What’s wrong with Democare

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Here are some problems with Democare – or maybe today I should call it Grinchycare

*This bill is fundamentally unconstitutional: Is it the proper role of government to create another behemoth and force American citizens to participate? The Constitution guarantees us the “Right to Privacy”. The US Supreme Court has already ruled on a constitutionally mandated zone of personal privacy that must remain free of government regulation. As the court explained in Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992), “these matters, involving the most intimate and personal choices a person may make in a lifetime, choices central to personal dignity and autonomy, are central to the liberty protected by the Fourteenth Amendment. At the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and the mystery of human life.”  If the Supreme Court overturns this ruling, they gut Roe v Wade….what a dilemma…

A liberal blogger recently posted: “If Congress does not have the power to create a modest public option which competes with private health plans in the marketplace, then it certainly does not have the authority to create Medicare. Similarly, Congress’ power to spend money to benefit the general welfare is the basis for Social Security, federal education funding, Medicaid”
I think that’s something we can agree on! They should NOT have that power. Article 1, Section 8 of our Constitution is not a carte blanche to do whatever the heck they want, in spite of the vote in the Senate that asserted the contrary.

*This bill does NOT cut costs – in fact, it increases costs dramatically – $298 billion over the next 9 years and $1.8 trillion in its first “real” 10 years, 2014 (the first year the plan provides any services) through 2023. It increases the deficit by $740 BILLION in the real first 10 years.
The latest on cost from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services released recently ago show billions of dollars in increased costs through 2019 – and that is with 4 years of no service, just collecting taxes. The CMS report says that the legislation would result in “numerous changes in the way that health care insurance is provided and paid for in the U.S., and the scope and magnitude of these changes are such that few precedents exist for use in estimation.”
Yesterday, the CBO said “Oopsies” as they admitted they had double-counted Medicare savings. Gotta love that fuzzy math.

An economist in favor of Obamacare wrote recently in the New Yorker that he expected the tax rate for the wealthy to top 60%. He also said that “expanding health care coverage now and worrying later about its long-term consequences is an eminently defensible strategy.” It will make American society more “equitable,” and justifies a little “subterfuge” with the numbers.

“But let’s not pretend that it isn’t a big deal, or that it will be self-financing, or that it will work out exactly as planned. It won’t.
Many Democratic insiders know all this, or most of it. What is really unfolding, I suspect, is the scenario that many conservatives feared. The Obama Administration, like the Bush Administration before it (and many other Administrations before that) is creating a new entitlement program, which, once established, will be virtually impossible to rescind. At some point in the future, the fiscal consequences of the reform will have to be dealt with in a more meaningful way, but by then the principle of (near) universal coverage will be well established. Even a twenty-first-century Ronald Reagan will have great difficult overturning it.”

*This bill provides for federal funds to be used for abortions – the Stupak amendment passes in the House, but a key Dem said the very next day it would not remain in the bill. The Nelson amendment failed in the Senate and even with the so-called compromises on abortion funding, this bill DOES provide that federal funds be used to pay for ending the life of a baby.

*This bill suppresses research. It creates a new institute, with a new czar, that would allow the Institute to withhold funding from any institution that produces findings inconsistent with the agency’s view of the “bounds of evidence”, meaning anyone they disagree with will have funds withheld.
In 2007, AcademyHealth published a study that noted that

the problem of government agencies embargoing or otherwise suppressing health care and public health research is significant, and in fact is a far worse problem than the oft-cited issue of excess influence by pharmaceutical manufacturers. Researchers were over three times as likely to experience interference from government sponsors than industrial funders. More recently, the revelations of manipulation of peer-review and misconduct regarding research used to support the global warming agenda, from the e-mails “hacked” from the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit, further indicates the vulnerability of the process of integrity of science to the machinations of those with a political axe to grind.

*strips medical decision-making from healthcare providers and turning it over to government bureaucrats. According to a Wall Street Journal article dated Dec 23,

It all starts with the sweeping power that the Senate bill gives to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The agency will be given the authority to unilaterally write new rules on when medical devices and drugs can be used, and how they should be priced. In particular, the Obama team wants to give the agency the power to decide when a cheaper medical option will suffice for a given problem and, in turn, when Medicare only has to pay for the least costly alternative. The government has already sought to acquire this same power administratively. But on Tuesday the Obama Justice department got swatted down by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, in what the judges described in their opinion as an attempt by Mr. Obama’s legal team to “end-run around the statute [Medicare].”

So, they stuffed that ability into the Reid version of the bill.

*fudges numbers. The real number is of uninsured Americans is significantly lower than the 48 or 50 million frequently claimed. Take away 9 to 13 million illegal immigrants and an additional 9 million on Medicaid “accidentally” counted as “uninsured” and claims then, that the uninsured will drop to “only” 23 million Americans are more of a smoke and mirrors game than anything else.

Even the Daily Kos – a far left website – says re-election prospects are tightly tied to passing healthcare legislation WITH a public option. For example, 84% of Democrats polled said that if a Dem voted against healthcare legislation, they should have a strong primary challenger. The Daily Kos concludes this is going to hurt Harry Reid more than anyone. One can only hope.

The Democrats recognize this is their last chance. Mid-term elections will see them losing their super-majority and many believe they could lose their majority. The bleeding has already begun, as a 4th Democrat in a ‘hot seat’ has said he will “retire gracefully” and this week, a freshman Democrat from Arkansas switched party affiliations and became a Republican.

