December 9, 2009

The New (Old) Government Option; the Old (New) Shell Game

Hatched by Dafydd

The so-called "public option" is now out; it finally became clear even to Senate Majority Leader Harry "Pinky" Reid (D-Caesar's Palace, 75%) that there was no way in Hades that the public option could get the 60 votes needed to proceed on the Senate version of ObamaCare.

So he has swapped in a ringer: In Reid's new (old) proposal, he excises the government-run health care, and replaces it with government-run health care:

A much-courted moderate - Connecticut independent Sen. Joe Lieberman - signaled he might be able to live with a compromise to offer private insurance plans under the auspices of the federal employee health program while also allowing middle-aged people to buy into Medicare. Liberal Democrats also spoke out in favor of the idea....

However, as the Senate continued to debate, the American Hospital Association and the American Medical Association -- both groups that have been generally supportive of Congress' health overhaul efforts thus far -- raised red flags. Both groups are concerned about adding more patients to Medicare, because the program pays providers significantly lower rates than private insurers do....

A powerful small business group also swung into opposition. The National Federation of Independent Business, which was instrumental in defeating then-President Bill Clinton's health care bill in the 1990s, said the Democratic bill would raise costs and make it harder to create jobs....

Nonetheless Reid, D-Nev., was upbeat about the bill's prospects.

Patients currently must be 65 or older to sign up for Medicare, except in a few special circumstances; allowing people aged 55 and up to join could nearly double the number of people drawing on Medicare funds for their medical care... a government program that right now teeters on the economic abyss.

So let's see; the new (old) Reid plan would:

  • All but double the number of people relying upon Medicare, which is on the brink of insolvency already;
  • Drastically cut how much doctors and hospitals are reimbursed for treating those quasi-seniors;
  • Raise premiums for all those who aren't on Medicare or some other government "option";
  • Ration medical care, particularly for those dumb enough -- or desperate enough -- to sign up for expanded Medicare;
  • Kill Medicare Advantage; no more private health insurance option with the government program;
  • Jack up taxes for everyone, young and old, rich and poor, and probably higher than any previous tax increase;
  • Kill jobs throughout the country;
  • Leave at least 23 million uninsured -- despite the old (new) shell game of the Medicare option;
  • Oh, and I almost forgot... loot Medicare by half a trillion dollars, in addition to all the other stresses on that program.



What could possibly go wrong?

Road Warrior apocalypse

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, December 9, 2009, at the time of 4:43 PM

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The following hissed in response by: Mr. Michael

Next they raise the eligibility age for the S-Chip programs to 35, and then take the Government to court on Age Discrimination charges for years 36-54... Hey, we don't need to pass a comprehensive plan after all!

Just nibble at the edges a mite. Or rather, chomp.

The above hissed in response by: Mr. Michael [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 9, 2009 10:16 PM

The following hissed in response by: snochasr

Absolutely astounding. Rather than do what any sensible Congress would, to fix the abysmally-failing health care program they already have-- Medicare-- they decide to make it much bigger, and then take money away from both it and the only thing that makes it even remotely viable, Medicare Advantage. I guess we now know that Congress truly is an institution.

The above hissed in response by: snochasr [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 10, 2009 6:28 AM

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