Saturday, June 13, 2009

The Real Crisis is Obamacare

By Alan Caruba

President Obama has never met a crisis he didn’t love; particularly the ones that involve spending trillions of dollars. What fun it is to propose programs that involve borrowing or taxing Americans to death.

On June 9, the Associated Press reported, “President Barack Obama on Tuesday proposed budget rules that would allow Congress to borrow tens of billions of dollars and put the nation deeper in debt to jump-start the administration’s emerging health care overhaul.”

Since the stealth heathcare “reform” that Bill and Hillary Clinton tried to foist on Americans during the 1993-94 Congress, this “crisis” has been off the radar screen of Americans who have the audacity to think they should decide whether and how much health insurance they want and to expect healthcare that is not rationed on the basis of how old they are and other factors determined by some faceless government bureaucrat.

Liberals obsess over healthcare options because, of course, they want “fairness” no matter how much it will cost Americans in general and the economy in particular.

To that end, various “progressive” (liberal) groups have gotten together and have launched an $82 million campaign to support President Obama’s healthcare program. The umbrella for this massive public brainwashing is called Health Care for America Now. Why is it that everything Obama wants has to be done “now”? Oh yes, I forgot. It’s a “crisis.”

Health Care for America is directed by Richard Kirsch and has been joined by AFL-CIO, MoveOn.org, and Democracy for America, a group founded by former Democratic National Committee Chairman, Howard “the scream” Dean. The group is essentially a re-branded version of liberal lunatic groups.

An excellent analysis of Obamacare has been published by the Cato Institute in a May 21 Policy Analysis (No. 638) titled appropriately as “Seven Bad Ideas for Health Care Reform. Authored by Michael Tanner, it points out some very ugly truths.

--At the time of rising unemployment, the government would raise the cost of hiring workers by requiring employers to provide health insurance to their workers or pay a fee (tax) to subsidize government coverage.

--Every American would be required to buy an insurance policy that meets certain government requirements.

--A government-run plan similar to Medicare would be set up in competition with private insurance.

--The government would undertake comparative-effectiveness research and cost-effectiveness research and use the results to impose practice guidelines on providers, initially in Medicare and Medicaid, but ultimately extending the rationing to private insurance plans.

--Private insurance would face a host of new regulations.

--Subsidies would be available to help middle-income people purchase insurance while expanding Medicare and Medicaid.

--Finally, the government would subsidize and manage the development of a national system of electronic medical records.

According to a June 8 Bloomberg News report, “President Barack Obama wants Congress to consider taxing the wealthy instead of workers to pay for a health-care overhaul.” This is yet one more lie by the Obama administration in the run-up to impose the most vile form of government control over everyone’s lives imaginable.

The American Medical Association, the nation’s largest physician organization, has let it be known that it will oppose creation of a government-sponsored insurance plan.

The promise of the Declaration of Independence that everyone has a right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness will be rendered meaningless by Obamacare if your life depends on government policies regarding healthcare.

A June 1 Business Week commentary pointed out that “there are only three ways to pay for universal coverage: Raise taxes, cut payments to medical providers, or ration care.” All three are the worst possible options imaginable.

“The Congressional Budget Office estimates that covering the uninsured could add anywhere from $1 trillion to $2 trillion to the federal budget over ten years,” said the BW commentary. “On top of that, government economists expect Medicare to run out of money in 2017 if current spending trends continue.”

Here’s a handy tip regarding estimates by government economists. Multiply them by a factor of ten!

As this healthcare horror awaits its run through Congress, think of it as a massive Medicare, the government program for seniors that cost 3.2 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product in 2008 and which will become insolvent this year! Medicare faces $34 trillion in unfunded liabilities; the cost of services for which seniors are eligible in the future.

According to the Medicare Trustees, the program will require a 134 percent increase in the payroll tax paid by every working American in order to remain solvent!

And this insane Democrat-controlled Congress wants to expand on Medicare while requiring everyone to purchase healthcare insurance, even if they don’t want to. Then it will compete against existing private insurance companies without having to have the funds in place as they must to meet their obligations.

This isn’t healthcare reform. It is the destruction of the best healthcare system in the world. It is the destruction of the nation’s economy. It, along with the tax on energy use, must be stopped.

