Posts Tagged ‘Medicare cuts’

Latest ObamaCare ‘Oopsie’: HealthCare Destruction Act Already Killing People

December 16, 2010

It’s too expensive…so we’re going to let you die.” – Robert Reich, lifelong Democrat “expert”

A program that saves young people produces more welfare than one that saves old people” – Obama Regulatory Czar Cass Sunstein

At least we can let doctors know — and your mom know — that you know what, maybe this isn’t going to help. Maybe you’re better off, uhh, not having the surgery, but, uhh, taking the painkiller.” – The Hussein himself, informing a woman that it’s basically time to let her mother die.

ObamaCare Factoid: Access To Health Care Doesn’t Mean Squat When Hospitals, Doctors And Pharmacists Bail” – Title of article by Michael Eden now factually demonstrated to have been completely right.

Before I provide the article of the day, allow me to show you some things that I posted/wrote nearly a year ago:

This is nothing compared to what might happen under Democratic health overhaul plans, which would slash Medicare spending by nearly $500 billion over 10 years. As Medicare actuaries recently pointed out in understated fashion, such cuts “may be unrealistic.” But, if Congress actually carried them out, about one in five hospitals, nursing homes and home care agencies could lose money, they warned in their report. As a result, such providers could drop Medicare, leaving seniors with less access.

[…]

Don’t think for a second that this isn’t directly related to the disaster known as ObamaCare.  Democrats are gutting Medicare reimbursements and blocking the essential “doctor fix” from their bill to create the contrived and bogus illusion that their boondoggle will provide “deficit neutrality.”  They are playing all kinds of games and gimmicks, such as taxing for ten years and only providing benefits for five, to support that illusion. It will fail, and a lot of people will die.

[…]

And so, what do you think will happen when Democrats cut the reimbursement rates?  People who have commons sense know: hospitals and doctors will begin to see fewer and fewer Medicare patients, as a matter of simple economic necessity.   That isn’t a “reform,” but a disaster.

And this stuff is why the dean of the Harvard Medical School gave ObamaCare a failing grade.  It’s why the California Medical Association recently came out strongly against the bill.  It’s why more and more state governors – Democrats as well as Republicans – are beginning to scream that ObamaCare merely turns Medicaid into a giant deficit-creating unfunded mandate on the states (again, to create the illusion of being “deficit neutral”).

And, now, without further delay, the article of the day’s latest demonstration that the Democrat Party is the political arm of the devil and Barack Obama is leading America into ruin not seen since the last time socialism devastated Europe when our grandparents were young kids…

It is somehow ironically fitting that this destruction of our health care system would be described in Obama’s hometown.

Medicaid cuts: teeth pulled, transplant called off
By The Associated Press
Posted Dec 15, 2010

CHICAGO —

In Illinois, a pharmacist closes his business because of late Medicaid payments. In Arizona, a young father’s liver transplant is canceled because Medicaid suddenly won’t pay for it. In California, dentists pull teeth that could be saved because Medicaid doesn’t pay for root canals.

Across the country, state lawmakers have taken harsh actions to try to rein in the budget-busting costs of the health care program that serves 58 million poor and disabled Americans. Some states have cut payments to doctors, paid bills late and trimmed benefits such as insulin pumps, obesity surgery and hospice care.

Lawmakers are bracing for more work when they reconvene in January. Some states face multibillion-dollar deficits. Federal stimulus money for Medicaid is soon to evaporate. And Medicaid enrollment has never been higher because of job losses.

In the view of some lawmakers, Medicaid has become a monster, and it’s eating the budget. In Illinois, Medicaid sucks up more money than elementary, secondary and higher education combined.

“Medicaid is such a large, complicated part of our budget problem, that to get our hands around it is very difficult. It’s that big. It’s that bad,” said Illinois Sen. Dale Righter, a Republican and co-chairman of a bipartisan panel to reform Medicaid in Illinois, where nearly 30 percent of total spending goes to the program.

Medicaid costs are shared by the federal and state governments. It’s not just the poor and disabled who benefit. Wealthier people do, too, such as when middle-class families with elderly parents in nursing homes are relieved of financial pressure after Medicaid starts picking up the bills.

Contrary to stereotype, it’s the elderly and disabled who cost nearly 70 cents of every Medicaid dollar, not the single mother and her children.

In California, Medicaid no longer pays for many adult dental services. But it still pays for extractions, that is, tooth-pulling. The unintended consequence: Medicaid patients tell dentists to pull teeth that could be saved.

“The roots are fine. The tooth could be saved with a root canal,” said Dr. Nagaraj Murthy, who practices in Compton, Calif. “I had a patient yesterday. I said we could do a root canal. He said, ‘No, it’s hurting. Go ahead and pull it. I don’t have the money.”’

Murthy recently pulled an elderly woman’s last tooth, but Medicaid no longer pays for dentures.

“Elderly patients suffer the most,” Murthy said. “They’re walking around with no teeth.”

States can decide which optional services Medicaid covers, and dental care is among cutbacks in some places. Last year’s economic stimulus package increased the federal share of Medicaid money temporarily. But that money runs out at the end of June, when the federal government will go back to paying half the costs rather than 60 to 70 percent. So more cuts could be ahead.

During the Great Recession, millions of people relied on the Medicaid safety net. Between 2007 and 2009, the number of uninsured Americans grew by more than 5 million as workers lost jobs with employer-based insurance. Another 7 million signed up for Medicaid.

Just when caseloads hit their highest point, the nation’s new health care law required states not to change the rules on who’s eligible for Medicaid. That means states can’t roll up the welcome mat by tightening Medicaid’s income requirements.

So states have resorted to a variety of painful options.

In Arizona, lawmakers stopped paying for some kinds of transplants, including livers for people with hepatitis C. When the cuts took effect Oct. 1, Medicaid patient Francisco Felix, who needs a liver, suddenly had to raise $500,000 to get a transplant.

