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Obamacare, Scaaaaaarrrrrrrrry for those over 70. Look out Welshtaff!

Welshtaff 2012/01/24 00:25:16
What We're Learning about Obamacare isn't Good -- Especially for Seniors
Saturday, January 21, 2012, 12:33 PM [General]

While I taught at the University of Virginia, I served for a while as associate dean. My dean at the time, Bill Shenkir, used a phrase that I thought was particularly helpful when we were contemplating major decisions: "Let's reduce the fog factor." By that he meant that we should always examine the ramifications of our decisions on our students' classroom experience since teaching them was our primary mission.

Obamacare is an example of a federal government program that would not have been enacted if the fog factor test had been applied. While Congress debated Obamacare, talk about death panels and rationing of healthcare services abounded, but the warnings came from Republicans who were in the minority in the House and the Senate. Their objections were dismissed out of hand. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority leader Harry Reid rounded up Democrat votes and shoved Obamacare down our throats with the blessing of President Obama. The jury is still out on the legality of Obamacare, but while we wait for the courts to rule on the constitutional issues involved, the Obama administration is rapidly implementing the program. By the time the courts finally reach a decision, our healthcare system won't resemble what we had prior to March 2010 when Nancy Pelosi used her oversized gavel to pound Obamacare through the House over strenuous objections from most Americans.

Our senior citizens are most at risk under Obamacare -- especially those over 70. Rationing of services and death panels (only they're called "ethics panels" under Obamacare instead of death panels for obvious reasons) are now the rule, not the exception. I have a friend who is a loyal Democrat and a strong Obama supporter. In 2008 when she voted for Obama, she couldn't imagine that in 2012 she would have a massive heart attack and need a pacemaker. Prior to 2010 and the passage of Obamacare, that would have been a routine procedure, but not anymore. She's over 70, and under Obamacare people who are over 70 routinely receive "comfort care." That's a euphemism. It means that a panel of experts has determined that your life isn't worth saving beyond 70, so they will try to make you feel good while you die.

Where Obamacare is concerned, we're beginning to be able to see through the fog, and what we're learning isn't good, especially for seniors, and it's just the tip of the iceberg. If Obama is re-elected and Democrats retain their majority in the Senate, those "ethics panels" will busily go about doing their job and senior citizens will die prematurely from maladies that are easily treatable, and for one reason: they are over 70. That's it in a nutshell. I'm not trying to frighten anyone. I'm simply presenting a fact.

If you're a senior citizen and you want to take advantage of the medical technologies that your tax dollars paid to help develop over the years, you should think long and hard before casting a vote for Obama in 2012. For that matter, you should carefully consider the wisdom of voting for Democrats period. I'm not a Republican. In fact, I was a Democrat until 1985, but I saw what the Democratic Party stands for while I served as Virginia Governor Chuck Robb's Policy Advisor for Regulatory Reform and realized that I can't support the things that they hold most dear -- chief among them being the right of a woman to kill her unborn child without penalty or even criticism and handouts to every group imaginable without regard for morality, our nation's security, or our ability to pay.

The Republican Party isn't perfect by a long shot and neither are its candidates, but the party is trying to undo the damage done by Obamacare; it's the party that supports the right to life; and it's the party that is attempting to reduce needless spending and trying to solve our deficit and debt problems. President Obama and like-minded Democrats in the House and Senate are principally responsible for creating and exacerbating those problems. Trusting them to solve those problems is ridiculous.


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  • cindy 2012/01/24 01:25:15
    cindy
    +1
    While the Democrats still do not understand what they have done with Obamacare, the government's actuaries and accountants do, and have been telling us in official government publications and documents. The 2010 Financial Statement of the United States Government, published by the Treasury Department in December, is the most clear. That report discloses repeatedly in several tables of data that the total of future cuts in payments to doctors and hospitals under Medicare as provided in current law due to Obamacare and President Obama's Medicare reimbursement policies is $15 trillion!

