Wednesday

Health care for everyone; or else.


I cannot believe my eyes. It’s as if a fell asleep and woke up in an alternate reality. Is our government really on the verge of forcing citizens to purchase health care insurance? America needs to wake up and smell the fascism before we slide any further towards the abyss.

This article was found festering amid the diseased flesh that is MSNBC and the state run media. If it were not for the fact that I found it on an alleged “reputable” site I may have taken it for a bad joke. I’m not laughing and neither should you.

The article follows (excerpts are in bold):

Everyone into the risk pool — or else ‘Individual mandate’ to buy health insurance is key to universal coverage

Both those Americans who can’t afford to buy health insurance and those who have decided to get by without it will face the same order from congressional Democrats as they prepare legislation to overhaul health care: buy health insurance. And if they can’t afford the coverage, taxpayers will help them pay for it.

By what right are they planning to mandate health care insurance? This is a clear usurpation of power not delegated to the federal government. Beyond the obvious implications of allowing such a power grab it sets precedence for even more far reaching and draconian deprivations of our rights.

This coming from the party that thought Bush’s Patriot act was fascist. How quaint, they seemed to have changed their tune and once again redefined the rules to suit their agenda.

The reform bills offered by both Senate and House Democrats would impose an individual mandate — a requirement that everyone obtain health insurance. Taxpayer-provided subsidies would go to lower-income Americans if they could not afford to purchase it. The Senate health committee’s draft bill would require all legal residents of the United States to have insurance and would penalize people who did not obtain insurance, except those with incomes below about $16,250. The House Democrats’ bill has a similar provision.

“Penalize people who do not obtain insurance”? How is that even possible? (Rhetorical question) This “progressive” meddling is an anathema to everything this nation stands for. If people do not want health insurance it is their right to forgo it without penalty. There is a term for such "strong arm" tactics implemented for the “good of the nation”; FASCISM.

In the most recent Census estimate, published last August, nearly 46 million people, or about 15 percent of the population, were without health insurance in 2007. That number has risen during the recession as people have been laid off and lost their employer-sponsored health coverage. The national unemployment rate has risen from 5.6 percent in June of 2008 to 9.5 percent last month. A study done by the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured estimates that for every one percentage point increase in the unemployment rate, there’s a 0.59 percent increase in the percentage of uninsured adults. A 10 percent unemployment rate would equate to 5.8 million additional people being uninsured, according to the Kaiser study.

These numbers, dubious as they are, fail to take into account that the young and “well to do” often forgo coverage of their own accord. The average 18 year old does not believe it is an expense worthy of their hard earned money and the affluent can afford to pay for it out of pocket. Which makes mandating health care insurance just another way to tax an already over burdened populace.

One reason that the topic of the uninsured has loomed large in the current debate, economists say, is that enrolling the healthy uninsured can improve insurance risk pooling and may help control costs over time.

Right, I get it, let’s all take the hit for the good of the downtrodden and based on nothing more substantial than “may help control costs over time”.

“One of the goals of health reform is to create broader-based risk pools,” said health care economist Linda Blumberg, a former advisor to President Bill Clinton who is now at the non-partisan Urban Institute in Washington. “The more healthy people that we can bring in, the lower will be the average cost in that risk pool.”

The more healthy people they can “force” in, is what she meant to say.

Seeking a mix of risks She explained, “If we just open the pool and don’t require everybody to come in, then we’re making it a high-risk pool. The only people who are going to end up in that pool are going to be the sick. To make those pools sustainable over time we need a mix of risks — we need both the sick and the healthy in.”

And we can all join hands and sing “Amazing Grace” while the government rifles through our pockets for spare change. This is just unbelievable.

If Congress imposes an individual mandate, she said, “you’re bringing in higher-income people who aren’t going to be subsidized and you’re bringing in the people who are healthier and didn’t expect to use medical care.” There’s more than one risk pool: the uninsured would be buying insurance in the individual market, the small-business market, or through a new “health insurance exchange,” a federally regulated Web-based marketplace similar to a travel Web site such as Orbitz. Paul Fronstin at the Employment Benefit Research Institute, a nonpartisan research group in Washington, said, “To some degree, requiring the (healthy) uninsured to have coverage is simply bringing them into the system to cross-subsidize the people that already have coverage.”

I know this is going to sound cruel and insensitive, but why is this my problem? Why must I be taxed on my employer benefits or be shoved off into a public plan? The government can muddle about in socialism without screwing around with my existing benefits. That is not an endorsement of socialized medicine. The government’s track record on health insurance is a dismal failure. Look at the shape Medicare is in. As far as it goes we already have health insurance for the poor, its called Medicaid. Why is there such a rush to push the rest of us into the failed abomination that is government health care? (Another rhetorical question)

Bringing in the healthy uninsured will reduce the average cost of care, Fronstin said, “because you’ve brought in more people in paying, but not necessarily more people using health care.”
See we are back to the whole redistribution of wealth. They want to force healthy individuals into the plan in the hopes that they won’t use it and the surplus can be used to fund the otherwise indigent. This is not the America envisioned by the founding fathers. This is not the America I grew up in.

