Monday, February 22, 2010

The New, Improved Obamacare Rears It's Ugly head

Well, Obama has finally come out his special, last ditch version of ObamaCare...and it's pretty grim, as I expected.

It's based on the Senate bill, and would cost more, $950 billion over 10 years.As I've noted before, because the bill would cover illegal aliens, the costs are severely underestimated.

The latest wrinkle involves a new level of bureaucracy for what amounts to price controls on what private insurance companies may charge for premiums. The new Health Insurance Rate Authority would formulate a policy on what it views as reasonable rate increases, and those considered unjustified would be disallowed.

As the more astute of you probably realize, this will have the same effect such controls always do, a net rise in rates and a limiting of choices as some companies get out of the health insurance business because it's no longer profitable. Some of you might want to look at the results since the feds did this with the credit card industry as an example.

Eventually, it's designed to lead to the government run 'public option' the Obama Administration and the Democrats in Congress want for everyone except themselves.

The new proposed take on the Baucus Bill incorporates much higher penaties on business that fail to insure their workers ( which should slow down any new hiring) and on individuals who fail to buy health insurance.The Obama plan also raises the dollar threshold to define "Cadillac Plans" and defers the tax on them until 2018 for everybody, not just the unions.

Of course, Obama's proposal wants new taxes not mentioned in the bill to make up for that lost "revenue".

Also, to make up for lost 'revenue' and pay for the additional subsidies, the bill applies the Medicare tax to unearned income to so-called 'upper-income households' and increase cuts to the Medicare Advantage program for seniors....AKA rationing. It also increase fees on 'brand name pharmaceuticals', which if course will be passed on to the consumer.

And of course, no tort reform or provision to buy across state lines.

All in all, it's about what I expected, except I assumed that a public option would be a blatant part of it. Instead, Obama and his friends have cunningly set up a scenario where that happens by attrition in a couple of years.

This entire proposal needs to be fought tooth and nail.

Obama has presented this, essentially, as a take it or leave it, with the or else being the threat of passing this via an outright misuse of the reconciliation process.

If the GOP is thinking, they'll call this bluff, boycott the 'summit' and propose their own plan. And yes, it'll be voted down, but the country would get a new perspective on whom the obstructionists really are.

As for the reconciliation threat, if the Democrats had the votes ( and remember, the fight has always been among Democrats, as the GOP has been effectively locked out of the room) I think they would have done it long ago.

Pelosi only got this through the House last time by a bare margin which doesn't exist now...Murtha's seat is empty, Abercrombie of Hawaii is going to resign this week and Wexler of Florida won't be filled until April.

There's always the possibility of another Republican being bribed ala' Joseph Cao to support this, but I think the Dems chances would very slim.

In any event, there's no harm in opposing this and letting the Democrats assume the onus.

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1 comment:

Rosey said...

Speaking of health care, glad you're back and a-blogging full force!