health Care Roundup Part III – It Begins: Premiums Rising, Tax Payer Funded Abortions, Government Reverses and Now Claims “its a tax”, Government Announces That Yes It Really Can Turn You Down for Care… – UPDATE VII: Doctor Group Pushes For Repeal! – UPDATE IX: Insurance companies report that premiums will rise up to 9% as a direct result of the ObamaCare legislation

Posted by iusbvision on July 21, 2010

This thread will be updated continually and is stickied to the top of the page for now. Be sure to scroll down for updates and check this post for updates as well. – Editor

BREAKING STORY: THUGOCRACY – OBAMA ADMINISTRATION THREATENS INSURANCE COMPANIES TO KEEP QUIET ABOUT RISING HEALTH CARE COSTS DUE TO LEGISLATION….OR ELSE

 

Scroll down to seee Update VII – Doctor group pushes for repeal saying Obamacare forces bureaucrats to get between doctor and patient

 

The elite media covers these stories online, but where is the TV pounding?

ABC News – Individual Health Insurance Premiums Jump:

Kaiser Foundation Survey Finds Steep Jump in Individual Health Insurance premiums

By TOM MURPHY

The Associated Press

People who buy their own health insurance have been hit lately with premium hikes that far exceed increases in premiums for employer-sponsored coverage, according to a new survey from the Kaiser Family Foundation.

The nonprofit foundation, which is separate from health insurer Kaiser Permanente, said recent premium hikes requested by insurers for individual coverage averaged 20 percent. Some customers were able to switch plans and pay less, so people paying on their own actually wound up paying 13 percent more on average.

That tops last year’s average 5 percent annual increase for employer-sponsored family coverage and almost unchanged premiums for employer-sponsored single coverage, though foundation Vice President Gary Claxton said the comparisons come with qualifications.

The individual insurance survey asked respondents for their most recent premium increases, and those can happen more or less frequently than the annual increases mostly seen in the group market, he noted.

In the online poll, Kaiser queried 1,038 randomly selected people who pay for their own coverage.

The Hill – Health Law Allows Government To Turn Away Sick

The Obama administration has not ruled out turning sick people away from an insurance program created by the new healthcare law to provide coverage for the uninsured.

Critics of the $5 billion high-risk pool program insist it will run out of money before Jan. 1, 2014. That’s when the program sunsets and health plans can no longer discriminate against people with pre-existing conditions.

Administration officials insist they can make changes to the program to ensure it lasts until 2014, and that it may not have to turn away sick people. Officials said the administration could also consider reducing benefits under the program, or redistributing funds between state pools. But they acknowledged turning some people away was also a possibility.

“There’s a certain amount of money authorized in the statute, and we will do our best to make sure that amount of money insures as many people as possible and does as much good as possible,” said Jay Angoff, director of the Office of Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). “I think it’s premature to say [what happens] when it’s gone.”

Heritage Video – Government Health Care Impact on Doctors and Patients:

Just how bad is it getting?

Congress Daily at National Journal – CBO says “Doc Fix” will cost 33% higher than previously reported.

The Democratic Leadership promised the AMA this “Doc Fix” legislation to increase Medicare reimbursements in exchange for their support for ObamaCare [Note – the AMA is now so politically polarizing that it only represents 18% of doctors as of last year – Editor]:

The debate over what to do about Medicare payments to doctors continues. physicians have been lobbying ”to repeal the Sustainable Growth Rate formula, which triggers automatic Medicare payment cuts if spending rises above a certain level,” CongressDaily reports. Those cuts have been put off for years.

On Friday, the Congressional Budget Office said that just freezing current Medicare payment rates to doctors would likely cost nearly $276 billion through 2020, a 33 percent increase from legislation that would “accomplish that goal introduced late last year by Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., estimated to cost $207 billion at the time” according to CongressDaily. ”Aides on both sides of the aisle attributed the cost increase to assumptions of an improved economy, which tends to add more to the cost of health services, as well as demographic changes that foresee increased numbers of retirees in 2020 over the previous year.”

Karl Rove in WSJ – ObamaCare’s Ever-Rising Price Tag:

For starters, Mr. Foster  [Medicare Actuary Richard Foster] estimated Americans would pay $120 billion in fines for not having adequate insurance coverage and that 14 million people would lose their coverage as rising costs led companies to dump it. Those effects are not in keeping with Mr. Obama’s promises that if people liked the health insurance they had they could keep it, and that the reforms would provide universal coverage.

