Posted tagged ‘health insurance’

Stop Obamacare Now

July 26, 2009

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(Via Campaign For Liberty)

Stop Obamacare Now!
By David McKalip, M.D.

Congress is foolishly basing its health system reform proposals on the same approach used in Massachusetts. The state has failed to achieve “universal coverage” with about 200,000 (2.6%) of their state still uninsured. In fact, most of the newly insured were covered by receiving heavily subsidized insurance from the state — not due to the mandate to buy private insurance out of pocket. Due to budget overruns, they recently voted to remove coverage from 30,000 legal aliens for a $130 million savings and last year released others who couldn’t afford costly coverage from the mandate. Health care costs are rising much faster than nationally with spending up by 23 percent. Insurance premiums have increased 10-12 percent per year, nearly double the national average. The state is facing $1.5 billion this year in health spending and now is considering cost control programs that will limit care doctors provide to patients. There are too few providers for the increased demand – due to price fixing of doctor pay for decades by the federal government. Thus patients are waiting long periods to see doctors — especially in primary care. Congressional proposals to fix this included allowing nurse practitioners to be designated primary care “providers”, negating the years of training doctors receive and discouraging more doctors from entering the profession to compete against nurses for the same business.

Fortunately there are good Congressional proposals to address these problems and to allow American to escape from the government’s medical cage. Congressman Ron Paul has authored HR 2630, the “Protect Patients and Physician’s Privacy Act”. The bill states that all individuals shall have the ability to opt out of any federally mandated, created, or funded electronic system for maintaining health care information. He also is offering HR 2629 the “Coercion is Not Health Care Act'” which forbids the Federal Government from forcing any American to purchase health insurance, and from conditioning participation in any federal program, or receipt of any federal benefit, on the purchase of health insurance.

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Congressman Paul himself was in Michigan yesterday at a private reception for conservatives. He was speaking about Obama’s “monstrous” health care reform plans.

Former Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul has a frank prescription for the health care plan making its way through Congress: Scrap it.

“I think it’s monstrous,” Paul said.

“I don’t think it will improve medical care in this country. I think it’s very, very costly and we don’t have any money. And they don’t have any way of paying for it.”

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CBO Says Reform Will Increase – Not Decrease – Federal Health Care Spending

July 16, 2009

In the relentless stream of bad news about health care “reform”, this comes in from The Washington Post (emphasis mine): 

CBO Chief Criticizes Democrats’ Health Reform Measures
Director Says Proposed Changes Would Increase Health Care Spending

 Instead of saving the federal government from fiscal catastrophe, the health reform measures being drafted by congressional Democrats would increase rather than reduce public spending on health care, potentially worsening an already bleak budget outlook, the director of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said this morning.

 Under questioning by members of the Senate Budget Committee, CBO director Douglas Elmendorf said bills crafted by House leaders and the Senate health committee do not propose “the sort of fundamental changes that would be necessary to reduce the trajectory of federal health spending by a significant amount.”

 “On the contrary,” Elmendorf said, “the legislation significantly expands the federal responsibility for health-care costs.”

 Though President Obama and Democratic leaders have said repeatedly that reining in the skyrocketing growth in spending on government health programs such as Medicaid and Medicare is their top priority, the reform measures put forth so far would not fulfill their pledge to “bend the cost curve” downward, Elmendorf said. Instead, he said, “The curve is being raised.”

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Health Care Reform Is Making Me Sick

July 16, 2009

o-laughThe House of Representatives passed their health reform bill and the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee passed a $600 billion version today – a version that will require individuals to get health insurance and require employers to contribute to the cost as well.

And what if an individual does not buy a health insurance plan? For about 8 million of us, it means we will pay a new tax of 2.5% – and still not have health insurance.

Keith Hennessey lays it out:

As expected, the House bill would mandate that individuals and families have or buy health insurance.

But what if they don’t buy it?

Then Section 401 kicks in.  Any individual (or family) that does not have health insurance would have to pay a new tax, roughly equal to the smaller of 2.5% of your income or the cost of a health insurance plan. …

I assume the bill authors would respond, “But why wouldn’t you want insurance?  After all, we’re subsidizing it for everyone up to 400% of the poverty line.”