    Indeed, the Treasury report effectively touts the draconian Medicare cuts due to Obamacare, stating, "The 2010 projection is lower than the 2009 projection in every year of the projection period almost entirely as a result of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which is projected to significantly lower Medicare spending and raise receipts."

    That $15 trillion is such a big number that it is hard to understand what it means. But the government's own actuaries and accountants have been explaining that as well. Medicare's Chief Actuary reports that even before these cuts already two-thirds of hospitals were losing money on Medicare patients. With $15 trillion in future cuts, health providers will either h...













































    While the Democrats still do not understand what they have done with Obamacare, the government's actuaries and accountants do, and have been telling us in official government publications and documents. The 2010 Financial Statement of the United States Government, published by the Treasury Department in December, is the most clear. That report discloses repeatedly in several tables of data that the total of future cuts in payments to doctors and hospitals under Medicare as provided in current law due to Obamacare and President Obama's Medicare reimbursement policies is $15 trillion!

    Indeed, the Treasury report effectively touts the draconian Medicare cuts due to Obamacare, stating, "The 2010 projection is lower than the 2009 projection in every year of the projection period almost entirely as a result of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which is projected to significantly lower Medicare spending and raise receipts."

    That $15 trillion is such a big number that it is hard to understand what it means. But the government's own actuaries and accountants have been explaining that as well. Medicare's Chief Actuary reports that even before these cuts already two-thirds of hospitals were losing money on Medicare patients. With $15 trillion in future cuts, health providers will either have to withdraw from serving Medicare patients, or eventually go into bankruptcy. The unworkable, draconian effect of these Medicare cuts is why the U.S. Government Accountability Office issued a disclaimer of opinion on the Statement of Social Insurance component of the federal government's 2010 Financial Statement, saying, "Unless providers could reduce their cost per service correspondingly, through productivity improvements, or other steps, they would eventually become unwilling or unable to treat Medicare beneficiaries."

    Ryan's Reforms Are Better for Seniors

    Unlike Ryan's Medicare reforms, the draconian, unworkable, Obamacare cuts to Medicare apply to seniors already retired today. Ryan exempts from any change all seniors retired today and everyone over age 55.

    For future, new retirees starting in 2022, seniors will enjoy the freedom to choose private health insurance coverage from among a menu of guaranteed, government approved and regulated plans. Exactly the contrary to Schultz's uninformed criticisms, Medicare would precisely be a guarantee of health insurance coverage. The problem that the socialist Schultz has is that this would be private health insurance coverage.

    Seniors won't have that problem. Under Ryan's reforms, all of Medicare would be like the popular Medicare Advantage program, under which one fourth of seniors have already chosen a private insurer for superior Medicare coverage. It would be the same as well as the health insurance system that federal employees enjoy, where workers each choose among a menu of private health insurance alternatives.

    Under Ryan's reforms, each senior would enjoy control over $15,000 for the year to start to devote to the private health insurance of their choice. That amount would also grow each year under an index of price growth. Yes, more well-off seniors may pay more over time for their coverage than under the current system. That is where the cost savings come from. But it is not a matter over which reasonable people can differ that taxpayers cannot afford the current Medicare system, with its unfunded liabilities rapidly growing towards $100 trillion.

    In addition, the Ryan plan would provide more each year for lower income seniors to protect them from rising costs. More would be paid as well for those who were sicker so that plans could finance their more expensive care.

    Ryan's brilliant plan also harnesses the competition and innovation of the free market to provide better coverage for seniors at lower cost. Private insurers will compete to find ways to reduce costs for seniors, and innovate with different benefits to better serve and attract customers. Seniors would be free to choose Health Savings Accounts for their coverage, which would maximize patient power and control over their own health care, with powerful market incentives to control and reduce costs. In the Medicare Part D prescription drug program, precisely these market mechanisms were proven to reduce health costs 40% below projections, while Medicare Advantage shows how market competition leads to better benefits for seniors. Of course, the socialists like Pelosi and Schultz that run today's Democrat party do not understand any of this.