The 32-year-old’s case took a dramatic turn in November when a friend’s wife died, and her liver became available. Felix was prepped for surgery in hopes financial donations would come in. When the money didn’t materialize, the liver went to someone else, and Felix went home. His doctor told him he has a year before he’ll be too sick for a transplant.

“They are taking away his opportunity to live,” said his wife, Flor Felix. “It’s impossible for us or any family to get that much money.” The family is collecting donations through a website and plans a yard sale this weekend, she said.

The choices are difficult for states that have already cut payments to doctors and hospitals to the bone.

“If we don’t see an economic recovery where state revenues rebound, they’re really going to be very strained on how they can make ends meet,” said Diane Rowland, executive director of the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured.

States may consider lowering payment rates to nursing homes or home health agencies or further reducing payments to doctors, Rowland said.

“The problem here is the program is pretty lean, and payment rates are pretty low,” she said. Patients can’t find care because fewer doctors accept the low payments.

Prescription drug coverage in states is an optional benefit, another possible place to cut, Rowland said. “But if you cut back on people’s psychotropic drugs, is that penny-wise and pound-foolish? Do they end up in institutions where Medicaid pays more for their care?”

In Illinois, late payments became the rule.

Tom Miller closed his pharmacy in rural southern Illinois this summer and is going through bankruptcy, largely because the state was chronically late making Medicaid payments to him. Most of his former customers are in the program.

With the state sometimes months behind in payments, he couldn’t pay his suppliers. Five workers lost their jobs when his business closed.

“You can only fight it for so long,” said Miller, 54. He now works as a pharmacist in a hospital. He misses his old clients, the families he grew to know.

“I was in my third generation. I’ve had moms who had kids. I saw the kids raised, and they had their own children,” he said. As a neighborhood pharmacist, “you’re their friend. You’re family.”

The death panels are right around the corner.  To the extent that they’re not already here right now, as with the case of Francisco Felix, who is being denied life by being denied a liver by Medicaid.

Francisco Felix never stood in front of a death panel; but bureaucrats don’t need you wasting their time with bothersome questions when they decide to let you die a slow and agonizing death due to medical neglect (or maybe you’re fortunate enough to get that pain pill from Obama?).

We told you so.  We told you soWe told you soWE TOLD YOU SO.

As one speaking from the lofty vantage point of one having a one-thousand percent batting average, let me forewarn you Democrats yet again: Someday, when you’re burning in hell for all eternity for your direct participation in the murder of 52 million innocent human beings in America alone through abortion, realize that God is going to turn up the fires a few billion extra degrees for the coming horror that is going to come to this country as a result of your ObamaCare disaster.

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ObamaCare Increases Health Cost By $311 Billion While Threatening Access To Care

April 23, 2010

Just in case you didn’t catch it, it’s official: ObamaCare was packaged and sold entirely based on lies.

CMS Study Shows Health Care Law Increases Costs–$311 Billion in 10 Years
By Tom White, on April 23rd, 2010, at 11:43 am

US Senate Morning Briefing

Last night, the chief actuary at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released his long-awaited report on the Democrats’ health care spending bill. The report states, “[W]e estimate that overall national health expenditures under the health reform act would increase by a total of $311 billion during calendar years 2010-2019. . . .” This was an assessment that was requested by Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell prior to the final votes on health care in the House, but CMS told Republicans that they couldn’t complete an analysis in time for the vote. Given the report’s findings, it’s easy to see why Democrats decided to rush ahead with a vote before the report could be completed.Reporting on the CMS analysis last night, the AP wrote, “President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul law will increase the nation’s health care tab instead of bringing costs down, government economic forecasters concluded Thursday in a sobering assessment of the sweeping legislation. A report by economic experts at the Health and Human Services Department said the health care remake will achieve Obama’s aim of expanding health insurance — adding 34 million Americans to the coverage rolls. But the analysis also found that the law falls short of the president’s twin goal of controlling runaway costs. It also warned that Medicare cuts may be unrealistic and unsustainable, driving about 15 percent of hospitals into the red and ‘possibly jeopardizing access’ to care for seniors.”

But in the run-up to the vote, indeed throughout the year-long debate on health care, Democrats and President Obama repeatedly insisted that their unpopular legislation would control costs and save the government money. In December, President Obama announced, “We agree on reforms that will finally reduce the costs of health care. Families will save on their premiums. Businesses that will see their costs rise if we do nothing will save money now and in the future.” Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) insisted at the beginning of debate in the Senate, “The Republican Leader just a few moments ago says that this bill raises costs. With all due respect to my good friend from Kentucky, that statement is false.” And Democrats repeatedly cited a CBO report saying that if all the Medicare cuts are implemented, the bill could save $130 billion over the next decade. This was pointed to by everyone from Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to rank-and-file House Democrats like Ohio Rep. John Boccieri.

But as the AP story explains, “The [CMS] report acknowledged that some of the cost-control measures in the bill — Medicare cuts, a tax on high-cost insurance and a commission to seek ongoing Medicare savings — could help reduce the rate of cost increases beyond 2020. But it held out little hope for progress in the first decade. ‘During 2010-2019, however, these effects would be outweighed by the increased costs associated with the expansions of health insurance coverage,’ wrote Richard S. Foster, Medicare’s chief actuary. ‘Also, the longer-term viability of the Medicare … reductions is doubtful.’”

As Sen. McConnell said when President Obama signed the health care bill, “Most Americans out there aren’t celebrating today. . . . People oppose this bill not because they don’t know what’s in it, but because they know exactly what’s in it. . . . They know you don’t have to slash Medicare by half a trillion dollars to get lower premiums. . . . People know you won’t save money on health care by spending another $2.6 trillion on health care. . . . They know you don’t reduce the deficit by creating a massive new government program that even Democrats have described as a Ponzi scheme. They know you can go a long ways towards doing all these things without creating a brand new entitlement at a time when we can’t even cover the cost of the entitlements we have.”

