Seven States Attorney Generals, all Republican, are taking a look at it. Good for them. Richard Blumenthal was unavailable for comment.
Tag Archives: ObamaKare
$100 million paid to Senator for her vote for health care. Yeah okay, that was wasteful, but now we’re really going to get serious abut this. We mean it!
In discussions with dozens of health-care leaders and economists, I find near unanimity of opinion that, whatever its shape, the final legislation that will emerge from Congress will markedly accelerate national health-care spending rather than restrain it. Likewise, nearly all agree that the legislation would do little or nothing to improve quality or change health-care’s dysfunctional delivery system. The system we have now promotes fragmented care and makes it more difficult than it should be to assess outcomes and patient satisfaction. The true costs of health care are disguised, competition based on price and quality are almost impossible, and patients lose their ability to be the ultimate judges of value.
Worse, currently proposed federal legislation would undermine any potential for real innovation in insurance and the provision of care. It would do so by overregulating the health-care system in the service of special interests such as insurance companies, hospitals, professional organizations and pharmaceutical companies, rather than the patients who should be our primary concern.
In effect, while the legislation would enhance access to insurance, the trade-off would be an accelerated crisis of health-care costs and perpetuation of the current dysfunctional system—now with many more participants. This will make an eventual solution even more difficult. Ultimately, our capacity to innovate and develop new therapies would suffer most of all.
There are important lessons to be learned from recent experience with reform in Massachusetts. Here, insurance mandates similar to those proposed in the federal legislation succeeded in expanding coverage but—despite initial predictions—increased total spending.
A “Special Commission on the Health Care Payment System” recently declared that the Massachusetts health-care payment system must be changed over the next five years, most likely to one involving “capitated” payments instead of the traditional fee-for-service system. Capitation means that newly created organizations of physicians and other health-care providers will be given limited dollars per patient for all of their care, allowing for shared savings if spending is below the targets. Unfortunately, the details of this massive change—necessitated by skyrocketing costs and a desire to improve quality—are completely unspecified by the commission, although a new Massachusetts state bureaucracy clearly will be required.
Yet it’s entirely unclear how such unspecified changes would impact physician practices and compensation, hospital organizations and their capacity to invest, and the ability of patients to receive the kind and quality of care they desire. Similar challenges would eventually confront the entire country on a more explosive scale if the current legislation becomes law.
Selling an uncertain and potentially unwelcome outcome such as this to the public would be a challenging task. It is easier to assert, confidently but disingenuously, that decreased costs and enhanced quality would result from the current legislation.
So the majority of our representatives may congratulate themselves on reducing the number of uninsured, while quietly understanding this can only be the first step of a multiyear process to more drastically change the organization and funding of health care in America. I have met many people for whom this strategy is conscious and explicit.
We should not be making public policy in such a crucial area by keeping the electorate ignorant of the actual road ahead.
Panel recommends mammograms begin at 50, not 40, and repeated once every two years, not annually. It’s just about as effective so unless you’re Ms. “Just-About”, you need not worry. And don’t forget, since society is now going to be footing your medical bills, all of your health care decisions are belong to us. Just relax.
Democrats torn asunder over abortion while health care bill founders. Liberals cheered when helmet laws were enacted: “we pay for these people, we have the right to dictate what they do.” The same for seat belt laws, punitive cigarette taxes, soda fines, trans fat bans, etc. So now they are seeing what happens when they turn personal decisions over to their government to decide for them, and it’s not as much fun. Bottom line prediction: you’ll be able to have federally supplied health care or an abortion, but not both.
If you’d like to see the future of health care, consider ethanol: the law mandating its use was enacted as a sop to Iowa corn farmers and in the years since its passage, it has become clear that: it doesn’t clean the air: fuel injection systems don’t need and can’t use an “oxygenator”; it consumes more energy than it saves; it threatens the gains we’ve made in conservation; it adds extra, unnecessary cost to the price of gasoline; and it drives up the cost of food. Congress’ response: expand the program, throw more taxpayer subsidies at it.
Hypo: if two new medical devises are invented, each of which will save XXX lives but are so expensive that the choice of one will preclude the other, which machine will be adopted by the government: Machine A, which saves 5% more lives but is made in Backwater, Missouri in a freshman Congressman’s district, or Machine B, manufactured (deliberately) in the home district of the Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee? There’s your future.
