Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Quick DemCare Update

There's an incredible amount of pressure on Dems to pass something. Look for continued arm twisting and buying off of those who are holding out.

Interestingly, the HHS actuary predicts that DemCare will cost more than if nothing was done. Funny how that works out.

In fact, there are so many compromises floating around that even the radical Left-leaning DailyKos thinks the bill should just be killed, and a new one begun. I would agree.

One of the biggest hurdles appears to be overcome, however, as Joe Lieberman has now been bought off:

Major Garrett’s in the hall outside the Democratic caucus room and tweeting the word from Tom Harkin. Can’t really call this good news, as it makes passage much more likely, so let’s call it slightly-better-than-worst-case-scenario news. No more public option:

Asked by a reporter if the Medicare buy-in will be pulled out, Harkin said “looks that way,” before praising a Democratic health care bill without the two public option compromises.

“There’s enough good in this bill that even without those two, we gotta move,” he said. “All the insurance reforms, all the stuff we wrote so hard for prevention and wellness in there, the workforce development issues that we have in there, the reimbursement based on quality not on quantity — there’s good stuff in this bill. It’s a giant step forward, changing the paradigm of health care in America.”

Lieberman said he can (read: will) vote for the bill without the public plan provisions.

With Lieberman on board, there's just one or two more Dems to persuade, and they weren't as dead set opposed as Lieberman was. Of course, changes like these are pretty meaningless because it just means it takes a little longer before the government controls health care than it would have otherwise. The only truly correct answer is to kill this thing completely.

Did you know that DemCare is going to discriminate in terms of employment? Yippee:

The Senate health care bill includes a well-known “employer mandate” provision that would require employers to offer “qualified” health plan and pay 60% of the premium, or pay an annual tax penalty of $750 per full-time employee.

What is less well-known is that the provision would also tax companies even if they do offer insurance – but only if they hire people from low- and moderate-income families who qualify for, and elect to accept, premium subsidies. And the tax penalty for hiring those employees – arguably the people who need jobs the most – would be a whopping $3000 per year.

Oh, and it would guarantee income inequity, too. There's nothing to see here but more toxicity to America. Move along, move along...

By the way, the CBO recently confirmed that DemCare is nothing less than a government takeover of health care:

Considering the medical-loss ratio in tandem with the other strict new insurance regulations contained in the bill, the CBO predicted that such a policy would “reduce the types, range of prices, and number of private-sector sellers of health insurance,” the memo says.

“In CBO’s view, this further expansion of the federal government’s role in the health insurance market would make such insurance an essentially governmental program, so that all payments related to health insurance policies should be recorded as cash flows in the federal budget,” the memo states.
Yep, we've been saying that all along.

Another thing we've been saying all along is that health care will be rationed:
A full 20 states have now cut funding for mammogram screenings for low income women after a government task force last month made its recommendations that women in their 40s should stop routinely having annual mammograms.
Hm. Just coincidence? Not exactly:

A loophole in the Senate health care bill would let insurers place annual dollar limits on medical care for people struggling with costly illnesses such as cancer, prompting a rebuke from patient advocates.

The legislation that originally passed the Senate health committee last summer would have banned such limits, but a tweak to that provision weakened it in the bill now moving toward a Senate vote.

As currently written, the Senate Democratic health care bill would permit insurance companies to place annual limits on the dollar value of medical care, as long as those limits are not “unreasonable.” The bill does not define what level of limits would be allowable, delegating that task to administration officials.

Can we say death panels, anyone? Hot Air comments:

We would inevitably be seeing cases like this one, with patients being denied treatment — and heaven forbid doctor-assisted suicide is an option, because if it is, the government will have no problem paying for you to hurry up and die. The Oregon Health Plan does just that, and explained why they won’t pay for treatment, but will pay for you to die:

Dr. Walter Shaffer, medical director of the state Division of Medical Assistance Programs, which administers the Oregon Health Plan, attempted to defend the health plan’s decision. “We can’t cover everything for everyone,” he said. “We try to come up with polices that provide the most good for the most people.” Shaffer then addressed a priority list that had been developed to ration health care. “There’s some desire on the part of the framers of this list to not cover treatments that are futile,” he said, “or where the potential benefit to the patient is minimal in relation to the expense of providing the care.”

That’s exactly what we will see happen if Obama’s government run health care passes. You can see the proof in the fact that the Senate is willing to let anonymous bureaucrats decide how much money is allowed to be spent on treatment for unnamed costly illnesses. Some bureaucrat who isn’t a doctor, who doesn’t know you, and doesn’t want to waste money on your pathetic life will decide that you don’t deserve treatment, because to them, it is futile. If you get a brain tumor, and treatment is too expensive, then they won’t care if that treatment is your only chance to live. Your life is worth nothing to them. Why should they care? Treating cancer can cost tens of thousands of dollars a month. Letting you just waste away and die costs nothing.

This debacle is the crown jewel in the plan to re-make America into a statist paradise where the government controls everything and ensures that everyone is equally miserable. In short, DemCare is a political failure; that's why the opposition to DemCare is growing:

Fifty-six percent (56%) of U.S. voters now oppose the health care plan proposed by President Obama and congressional Democrats. That’s the highest level of opposition found - reached three times before - in six months of polling.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just 40% of voters favor the health care plan.

Perhaps more significantly, 46% now Strongly Oppose the plan, compared to 19% who Strongly Favor it.

Despite that overwhelming opposition, the Dems are pushing forward as hard as they can. The question truly is how politically suicidal they are.

I'm afraid we know the answer to that question, so that's why we need to put more and more pressure on our Senators to scrap this thing. Our future quite literally depends upon it.

There's my two cents.

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