Finding it hard to cover costs under the bill’s formulas, according to Mr. Foster’s analysis, doctors would refuse new patients and one out of every six hospitals and nursing homes could start operating in the red. And while Medicaid would cover 16 million more people, there might not be enough doctors to treat them.

Because of new taxes, Mr. Foster rightly claimed that sick people would face “high drug and device prices” and everyone would pay higher premiums—again, exactly the opposite of what Mr. Obama said.

Drug and medical device companies are already making provisions for the new taxes that kick in next year. This means less investment in plants and equipment and smaller R&D budgets. Big layoffs, especially in the pharmaceutical industry, will result as companies confront this expensive new reality.

All of this represents a great political challenge to the administration and the Democratic Party this fall. Doctors, nurses and hospital workers impacted by health-care reform’s adverse effects will speak more often to more people and with greater passion and credibility than will the president and his allies. So too will the millions of people who work for insurance companies, drug companies, device manufacturers and other health-care providers.

Then there are employers and their workers. According to a survey by Towers Watson, a human resources consulting firm, 88% of companies plan to pass on increased health-care benefit costs to employees, 74% plan to reduce benefits, and up to 12% will drop all coverage for employees. Retirees won’t fare well either: 43% of employers that now provide retiree medical benefits are likely to reduce or eliminate them thanks to the new health legislation.

Employers will not wait until the last moment to spring changes on their workers. They understand it is ihttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r2Kevz_9lsw&feature=relatedn their best interest to fully educate employees about the ramifications of the new health-care bill. Many have already begun helping employees understand why companies are being forced to make inevitable changes.

Much more to come tomorrow – Obama’s reversal on tax payer funded abortions for convenience and wait till we introduce you to who we can only call “Dr. Death Panel” now working for the administration…

UPDATE I –

Obama Recess Appoints In Your Face Marxist Donald Berwick to Run Center for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS)

As you will soon see this man is clear in his advocacy for “death panels”, directly calls for total government rationing, and speaks in openly marxist terms.  Obama recess appointed this man even though his party owns the Senate because this man is so radical that he could not withstand the confirmation process.

The good stuff is right at the end of this speech where he praises Britain’s system which has become a national disgrace with people in long waiting lists, death from cancer on the rise and patients starving and neglected in their beds as we have been reporting HERE.  

Here are some quotes from Berwick’s speeches via the Wall Street Journal:

“I cannot believe that the individual health care consumer can enforce through choice the proper configurations of a system as massive and complex as health care. That is for leaders to do.”  [Translation – You and your doctor are too stupid to make your health care choices and you need a bureaucrat to make them for you]

“You cap your health care budget, and you make the political and economic choices you need to make to keep affordability within reach.” [Translation -With all the government waste we will have to cap spending  so sorry government can’t afford your hip replacement surgery this year]

“Please don’t put your faith in market forces. It’s a popular idea: that Adam Smith’s invisible hand would do a better job of designing care than leaders with plans can.” [Staple of Marxist theory]

“Indeed, the Holy Grail of universal coverage in the United States may remain out of reach unless, through rational collective action overriding some individual self-interest, we can reduce per capita costs.” [Translation – Government rationing – sorry your too old for this pacemaker. Would you like a pain pill?]

“It may therefore be necessary to set a legislative target for the growth of spending at 1.5 percentage points below currently projected increases and to grant the federal government the authority to reduce updates in Medicare fees if the target is exceeded.” [Translation – Lower the pay for doctors so there will be less of them and fewer of them taking government insurance even though we will raise the demand by telling people health care is “free”]

“A progressive policy regime will control and rationalize financing—control supply.” [Translation – leftists who have bankrupted social security, medicare etc  will be in control! What could go wrong?]

“The unaided human mind, and the acts of the individual, cannot assure excellence. Health care is a system, and its performance is a systemic property.” [Translation – Yet another Marxist staple that there is no such thing as individual excellence – it is not the individual that matters it is the system. … think about that one for a moment]

“Health care is a common good—single payer, speaking and buying for the common good.” [Translation – unless your too old, too young or that new wonder drug is too expensive]

“Hence, those working in health care delivery may be faced with situations in which it seems that the best course is to manipulate the flawed system for the benefit of a specific patient or segment of the population, rather than to work to improve the delivery of care for all. Such manipulation produces more flaws, and the downward spiral continues.” [Translation – Don’t go that extra mile in taking care of the patient]

“For-profit, entrepreneurial providers of medical imaging, renal dialysis, and outpatient surgery, for example, may find their business opportunities constrained.” [Translation – we are going to start legislating you out of business as we start nationalizing health care]

“I would place a commitment to excellence—standardization to the best-known method—above clinician autonomy as a rule for care.” [Translation – doctors will follow government guidelines – no you mat NOT have that mammogram before age 50 – your doctor cannot make exceptions for you]

“Young doctors and nurses should emerge from training understanding the values of standardization and the risks of too great an emphasis on individual autonomy.” [Translation – no translation needed for that one… this man advocates everything that the Democrats and Obama said would not happen, while at the same time they blocked Republican amendments to the bill to put in safeguards for the old and sick]

“Political leaders in the Labour Government have become more enamored of the use of market forces and choice as an engine for change, rather than planned, centrally coordinated technical support.”

