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Health Care: 29 Reasons to Oppose Obamacare

Our Boomer-In-Charge at BBHQ, Hershel Chicowitz, writes about boomer memories and current events... from a boomer’s perspective. He is sometimes funny, sometimes provocative, some-
times a little of each. We hope you get a kick out of our Boomer Essays.

With these reasons, taken as a whole, why would any reasonable person support such a flawed plan? Not for any valid reason; only for a political reason. This bill is about power and politics, to our great detriment. It is not about health care.

This essay is available in its entirety to all visitors. Enjoy!

I wrote this essay in January, 2010, three months before Obamacare became the law of the land. As each day passes, the claims I made are more clearly borne to be valid. I was right then; I am right now.

This essay is aimed at those of you who are having second thoughts about the health care law passed in 2010. If you still strongly support it, nothing I can write will make any difference. In fact, this essay will make you angry. If you oppose it, this essay will affirm your opposition. Fine.

So this week I want to talk to those of you who are undecided and are willing to listen to reasoned arguments. Sure, health care needs reforming; we want health care for everyone; it sounds good in theory. But is this the right way to go about it? I think not. And I have 29 clear reasons that explain why. Please join me in the discussion.

1. Promises, Promises: According to President Obama, there are three primary objectives of this bill. He promised that the health care bill would a) cover everybody; b) not increase the deficit; and c) reduce the cost of health care for the average family by about $2,500 a year. The president also promised that the bill would include a “public option.”

It will do none of those things.

Especially this.

Nor that, either.

Even those who support the plan acknowledge that, after a decade, millions of Americans will still not be covered. Especially after the first decade, the costs will increase enormously.

Estimate from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office:

And by simple logic, if more people will be covered -- people who cannot or will not pay for health care -- the rest of us will pay more.

To help pay for this massive legislation, the bill includes a tax on “Cadillac” health care plans. If you already have a robust, broad plan, you will be forced to pay an additional tax on the plan — a far cry from the $2,500 annual reduction that the president promised... unless you are a member of SEUI, or the teamsters union, or the teachers union, or a government union. These union members will be exempted from this tax. Why? This is a bribe, to ensure continued support from the president’s base. Is this reasonable? Is this fair? No matter; the rest of us will pay the price for having a comprehensive health care plan that rewards people who do not take care of themselves.

2. Keep Your Plan — ?: The president has said that if you like your present health care plan, you can keep it. Really? What if the cost of your plan increases substantially (as described above), such that you can no longer afford it? Well, when that happens, the government will provide a plan for you... the first stage of a government takeover of health care.

What if your employer drops the company health care plan? Same answer as above.

Keep your health care? Not part of the Obama plan. He lies; he wins; you lose.

3. The Law of Supply and Demand: The simple and irrefutable law of supply and demand guarantees that when more people have insurance, the demand for health care services will increase. If the supply of health care (doctors, nurses, hospitals) remains constant, the inevitable result will be rationing — long lines, inability to obtain health care when needed.

4. In a free market system, the demand for increased health care would encourage more people to enter the field to meet this demand. But because of the price controls (and price reductions) guaranteed by the Obama administration, fewer people will enter the field. In fact, many health care providers have indicated that they will leave the field. That, of course, will result in even more rationing. Many doctors now refuse to accept Medicare patients because they cannot remain in business with the reimbursement provided by Medicare. By reducing the reimbursement rates further, even more doctors will opt out of the system. A Mayo clinic in Arizona recently announced that it will no longer accept Medicare patients. (The clinic lost $840 million dollars in Medicare-related treatment in 2009. In any business, such losses are unsustainable.) President Obama either does not understand this, or he does not care.