Maine’s health care program, “Dirigo” (I lead) is a failure, according to today’s NY Times.
This is not what the supporters expected. Dirigo, with all the features Cos Cob’s Jimbo Himes and his ilk whooped through the House last week, was supposed to solve the problems of uninsured patients and soaring health care costs and its adoption was cheered:
“America’s Agenda”, 2005: “Way to go, Dirigo! Big Win in Maine!”
Progressive States Network was sure the state had only to resist “Big Business” and it would continue its achievements.
Etc. etc. Google “Dirigo success” and see all the same arguments and predictions we’re been hearing nationally for the past few years. It would be discouraging if it weren’t for the eternal optimism of socialized medicine’s profound belief in the ultimate power of the government to fix anything.
After he said such nice things to me earlier this morning I was considering sparing reader XYOUNT’s blood pressure by refraining from posting any nutty right-wing rants for an hour or two, but this article caught my eye and I can’t resist. Perhaps since it comes from the New york Times and quotes Demmerkrats, I’ll be forgiven.
WASHINGTON — As health care legislation moves toward a crucial airing in the Senate, the White House is facing a growing revolt from some Democrats and analysts who say the bills Congress is considering do not fulfill President Obama’s promise to slow the runaway rise in health care spending.//
Mr. Obama has made cost containment a centerpiece of his health reform agenda, and in May he stood up at the White House with industry groups who pledged voluntary efforts to trim the growth of health care spending by 1.5 percent, or $2 trillion, over the next decade.
But health economists say it is impossible to know whether the bills, including one passed by the House on Saturday night, would meet that goal, and many are skeptical that they even come close.
Experts — including some who have consulted closely with the White House, like Dr. Denis A. Cortese, chief executive of the Mayo Clinic — say the measures take only baby steps toward revamping the current fee-for-service system, which drives up costs by paying health providers for each visit or procedure performed. Some senators are also dissatisfied.
Pelosi: buy a $15,000 health insurance policy or go to jail. In fairness to Her Highness, this is a perfectly logical outcome of mandatory health care because you can’t demand insurers to waive pre-existing conditions, as the bill does, and not make the program mandatory. Otherwise, people will wait to get sick before buying insurance and quit when they’re well, leaving the insurer, government or private, with nothing but services-sucking customers. That’s not affordable under any scheme, socialist or otherwise.
But just because this is logical, I doubt most Americans have focused on it and I don’t believe a majority of them will approve of it – everyone loves a free lunch but lots of folks skip out when the bill arrives. So JimBo Himes and Pelosi’s other minions face a real dilemma tomorrow, assuming the bill comes up for a vote: do Queen Nancy’s bidding and suffer personal catastrophe in 2011 when the voters will have discovered what he’s done to them or tell Nanny to piss off and give up all hope of being awarded a coveted committee seat and a really neat office? Oh what will he do? What will he do?
On September 24th, Speaker of the House Nanny Pelosi “absolutely” guaranteed that the final House version of ObamaKare would be posted online 72 hours before it was voted on. Today, that statement is no longer operative. You don’t think she’s planning to sneak a few things into her bill that shouldn’t see the light of day, do you?
That’s what the health care mandate on employers will do. I haven’t seen anyone deny this. Supporters of ObamaKare just ignore it – “it will class=”hiddenSpellError” pre=”will “>cure itself by producing huge cost savings magically” or, “well it’s already costing us that” (false). We’re heading for Europe, with its high unemployment rates, and we’re loving it. Yes, you’ll be out of a job, but you can get free medical care at the clinic – isn’t that swell?
UPDATE: And here’s another swell idea – mandatory paid sick leave, courtesy of the federal government, paid for by your employer.
“This will not only protect employees, but it will save employers money by ensuring that sick employees don’t spread infection to co-workers and customers, and will relieve the financial burden on our health system swamped by those suffering from H1N1.”
Ever notice that it’s always senators who’ve never worked for a living who keep coming up with great ideas that will save employers money? The employers are just too stupid to see what the real men of genius in Washington can see.
Chicago property taxes increase 9.6%, Obama’s just 1%. Other Chicago pols also see tiny increases, too.
