What do you do when your signature piece of legislation has been ruled by two federal courts as unconstitutional, was passed against the will of the people, is massively unpopular by voters, and was responsible for the biggest mid-term election sweep against the party in power in decades? You act like you’ve heard the concerns and are willing to scale it back. Some. Except you don’t really mean it and except that your proposal is worse than meaningless window dressing.
While the Obama administration has handed out hundreds of ObamaCare waivers to corporations (especially those willing to play ball with it), it recently has heard the calls from beleaguered states who are overwhelmed with Medicaid expenses as is, and will be completely ransacked by the full implementation of ObamaCare. So, the other day, at a meeting with the nation’s governors, President Obama offered a plan to allow the states “flexibility” and which would move up the date by which they could opt out. But, as Conn Carroll at The Heritage Foundation’s The Foundry/Morning Bell blog points out in detail, the proposal only offers “flexibility” in the time it would take to get to a single-payer system (i.e., a complete government takeover).
There’s nothing like a disingenuous proposal to keep the people off your back. While supporters of the proposal, sponsored by Senators Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) and Scott Brown (R-Massachusetts), would allow the states some flexibility, it comes with many strings attached, not the least of which is our favorite: Any exemptions to ObamaCare as currently maintained in the law would have to come from the Secretary of Health and Human Services — one more power to the thousands that office currently holds under ObamaCare. Talk about czars!
Meanwhile, as Ben Smith reports at Politico, at the same time the president was selling this “flexibility” package with the governors — which, he maintains, would allow them to introduce market-based solutions — his health care advisors were on a conference call with liberal activists extolling the real aims of the plan: It would allow “blue” states to get to single payer faster.
Here’s how Heritage’s Center for Policy Innovation Director Stuart Butler described it in the New England Journal of Medicine:
One [problem] is that [Wyden-Brown] still locks the states into guaranteeing a generous and costly level of benefits. True, a state could propose alternative benefit requirements if they had the same actuarial value as those in the [health care bill]. But the requirements go well beyond basic coverage, and the HHS secretary is the one who defines “at least as comprehensive” benefits. …
Not much of a move to the middle, not much of a compromise, not much of a remedy to the states. Not much of anything at all . . . except another duplicitous front opened up by the administration to misdirect the public about the true intentions of ObamaCare.
James Taranto wrote an in-depth column today at the Wall Street Journal’s Opinion Journal, where he dispels several ObamaCare myths, including those the Mainstream Media and other Obama allies created to demonize opponents’ criticisms of the plan. He also, in ‘Death Panels’ Revisited: How Sarah Palin helped defeat ObamaCare’s deceptive advertising, ever so sweetly uses Barack Obama’s own words to smack down his own monstrosity. Appropriately, he found those words in none other than Judge Roger Vinson’s opinion, issued earlier this week, which ruled ObamaCare unconstitutional.
One distorter of the truth is the St. Petersburg Times’ PolitiFact.com. It named Sarah Palin’s “Death Panel” phrase “lie of the year.” But Taranto proves that the former governor was using the term loosely and shows how the Mainstream Media quickly jumped on it, distorted it, made it out to be something she never intended, took it out of context and ran with it — and ran hard — to discredit her.
But the most precious part of the piece is Taranto’s recounting of the 2008 Democrat primary campaign, where then-candidate Obama hammered Hillary Clinton over her proposed individual mandate plan. His health care proposal did not include such a plank. In fact, as Judge Vinson cited in his opinion, candidate Obama told a talk show host:
But, she mandates that everybody buy health care. She’d have the government force every individual to buy insurance and I don’t have such a mandate because I don’t think the problem is that people don’t want health insurance, it’s that they can’t afford it. … So, I focus more on lowering costs. This is a modest difference. But, it’s one that she’s tried to elevate, arguing that because I don’t force people to buy health care that I’m not insuring everybody.
Well, if things were that easy, I could mandate everybody to buy a house, and that would solve the problem of homelessness. It doesn’t.
That, in fact, has become the pea in the bed for the president, coining an analogy opponents best use to boil down the inanity of the entire scheme. Another ObamaCare lie exposed. With special thanks to . . . Barack Obama.
Avastin is one of the most effective cancer fighting drugs available. Made by U.S. pharmaceutical Genentech (yes, American made, by that out-of-date, heartless, free-market American health care system), it has had remarkable success in treating colon, rectum, lung and other cancers when used in tandem with (and even without) chemotherapy. Recently, it’s shown promise in treating late stage breast cancer as well, which has created great excitement among patients, families and the medical community. Some call it a blockbuster. But the Food and Drug Administration has revoked its use for breast cancer treatment because of its expense (see Merrill Matthews at Forbes.com). It is expensive, but when is it government’s role to determine how much something should cost?
