Obama(doesn’t)care Taking Surprise Hits
April 26, 2010
As President Barack Obama is attempting to steamroll yet another enormous policy change through Congress against the best interests of Americans, we would be well-advised to keep abreast of the frauds that are already being exposed about Obamacare.
Last week, reality dealt Obamacare twin blows — not that Obama will care. An analysis inside his own administration and a report from New York state shed the grim light of reality on this monstrosity before its Draconian provisions have even gone into effect.
Economic experts at the Health and Human Services Department issued a report last week, conveniently after Obamacare was shoved through, finding that though more people will end up with health insurance (many of them against their will, of course), costs are going to increase. Shocker.
How could coverage not increase with the legal mandate forcing unwilling people to buy health insurance coverage? Today millions entitled to assistance don’t avail themselves of it, but Obamacare will presumably be different because there will be a penalty for non-coverage — an idea that Obama expediently mocked during the primary campaign.
But costs will also increase? I thought Obama promised to bend the cost curve down — that he wouldn’t add one dime to the deficit with Obamacare. But two dimes or a quarter are apparently a different matter.
The HHS analysis found Obamacare will raise projected spending by about 1 percent over 10 years — and this is without even considering the impact of numerous gimmicks and camouflaged items, such as the Medicare “doctor fix.” There are presently scheduled 21 percent cuts in Medicare reimbursements to physicians, but House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has promised that they won’t be implemented. What a sham!
The report also revealed that Obamacare could drive 15 percent of hospitals into the red and possibly jeopardize access to care for seniors.
Meanwhile, The New York Times reported last week that New York’s experience with provisions that parallel Obamacare do not portend well for Obamacare.
According to the Times (it’s amazing it admitted this): “New York’s insurance system has been a working laboratory for the core provision of the new federal health care law — insurance even for those who are already sick and facing huge medical bills — and an expensive lesson in unplanned consequences.”
Translation: In 1993, New York forced insurance companies to cover individuals and small groups regardless of pre-existing illnesses. It also forced insurers to charge the same premium rates for the same benefits in every region of the state regardless of the demographics of those covered and the different risks that might exist. How about those “unplanned consequences”? You guessed it: “Premiums skyrocketed.” Of course they did, because the state grossly interfered with market forces by prohibiting insurers from using risk assessment to set their premiums — just as Obama, in his beneficence, will be doing for all of us under Obamacare.
Healthy people began to subsidize people who needed more health care. Duh. The healthier customers began to drop out, and the pool of covered people shrank and mostly included high-risk people. Since 2001, the number of people buying comprehensive individual policies through HMOs has dropped dramatically, from 128,000 to 31,000. And “New York has the highest average annual premiums for individual policies: $6,630 for single people and $13,296 for families in mid-2009, more than double the nationwide average.”
Attentive readers might say, “Well, this won’t happen under Obamadoesn’tcare because it forces people to buy health insurance whether they want it or not.” Amazingly, again, the Times addressed that question, as well. Analysts, the Times said, conclude that this mandate “could prove meaningless if the government does not vigorously enforce the penalties” or if people opt out and pay the penalties.
Well, of course many of the healthy ones are going to opt out, because the penalties will probably be but a fraction of the premiums.
But these twin blows to Obamacare barely scratch the surface of the horror that awaits us. Respected health care expert Sally Pipes warns that Obamacare will add strain to an already burdened system by increasing the load on family doctors while imposing price controls on government plans. Those controls will inevitably be imposed on private plans, too, as they were in another state — Massachusetts — that is a partial microcosm of Obamacare.
So we’ll have increased demand for medical care with price controls, which will necessitate rationing. But making matters worse, doctors are going to retire early; you’ve surely heard of the 2009 poll by Investor’s Business Daily finding that 45 percent of doctors would consider quitting if Obamacare passed. You think the Obamacrats will try to amend the law to force doctors to keep their jobs? Why not? This living Constitution can be pretty handy in a pinch.
Can you believe there are actually Republicans out there contemplating forgoing a full repeal?