Thursday, March 25, 2010

Keep Fighting

Wow! Get a load of this:

As previously noted, every single poll about this nightmare from now to November and beyond will be fraught with meaning and hyped to the skies as the true barometer of public sentiment about The Boondoggle That Saved America.

That said, I’m more than happy to hype this one. Shazam:

The poll finds that 62 percent want Congressional Republicans to keep challenging the bill, while 33 percent say they should not do so. Nearly nine in ten Republicans and two in three independents want the GOP to keep challenging. Even 41 percent of Democrats support continued challenges.

Hot Air draws a conclusion:
Bottom line...: The “repeal and replace” strategy is alive and well. In fact, to further reassure centrist Dems that we’re not going back to the status quo, the new GOP talking point is to promise full repeal while targeting the most unpopular provisions (like the mandate) first.
We're already seeing some waffling from the Senate GOP in terms of repealing DemCare, so it might be good to place a call or two to your GOP Senators to remind them that 62% of Americans want them to do just that. Also remind them that this ridiculous urge to compromise with radical Leftist Dems is precisely what got us the horrendously unpopular and destructive DemCare in the first place. Idiots.

Now that DemCare is law, it's interesting to see some things leaking out of the business world. In addition to yesterday's Rush Limbaugh caller predicting private insurance will disappear in 2-3 years, someone leaked an internal memo from Verizon Wireless to its employees which said, in part:
Verizon offers access to health care coverage to almost 900,000 employees, retirees and their families at a cost of nearly $4 billion a year.

[DemCare] requires all Americans to have health insurance and provide for assistance to low-income individuals to help them afford coverage. ... due to the varying effective dates included in the legislation, we expect that Verizon’s costs will increase in the short-term. These cost increases are primarily driven by two provisions.

The first is a provision that affects the Medicare Part D subsidy for prescription drug coverage. Because Verizon offers retiree prescription drug coverage today, the government provides a 28 percent subsidy to help offset the financial burden of offering that coverage. The subsidy was intended to help employers continue to offer prescription drug coverage for retirees so that these retirees would not have to use the Government Medicare Part D program. However, changes affecting the Part D subsidy will make it less valuable to employers, like Verizon, and as a result, may have significant implications for both retirees and employers.

Additionally, there is a provision that taxes high-value health plans expected to begin in 2018. Many of the plans that Verizon offers to employees and retirees are projected to have costs above the thresholds in the legislation and will be subject to the 40 percent excise tax.
Basically, Verizon is telling its employees that they're going to get screwed.

Another interesting message is this, from a family practice doc. Upon passage of DemCare, she sent a letter to all of her patients that included this:
As you must know, Congress has just passed extensive legislation governing health care delivery and insurance systems. Whether you agree with what it does or not, we are all now subject to this law and its sweeping changes.

I have always conducted my medical practice with my patient’s best interests as my first priority. Although not legally obliged to do so, I have routinely provided you with a receipt that has all the codes necessary to bill your own health insurance company for any reimbursement to which you are entitled. Until now, that insurance company was a free enterprise despite the fact that it was heavily regulated by state and federal laws. Now the situation is quite different. Through the new law’s mandates, regulatory powers and reform, health insurance is and will be largely a government activity which will have an ever larger jurisdiction over how doctors practice, make clinical judgments and are paid.

The new law provides for about 150 new government agencies, many of which are designed to be ‘oversight’ bureaucracies which will have the right to decide what medical care is legal to provide through insurance. Among other things, they will have the right to review my medical care of you and read your medical record. Now, as soon as you submit our economic transaction to your insurance company for reimbursement, you have involved me in these regulations and put me in the jurisdiction of government for my activities, decisions and behavior as your doctor.

No one can have two masters. Either I can serve you as my patient or I can serve the government. Either I can continue to make your welfare and health my only concern, including the protection of your privacy and medical records, or I can abide by ever-increasing amounts of government regulations and dictates to my decisions. I can’t do both. I choose to continue to follow my conscience and practice medicine to serve you.

For this reason, I am responding to the situation created by this new law by exercising my right not to participate in any health insurance program. I will still provide you with the same medical services that I always have, but the interaction will be exclusively and privately between you and me. This means that I will provide you only with a receipt for the services you have paid for, but without the additional information that is required to submit your receipt for reimbursement to your health insurance company. That is the only way I can make sure there will be no conflict between following the law and serving you. Because the law is now in effect, so must these changes be to my practice.
She reports that she has had 100% positive response to this letter.

I suspect we'll see and hear a lot more of these in the coming months.

Amazingly, CBS news did a surprisingly clear report on just how DemCare tax manipulations are going to create incentives to push employees onto the government plan:

Well done, CBS!

So, as you see, the way the government is forcing insurance companies to comply with DemCare, businesses already facing tough economic times will see an increasing benefit to dumping their plans and forcing their employees onto the government rolls - in many cases, it may come down to that or going out of business entirely. So, though we don't have a single payer system yet, it's only a matter of time until government controls it all, anyway.

All this leads once again to what the GOP's ultimate and consistent message should be: REPEAL!!!

Barack Obama is big into logos. He's made his own presidential seal, his own campaign seal, his own airplane seal...he's all about his own image. Now, we have one for our side:

Couldn't be more perfect.

There's my two cents.

Related Reading:
The battle is far from over
Obamacare: What the GOP could (but probably won't) do now

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