Posts Tagged ‘healthcare’

This Is Amazing. 30% Of Doctors Leaving Medicine Under ObamaCare. Just As We Said. Left Is Handling It Dishonestly. Just Like They Always Do.

February 13, 2013

I don’t understand.  I thought that increasing the disgusting bureaucracy that interferes with doctors’ care, that forcing doctors to spend more of their time dealing with regulations and less of their time with patients, that forcing doctors to see far more patients by ObamaCare fiat, and that by paying doctors less while demanding that their jobs take far more time, would be good for doctors.

I mean, that’s what Obama and the Democrat Party said.

And now we find out that they’re abandoning the field of medicine – WHICH HAS ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO DO WITH THE FACT THAT CONSERVATIVES PREDICTED THIS WOULD HAPPEN.

I’ve said I told you so as to what would happen under this disgraceful Obama presidency so many times that it literally causes me pain to say it.  But even though it hurts, I nobly must rise once again and say, “I TOLD YOU SO!”

Oh, I feel so drained.  Maybe I should see a doctor.  My throat is strained from all the accurate predictions I made and I’ve got carpel tunnel from typing out those accurate predictions.  Oh, wait, that’s right, I CAN’T SEE A DAMN DOCTOR, CAN I???  Because what in actual fact happened away from the fog of the controversy is in actual fact exactly what I damn well said would happen.  And the real purpose of ObamaCare is more nakedly revealed: to do the necessary administrative steps that have to be taken to put the legislation together to control the people.”

ObamaCare did NOTHING to improve healthcare; it was nothing more than massive government imposed dictates to insurance companies and to the doctors who would be forced to see more patients for less money while conforming to more government oversight and spending time complying with more government regulations.

California as the biggest state leads the nation.  And just as it led America into depraved liberalism, now it is leading it into ObamaCare hell:

State lacks doctors to meet demand of national healthcare law
Lawmakers are working on proposals that would enable physician assistants, nurse practitioners, optometrists and pharmacists to diagnose, treat and manage some illnesses.
February 09, 2013|By Michael J. Mishak, Los Angeles Times

SACRAMENTO — As the state moves to expand healthcare coverage to millions of Californians under President Obama’s healthcare law, it faces a major obstacle: There aren’t enough doctors to treat a crush of newly insured patients.

Some lawmakers want to fill the gap by redefining who can provide healthcare.

They are working on proposals that would allow physician assistants to treat more patients and nurse practitioners to set up independent practices. Pharmacists and optometrists could act as primary care providers, diagnosing and managing some chronic illnesses, such as diabetes and high-blood pressure.

“We’re going to be mandating that every single person in this state have insurance,” said state Sen. Ed Hernandez (D-West Covina), chairman of the Senate Health Committee and leader of the effort to expand professional boundaries. “What good is it if they are going to have a health insurance card but no access to doctors?”

Hernandez’s proposed changes, which would dramatically shake up the medical establishment in California, have set off a turf war with physicians that could contribute to the success or failure of the federal Affordable Care Act in California.

Doctors say giving non-physicians more authority and autonomy could jeopardize patient safety. It could also drive up costs, because those workers, who have less medical education and training, tend to order more tests and prescribe more antibiotics, they said.

“Patient safety should always trump access concerns,” said Dr. Paul Phinney, president of the California Medical Assn.

Such “scope-of-practice” fights are flaring across the country as states brace for an influx of patients into already strained healthcare systems. About 350 laws altering what health professionals may do have been enacted nationwide in the last two years, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Since Jan. 1, more than 50 additional proposals have been launched in 24 states.

As the nation’s earliest and most aggressive adopter of the healthcare overhaul, California faces more pressure than many states. Diana Dooley, secretary of the state Health and Human Services Agency, said in an interview that expanding some professionals’ roles was among the options policymakers should explore to help meet the expected demand.

At a meeting of healthcare advocates in December, she had offered a more blunt assessment.

“We’re going to have to provide care at lower levels,” she told the group. “I think a lot of people are trained to do work that our licenses don’t allow them to.”

Currently, just 16 of California’s 58 counties have the federal government’s recommended supply of primary care physicians, with the Inland Empire and the San Joaquin Valley facing the worst shortages. In addition, nearly 30% of the state’s doctors are nearing retirement age, the highest percentage in the nation, according to the Assn. of American Medical Colleges.

Physician assistants, nurse practitioners, pharmacists and optometrists agree that they have more training than they are allowed to use.

“We don’t have enough providers,” said Beth Haney, president of the California Assn. for Nurse Practitioners, “…so we should increase access to the ones that we have.”

Hernandez, who said he would introduce his legislation and hold a hearing on the issue next month, said his own experience as an optometrist shows the need to empower more practitioners. He said he often sees Medicaid patients who come to his La Puente practice because they have failed their vision test at the DMV. Many complain of constant thirst and frequent urination.

“I know it’s diabetes,” he said. But he is not allowed to diagnose or treat it and must refer those patients elsewhere. Many of them may face a months-long wait to see a doctor.

The California Medical Assn. says healthcare professionals should not exceed their training. Phinney, a pediatrician, said physician assistants and other mid-level professionals are best deployed in doctor-led teams. They can perform routine exams and prescribe medications in consultation with physicians on the premises or by teleconference.

Allowing certain health workers to set up independent practices would create voids in the clinics, hospitals and offices where they now work, he said. “It’s more like moving the deck chairs around rather than solving the problem,” Phinney said.

His group proposes a different solution: It wants more funding to expand participation in a loan repayment program for recent medical school graduates. Doctors can now receive up to $105,000 in return for practicing in underserved communities for three years.

Still, it typically takes a decade to train a physician. Health experts say the pool of graduates cannot keep pace.

“A months-long waits to see a doctor.”  Just like we pointed at in the U.K. and in Canada and said would happen HERE as a result of the same damn socialist takeover.

What is the left now doing?  Redefining “doctor” the way they’ve redefined the Constitution.  Now “doctor” is going to mean nurse practitioner or pharmacist or maybe a trained collie.

Oh, well, let me just quote Hillary Clinton’s comment regarding the Benghazi debacle of Obama’s foreign policy and the lies and the cover-ups that followed: “what does it matter” now???

Just keep giving the fascist and Stalinist left what it wants and keep never considering the consequences of having given the fascist and Stalinist left what it wanted.

But the fact of the matter is that absolutely everything the liar Obama and the dishonest Democrat Party said about ObamaCare was a giant con.  “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor,” Obama said.  Now we know you can’t even keep A doctor; you’ll be seeing a nurse instead.  That turned into “If you like your health plan, you can keep your health plan.”  Just as untrue, given that more and more employers – unable to pay the giant tab of the ObamaCare requirements – are dumping their health plans or are forcing their workers into less than full-time positions.  Millions of Americans are going to lose their health coverage directly because of ObamaCare.  And Obama said his health care wouldn’t add one dime to the deficit.  Which was only true if you believe that $2 trillion isn’t “one dime.”  And of course there is that “Affordable Care Act” name and the unfortunate fact that ObamaCare will cost a family a MINIMUM of $20,000 a year.