5. State-run health care has failed to live up to its promises in every state in which it has been tried.

Tennessee: State-run TennCare was suppose to be the first step toward universal health insurance. After a decade in operation, three of the 11 privately run managed care organizations that insured TennCare patients and administered the program have fallen into receivership. Amid the legal wrangling, Blue Cross Blue Shield all but pulled out of the program. The state has assumed all the insurance risk and paid most of the premiums. Tenncare ended up eating up a third of the state’s annual budget after lawsuits compelled the state to cover the costs of nearly every health-care-related expense for about 1 in 5 Tennessee residents.

Massachusetts: Former Governor Mitt Romney pushed through health care reform in 2006, offering most of the same promises that President Obama has. After three years, the program has not lived up to any of its promises, and is bankrupting the state.


The story is the same in Maine and New York.

6. Government-run health care is less effective than it is in the United States in every country where it has been implemented. Take your pick: Canada, England, France... Australia, or wherever. The waits are longer, the services are fewer, and there are fewer innovations.

7. The number of chronically uninsured Americans is not 48 million, or 30 million, or even 20 million. It is approximately 15 million — 5% of the population. It does not make sense to completely dismantle and rebuild our fragile yet magnificent health care system for the benefit of 5% of the population.

8. Medicare for Everyone! Obamacare is modeled after Medicare, an inefficient, poorly managed, “financially unsustainable” plan. Spread across the entire population, it would bankrupt the country.

According to Medicare’s own auditors, Medicare overpays for almost everything it buys. And it does so knowingly:
      — $7,215 to rent an oxygen concentrator, when the purchase price is $600.
      — $4,018 for a standard wheelchair, while the private sector pays $1,048.
      — $1,825 for a hospital bed, compared to an Internet price of $1,071.
      — $3,335 for a respiratory pump, versus an advertised price of $1,987.
      — $82 for a diabetic supply kit, instead of a $47 price on the Web.

And this is what you want spread across the entire country?

9. No We Can’t! Obamacare is designed, structured and will be run by people who have absolutely no record of success in running or managing anything.

10. Obamacare will eliminate private health care insurance, thus eliminating competition rather than increasing competition, as promised by Obamacare. Barney Frank and other powerful legislators (as well as the president himself) have acknowledged that their goal is a single-payer system — government-run health care. That is not competition; that is health care by the same organization that runs the IRS, the TSA, and Fannie-Mae and Freddie-Mac.

11. The plan will decimate the popular Medicare Advantage program (except for Florida residents; Florida Senator Bill Nelson’s vote was bought with that promise).

12. Punish the Responsible: The plan would require Americans to purchase health insurance. That requirement is unprecedented and unconstitutional. It would punish responsible people who pay for their own health care and neither want nor need insurance.

13. Forced reductions by the government in payments to doctors, hospitals, and drug companies will reduce the quality and availability of care and reduce research on new medical procedures, treatments, and drugs.

14. Why the Rush? In 2009, President Obama said that the health care bill must be passed by the August recess. Then it had to be completed by Thanksgiving; then the end of the year. Why the rush? Why the artificial deadlines? If the need is so urgent, why do the benefits not begin until 2013? (See #19) These deadlines had nothing to do with health care; they had everything to do with politics. This is not about health care; it is about politics.

15. Do as I dictate; not as I do: Congress has refused to subject itself to the plan which it proposes for the rest of us.

2013 update: Indeed, the members of Congress and their staff will receive a discount, paid for by the rest of us, that is not available to the general public.

16. The bills being considered are so lengthy, so complex, and so convoluted that no reasonable person could understand them. Members of Congress will not read the bill that will control 17% of our economy.

“I don’t expect to actually read the legislative language [of the health care bill] because reading the legislative language is among the more confusing things I’ve ever read in my life.” — Sen. Thomas Carper (D-DE)

17. There are no reasonable provisions to ensure that illegal aliens will not have access to free medical care. That means. for instance, that anyone will be able to cross the border from Mexico and receive complete medical care in the U.S. at no cost to them. The rest of us will bear that cost. Many legal scholars believe that, despite whatever language may be written in the bill, the equal protection clause of the Constitution will mandate that illegal aliens have access to “free” health care. Certainly the issue will be challenged in court. While it makes its way through the court, billions of taxpayer dollars will be spent on health care for illegal aliens. To head off this legal challenge, President Obama will propose giving amnesty to illegal aliens, thus removing any doubt as to their eligibility.