While I’m asking rhetorical questions, let me ask this one as well: What does this have to do with ObamaCare? It’s obvious. While president himself says ObamaCare will not affect end-of-life decisions nor rationing, the FDA has taken the first step. If the FDA bans the drug because of cost, insurance companies won’t cover it. (Some already have, even though the manufacturer has appealed the decision, and Medicare, a key player in ObamaCare, appears ready to follow suit.) If insurance won’t cover it, isn’t that rationing? Furthermore, Obamacare claims to cover pre-existing conditions. But if there is no drug to treat the condition, are they really covering pre-existing conditions? If a tree falls in the woods . . .
As Grace-Maire Turner, a scholar at the Galen Institute, writes in the Daily Globe this week, ObamaCare fears already are being realized. Proving the point with a touching real life example is, here an excerpt from a Peter Pitts column on Nicole Brochu’s Our Health blog at the BaltimoreSun.com. He reports on a Mississippi mom affected by the FDA’s decision (check out the YouTube link), a precursor of life in the Age of Obama if ObamaCare is not repealed by Congress or the courts.
First federal officials decided on Dec. 16 that they would revoke approval of Avastin, the blockbuster drug, to treat advanced breast cancer. Then, before the drug maker could even appeal the ruling, some insurance companies seized the chance to deny coverage.
So much for the promise that bureaucrats would never come between patients and their doctors.
Perhaps the most visible of these patients is Christi Turnage, a 48-year-old Mississippi nurse and mother of three. Her doctors agree that Avastin has kept her metastatic breast cancer in check for more than two years, without the ravaging effects of chemotherapy. Nearly 10,000 Americans have signed her online petition in support of Avastin, and her son, Josh, produced a moving YouTube video appeal.
“The stress level in my household has been multiplied times 1,000,” Turnage said. “My boys are running around saying, ‘What are we going to do, what are you going to do, what can we do?’”
If drug maker Genentech‘s appeal to the Food and Drug Administration fails, and the FDA “de-lists” Avastin for breast cancer, her insurance company likely would stop coverage. Then she would have to stop treatment, because the Turnage family — like most — can’t afford the $8,000-a-month price tag for Avastin.
Speaking of speeches, here’s one everyone should see. It’s from GOP freshman Representative Morgan Griffith of Virginia’s “Fightin’ 9th” district. The former Majority Leader of the Virginia House of Delegates, he was a leader in the Old Dominion standing up to ObamaCare and forcing a legal showdown which Virginia is winning against the federal government (see 21StateLawsuit.com). During the speech, he even holds up the law, The Virginia Healthcare Freedom Act (read its text here), which made possible Virginia’s lawsuit against the federal government. By the way, Griffith defeated a 28-year incumbent, Democrat Rick Boucher, in November.
Virginia threw off the chains of George III and it will throw off the chains of ObamaCare! Huzzah!
Last week I wrote about Congressman Steve King’s (R-Iowa) floor speech during the ObamaCare repeal debate and provided a link to the video because there was a YouTube problem preventing me from embedding it. But the problem has been resolved and I wanted as many people to see it as possible. Unfortunately, the video quality isn’t great, but it comes directly from his YouTube channel.
U.S. Representative Steve King exposes a host of ObamaCare myths in little more than a minute.
U.S. Representative Steve King (R-Iowa) was recognized for one minute during yesterday’s debate on repealing ObamaCare. One of the leaders of the repeal movement from the first moments of the monstrosity’s approval last spring, he dispelled many misplaced notions about the government takeover. In fact, a pro-ObamaCare lawmaker spoke just before him, spewing more misinformation about the law’s so-called benefits, and Rep. King immediately addressed that, too.
I spent 28 and a half years in business. I met payroll for over 1400 consecutive weeks. I never saw a regulation that made my job easier or allowed me to make more money.
This is 24-hundred pages of legislation; it’s thousands more pages of regulation. It’s oppressive to small business. It should be called the entrepreneurial extinction act, not this health care plan.
This is ObamaCare and must be pulled out completely by the roots. The American people know this. That’s why there are 87 freshman Republicans . . . and only nine freshman Democrats. … The American people have spoken resoundingly. It our obligation to go down this path. It is not symbolic. It’s very important because without this vote on this floor we cannot . . . eliminate ObamaCare. …
There. In one minute about a dozen ObamaCare lies refuted. Click here to see Rep. King on video. By the way, he’s trying to dispel another bit of conventional wisdom — that there are not enough votes in the Senate to repeal. He gives Josiah Ryan at The Hill’s Floor Action Blog the scoop.
The House of Representatives today voted to repeal ObamaCare by a vote of 245-189. Three Democrats voted with all 242 Republicans. The ironic aspect of the Obama-Pelosi-Reid Regime’s call for bipartisanship during the push to enact ObamaCare was that there was plenty of bipartisanship — all on the “no” side. While several Democrats voted with Republicans against ObamaCare last spring and nearly combined to defeat it, no Republicans voted for it.
Although fewer Democrats than expected voted to repeal it (based on the 19 Democrats who withheld their vote for Nancy Pelosi for Speaker a couple of weeks ago), the fact remains that one of the lies of ObamaCare is that there is no bipartisanship on the issue.