“The U.K has people in charge of its health care—people with the clear duty and much of the authority to take on the challenge of changing the system as a whole. The U.S. does not.”

Here is a little common sense rebuttal to Berwick’s marxist nonsense –

Related:

Amendments the Democrats shot down to protect seniors and the sick – LINK

Anti-rationing amendments were defeated by Democrats in both the House and Senate.  More – LINK.

Senator Brownback on Death Panels

Cornell Law Professor: Palin is right about “Death Panels” for ObamaCare – UPDATED!

Dick Morris: Reform at Seniors’ Expense

OREGON STATE HEALTH CARE TELLS 64 YEAR OLD CITIZEN IT WILL NOT PAY FOR THE DRUG TO HELP SAVE HER BUT WILL PAY FOR EUTHANASIA! UPDATE – Local News Video Added

How ObamaCare has built in disincentives for doctors to aid the very young, very sick and elderly.

Ten Questions to Ask at a Townhall Meeting About ObamaCare

New Republican Ad on “Senior’s Bill of Rights”

OPPRESSION: OBAMA ADMINISTRATION SAYS “SHUT UP” – THREATENS HEALTH INSURANCE COMPANIES FOR POLITICAL FREE SPEECH!

Palin Reduced Medicaid Backlog 83% In Two Years

More to come – Tax payer funding of abortions and Obama Reverses himself on “It’s a tax”…

UPDATE II- Obama Reverses on Public Funding of Abortions – Said That Those Who Said It Would Happen Are “Bearing False Witness…”

Obama also promised to sign an executive order preventing it from happening to get so-called “pro-life Democrats” like Bart Stupak and Joe Donnelly. Of course an executive order cannot change the text of legislation. All a ruse?

Glenn Beck has the video – (If Bush was caught in lies this big imagine the media feeding frenzy) 

Obama – 8/19/2009 : There are some folks out there who are frankly, bearing false witness, but I want everyone to know what health insurance reform is all about… you’ve heard that this is all going to mean government funding of abortion. Not True. This is all – these are all fabrications that have been put out there in order to discourage people from meeting what I consider to be a core ethical and moral obligation.

AP – New Mexico: Elective Abortion Covered in ObamaCare

WASHINGTON (AP) – Abortion opponents are raising questions about a critical new insurance program under President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul law.

Federal officials say elective abortion is barred under the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan. It offers coverage to people turned down by private insurers because of medical problems, at rates comparable to what the healthy pay.

But at least one state – New Mexico – initially listed elective abortion as a covered benefit, reversing course after The Associated Press inquired on Wednesday.

National Right to Life and other abortion opponents say rules for the program have not been clearly spelled out, and that could open the way for taxpayer-subsidized coverage of elective abortion. Federal law bars paying for abortion with government money, except in cases of rape or incest or to save the mother’s life.

“We don’t think this is just a problem of vagueness, we see a pattern of the Obama administration trying to expand abortion any time they can get away with it,” said Douglas Johnson, legislative director for National Right to Life.

A spokeswoman for the federal Health and Human Services Department said that’s totally wrong, and insisted there was no intention of allowing abortion coverage under the new program, also known as PCIP.

So New Mexico pulls the document from the web site but is this an explicit full reversal?

National Review:

ObamaCare Covers Abortion in Pennsylvania — and in New Mexico, Too

Yesterday, we visited the Pennsylvania high-risk health-care insurance program and its abortion funding.

In New Mexico, the new $37 million high-risk pool began enrolling individuals on July 1. They will start receiving benefits in August, including elective-abortion services, according to the state insurance department’s website. Once a deductible is paid, 80 percent of the elective abortion is covered.

