Friday, December 11, 2009

Friday DemCare Update

Once again, we have a bunch of updates to digest. First and foremost, it is becoming more and more apparent that Harry Reid does not, in fact, have a consensus for a deal on a Senate bill. There are still several Senators who aren't happy with the state of things, but Joe Lieberman is probably one of the most staunch, and likely to actually throw a bomb into the process:
“I am increasingly troubled about the proposal,” he told reporters. “I am worried about what impact it will have on the Medicare program’s fiscal viability and also what effect it will have on the premiums paid by people benefiting from Medicare now and whether the whole thing is viable. If you separate it from Medicare, it will be an extremely expensive program.”
Increasingly troubled? Sounds like Lieberman's even more opposed to the 'compromise' than the original public option. We'll see how it all plays out, but it is apparent that the Dems still have some major hurdles to clear. Let's hope (and work to ensure) they fail.

But, it's a fight to the finish, as indicated by Nancy Pelosi's words here:
I think we would do almost anything if it meant we would pass healthcare for all Americans before the Christmas holidays,” Pelosi told reporters at her weekly news conference. “It may be that we can’t, and it will have to be a New Year's present to the American people. But as soon as we can, we will.”
'Almost anything', huh? That's apparent by the slanderous, vicious things that they've been saying -- remember the stuff about Nazis, mobsters, and slave owners? -- about the opposition? I'm just not sure about the 'almost' part.

Anyway, let's look at some more details of the plan.

DemCare would be run from the White House. And they said your health care decisions wouldn't be made for political reasons...!

No one is offering that ridiculous notion of 'if you like your current plan you can keep it' anymore...and the CBO explains why:
The plain English translation of the ... CBO speak is: “Under Obamacare, employers will dump 10 million of their employees out of their current coverage whether they like it or not.”
Aw, come on, it'll be fun, like playing Russian Roulette with your kids' medical coverage!

In short, it is becoming obvious to more and more people that DemCare is a one-way street to the single-payer system where government controls all of your health care decisions. In fact, check out these heavy hitters and what they say about DemCare:

The Mayo Clinic, the American Medical Association, the American Hospital Association and the Federation of American Hospitals have all come out strongly against Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-NV) Medicare buy-in plan for Americans aged 55 to 64. Every one of these core health care providers recognizes that expanding an already unsustainable program would mean disaster for the American health care system. The left in Congress sees it differently. Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-CA)tells the Los Angeles Times:

Expanding Medicare is an unvarnished, complete victory for people like me. It’s the mother of all public options. We’ve taken something people know and expanded it.

And make no mistake: expanding Medicare to people between 55 and 64 is just the first step. Back in 2005, the late Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-MA) explicitly named such a Medicare buy-in proposal as just the first step towards Medicare for all, government run health care.
Ouch! Might be worth listening to these people.

DemCare in its current form -- as far as we know, since Reid hasn't yet made the latest version public -- would also slam the middle class:
...the middle class will be paying the freight for this system, starting at incomes at the very bottom of that class. Democrats want to sell that as a “middle-class tax cut,” but the only middle-class taxpayers who will see any benefit at all are ironically those who get thrown out of their existing health-care plans by businesses hoping to dump costs.
As most of these measures do. After all, it's the middle class where the real money is. And the American people may be figuring that out - polls show that approval of DemCare is worse off than Bush's 2005 effort to reform Social Security.

Another teeny tiny problem is that DemCare is, well, unconstitutional. The Dems are doing their best to ignore that problem, but it is very, very real:

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) disagrees. In 1994, the CBO said of an individual mandate to buy health insurance:

A mandate requiring all individuals to purchase health insurance would be an unprecedented form of federal action. The government has never required people to buy any good or service as a condition of lawful residence in the United States. An individual mandate would have two features that, in combination, would make it unique. First, it would impose a duty on individuals as members of society. Second, it would require people to purchase a specific service that would be heavily regulated by the federal government.

As much as Speaker Pelosi may wish otherwise, the CBO is dead on: the Supreme Court has never validated a federal power as intrusive as forcing all Americans to purchase a service due to their very existence. Sure, the Supreme Court has said that Congress may regulate a farmer’s production of wheat even if he never plans to distribute it off of his farm, and the Supreme Court has said Congress may ban the possession of Marijuana even if it is for personal use, but never before has the Supreme Court said the power to regulate commerce enabled Congress to force an individual to do something just because he existed.

In fact, the Supreme Court has always been clear that the Commerce clause must have some limits.
The bottom line of this protest is that if Congress can mandate all Americans to purchase one thing, then Congress can mandate all Americans to purchase anything. Lots of liberals will point out car insurance as the trump card on 'forcing' people to purchase something. Sorry, no dice:
But car insurance mandates are distinguishable in at least four ways: 1) they are state requirements and states have broader constitutional authority than the federal government; 2) they apply to drivers only, not all Americans (e.g. passengers are not required to carry insurance); 3) drivers use public roads; 4) states only require drivers to insure against injury to other drivers, not to insure themselves against personal injury.
And we've already dissected the notion of the Commerce Clause. Libs: get over it. There is no way around the fact that forcing every American (and illegal alien) to purchase any product or service is blatantly, obviously unconstitutional.

Here's the icing on the cake:

A new CNN poll is an unmitigated disaster for Democrats.

Among the key findings:

--61 percent now oppose the Senate health care bill, compared to just 36 percent who support it.

--Just 22 percent of Americans say that the proposals would help them/their family

-- 79 percent of Americans say that the Senate bill would increase the deficit.

-- And 85 percent of Americans

And this is a CNN poll...of adults. Not likely voters, not registered voters, just a sampling of everyday ADULTS, which is the most liberal-friendly kind of poll demographic there is. Great news for us, terrible news for them.

And remember, Medicare is already bankrupt after just a few years in operation. There is no possible way it will suddenly vault into the black if the federal government dumps millions of additional people into it. On top of that, many doctors are pulling out of Medicare already because they get shafted on the payments for their services when Medicare is paying the bill. Going the way of Hyper-Medicare is a very bad idea for lots of reasons, and it's just common sense to understand why. Of course, that's why the liberals can't seem to grasp it.

There you have it. Harry Reid was going to have a fundraiser in his home state over the weekend, but he canceled it and is planning to work on DemCare intead. That's probably one of the biggest examples of how DemCare is still far from the 60-vote minimum they need to pass it.

Cool. Keep up the heat!

There's my two cents.

Related Reading:
New Senate bill is reason to re-set the clock
Why the Personal Mandate to Buy Health Insurance Is Unprecedented and Unconstitutional

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