In fact, there is plenty of bipartisanship on ObamaCare. It’s just that it’s in opposition to it!
Congressional ObamaCare supporters entered the minority January 5 the same way they ran the House of Representatives the last four years: In the political version of the Twilight Zone. In an astonishing claim, former Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said repealing ObamaCare would “increase” the chronic budget deficit (see David Limbaugh at Townhall.com).
More absurd than that was her defense of the “pay as you go” rule which the new Republican majority expedited to the capitol dumpster (see Emily Miller at Human Events). Billed as a way to keep spending in check by mandating any new program be paid for, it was a subterfuge for increased spending — just raise the money to pay for it. Then she seriously (or at least acted serious) lambasted the Republican “cut as you go” reform that mandates any new spending must be paid for with a commensurate cut in another program. Pelosi and her colleagues remarkably said this would increase the deficit. (Her way worked so well, it added $5.1 trillion to the national debt in four years.) Which brings us to ObamaCare.
Ms. Pelosi and other loudmouth libs such as Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-Fla.) (see Andrew Marcus at BigGovernment.com) and Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) (see Washington Times) said that a successful GOP repeal of ObamaCare would increase the deficit (see Conn Carroll at The Heritage Foundation’s The Foundry blog). Only in Nancy’s Washington World of Political Paranormal does spending more than a trillion dollars bring down the deficit.
Elected officials are supposed to be public servants, thus the vocation of public service. But in Nancy’s bizarre perception of how things work, Washington is the master and we serve it, which is why she now finds herself in the minority — and in her own little world. It’s one screenplay Rod Sterling didn’t think of. But the next time Nancy speaks, someone should cue the music.
Big-government liberals (sorry for the redundancy) claim the ObamaCare takeover of the health and insurance industries was the necessary fix for the “broken” health care system. But the high health care costs and the myriad of problems people experience are caused by the same big-government intrusions now increased exponentially in this mammoth law. The one free-market reform in this area in recent times — the creation of tax-free health savings accounts, flexible spending accounts and health reimbursement accounts — disproves the lie that government is needed to reduce health care costs.
These accounts, basically health care IRAs or 401ks, allow people to save pre-tax earnings in accounts specifically set up for health care expenses, and they are growing immensley popular (see ModernHealthCare.com). Instead of going through a middle man (insurance companies) to pay for something basic — a doctor visit to treat a cold, for example — and driving up costs, people pay through their own accounts. The patient generally gets a better price, since he or she is paying cash (and negotiating directly) to the source.
More importantly, it puts consumers in charge, allows them to compare, and creates a competitive health care market. We don’t use car insurance for oil changes and new tires, either, and those services are plentiful and inexpensive. According to Conn Carroll at The Heritage Foundation’s The Foundry, people who use these health accounts realize a 20 percent savings in health care costs.
But hold on a minute. As of 12:01 a.m. January 1, under ObamaCare, purchases of over the counter drugs and other health care items through HSAs, FSAs and HRAs are banned without a prescription. But we all know ObamaCare doesn’t increase bureaucracy, get in the way of decision making, cause inconvenience, restrict freedom, nor increase costs by mandating unnecessary trips to the doctor. Then there’s the whole rationing thing: More people clogging doctors’ offices for reasons not applicable to right reason. Not only has ObamaCare effectively killed the health account program, it has hamstrung current users and reduced their effectiveness after years of putting away savings — and using them outside their shrinking areas of allowance gets them smacked with new taxes and a penalty!
More expense, less choice, more government meddling, hurting the people it was set up to help. Strike up several more lies for ObamaCare and its proponents, and all in one swift stroke of the clock.
Promise: If you like your current health care coverage, you can keep it.
Fact: Even though President Obama told the American Medical Association that no one would have to change their health care coverage if they liked their current set up (see video), that is not the case. There are so many heavy-handed, as well as subtle, regulations disguised as “consumer protections,” that insurance companies will have to raise premiums. Additionally, the weight of those onerous regulations will change policies substantially, to the point where policyholders no longer will recognize their insurance plans – even “grandfathered” plans – so as to force people out of private insurance and into a government-run plan. (See Mary Katharine Ham and Guy Benson at HotAir.com.)
Promise: Obamacare will lower premiums.
Fact: You mean, if we’re still allowed to own, or can afford, health insurance? Let’s say we can (but see above before you get too confident). That certainly was one of the Congressional Democrats’ big talking points, anyway, as they rammed the bill through Congress. However, if they were so confident ObamaCare would lower rates, why did Senate Democrats, only four weeks after ObamaCare became law, begin legislation to limit what insurance companies could charge? The New York Times, of all papers, has it documented here. But let’s hear it straight from the horses’ mouths: Here’s a video with Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) saying premiums are going up under ObamaCare followed by the POTUS promising the opposite. If they can’t believe each other, why should any American believe them?
Promise: ObamaCare actually will strengthen the private market by opening it up to millions of new consumers who must buy insurance or face a penalty, or join a government-run “pool.”