Douglas Johnson of the National Right to Life Committee tells me: “HHS has been hiding most of these high-risk plans, including the plan that HHS will administer directly in 21 states. Of the four state plans we’ve managed to ferret out, two provided coverage of all essentially all abortions — Pennsylvania and New Mexico. This is part of a pattern, under this administration, of making ‘soft’ rhetorical statements on abortion policy, but consistently promoting and expanding abortion through low-visibility administrative decisions. The administration’s heavy funding of groups pushing a proposed new pro-abortion constitution in Kenya is another example.”

CNS News is reporting that GOP House leader John Boehner has sent a letter to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius asking for the clear guidelines that prohibit taxpayer funding of abortion and has received no response. Health and Human Services says that its guidelines prohibit taxpayer funding of elective abortions, but this is the oldest one in the book because as any pro-life group will tell you, such administrative language is slippery easy to get around because the abolitionist just says “it is necessary for the health of the mother” because “health” can mean almost anything. Many states have been through the wringer of the courts on this one.

What is most interesting is the low-key “administrative denial” coming from HHS. If all of these news outlets and others have this totally wrong this would be a great opportunity for the White House to use this to pound their political enemies, especially Glenn Beck. But doing so would be a message to the states and bureaucrats “hey you better not try to include taxpayer funding of abortions”.

Related:

The Myth of the Pro-Life Democrat in Congress

Stupak’s “Pro-Life” Caucus $4.7 Billion in Earmark Funds after Voting for Public Funding of Abortion

SHOCK: Speaker Pelosi’s Government-Run Health Plan Will Require a Monthly Abortion Premium (This part of the bill was removed eventually but this really gives insight to their mindset)

Candidate Obama vs. President Obama

Mother of all political lies: Obama promised that all health care negotiations would be on C-Span

More to come – Obama lectures George Stephanopoulos of ABC/DNC on “Hey ObamaCare isn’t a tax”… but guess what they are saying today… tune in tomorrow…

UPDATE III – Obama: It’s not a tax, oh Wait it is a tax…….

OK so it is not tomorrow, apologies as I had to cover for people at my other job, but here is this important update

Remember this? 

OBAMA: No. That’s not true, George. The — for us to say that you’ve got to take a responsibility to get health insurance is absolutely not a tax increase. What it’s saying is, is that we’re not going to have other people carrying your burdens for you anymore than the fact that right now everybody in America, just about, has to get auto insurance. Nobody considers that a tax increase.

People say to themselves, that is a fair way to make sure that if you hit my car, that I’m not covering all the costs.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But it may be fair, it may be good public policy…

OBAMA: No, but — but, George, you — you can’t just make up that language and decide that that’s called a tax increase. Any…

STEPHANOPOULOS: Here’s the…

OBAMA: What — what — if I — if I say that right now your premiums are going to be going up by 5 or 8 or 10 percent next year and you say well, that’s not a tax increase; but, on the other hand, if I say that I don’t want to have to pay for you not carrying coverage even after I give you tax credits that make it affordable, then…

STEPHANOPOULOS: I — I don’t think I’m making it up. Merriam Webster’s Dictionary: Tax — “a charge, usually of money, imposed by authority on persons or property for public purposes.”

OBAMA: George, the fact that you looked up Merriam’s Dictionary, the definition of tax increase, indicates to me that you’re stretching a little bit right now. Otherwise, you wouldn’t have gone to the dictionary to check on the definition.

April 29th Wall Street Journal – thats right folks, April…this means that they have had this in mind for a long time so you betcha Obama is lying to Stephanapoulos:

A”tell” in poker is a subtle but detectable change in a player’s behavior or demeanor that reveals clues about the player’s assessment of his hand. Something similar has happened with regard to the insurance mandate at the core of last month’s health reform legislation. Congress justified its authority to enact the mandate on the grounds that it is a regulation of commerce. But as this justification came under heavy constitutional fire, the mandate’s defenders changed the argument—now claiming constitutional authority under Congress’s power to tax.

This switch in constitutional theories is a tell: Defenders of the bill lack confidence in their commerce power theory. The switch also comes too late. When the mandate’s constitutionality comes up for review as part of the state attorneys general lawsuit, the Supreme Court will not consider the penalty enforcing the mandate to be a tax because, in the provision that actually defines and imposes the mandate and penalty, Congress did not call it a tax and did not treat it as a tax. [Read more at the link as it goes on to explain some of the legal nuances of the argument – Editor]

Obama promised not to raise taxes one dime over those who make under $250,00 a year. This is a tax pledge that has been broken a dozen times already, but on this one at least some of the elite media is paying attention. As the mandate, which most certainly is a tax in spite of the rhetorical gymnastics, would hit everybody.