This demonic legislation is every bit as evil as I said it would be.  And by the time it has grabbed America by the throat it will be too late to undo the damage to our health care system and to our economic system.

Advertisements

The Worm Is Beginning To Turn On ObamaCare

January 21, 2011

Things are rapidly getting out of hand for ObamaCare.

The House just voted to repeal it with a bipartisan vote of 245-189 (with three Democrats joining all the Republicans).

For the record, the vote in favor of repealing ObamaCare was far higher than the vote to pass the damn thing (219 – barely above the minimum necessary for passage).

26 states are now officially on board with Florida to challenge ObamaCare in federal court.  The Florida State Attorney General said last night on Fox News’ “Greta” program that 2 more states have promised that they will be on board, and she has been in talks with several other states.

More than half the states now want ObamaCare tossed into the trash where it belongs.

Democrats and the mainstream media have routinely sneered about what a useless and time-wasting “symbolic” gesture this vote was.  One can only wonder: during the dark and dreadful reign of Nancy Pelosi and the Democrat majority during the last two years, more than 400 bills were passed that were not taken up in the Senate.  And that was during a period in which Democrats RAN the Senate.  Did the Democrats and the mainstream media come unglued over those “time wasting gestures”????  I don’t think so.

Americans for Tax Reform has compiled a long list of new tax hikes that ObamaCare is burdening the US economy with – in direct contradiction to Obama’s incredibly deceitful promise that “your taxes won’t go up one dime.”

These taxes include:

  1. Individual Mandate Excise Tax
  2. Employer Mandate Tax
  3. Surtax on Investment Income
  4. Excise Tax on Comprehensive Health Insurance Plans
  5. Hike in Medicare Payroll Tax
  6. Medicine Cabinet Tax
  7. HSA Withdrawal Tax Hike
  8. Flexible Spending Account Cap – aka“Special Needs Kids Tax”
  9. Tax on Medical Device Manufacturers
  10. Raise “Haircut” for Medical Itemized Deduction from 7.5% to 10% of AGI
  11. Tax on Indoor Tanning Services
  12. Elimination of tax deduction for employer-provided retirement Rx drug coverage in coordination with Medicare Part D
  13. Blue Cross/Blue Shield Tax Hike
  14. Excise Tax on Charitable Hospitals
  15. Tax on Innovator Drug Companies
  16. Tax on Health Insurers
  17. $500,000 Annual Executive Compensation Limit for Health Insurance Executives
  18. Employer Reporting of Insurance on W-2
  19. Corporate 1099-MISC Information Reporting
  20. “Black liquor” tax hike
  21. Codification of the “economic substance doctrine”

And new studies are demonstrating that ObamaCare is a job murderer:

Congressional Budget Office (CBO) Director Douglas Elmendorf recently spoke at the University of Southern California about the economic impact of Obamacare. He predicts that Obamacare will further depress the nation’s employment picture.

CBO’s analysis of Obamacare predicts that it will reduce the amount of labor being used in the economy by roughly half a percent. Elmendorf states that this impact will be small, but in reality the impact is small only in relative terms. For instance, a half-percent loss in jobs in the American economy today would translate into about 750,000 additional Americans losing work.

And the NFIB estimate is even more dismal:

Just as serious for the economy is the fact that Obamacare will cause significant job losses for the U.S. economy. A study by the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) found that the employer mandate  could lead to the elimination of 1.6 million jobs between 2009 and 2014, with 66 percent of those coming from small businesses.

And the Democrats loaded up ObamaCare with so many faulty assumptions that the actual numbers of jobs destroyed will undoubtedly be worse.

Democrats played all kinds of gimmicks to get a CBO score that created the illusion that ObamaCare will reduce the deficit.  Because Democrats in office agree with fellow liberal Bill Maher’s take on the American people:

“Or take the health care debate we’re presently having: members of Congress have recessed now so they can go home and “listen to their constituents.” An urge they should resist because their constituents don’t know anything.”

But even “stupid” people are smart enough to know that claiming that ObamaCare will ADD 35 million people to the health care rolls and actually cost LESS MONEY is itself a stupid claim.  They may not understand just how despicably deceitful Democrats were in manufacturing the numbers to get the CBO score (such as taxing ten years and only giving benefits for 6 years; such as double counting savings from revenue sources such as Medicare and Social Security; such as imposing all kinds of taxes that nobody knew about when this monstrosity was passed; omitting the so-called “doctor fix”, etc.), but they know something is very wrong.

Most Americans also know what the overwhelming majority of doctors know:

Nearly two-thirds of U.S. doctors surveyed fear healthcare reform could worsen care for patients, by flooding their offices and hurting income, according to a Thomson Reuters survey released Tuesday.

The survey of more than 2,900 doctors found many predict the legislation will force them to work harder for less money.

“When asked about the quality of healthcare in the U.S. over the next five years, 65 percent of the doctors believed it would deteriorate with only 18 percent predicting it would improve,” Thomson Reuters, parent company of Reuters, said in a statement.

The worm is indeed beginning to turn on ObamaCare, indeed.

And maybe the worm is beginning to turn inside Obama’s scrawny gut, too.

Defeated Democrats Rip Their Incompetent, Clueless, Tone-Deaf, Self-Absorbed President

November 9, 2010

Who would have ever thought a man whose only real experience was that of a community agitator wouldn’t be up to the job of running America?

Interestingly, even this article detailing centrist Democrats “ripping” Obama couldn’t face the reality of the sheer extent of the disaster Obama led the Democrat Party into: this wasn’t the worst election drubbing since 1994; it was the worst election drubbing since 1938 (and since 1928 in the state legislatures).

THAT is how big the ruin has been for the Marxist Democrat Party.

Centrist Dems rip ‘tone-deaf’ White House
By JONATHAN MARTIN | 11/6/10 7:14 AM EST Updated: 11/8/10 5:10 AM EST

In the wake of the party’s worst election drubbing since 1994, the deep frustration felt by many centrist Democrats toward the White House and the national party is now out in the open. And it’s being aired in the battleground state that’s the biggest prize in presidential politics.

Florida Democratic gubernatorial nominee Alex Sink pointed an accusatory finger Friday at what she called a “tone-deaf” Obama White House to explain why she narrowly lost her campaign.