Fact: First, maybe you haven’t seen the news lately (Washington Times). That aside, forcing insurance companies to lower premiums (i.e., dictating how much profit they can make) is more than regulation. It’s price control – out and out socialism. That, while forcing millions more onto their rolls, is a recipe for rationing and poor care. Either they go out of business or the government mandated low rates force cost cutting through layoffs, lower quality care and other service degradations. Use some common sense: How can the government add patients and mandates to insurance companies, and not expect the companies to raise costs to average Americans, cut services to the bone or, finally, go out of business? (Hotair.com offers more.)
Promise: ObamaCare will make Medicare more financially sound.
Fact: Months after it was signed into law, the Department of Health and Human Services said ObamaCare would extend the life of Medicare 12 years. One problem: It based that on a Congressional Budget Office study. Next problem. There is no such study. In fact, CBO said the opposite: “. . . to describe the full amount of HI trust fund savings as both improving the government’s ability to pay future Medicare benefits and financing new spending outside of Medicare would essentially double-count a large share of those savings.” Reason.com has more.
Promise: ObamaCare won’t cut Medicare benefits.
Fact: The president made the claim himself – he’s made all the promises in this edition, although maybe he doesn’t use the word “ObamaCare” (or maybe he does) – at an AARP panel in 2009. But according to his favorite source, the Congressional Budget Office (see CBSNews.com), there will be $130 billion in cuts to companies that offer Medicare Advantage – and 25 percent of Medicare recipients use Medicare Advantage. See Reason.com.
Promise: Much of the cost to fund ObamaCare comes from money already appropriated. It doesn’t add any new spending.
Fact: The president has said that the $100 billion per year cost of ObamaCare would come out of the $2 trillion per year we spend on health care costs. There’s that pesky Congressional Budget Office, again. The president’s favorite source reported that “the two pieces of legislation [that make up the health care law] were estimated to increase mandatory outlays by $401 billion and raise revenues by $525 billion.” See Reason.com.
Promise: ObamaCare penalties do not cover illegal aliens!
Fact: Who can forget the president making this claim during the State of the Union Address, followed by Congressman Joe Wilson’s (R-S.C.) “You lie!” outburst? (See video, here.) Despite his lack of tact, Congressman Wilson is right. Although he was talking about the then-proposed House version of the bill (the Senate bill is the one that passed), the law exempts illegal aliens from the individual mandate! Citizens and legal aliens, of course, get fined if they don’t purchase a government approved insurance plan. (Of course, the courts are speaking to this matter this week! See National Review Online.) Yet, hospital emergency rooms will not be allowed to turn the illegals away. See the National Center for Policy Analysis for more.
Promise: Federal tax dollars will not pay for abortions under ObamaCare. Obama, himself, signed an executive order prohibiting such use of federal expenditures.
Fact: Better than a spoken statement, we have his written word! But it’s not worth the paper and ink it’s written on and with. Executive orders only deal with the administration of government. It does not trump statutory law. Already, Maryland and Pennsylvania, under the state insurance pools ObamaCare has set up, are offering abortion coverage. See Michael Tennant at The New American.
As the momentous year that was 2010 draws to a close, we look back, in three parts, at the top 15 ObamaCare lies. The problem is, there are so many, it is nigh impossible to narrow them down. So, we used this criteria, which barely made it easier: It must be a lie refuted by the government itself, since it is in the government that the Obama-Reid-Pelosi Regime want us to place our trust for our health care.
Today (December 28): 15-11
Number 15: ObamaCare will preserve Medicare benefits and will increase options.
Fact: The president made the claim himself – he’s made all the promises in this edition, although maybe he doesn’t use the word “ObamaCare” (or maybe he does) — at an AARP panel in 2009. But according to his favorite source, the Congressional BudgetOffice (see CBSNews.com), there will be $130 billion in cuts to companies that offer Medicare Advantage — and 25 percent of Medicare recipients use Medicare Advantage (see Reason.com). Furthermore, a few months after the bill was signed into law, the Department of Health and Human Services said ObamaCare would extend the life of Medicare 12 years. One problem: It based that on a Congressional Budget Office study. Next problem. There is no such study. In fact, CBO said the opposite: “. . . to describe the full amount of HI trust fund savings as both improving the government’s ability to pay future Medicare benefits and financing new spending outside of Medicare would essentially double-count a large share of those savings.”Reason.com has more.
For senior citizens who think they will have more options under the law, insurers are cutting their Medicare Advantage offerings. Still others are exiting from the Medicare market entirely. Rick Foster, Medicare’s chief actuary wrote that Medicare under ObamaCare, will offer “less generous benefit packages” and “a large increase in the out-of-pocket costs incurred by MA enrollees.” — Source: Wall Street Journal, Oct. 16, 2010.
Number 14: ObamaCare is good for the healthcare industry, will create jobs and provide coverage for more Americans than every before.
