Monday, December 7, 2009

Obamacare Will Cost We The People

Blue Cross Group Blasts Health Reform Legislation

Premiums will rise up to 50 percent for individual policies and 19 percent for small group plans if healthcare reform passes, a new report released by a major health industry trade group claims.

Sponsored by the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (BCBSA) and conducted by Oliver Wyman Inc., the report faults reform legislation for lacking a strong individual mandate. Requiring healthy Americans to purchase reform would help offset costs for the millions of people with health problems who would purchase insurance policies under the new system, the study finds.


  1. California moves to ration mammograms
    POSTED AT 10:12 AM ON DECEMBER 7, 2009

    ObamaCare advocates claim that putting government in charge of health care coverage and treatments won’t result in care rationing, while its opponents say rationing will be the inevitable result. The latter can point to California as evidence for their position. Facing enormous budget shortfalls, the state has ended subsidies for mammograms for poor women between 40-50 years of age, and will also freeze enrollments in a breast-cancer screening program for its Medicaid recipients:

    The eligibility age for state-subsidized breast cancer screening has been raised from 40 to 50 by the California Health and Human Services Agency, which will also temporarily stop enrollment in the breast cancer screening program.

    Advocates for low-income women, whose health care the department helps pay for, say the cuts put a two-tier system in place that is based on money rather than medical standards.

    The cuts will greatly harm the clinic’s mammogram program, said Natasha Riley, manager of Vista Community Clinic’s Breast Health Outreach and Education Program.

    The clinic and others like it in San Diego County provide reduced-cost care, mostly to low-income people, with money from the state and some private donations.

    “More than 50 percent of the women we give breast exams and mammograms to are in their 40s,” Riley said. “The majority of our current breast cancer survivors are women in their 40s.”

    The state followed the recommendation of the US Preventive Services Task Force, which claimed that regular mammograms created too much anxiety for women between 40 and 50. It also linked the decision to declining revenues from tobacco sales — no, really — which cut into funding for anti-cancer screening programs:

    In its announcement, the state said the cuts were needed because of a projected budget shortfall for the California Department of Public Health, and from declining revenue from tobacco taxes.

    However, it did not say how much money it expected to save.

    Gee, what else have we built on the shifting sands of tobacco taxes? I wonder how the S-CHIP program is faring these days.

    This is a great example of the difference between static and dynamic tax analyses. The former predicts a revenue from a tax that assumes that the tax won’t change the environment which produces the revenue, while dynamic tax analysis accounts for behavior changes when tax policies are applied. In this case, it’s actually worse; the tobacco-tax advocates argued both that increased taxes would discourage smoking while relying on a constant increase of revenue from the boost in tobacco taxes.

    And now what we get is rationing, because the government created these programs based on rosy revenue projections that can’t be met.

    Given Carly Fiorina’s recent statement on her experiences with breast cancer, I asked her campaign for a reaction to this decision:

    “This is an example of what happens when the government’s role in healthcare decisions grows and the role of doctors and patients diminishes. With more government involvement cutting costs becomes paramount over quality of care. This situation underscores what is so critically wrong with the health reform legislation making its way through Congress now. It increases the role of government in our healthcare which is a recipe for higher taxes and lower quality of care. Instead, Carly believes any reform to our healthcare system should be focused on market-based reforms that prioritize quality of care and increasing access and choice.”— Julie Soderlund, Deputy Campaign Manager for Communications

  2. Do you want the SAME Politicans that have done such a wonderful JOB with the Economy,Medicare and Post Office in Charge of your Health Care and using Cost Effectiveness as the Standard for your CARE! If so you may NEED another type of Insurance(Private Sector) its called LIFE INSURANCE and your Family will need it!

  3. If that is what the private insurance companies are saying their rate increases will be, maybe we do need to start over, only with single-payer health care and get rid or for-profit health insurance companies all together.

    I've been for single-payer health care from the start. The biggest mistake President Obama made was not advocating for a single-payer system from the beginning.

    No one should be making a profit for pushing paper any way. Insurance companies add no value to the health care system.

  4. single payer would solve that.

  5. Lets make S-CHIP,Medicare and Medicaid bigger. That would make everything better, my ass. I just want to bitch slap you two.

  6. Well Joey and Bruce, we aren't talking about single-payer now, are we? Sounds to me like you fart smellers know that this current Democratic plan is a total boondoggle. Will you be writing Stabby and Levin to let them know you won't stand for their scam?