We are being attacked by one “crisis” after another when the only one that matters is the restoration of the full faith and credit of the U.S. dollar. If the “health” of the U.S. dollar is not restored, nothing else will matter very much.

18 comments:

Carolyn said...

Hi Mr. Caruba. Insane is the word. I am one of those these libs always love to talk about to show their plans are needed. I don't have health care. I DO NOT want you or anyone else paying for me if I get sick. Does not having insurance scare me? Yes. I worry over every little ache, pain and dizzy spell- but, I do not want what big brother is offering. I know that socialized medicine doesn't work. I come from Canada!
And what millions of saps don't seem to realize- is that Free health care is NOT FREE! Someone will be paying for it. Everything from what we eat, what we do and where we live, how we play- will be scrutinized to make sure it's not unhealthy- or going to create a higher chance of needing medical care. I don't want others paying for what I could afford if the tax hungry gov'ment would leave me alone. I don't want the same people who can not even provide enough quality care for our Vets, nor can manage ss and medicare getting more involved in our lives! I don't want my records on computer- to be looked at by some washington pencil pusher, who would decide whether I "deserve" an operation. I don't want my mother in law deemed too old to qualify for an operation. I don't want to pay for others through hidden taxes. I don't want those who have private insurance taxed to pay for me. I don't want those who are wealthy to have to pay for me. Am I alone among the working poor in this thought? Oh- sorry, thanks to big government- we're not working right now.
Life is going to get harder for everyone- all for the "common good" and I don't want to be pessemistic in thinking things could change back if we ever can find someone good enough to run in 2012. I just think obamessiah has brought too much change to be able to go back to a better and freer America.
God Bless you Mr. Caruba

Luke42 said...

@Carolyn

"I know that socialized medicine doesn't work. I come from Canada!"

What utter non-sense!

I live in Canada and last time I saw my doctor everything worked out just the way it should. Same when I went to the hospital for a heart stress test. Or when I had to go for an X-Ray etc. etc.

Who said it is free in Canada?

I live in BC and we pay for health insurance in the form of premiums. Before that I lived in Quebec and it's the same. Ditto in every other province I know of.

And perhaps the not-so-Big-Three in Detroit wouldn't be in the bind they are in and the taxpayer on the hook (including us in Canada) if it wasn't for that 'wonderful system' of health care in the USA,

Just in what province where health care is free does Ms. Carolyn live?

But in reality she doesn't seem to live in Canada:

"I don't want my records on computer- to be looked at by some washington pencil pusher, who would decide whether I "deserve" an operation".

Some Washington pencil pusher making decisions about Canadian health care???

I don't think so.

The fact about US health care is that it is the most expensive in the world (costs about twice as much per capita than in most other developed countries) and ca 45 million have no health insurance whatsoever.

Obama's timid reform proposals are just to provide INSURANCE for those who can't get it otherwise. Last time I looked insurance wasn't free.

Luke42 said...

Mr Caruba,

the present crisis was not caused by Obama but by the Republicans. Phil Gramm is still proud about having pushed through deregulation that caused it. That's why Obama has to borrow money by the barrel. He has been in office for less than 5 months.

Alan Caruba said...

Sorry, but historically Medicare is a Democrat program, just like Social Security.

Obama's proposed program will destroy the nation's economy and take away everyone's right to the privacy of their medical records.

Try thinking like a conservative who has actually read the Constitution.

Luke42 said...

Why should I read the US Constitution?

I'm Canadian.

And I most definitely will NOT TRY to think like a conservative because I am not one of them. I am more concerned with the future than the past.

But actually I have read the US Constitution (and more than once)and it's an amazing document with wonderful ideas.

Ideas without action are useless in my universe and - as an example - most noteworthy is that the one who wrote that famous passage about it being self-evident that all men are born equal was a slave owner who fathered several children with his property.

And of course women didn't have the vote either, nor did the original owners of the land.

Nice words. But substance counts for more in my universe.

And it's so typical of most Americans IMO to see everything in Manichaean terms, in this case Democrat vs Republican. Since when did that ever analyse the value (or lack thereof) of a government program?

When a conclusion doesn't follow from the premise it's called a 'false syllogism' and that you have just done, Sir.

