ObamaKare II

An astute reader already made this point in the comments section, but here it is again, via Instapundit:

He said,

Reducing the waste and inefficiency in Medicare and Medicaid will pay for most of this plan.

And if we don’t pass this plan, does he intend to keep the waste and inefficiency, out of spite?

Now, while it was impolite for that Congressman to shout at Obama last night (though I do wish we had the same fierce debates the House of Commons does – far better viewing), the underlying claim that Obama is lying seems valid. No one doubts that there are billions of dollars lost to fraud and waste in Medicare and Medicaid, but there is no political will to do anything about it. Do you remember when Congress passed a $10 co-pay for Medicare doctors’ office visits? That would have saved billions simply by discouraging the Florida geriatric set from using doctors as a form of entertainment, but the outcry from AARP was so ugly that then Speaker Rostenkowsky had to call the House back from summer break to repeal it. No one has tried anything along those lines since and Obama isn’t planning to now. The goal here is to explode spending and promise savings “down the road’ when the road has been shut down permanently.

Liar liar, pants on fire.

 

19 Comments

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19 responses to “ObamaKare II

  1. xyzzy

    Good blog post on that point:

    http://econblogreview.blogspot.com/2009/09/doctorx-comments-on-presidents.html

    To quote:

    Fraud and waste are not easy to eliminate, and “waste” is not even easy to define. These should be addressed ASAP and need not be part of sweeping health care reform. Medicare’s famously low overhead administrative costs are part and parcel of not requiring pre-approval for tests or alleged surgeries, thus allowing fraud to exist on a significant scale. In my part of the country, Miami, Medicare fraud is a major industry. Eliminating it would put a lot of people on the dole!

  2. DB

    The liar comment was specific to illegal aliens, and as it just so happens, I’ve address the comment on a board I visit, so I will repeat it here:

    Breakdown by someone on the uninsured:

    http://westernexperience.wordpress.com/2009/07/23/46-million-and-8-2-million-uninsured-myths-busted/

    The non-citizen (a lot different then illegal) is around 9 mil.

    How many are illegal in the 9 mil is probably pretty low, since illegal’s aren’t first in line when the census starts running around:

    http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/52593

    The illegal point is moot since if the bill specifically states that illegal’s are not covered, talking about this is just a red herring. The only thing I take from the “You Lie!” comment is that Joe Wilson is an idiot.

  3. aliprowl

    Yet again, I find myself wishing fervently that FWIW had a “forward to a friend” mechanism whereby I could help educate my liberal acquaintances. Joe Wilson’s astute observation was the high point of last night. Bears repeating. And repeating.

    • christopherfountain

      Ali, if you click on the headline bar of a particular post you’ll see a “perma-link” in the tool bar. Copy that onto an email message and your friend can click it and get straight to the article, rather than just the blog in general. I may prowl around wordpress and see if they offer an easier way to do this, but it does work.

  4. Not a Believer

    You just have to drive around in Florida and see all the Medical Center vans running around picking up “patients” to understand the WASTE in the system. Its a social gathering where Medical centers have cafeterias, entertainment and even domino tables for “patients”. Its the fleecing of America at its finest.

  5. Arouet

    Navel-gazing. Watching Rome burn. Rearranging deck chairs on Titanic. Studying at feet of Pollyanna. Pick your metaphor. You can’t control costs and yet not ration care. Has to be one or the other. Pay more or get less. Neither side of the political spectrum is acknowledging this stark reality.

  6. HG

    I’m with DB–if the best argument against health care reform Joe Wilson can muster is that it will cover illegal aliens, the President should have challenged him to a debate on the spot. I have been assuming that gun-toting protesters at the town hall meetings were being paid by David Axelrod to make opponents of health care reform look unbalanced, but I don’t see how the White House could have convinced Congressman Wilson to pull this stunt. I know they have considered calling the bill the Ted Kennedy Health Care Reform bill, but when it passes they should consider it the Joe Wilson Reform Bill instead.

  7. FlyAngler

    Just for the record (from Drudge)

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2009/09/10/flashback_democrats_boo_bush_at_2005_state_of_the_union.html

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/06/02/obama-accused-clinton-telling-bald-faced-lies/

    So, not sure why the Dems is all incensed about this outburst. I guess it is just when the Dems disagree with another president that outbursts are acceptable.