No later than last Saturday Obama praised small businesses, recognizing that they “support families, sustain communities and create the jobs that power our economy,”
So, as Ed Koch might ask, “how’s he doin’?” Not so well, according to this WSJ report:
W. Michael Brown has scaled back hiring plans in his Virginia auto-parts stores. Carl Redman halted an expansion project at his Oregon contracting business. Bill Hammack is preparing layoffs at his road-construction company in Georgia.
The economy remains unsteady 22 months after the recession began, with banks restricting credit and consumers hunkering down. For these small businesses, and many others across the country, there’s an additional dark cloud: uncertainty created by Washington’s bid to reorganize a wide swath of the U.S. economy.
The economic contraction is of course the prime force driving companies to lay off workers. But a health-care overhaul grinding through Congress could bring unknown new obligations to insure employees. Bush-era tax cuts are set to end next year, and their fate is unclear. Legislation aimed at tackling climate change might raise businesses’ energy costs. Meanwhile, a bill aimed at increasing transportation spending is stalled.
Many companies say they have responded by freezing hiring, cutting benefits and delaying expansion plans. With at least 60% of job growth historically coming out of the small-business sector, according to the government’s Small Business Administration, that kind of inertia could impede an economic recovery.
See, what these ingrates don’t recognize is that The One intends to save them money with this ObamaKare stuff, so they should be ut hiring and spending, not hunkering down for an impending hurricane. No, he hasn’t accomplished it yet, but he intends to, and in Obama World, a good intention is as good as done.
UPDATE: Or maybe, as suggested here, Obama just hates business.
At Big Government, Peter Schweizer writes, “Okay, it’s time to finally admit it: Barack Obama hates businessmen. Not just certain businessmen, mind you, but the entire profession:”
Of course President Obama will deny this. He told Businessweek magazine in a recent interview that he is not anti-business and that he believes in the private sector. But the evidence is overwhelming, and it helps explain why he is pursuing kamakazi-like economic policies that will damage the private sector in America.
Obama has demonized just about every business sector in America. Through the 2008 campaign to the present, he has gone after credit card companies, the coal industry, mortgage companies, real estate companies, steelmakers, utilities, drug companies, doctors, oil companies, Wall Street, defense contractors, and health insurance companies, just to name a few. In each case he has dinged them for greed, taking excessive profits, and failing to put people first. His criticisms have not been over minor matters but over their basic core functions, and their values or lack of them.
Obama demonstrates almost complete ignorance about the private sector and it’s no wonder: he has so little experience in it. He has spent his adult life in college, teaching college, and organizing communities. The one private sector job he has held, for a consulting firm in New York, he recounts as a terrible experience. In his memoirs he describes the experience as working for a private business “like a spy behind enemy lines.” He also recounts in his memoirs that the multinational corporations in the Indonesia of his youth were propelling the average worker “into deeper despair.” He likened the presence of corporations in his native Africa to a form of “neocolonialism.” Michelle Obama has beseeched young people, “We left corporate America, which is a lot of what we are asking young people to do. Don’t go into corporate America. You know, become teachers, work for the community, be a social worker, be a nurse….move out of the money-making industry, into the helping industry.”
This is, of course, the Obama Cosmotology. The private sector is largely populated by devils, who are self-oriented, concerned about personal gain, and unconcerned about others. The government, on the other hand, is made up of people bathed in altruism, whose only concern is you. Thus it is quite easy for Obama to recall the divide between the private and public sector as “enemy lines” even though he would never call the Iranian Mullahs, Hugo Chavez, or Vladimir Putin an “enemy.”
Forbes looks at Senator Baucus’s ObamaKare numbers and say’s they’re completely, hopelessly wrong. Of course they are- everyone knows this (except, perhaps, Senator Baucus himself – a friend of mine who used to report on his doings in Montana says the entire press corp considered him the dumbest politician in the country) but no one cares. Again, it’s not about saving money, it’s about centralizing the economy. Anyone who says different is lying.
The Senate has voted to kill the “public option” provision of the health care bill. I was no more fond of this option than I was the entire bill, but what, exactly is now going to be accomplished by any medical bill enacted? There will be no systemic changes that stand any chance of cutting costs, so we’re left with a new expanded mandate and soaring costs. And this will help us how?
