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April 24, 2013
Jewish World Review
Dec. 17, 2009
/ 30 Kislev 5770
ObamaCare: Does It Cover Stupidity?
Americans overwhelmingly like their health care and their health
insurance. While Americans reject ObamaCare, the President and Congress
insist on driving it through.
Most Americans, up to 85 percent, already have health insurance and are
satisfied with it. Lacking health insurance is different from lacking
health care which, by law, emergency rooms must
supply. Millions go without health insurance by choice and not due to
lack of resources. Deduct from the number without insurance those who
have access to it via entitlement programs, those temporarily without it
while between jobs, those here illegally and those who could go on their
parents' insurance plans by paying affordable amounts and you're down
to 10 million to 15 million people without health insurance for longer
than a year. This represents 5 percent of Americans.
To address this, the President and the Democrats are this close to a
complete government takeover of health care. And a takeover it is.
Assuming some kind of plan reaches the President's desk, it will at
minimum force all Americans to purchase health insurance or pay fines
or worse. It will force nearly all employers to provide health insurance
or pay fines. It will tell health insurers that they must
accept applicants with pre-existing illnesses and restrict
their ability to "discriminate" based on factors like sex and age.
Incredibly, the President and Congress tell us that our economic
recovery hinges on "health care reform" and that they can achieve it
providing millions of people with health insurance estimated to cost a
trillion dollars in the first decade while simultaneously
reducing the deficit. The plan anticipates cutting hundreds
of billions from the popular Medicare programs, whose beneficiaries vote
in numbers greater than any other age group. Doctors and hospitals
already complain that Medicare reimbursements fall short of costs, let
alone profits. Good luck with that.
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"Health care reform" achieves its deficit-reducing magic by collecting
taxes in the early years building up money while paying out very
little. Only after the first four years does money go out. It also
forces states to pick up part of the tab. So, voila , it actually reduces the deficit at least in the first decade.
Then what? The Congressional Budget Office in cost estimates full of
caveats, conditions and on-the-one-hands says that it could/might/may
reduce the deficit in the second and third decades, too. Again, this
assumes continued cuts in doctor and hospital reimbursements.
Despite the White House photo op of docs in their white frocks, most
physicians oppose ObamaCare. They resent further government supervision
and control over their practice. A poll commissioned by Investor's
Business Daily found that 65 percent "oppose" ObamaCare and that 45
percent would consider taking early retirement or leaving their practice
if the bill went through.
Given the broad opposition most Americans, most doctors and seniors
in fear of cuts in Medicare why do it?
First, the Democrats now in control of all three branches of
government have convinced themselves that they face a political price
if they fail. ObamaCare supporters, based on bogus assumptions and
inflated numbers, argue that many, if not most, bankruptcy filings are
due to health care bills. If, as President Obama asserts, "reforming"
health care and economic prosperity go hand in hand, how can they
Second, while a large majority of Republicans and most independents
oppose these "reforms," Democrats overwhelming support them. They
consider health care and health insurance a right
never mind the Constitution or the price tag and think "the rich"
should bear the costs. Congresspersons fear an electorate upset at a
failure "to deliver" a victory over the evil, money-grubbing insurance
Third, many believe in good faith that this is the "right thing to do."
This breathtakingly ignores the mountain of evidence that government
command-and-control health care reduces quality, reduces innovation and
inevitably leads to rationing. The president of the Canadian Medical
Association says Canada's system a single-payer kind, favored by
President Obama is "imploding." She calls for more competition.
Critics of America's health care system say that citizens in other
countries enjoy longer life expectancies. But after adjusting for
homicides, increased infant mortality due to teen pregnancies and low
birth weights, obesity and other behavioral factors, the discrepancy
disappears. Compare American medical outcomes against those of other
countries. Our system produces the world's best results for cancer
patients who go into medical care at the same time similarly situated
patients enter their countries' care. Our pharmaceutical companies lead
the world in coming up with new life-extending and -enhancing drugs, a
record at risk given new controls and taxes under the guise of "reform."
When the ObamaCare bill comes due when the deficit explodes and the
costs are "controlled" through government-directed rationing
supporters, including President Obama, will long have departed
Washington, leaving others to deal with the mess. In the meantime, bend
over and cough. Or else.
Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.
JWR contributor Larry Elder is the author of, most recently, "Stupid Black Men: How to Play the Race Card--and Lose."
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