Fact: The Great Pumpkin has a better chance of appearing than that happening. The Association of American Medical Colleges, a source for government at all levels, reports that a previously projected shortfall of physicians of 39,600 by 2015, now will rise to a shortfall of 63,000 and grow worse by 2025. Although ObamaCare advocates say this is not true, by its own projections, it will cover 32 million newly insured people with another 36 million entering Medicare. To pay for these people, the government-run insurance programs will cut payments to doctors, driving more out of the profession. (Source: Reuters.)
Number 13: Much of the cost to fund ObamaCare comes from money already appropriated. It doesn’t add any new spending.
Fact: The president has said that the $100 billion per year cost of ObamaCare would come out of the $2 trillion per year we spend on health care costs. There’s that pesky Congressional Budget Office, again. The president’s favorite source reported that “the two pieces of legislation [that make up the health care law] were estimated to increase mandatory outlays by $401 billion and raise revenues by $525 billion.” See Reason.com.
Number 12: ObamaCare makes the healthcare system more efficient.
Fact: One doesn’t need to look far for an example to disprove that claim. Even one of the jewels in the law proponents love to talk about, the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports (CLASS) Act, complicates the system and runs up debt. CLASS a voluntary long-term care insurance program. Enrollees must pay premiums for five years before claiming benefits. According to the Congressional Budget Office, this will create a $70 billion surplus over 10 years, helping reduce the deficit. But Medicare’s own chief actuary says the money will be needed immediately to pay claims, wiping out any deficit reduction. In fact, the actuary says, claims will exceed the surplus necessitating “dramatic cuts to benefits” or more taxpayer money to cover the costs. The CLASS Act also disproves the claim that Obamacare is not designed to compete with private sector insurance. — Source:“Obamacare: The Impact On Future Generations,” by James C. Capretta, The Heritage Foundation, June 1, 2010
Number 11: ObamaCare will not lead to the taxation of an employer’s health care benefits.
Fact: Remember during the 2008 campaign when candidate Obama criticized John McCain’s plan as one that would tax health care benefits? As it turned out, he must have liked the idea. In his final memo before leaving the administration, former Obama administration Budget Director Peter Orszag wrote, “These changes include a new excise tax on the highest-cost insurance plans. . . .” In fact, the law includes, starting in 2018, a 40 percent tax on so-called Cadillac policies, costing more than $10,200 for individuals and $27,500 for families. — Source: Wall Street Journal, Oct. 16, 2010.
Today (December 29): 10-6
Number 10: ObamaCare increases transparency.
Fact: When the Department of Health and Human Services issued the 111 waivers from ObamaCare to corporations and unions, no press release was issued, the announcement came on a Friday, and it was buried on HHS’s Web site – it takes six clicks to find it. (See video from Fox News Channel’s Cashin’ In.) But it doesn’t stop at the walls of HHS. Early this fall, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius warned insurance companies not to communicate to customers the relationship between premium increases and Obamacare’s massive regulations and mandates. She wrote in a letter to America’s Health Insurance Plans, the health insurance industry’s trade group, that “[T]here will be zero tolerance for this type of misinformation and unjustified rate increases.” Instead . . . “Later this fall, we will issue a regulation that will require state or federal review of all potentially unreasonable rate increases filed by health insurers, with the justification for increases posted publicly for consumers and employers.” In other words, no debate, no discussion. We will tell the insurance companies what to say (see Americans For Limited Government, GetLiberty.org, October 22, 2010).
Number 9: ObamaCare will bend the “cost curve down.”
Fact: Don’t you hate liberal, sound-too-cool-and-knowledgable-jargon? Anyway, the government’s own Medicare actuary disagrees! The “cost curve” straightens up and flies high under Obamacare. In the first 10 years alone, medical costs will increase $310 billion and health care will represent a larger portion of GDP than current projections. — Source: HotAir.com, Aug. 5, 2010
Number 8: ObamaCare will provide coverage to all people who do not have it.
Fact: According to the Congressional Budget Office, 10 years from now at least 21 million Americans will remain uninsured. Not only that, but almost one-half of the newly covered won’t get access to true health insurance; instead, they will be added to the Medicaid program, adding to its already overburdened problems of access and quality. — Source: New York Post, July 20, 2010.
Number 7: ObamaCare does not allow for taxpayer funding of abortion, violating decades of bipartisan affirmation of the Hyde Amendment.
Fact: Why take our word for it? Here is a quote from the Maryland Health Insurance Plan: “The MHIP Federal Plan offers the same benefit package as other MHIP plan options,” and all five MHIP plans cover abortion. The loophole banning taxpayer funding of abortion is so large, the pretend restrictions were unnecessary. (Source: CNSNews.com)
Number 6: Obamacare will lower health insurance premiums.
Fact: Not even Senate Democrats believe that one! Only four weeks after ObamaCare became law, they brought forth legislation to limit what insurance companies could charge. The New York Times, of all papers, has it documented here. But let’s hear it straight from the horses’ mouths: Here’s a video of Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) saying premiums are going up under ObamaCare followed by the POTUS promising the opposite. If the president and his liberal Senate buddies can’t believe each other, why should any American believe them?