18. President Obama has included, in his cost projection, a reduction in fraud and abuse, thus saving billions of dollars. The magnitude and structure of this legislation will make fraud and abuse more likely, not less. The president has offered no mechanism to reduce fraud and abuse. It’s all wishful thinking... at our expense.

19. Front-loaded taxes; back-loaded benefits. In order to meet an artificial cost projection of less than a trillion dollars in the first decade, the revenue portion of the bill begins as soon as it is enacted. We will pay increased taxes immediately. The new benefits, however, do not begin for four years. This is moral deceit beyond imagination. Why would we trust people who are so blatantly dishonest?

20. The NEXT 10 years. At the behest of the Democrats, the media is focused only on costs in the first decade. Every reasonable economist agrees that costs after the first decade will skyrocket.

21. Preventive Care: The president has lauded preventive care as a cost-controlling factor in his bill. However beneficial preventive care is, studies have shown that preventive care does not reduce costs. The president is either ignorant, or he is lying.

22. Sweetening the Pot: Senate leader Harry Reid has had to bribe several senators to win their vote. Nebraska’s Senator Ben Nelson was promised that citizens of the other 49 states would pay for Medicaid for Nebraska residents — forever! Florida’s Senator Bill Nelson got a promise that old folks in his state would get to keep Medicare Advantage, unlike residents of any other state. Senator Mary Landieu was bribed with 300 million taxpayer dollars. If this bill is so good, why does leader Reid have to bribe Democrats to vote for it?

23. Absence of Broad Support: The more that Americans hear about Obamacare, the less they like it. Support for the bill has steadily decreased. (Perhaps this has something to do with why the president has been in such a rush to pass it.) At present, less that 50% of the population supports this plan. Less than half of the population supports a plan that will take over nearly a fifth of the U.S. economy! This bill plants the seeds for enormous discontent. That is not good for Democrats, Republicans, or for America.

24. Bipartisan Support: The president promised a bipartisan legislative approach to legislation. He and the Democrats have done just the opposite. The proposed bill will pass without a single Republican vote in either the House or the Senate. If you wish to enact such sweeping legislation, you should have strong, bipartisan support. The president has failed this test.

25. “Transparency” — ? The president promised, no fewer than eight times, that health care legislation would be discussed and debated in the open, on C-Span, so that everyone could see and contribute. But the president has orchestrated just the opposite. He has held private meetings with union leaders and other special interest groups; he has made private deals with corporations, the details of which will be buried deep in the bill. No substantive negotiations have been televised or made public. This is not an oversight; it is deliberate. The president and the Democrats do not want the American people to know about the special provisions in the bill.

To encourage reluctant Democrats, recently the president said this:

Believe me, I know how big a lift this has been. I see the polls. . . . I catch the occasional blog poster, cable clip that breathlessly declares what something means for a political party, without really talking about what it means for a country.

But I also know what happens once we get this done, once we sign this... bill into law: The American people will suddenly learn that this bill does things they like and doesn’t do things people have been trying to say it does. The worst fears will prove groundless.

2013 update: Really? It appears now that the worst fears under-estimated the problems with Obamacare.

If this is true, why hasn’t the Obama administration convinced us about the things that the American people will like? Why hasn’t the Obama administration provided evidence and logic that the “worst fears will prove groundless”? Because they can’t; that’s why.