Once again, studies by neutral observers have shown that Democrats’ claims about their health care bill just do not match reality. This was a flawed bill rushed through because Democrats wanted to “make history.” But Americans know better. At a time of record deficits and debt, this irresponsible health spending bill should be repealed and replaced with legislation that actually addresses health care costs.

All one has to do is look at Obama’s plunging polls in the aftermath of the passage of ObamaCare to verify that the American people did not want and do not want this “boondogglization” of the American health care system.  Polls across the board show Obama’s approval plunging dramatically since health care “reform” was shoved down the nation’s throat: Quinnipiac has Obama’s approval at a lowest-ever-measured 44% – with a majority disapproving of him; top-pollster Rasmussen has Obama at only 47% – with a whopping 52% disapproving of him; and the RCP average has Obama WELL below a 50% approval.  Barack Obama is no longer in any way speaking for or representing the American people.

It turns out this is the same guy who is on tape at least eight times saying all the health care negotiations would all be on C-SPAN – and then he went to closed-door meeting after closed door meeting that resulted in a health care bill that NOBODY knows anything about.  It turns out that this is the same guy who promised he would unite the country in a bipartisan manner – and instead broke that promise and became the most polarizing and divisive president in history.   This is the same guy who said he would NEVER allow health care to pass by the awful partisan reconciliation tactic – and then he did exactly what he promised he wouldn’t do.  This is the guy who repeatedly promised that he wouldn’t tax anyone making less than $250,000 a year – and now everyone knows he’ll break that central, fundamental promise.  This is the same guy who demonized Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell for doing what his own chief of staff had just done only the day before.

I can go on.  For example, I can talk about how his administration promised up and down that the $787 billion (subsequently massively upwardly revised to $862 billion) stimulus – which will actually cost $3.27 TRILLION – would keep unemployment under 8%.  Obama sold a massive lie to sell a massive porkulus.  And now we’re paying for a fat pile of lies.

Now we find out that this fundamental liar told yet another massive, fundamental lie.

Now we find out that Barack Obama personally and repeatedly lied to the American people about the cost of his precious boondoggle ObamaCare:

“I pledged that I will not sign health insurance reform — as badly as I think it’s necessary, I won’t sign it if that reform adds even one dime to our deficit over the next decade — and I mean what I say.”

You loathsome, vile LIAR.

You said whatever you thought you needed to say to get the American people to jump into bed with you.  Then you raped them.  And then moved on to the next lie and rape.  And the next lie and rape after that.

Now, you think this is terrible news about the terrible ObamaCare power-grab?  You aint seen NOTHING yet.  Have a gander at this:

Not one of its major programs has gotten started, and already the wheels are starting to come off of Obamacare. The administration’s own actuary reported on Thursday that millions of people could lose their health insurance, that health-care costs will rise faster than they would have if the law hadn’t passed, and that the overhaul will mean that people will have a harder and harder time finding physicians to see them.

The White House is trying to spin the new report from Medicare’s chief actuary Richard Foster as only half bad because it concludes that, while costs will increase, only 23 million people will remain uninsured (instead of 24 million previously estimated).

But looking at the details of Foster’s report shows the many, many danger signs for Obamacare and how many of its promises will be broken:

1. People losing coverage: About 14 million people will lose their employer coverage by 2019, as smaller employers terminate their plans and workers who currently have employer coverage enroll in Medicaid. Half of all seniors on Medicare Advantage could lose their coverage and the extra benefits the plans offer.

2. Huge fines for companies: Businesses will pay $87 billion in penalties in the first five years after the fines trigger in 2014, partly because they can’t afford to offer expensive, government-mandated coverage and partly because some of their employees will apply for taxpayer-subsidized insurance.

3. Higher costs for consumers: Tens of billions of dollars in new fees and excise taxes will be “passed through to health consumers in the form of higher drug and devices prices and higher premiums,” according to Foster. A separate report shows small businesses will be hit hardest.

4. A program created to fail: The new “CLASS Act” long-term-care insurance program will face “a significant risk of failure,” according to Foster. Indeed, he finds, “there is a very serious risk that the problem of adverse selection will make the CLASS program unsustainable.”

5. Spending increases: Under the new law, national health spending will increase by $311 billion over the coming decade. And instead of bending the federal spending curve down, it will move it upward “by a net total of $251 billion” over the next decade.

6. “Free-riders”: An estimated 23 million people will remain uninsured in 2019, roughly 5 million of whom would be undocumented aliens; the remainder would be the 18 million who decline to get coverage and who will pay the penalty.

7. Spending reductions are fiction
: Estimated reductions in the growth rate of health spending “may not be fully achievable” because “Medicare productivity adjustments could become unsustainable even within the next ten years, and over time the reductions in the scope of employer-sponsored health insurance could also become an issue.”

8. You can’t keep your doctor
: Fifteen percent of all hospitals, nursing homes, and other providers treating Medicare patients could be operating at a loss by 2019, which will “possibly jeopardize access to care for beneficiaries.” Doctors are threatening to drop out of Medicare because cuts in Medicare reimbursement rates mean they can’t even cover their costs.

9. Coverage but no care: A significant portion of those newly eligible for Medicaid will have trouble finding physicians who will see them, and the increased demand for Medicaid services could be difficult to meet.

This is an objective report by administration actuaries that shows this sweeping legislation has serious, serious problems.

And there’s more: Joint Economic Committee Republicans explain in a new report the impact of a rarely mentioned $14.3 billion per year tax on health insurance, effective in 2014. They find this tax will be mostly passed through to consumers in the form of higher premiums for private coverage. It will cost the typical family of four with job-based coverage an additional $1,000 a year in higher premiums and will fall largely, and inequitably, on small businesses and their employees.