In an interview with POLITICO, Sink said the administration mishandled the response to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, doesn’t appreciate the political damage done by healthcare reform and argued that her GOP opponent’s strategy of tying her to the president did grave damage to her candidacy in the state’s conservative Panhandle.

“They got a huge wake-up call two days ago, but unfortunately they took a lot of Democrats down with them,” said Sink of the White House.

She added: “They just need to be better listeners and be better at reaching out to people who are on the ground to hear about the realities of their policies as well as politics.”

Sink’s complaint can, of course, be chalked up in part to sour grapes on the part of a candidate fresh off a tough loss looking for an explanation. She lost her race by a single percentage point.

But Sink’s pointed critique expressed the sentiments of other Florida Democrats after an election in which the party lost four U.S. House seats and every statewide contest Tuesday, not to mention statehouse losses that left Democrats facing GOP legislative supermajorities in one of the largest states in the nation.

Sink, the state’s elected Chief Financial Officer and a former banking executive, ran against Republican Rick Scott, a wealthy former health care CEO who spent tens of millions of his own fortune.

“I faced headwinds from Washington that I liken to a tsunami and was going up against a guy who had unlimited resources,” Sink said. “I could have overcome either one but not both.”

Sink even had the advantage of facing a GOP opponent who was a first-time candidate who had previously run a company slapped with the largest Medicare fraud fine ever issued. But Scott countered that liability with a massive ad campaign linking Sink to Obama, a very unpopular figure in the more conservative parts of the sprawling state.

“[People] preferred to vote for somebody with questionable ethics than for somebody who was associated with the Washington Democratic agenda,” the Floridian said.

Sink said there is a disconnect between the White House and the rest of the country.

“I think they were tone-deaf,” she said. “They weren’t interested in hearing my opinion on what was happening on the ground with the oil spill. And they never acknowledged that they had problems with the acceptance of health care reform.”

The new law, she said, is “unpopular particularly among seniors” — a key voting bloc in the Sunshine State.

As for Scott’s hard-hitting ads depicting her as an Obama clone, Sink said the spots hurt “particularly in Northwest Florida.” […]

But when the candidate criticized the White House response to the oil spill and specifically a summer speech by Vice President Joe Biden in a POLITICO article, an angry administration official called her to demand she “walk back” her assessment, said two sources familiar with the situation.

Sink didn’t deny the exchange.

“I don’t follow anybody’s party line if I don’t think they’re on the right track,” she said when asked about the call.

Another heated back-and-forth took place over whether Sink would meet Obama on the Miami airport tarmac when the president arrived in August for a state party fundraiser. The White House was angry, according to Sink sympathizers, about what they saw as a snub when the candidate stayed away. […]

Still, when they weren’t protecting the president’s image, Obama aides were either totally unhelpful to the campaign or trying to big-foot the operation, according to sources familiar with the contest.

In the spring, when Sink’s campaign was adrift and desperately in need of a shake-up, there was a meeting in Washington with a group of senior Democrats.

Following the meeting, a mid-level White House political official sent out a one-page memo that operatives saw as so illustrative of the Obama team’s cluelessness about the race that they had it laminated and regularly mocked it.

The document, obtained by POLITICO, included such numbered headers as “Hire Key Staff” and “Develop and present a holistic campaign plan.”

A White House official said the memo was only a summary of the conversation for the participants — not a strategic plan.

But Sink’s allies also complain that Obama aides too frequently intervened with the state party’s coordinated campaign.

A White House political affairs office staffer flew down to Florida in the spring to meet with major Obama donors to get their input on the joint funding program.

“They went around what we were trying to do and tried to get their donors to influence what the coordinated process was instead of letting us drive it,” carped one Democratic operative involved in the race.

Even as they concede that Sink made mistakes, Florida Democratic operatives who were not directly involved with the campaign make the case that she was dragged down by the national party.

“She talked about jobs, she talked about taxes, but it didn’t matter,” said veteran strategist Screven Watson. “They put Sink with Pelosi and Obama.”

“If only we had worked on jobs and the economy and maybe an energy bill — but no, we tried to do everything,” he said of the national party. “And then they do an awful job of communicating what they did. So what’s the end result? We just saw it.”

Clueless.  Tone deaf.  Incompetent.  Self-absorbed.  That’s your president.  And that’s according to Democrats.

Obama said he’s worried high enemployment is becoming the new “normal”:

“What is a danger is that we stay stuck in a new normal where unemployment rates stay high, people who have jobs see their incomes go up, businesses make big profits, but they’ve learned to do more with less, and so they don’t hire,” he said.

And, of course, high unemployment WILL BE the new normal, until Obama is driven out of office in disgrace like Jimmy Carter.

Notice that Obama demonizes businesses for being too greedy and stingy to hire, rather than having any sense whatsoever that his policies have made it too expensive to hire new employees, or that his policies have left businesses with no idea what kinds of taxes, energy prices, health care costs, regulations, and frankly demonizing, that they will face from this incredibly ideologically socialist ship of fools.

This is God damn America.  And don’t forget that I warned you what God damn America would look like (and see here also).  And it’s going to continue to remain God damn America until the God damn America president is no longer able to pollute the highest office in the nation.

Obama Takeover Of Student Loans Means 2,500 Layoffs For Sallie Mae

April 1, 2010

What does ObamaCare mean?  It means a 29% slash in the workforce for student loan service provider Sallie Mae.  Remember in this insane world of Democrat rule that the government takeover of student loans was part of ObamaCare, whereas reimbursing doctors for Medicare was not.

Updated March 31, 2010
Sallie Mae Blames 2,500 Layoffs on Obama’s Student Loan Overhaul
By Kelly Chernenkoff

Powerhouse student loan provider Sallie Mae says layoffs are imminent as a result of President Obama’s new student loan overhaul.

“This legislation will force Sallie Mae to reduce our 8,600-person workforce by 2,500,” Conwey Casillas, Vice President of Sallie Mae Public Affairs, said in a statement to Fox News.

Obama was at Northern Virginia Community College in Alexandria on Tuesday to sign the student loan changes into law. The new bill includes a provision for the government to begin directly lending to students, bypassing financial institutions like Sallie May that traditionally have provided the loans. Obama said that such institutions have soaked up billions in subsidies.

“Now, it probably won’t surprise you to learn that the big banks and financial institutions hired a army of lobbyists to protect the status quo,” Obama said. “In fact, Sallie Mae, America’s biggest student lender, spent more than $3 million on lobbying last year alone.”

Indeed, Sallie Mae has been outspoken in its opposition to the plan, calling it a “government takeover” just last month.

“The student loan provisions buried in the health care legislation intentionally eliminate valuable default prevention services and private sector jobs at a time when our country can least afford to lose them,” Casillas told Fox News.

Sallie Mae was trying to garner support for an alternative, which the company said was roundly rejected.