    Ryan's careful, well thought-out reforms are well designed to avoid any harm to the vulnerable, while avoiding bankruptcy for America, and allowing prosperity to return. It is childish, immature, and unworthy of public service for the Democrats to criticize the Ryan plan falsely and harshly with absolutely no reform plan of their own. There is no reasonable way to characterize the Ryan plan as changing Medicare into "little more than a discount card," as Schultz does unreasonably.

    Do Not Ask for Whom the Bell Tolls

    But it is not only the health care of seniors that will be savaged by Obamacare. What is emerging from the broad, vague language of the 2,700 plus pages of the Obamacare law is the termination of the ability of America's health care system to provide the best, most advanced, cutting edge health care in the world, up until now a major component of the highest standard of living in the world previously enjoyed by the American people.

    That first clearly arose in December, when HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius issued regulations claiming and providing authority for federal regulation of health insurance premiums, a power that Congressional Democrats and the Obama Administration denied was in the law when they passed it. Based on what we see emerging from the more advanced Obamacare experiment in Massachusetts, what the New Left Democrats who have seized control of America's health care have in mind can now be more clearly recognized.

    Obamacare mandates many new benefits to be provided by insurers, such as "free" preventive care, unlimited lifetime benefits, coverage on parents' plans until age 26, guaranteed issue, community rating, and the many benefits required in the mandated benefits package, exacerbated by the special interest political swarm that will be created by Obamacare. But what Sebelius and her associated health care rationers are indicating is that they will not allow the health insurers more money to pay for the extra costs of these required benefits.

    What they are thinking is that this will force insurers to squeeze down on the payments to doctors and hospitals, just as the Obama Democrats have done for Medicare. They are thinking that doctors and hospitals will then be left with no choice but to squeeze down on their patients, rationing and denying them costly care.

    And if the insurance companies cannot pull this off, recovering their increased costs by cutting down on the doctors and hospitals, then the Obamacare leftists will be perfectly happy with the insurers just going out of business, as some have already begun to do, ultimately leading to their beloved, Cuban-style, single-payer, government health care monopoly.

    Romneycare, adopted in Massachusetts in 2006 (under former Governor Mitt Romney), was a perfect forerunner of Obamacare, with individual and employer mandates, expanded Medicaid, expensive new entitlement subsidies well beyond that, and costly new regulations increasing insurance costs. And the above scenario is exactly what has been playing out in Massachusetts, at least four years farther along than Obamacare. As Sally Pipes explained in an excellent March 24 Washington Post commentary, "Massachusetts is the blueprint for Obamacare, and [Governor Deval] Patrick is among those who want his state's plan to serve as a national model." Yet, "almost five years into his state's Romneycare plan, it turns out that spending is out of control, threatening public-sector budgets and private-sector wealth generation."

    So what Governor Patrick is now pursuing is giving more power to insurers to ration and restrict care, under even more restricted premium payments. First Patrick is proposing to restrict Massachusetts residents to the choice of only Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs), repackaged under the name of Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs), which we also see referenced in the Obamacare statute.

    Secondly, to make sure the government can enforce the scheme, Patrick is also seeking power for the government to regulate the prices insurers can pay to doctors and hospitals for health care. The ultimate vision is to impose on doctors and hospitals what is called a "global payment system," under which health care providers are given a fixed budget on what they can spend for their patients' health care for the year. If their patients need more, it is up to the doctors and hospitals to determine who gets the health care and who does not, who gets the best care and who gets the cheaper, second or third rate care, who lives and who dies.

    As Pipes explains, "There is talk across the nation of a failed health-care payment system, under which providers... make more money the more care they provide. There is less frank talk of the alternative: a managed care system in which providers make less money -- or even lose money -- the more care they provide." Under this system, doctors and hospitals actually "get paid more for doing less" in providing you and your loved ones health care. Under today's health care system, "a sick patient is a revenue center for a physician, clinic or hospital and is therefore sought after, catered to and welcomed," Pipes adds. But under the brave, new world of Romneycare/Obamacare, "a patient is a cost center and, over time, the opposite must be true."