Even the New York Times (July 18) is reporting on this:

When Congress required most Americans to obtain health insurance or pay a penalty, Democrats denied that they were creating a new tax. But in court, the Obama administration and its allies now defend the requirement as an exercise of the government’s “power to lay and collect taxes.”

And that power, they say, is even more sweeping than the federal power to regulate interstate commerce.

Administration officials say the tax argument is a linchpin of their legal case in defense of the health care overhaul and its individual mandate, now being challenged in court by more than 20 states and several private organizations.

Related:

Here come the new taxes with ObamaCare – UPDATED!

Health Care Bill Expands IRS

DNC Talking Point that 95% of Americans Got a “Tax Cut” is Bogus

Its Starting Already – John Deere: We will take $150 million hit from healthcare reform; Caterpillar: We will take $100 million hit just this year. UPDATE AT&T says ObamaCare bill will cost $1 billion per year! – UPDATED!

Caterpillar: Health care bill would cost it $100M

IBD: 20 Ways ObamaCare Will Take Away Our Freedoms

UPDATE IV – Some Insurance Companies Stop Writing New Policies for Children

Just as we predicted….

(Associated Press) WASHINGTON — Some major health insurance companies have stopped issuing certain types of policies for children, an unintended consequence of President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul law, state officials said Friday.

Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty said in his state UnitedHealthcare and Blue Cross Blue Shield have stopped issuing new policies that cover children individually. Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner Kim Holland said a couple of local insurers in her state have done likewise.

Starting later this year, the health care overhaul law requires insurers to accept children regardless of medical problems. Insurers are worried that parents will wait until kids get sick to sign them up, saddling the companies with unpredictable costs.

The major types of coverage for children — employer plans and government programs — are not be affected by the disruption. But a subset of policies — those that cover children as individuals — may run into problems. Even so, insurers are not canceling children’s coverage already issued, but refusing to write new policies.

Industry officials estimate that children’s policies account for 8 percent of single coverage plans sold directly to consumers.

“Our plans are very concerned about this,” said Alissa Fox, a top Washington lobbyist for the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. “If the law says that insurers have to take you any time, any place, some people will see that as an opportunity to wait until their children get sick to buy coverage.”

There is nothing in the law that would stop a hospital from buying a policy for a uninsured child who came into the emergency room, she added.

 

UPDATE V – More Doctors Dropping Medicare

This one is really simple, as the government/ObamaCare try to drive prices down by slashing what doctors and hospitals get paid it becomes unprofitable to take those patients. Many more doctors limit the numbers of Medicare patients they can see because they care about their patients but can only afford to take so much loss. This is made worse by the fact that ObamaCare has introduced a host of new taxes into the system such as the tax on medical devices (see above links).

This is made worse again by the fact that the Democrats seem intent on letting the Bush Era tax cuts expire.

Democrats have paid lip service to a “doc fix” but as we reported earlier the “doc fix” is now projected to cost much more than previously expected. An election is coming and the Tea Party and Independents are hot about the deficits right now.

USA Today:

WASHINGTON — The number of doctors refusing new Medicare patients because of low government payment rates is setting a new high, just six months before millions of Baby Boomers begin enrolling in the government health care program.

Recent surveys by national and state medical societies have found more doctors limiting Medicare patients, partly because Congress has failed to stop an automatic 21% cut in payments that doctors already regard as too low. The cut went into effect Friday, even as the Senate approved a six-month reprieve. The House has approved a different bill.

• The American Academy of Family Physicians says 13% of respondents didn’t participate in Medicare last year, up from 8% in 2008 and 6% in 2004.

• The American Osteopathic Association says 15% of its members don’t participate in Medicare and 19% don’t accept new Medicare patients. If the cut is not reversed, it says, the numbers will double.

• The American Medical Association says 17% of more than 9,000 doctors surveyed restrict the number of Medicare patients in their practice. Among primary care physicians, the rate is 31%.

The federal health insurance program for seniors paid doctors on average 78% of what private insurers paid in 2008.

“Physicians are saying, ‘I can’t afford to keep losing money,’ ” says Lori Heim, president of the family doctors’ group.

More ~

States are starting to see a flight from Medicare:

•In Illinois, 18% of doctors restrict the number of Medicare patients in their practice, according to a medical society survey.

•In North Carolina, 117 doctors have opted out of Medicare since January, the state’s medical society says.

•In New York, about 1,100 doctors have left Medicare. Even the medical society president isn’t taking new Medicare patients.

“I’m making a statement,” says Leah McCormack, a New York City dermatologist. “Many physicians are really being forced out of private practice.”