    I know Bruce would like single-payer everything. How about some single-payer food distribution? Single-payer home-ownership? How about we all just work, and let the government provide for us? Ahhhhhh .... sounds like Bruce's brand of Utopia. What about you Joey, sound good to you? I appreciated reading your thoughts on global warming. I would appreciate your thoughts on this. Since you are a self-professed anarchist, I would be interested in hearing how that meshes with your wishes for single-payer.

  7. Remember the Maine!

    The Wall Street Journal looks at the public option in relation to one state’s experience with it — and the disatrous results it achieved. Maine established its DirigoCare system in 2003, fueled initially by federal stimulus dollars, with its future funding planned from health-care cost savings with universal coverage and mandates for level premiums and elimination of pre-existing condition denial. The result? The disaster that anyone with a lick of economic sense could have predicted:

    Over time, the plan was to be “paid for by savings in the health-care system.” This is precisely the promise of ObamaCare. Maine saved by squeezing payments to hospitals and physicians.

    The program flew off track fast. At its peak in 2006, only about 15,000 people had enrolled in the DirigoChoice program. That number has dropped to below 10,000, according to the state’s own reporting. About two-thirds of those who enrolled already had insurance, which they dropped in favor of the public option and its subsidies. Instead of 128,000 uninsured in the program today, the actual number is just 3,400. Despite the giant expansions in Maine’s Medicaid program and the new, subsidized public choice option, the number of uninsured in the state today is only slightly lower that in 2004 when the program began.

    Why did this happen? Among the biggest reasons is a severe adverse selection problem: The sickest, most expensive patients crowded into DirigoChoice, unbalancing its insurance pool and raising costs. That made it unattractive for healthier and lower-risk enrollees. And as a result, few low-income Mainers have been able to afford the premiums, even at subsidized rates.

    Who pays most for all of these mandates? The insured:

    The Maine Heritage Policy Center, which has tracked the plan closely, points out that largely because of these insurance rules, a healthy male in Maine who is 30 and single pays a monthly premium of $762 in the individual market; next door in New Hampshire he pays $222 a month. The Granite State doesn’t have community rating and guaranteed issue.

    The plan was supposed to be funded without taxes, as planners envisioned bucketloads of savings from granting universal coverage. Not only did the universal coverage fail to materialize — mostly because people simply chose not to participate — but Maine broke its promise after four years and proposed sin taxes to cover a large budget deficit. When voters rejected it, the state imposed a tax on employer-provided health insurance. Ironically, because Maine has to balance its budget, they have now restricted enrollment in DirigoCare, which has a waiting list for people to join.

    Dirigo, by the way, is the Maine state motto, which means “I lead”. Indeed it did, on the public option, where it has demonstrated what a disaster it would be for the nation to adopt.

  8. FUCK those old people, am I right Bruce?!?! We gotta fund ABORTIONS and ILLEGAL ALIENS, am I RIGHT?!!? Come on Bruce, let's get Doctor-assisted suicide paid for while we're at it. These old FUCKERS are USELESS after 65 anyway, especially the way they are bringing down Soc. Sec. by trying to collect on THAT after they have paid all their lives!! DRAIN on society!!!

    Dems cut Medicare home health services to fund coverage of uninsured:

    Over the weekend, the Senate cut a key Medicare service aimed at invalids in an attempt to find the money to pay for ObamaCare. On a 53-41 vote, Senate Dems cut $43 billion from home health-care services. Dems insisted that they were cutting waste and abuse, but the end result will be less care for seniors. The NYT reports on the vote:

    By a vote of 53 to 41, the Senate on Sat. rejected a Republican effort to block cutbacks in payments to home health agencies that provide nursing care and therapy to homebound Medicare beneficiaries.

    Republicans voted against the cuts, saying they would hurt some of the nation’s most vulnerable citizens. Most Dems supported the cutbacks, saying they would eliminate waste and inefficiency in home care.

    The Dems’ health care bill would reduce projected Medicare spending on home care by $43B, or 13%, over the next 10 years. The savings would help offset the cost of subsidizing coverage for the uninsured.

    Baucus, a principal author of the health care bill, noted that his mother was receiving home health care and said he would not do anything to hurt beneficiaries. “We are reducing overpayments,” Mr. Baucus said. “We are rooting out fraud. We are getting the waste out. The savings go back in Medicare and extend the solvency of the trust fund.”

