Thursday, July 16, 2009
Senator Christopher Dodd (D-Countrywide) makes the Democratic case for the bill just reported out of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions:
“If you don’t have health insurance, this bill is for you,” said Senator Christopher J. Dodd, Democrat of Connecticut, who presided over more than three weeks of grueling committee sessions. “It stops insurance companies from denying coverage based on pre-existing conditions. It guarantees that you’ll be able to find an insurance plan that works for you, including a public health insurance option if you want it.”
The bill would also help people who have insurance, Mr. Dodd said, because “it eliminates annual and lifetime caps on coverage and ensures that your out-of-pocket costs will never exceed your ability to pay.”
Insure the uninsured in a plan "that works for you," eliminate all caps on coverage, and "ensure" that your out-of-pocket costs "will never exceed your ability to pay." Well, who could possibly be against that? Oh. Right. Forgot about that.
I especially love the last bit: "Out-of-pocket costs will never exceed your ability to pay." Is that your ability to pay at the moment you get the invoice, or your ability to pay had you led a life of industry and thrift? Christopher Dodd, who would not know industry and thrift if Ben Franklin's ghost whacked him upside the head, undoubtedly means the former. The thrifty industrious people will be paying for all of this. (Oh, you supporters of this travesty should by all means tell your anecdote about the hard-working guy who was wiped out by medical bills, because that would be a good reason to restructure 17% of GDP from the White House.)
Tigerhawk ... haven't been following this too closely. Are they proposing to have the high earners also pay the employer match on medicare, or is the 2.9% an error that includes the ER match?
Tack on the taxes on your property, purchases, tolls, booze, smokes, telephone, etc. and you have a lot of states where it's going to pay to go Galt.
P.J O'Rourke: "If you think health care is expensive now, wait until you see what it costs when it’s free."
We already have huge projected deficits that haven't been paid for. As I've posted here already, you could raise tax rates to 100% for incomes over $200,000 and not close this gap. If growth stalls -- which I expect will happen -- the numbers are even worse. We can carry a lot of debt, but not if it's growing faster than everything else.
Germany put in a hard cap on growth in social spending. We're doing the opposite. If RomneyCare is failing in Massachusetts, why do we think this will work nationwide. Who'd want to hire anyone right now.
According to Investor's Business Daily, the house version of the bill prohibits obtaining new private insurance policies once the public option becomes available:
It's Not An Option
By INVESTOR'S BUSINESS DAILY | Posted Wednesday, July 15, 2009 4:20 PM PT
Congress: It didn't take long to run into an "uh-oh" moment when reading the House's "health care for all Americans" bill. Right there on Page 16 is a provision making individual private medical insurance illegal.
When we first saw the paragraph Tuesday, just after the 1,018-page document was released, we thought we surely must be misreading it. So we sought help from the House Ways and Means Committee.
It turns out we were right: The provision would indeed outlaw individual private coverage. Under the Orwellian header of "Protecting The Choice To Keep Current Coverage," the "Limitation On New Enrollment" section of the bill clearly states: "Except as provided in this paragraph, the individual health insurance issuer offering such coverage does not enroll any individual in such coverage if the first effective date of coverage is on or after the first day" of the year the legislation becomes law.
So we can all keep our coverage, just as promised — with, of course, exceptions: Those who currently have private individual coverage won't be able to change it. Nor will those who leave a company to work for themselves be free to buy individual plans from private carriers.
From the beginning, opponents of the public option plan have warned that if the government gets into the business of offering subsidized health insurance coverage, the private insurance market will wither. Drawn by a public option that will be 30% to 40% cheaper than their current premiums because taxpayers will be funding it, employers will gladly scrap their private plans and go with Washington's coverage.
The nonpartisan Lewin Group estimated in April that 120 million or more Americans could lose their group coverage at work and end up in such a program. That would leave private carriers with 50 million or fewer customers. This could cause the market to, as Lewin Vice President John Sheils put it, "fizzle out altogether."
What wasn't known until now is that the bill itself will kill the market for private individual coverage by not letting any new policies be written after the public option becomes law.
The legislation is also likely to finish off health savings accounts, a goal that Democrats have had for years. They want to crush that alternative because nothing gives individuals more control over their medical care, and the government less, than HSAs.
With HSAs out of the way, a key obstacle to the left's expansion of the welfare state will be removed.
The public option won't be an option for many, but rather a mandate for buying government care. A free people should be outraged at this advance of soft tyranny.
Washington does not have the constitutional or moral authority to outlaw private markets in which parties voluntarily participate. It shouldn't be killing business opportunities, or limiting choices, or legislating major changes in Americans' lives.
It took just 16 pages of reading to find this naked attempt by the political powers to increase their reach. It's scary to think how many more breaches of liberty we'll come across in the final 1,002.
Many fail to realize that Senator Dodd, his wife, many other family members and many friends have extensive financial debts and obligations that can't be met by their "legal" salaries. So, let's not be too judgmental.
The "goodies" I'm most fearful of in this bill are the ones for the foulest humans among us: those who believe in state programs to kill "genetically deficient" people, population control by the government, and promoting government controlled "socially responsible" policies regardless of what individuals may want.
Who could that be, you ask? What crazies would promote those sorts of policies? Peter Singer would, that's who.
This foul excuse for a human, a man who make even Stalinists and hypocrites uncomfortable, infests the town where I live. Princeton University is his employer.
He's written an explanation of why he thinks individuals should not be allowed to "distort" the system of medical care provision, merely because they are able to pay for it, and he's advocating explicit rationing of medical care based on government policy. Because that will be "fair" and because the money individuals pay really belongs to "society" as a whole. Individual choice should not be allowed.
A word to the wise: If Peter Singer is in favor of it, fight it. Whatever "it" is. Fight it with all your strength.
Ground Zero for one front is the House Energy and Commerce committee markup. These are the same good people who brought you the recent kneecap-and-trade bill.
There, Nancy Pelosi is finding some unexpected resistance among Democrats to the proposed destruction of the U.S. economy and she is responding with forceful comments. The President is also responding, by putting ads on TV in the Members home states, pushing for support.
"That led to a tense session between Pelosi and Blue Dogs at the group’s regular Tuesday meeting hours after the rollout.
“The meeting did not go well. She just kept saying it was a good bill,” said one Blue Dog.
“There is a growing perception among many of us that our leadership meets with us but doesn’t listen to us,” said another Blue Dog."
Obama keeps trying to justify Obamacare nationalization on the basis of a need to cut costs. Well, how does he respond then to the CBO saying it won't? This is the Democrat's own CBO, the same place Peter Orszag used to run.
Removing caps and requiring coverage for pre-existing conditions will make insurance stratospherically expensive. I assume that's the point, drive everybody to the government plan. Do they require community rating too? That's why health insurance in Maine and NY is so expensive.
The worrisome thing is that they didn't something guaranteed to lower health insurance costs: allow consumers to buy insurance from any company in any state, regardless of their home state's insurance laws.
The pre-existing condition situtation is a problematic one. As somebody who can't get insurance due to such a condition, it aggravates me that I can't buy insurance at all, even if I want to offer the company a preliminary exclusionary period or limit coverage to accidents & crime. I have no control over injuries due to accidents or muggings, after all.
Whoa. Chris Dodd's comment - “If you don’t have health insurance, this bill is for you...”
To this former actor, the phrasing and cadence of that line sounded straight off a medicine wagon or carnival midway. For one thin dime, one-tenth of a dollah...