“We are profoundly disappointed that a reform plan that would have achieved more savings for students was ignored and now thousands of student loan experts will unnecessarily lose their jobs,” Casillas said.

But Obama says he’s merely looking out for those in need.

“I didn’t stand with the banks and the financial industries in this fight. That’s not why I came to Washington. And neither did any of the members of Congress who are here today,” he said. “We stood with you. We stood with America’s students. And together, we finally won that battle.”

Obama said the move will save billions, enabling his administration to use the money to improve the quality and affordability of higher education.

Sallie Mae hasn’t said exactly when jobs will start getting slashed, but the cuts “will start soon,” Casillas said.

Obama did a good job demonizing the student loan service providers (after all, demonizing is pretty much the only thing he does well), but the reality is as usual quite different than the Obama demagoguery:

From the Wall Street Journal in an article entitled, “The Quietest Trillion:
Congratulations. You’re about to own $100 billion a year in student loans
“:

It’s not a popular idea on campus. Loans directly from the feds have been available for decades, but the government’s poor customer service has resulted in most borrowers choosing private lenders. This week three dozen college administrators, representing schools from Notre Dame to Nevada-Reno, signed a letter urging a longer transition period to this “public option.” The fear is that the bureaucrats will not be able to pull off a takeover in just eight months. “Any delay in getting funds to schools on behalf of students will result in our needing to find resources at a time when credit is difficult to obtain,” warns the letter.

Tough luck for the Irish. Democrats have already greased this fall’s budget reconciliation to pass all of this on a mere majority vote. They are helped by rigged government accounting that disguises the cost of making below-market loans to unemployed 18-year-olds. Democrats have claimed their plan “saves” $87 billion in mandatory spending by cutting out the private middlemen, and the Congressional Budget Office has dutifully “scored” $87 billion in mandatory “savings” (or a net of $80 billion after subtracting administrative costs).

But in a remarkable letter to Senator Judd Gregg, CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf admits that government accounting is bogus. He writes that the statutory methodology “does not include the cost to the government stemming from the risk that the cash flows may be less than the amount projected (that is, that defaults could be higher than projected).” Mr. Elmendorf further notes that the government’s accounting system is specifically skewed to make direct loans from the government appear to cost much less than guaranteed loans made by private lenders. He says the real “savings” are only $47 billion, even though, in a deception that would be criminal fraud if it weren’t mandated by Congress, the official estimate remains at $80 billion.

Even the unofficial number is dubious. The government has been claiming lower default rates than private lenders, but most government loans have been to students at four-year colleges. The private lenders have serviced a higher percentage of students at community and two-year colleges, where defaults are more common regardless of lender.

If the feds are now making and owning all such loans, expect default rates to soar. When the government hires contractors to collect on its loans, it pays them for simply calling the borrower, regardless of the result. Private lenders, on the other hand, make money from a performing loan and have a greater incentive to do careful underwriting and aggressive collection.

The government will nonetheless start spending these illusory “savings” immediately, and this spending is certain to top official estimates. The Obama plan also adds a CBO-estimated $46 billion in new spending over 10 years to enlarge Pell grants. Ominously for the federal fisc, starting in 2011 these grants will automatically rise each year by the consumer price index plus 1%. Not that students will actually benefit from this subsidy explosion. Colleges have reliably raised prices to capture every federal dollar earmaked for education financing.

Rep. John Kline (R., Minn.) decided the cost estimate for Pell grants was too low, so he asked CBO to take a second look. Along comes another enlightening letter from Mr. Elmendorf. This week he wrote that Mr. Kline is correct—it looks like they will cost another $11 billion. Unfortunately, the earlier estimate must remain the official score under budgeting rules, even though the official scorekeeper says it is wrong.

You start to see why the student loan takeover was part of ObamaCare, but the doctor fix was not: pure deceitful political cynicism of the very worst kind.  ObamaCare forced the CBO to assume the deception that doctor’s Medicare reimbursements would be slashed by 21% so they could deceitfully claim that “saving” for ObamaCare.  Even though Democrats will add those reimbursements back in another bill that will cost a rock bottom minimum of $200 billion.  Meanwhile, they decide that student loans are very much a part of ObamaCare so that they could raid the profits – after, of course, dramatically misrepresenting what those profits actually were.

In one fell swoop, ObamaCare destroys jobs, undermines the student loan system, AND ruins our health care system.

Nice trifecta.  If you’re an enemy of America.

ObamaCare Is Cloward-Piven Strategy In Microcosm

December 11, 2009

First of all, what is the Cloward-Piven strategy:

From Discover The Networks:

First proposed in 1966 and named after Columbia University sociologists Richard Andrew Cloward and Frances Fox Piven, the “Cloward-Piven Strategy” seeks to hasten the fall of capitalism by overloading the government bureaucracy with a flood of impossible demands, thus pushing society into crisis and economic collapse. […]

The key to sparking this rebellion would be to expose the inadequacy of the welfare state. Cloward-Piven’s early promoters cited radical organizer Saul Alinsky as their inspiration. “Make the enemy live up to their (sic) own book of rules,” Alinsky wrote in his 1972 book Rules for Radicals. When pressed to honor every word of every law and statute, every Judaeo-Christian moral tenet, and every implicit promise of the liberal social contract, human agencies inevitably fall short. The system’s failure to “live up” to its rule book can then be used to discredit it altogether, and to replace the capitalist “rule book” with a socialist one.

Newsmax offers a further description of Clowar-Piven, and raises the very real possibility that Obama not only studied the strategy, but in fact even studied under Richard Cloward:

Their strategy to create political, financial, and social chaos that would result in revolution blended Alinsky concepts with their more aggressive efforts at bringing about a change in U.S. government. To achieve their revolutionary change, Cloward and Piven sought to use a cadre of aggressive organizers assisted by friendly newsmedia to force a re-distribution of the nation’s wealth. It would be telling to know if Obama, during his years at Columbia, had occasion to meet Cloward and study the Cloward-Piven Strategy.

On my own view, Obama has a “win we win, lose we win” strategy.  To wit, the Obama administration and the Democrat Party are pursuing incredibly risky policies across the board.  If the country and the economy somehow manages to survive these measures (which I would compare to a man surviving a poisoning), Obama and the Democrats will claim victory.  If, on the other hand, the entire national system collapses due to these shockingly terrible policies, the liberals believe that a terrified, hungry public will turn to the government for help – and allow the statists to restructure the nation into a completely socialist system.

The Obama administration, on my view, consists of a collective of fiscal sociopaths.  They don’t even care about the harm that they are doing, as long as they accomplish their self-serving objective of statism, in which they ultimately wield the levers of totalitarian power.