White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer told POLITICO: “If President Obama doesn’t pass health reform, it’s hard to imagine another president ever taking on this Herculean task. For those whose life’s work is reforming health care, this may be the last train leaving the station.”
Vice President Joe Biden said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe”: “If health care does not pass in this Congress … it’s going to be kicked back for a generation.”

So, this morning at 5:16 am local time, the Senate version of Grinchycare passed on a 60-39 vote. The fleecing was quickly followed by the fleeing of those same Senators back to their home states. Wonder if any of those 60 Senators will hold town halls over the Christmas break???

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5 Responses to “What’s wrong with Democare”

  1. Michelle Scharf Says:

    It isn’t a very nice Christmas present. I would really like to take a national vote on this bill. Seems depending on who you listen to the American public is just dying for this bill, or doesn’t want it at all.

    I would have hoped by now that this president would have shown his cards and most people would be ready to say, this isn’t the change I was looking for, but alas, it doesn’t appear to be happening. At least not at the levels I would have expected by now.

    Seems we are in real trouble in America. I hope we put a loud message to that tune this November. It is our only chance and even then as you point out, they have managed to chain us in this piece of legislation one that won’t be able to be undone.

    I still have “hope” that some of the Washington Demon’s will have a dose of reality and conscious and will choose to not vote in the combined bill, if we can just keep working it and those senators before they do something really detrimental to our nation. I HOPE!

  2. JBT Says:

    This is the other side of the story from an email sent out by President Obama.

    Early this morning, the Senate made history and health reform cleared its most important hurdle yet — garnering the 60 votes needed to move toward a final vote in that chamber later this week.

    This marks the first time in our nation’s history that comprehensive health reform has come to this point. And it appears that the American people will soon realize the genuine reform that offers security to those who have health insurance and affordable options to those who do not.

    I’m grateful to Senator Harry Reid and every senator who’s been working around the clock to make this happen. And I’m grateful to you, and every member of this community, for all the work you have done to make this progress possible.

    After a nearly century-long struggle, we are now on the cusp of making health insurance reform a reality in the United States of America.

    As with any legislation, compromise is part of the process. But I’m pleased that recently added provisions have made this landmark bill even stronger. Between the time when the bill passes and the time when the insurance exchanges get up and running, insurance companies that try to jack up their rates do so at their own peril. Those who hike their prices may be barred from selling plans on the exchanges.

    And while insurance companies will be prevented from denying coverage on the basis of pre-existing conditions once the exchanges are open, in the meantime there will be a high-risk pool where people with pre-existing conditions can purchase affordable coverage.

    A recent amendment has made these protections even stronger. Insurance companies will now be prohibited from denying coverage to children immediately after this bill passes. There’s also explicit language in this bill that will protect a patient’s choice of doctor. And small businesses will get additional assistance as well.

    These protections are in addition to the ones we’ve been talking about for some time. No longer will insurance companies be able to drop your coverage if you become sick and no longer will you have to pay unlimited amounts out of your own pocket for treatments that you need.

    Under this bill families will save on their premiums; businesses that would see their costs rise if we don’t act will save money now and in the future. This bill will strengthen Medicare and extend the life of the program. Because it’s paid for and gets rid of waste and inefficiency in our health care system, this will be the largest deficit reduction plan in over a decade.

    Finally, this reform will extend coverage to more than 30 million Americans who don’t have it.

    These are not small changes. These are big changes. They’re fundamental reforms. They will save money. They will save lives.

    The narrow minded dichotomous thinkers on the far Right can only see things from their point of view. Everything to them is black or white, good or evil. Holly’s blog is a perfect example of this. The healthcare bill is far from perfect, but it is a good beginning. Like Social Security the benefits will be improved upon by future Congresses.

  3. rmwarnick Says:

    Without a robust public option and/or Medicare buy-in, there is no reform in the health care “reform” bill. I doubt that Speaker Pelosi can find 218 House members to vote for the Senate’s lobbyist-written giveaway to the insurance industry, as long as the Republicans continue to sit this one out.

  4. jasonthe Says:

    I think it’ll pass, and I’m disappointed in how watered down it it, for sure.

    But Holly, honestly, your “unconstitutional” argument is ridiculous. It’s no more unconstitutional than the Commerce Clause or the Americans with Disabilities Act (and I challenge you to refute that with a legal argument of any kind… tea-baggn’ may be good fun, but it’s not exactly based in reality when it comes to making reasoned arguments).

    As for costs/payback, the CBO seems to disagree with your assessment here (also, several of your sources are talking about versions of the bill that no longer exist, and don’t mirror the one just passed by the Senate).

    The best hope we have here for real reform (assuming one isn’t naive enough to buy into anything the GOP is selling… or in this case NOT selling, since they had no alternative solution, for the past 15 plus years) is for the House to put a little more teeth back into this bill, and a public option to be considered/added to the reform effort at a later date (probably something that will happen in a budget reconciliation meeting while all you cons are screeching irrationalities about cap-and-trade, parroted from Sarah Palin’s facebook page, of course… at least that’s how I would do it were I in their shoes).

    Lot to argue on the merits of this legislation, unfortunately, that debate sees so little light thanks to inanities perpetuated by posts like this.

  5. Ronald D. Hunt Says:

    jasonthe,

    Your forgetting HR 3400 the Republican bill. Sure HR 3400 costs 2-3 times more then the house bill, and Sure HR3400 was unfunded, and yes HR 3400 actually lead to fewer people having insurance, and HR 3400 would lead to huge deficits after the funds from its repeal of ARRA ran out in 6 years, and yes HR 3400 takes away states ability to regulate insurance in their state.

    But HR 3400 has something the senate bill doesn’t, Warm Republican fuzzy’s.

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