EppsNet Archive: Healthcare Reform

British Healthcare Fact of the Day

In Britain, even though they’re already paying for the National Health Service, six million Brits — two-thirds of citizens earning more than $78,700 — now buy private health insurance. Meanwhile, more than 50,000 travel out of the U.K. annually, spending more than $250 million, to receive treatment more readily than they can at home. — WSJ.com Read more →

Another Smoking Gun on “Keep Your Coverage”

The conversation below took place more than four years ago — June 23, 2009 — at a congressional hearing on Obamacare. The topic was the keep-your-coverage promise, and the participants were Christina Romer, then chair of the Council of Economic Advisers, and Rep. Tom Price, who is also a doctor. The conversation plays out like one of those word puzzles where you start out with one word and change one letter at a time to get a completely different word. Watch Romer’s responses on keeping your coverage go from “Absolutely” to a stammering “I’d have to look at the specifics.” It’s also yet another reminder of what a pig in a poke Obamacare was. Even the people advocating for it had no idea what was in it. REP. PRICE: You also mentioned, as other folks have, that the president’s goal — and it’s reiterated over and over and over —… Read more →

Enough of the Mealy-Mouthed Obamacare Excuses!

I’d have a lot more respect for the president if he just came out and said, “As Otter so cogently observed in Animal House, ‘You fucked up … You trusted us!’” Read more →

Great Moments in Presidential Prevarication

“I am not a crook.” — Richard Nixon   “Read my lips: no new taxes.” — George H.W. Bush   “I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky.” — Bill Clinton   “If you like your plan, you can keep it.” — Barack Obama Read more →

Obama Did Not Lie

When President Obama said that he could provide health care to millions without taking any health care away from people who have already got it, he had no chance of being believed. The statement was absurd on its face. This is a law of arithmetic: If you invite a bunch of friends to share your lunch, there’s going to be less lunch for you. Everybody understands that. . . . So when the President said he could expand the availability of medical care while allowing everyone else to keep the care they’ve got, it was like saying he’d take us for a tour of England in his rocket ship. It had absolutely no chance of being believed, and therefore, it seems to me, does not count as a lie. It counts instead as an expression of contempt for the many entirely reasonable people who tried to point out that it… Read more →

ObamaCare Winners and Losers

Cindy Vinson and Tom Waschura are big believers in the Affordable Care Act. They vote independent and are proud to say they helped elect and re-elect President Barack Obama. Yet, like many other Bay Area residents who pay for their own medical insurance, they were floored last week when they opened their bills: Their policies were being replaced with pricier plans that conform to all the requirements of the new health care law. Vinson, of San Jose, will pay $1,800 more a year for an individual policy, while Waschura, of Portola Valley, will cough up almost $10,000 more for insurance for his family of four. . . . Covered California spokesman Dana Howard maintained that in public presentations the exchange has always made clear that there will be winners and losers under Obamacare. . . . “Of course, I want people to have health care,” Vinson said. “I just didn’t… Read more →

Drive Me to the Junkyard in my Cadillac

Well buddy when I die throw my body in the back And drive me to the junkyard in my Cadillac — Bruce Springsteen, “Cadillac Ranch” Say goodbye to that $500 deductible insurance plan and the $20 co-payment for a doctor’s office visit. They are likely to become luxuries of the past. . . . Then blame — or credit — the so-called Cadillac tax, which penalizes companies that offer high-end health care plans to their employees. — High-End Health Plans Scale Back to Avoid ‘Cadillac Tax’ – NYTimes.com You’re probably thinking: “So what? I don’t have a high-end health care plan. I’m a working stiff. Let the Wall Street fat cats pay their Cadillac tax.” Actually, because the plan cost that triggers the Cadillac tax is not indexed for inflation, Bradley Herring, a health economist at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, estimates that as many as 75 percent… Read more →

Thomas Jefferson on Why Your Health Insurance Premium is Going Up

Health insurance companies across the country are seeking and winning double-digit increases in premiums for some customers, even though one of the biggest objectives of the Obama administration’s health care law was to stem the rapid rise in insurance costs for consumers. — Despite New Health Law, Some See Sharp Rise in Premiums – NYTimes.com That headline should not read “DESPITE new health law,” it should read “BECAUSE OF new health law.” But we were going to get things for free! We were promised better things at a lower cost! In my day, most of the citizens were farmers or merchants or tradesmen. They lived by their hands and their wits. They had horse sense and they knew when they were being sold a bill of goods. Of course, that was before television. Americans today are unfortunately rather stupid. Most of them don’t know anything about economics, science, history, government… Read more →

If Everything Goes as Intended . . .

If [Affordable Care Act] implementation goes as intended and widespread utilization and automation are achieved, providers could save about $11 billion per year. — Reducing Administrative Costs and Improving the Health Care System — New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) You really can’t dispute something as vague as that but it does raise a number of questions: What does it mean for thousands of pages of legislation affecting the entire healthcare industry as well as every man, woman and child in America to go “as intended”? It’s a circular argument. If it goes as intended, we save $11 billion. If we don’t save $11 billion, it didn’t go as intended. Is “widespread utilization and automation” part of going “as intended” or is that a separate thing? Assuming that implementation does go as intended and widespread utilization and automation are achieved, the best we can say is that providers “could” save… Read more →