    As a result, Pipes concludes, "single payer is the logical, indeed, likely extension of Romney-Obamacare."

    The Bell Actually Tolls for Thee Democrat Party

    With Pelosi, Schultz, and Obama in control, today's Democrat party is transforming itself into an outright socialist party. The die is now being cast to go into next year's elections with the issues framed around the Republicans calling for taxes and spending to be limited to their historical, postwar levels, as Ryan proposes, and the Democrats calling for higher taxes to finance higher spending.

    But there is no way the American people are going to vote for the loss of traditional American freedom and prosperity, and the decline of America that would represent. Even core, base constituencies that the Democrats are relying on for bushels of votes are not for that. Recent immigrants, for example, came to America precisely for that traditional American freedom and prosperity, not to vote for decline into the socialist states they just escaped.

    That is why 2012 is shaping up into an even bigger political earthquake than 2010, bigger perhaps even than 1932, leaving the Democrat party restricted to control in a few urban political machines across the country, as America votes overwhelmingly to restore the American Dream.
    (more)
  • YouSirName 2012/01/24 00:43:47
    YouSirName
    You taught at University of VA? Unbelievable.
    A few of your errors:
    1. There are no "death panels." Please cite support for this nonsense.
    2. "Rationing" of care is already a feature of the healthcare system. It happens because people who can't afford to pay for care don't get the same level of care that is provided to people who can pay. In addition, care is rationed by insurance companies who refuse to approve payments for a variety of care. For example, hearing aids are generally not covered and are therefore underutilized. Care for pre-existing conditions is not usually covered. These are examples of rationing. This rationing is actually reduced, although not enough, under various provisions of the new Healthcare law.
    3. There is nothing in the new law that says that people over 70 only get "comfort care." This is another Faux News lie, not a "fact."

    It is pretty evident why you don't actually cite any language from the law.

    As for your screed against abortion, at best you exaggerate. The new healthcare law is actually neutral with regard to abortion.

    As to the healthcare law's effect on "our ability to pay," the CBO estimate is that the law will actually save $143 BILLION over the first 10 years. I thought Republicans actually wanted the government to spend less... Hmmm.
  • Kane Fe... YouSirName 2012/01/24 00:56:37
    Kane Fernau
    +3
    If Obamacare is so wonderful why is everyone opting out?
  • Sawdust... YouSirName 2012/01/24 07:09:31
    Sawdust_128
    +1
    WOLF: Bending Obamacare’s honesty curve downward
    Growing list of health care lies plagues president’s overhaul

    By Dr. Milton R. Wolf -- The Washington Times

    FYI Wolf just happens to be Obozo's cousin.

    http://www.washingtontimes.co...
  • jeane 2012/01/24 00:39:34
    jeane
    +2
    Let just pass Obamacare and see what is in it!
  • Welshtaff jeane 2012/01/24 02:46:59
    Welshtaff
    You sound like Pelosi and the Democrats " Wait untill it passes and you can see whats in it" Yeah right! I want to see whats in it first, I get real pissed when I have been taken for a fool and thats what the American Citizens is getting " The wool pulled over their eyes" the problem with Democrats is they think they are smart and everyone else is stupid and its just the reverse.
  • jeane Welshtaff 2012/01/24 02:52:44
    jeane
    +2
    sorry I was being "SARCASTIC"!!
  • Welshtaff jeane 2012/01/24 03:09:13
    Welshtaff
    +1
    I beg your forgiveness Jean, I took it the wrong way. I just finished reading a lot of how wonderful the Demo's are and it took me to the edge, something I rarely do.
  • jeane Welshtaff 2012/01/24 03:10:42
    jeane
    +1
    HAHA - I do the same thing all of the time!
  • Welshtaff jeane 2012/01/24 03:20:50
    Welshtaff
    +2
    You don't know how I feel about doing that. glad you have a good sense of humor, I will be more carefull in the future LOL. Thanks

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