That is true.  But if you’re a single person with income of $44,000 or higher, then you’re above 400% of the poverty line.  You would not be subsidized, but would face the punitive tax if you didn’t get health insurance.  This bill leaves an important gap between the subsidies and the cost of health insurance.  CBO says that for about eight million people, that gap is too big to close, and they would get stuck paying higher taxes and still without health insurance.

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Wondering where your income falls in terms of the federal poverty line? The numbers are on the Health and Human Services web site. Here is the chart for the 48 contiguous states and DC:

Persons in family Poverty guideline
1 $10,830
2 14,570
3 18,310
4 22,050
5 25,790
6 29,530
7 33,270
8 37,010
For families with more than 8 persons, add $3,740 for each additional person.

You can do your own math. With figures as ridiculously low as those, even multiplying the appropriate number by 4 isn’t going to give you an income that would have you living in the lap of luxury.

But if you do happen to be among the so-called wealthy with an income of $250K or more, you may end up paying even more – a 5.4% “surtax” whether you have your own health insurance or not. Interestingly, the “surtax” would be mostly charged to… doctors.

Good plan there – make the doctors angry about having to pay a big new tax and then force them to take on a boatload of new patients. What could go wrong?

Yet all of this for “reform” would enroll less than 5% of Americans and will very likely surpass the $1 trillion price tag currently attached to it according to the Congressional Budget Office.

On a preliminary basis … the proposal’s provisions affecting health insurance coverage would result in a net increase in federal deficits of $1,042 billion for fiscal years 2010 through 2019,” the report said, citing additional expenses for Medicaid and other federal subsidies. One Democratic aide said the bill would add up to $1.5 trillion over the next decade. But the CBO estimate showed that even if the price tag holds to $1 trillion, more than 80 percent of the costs will hit in the last five years. This indicates that after 2019, taxpayers could be hit with a rising tidal wave of health care expenses resulting from the shift in health care coverage from the private to public sector. 

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So, what will health care “reform” look like? According to House Republicans, it will look like this:

But this is a crisis and we can’t do nothing, right, Mr. President? We need to get this thing going before the end of the year!

So buck up, America. Hey, it’s for your own good. Don’t you want top-quality health care like military women get from the VA, like wounded soldiers get from Walter Reed or like Indian Health Services?

Then again, on second thought, no. Universal health care just isn’t worth our freedom.

 

More links on this topic – if you’re feeling up to it:

Health care reform still has a long way to go before passage
Committee: Health care overhaul a yes
Concern grows that healthcare overhaul won’t cut costs
House Democrats would have us believe that the rich can pay for it all
9 reasons Pelosi’s healthcare surtax is disastrous
Small Business Faces Big Bite
What if Obamacare Fails?

No Such Thing as a Right to Health Care

July 13, 2009

From F. Paul Wilson on True/Slant.com. The article and the ensuing comments are thought-provoking and well worth your time.

There ain’t no such thing as a right to health care

There.  I said it.  Someone had to.
The acronym would be TANSTAARTHC.  Nowhere near as euphonius as TANSTAAFL.

I broach the subject because I can’t seem to turn on a TV or radio without hearing, “Health care is a human right.” The phrase has entered the zeitgeist. Google it and you’ll get 25k hits. Google “right to health care” and you get 200k. Maybe I’m not listening hard enough, but I hear no one questioning its validity.

A right is intrinsic. It’s not given to you, it’s something you’re born with. Its existence is not dependent on the actions of others. In fact, only by the actions of others can it be taken from you.

I find the alone-on-a-desert-island rule a convenient way to differentiate genuine human rights from the poseurs.

Let’s start with the basics: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. You’ve still got those on a desert island. You may not be happy there, but you don’t have a right to happiness, only to seek it out.

On a desert island, you still have the right to free speech. And freedom of religion. And freedom of sexual expression. You also have the freedom to smoke or inject whatever available substances you care to.

You do not have the right to three squares a day because there are no farmers to provide them; you do, however, have a right to grow or forage whatever you can. You don’t have a right to a roof over your head because no carpenters live on the island, but you do have a right to erect one.

And you don’t have a right to health care because doctors and nurses and drugstores don’t exist on the island.

No point in belaboring this. Genuine human rights do not require the participation of anyone outside the individual. Anything that does require the aid or intervention of another party is something else. I’m not sure what it is, but it’s not a human right.

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