Today (December 30): 5-1
Number 5: Under ObamaCare, you can keep the coverage you have if you prefer it to other options in the law.
Fact: An internal memo leaked from the Department of Health and Human Services says that more than two-thirds of businesses could be forced to change their current coverage; possibly 80 percent for small businesses. Other reports document that seniors with Medicare Advantage and people with health savings accounts also are likely to be forced out of their plans. Even Americans whose plans are “grandfathered” under the law may still be forced to change coverage to a plan that meets government requirements if they make any material changes to their coverage. – Source: New York Post, July 20, 2010.
The federal government’s own draft guidelines indicate that between one-half and two-thirds of all Americans’ current private plans will lose their protected, or grandfathered, status by 2013. “‘[F]or plans that do not fall under the grandfathered status, employers would have to find a plan that complies with the health care bill.’ More than one million part-time and lower-wage workers are already feeling the squeeze, as popular ‘mini-med’ affordable limited-benefit plans will be banned by the feds starting this fall.” – Source: HotAir.com, Aug. 5, 2010.
Number 4: ObamaCare is not government control on the health insurance industry.
Fact: The health care bill has thousands of powers granted to the secretary of Health and Human Services, currently Kathleen Sebelius. The powers literally give her autocratic power to impose government directives, regulations and sanctions on private businesses. The waivers exempting 111 organizations a pass (for the time being) on implementing some of the new regulations, while an admission to what is all wrong with the law, also shows hwo much power the law vests in the secretary. It’s a receipe for unelected government bureaucrats and political appointees to play favorites with or bully certain members of the private sector who do or don’t shut and up and do as told. This power, alone, leads to cronyism and political paybacks and “gangster government.” The best way to provide flexibility in health care is to free up the market from government regulation, not more government. With increased competition, consumers will have more choices to fit their needs – not government’s needs. (See Michael Barone in the Washington Examiner.)
Number 3: ObamaCare will not lead to rationing.
Fact: It may be here sooner than we think. For example, the Food and Drug Administration now is considering cost as a factor in its approval process. The late-stage cancer drug Avastin is a test case. If cost becomes a point for consideration in drug approval, only those who can afford to pay for Avastin, or any drug, will have access to it, because Medicare and private insurance companies will be able, in the case of Avastin, to deny breast cancer patients coverage for this life-extending drug (see The Daily Caller, Sept. 16, 2010). In addition, the Association of American Medical Colleges, which provides information state and federal governments cite, projected a shortage of 33,100 physicians in specialties such as cardiology, oncology and emergency medicine in 2015. In addition, the respected Rand Corporation and Institute of Medicine also project doctor shortages. (Source: Reuters.)
Number 2: “Death Panels” in ObamaCare are the imagination of right-wing extremists.
Fact: The nation’s leading liberal economist, Paul Krugman, a New York Times columnist, Ivy League professor and a Nobel Prize winner, who advises liberal policy makers and legislaors, repeatedly has said that there are death panels! He said so last fall and in the spring he said, “death panels” “will make binding judgments and . . . will save (the government) quite a lot of money.” See the video here! In fact, he wants the government debt commission to “embrace” death panels! On ABC News’ This Week, he said, “Medicare is going to have to decide what it’s going to pay for . . . it’s going to have to decide which medical procedures are not effective at all and should not be paid for at all. In other words . . . the panel that was part of the health care reform. … Some years down the pike we’re going to get the real solution . . . a combination of death panels and sales taxes. …”
Number 1: ObamaCare is constitutional!
Fact: WRONG! Federal Judge Henry Hudson wrote, in a well researched and reasoned 43-page opinion, in declaring ObamaCare unconstitutional in Commonwealth of Virginia vs. Sebelius, in the only case between a state with a law prohibiting the individual mandate and the federal government:
Neither the Supreme Court nor any federal court of appeals has extended Commerce Clause powers to compel an individual to involuntarily enter a stream of commerce by purchasing a commodity in the private market. In doing so, enactment of the Minimum Essential Coverage Provision exceeds the Commerce Clause powers vested in Congress under Article I. …
The absence of a constitutionally viable exercise of this enumerated power is fatal to the accompanying sanction for noncompliance. …
A thorough survey of pertinent constitutional case law has yielded no reported decisions from any federal appellate courts extending the Commerce Clause or General Welfare Clause to encompass regulation of a person’s decision not to purchase a product, notwithstanding its effect on interstate commerce or role in a global regulatory scheme. The unchecked expansion of congressional power to the limits suggested by the Minimal Essential Coverage Provision would invite unbridled exercise of federal police powers. At its core, this dispute is not simply about regulating the business of insurance — or crafting a scheme of universal health insurance coverage — it’s about an individual’s right to choose to participate.
Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution confers upon Congress only discrete enumerated governmental powers. The powers not delegated to the United States by Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the states, respectively, or to the people.
