Friday, March 19, 2010

Not That The Overlords In Congress Care About My Opinion On Healthcare Reform

So the Democrats finally unveiled Pres. Obama's vision for healthcare. If this is reform we can believe in, we obviously believe in some really bad things.

Apparently, if you believe everything the Pres. Obama said in the interview he gave to Fox news earlier this week, you must leave a lot of special deals are necessary to protect this only certain parts of the American population. The rest of us, just get the tax portion of that, along with maybe some healthcare but that's questionable he also. Why? That would have to be because there is nothing in this bill which does anything to solve the basic problem of the healthcare crisis: cost.

As you may recall, a couple months ago when this debacle began, a couple of states managed to eke out exceptions the reform package. Most notably, this included Nebraska (which got to keep 100% of its Medicare money unlike the rest of the country) in Florida (where seniors bear got a special deal as well). later, Louisiana got in on the act matched its own bit of graft, claiming that it still had all those problems left over from Hurricane Katrina. And let's not forget that the unions got their own little special deal where they are healthcare would not get taxed because, well,... their unions and they give money to Democrats and Pres. Obama.

Now, can anyone remember what the point of reforming health care in this country was about? Oh yeah, that's right, without making healthcare more affordable for everyone. So we now have a plan, which pretty much everyone agrees is going to allow rates to go up at on all love spending to our budget (and in the process creating a new sacred cow of American politics, because what politician is in a while take a stand and say I want to disestablish the national healthcare system in this country?)

Oh yeah, and with this health care bill which makes health care more expensive, they have still left in the provision they will be financially penalized or not having healthcare insurance. Is below sees people been talking to the Blue Shield people?

Speaker Pelosi, President Obama's point woman in this whole fiasco, has been trumpeting this bill, even though it doesn't seem like she's actually read it as a panacea for healthcare and for the economy in general. She claims, that this proposal will not only solve all the healthcare problem but it will also reduce the federal deficit. As support for this, she points to the CBO's report which was recently issued. According to the Congressional Budget Office, under the proposed healthcare plan the deficit will be cut by $138 billion in the first decade and $1.2 trillion over the next decade. the Democrats also claim that the bill will decrease Medicare expenditures by little more than 1% each year (meaning that instead of going bankrupt in a couple of years Medicare will go bankrupt around 2020). Sounds pretty good, right?

the problem is, the CBO isn't forced to operate under certain rules. This means that if you track your bill correctly and present the input correctly to CBO you're going to get the kind of numbers back from CBO that you want. Now I am not a numbers guy, a more process type guy with, so I would suggest you go over and read this article at the Weekly Standard and read their analysis of the budget. In short, although the numbers look good, like $2 trillion not good, they look good because the time period which the CBO is allowed to analyze does not include the period of time when the real costs of this legislation start to be felt by the system. However, I think this paragraph pretty much sums up this legislation:
And what would we get for all of this? The CBO says that health insurance premiums would rise by 10 to 13 percent in the individual market, in relation to current law. The Medicare Chief Actuary says that the percentage of the gross domestic product spent on health care would also rise in relation to current law, increasing from 17 percent today to 21 percent in 2019. And, as the CBO reports in its latest scoring, as of 2019 there would still be 23 million people in America lacking health insurance.
So what do we get for almost a billion dollars? Apparently 23 million people without insurance. As a point of reference, there are currently approximately 36 million uninsured American citizens and another 9 million or so who are illegal aliens. Apparently, a billion dollars and uncontrolled increases in premiums will get you an additional 13 million people with health insurance. Hardly seems cost-effective.

One thing that this proposal shows, is that this president is impotent. He has promised time and again to deliver a package that will meet the needs of the American people. However, he is unable even within his own party to get legislation drafted that meet those promises which he puts out and proclaimed the American people. It shows that, when it comes to the Democrats in the House of Representatives and Senate, he really has very limited power to get what he believes done. even at this late date, after months of negotiation, Pres. Obama is still the position where he is having to essentially sell the bill to his own party. This has included such things as suddenly putting forth the name of one Representative's brother for a federal judgeship. it just so happens that that representative was one of the 10 who was against the health-care package back in November. How convenient.

Another very coincidental decision by the administration was announced earlier by the Department of the Interior, which suddenly open the floodgates despite the fact that there is an endangered species, the delta smelt, which the Department of the Interior and the EPA has been protecting from San Joaquin Valley farmers for years. It's just coincidental, that the two representatives for that part of the state of California are both Democrats who were on the fence with regards to Obama's health care reform proposal.

But perhaps my favorite part of this whole fiasco, is that Pres. Obama wasn't content just to screw up one section of the economy while he was trying to reform. He decided he would be better, is that the bitter pill to us by wrapping it in another thing which no politician ever likes voting at. What's the impact? That would be funding for higher education. Knowing that he's got a lousy bill, crafted by the kleptocrats of the Democratic side( the Republicans would've joined in too, but they were invited to this drafting party), is ranked in the sugary goodness of Pell grants and student loans. How nice of him.

Weren't we all up in arms when Bush fired a couple of US attorneys? Weren't we all enraged when VP Cheney held meetings with the energy lobby, excluding environmental groups, and refused to turn over the notes one sunshine requests were made? So why are we letting the present act this way at this time? Or is it because he has a "D" after his name rather than an "R", that we let him have a pass at being responsible representative of the people?

Then there is the administration and speaker policies have it a scheduling significant and important votes for odd hours. This time, it looks like they want to do the vote on Sunday. Kind of convenient, since the day that most major media outlets are covering Capitol Hill or the White House, be quite frankly most of America is probably watching March Madness basketball games on CBS.a reasonable administration tried to do something secret, they did behind closed doors and didn't announce it for all to know. It seems like this administration, which wants to proclaim itself as the most ethical administration in the last hundred years, wants to use the form but not the substance of open government.

But in a way, this all goes back to the basic problem with the Obama administration. What is a problem you may ask? That problem is a lack of realistic goals and proposals. Pres. Obama administration is good for talking about lofty goals and aspirations,but when the rubber hits the road president Obama is always a day behind the rest of the of his party when it comes to outlining concrete and specific or proposals for what you want to see done.

I'd write my congressman and tell them to vote against this debacle. However, my congressman is Speaker Pelosi. So I think she is a pretty firm "yes" on this mess.

Update for the original:

The CBO recently responded to a request for clarification about the total costs of the legislation made by Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI). The CBO confirmed that the bill, if passed along with other legislation that is necessary to make the reform work, will not decrease the deficit. In fact, it will increase the deficit by nearly $59 billion.

1 comment:

Colby said...

I love that we can also have tax consequences for not purchasing health insurance. 2% of our annual income. So my mom who gets $912 from Social Security per month, and who doesn't qualify for Medicare, and who can't be insured, will be fined for not having health insurance. It's a genius plan.