Btw, if you have published many books why is not one listed on your profile?

Alan Caruba said...

Canada's a nice place. I am told it's north of here.

Glad you read our Constitution, but you could be a tad bit more forgiving. After all, we did fight a Civil War that involved freeing the slaves and then, a century later, we went through the Civil Rights Movement to finish the job.

History isn't always in a hurry like you. Meanwhile, in the Middle East, they are still operating off of a religion/government created in the 7th century AD.

I don't list the books I have written because no one likes a braggart. They are listed over at www.caruba.com.

I am largely retired these days and frankly wary of anyone who writes books all the time. And I say this as one who has been a book reviewer for some fifty years.

http://www.bookviews.com

Luke42 said...

"Glad you read our Constitution, but you could be a tad bit more forgiving. After all, we did fight a Civil War that involved freeing the slaves and then, a century later, we went through the Civil Rights Movement to finish the job."

Interesting use of "involved" because apparently you know that the Civil War was not fought to free the slaves. It was fought to preserve the Union. Even the Declaration of Emancipation had nothing to do with human rights but everything with being a war strategy as it applied only to African Americans from the Confederacy.

"History isn't always in a hurry like you. "

Hmm, let me see if I got this right.

The slaves had to wait four generations to see the "self-evident" equality of men, which was used in the sense of humans not males. Then because of John Crow and other factors they had to wait another four generations to get theoretical equality. WOW! 8 generations to realise a "self-evident" condition. May I suggest to you to be a little more critical?

Women - both white and African American - had to wait until 1920 with the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution to get the vote. We're not talking about being in a hurry, more about a snail's pace it seems to me. 157 years is about six generations. Do you know anything about your great-great-great-great-grandparents? I don't about mine and it seems a tad slow, wouldn't you agree? But for an African American woman that would have been mainly wishful thinking. Blacks had many difficulties voting until the sixties and even in 2000 and 2004 there were many Blacks unable to vote because of various "obstacles". (This has been documented.)

"Meanwhile, in the Middle East, they are still operating off of a religion/government created in the 7th century AD."


This is a red herring because we are not talking about the reactionary nature of Islam and oppresive nature of many of your Allies' countries. (Saudi women aren't even allowed to drive never mind vote.) I thought we were talking about the progressive nature that the US Constitution represents - in theory and to SOME extent in practise - because as I have made amply clear there is a vast chasm between the beauty of the propositions and reality as it evolved.

I suggest to you to be a little more careful in how you phrase things. Israel is in the Middle East too.

Or are you saying that they are operating off of a religion/government created in the 7th century AD?

Alan Caruba said...

It is now evident, Luke42, that you are ALWAYS right and, I suspect, everyone else is ALWAYS wrong in terms of how YOU interpret the U.S. Constitution and the whole of history.

This is an annoying attitude and not one easily tolerated on this blog.

I suggest, having had your say, you go somewhere else.

Dave's Daily Day Dream said...

Back when the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were written, roughly a third of the signers (about thirty five individuals in all, I believe) were trained in the law. The rest (about fifty-four men) were engaged in other businesses and enterprises. Today's statistic for percent of persons "trained in the law" is more than likely higher. This is our problem. Shakespeare had it right.

Carolyn said...

@Luke42- if you're still here (sorry Mr. Caruba- I would like to address this, although, I thought your response was quite adequate).
I was born and lived in Ontario for 22 years before moving to the States. While what you said is true in paying premiums, the system was starting to break down when I moved. All my friends and family still live up there. Maybe when having to go into the emergency room, an 11 hour wait is OK for you, but for people I know who have needed care, that kind of wait is agony. Maybe you've never had to learn whether a lump you found was life threatening or not- but it was terrifying for my sister, who not only had to wait 3 months to get the mamogram done, she had to wait another 3 months just to get the results! Thank God it was benign, or she'd be dead waiting for an oncologist by now!
My brother in law has been waiting since last October to start his bone cancer therapy, after already having the steroid treatments, and having his stem cells taken for transplant. His blood counts have been perfect for over 3 months to start the therapy, but has to wait. I have example after example- not to mention people who come to America for care, and doctors who hate practicing because of the overload, cost restrictions and paperwork.
What I am talking about when I say free- it is those who have sucked on the nanny (read liberal) gov'ment that believe this will be free for them. It will not be free as people will be paying for it. Some more than others, as that's the liberal way. You know- take from those who have to spread to those who don't.
What obama is planning is worse than social security and medicare- as those are already going bankrupt, thanks to the government. All we have to look forward to under a liberal plan is higher taxes (and hidden taxes for us working poor) rationed care, long waiting, and more government intrusion.
You seem awfully interested in the US to have read the Constitution and some history- why is that when you seem to hate this beautiful country?

