Congress’ Health Care Oversight May Hurt Their Own Coverage?

Tuesday, April 13th, 2010

Has a group ever more richly deserved this irony? From NRO:

In a new report, the Congressional Research Service says the law may have significant unintended consequences for the “personal health insurance coverage” of senators, representatives and their staff members. For example, it says, the law may “remove members of Congress and Congressional staff” from their current coverage, in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, before any alternatives are available. The confusion raises the inevitable question: If they did not know exactly what they were doing to themselves, did lawmakers who wrote and passed the bill fully grasp the details of how it would influence the lives of other Americans?

Does indeed beg the question.

This health care bill is going to be a noose around the necks of Democrats.



May We Call President Obama A Socialist Now?

Wednesday, March 24th, 2010

I don’t know why Democrats are so touchy about the description. Well, some, like Al Sharpton isn’t. Their motivation is “fairness” which means to take from one person and give to another who hasn’t earned it. From the New York Times:

A big chunk of the money to pay for the bill comes from lifting payroll taxes on households making more than $250,000. On average, the annual tax bill for households making more than $1 million a year will rise by $46,000 in 2013, according to the Tax Policy Center, a Washington research group. Another major piece of financing would cut Medicare subsidies for private insurers, ultimately affecting their executives and shareholders.

The benefits, meanwhile, flow mostly to households making less than four times the poverty level — $88,200 for a family of four people. Those without insurance in this group will become eligible to receive subsidies or to join Medicaid. (Many of the poor are already covered by Medicaid.) Insurance costs are also likely to drop for higher-income workers at small companies.

Finally, the bill will also reduce a different kind of inequality. In the broadest sense, insurance is meant to spread the costs of an individual’s misfortune — illness, death, fire, flood — across society. Since the late 1970s, though, the share of Americans with health insurance has shrunk. As a result, the gap between the economic well-being of the sick and the healthy has been growing, at virtually every level of the income distribution.

The health reform bill will reverse that trend. By 2019, 95 percent of people are projected to be covered, up from 85 percent today (and about 90 percent in the late 1970s). Even affluent families ineligible for subsidies will benefit if they lose their insurance, by being able to buy a plan that can no longer charge more for pre-existing conditions. In effect, healthy families will be picking up most of the bill — and their insurance will be somewhat more expensive than it otherwise would have been.

Each according to his need. Enforced fairness.

What is the natural consequence of such actions? The rich make sure they are no longer rich. By any means necessary, they will make sure their income falls below the taxation threshold. A whole new industry will pop up to help rich people. And rich people will go buy health care somewhere else. They can afford to travel to Mexico after all, to get cheaper health care. And the cost of health care in America will rise from this legislation.

And then, the government will have to force people to pay more taxes, which is why the President is considering a VAT tax. This whole issue will spiral. Costs will increase, tax revenue will decline. The black market for everything will flourish.

The incentives are all wrong. Why should people quit smoking and eat right? Pay the fine for not having insurance and then buy insurance when you get sick.

Socialism never works because it fundamentally operates against human nature. It reinforces bad behavior and extinguishes good behavior.

But it’s “fair.”



Obamacare Won’t Be Repealed, But It Will Make Americans Hate Democrats

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010

My not-so-cheery thoughts on Obamacare from over at Pajamas Media:

Meanwhile, Americans are stuck with what the Democrats have wrought. And much as they hate the policy rape, they’ll come to identify with their captors soon enough.

Why? It’s human nature.

First, no one will allow Congress to repeal a law that would take away health care “for the children.” Not even the toughest Republican wants to have that conversation with a crying constituent. So it won’t happen. So all the talk of “repeal it” is hopeful hokum.

Second, there are Medicare cuts in the bill. The country is going down the economic crapper and cannot afford the current Medicare and Medicaid obligations, so the cuts and the bill stay.

Third, when people pay huge taxes and then get nothing for it, they know the taxes won’t go away so they complain about the product. That’s what will happen here.

Now, this bill will change everyone’s life for the worse, so there’s that happy thought. Happy? Well, American citizens from young to old will curse the Democrats.

The young people will be furious because when they voted for Obama with unicorn dreams, they didn’t imagine having to actually pay for health care with money that could be used to buy beer. Dude just harshed their mellow.

Old people will be angry because if there is one group of people who hold on to their entitlements with boney, clingy fingers, it’s old people. So with the new health care bill, they get more free drugs but they have to pay for so much else. They won’t be happy.

Small business owners will be more disheartened. We’re in a recession, remember? Yeah, these companies are barely holding on during these tough times, trying to not fire people or lay them off. Now, they have to add health care costs. Guess what? There will suddenly be many more companies with 49 employees. Are you in a company of 60 people where health insurance isn’t provided? Uh-oh. Watch out.

Doctors will stop taking Medicare and Medicaid patients. I already don’t. In protest, doctors across America will simply refuse to accept any government plan. Chaos will ensue. Old people will be hit hardest.

So yes, people are ticked off. Irate even. The Democrats don’t care and the American people are helpless to do anything except pour money into Republican candidates.

And that brings us to the Republicans. Reversing this travesty depends on them. These are the guys bandying about immigration reform and who routinely get lost in the weeds. Will the rage the American people are displaying help them keep their focus? Maybe.

It’s distressing putting my hope in any politician’s will to act nobly. It’s not in the job description. Politicians, even the fresh, green, idealistic politicians who will be elected in November, get polluted almost immediately. They start listening to “advisers” and the more seasoned pros. They start doing what legislators do: make laws. And laws, by definition, impinge on rights. That’s the way it works.

So no, I don’t believe health care will go away. I believe it will divide us, create chaos, and turn the conversation away from big dreams and freedom to provincial “my piece of the pie” talk.

Health care “reform” makes America small. That’s just the way Democrats like it.

Please don’t think I feel totally hopeless. I don’t. The bill can be gutted and dismantled. But can it be repealed? Doubtful. Is the fight over? No.

But this bill irrevocably changed America, there’s no denying it. And it changes America for the worse.

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