 

UPDATE VI – ObamaCare Encourages Employers to Drop Insurance Coverage for Employees

This sobering column by Karl Rove shows the consequences of bad legislation. Just because Rove is a partisan you should not just dismiss what he says here as his analysis, unfortunately, is absolutely correct.

Wall Street Journal:

In his brilliant exposition of why sweeping policy changes often have unintended consequences, the late sociologist Robert K. Merton wrote that leaders get things wrong when their “paramount concern with the foreseen immediate consequences excludes the consideration of further or other consequences” of their proposals. This leads policy makers to assert things that are false, wishing them to be true.

Which brings us to President Obama’s many claims about his health-care reform. Take his oft-expressed statement that if you like the coverage you have, you can keep it. That sounds good—but perverse incentives in his new law will cause most Americans to lose their existing insurance.

This was brought home to me when I asked the CEO of a major restaurant chain about health reform’s effect on his company, which now spends $25 million a year on employee health insurance. That will jump to at least $90 million a year once the new law is phased in. It will be cheaper, he told me, for the company to dump its coverage and pay a fine—$2,000 for each full-time worker—and make sure that no part-time employee accidentally worked 31 hours and thereby incurred the fine.

This reality is settling in at businesses across America. A Midwestern contractor told me he pays $588,000 for health insurance for 70 employees, contributing up to $8,400 a year for a family’s coverage. If he stops providing health insurance, he’ll pay $2,000 per employee in fines, and the first 40 employees are exempt from fines altogether.

It’s also dawning on employees that they will lose their coverage. Some will blame management; many more will blame those who wrote this terrible legislation.

Employees who lose coverage get to select a policy from a government-sponsored insurance marketplace called the “exchange.” This will be subsidized by taxpayers. Depending on his income, a worker will have to pay between 8% and 9.8% of the cost.

But there are a few hitches. Employers now pay for employee health plans with pre-tax dollars, but workers who buy into one on the exchange pay with after-tax dollars. Families making less than $30,000 and individuals making less than $15,000 a year will be dumped into Medicaid, widely viewed as second-class health care.

Either Mr. Obama was stunningly blind to these perverse effects when he promised people could keep their coverage, or he felt that admitting his plan would collapse employer-provided health coverage could keep it from passing. Either way—self-deception or deliberate deceit—health reform is going to turn out far differently than was promised. And because more workers will be dumped into subsidized coverage, taxpayers are likely to pay much more than the $1 trillion-plus price tag claimed by ObamaCare advocates for its first 10 years.

 

UPDATE VII – Docs4PatientCare: Obamacare forces bureaucrats to get between doctor and patient so it must be repealed

Dr. Hal Scherz in  the Wall Street Journal:

My colleagues and I at Docs4PatientCare are enlisting thousands of doctors in an unorthodox and unprecedented action. Our patients have always expected a certain standard of care from their doctors, which includes providing them with pertinent information that may affect their quality of life. Because the issue this election is so stark—literally life and death for millions of Americans in the years ahead—we are this week posting a “Dear Patient” letter in our waiting rooms.

The LETTER states in unambiguous language what the new law means:

“Dear Patient: Section 1311 of the new health care legislation gives the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services and her appointees the power to establish care guidelines that your doctor must abide by or face penalties and fines. In making doctors answerable in the federal bureaucracy this bill effectively makes them government employees and means that you and your doctor are no longer in charge of your health care decisions. This new law politicizes medicine and in my opinion destroys the sanctity of the doctor-patient relationship that makes the American health care system the best in the world.”

Our doctor’s letter points out that, in addition to “badly exacerbating the current doctor shortage,” ObamaCare will bring “major cost increases, rising insurance premiums, higher taxes, a decline in new medical techniques, a fall-off in the development of miracle drugs as well as rationing by government panels and by bureaucrats like passionate rationing advocate Donald Berwick that will force delays of months or sometimes years for hospitalization or surgery.”

We cite the brute facts of ObamaCare’s passage:

“Despite countless protests by doctors and overwhelming public opposition—up to 60% of Americans opposed this bill—the current party in control of Congress pushed this bill through with legal bribes and Chicago style threats and is determined now to resist any ‘repeal and replace’ efforts. This doctor’s office is non-partisan—always has been, always will be. But the fact is that every Republican voted against this bad bill while the Democratic Party leadership and the White House completely dismissed the will of the people in ruthlessly pushing through this legislation.”

Then we address the Democrats’ evasive campaign maneuver:

“In the face of voter anger some Democratic candidates are now trying to make a cosmetic retreat, calling for minor modifications or pretending they are opposed to government-run medicine. Once the election is over, however, they will vote with their party bosses against repealing this bill.”