  8. DB

    The following is a video that is obvious pro healthcare reform and with that the addition of the public option.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/09/09/robert-reich-explains-the_n_280639.html

    While the pro part of this can be ignored, the addition of the public option to the mix has been demonized in relation to socialization rhetoric. The addition of the public option to compete with private seems like a win win to me. If the private insurers don’t either keep costs in line or improve service, people have a non-profit choice (from my experience, Blue Cross/shield is by far the best insurer due to non-profit status). If the public option blows……we will be left with what we have now.

    The arguments against socialized men also amuse me, given my wife couldn’t find an OB/GYN in Greenwich taking patients these days. We have some of the worst stats related to healthcare…..though, for some odd reason, believe we are the best:

    http://www.huppi.com/kangaroo/L-healthcare.htm

    We pay significantly more then any other industrialized nation in the world on healthcare, and yet we don’t have everyone covered. Blows my mind.

  9. Interested Observer

    Actually DB, the illegal alien issue is not a moot point. If you refer to the report put out by the non-partisan Congressional Research Service (an office designated to report to Congress) that goes in depth with their analysis on bill HR 3200, you’ll find that illegal aliens who are in the country for more than 6 months and meet the “substantial presence test” would be required to obtain health insurance through the exchanges.

    Here’s a snippet from the report…

    “Under H.R. 3200, all legal permanent residents (LPRs),23 nonimmigrants, and unauthorized aliens who meet the substantial presence test (defined above) would be required to obtain health insurance.

    Noncitizens meeting the definition of nonresident aliens (e.g., temporary visitors, temporary workers in the United States for less than 183 days in the year) would not be required to obtain health insurance. Notably, the IRC does not contain special rules for individuals who are in the United States without authorization (i.e., illegal or unauthorized aliens). Instead, the IRC treats these individuals in the same manner as other foreign nationals—an unauthorized individual who has been in the United States long enough to qualify under the substantial presence test is classified as a resident alien; otherwise, the individual is classified as a nonresident alien. Thus, it would appear that unauthorized aliens who meet the substantial presence test would be required under H.R. 3200 to have health insurance.”

    The CRS analysis has been available for two weeks and can be found here in it’s entirety – http://media.sfexaminer.com/documents/noncitizens.pdf

    In short, the bill offered by the House, which Obama seems to have re-embraced last night, would REQUIRE illegal aliens in the country for more than six months to obtain health insurance through the exchanges, and make them eligible for the public option. Furthermore, when Republicans attempted to close that loophole with an amendment, Democrats shot it down.

  10. Hu Nhu?

    Duh!
    “So, the bottom line is this: Obama intends to enact health-care reform legislation that expressly prohibits giving federal health insurance benefits to illegal aliens. He then intends to enact “comprehensive immigration reform” that will make illegal aliens into legal residents of the United States thus making them eligible for the new federal health insurance benefits created by his health-care reform bill.

    Illegal immigrants won’t get federal health insurance benefits under Obama’s plan because they won’t be illegal immigrants anymore, they will be legal immigrants.”

    It wasn’t a lie, just a slimy effort to mislead. Our head of state is well practiced at this. But he is not a king, he is the head of one co-equal branch of our government. Free speech still exists in many parts of this country. I guess we could just blame the Teleprompter.

  11. DB

    Interested Observer

    In the grand scheme of things it’s moot, but you are correct in what you pulled from the report. Fortunately, another poster put together a counterpoint to my original post….making my response easy:

    The President technically is not lying when he says that illegals will not be covered. The House bill does state in Title II, Subtitle C, Section 246 that “no federal payment for undocumented aliens.”

    However, the proposal does not allow insurers and medical care proiders to verify legal status, making it impossible to know who legally qualifies for federal subsidies under the plan.

    Amendments proposed by Rep. Dean Heller (R.-Nev.) and Rep. Nathan Deal (R.-Ga.) that would have required verification of legal status were rejected respectively by the House Ways and Means and the House Energy and Commerce committees.

    Considering how the Democrat Party fights tooth and nail every proposal to verify one’s voting eligibility as discriminatory, why would healthcare be any different?

    So no, Obama is not lying, but he sure as hell isn’t telling the truth either.

    In the grand scheme of things, this is really the least of our problems in the new bill……..but is a red herring Rep’s can grab onto to stall progress.

  12. Towny

    Obama is taking Rells lead and making Charter Oak insurance mandatory for all.