On careful review, this Court must conclude that section 1501 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act — specifically the Minimum Essential Coverage Provision — exceeds the constitutional boundaries of congressional power.
Claim: The Canadians have government-run health care and it’s a model of how well a health care system can work. It’s a system more industrialized countries, such as the U.S., should emulate.
Fact: “Canada’s health care system is coming apart at the seams, torn between a desire to uphold a monumental principle and the staggering challenge of delivering on that promise. … On the ground, there is too often a glaring lack of execution: long waits, bed shortages, unequal access to medication. Those failures are compounded by the fact that the ever-rising medicare bill is squeezing out education and other social priorities.”
Claim: Canadians love their health care system because of its great reputation.
Fact: If the Canadian system is so good, why do its lawmakers come to the U.S. for treatment? There is story after story of Canadian officials coming to America for their treatment because it takes too long to get to see a specialist in Canada. Perhaps the most recent high profile “Profile In Courage” is Danny Williams, a provincial premier (i.e., governor), who went to Florida last February for heart surgery (see The Washington Post’s The Checkup blog).
Claim: There may be some specialties American doctors do well, but the Canadian system does other things better, especially basic procedures.
Fact: Like childbirth? According to KOMO-TV in Seattle, Canadian women from British Columbia are flocking to the Emerald City to give birth! In one case, there were no beds available in Chilliwack, B.C., nor in cosmopolitan Vancouver, and the woman had to be rushed to Seattle. In another case, there were no hospitals in all of Western Canada with available neo-natal facilities, and the baby also was taken to Seattle.
Claim: Without a system like Canada’s, people who have catastrophic injuries could never afford treatment and would die.
Fact: In a system like Canada’s, there may be no place to go for catastrophic injuries! According to Canada’s own Globe and Mail, “More than 150 critically ill Canadians – many with life-threatening cerebral hemorrhages – have been rushed to the United States (between spring of 2006 and late 2008) because they could not obtain intensive-care beds here.”
Claim: Accusations about rationing or shortages in government-run or regulated systems are scare tactics.
Fact: See above. Or read this, again from the Globe and Mail: “There have been very serious health-care problems that have arisen in neurosurgical patients because of the lack of ability to attain timely transport to expert neurosurgical centres in Ontario,” said R. Loch Macdonald, chief of the division of neurosurgery at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto. Those problems, he said, include “brain injury or brain damage that could have been prevented by earlier treatment.”
Claim: American leaders such as John Kerry and Hillary Clinton have cited the Canadian system as one of the best in the world.
Fact: Even if true, why settle for one of the best when we have the best. But don’t believe me. Believe Canada’s own single-payer-supporting media. More from the Globe and Mail: “Despite the urgency of these cases, patients encounter barriers to accessing care at every turn. The problems include limited access to teleradiology; limited operating-room time; too few intensive-care beds; a short supply of neurosurgically trained intensive-care nurses to staff them, and too few neurosurgeons. In some cases, neurosurgeons are available to operate, but with intensive-care beds full, there simply is nowhere to put them afterward.”
Claim: The government is needed to ensure everyone gets quality health care because insurance companies and doctors only care about their bottom line.
Fact: Yes, just like Stephen Duckett, the CEO of Alberta Health Services, who was fired earlier this month for refusing to take reporters’ questions on why the AHS had serious problems, such as long wait lines. Instead, for two minutes, he repeated to reporters, “I want to eat my cookie!” See the video at TheBlaze.com. Duckett was fired the next day.
Claim: No, really, Canadians love their health care system!
Fact: According to TheBlaze.com: Duckett’s firing “is welcome news in a country growing increasingly frustrated with its health care system. …” It also cited his devotion to “publicly funded health care,” as his downfall. The fact is, publicly funded health care breeds arrogant bureaucrats who, at best, make arbitrary decisions as to what treatments patients get, but more often than not, at worst, make cold decisions based on costs and rationing, rather than humaneness. It’s publicly funded health care that puts government between patient and doctor.
Claim: The government is needed to keep prices under control and save taxpayer dollars. That’s why we should continue to move toward the Canadian system.
Fact: Right. That’s why Reuters reported this earlier this year: “Pressured by an aging population and the need to rein in budget deficits, Canada’s provinces are taking tough measures to curb healthcare costs, a trend that could erode the principles of the popular state-funded system.” Part of the solution? Charging patients for each medical visit (previously “free”) and more taxes.
ObamaCare Lies, Vol. 6: Special Edition: Will The New Republican Majority Keep Its Promise To Vote To Repeal And Defund ObamaCare?
Claim: The new House Republican majority is going to repeal ObamaCare!
Fact: It’s right there, on page 27 of The Pledge To America: “Because the new health care law kills jobs, raises taxes, and increases the cost of health care, we will immediately take action to repeal this law.”
Claim: Then, what’s the problem? They say they’re going to do it.
Fact: We all know politicians. While we don’t doubt the sincerity of many, especially many of the newly elected members, it’s never safe to vote and walk away. Concerned Americans need to stay on their elected representatives to keep their promises. (See Joseph Farah at WorldNetDaily.com.)