States are fighting back. The Florida legislature voted Thursday to place a state constitutional amendment on the ballot that would ban any laws that compel someone to “participate in any health care system.” It requires a 60 percent vote to succeed. The legislation is modeled after the American Legislative Exchange Council’s Freedom of Choice in Health Care Act, which has been introduced or announced in 42 states.

It just makes you want to cry.  Fifteen percent of hospitals are going to close, tens of thousands of doctors will leave medicine, and yet millions of people are going to start swamping the healthcare rolls.  If I wanted to destroy our healthcare system, that’s how I’d do it.

On top of that – something that will crash the system even sooner – is the fact that more and more healthier people will increasingly pay the fines and opt out of ObamaCare, will more and more sick people enter the system.  The result will be a social catastrophe.  Our very worst enemy couldn’t have engineered our downfall better.

Business after business have been and will continue to be writing down billions and billions of dollars in profits to cover the huge costs of ObamaCare.  These are businesses that would have hired workers, only now the skyrocketing costs of paying for ObamaCare for their employees will keep that hiring to an absolute minimum.

Barack Obama proudly and arrogantly said, “You Can Measure America’s Bottom Line By Looking At Caterpillar’s’” – and then he torpedoed Caterpillar’s bottom line.

Unemployment is going to be soaringly high for years – as even the Obama White House acknowledges.  Now you know why.

What’s the result of the Democrats’ idiotic policies?  Ask Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, who just told us that sky-high “unemployment is likely to remain unacceptably high for a long time.”

The unemployment rate “is still terribly high and is going to stay unacceptably high for a very long time,” Geithner said.

Of course, if unemployment is going to stay “unacceptably high” for “a very long time,” you’re pretty much accepting it, aren’t you?

Meanwhile, there will be trillions of dollars in additional spending that Obama and the Democrats refused to allow the CBO to count: such as the SIX TRILLION DOLLARS it will cost Americans to buy ObamaCare policies or face fines.

The Titanic wasn’t as big of a disaster as ObamaCare.  If we can’t repeal and replace it, it will bankrupt the country.

Doctor Cassell: ‘If You Voted For Obama, Seek Urologic Care Elsewhere’

April 2, 2010

A doctor in Mount Dora, Florida just became my very favorite urologist.  And I will bet his practice expands as a result of the courageously outspoken stand he recently took.

Let me begin with the rather-obviously politically-biased Orlando Sentinel account of Dr. Cassell:

Doctor tells Obama supporters: Go elsewhere for health care
A Mount Dora doctor posted a sign telling Obama health care supporters to go elsewhere.
By Stephen Hudak, Orlando Sentinel

8:22 a.m. EDT, April 2, 2010

MOUNT DORA — A doctor who considers the national health-care overhaul to be bad medicine for the country posted a sign on his office door telling patients who voted for President Barack Obama to seek care “elsewhere.”

I’m not turning anybody away — that would be unethical,” Dr. Jack Cassell, 56, a Mount Dora urologist and a registered Republican opposed to the health plan, told the Orlando Sentinel on Thursday. “But if they read the sign and turn the other way, so be it.”

The sign reads: “If you voted for Obama … seek urologic care elsewhere. Changes to your healthcare begin right now, not in four years.”

Estella Chatman, 67, of Eustis, whose daughter snapped a photo of the typewritten sign, sent the picture to U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson, the Orlando Democrat who riled Republicans last year when he characterized the GOP’s idea of health care as, “If you get sick, America … Die quickly.”

Chatman said she heard about the sign from a friend referred to Cassell after his physician recently died. She said her friend did not want to speak to a reporter but was dismayed by Cassell’s sign.

“He’s going to find another doctor,” she said.

Cassell may be walking a thin line between his right to free speech and his professional obligation, said William Allen, professor of bioethics, law and medical professionalism at the University of Florida‘s College of Medicine.

Allen said doctors cannot refuse patients on the basis of race, gender, religion, sexual orientation or disability, but political preference is not one of the legally protected categories specified in civil-rights law. By insisting he does not quiz his patients about their politics and has not turned away patients based on their vote, the doctor is “trying to hold onto the nub of his ethical obligation,” Allen said.

“But this is pushing the limit,” he said.

Cassell, who has practiced medicine in GOP-dominated Lake County since 1988, said he doesn’t quiz his patients about their politics, but he also won’t hide his disdain for the bill Obama signed and the lawmakers who passed it.

In his waiting room, Cassell also has provided his patients with photocopies of a health-care timeline produced by Republican leaders that outlines “major provisions” in the health-care package. The doctor put a sign above the stack of copies that reads: “This is what the morons in Washington have done to your health care. Take one, read it and vote out anyone who voted for it.”

Cassell, whose lawyer wife, Leslie Campione, has declared herself a Republican candidate for Lake County commissioner, said three patients have complained, but most have been “overwhelmingly supportive” of his position.

“They know it’s not good for them,” he said.

Cassell, who previously served as chief of surgery at Florida Hospital Waterman in Tavares, said a patient’s politics would not affect his care for them, although he said he would prefer not to treat people who support the president.

“I can at least make a point,” he said.

The notice on Cassell’s office door could cause some patients to question his judgment or fret about the care they might receive if they don’t share his political views, Allen said. He said doctors are wise to avoid public expressions that can affect the physician-patient relationship.

Erin VanSickle, spokeswoman for the Florida Medical Association, would not comment specifically.

But she noted in an e-mail to the Sentinel that “physicians are extended the same rights to free speech as every other citizen in the United States.”

The outspoken Grayson described Cassell’s sign as “ridiculous.”

“I’m disgusted,” he said. “Maybe he thinks the Hippocratic Oath says, ‘Do no good.’ If this is the face of the right wing in America, it’s the face of cruelty. … Why don’t they change the name of the Republican Party to the Sore Loser Party?”

How about changing the name of the Democrat Party to the Demagogue Party?  Or maybe the Depravity Party?

As to Alan Grayson, just remember that this is same the hater who thought demonizing Republicans as hoping people would die was not one iota over the top.