Obama’s chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, said that you never want a serious crisis to go to waste.  The very real question is how far these people are willing to go to milk a crisis to impose their agenda; and how willing they would be to create a crisis to finish the job.

Now armed with the above information about Cloward-Piven, and the above thesis that Obama and the Democrats are actually employing it, let us consider the Democrats’ and Obama’s attempt to take over the health care system.

Far too many Democrats want a socialist single-payer system, and liberals like Democrat Representative Anthony Weiner think the current Senate Democrat proposal is just the ticket to take us there:

New York Rep. Anthony Weiner, an outspoken backer of the public option, hailed the expansion of Medicare as an “unvarnished” triumph for Democrats, like himself, who have been pushing for a single-payer government-run health care system. “Never mind the camel’s nose; we’ve got his head and his neck in the tent.”

The generally left-leaning Washington Post agrees with Rep. Weiner, saying that the

last-minute introduction of this idea within the broader context of health reform raises numerous questions — not least of which is whether this proposal is a far more dramatic step toward a single-payer system than lawmakers on either side realize. […]

The irony of this late-breaking Medicare proposal is that it could be a bigger step toward a single-payer system than the milquetoast public option plans rejected by Senate moderates as too disruptive of the private market.

It is amazing that when the people overwhelmingly rejected the public option, Democrats responded by giving them the public option on steroids.

But let us take a look at who have aligned against this monstrosity, and see just how bad it truly is.

The Mayo Clinic:

“Expanding this system to persons 55 to 64 years old would ultimately hurt patients by accelerating the financial ruin of hospitals and doctors across the country. A majority of Medicare providers currently suffer great financial loss under the program. Mayo Clinic alone lost $840 million last year under Medicare. As a result of these types of losses, a growing number of providers have begun to limit the number of Medicare patients in their practices.  Despite these provider losses, Medicare has not curbed overall spending, especially after adjusting for benefits covered and the cost shift from Medicare to private insurance.  This is clearly an unsustainable model, and one that would be disastrous for our nation’s hospitals, doctors and eventually our patients if expanded to even more beneficiaries.”

The Wall Street Journal rightly calls this fiasco “The Worst Bill Ever.”  Why?

As Congress’s balance sheet drowns in trillions of dollars in new obligations, the political system will have no choice but to start making cost-minded decisions about which treatments patients are allowed to receive. Democrats can’t regulate their way out of the reality that we live in a world of finite resources and infinite wants. Once health care is nationalized, or mostly nationalized, medical rationing is inevitable—especially for the innovative high-cost technologies and drugs that are the future of medicine.

The Dean of the Harvard Medical School gave it a “failing grade.”  Dr. Jeffrey Flier argued that:

In effect, while the legislation would enhance access to insurance, the trade-off would be an accelerated crisis of health-care costs and perpetuation of the current dysfunctional system—now with many more participants. This will make an eventual solution even more difficult. Ultimately, our capacity to innovate and develop new therapies would suffer most of all.

The California Medical Association came out strongly against the Democrat plan:

The state’s largest doctors group is opposing healthcare legislation being debated in the Senate this week, saying it would increase local healthcare costs and restrict access to care for elderly and low-income patients.

The California Medical Assn. represents more than 35,000 physicians statewide, making it the second-largest state medical association in the country after Texas. […]

“The Senate bill came so short that we could not support it, even though we solidly support healthcare reform,” said Dr. Dev GnanaDev, medical director at Arrowhead Regional Medical Center in San Bernardino, who also serves on the association’s executive committee.

Doctors who oppose the Senate bill are concerned that it would would shift Medicare funding from urban to rural areas, move responsibility for Medicare oversight away from Congress by creating an Independent Medicare Commission and, ultimately, decrease Medicare reimbursement rates.

That “Independent Medicare Commission” is just one of the many “death panels” this bill would create.  One hundred and eleven death panels, to be precise.

This is “It’s-Friday-the-13th-and-Jason-Voorhees-is-a-real-monster-and-he’s-actually-in-your-house” terrifying.  The Democrats will collapse our health care system.  People will die.

And I submit to you that the Democrats want to crash the health care system – which is the best in the world after adjusting for murders, suicides, and accident deaths – and replace it with a socialized system that would dramatically expand the power and scope of government.

On top of the disastrous impact on patient care would be the disastrous impact on the national economy.  The health care system that the Senate Democrats would impose on Americans would cost at least $2.5 trillion every ten years following its initial roll-out.  How much more can we afford?  How many more cards can we add to our house before the whole thing comes crashing down?

Why would anybody want to impose a system that is so terribly bad, and which will cost so terribly much?

When you think of the trillions in spending that this administration has already accumulated, and then add the additional $200 billion a year (and $1,761 per family) cost of Obama’s cap-and-trade energy fiasco, you can’t help but begin to wonder if there is an intentional determination to overwhelm our system and “push society into crisis and economic collapse.”

Ten Things You Should Know About The Government Healthcare Takeover

November 1, 2009

Whether you support it or not, whether you know anything about it or not, the Democrats’ plan will have dramatic and sweeping impact over our lives.

The thing that frightens me the most is the word “shall.”  It occurs 3,425 times in the Democrats’ H.R. 3692.  That means there are three thousand, four hundred and twenty-five times that the government forces you to do something whether you want to do it or not.

That said, here’s a list of ten facts you should know:

  1. RAISES TAXES ON MIDDLE CLASS FAMILIES. Speaker Pelosi’s health care bill imposes a range of tax increases on families with income below $250,000, breaking a promise made by President Obama.  Tax increases on middle class families include: an individual mandate tax of up to 2.5 percent of income for taxpayers earning as little as $9,350; repeal of a tax break on medicine purchased with funds from an HSA (health savings account); limits to tax relief through FSAs (flexible spending accounts); taxes on medical devices that will inevitably be passed on to consumers; and a new tax on all insurance policies.
  2. MASSIVE CUTS TO MEDICARE BENEFITS FOR SENIORS. Despite grave warnings from CBO, FactCheck.org, and the independent Lewin Group that cuts to Medicare of the magnitude included in Speaker Pelosi’s bill would have a negative impact on seniors’ benefits and choices, Speaker Pelosi’s health care bill stays the course and cuts Medicare by hundreds of billions of dollars.
  3. NO PROTECTIONS FOR SMALL BUSINESSES. Speaker Pelosi’s health care bill claims to exempt small businesses from the steep eight percent ‘pay or play’ employer mandate.  The facts tell a different story.  Using Census data compiled by the Small Business Administration, this so-called ‘exemption’ hammers small employers with only, on average, 17 or more employees to new taxes and mandates.  The outfits affected employ 70 percent of all small business employees, or 42.3 million workers.  Adding to the assault on small businesses, the bill does not index the small business “exemption” amounts, meaning more and more small businesses will be ensnared by this job-killing employer mandate each year.
  4. INCREASES THE COST OF HEALTH INSURANCE. Imposing a new $2 billion tax on insurance policies will be passed on to patients in the form of higher premiums.  Changes to the Medicare Part D prescription drug benefit will, according to estimates by CBO, will raise Medicare Part B premiums by $25 billion and Part D premiums by 20 percent.  And imposing an unfunded mandate on the states to pay for the bill’s Medicaid expansion will shift the burden of this expansion on state taxpayers who may experience tax increases to cover the cost.
  5. USES GIMMICKS TO HIDE BUDGET-BUSTING COST, PILES UP DEBT ON FUTURE GENERATIONS. Speaker Pelosi’s health care bill claims to be deficit neutral, but uses budget gimmickry to hide its massive total cost.  Working families across America know they cannot simply decide that a bill they get in the mail doesn’t exist, but that’s exactly what congressional Democrats are doing.  In order to meet the President’s ‘target’ spending total of $900 billion, Democrats have simply swept costly provisions under the rug, including the $245 billion ‘doc fix.’
  6. IMPOSES JOB-KILLING EMPLOYER MANDATES. Additional taxes on employers and new government mandates that dictate acceptable insurance will place new and crushing burdens on employers.  These are burdens that will ultimately fall squarely on the backs of workers in the form of reduced wages, fewer hours or lost employment. CBO agrees that “[e]mployees largely bear the cost of… play-or-pay fees in the form of lower wages.”  According to the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), the nation’s largest small business association, an employer mandate of this magnitude will disproportionately impact small businesses, triggering up to 1.6 million lost jobs.  Two-thirds of those jobs would be shed by small businesses.
  7. TILTS THE PLAYING FIELD IN FAVOR OF THE GOVERNMENT-RUN INSURANCE COMPANY. Speaker Pelosi’s health care bill promises not to give the government-run plan advantages over private insurers in the market, but the opposite is true.  The bill provides billions in start-up funding for the government-run plan, and while it requires the plan to repay the money over time it does not require the plan to pay interest on this “loan.”  This interest-free, taxpayer-subsidized loan is potentially worth millions of dollars and tilts the playing field in favor of the government-run plan.
  8. THREATENS CASH-STRAPPED STATES WITH UNFUNDED MANDATES. Speaker Pelosi’s health care bill swells the number of Americans on the government rolls by expanding Medicaid eligibility.  Medicaid is financed through a federal-state partnership, but the bill dumps nearly ten percent of the mandated expansion included in the bill onto the states.  States, already struggling with fiscal constraints, would be left on the hook for billions of dollars due to this unfunded mandate.
  9. CREATES A NEW MONSTROSITY IN THE TAX CODE. Starting in 2011, Speaker Pelosi’s health care bill imposes a 5.4 percent tax on adjusted gross income above $500,000 for individuals and $1 million for married couples.  Yet, the dollar amounts for which the tax kicks in are not indexed for inflation.  We’ve seen this horror film before: the Alternative Minimum Tax, another Frankenstein’s monster of the tax code, also wasn’t indexed for inflation and now affects millions of middle class families with incomes below the Democrat’s surtax.
  10. MISSES AN OPPORTUNITY TO CURTAIL JUNK LAWSUITS. Speaker Pelosi’s health care bill misses a critical opportunity to rein in junk lawsuits and costly defensive medicine.  The bill includes only a voluntary grant program to deal with the medical liability crisis instead of including real reform, which would produce tens of billions of dollars in savings, improve efficiency in our health care system and reduce costs for patients and providers.

BONUS: Republicans have offered better solutions to lower health care costs and expand access to quality, affordable coverage at a price our nation can afford.  Learn more by visiting healthcare.gop.gov.

Courtesy House Republican Leader John Boehner

Contrary To Obama Democrats’ Demagogic Lies About Private Insurerer Profits

October 28, 2009

Do you want to have one-sixth of the economy – and literally life and death decisions – to be taken over based on lies and demagoguery?  If not, you’d better start calling your elected officials and demanding that Democrats finally start dealing with facts rather than demagogic lies.

From the Associated Press:

WASHINGTON — In the health care debate, Democrats and their allies have gone after insurance companies as rapacious profiteers making “immoral” and “obscene” returns while “the bodies pile up.”

But in pillorying insurers over profits, the critics are on shaky ground. Ledgers tell a different reality.

Health insurance profit margins typically run about 6 percent, give or take a point or two. That’s anemic compared with other forms of insurance and a broad array of industries, even some beleaguered ones.

Profits barely exceeded 2 percent of revenues in the latest annual measure. This partly explains why the credit ratings of some of the largest insurers were downgraded to negative from stable heading into this year, as investors were warned of a stagnant if not shrinking market for private plans.

Insurers are an expedient target for leaders who want a government-run plan in the marketplace. Such a public option would force private insurers to trim profits and restrain premiums to compete, the argument goes. This would “keep insurance companies honest,” says President Barack Obama.

The debate is loaded with intimations that insurers are less than straight, when they are not flatly accused of malfeasance.

The insurers may not have helped their case by commissioning a report that looked primarily at the elements of health care legislation that might drive consumer costs up while ignoring elements aimed at bringing costs down. Few in the debate seem interested in a true balance sheet.

A look at some claims, and the numbers:

THE CLAIMS:

_“I’m very pleased that (Democratic leaders) will be talking, too, about the immoral profits being made by the insurance industry and how those profits have increased in the Bush years.” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., who also welcomed the attention being drawn to insurers’ “obscene profits.”

_“Keeping the status quo may be what the insurance industry wants. Their premiums have more than doubled in the last decade and their profits have skyrocketed.” Maryland Rep. Chris Van Hollen, member of the Democratic leadership.

_”Health insurance companies are willing to let the bodies pile up as long as their profits are safe.” A MoveOn.org ad.

THE NUMBERS:

Health insurers posted a 2.2 percent profit margin last year, placing them 35th on the Fortune 500 list of top industries. As is typical, other health sectors did much better — drugs and medical products and services were both in the top 10.

The railroads brought in a 12.6 percent profit margin. Leading the list: network and other communications equipment, at 20.4 percent.

HealthSpring, the best performer in the health insurance industry, posted 5.4 percent. That’s a less profitable margin than was achieved by the makers of Tupperware, Clorox bleach and Molson and Coors beers.

The star among the health insurance companies did, however, nose out Jack in the Box restaurants, which only achieved a 4 percent margin.

UnitedHealth Group, reporting third quarter results last week, saw fortunes improve. It managed a 5 percent profit margin on an 8 percent growth in revenue.

Van Hollen is right that premiums have more than doubled in a decade, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation study that found a 131 percent increase.

But were the Bush years golden ones for health insurers?