    Baucus is wrong on both counts. The money goes to funding coverage of the uninsured, which comes primarily through Medicaid, not Medicare, and federal subsidies in the exchange program. The money will go out of Medicare and not come back, which should be rather obvious anyway. If the money stayed in Medicare, it wouldn’t be cut out of it in an amendment — and be part of almost $500B in proposed Medicare cuts in ObamaCare proposals.

    As for “reducing overpayments,” that’s Beltway speak for rationing. Who defines overpayment? It’s not the providers. This is just another compensation cut that will force more providers out of the Medicare home health care market. That means fewer choices, or none at all, for invalid seniors who rely on home health care to survive. It’s no different than any of the other cuts to provider compensation that already has many of them refusing to take Medicare patients.

    We’re looking at, depending on which bill we’re talking about, the House bill cuts home health care by $56B over 10 years & the Senate bill, it’s something like $45B over 10 years. That’s about a 14.5% cut for home care & we’re about 4.5% of Medicare’s expenditures, so it’s a significant cut.

    This became something of a standard talking point during both the 2004 and 2008 presidential elections. As the story went, Dems cared about seniors and their particular needs. Republicans wanted to cut Medicare and were plotting to kill your grandparents. My, what a difference one election makes, eh?

  9. Hey Bruce Profit just seems to be a word that you say with Distain.

    Businesses need Profits to Survive and PAY for all the things you LIBS want to GIVE away!

    Big Government will DO all it can to limit PROFIT in all Businesses as it has with Nobama and ONCE the Redistribution of Wealth is Complete and ALL are POOR,Whos going to Pay for all the Give Aways?

    Governments Solution to Cutting Health Care is Using AGE as a factor in what Treatment you receive so lets HOPE Bruce your not very old cause then you DUNT have to be Concerned BUT if your a Senior with 500 Billion coming out of Medicare,which I might add is kind of hard to DO there Trillions in Debt,Services Will be cut but I understand the Counseling for Seniors will be GREAT!

  10. Well they'll cut it out of Medicare and then leave it to Medicaid, and the states, to pick up the tab. States will have to get funds from the feds lest they collapse, and then the feds will own the states. Better to have each state figure it out on their own, open up interstate trade. That was the original intention of the Founding Fathers; each state figures out what works best, like laboratories. Other states can adopt the plans that work. But instead idiots like Bruce think only the federal government can figure it out, just like they figured out Social Security and Medicare and the Post Office and S-CHIP and our failing education system and on and on and on...

  11. I agree with you Donald. And why leave out tort reform also.

  12. herb, wow, that such a thoughtful sentiment. the net can be such a wondeful place where punk motherfuckers like you can talk so big and bad.

    Ohhh, you just want to bitch slap people right? Guess that means we're winning the argument when you have to attack the messenger doesn't it Chris?

  13. It sure does Joe. First the mock you then they attack you then you win. Don't get so happy about winning a battle when you are loosing the war Joe.

  14. I was being sarcastic. Isn't that what you left wing fools always say. Joe, you and Bruce both have a screw loose.

  15. Since coming to Capitol Hill, current Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has been recognized by some in the media as a master strategist when it comes to playing the legislative rules for all they’re worth. But, with amendments to the Obama government health care takeover sailing through the Senate almost as quickly as they’re read, some conservative insiders are wondering why the GOP is not taking advantage of Senate rules to slow down the votes and delay the final vote until after Christmas.

    That would be Harry Reid’s worst nightmare come true. According to the latest Rasmussen Poll, only 41% of Americans now support the Obama health care plan. And if the Senate Democrats are forced to go home and face voter wrath head-on over the Christmas holidays, it could spell the end for the legislation in the 111th Congress.

    With that being the case, even some House leaders are wondering why McConnell doesn’t simply require unanimous consent on any, or every, amendment that comes to the floor. The maneuver would force Reid to get 60 votes before proceeding on each amendment. And some of the bill’s opponents are suggesting it could sideline it until next Christmas.

    Of course, it is looking more and more likely that Mitch McConnell actually wants the legislation to pass. He seems to be gambling that if it passes, he becomes Senate Majority Leader.


Please keep it clean and nice. Thank you for taking the time to post you thought. It means a lot to me that you do this.