For the record, I didn’t add any of those html links to the story; they are part of the article.  Do you see which link is missing if this was to be an even halfway fair article?

Where’s the link to the timeline???

No link to that.  Half a dozen links to other stuff, but no link to the timeline the doctor referred to.  The only thing the Orlando Sentinel does is dismiss it as “Republican.”  Nothing to see there, folks.

I don’t care if the timeline came from Republican leaders.  I only care whether it accurately reflects the facts of the bill, and whether those facts are bad.

I heard about this story via Neil Cavuto’s program on Fox News.  Dr. Jack Cassell very clearly indicates on the program that the reason for the sign that he’s being demonized about was that timeline.  It was the what and the why of the five questions journalists are supposed to ask: Why did you do what you did?

Oh, we can point out the bias in the fact that Dr. Cassell says that 98% of his patients have responded favorably to the sign, whereas the Orlando Sentinel wants to make sure the only patient who gets to speak is one of the 2%.  We can point out that the liberal blogoshphere is trying to depict Dr. Cassell as turning away patients because they voted for Obama (and isn’t that hateful?!?!), when Dr. Cassell repeatedly says he isn’t turning patients away.

Dr. Cassell is making a statement, which he has every right to do.  And on Neil Cavuto’s program, the doctor says he came to the decision to do so as a result of coming across the timeline to ObamaCare.  He says that timeline angered him so much when he looked into it that he chose to take a risk and make a stand.

SOMEBODY SHOULD TELL US WHAT’S IN THAT TIMELINE THAT GOT DR. CASSELL SO RILED UP IF THEY’RE GOING TO DENOUNCE HIM, SHOULDN’T THEY???

Here’s the timeline:

Timeline of Major Provisions in the Democrats’ Health Care Package

2009
• 2-year tax credit (total cap of $1B) for new chronic disease therapy investments
• Medicare cuts to hospitals begin (long-term care (7/1/09) and inpatient and rehabilitation facilities (FY10))

2010
• States and Federal officials review premium increases
• FDA authorized to approve “follow-on” biologics
• Increase brand name pharmaceutical Medicaid rebate (from 15.1% to 23.1%)
• Medicare payments to physicians in primarily rural areas increase (2 years)
• Deny “black liquor” eligibility for cellulosic biofuel producers credit
• Tax credits provided to certain small employers for health care-related expenses
• Increase adoption tax incentives for 2 years
• Codify economic substance doctrine and impose penalties for underpayments
(transactions on/after 3/23/10)
• Provide income exclusion for specified Indian tribe health benefits provided after 3/23/10
• Temporary high-risk pool and high-cost union retiree reinsurance ($5 B each for 3.5
years) (6/23/10)
• Impose 10% tax on indoor UV tanning (7/1/10)
• Medicare cuts to inpatient psych hospitals (7/1/10)
• Prohibits lifetime and annual benefit spending limits (plan years beginning 9/23/10)
• Prohibits non-group plans from canceling coverage (rescissions) (plan years
beginning 9/23/10)
• Requires plans to cover, at no charge, most preventive care (plan years beginning 9/23/10)
• Allows dependents to stay on parents’ policies through age 26 (plan years beginning 9/23/10)
• Provides limited protections to children with pre-existing conditions (plan years beginning 9/23/10)
• Hospitals in “Frontier States” (ND, MT, WY, SD, UT ) receive higher Medicare payments (FY11)
• Hospitals in “low-cost” areas receive higher Medicare payments for 2 yrs ($400 million, FY11)

2011
• Medicare Advantage cuts begin
• No longer allowed to use FSA, HSA, HRA, Archer MSA distributions for over-the-counter medicines
• Medicare cuts to home health begin
• Wealthier seniors ($85k/$170k) begin paying higher Part D premiums (not indexed for inflation in Parts B/D)
• Medicare reimbursement cuts when seniors use diagnostic imaging like MRIs, CT scans, etc.
• Medicare cuts begin to ambulance services, ASCs, diagnostic labs, and durable medical equipment
• Impose new annual tax on brand name pharmaceutical companies
• Americans begin paying premiums for federal long-term care insurance (CLASS Act)
• Health plans required to spend a minimum of 80% of premiums on medical claims
• Physicians in “Frontier States” (ND, MT, WY, SD, UT ) receive higher Medicare payments
• Prohibition on Medicare payments to new physician-owned hospitals
• Penalties for non-qualified HSA and Archer MSA distributions double (to 20%)
• Seniors prohibited from purchasing power wheelchairs unless they first rent for 13 months
• Brand name drug companies begin providing 50% discount in the Part D “donut hole”
• 10% Medicare bonus payment for primary care and general surgery (5 years)
• Employers required to report value of health benefits on W-2
• Steps towards health insurance administrative simplification (reduced paperwork, etc) begins (5 yr process)
• Additional funding for community health centers (5 years)
• Seniors who hit Part D “donut hole “in 2010 receive $250 check (3/15/11)
• New Medicare cuts to long-term care hospitals begin (7/1/11)
• Additional Medicare cuts to hospitals and cuts to nursing homes and inpatient rehab facilities begin (FY12)
• New tax on all private health insurance policies to pay for comp. eff. research (plan years beginning FY12)

2012
• Medicare cuts to dialysis treatment begins
• Require information reporting on payments to corporations
• Medicare to reduce spending by using an HMO-like coordinated care model (Accountable Care Organizations)
• Medicare Advantage plans with a 4 or 5 star rating receive a quality bonus payment
• New Medicare cuts to inpatient psych hospitals (7/1/12)
• Hospital pay-for-quality program begins (FY13)
• Medicare cuts to hospitals with high readmission rates begin (FY13)
• Medicare cuts to hospice begin (FY13)