Not judging by profit margins, profit growth or returns to shareholders. The industry’s overall profits grew only 8.8 percent from 2003 to 2008, and its margins year to year, from 2005 forward, never cracked 8 percent.

The latest annual profit margins of a selection of products, services and industries: Tupperware Brands, 7.5 percent; Yahoo, 5.9 percent; Hershey, 6.1 percent; Clorox, 8.7 percent; Molson Coors Brewing, 8.1 percent; construction and farm machinery, 5 percent; Yum Brands (think KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell), 8.5 percent.

Half of Americans are actually covered by not-for-profit insurers.

A pro-liberal, pro-government universal health care proponent has the following:

But this is not “change.” Nonprofit organizations have always had an important role in the financing and delivery of health care services in the United States. Nonprofit health care organizations are part of the U.S. economy’s “third sector,” the other two sectors are government and for-profit businesses. In the early 1900s the first health care prepayment/insurance plan was founded as a nonprofit organization—Blue Cross—by a nonprofit hospital in Texas. Today, nearly 50 percent of people with private health insurance coverage are enrolled in nonprofit health plans.

Unfortunately, the strong and persistent presence of private nonprofit health insurance companies has not prevented any of the structural problems leading to our current health care crisis.

So the Democrats are deceitfully and demagogically claiming that insurance companies are the villains due to their “excessive” and “immoral” profits when in fact they DON’T have such profits – and HALF of them are NON-PROFITS – and they are offering a “solution” to a problem which isn’t even part of the problem to begin with.

I’m sorry to have to point out that what the Democrats are doing is right out of Adolf Hitler’s and Joseph Goebbels’ playbook, but it is.  They are telling lies about innocent companies.  They are deceitfully trying to create villains using propaganda and demagoguery so that they can then impose their “final solution” onto one-sixth of the national economy.

The clearest one sentence explanation of the result of the Democrats’ health care agenda comes from the mouth of Obama economic adviser Robert Reich:

“… So we’re going to let you die.”

The so-called “crazy claims” about death panels turn out to be all too real.

Democrats claim that you can keep your private health insurance if you want to.  It’s a lie.  And they know it’s a lie.

Their real goal is to put health care under total government control, so that they have the power to reward their allies and punish their opponents.  They are using their current legislation as a backdoor to universal, socialized, government-controlled health care.  And again, when they say that isn’t true, their own words reveal their lies.

Right now, Democrats are trying to take over life and death decisions.  And they are the documented liars.  Trust them at your peril.

Americans Do Not Want Democrats’ Health Care ‘Reform’

September 28, 2009

It’s interesting.  Two-plus years ago prior to the 2006 election, polls showed Republicans were in critical territory, but most Republicans and conservative commentators dismissed the marshaling evidence.  And as a result, Republicans were stunned when Democrats took over both the House and the Senate.

Now, just months after assuming total control over the government, Democrats are in the same (if not an even more leaky) boat – and they are even more adamantly in denial than the Republicans had been before they lost power.

The tea party protesters have been mocked and trivialized as “tea baggers” for months now.  During the August recess town hall debates, ObamaCare opponents were attacked as “swastika-toting” Nazis and as “AstroTurf.”  And when at least one million and as many as two million (National Parks Service spokesman Dan Bana said, “It is a record…. We believe it is the largest event held in Washington, D.C., ever” – which would include the Obama inauguration), the left literally pretended it didn’t happen.

Who is ignoring reality now?

Rasmussen – THE most accurate pollster in the 2008 campaign – has this summary of their polling:

Date Approve Disapprove
Sep 24-25 41% 56%
Sep 16-17 43% 56%
Sep 15-16 44% 53%
Sep 14-15 42% 55%
Sep 13-14 45% 52%
Sep 12-13 51% 46%
Sep 11-12 48% 48%
Sep 10-11 47% 49%
Sep 9-10 46% 51%
Sept 8-9 44% 53%
Aug 25-26 43% 53%
Aug 9-10 42% 53%
Jul 26-27 47% 49%
Jul 20-21 44% 53%
Jul 10-11 46% 49%
Jun 27-28 50% 45%

Rasmussen summarizes its polling with an article entitled, “Support for Health Care Plan Hits New Low“:

Just 41% of voters nationwide now favor the health care reform proposed by President Obama and congressional Democrats. That’s down two points from a week ago and the lowest level of support yet measured.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 56% are opposed to the plan.

Senior citizens are less supportive of the plan than younger voters. In the latest survey, just 33% of seniors favor the plan while 59% are opposed. The intensity gap among seniors is significant. Only 16% of the over-65 crowd Strongly Favors the legislation while 46% are Strongly Opposed. […]

Intensity has been with the opposition from the beginning of the public debate. Currently, among all voters 23% Strongly Favor the legislative effort and 43% are Strongly Opposed.

I have to laugh that liberals are grasping at polls from CBS and Newsweek that claim a better picture for ObamaCare.  They proved to be the LEAST accurate during the last campaign.

The fact of the matter is that the American people are overwhelmingly against the liberal health care “reforms.”  But Democrats are determined to try to ram them through anyway.

One of the things that happened last year was that white voters – and especially elderly white voters – showed up in far lower numbers than years past.  That’s not going to happen again, now that seniors literally realize Obama may kill them with his health care agenda.  They are going to show up in massive numbers in 2010 – and Democrats are going to be for some giant surprises when they find out on election day that Americans really opposed their health care takeover all along.

Democrats KNOW Their ‘You Can Keep Your Current Health Coverage’ Line Is A Lie

September 27, 2009

I’m sure that you’ve heard Barack Obama, congressional Democrats, and their media propagandists say over and over again that if you like your current health coverage, you can keep it.

Last Thursday, as the Senate Finance Committee was marking up the Baucus version of the bill, Sen. Orrin Hatch tested the sincerity and integrity of the Democrats by offering this incredibly simple amendment:

The purpose of this amendment is simple. If the secretary of Health and Human Services certifies that more than 1 million Americans would lose the current coverage of their choice because of this bill, then this bill would not go into effect.

It seems like a very, very simple but perfect amendment for those of us who have integrity. This amendment is simply trying to safeguard President Obama’s pledge to the American people, you’ll get — that you will get to keep what you have.

And the Democrats failed the test.

Every single Democrat in the Finance Committee voted against it.  Every single one.

As Powerline put it:

One of President Obama’s mantras with regard to the Democrats’ health care proposal (whatever it turns out to be) is that if you like your present health insurance coverage, you will get to keep it. More recently, when the fraudulent nature of that pledge was revealed, he changed the formula to “the bill won’t require you to lose your coverage.” That’s right; it won’t require you to lose your coverage, it will just cause you to lose your coverage.

