“The real problem is not that we are different, nor that we disagree and have conflict. It's that most of us automatically view conflict as something negative rather than as a tool God can use to help us better understand ourselves and one another.

--Robert Ricciardelli”

Thursday, September 10, 2009

More Unkept Promises...

Did anyone see the latest ideas from Congress on limits to healthcare? Yep. This makes good stuff available to those UNDER 25, but not over.

The measure -- offered by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont. -- would impose new fees on some healthcare industry segments to help offset the estimated $880 billion in initial costs over 10 years, The New York Times reported Tuesday.

The plan would provide a lower-cost insurance plan for catastrophic coverage only to people up to age 25, people familiar with the outline said. It also would expand less comprehensive Medicaid coverage to millions of low-income people who now are ineligible.
With Medicaid losing money, how is this going to be funded? The question still waits a full answer.

A related article at the NYTimes adds a bit more detail about Baucus’ proposal:
To help finance the legislation, Mr. Baucus is expected to propose a new tax on insurance companies selling policies with premiums far exceeding the national average, roughly $13,000 a year for family coverage.
Government healthcare is no longer a government program, apparently. It is a commercial industry killing plan. Risk management implies that higher risk has higher costs…but not according to the government’s coming “guidelines.”

Meanwhile, there is a petition circulating to drum up support for House Bill HR676 to make establishing health care a civil right, giving it equal status with race, sex, and creed. The petition specifically states the Bill
Whereas HR676 provides for Medicare for All, a universal, single payer, not-for-profit health care system which means the end of premiums, copays and deductibles; and

Whereas we are already paying for a universal standard of care but are not getting it because one of every three dollars in the health care system goes to the activities of the for-profit insurance system…
In short, this Bill and the petition openly state the goal is to replace or eliminate the insurance industry. That should do wonders for the deficit effects of the healthcare plan, already planned to be partially funded by money from the insurance industry. (…not to mention Democrats have openly said that is not what they are doing or have planned…)
But, those are not as concerning as the latest changes from President Obama himself. There was a short fact check on some points from his latest speech to Congress. Gone are guarantees about personal choice. Gone is the refusal to require everyone to be insured. Gone as well is his promise to “not increase the deficit by one dime.” Why? Government accounting that lets them say what they want it to say. The article states:
House Democrats offered a bill that the Congressional Budget Office said would add $220 billion to the deficit over 10 years. But Democrats and Obama administration officials claimed the bill was actually deficit-neutral. They said they simply didn't have to count $245 billion of it — the cost of adjusting Medicare reimbursement rates so physicians don't face big annual pay cuts.
Let’s see…Broken promises…Rising deficits…A not recovering economy…Sounds like Bush all over again…doesn’t it? Or at least that’s what the media and the Left used to accuse him of. Think they might accuse their Golden Boy Obama of the same thing?

Still, all of this legislation aimed at providing healthcare to all fails to address the real problem: rising healthcare costs. None of the legislation as far as I know does anything to reign in costs. It just throws more money into the healthcare system. As education has proven, more money does not solve the problem. The United States spends more per student on education than other countries, but we have a lower student success rate. More money is not a solution to cost control issues. Basic economics says that if more money chases the same amount of goods, the price goes up. So, why do we believe more money is the solution for healthcare when the problem is costs? As the debate and clamor for this legislation goes on, let’s remember that the real problem still remains unaddressed.