2013
• Impose $2,500 annual cap on FSA contributions (indexed to CPI)
• Increase Medicare wage tax by 0.9% and impose a new 3.8% tax on unearned , non-active business income for those earning over $200k/$250k (not indexed to inflation)
• Generally increases (7.5% to 10%) threshold at which medical expenses, as a % of income, can be deductible
• Eliminate deduction for Part D retiree drug subsidy employers receive
• Impose 2.3% excise tax on medical devices
• Medicare cuts to hospitals who treat low-income seniors begin
• Post-acute pay for quality reporting begins
• CO-OP Program: Secretary awards loans and grants for establishing nonprofit health insurers
• $500,000 deduction cap on compensation paid to insurance company employees and officers
• Part D “donut hole” reduction begins, reaching a 25% reduction by 2020

2014
• Individuals without gov’t-approved coverage are subject to a tax of the greater of $695 or 2.5% of income
• Employers who fail to offer “affordable” coverage would pay a $3,000 penalty for every employee that receives a subsidy through the Exchange
• Employers who do not offer insurance must pay a tax penalty of $2,000 for every full-time employee
• More Medicare cuts to home health begin
• States must have established Exchanges
• Employers with more than 200 employees can auto-enroll employees in health coverage, with opt-out
• All non-grandfathered and Exchange health plans required to meet federally-mandated levels of coverage
• States must cover parents /childless adults up to 138% of poverty on Medicaid, receive increased FMAP
• Tax credits available for Exchange-based coverage, amount varies by income up to 400% of poverty
• Insurers cannot impose any coverage restrictions on pre-existing conditions (guaranteed issue/renewability)
• Modified community rating: individual or family coverage; geography; 3:1 ratio for age; 1.5 :1 for smoking
• Insurers must offer coverage to anyone wanting a policy and every policy has to be renewed
• Limits out-of-pocket cost-sharing (tied to limits in HSAs, currently $5,950/$11,900 indexed to COLA)
• Insurance plans must include government-defined “essential benefits ” and coverage levels
• OPM must offer at least two multi-state plans in every state
• Employers can offer some employees free choice vouchers for health insurance in the Exchange
• Government board (IPAB) begins submitting proposals to cut Medicare
• Impose tax on nearly all private health insurance plans
• Medicare payment cuts for hospital-acquired infections begin (FY15)

2015
• More Medicare cuts to home health begin

2016
• States can form interstate insurance compacts if the coverage with HHS approval (2016)

2017
• Physician pay-for-quality program begins for all physicians
• States may allow large employers and multi-employer health plans to purchase coverage in the Exchange.
• States may apply to the Secretary for a limited waiver from certain federal requirements

2018
• Impose “Cadillac tax on “high cost” plans, 40% tax on the benefit value above a certain
threshold: ($10,200 individual coverage, $27,500 family or self-only union multi-employer coverage)

Now, maybe you love what ObamaCare does.  But Dr. Jack Cassell most certainly does not.  He sees the destruction of medicine, and the destruction of his medical practice contained in this timeline that just keeps imposing more and more and more.

Dr. Jack Cassell sees what’s coming.  And you should see it too.

And he wants to poke people in the eyeballs and wake them the heck up before it’s too late.

Dr. Jack Cassell.  My very favorite urologist.

ObamaCare Prescription For Health System Has Many Deadly Side Effects

March 30, 2010

I’m sure you’ve seen those TV ads for prescription drugs that are offered to treat a relatively minor problem, but then come with a long list of nasty side effects that make one wonder why anybody would take that drug.  The prescription seems far worse than the disease.

To put it in a nutshell, ObamaCare is rather like Saturday Night Live’s “Happy Fun Ball.”  It isn’t FUN like Happy Fun Ball, of course, but it does have that same list of toxic and deadly side effects that  just goes on and on.

A dramatic re-enactment of the SNL Happy Fun Ball commercial:

Happy Fun Ball, fun as it was, had just a few side effects:

Warning: Pregnant women, the elderly and children under 10 should avoid prolonged exposure to Happy Fun Ball.

Caution: Happy Fun Ball may suddenly accelerate to dangerous speeds.

Happy Fun Ball Contains a liquid core, which, if exposed due to rupture, should not be touched, inhaled, or looked at.

Do not use Happy Fun Ball on concrete.

Discontinue use of Happy Fun Ball if any of the following occurs:
Itching
Vertigo
Dizziness
Tingling in extremities
Loss of balance or coordination
Slurred speech
Temporary blindness
Profuse sweating
Heart palpitations

If Happy Fun Ball begins to smoke, get away immediately. Seek shelter and cover head.

Happy Fun Ball may stick to certain types of skin.

When not in use, Happy Fun Ball should be returned to its special container and kept under refrigeration…

Failure to do so relieves the makers of Happy Fun Ball, Wacky Products Incorporated, and its parent company Global Chemical Unlimited, of any and all liability.

Ingredients of Happy Fun Ball include an unknown glowing substance which fell to Earth, presumably from outer space.

Happy Fun Ball has been shipped to our troops in Saudi Arabia and is also being dropped by our warplanes on Iraq.

Do not taunt Happy Fun Ball.

Happy Fun Ball comes with a lifetime guarantee.

Happy Fun Ball

ACCEPT NO SUBSTITUTES!

We have to worry about ObamaCare exploding, too, and taking our entire economy and society out with it.  ObamaCare will definitely accelerate to dangerous costs.  And we all KNOW it’s dangerous to taunt ObamaCare.

Heritage figured out that ObamaCare needed it’s own Happy Fun Ball sendoff-style commercial:

Here’s some of the ObamaBall side effects:

  • Job loss
  • Higher premiums
  • Higher costs
  • Higher taxes
  • Medicare cuts
  • Medicaid expansion
  • Losing the plan you like
  • Special backroom deals
  • Small business penalties
  • Denial of pre-existing conditions (until 2014, even for kids)
  • Future government rationing
  • Investment penalties
  • Loss of state authority
  • Higher deficits
  • Higher debt
  • Individual mandates with penalties

Kind of puts the side effects of Happy Fun Ball to shame, if you ask me.