The letter’s final lines are the most important:

“Please remember when you vote this November that unless the Democratic Party receives a strong negative message about this power grab our health care system will never be fixed and the doctor patient relationship will be ruined forever.”

This message is going out to an electorate that is already frustrated over what they see happening to health care. Missouri voters rejected ObamaCare overwhelmingly in August, voting by a margin of 71%-29% to reject the federal requirement that all individuals purchase health insurance. Democratic pollster Douglas Schoen has assessed that ObamaCare is “a disaster” for Democrats. And around the country many little-noticed primaries have reflected voter rage—including the Republican primary victory of surgeon, political newcomer, and advocate of repeal Daniel Benishek in Michigan’s first district.

Meanwhile, the Obama administration’s damage-control efforts have fallen flat. The latest round of pro-ObamaCare television spots targeting the elderly and starring veteran actor Andy Griffith have not only failed to move the polling numbers. They have caused five U.S. Senators to ask for an investigation of the ads as a violation of federal laws barring the use of tax dollars ($750,000) for campaign purposes.

America’s doctors have millions of personal interactions each week with patients. We have political power. And we intend to use it by working to defeat those who have disrupted and gravely endangered the best health-care system in the world.

Dr. Scherz, a pediatric urological surgeon at Georgia Urology and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, serves on the faculty of Emory University Medical School and is president and cofounder of Docs4PatientCare.

 

UPDATE VIII – More Vindication of Sarah Palin on “Death Panels”

Avok Roy writes about the British National Health Service, which Obama’s Medicare boss Donald Berwick (See Update I)  as the gem of the world. Roy tells the story of how Britain didn’t intend to have Death Panels but how it quickly devolved to use them because individual excellence in care was never the goal; instead preservation of the system and lowering costs was the goal.

A Non-Demagogic Disquisition on Death Panels by Avik Roy

Go read this as it is crucial to understand how socialized health care works. An excerpt:

  • NHS doctors routinely conceal from patients information about innovative new therapies that the NHS doesn’t pay for, so as to not “distress, upset or confuse” them.
  • Terminally ill patients are incorrectly classified as “close to death” so as to allow the withdrawal of expensive life support.
  • NHS expert guidelines on the management of high cholesterol are intentionally out-of-date, putting patients at serious risk, in order to save money.
  • When the government approved an innovative new treatment for elderly blindness, the NHS initially decided to reimburse for the treatment only after patients were already blind in one eye—using the logic that a person blind in one eye can still see, and is therefore not that badly off.
  • While most NHS patients expect to wait five months for a hip operation or knee surgery, leaving them immobile and disabled in the meantime, the actual waiting times are even worse: 11 months for hips and 12 months for knees.
  • One in four Britons with cancer are denied treatment with the latest drugs proven to extend life.
  • Those who seek to pay for such drugs on their own are expelled from the NHS system, for making the government look bad, and are forced to pay for the entirety of their own care for the rest of their lives.
  • Britons diagnosed with cancer or heart attacks are more likely to die, and more quickly, than those of most other developed nations. Britain’s survival rates for these diseases are “little better than [those] of former Communist countries.”
  • The attack on Sarah Palin has been: “Palin is lying. There is nothing in this bill that is a death panel” (death panel being defined as a panel of bureaucrats who decides whether or not you can continue receiving care). But this is exactly what happens in Britain. Those who are in their last years of lives are expected to do their part for the national budget, which is to die inexpensively. That is to say, if Palin had been born 60 years earlier, and made the same criticisms of the NHS at its founding, she would have disparaged as a paranoid lunatic demagogue. “Sarah, old girl, there’s no death pansies, or panzers, or panels around here. The bill clearly states: ‘Her Majesty’s funds shall not be used to ration care for the sick.’ After the war, we’re done with all that rationing nonsense!”

    However, Britain discovered that it wasn’t that simple. In the decades after the war, health care costs continued to rise, and inexorably, the government had to step in and do something about it.  After all, in Britain, the government owns all the hospitals, the clinics, and the insurers. So in 1999 they came up with a rationing board whose sole purpose was to identify those treatments that were medically cost-effective, and agree to reimburse for those. (Law D solving the problems originally caused by Law A.)

    The Quality-Adjusted Life Year (QALY) methodology that the British use is precisely oriented at reducing care for the elderly, and steering it to younger patients, for whom effective therapies will lead to a longer, fuller life. For those in their 80s, in Britain, the NHS offers little. Recent studies have shown that Britons have the worst survival rates in the developed world after being diagnosed with a disease, like cancer, or a chronic condition, like heart disease.