Claim: The Republican leaders are sincere about repealing ObamaCare. I’ve heard them call for it and it’s in the Pledge To America.
Fact: They call for a lot of things. House Majority Leader-elect Eric Cantor (R-Va.) famously told Laura Ingraham before the election he would do anything to “delay, deny and repeal” Obamacare if the GOP won the House majority (see YouTube video). But recently, he told an audience that House Republicans would move to repeal the law, but also replace it with a bill that maintains some aspects of Obamacare! (See John Fund at The Wall Street Journal.)
Claim: All the GOP is saying is allow kids up to 26 to stay on their parents’ insurance.
Fact: A 26-year-old is a “kid”? Keeping 20-somethings dependent stifles their creativeness and energy. Some of the most important recent innovations have come from “kids” in their 20s, especially in technology. Keep them attached to the parents’ umbilical chord and we’ll never see the growth and job creation that comes from energetic people who see new solutions, markets, products and services that keep America prosperous.
Claim: Okay, but keeping the provisions that guarantee coverage for people with preexisting conditions is good – and it doesn’t cost a thing.
Fact: Be careful for what you wish – and you will pay for it in a big way! To cover people with preexisting conditions, people must either be forced to buy insurance (the provision under constitutional challenge by more than 20 states) so as to create a larger premium pool to cover the increased costs, or stick it in Medicare and raise taxes to pay for it. Do Republicans want to be caught in that Hobson’s choice? (See HotAir.com.)
Claim: Do you want the Republicans to lose their majority again? They have to work with the Democrats and these provisions are popular.
Fact: As John Fund at the Wall Street Journal’s Opinion Journal wrote, as many as 60 percent of Americans, when polled, may say they like these ideas, but the majority that voted in the new Republican House do not! Republicans need to listen to the people who elected them and stand for real change. Besides, as more people learn about the pitfalls of these two aspects of ObamaCare, they will, just as they did with the bill as a whole, turn against them.
Claim: The new House leadership said they would take up repeal of ObamaCare as its first priority.
Fact: Here we go again. Remember: They are politicians, especially the ones who have been there a while. Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), who is in line to become chairman of the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee, is another Republican leaving backtrack footprints in the sand. He would only say a repeal bill should come “early” and would not commit to specifics in the bill. (See TheHill.com.) But on election night, future majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) promised a repeal vote “right away” (see U.S. News).
Claim: The House Republicans are committed to a real, market-based reform.
Fact: When asked to provide language of legislation the Republicans would introduce to replace Obamacare, Rep. Cantor’s spokesman cited this plank from the congressman’s platform to Philip Klein at The American Spectator’s AmSpec blog. While it has some free-market reforms, it does nothing to reform Medicaid and Medicare, nor removes the double standard in the tax code that punishes people who buy insurance on their own rather than through an employer. It also sets up government-funded high-risk pools for people with preexisting conditions. Not much better than Obamacare! (See AmSpec blog).
Claim: You’re overstating everything. The House GOP leadership will not cave on repealing ObamaCare.
Fact: There’s enough of a worry that Rep. Michelle Bachman (R-Minn.) told CNSNews.com December 2 that there should be an “insurrection” among House Republicans if its leaders cave! (See video and transcript of interview.) Rep. Bachman is chairman of the House Tea Party Caucus. Politico has more, here.
Claim: Repealing ObamaCare is politically dangerous. People like their entitlements.
Fact: Even with all the spin and propaganda from Andy Griffith, the AARP, unions, the White House, Congressional liberals, liberal activists and the media – don’t mean to be redundant – and the public still overwhelmingly opposes ObamaCare! TheRasmussen Reports poll released on November 29 reveals that 58 percent of Americans favor repeal, while only 37 percent oppose repeal. More importantly, 47 percent of Americans expect it to be repealed! Click here to see the results and analysis of the poll. Oh, by the way, Sheriff Taylor himself has taken a big hit in popularity for doing the ObamaCare ads. See Fox News Insider. But then, the elections were the ultimate ObamaCare popularity meter, weren’t they?
- Obama’s New “Waiver Flexibility” Plan To States Is Path To Single Payer Faster
- Thomas Sowell On ObamaCare’s “Facts And Fables”
- Taranto On Death Panels, Individual Mandate And More
- FDA De-Listing Of Avastin A Precursor To Life In The Age Of Obama
- Another Great ObamaCare Repeal Speech: Virginia Freshman Morgan Griffith
- Representative Steve King’s ObamaCare Repeal Floor Speech
- Best Speech On ObamaCare Repeal? How About Steve King’s?
- Who Says There’s No Bipartisanship On ObamaCare?
- Brevity Is The Soul Of Repeal
- Congressional Twilight Zone: Repealing ObamaCare Increases The Deficit!
- Year, Cinderella Not The Only Things That Changed At Midnight
- Volume 8: Promises ObamaCare can’t keep