Heritage has quite a bit more on the side effects of ObamaCare.

I’m sure you can’t wait to “bounce” through the 159 new federal agencies ObamaBall creates, or to ping-and-pong off the 16,500 new IRS agents ObamaBall will send reigning down on you.

That’s the kind of “fun” that ObamaBall promises.

ObamaCare Will Increase Insurance Premiums

December 1, 2009

One of the fundamental promises of Democrats is that their massive takeover of health care would deliver lower costs, delivering an economy of scale.

The problem is that government has never been very good at lowering the cost of anything.  Quite the contrary.

And what has always been true before turns out to be true again.

Let’s get right to the nitty gritty of the CBO report:

“CBO and JCT estimate that the average premium per person covered (including dependents) for new nongroup policies would be about 10 percent to 13 percent higher in 2016 than the average premium for nongroup coverage in that same year under current law. About half of those enrollees would receive government subsidies that would reduce their costs well below the premiums that would be charged for such policies under current law,” the report says.

Now, Democrats are trying to argue that about the “about half of those enrollees” who would have lower premiums due to receiving government subsidies.  But understand: the costs are objectively higher by 10-13% than they would have been had we done absolutely nothing at all.  The mere fact that some people are getting transfer (i.e., welfare) payments from the government (i.e., from still more government taxing and borrowing) doesn’t in any way change that fact.

Stop and think about it: it would be a lot cheaper for the government to provide people with subsidies based on the lower costs of doing nothing else to mess with the health care system.  It is an outright fraud for Democrats to say they will lower costs.

I like the way Mitch McConnell put it:

“The bottom line is this: After 2,074 pages and trillions more in government spending, massive new taxes and a half-trillion dollars in cuts to Medicare for seniors, most people, according to the Congressional Budget Office, will end up paying more or seeing no significant savings,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said in a statement. The health insurance industry’s lobbying arms also proclaimed that the report confirmed their similar warnings.

This is just a terrible bill, and a terrible philosophy.

Democrats have done absolutely NOTHING that will reduce the costs of healthcare.  They are diametrically opposed to tort reform, which would lower the costs of premiums by lowering doctors’ exposure to risks, simply because the sharks – I mean lawyers – who sue everything that walks, crawls, swims or flies are a major Democrat special interest group.

In the same way, Democrats talk about “increasing competition,” and yet they are fundamentally opposed to actually doing anything of the sort.  A primary reason healthcare costs have increased so much is due to the fact that insurance companies are specifically forbidden from being allowed to compete across state lines.  Republicans want competition; Democrats do not.  Rather, Democrats want to continue to mandate special interests-based coverage by dictating to insurance companies what coverage they must offer.

The other thing is that Democrats talk about the fraud they are offering is “deficit neutral.”  It is no such thing.  They played budget gimmicks, taxing for four years before having to pay out any benefits.  If you look at the costs of the NEXT ten years – when benefits will actually be paid out for all ten years – the cost will be $2.5 trillion, rather than the $848 billion that the Demcorats talk about in their tax-for-ten-year-spend-for-six plan.

Taxes will be raised by over $500 billion.  Medicare will be cut by $500 billion.  $500 billion is another way of saying half a trillion dollars.  That’s how the Democrats get their “savings”: they bleed it from taxpayers, and they steal it from their previous commitments to senior citizens.

The Democrats’ bill raises taxes, guts Medicare, and raises premiums.  You can start to understand why the Dean of the Harvard School of Medicine gave the bill a failing grade.

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

Democrats’ Effort To Fearmonger Path To Socialized Medicine Has Been Tried Before

August 18, 2009

In the mainstream media narrative, Sarah Palin is demonized as “about half a whack job” and her statement about “death panels” is literally interpreted in a way I’d love to see them apply JUST ONCE to the Constitution.  Conservatives were denounced as an “angry mob,” as “un-American,” and as exhibiting Nazi characteristics by the Democrat Speaker of the House.

The media loves to talk about rightwing fearmongering.

I’d like to say a little more about leftwing fearmongering.

How about the one that we need to pass health care reform in order to get our economy out of the toilet?

A smattering of various Obama “warnings” fearmongering health care:

– “We must lay a new foundation for future growth and prosperity, and a key pillar of a new foundation is health insurance reform.”

Obama cast retooling the U.S. health-care system as crucial to the nation’s economic success. Reform would help rein in the national deficit and rebuild the economy, he argued, in a way that would help middle-class workers, whose wages have stagnated in recent years largely because of spiraling health-care costs.

– WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama warned on Thursday that the United States would not rebuild its economy unless political leaders joined him immediately on a perilous political drive for healthcare reform.

President Obama warned Wednesday night that health-care reform is central to rebuilding the economy “stronger than before,” and without congressional action on health-care reform, “We’re guaranteed to see Medicare and Medicaid basically break the federal budget.”

And our last Obama “warning”:

“The country has to reform its health care system or else not only are you going to continue to have people really going through a hard time, we’re also going see a continuing escalation of our budget problems that can’t get under control,” Obama told Moran. “I think America has to win it here.”

In the dialogue surrounding health care, Obama warned against “scare tactics,” which he said are fostering anxiety and serving to distract Americans from the plan’s principles.

What’s nice about the last one is that it includes fearmongering on the one hand with warning against “scare tactics” on the other.  Obama tells us one the one hand that our economy will plummet unless we implement ObamaCare, and then demonizes everyone who has a different fearmongering message.

It doesn’t matter that Obama’s urgings that we pass health care “reform” will lower our costs and boost are economy are entirely false:

Under questioning by members of the Senate Budget Committee, Douglas Elmendorf, director of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, said bills crafted by House leaders and the Senate health committee do not propose “the sort of fundamental changes” necessary to rein in the skyrocketing cost of government health programs, particularly Medicare. On the contrary, Elmendorf said, the measures would pile on an expensive new program to cover the uninsured.