26. Tort Reform: If the president and Congress were serious about reforming our health care system, especially controlling costs, they would include tort reform in the legislation. The cost of malpractice insurance and legal expenses (including defensive medicine) that doctors and hospitals incur is a major contributor to the rising cost of health care. Part of the reason why people in other countries do not pay as much for health care as we do is that there is far less litigation over health care. Yet, Obamacare does not even mention tort reform. Why? Because the legal industry is a strong supporter of Democrats, and the Democrats would rather bankrupt the country than tackle the real issues affecting the cost of health care.

27. The Camel’s Nose Under the Tent Iowa Senator Tom Harkin is among those Democrats who have publicly acknowledged that the proposed bill is not an end — it is just the beginning. This bill provides the foundation for the government to interfere with and control virtually every aspect of your life.

The liberals are aware of how bad this bill is. But they want to pass it anyway, to assure that they have the footing to enhance their power later. “Yeah; let’s pass this crappy bill; anything to get the bill passed. We can fix it later.” Really.

This is a terrible way to legislate. Shame on them! Every one of them. Americans should recognize this, and reject this idiocy.

28. Constitutionality: There are serious questions as to the constitutionality of many provisions in this legislation. Why hasn’t Congress addressed these potential problems with the legislation? Because they do not care about the constitutionality of the bill. They merely want to get it passed. Is this any way to craft responsible legislation? Of course not. The entire process is a disgrace.

2013 update: The Supreme Court had to twist the law, refuting the administration’s claim that the mandate is not a tax — oh, yes it is, so said the court — to deem it constitutional. If the administration had called it a tax in the first place, it likely would not have passed. Thus, this is more deceit on the part of the Obama administration.

29. “Trust Me”: Since the proposed bill is so massive and so detailed, and since deliberations on the bill have not been made public, we have to trust that our legislators are looking out for our best interests and are doing the right thing. Pardon me, but they do not have a good track record on this. The terrible mismanagement of this whole legislative process does not engender confidence. The president and the Congress has not proven itself to be worthy of our trust, especially about something that has so great an impact on our lives.

30. A “Right” to Health Care: Senator Harry Reid, among others, has talked about a “right” to health care. There is no such right, expressed or implied, in the U.S. Constitution. I wrote about that here. If the federal government wants to make health care a right, it cannot do so half-way. A right is not a sometimes-right, or a mostly-right. It is a right. And, like the rights that the Constitution provides, the government must take any and all steps necessary to provide for and guard that right. Surely, that would bankrupt us. Health care, as a right, then, is a myth at best, and at worst, a cruel lie.

31. Surveys have been taken repeatedly that show that over 80% of Americans are satisfied with their health care plan. It is certainly not worth restructuring the entire system to placate those who are not satisfied. There are far better ways to improve health care than to hand it over to incompetent, power-hungry bureaucrats.

32. However noble a health care overhaul may be, this is not the time for it. Unemployment is at 10%; the stock market is unstable; credit is tight; the entire economic market is shaky; people have diminished faith in the economy and even less in Congress. This is not the time for such huge and costly experimentation. To impose this now is a political move, not a sound, strategic move in the best interests of the country.

The Last Word

OK, so I listed 32 reasons, not 29. You got a problem with that?

I could go on, but....

The liberals are aware of how bad this bill is. But they want to pass a bill now... any bill, so that they can establish a foundation in order to get what they really want later, when the public has moved on to something else.

With these reasons, taken as a whole, why would any reasonable person support such a flawed plan? Not for any valid reason; only for a political reason. This bill is about power and politics, to our great detriment. It is not about health care.

Those who disagree with my analysis FEEL bad. They will attack me; they will concoct baseless and irrelevant charges against me; and they will chastise those who agree with me. They will pick at the edges, isolating minor, insignificant aspects of what I have written. But they will not... they cannot substantively challenge ANYTHING written here.

If you are still among the reasonable, undecided people, please consider what I have written. Ask questions; provide evidence to the contrary, if you wish. Let’s discuss it further.

But if you cannot refute the issues I have offered here, then you should be convinced, as I am, that the Obamacare plan will be ineffective, dangerously expensive, and destructive for our country.

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