  13. Hu Nhu?

    From a Heritage Foundation report called How Poor Are America’s Poor: Examining the “Plague” of Poverty in America.
    The article makes it clear that the poor in America do not fit the portrayal of living in poverty when compared to real poverty in Africa and much of the developing world. The report concludes:

    The typical American defined as “poor” by the government has a car, air conditioning, a refrigera tor, a stove, a clothes washer and dryer, and a micro wave. He has two color televisions, cable or satellite TV reception, a VCR or DVD player, and a stereo. He is able to obtain medical care. His home is in good repair and is not overcrowded. By his own report, his family is not hungry and he had suffi cient funds in the past year to meet his family’s essential needs. While this individual’s life is not opulent, it is equally far from the popular images of dire poverty conveyed by the press, liberal activists, and politicians.

    The main causes of child poverty in the United States are low levels of parental work, high numbers of single-parent families, and low skill levels of incoming immigrants. By increasing work and marriage, reducing illegal immigration, and by improving the skill level of future legal immigrants, our nation can, over time, virtually eliminate remaining child poverty.

  14. Interested Observer

    The Republicans are stalling progress? That statement would be laughable if it weren’t so ridiculous. There is plenty of obstructionism going on in Washington on both sides of the aisle AND in the White House these days.

    At this point, the Republicans really have to do nothing in order to stall progress..they aren’t being truly allowed into the process anyway. The “Open Door” policy mentioned by Mr. Obama in his childish playground bully-toned peevish pontification of the other night, only applies to those who will agree with his grandiose ideas..as he has already proved in amble measures. Every version or amendment to the proposed bills by the right have been shot down or ignored. With the token input from a total of three RINOs only being marginally allowed, the lip-service being served as wanting bipartisanship is a farce.

    The left has made it clear over and over, they don’t want input from the right. The President himself said in one of his endless speeches a month or two ago, that he wanted those that didn’t agree to just be quiet and stay out of things. The last time I checked, our country was founded with the premise of everyone having a voice, even when we don’t all agree.

    While it’s a daunting/scary thought, the Democrats have the votes to run this entire boondoggle through all by themselves, regardless of what the American people want or of the ultimate consequences of their actions in doing so…and can’t manage to even pull either wing of their own party together in agreement on anything.

    The truth of the matter is, they are their own worst enemies and can’t get their dooky together to form a cohesive thought, much less present a bill that won’t bankrupt the country further or erode our medical care.

    The Republicans don’t have to obstruct a thing, the Democrats are doing that all by themselves with internal bickering and making themselves look like the three stooges led by Reid, Pelosi and Mr. Obama, none of which can agree amongst themselves on the scope of their power grab, much less pull their own party together.

  15. Arouet

    So we prohibit illegal aliens from buying into the insurance exchange, and we allow hospital personnel to check status at admission. So what? Then what? Do we repeal Federal patient-dumping laws and deny care? If that’s the answer, the GOP should spell it out this way instead of tinkering at the margins. Why prohibit an illegal alien from buying insurance, but then prohibit a provider from denying care? If they won’t be denied care, then figure out a way to make them pay at least something for it.

  16. anon

    The Republican effort to keep the health care status quo is awesome. In fact, I want to see everyone else lose healthcare coverage except for me. Why should I care about anyone else? The fewer covered, the shorter the wait for me when I need to see a doctor.

    The way the Republicans sat around and did nothing for 6 years of controlling Congress and having Bush President was genius. And now that they are out of power and say they want to enact some changes like malpractice reform — really smart politics of acting like they care since there is now media coverage of the issue.

  17. DB

    The Republicans don’t have to obstruct a thing, the Democrats are doing that all by themselves with internal bickering and making themselves look like the three stooges led by Reid, Pelosi and Mr. Obama, none of which can agree amongst themselves on the scope of their power grab, much less pull their own party together.

    Personally I believe the Rep’s and Dem’s are two sides of the same coin. Neither cuts spending, and both have an insane amount of special interest groups to pander to. The Rep’s in power ignore the Dem’s and vice versa, and both sides bitch when the other ignores them when sides switch.

    In the long run, the only thing I give a crap about is some form of universal coverage is passed and pre-existing conditions are removed as an exclusion. Why the rest of the 1st world can manage it for lower cost and we can’t, is sad. Sooner or later we will collapse under the weight of health care, assuming something doesn’t change. Bickering over illegal aliens in the bill is of little convern IMO in the grand scheme of things.

  18. Towny

    By the time (2013) the health insurance law is enacted there wont be any illegal aliens.