Though President Obama and Democratic leaders have repeatedly pledged to alter the soaring trajectory — or cost curve — of federal health spending, the proposals so far would not meet that goal, Elmendorf said, noting, “The curve is being raised.” His remarks suggested that rather than averting a looming fiscal crisis, the measures could make the nation’s bleak budget outlook even worse.

It also doesn’t seem to matter that, given that the “reforms” Obama is seeking wouldn’t take effect until at least 2013, there is little reason to rush headlong into anything other than opportunistic partisan demagoguery.  And yet Barack Obama was out there rushing “reform” and calling August 1st “the people’s deadline” even as polls showed “the people” overwhelmingly wanting Congress to take time crafting health care legislation.

Interestingly, these tricks of fearmongering health care “reform” in the name of averting economic calamity and trying to rush the process through have been tried before.  Think Bill Clinton, First Inaugural Address, 1993:

But all of our efforts to strengthen the economy will fail—let me say this again; I feel so strongly about this—all of our efforts to strengthen the economy will fail unless we also take this year, not next year, not 5 years from now but this year, bold steps to reform our health care system.

In 1992, we spent 14 percent of our income on health care, more than 30 percent more than any other country in the world, and yet we were the only advanced nation that did not provide a basic package of health care benefits to all of its citizens. Unless we change the present pattern, 50 percent of the growth in the deficit between now and the year 2000 will be in health care costs. By the year 2000 almost 20 percent of our income will be in health care. Our families will never be secure, our businesses will never be strong, and our Government will never again be fully solvent until we tackle the health care crisis. We must do it this year.

The combination of the rising cost of care and the lack of care and the fear of losing care are endangering the security and the very lives of millions of our people. And they are weakening our economy every day. Reducing health care costs can liberate literally hundreds of billions of dollars for new investment in growth and jobs. Bringing health costs in line with inflation would do more for the private sector in this country than any tax cut we could give and any spending program we could promote. Reforming health care over the long run is critically essential to reducing not only our deficit but to expanding investment in America.

What’s interesting about this is that liberals depict the Clinton years as the time when the streets were lined with gold and every child went to bed in a warm house with a full tummy.

So the point would obviously be, either Clinton was fearmongering health care in a way that did not turn out to be true at all, or the “glorious Clinton economy” is itself a fabrication.  Because somehow Bill Clinton had to flounder along with no health care reform.

We need to put some things into historic perspective: 1) Bill Clinton so mismanaged the country his first two years in office that it led to the largest political tsunami ever experienced in American history as Republicans took over in an unprecedented landslide 1994 election.  2) Many of the benefits that Bill Clinton has received credit for were actually enacted by the Republican Congress (example: welfare reform).  3) Bill Clinton benefited from an economy that was just recovering from a severe recession at the end of the Bush I administration as Clinton took over.  By contrast, George Bush II – like Barack Obama now – had a significant recession handed to him that will count against his average performance.  In President Bush’s case, that recession was compounded by the worst attack on American soil in nearly 200 years  in the 9/11 terror attack.  4) Bill Clinton changed the way unemployment figures were calculated back in 1994 – making comparisons to previous eras appear far more rosy than they really were.  5) The “Clinton Budget Surplus” is in reality a myth.  In actuality, Clinton created a smoke and mirror illusion by transferring “public debt” costs which are calculated as part of the budget over to “intergovernmental holdings” (eg., by borrowing from Social Security) which are not counted as part of the public debt.

I might also point out that Bill Clinton’s famous statement from his State of the Union Speech in January 1996 – “THE ERA OF BIG GOVERNMENT IS OVER” – tacitly recognized the new Republican era, and which in reality was the ultimate reason why the Clinton economy became ultimately successful.

Democrats were wiped out in 1994 as Republicans swept into power when Americans became fed up with Democrat incompetence and massive spending.  And Bill Clinton was wise enough to recognize the handwriting on the wall.  As a result, he transitioned into a fiscal moderate and avoided the fate of his party.

But now the man who recognized that “The era of big government is over” is back to his pre-1994 ways.  Bill Clinton has joined Barack Obama with the very same big spending, big government socialistic mindset that brought the Democrats to such historic disaster in 1994.

There are many things we can do to improve our health care system.  That goes without saying.  But the Democrat’s presentation that opposing their system is opposing “change” or “reform” is simply asinine.  If any change is better than our present course, than we should just nuke ourselves and be done with it: that would be “change,” after all.  We need to recognize that there is good reform and there is bad reform – and government-run health care is simply “bad” reform.

ObamaCare suffers from massive policy problems that go right to the heart of the greater debate surrounding the size of government, the size of Obama’s unprecedented deficits, and the unsustainable size of our debt.  Democrats have a real problem explaining how they are going to spend $1.6 trillion and yet bring down costs – especially given the CBO’s damning analysis.  They have a problem explaining how they’re going to take hundreds of millions out of Medicare and yet not affect the quality of care to Medicare beneficiaries.  And they have a problem explaining how they’re not going to end up transferring over a hundred million Americans out of their employee-based health care and into the “public option” when good analysis sees exactly that happening (and see also here).

The American people listened to Obama fearmonger his way to the gigantic stimulus package that will ultimately cost Americans $3.27 trillion.  The stimulus has been deemed by the American people as being so unsuccessful that fully 72% of Americans now say “returning the unused portion of the $787 billion dollar stimulus to taxpayers would do more to boost the economy than having the government spend it.”  People are turning against what they increasingly recognize as big government socialism.

Obama_Economy_Pork-debt

We need to STOP health care “reform” until it includes tort reform such as loser pays, until it includes an end to state and federal mandates, until it includes allowing our 1300 private insurance companies to compete across state lines.  And we need to STOP health care “reform” until it EXCLUDES giving full medical coverage to more than 12 million illegal immigrants, until it excludes “public options,” excludes “Co-Ops,” and excludes any other device that becomes a backdoor guarantee to government health care.