     

    Conservatives for Palin linked to this video about the NYT lefty economist Paul Krugman talking about “Death Panels”

    Call it a “Death Panel” mea culpa if you will but Krugman is still wrong. Britain and Canada ration care as described above and still the costs spun out of control which is why they are now implementing reforms. The simple truth is that while it is true that Death Panels and other rationing will save money, the corrupt and inefficient nature of a unionized government system combined with the near unlimited demand from younger patients (its free!)  still sends costs spiraling into the stratosphere. Once again Dr. Paul Krugman shows his inability to understand concepts that I learned in macro-economics 103.

    UPDATE IX – Insurance Companies report that premiums will rise up to 9% as a direct result of the ObamaCare legislation

    Wall Street Journal:

    The health-care overhaul enacted last spring won’t significantly change national health spending over the next decade compared with projections before the law was passed, according to government figures released Thursday.

    The report by federal number-crunchers casts fresh doubt on Democrats’ argument that the health-care law would curb the sharp increase in costs over the long term, the second setback this week for one of the party’s biggest legislative achievements.

    The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday that insurance companies have proposed rate increases ranging from 1% to 9% nationwide that they attribute specifically to new health-law coverage mandates.

    Democrats signaled they would ratchet up pressure on the companies. “Insurers are using the consumer protections in health reform as a cover for their own greed,” said Rep. Pete Stark (D., Calif.), chairman of the House Ways and Means health subcommittee.

    Michigan Rep. Dave Camp, the top Republican on that committee, said the rate increases underscore why lawmakers should repeal the legislation and replace it with changes that make care more affordable.

    Regardless of the health law, national health spending has been rising in recent years and economists expect that to continue. In February, the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services projected that overall national health spending would increase an average of 6.1% a year over the next decade.

    Note the source of the graph – this is the Obama Administrations own Medicare and Medicaid team’s (and likely best case scenario) numbers.

    First graph, overall health costs go up.

    Second graph – aggregate out-of-pocket costs will go down (because the law allows those without insurance will be able to buy coverage and walk into a hospital and when the care is complete they will be able to drop the insurance. So why carry insurance all the time? This leads us to what happens in graph 3).

    Third graph – insurance companies will have to pay more for your care because of the new taxes and to cover the expense of people gaming the system (see graph 2 explanation above) which will result in raised rates for all those playing fair.

    4th graph – a phony number because the ObamaCare bill looked better on paper by pushing reimbursements to doctors down, but in reality this would result in many doctors not accepting Medicare. Everyone knows that Congress will have to pass what is called “the doc fix” which will then send this number much higher. Another reason why this number went down is because ObamaCare shifts more of the burden off the federal government and onto state Medicaid programs with new unfunded mandates….. which leads us to graph five.

    5th Graph  – One of the ways ObamaCare was made to look better on paper is that it shifted part of the health cost burden to the states with unfunded mandates forcing states to raise your taxes to cover it.  The State of Indiana hired the consulting firm Milliman Inc. to provide the state with an estimate of what the new ObamaCare mandates on the state will be and how it may impact the Indiana budget. The result is not pretty. Milliman estimates that the new mandates will cost the Indiana $3.6 billion over ten years and will result in approximately 1 in 4 Hoosiers will in some way be subsidized by the program. Imagine what that will do to the state budget and to things such as education funding. But hey, why raise taxes when the feds can pass unfunded mandates on the states and force them to raise taxes to pay for it.

    So much for the Democrats and Obama’s repeated promises that the bill would lower your costs and premiums. As we have stated since we read the bill it was designed to make private health care more expensive and as Nancy Pelosi stated so “they will cry out for a public option” (see the video at the link).

    Posted in 2012, Chuck Norton, Health Law, Obama and Congress Post Inaugration | 2 Comments »

    FIVE YEARS AFTER KELO: The Sweeping Backlash Against One of the Supreme Court’s Most-Despised Decisions.

    Posted by iusbvision on July 21, 2010

    From time to time the Supreme Court ignores history, ignores the law, ignores liberty, ignores original intent and just makes political decisions for the sole purpose of empowering government and violating the rights of citizens. In short, sometimes it just does something evil. Few cases demonstrate this truth better than Kelo v. New London.

    This is also why elections matter.

    Thanks to Prof. Glenn Reynolds for the video link.

    Posted in 2012, Chuck Norton, Government Gone Wild, Leftist Hate in Action | Leave a Comment »