FDA admits that New Jersey politicians pressured it to approve unsafe, defective medical device. While cynics might question how Obama can pay for his plan with $800 million in heretofore – unknown waste , fraud and inefficiency if he turns the entire medical industry over to the care of politicians, instead of just most of it, as it is now, this case clearly shows how it can be done. Hope and change: we will hope that, for instance, Senator Frank Lautenberg, as corrupt and venal today a 92 as he was when he slithered from a snakes belly in 1917, will feel a new responsibility to his country and stop stealing from it. There’s the change we need all right. Robert Menendez will also change his spots. He’s been indicted but never convicted so there’s plenty of room for optimism that he’ll decide to stop accepting bribes from constituents and knuckle down to doing the country’s work.
Image the new world we’ll have, where people like Chris Dodd, Barney Frank, Charles Rangel (I’d mention some Republicans here but they’re all in jail) take over medicine and, applying their keen intellect and knowledge, ferret out waste and fraud so that we can all have a free lunch for the rest of our lives. I can’t hardly wait.
WASHINGTON — The Food and Drug Administrationsaid Thursday that four New Jersey congressmen and its own former commissioner unduly influenced the process that led to its decision last year to approve a patch for injured knees, an approval it is now revisiting.
The agency’s scientific reviewers repeatedly and unanimously over many years decided that the device, known as Menaflex and manufactured by ReGen Biologics Inc., was unsafe because the device often failed, forcing patients to get another operation.
But after receiving what an F.D.A. report described as “extreme,” “unusual” and persistent pressure from four Democrats from New Jersey — Senators Robert Menendez and Frank R. Lautenberg and Representatives Frank Pallone Jr. and Steven R. Rothman — agency managers overruled the scientists and approved the device for sale in December.
All four legislators made their inquiries within a few months of receiving significant campaign contributions from ReGen, which is based in New Jersey, but all said they had acted appropriately and were not influenced by the money. Dr. Andrew C. von Eschenbach, the former drug agency’s commissioner, said he had acted properly.
The agency has never before publicly questioned the process behind one of its approvals, never admitted that a regulatory decision was influenced by politics, and never accused a former commissioner of questionable conduct.
UPDATE FROM INSTAPUNDIT: BUT THOSE ELECTRONIC MEDICAL RECORDS WILL BE A SNAP: Baucus Claims It’s Too Difficult to Put Health Care Bill Online. They don’t want you to know what’s in this stinker until it’s too late. That’s the real “difficulty” with putting it online.
Massage therapy to be taxed out of existence. In fact, the situation may not be so amusing. The Bloomberg article linked to describes a Senate health plan provision that would tax all health insurance benefit plans in excess of $8,000 at a 40% rate, thereby forcing all but the most generous employers to eliminate them. This is all done in the name of levelling, of course (my guess is that it won’t apply to the Senators’ own health plan so you needn’t worry about Chris Dodd going without his massage girls). We are going to get National Health care,ne plan fits all, no choice, and limited benefits. Anyone who tells you different, even if he’s the President of the United States, is a liar.
A PARABLE FOR OUR TIMES: They thought it was about free health care, but it was actually a mugging.
They were well-dressed when they knocked on the door of a Huntington home last month and said they had information about President Barack Obama’s health care plan. That’s how they got inside to commit a violent home invasion on Aug. 29, a Suffolk prosecutor said Monday. A woman who lives at the house answered the door and said she would take one of the pamphlets. That’s when Thompson, 31, of Brooklyn and Desir, 26, of Nyack forced their way inside, Kurtzrock said.
Beware of strange men promising free medical care.
An astute reader already made this point in the comments section, but here it is again, via Instapundit:
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.
Didn’t watch it but read the transcript. Here’s what I see: mandatory insurance for all, which just goes one more step toward forcing people to toe the government line – hardly surprising coming from this socialist, and more bullshit. Look at this quote:
The only thing this plan would eliminate is the hundreds of billions of dollars in waste and fraud, as well as unwarranted subsidies in Medicare that go to insurance companies – subsidies that do everything to pad their profits and nothing to improve your care. And we will also create an independent commission of doctors and medical experts charged with identifying more waste in the years ahead.
The man claims that most of the cost of his (still undetailed) “plan” would be paid for by this recapture of dollars currently being lost to waste and fraud, so ask yourself this: when has any administration, any Congress, reduced the costs of any program by this (or any) technique?
And then ask yourself, why doesn’t Obama detail the hundreds of billions of dollars in fraud and waste that he has discovered and tell us what, specifically he is going to eliminate?
Finally, ask yourself why our mainstream media pretend that this man is serious?