Don’t think for a second Democrats and President Obama don’t know what a pack of liars they are.

Last Sunday, Barack Obama proved that he is a liar by refusing to call what is clearly a tax a tax.  And Obama’s own hometown newspaper proves the obvious.

Last Tuesday, the Democrat-approved Congressional Budget Office laid out Obama’s lie that Medicare would not be cut:

Congress’ chief budget officer on Tuesday contradicted President Barack Obama’s oft-stated claim that seniors wouldn’t see their Medicare benefits cut under a health care overhaul.

The head of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, Douglas Elmendorf, told senators that seniors in Medicare’s managed care plans could see reduced benefits under a bill in the Finance Committee.

The bill would cut payments to the Medicare Advantage plans by more than $100 billion over 10 years.

The Democrats’ shocking deceit – and Barack Obama’s own personal deceptions and lies – are incredible.  They will literally say ANYTHING to get their terrible plan passed.

The biggest Democrat lie of all is the one that they tried to use to justify their takeover of health care in the first place: that they could cover nearly 50 million more people with better care while saving money.  People with common sense knew it was a blatant lie even before all the various iterations and deceptions came out.  It was simply transparently false from the outset.

Please don’t trust these liars to take over 1/6th of the U.S. economy during a period when the economy is already in deep trouble.  And please don’t turn the lives of seniors over to a plan that will literally kill many of them.

What’s Wrong With The Baucus Healthcare Plan?

September 17, 2009

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus unveiled his latest swing at healthcare legislation yesterday.  Let’s take a look at it.

First of all, according to Bloomberg:

In a bid to get Republican support, he’s offering a lower price tag compared with bills approved on party-line votes by the Senate health committee and three House panels, each of which would cost about $1 trillion over 10 years.

Well, that’s a nice goal and all, but his plan still costs $856 billion.  Which is 85.6% of a trillion.  And these estimates are invariably massively low (take Medicare as the closest analogy: it was estimated to cost $12 billion by 1990; it actually cost $107 billion by 1990 — a 791% increase over the projection).  Why on earth would the Democrats new plan now be better estimated than the Democrats old plan?

Thanks, Max, but I’ll keep shopping around, if you don’t mind.

Second, there’s this:

“Without support from a single Senate Republican…”

Now see, I remember this promise from the campaign:

In 2008, candidate Obama … assured us that we would transcend petty partisan bickering that has dominated Washington as long as anyone can remember. “In this country, we rise or fall as one nation, as one people, Obama declared.Let’s resist the temptation to fall back on the same partisanship and pettiness and immaturity that has poisoned our politics for so long.”

Didn’t resist that temptation too well, did you, Barry?  No, instead, the most liberal senator in the nation prior to his newfound “post-partisanship” lived up to predicted rather than advertised form.  He rammed through a massive $3.27 trillion partisan stimulus plan that only 2 out of 218 Republicans voted for (counting Arlen Specter as a Democrat).  He sold his porkulus on the lie that he would be able to keep unemployment under 8% if it passed.  In similar form, Obama rammed through his Omnibus bill filled with nearly 9,000 earmarks in blatant violation of his pledge.

He is the most aggressively partisan “post partisan” who ever lived.  And that is a fact.

Did the man who won the White House with 52.9% of the vote win the right to unilaterally fundamentally transform 16% of the entire US economy?  Seriously???

Are Republicans seriously supposed to support a system that was shoved down their throats against their wills?

Third, there’s this:

Baucus dropped a plan to set up a government insurance program — the so-called public option — to compete with private insurers, steering clear of one of the most divisive issues in the debate. Instead, he proposed giving $6 billion in seed money to nonprofit cooperatives that could compete with companies such as Hartford, Connecticut-based Aetna Inc.

Imagine if you were selling widgets at your widget shop and a competitor moved in next door who got his funding from your tax dollars.  That would suck for you.  And, of course, as needed, you could count on your own government to undermine you by writing the laws in a way that benefited your competitor while punishing you, and you could count on selective enforcement of the regulations just to make sure you knew who was wanted and who wasn’t.

Besides being unAmerican, there are a few other things wrong with this plan.

A pro-liberal, pro-single-payer proponent argues the following:

But this is not “change.” Nonprofit organizations have always had an important role in the financing and delivery of health care services in the United States. Nonprofit health care organizations are part of the U.S. economy’s “third sector,” the other two sectors are government and for-profit businesses. In the early 1900s the first health care prepayment/insurance plan was founded as a nonprofit organization—Blue Cross—by a nonprofit hospital in Texas.  Today, nearly 50 percent of people with private health insurance coverage are enrolled in nonprofit health plans.

Unfortunately, the strong and persistent presence of private nonprofit health insurance companies has not prevented any of the structural problems leading to our current health care crisis.

In other words, at the heart of the Baucus plan is the belief that you are simply too ignorant and too damn stupid to know the basic facts.  Non-profits and co-ops are nothing new.  And in fact, according to the Democrats who have repeatedly demonized health insurers, they represent HALF the damn problem.

This is rather like the Democrats whining about the lack of competition when there are actually 1,300 health insurers in the country and the only reason they can’t all compete for your business is because Democrats have prevented them from being able to compete for your business.

Dr. Mary Bufwack writes an article that concludes:

So history tells us that starting up co-ops would be a great challenge, and small state co-ops are likely to fail.  Should they be successful, there is little evidence that they act in ways that are different than private insurance companies.

So this is a bogus boondoggle bound to fail.  And we can know that before it starts, given the government’s ability to screw up nearly everything it touches.

For what it’s worth, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were essentially “co-ops” as well.  And they have been catastrophic boondoggles.

Then there are the individual mandates requiring every American to have a health insurance plan or pay up to $3,800 in penalties.  I wonder how many of the young people who voted for Obama are going to support having to buy health insurance or pay fines?  It’s always easier to require things when it’s someone ELSE’S money that’s getting spent.

When Obama promised you fifty thousand times that no one making less than $250,000 a year would see their taxes go up by one penny, he didn’t point out that the fine print is a bitch.

And while there’s no official employer mandate, businesses with over 50 workers will be hit with a $400 per worker tax penalty if they don’t provide – and keep providing – health insurance.  Sounds like a pretty solid reason for a lot of small business owners who are are already struggling to make ends meet to downsize.  You DO know what they say about the road to hell being paved with good intentions, right?

If you lose your job because of the cost of the health care mandates, and you voted for Obama, just remember that you voted for “change.”

The bill is considerably scaled down from the worst of the infamous House Bill H.R. 3200.  But it’s still bad.  Other than the fact that it is less heinous than previous Democrat-dominated bills, it is still heinous.  There is no reason for Republicans to support it beyond the reasoning of “having one eye gouged out of my head is better than having both eyes gouged out.”