Alan Caruba said...

Thanks you, Carolyn, for setting the record straight.

Guy said...

Wow, when I read Luke42's comments, it became obvious that Liberalism knows no borders. It's so typical ... they ignore the facts, blame the Republicans for everything, and they just seem to know all there is to know about everything. AND, when all else fails, toss in the racism trump card. I loved the "why should I read the US Constitution?, I live in Canada" comment. Well bonehead, if you're going to ARGUE with us about our country's laws and policies, then wouldn't reading and understanding our constitution pretty much be a prerequisite for an intelligent debate? I'm guessing that like most liberals, you don't really care about silly things like laws or the Constitution. I agree with Alan ... go find some liberal blog where you can compare your wit with like-minded bloggers ... dim ones that is.

You just threw his comments in for amusement for us didn't you Alan?? They were pretty funny ...

Guy said...

Oh, and one more thing in response to Alan's observation that everything has to be done NOW ....

If I hear Obama say "we must act swiftly ...." one more time, I'm just going to have to throw up. It took years for these problems to grow, it's going to take years for them to be fixed, and "acting swiftly" when it comes to law is just plain STUPID. Legislation is supposed to be carefully thought out, debated, hashed and re-hashed, and evaluated for constitutionality. People who play shell games act swiftly. People who perform card tricks act swiftly. People who SCAM people act swiftly .... people who are looking for intelligent, effective solutions to problems don't act swiftly. They consider the facts and all the options at their disposal for a solution, and then systematically implement a carefully chosen plan of attack. It's obvious that Obama and his cronies aren't really looking for solutions. They have an agenda, and have launched themselves headlong into it. It's up to US to slam on the brakes before it's too late ...

Rich Kozlovich said...

There are a couple of points that I would like to address. Our Canadian friends tell two stories. One says that everything turns out fine when he goes to the doctor and another tells us that it is a mess. Who to believe? My rule is always the same. Everything that I am being told should bear some resemblance to what I see going on in reality and everyone on the left lies.

Secondly; the U.S. Constitution is a wonderful document of ideas, but the primary idea was to make sure that government didn’t do very much. Most of all; it wasn’t supposed to be doing any of the things it is doing now. It was deliberately designed to be cumbersome so that it couldn’t do much.

The electoral process is a primary example. The President serves four years, the house members serve two and the Senate serves six years with staggered elections so that the whole group couldn’t be thrown out all at once during a time of emotional outrage promoted by demagogues. Senators were not chosen by election; they were appointed by the states. It was deliberately designed that way in order to maintain a balance of power between the federal government and the states, which is what the U.S. Constitution was all about. That is also why the Senate was meant to be the “deliberative” body of the Congress, in order to stop legislation that was generated by the emotion in the House and to prevent what is going on now.

With passage of the 16th and 17 amendments it was just a matter of time before we came to this point. Our Canadian friend’s asides are immaterial as he is like the greenies. Great at finding fault, but weak when it comes to finding solutions. At least solutions that don’t steal everyone’s wealth, individualism and freedom.

obamaself said...

What are the real goals behind the guise of this health plan and how much choice will be ours to make when the after shock of this obamanation has settled?

Alan Caruba said...

obamaself: The whole issue of Obamacare was about the loss of choice..beginning with the choice to buy or not buy insurance.

After that it will be a cascade of lost choices when the government tells you that you cannot have certain tests or procedures.

obamaself said...

has Wesley Mouch been talking to our president? I feel like Dagny Taggart right now! If someone said we should lower our voices and actually raise a fist in protest instead would anyone be willing to commit?

Alan Caruba said...

Sorry, but I have no idea who these people are...nor care at this point since this comment is being posted after the passage of Obamacare by the House.