ABOUT OBAMACARE

by Lloyd Streeter

Yes, our country needs prayer.  First, this issue shows the complete lack of wisdom in a majority shoving through a major law without any support from the minority.  The bill was passed by only one vote and with not one Republican vote.  The way it was written and the way it was passed was very unwise.  No one knew what was in it when it passed, and the more people found out what was in it, the less they liked it.  Now, sixty percent of the American people are opposed to Obamacare.  Second, in 2010, the American people threw more than 60 congressional Democrats out of office because they wanted Obamacare repealed, and the Republicans took control of the House of Representatives.  Those Republicans were reelected in 2012, and they are committed to doing what they promised and what they were elected to do, repeal Obamacare.  They cannot in good conscience vote to fund Obamacare.  Third, it should be remembered that all money bills must begin in the House of Representatives.  That means that the House holds the purse strings.  It was planned that way by our Founders.  It is the prerogative of the House to fund or not to fund programs as seems wise to it.  The President and the Senate should be sure that the laws they pass and sign have enough support in the House so that they can be funded.  The House, because all members are elected every two years, is supposed to be most responsive to the American people, and it should not vote to fund programs that the American people do not want.  So, that means that we are at an impasse.  Fourth, Statesmen are always willing to compromise for the good of the country.  Right now, it appears that the Republicans are willing to compromise and the Democrats are not.  When the Republicans said, “We want a one year delay on implementation of Obamacare,” what could be wrong with the Democrats saying, “Would you settle or a 6 month delay”?  But the President and the Democrats did not do that.  They said, “We will not compromise.”  What is really behind all of this?  Answer, politics.  If the President and the Democrats thought that they were being blamed more that Republicans for the shutdown, the shutdown would end immediately.

One of the big problems with Obamacare is that it is going to produce more uninsured people than it insures.  It is already producing many uninsured people as employers drop employee insurance programs.  This is often done by reducing all of the full-time employees to part-time.  The reason that the employers do this is the high cost of insurance which all employers are obligated to buy under Obamacare for all full-time employees, if they have over 50.  So, not only do the employees lose their insurance, they also lose their full-time job.  Also, young and healthy people are not going to buy Obamacare insurance because of the very high price.  They would rather pay the penalty/fine, and they can still sign up after they get sick because there are no waiting periods for preexisting conditions.  The best studies say that the exchanges will cover only about 7 million people who can not get or keep insurance from another source.  And, say these studies, after several years, there will still be at least 30 million uninsured people in America, which interestingly is just about exactly the same number of uninsured people we have today.

I’ve heard that there are 30 or 32 million people in this country who are without health insurance.  Of course, there is a difference between not having health insurance and not having health care.  Everyone in America has some health care if they want to go get it.  Even illegal aliens get it.  That said, I’ve also read that 12 million of the 30 or 32  million can afford health insurance but they do not want to buy it because they have enough money to pay for the care that they receive.  Additionally, millions of young adults buy only catastrophic health insurance, which they can get for a very low premium.  They are young and healthy and do not need anything except a catastrophic illness policy.  So, I have always wondered, Why didn’t Obama and the Dems just take the 20 million people who want insurance and can’t get it and allow them to get Medicare??  There would have to be an additional tax to pay for it and to save Medicare, but it would have been a lot easier and less expensive for everyone than all this rigamarole of taxing or fining employers and people who refuse to buy insurance, mandating all kinds of stuff, hiring all these new IRS “police” to run everything, forcing employers to lay off  all their full-time workers, and so forth.  Maybe Obama didn’t do it that way because it is really not about health care or  even health insurance.  It is about controlling everyone and redistributing the wealth.

AARP PROPAGANDA

by Lloyd Streeter

AARP sent out an email to it’s members asking them to promote it’s talking points about health care.  The talking points are just propaganda.  I am going to discuss here the AARP talking points, but I am not going to say what AARP wants me to say.

“FACT #1: Medicare will not be ended, and no benefits or services will be cut.”

My Response:  There is no final bill as yet.  It is still a work in progress, and no one knows exactly what will be in it.  So, neither AARP nor anyone else knows if Medicare will be ended or cut.  What some members of congress have suggested, however, is that there should be a new federal health insurance and that people presently receiving Medicare should be shunted into that new program.  The idea is that all of the problems with Medicare could thus be solved.  In that case Medicare would end.  The real question is: Will America break faith with its Seniors?  After all, Seniors bought and paid for Medicare.  Will there now be a “bait and switch?”  Medicare should be looked upon as a form of annuity, a financial instrument that is bought before the time of need.  If seniors had not been forced to buy Medicare, they might have had money to buy some other plan.  There have already been many cuts in both Medicare and Social Security, and there are many in Congress who want to make more cuts in benefits.

“FACT #2: No legislation currently in Congress would mandate the rationing of care.  Period.”

My Response: Of course there isn’t.  Why would anyone in Congress write that into a bill?  The real question is:  Will rationing be the logical consequence of national health insurance?  The answer is, YES.  Under a national health insurance program, providers (Doctors and hospitals) would be told that the pay schedule for various procedures will be so much, about 1/3 of what the providers are now charging.  The consequence of the government’s pay schedule will be that in the future there will be fewer and fewer providers, and far fewer QUALITY providers.  You ask, “How do you know that the government program will pay far less than Doctors now paid?”  Answer: Because that is what has happened with Medicare.  The result of having fewer providers will be rationing of health care.  It is inevitable.  In every socialist country, this is what has happened!  Nationalized care leads to a cut in remuneration for providers, and that leads to rationing.

“FACT #3:  There is no provision of (sic) any piece of legislation that would promote euthanasia of any kind.”

My Response: No.  It would take a real idiot of a Congressman to write something like that into a proposed bill, provided, of course, that he wanted it to pass.  The real question is:  Will the inevitable rationing of health care result in the government refusing to pay for procedures that might keep seniors alive?  Some in the Administration and in Congress are on record as being in favor of turning down care for old people when the money and resources are needed for young people.  These are the horrible realities of health care rationing.  Rationing can best be avoided by letting the free market system work, resulting in both young and old alike receiving the care they need.

“FACT #4:  We have not endorsed President Obama’s plan.”

My Response:  Words are tricky, sometimes.  Endorsed? How about promoted?  Obama does not have a plan yet.  But is AARP pushing for a nationalized health care insurance program?  Yes.  And does Obama have AARP “in the tank” for a nationalized health insurance program?  Yes.  In fact, the President said as much yesterday.  The AARP leadership and Board does not speak for a majority of it’s membership on this.  That is why AARP is speaking out of both sides of it’s mouth on this issue.

FACT #5: “So what is AARP fighting for in health reform?  1. Stopping insurance companies from charging older Americans unaffordable premiums because of their age.  2.  Ending the practice of excluding people from insurance because of pre-existing conditions.  3.  Holding down health costs and making insurance coverage more affordable for all Americans.  4.  Making prescription drugs more affordable by narrowing the Medicare doughnut hole, bringing generics to market faster, and allowing Medicare to negotiate better drug prices.”

My Response:  Comprehensive nationalized health care is not needed in order to achieve  these worthy goals.  These are worthwhile goals.  And you could add, 5. Give financial incentives to medical schools and prospective new doctors.  6.  Kick some of the illegal border jumpers out of our country, because they are bleeding the health care system dry.  7.  Fix the tort system.  It should also be added that the 4th item above has already been achieved through the cooperation of the drug companies who are going to narrow the doughnut hole by making drugs cheaper for those who reach the $2,700 limit.  The other goals mentioned here could be reached with out having a nationalized health care system.  We do not need a government takeover of the health and insurance industries.