The Lives of Julia and Paul

David Henderson says — accurately, I think — that Mitt Romney’s “47 percent” remarks can be paraphrased as “People who are dependent on government will vote for the candidate who credibly (to them, at least) promises to keep the programs that have created that dependence.” Do you think President Obama disagrees with that? He doesn’t. If you think he does, please see The Life of Julia on the president’s web site. It lays out a “typical” woman’s cradle-to-grave dependence on government assistance and describes how Obama will keep those programs going while Mitt Romney won’t. The most insulting thing about it is that as you read about Obama funding this and Obama funding that, it sounds like he’s doing it all out of his own goddamn pocket. What a prince! There’s no acknowledgement that Obama is taking from some and giving to others, and that all of Julia’s “free” stuff… Read more →

You Don’t Say

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama told voters repeatedly during the health care debate that the overhaul legislation would bring down fast-rising health care costs and save them money. Now, he’s hemming and hawing on that. — Health care politics run into economic reality – msnbc.com Could not have seen that coming! Read more →

Don’t Send a Community Organizer to Do a President’s Job

My fellow Americans — I’m angry. Not just because the southern coastline of our nation — including Louisiana, which I purchased from Napoleon in the sweetest deal of 1803 — is being destroyed. Read these pathetic remarks from our president, Barack Obama: The president also implied that anti-big government types such as tea party activists were being hypocritical on the issue. “Some of the same folks who have been hollering and saying ‘do something’ are the same folks who, just two or three months ago, were suggesting that government needs to stop doing so much,” Obama said. “Some of the same people who are saying the president needs to show leadership and solve this problem are some of the same folks who, just a few months ago, were saying this guy is trying to engineer a takeover of our society through the federal government that is going to restrict our… Read more →

Unintended Consequences of Healthcare Reform

Many large companies are examining a course that was heretofore unthinkable, dumping the health care coverage they provide to their workers in exchange for paying penalty fees to the government. That would dismantle the employer-based system that has reigned since World War II. It would also seem to contradict President Obama’s statements that Americans who like their current plans could keep them. And as we’ll see, it would hugely magnify the projected costs for the bill, which controls deficits only by assuming that America’s employers would remain the backbone of the nation’s health care system. Hence, health-care reform risks becoming a victim of unintended consequences. — Fortune, May 5, 2010   We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it. — Nancy Pelosi, March 9, 2010 Read more →

Thomas Jefferson on the Health Care Bill

Experience hath shewn, that even under the best forms of government those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny. — TJ My fellow Americans — This is a glorious day in our great nation! No, I’m not referring to that tragedy of a health care bill, which I’ll get to in a moment. I’m talking about Free Pastry Day at Starbucks! Who doesn’t enjoy a tasty scone with his morning coffee? Now, on a more somber note . . . Goodbye, representative democracy! Farewell, consent of the governed! President Obama today signed into law a far-reaching measure that will affect everyone living in these United States, now and in the future. It is opposed by most of the country and it is now law. I would never have believed that the government I helped to establish would one day engage in this kind… Read more →

Pig in a Poke

Pig-in-a-poke is an idiom that refers to a confidence trick originating in the Late Middle Ages, when meat was scarce but cats were not. The scheme entailed the sale of a suckling pig in a poke (bag). The wriggling bag would actually contain a cat (not particularly prized as a source of meat) that was sold to the victim in an unopened bag. A common colloquial expression in the English language, to buy a pig in a poke is to make a risky purchase without inspecting the item beforehand. The phrase can also be applied to accepting an idea or plan without a full understanding of its basis. — Wikipedia If you’re not seeing the video here, you can go to YouTube and hear Nancy Pelosi say, “But we have to pass the [health care] bill so that you can find out what is in it.” Read more →

Obama Flashback: Don’t Pass Healthcare With a 50-Plus-1 Strategy

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The Eternal Footman Held My Coat and Snickered

Rep. John Murtha of Pennsylvania, a longtime fixture on the House subcommittee that oversees Pentagon spending, died after complications from gallbladder surgery, according to his office. He was 77. The Democratic congressman recently underwent scheduled laparoscopic surgery at National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, to remove his gallbladder. The procedure was “routine minimally invasive surgery,” but doctors “hit his intestines,” a source close to the late congressman told CNN. — CNN.com OMG I HAD THAT SAME OPERATION I COULD HAVE DIED!!! On a lighter note, how ironic is it that the president loses a pro-ObamaCare vote due to medical error in a government-run hospital? Read more →

What If They Cost Money?

David Brooks declares “we spend too much on health care” (on NPR) then demands “innovation” and “new technologies.” What if they cost money? — @kausmickey (Mickey Kaus) Read more →

Let Us Pray We Choose Wisely

President Obama told ABC News’ Charles Gibson in an interview that if Congress does not pass health care legislation that will bring down costs, the federal government “will go bankrupt.” — The World Newser He failed to mention that if Congress does pass ObamaCare, the country will also go bankrupt, only faster . . . Read more →

We’re Going to Let You Die

I will actually give you a speech made up entirely–almost at the spur of the moment, of what a candidate for president would say if that candidate did not care about becoming president. . . . “Thank you so much for coming this afternoon. I’m so glad to see you, and I would like to be president. Let me tell you a few things on health care. Look, we have the only health-care system in the world that is designed to avoid sick people. [laughter] That’s true, and what I’m going to do is I am going to try to reorganize it to be more amenable to treating sick people. But that means you–particularly you young people, particularly you young, healthy people–you’re going to have to pay more. [applause] Thank you. “And by the way, we are going to have to–if you’re very old, we’re not going to give you… Read more →

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