He added, “We’re assuming that this (uninsured) population is healthier on average than the general population. We know that because they are younger on average than the overall population.”
Younger and apparently more than willing to be fleeced by a new government boondoggle.

According to the Kaiser Commission, nearly one-third of the uninsured in 2007 were between ages 19 and 29 and another 42 percent were between ages 30 and 54. An essential element of the Democrats' proposals is “guaranteed issue” — a requirement that insurers not turn away people who are sickly and have high medical costs.

Why would they, they have all these young healthy sheep to foot the bill for the others.

“It’s a package deal,” Fronstin said. “You can’t have an individual mandate without guaranteed issue — and you can’t have guaranteed issue without an individual mandate. If we’re going to require insurance companies to sell people insurance independent of their health status, then everyone has to be in the system. Otherwise people are going to wait until they get sick to buy health care.”
Wait, you’re saying that waiting until your sick to seek health care is in some way wrong? I rarely repair my car until it’s broken. That’s not to scoff at the benefits of routine maintenance, or in the case of people preventative medicine, but minus government intervention the average American could afford to do that out of pocket sans insurance.

During last year's presidential campaign, President Barack Obama supported mandating coverage for children, but not for adults. But in a June 2 letter to Sen. Edward Kennedy, D- Mass., the chairman of the Senate health committee, and Sen. Max Baucus, D- Montana, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, the president signaled his openness to an individual mandate: "I understand the Committees are moving towards a principle of shared responsibility — making every American responsible for having health insurance coverage, and asking that employers share in the cost."
I really hate this deranged view of the American people. It’s not sharing if you are forced to do it, it is fascism.

The way to make certain that uninsured people obtain insurance is a combination of incentives — subsidies for the low-income uninsured — and financial penalties for more affluent uninsured who try to get by without insurance.

Aaaaaaahhhhhhh! The government simply does not have the right. Think about this for a minute. If the government has the right to mandate health insurance for the good of the country then they also have a right to mandate changes in behavior for the same reason. You want to eat a Big Mac and large fries; sorry that is not good for the country. You want to smoke, drink (and for you Marijuana advocates out there) smoke a little doobie now and then you are going to find yourself mandated into compliance for the common good. Hope you like a little progressivism with your burger.

And what about lower-income and middle-income people who are currently struggling to keep paying their health insurance premiums? “You can’t just subsidize the uninsured because that would create real inequities,” said Blumberg. “You don’t want to penalize the people who are sacrificing to buy health insurance.”
Cost of subsidies: $700 billion This will be a costly proposition: the Senate health committee bill calls for more than $700 billion in taxpayer subsidies over 10 years to help low-income people buy insurance. And then there are those who could buy insurance but prefer not to. The task for Congress will be to devise penalties that prod these people into becoming paying members of a risk pool.

Prod, force, or terrorize; I guess it’s all a matter of semantics. When you’re the one being forced to spend money on unwanted and unnecessary expenses (aka taxes) the terminology ceases to be important.

As Fronstin and Murray Ross of the Kaiser Permanente Institute for Health Policy said in a recent analysis: “While there is considerable reluctance to criminalize being uninsured, having only token financial penalties would miss the point.” Fronstin said, “The crucial difficulty is finding that financial penalty sweet spot. If it’s too low, then you’re going to have a lot of people who just pay the penalty.”
WTF? A penalty sweet spot? Are we talking about golf or fascist policies? Who even suggested criminalizing this? I need to know so I can make it my life’s mission to have this moron voted out of office. On the up side if you were arrested for failing to have health insurance you would be covered by the prison system.

Since neither the House nor the Senate has debated legislation yet, many of these important details remain unknown.

They will remain unknown because they will not be openly debated. This oppressive legislation will slip through in the wee hours, behind closed doors and unread by anyone voting on it.

The House Democrats’ bill gives broad authority to a new Health Choices Commissioner who would oversee the health insurance exchanges and the system of subsidies for low-income people.

Just another unaccountable proxy who can be blamed for doing exactly what he was told to do. Just another way to short circuit the constitution in the name of the greater good.

Higher spending in the short run One thing seems certain: even though the dominant theme of the debate so far has been the need to achieve cost savings, insuring the uninsured isn’t a cost savings measure, at least not in the short run.

Duh!

If an individual mandate became law, there would be higher — not lower — national health care spending, at least initially, said MIT health care economist Jonathan Gruber. “Higher for sure in the short run,” Gruber said. “If you newly cover 47 million folks, costs are going to go up. But hopefully this can lower costs in the long run” as people use medical care more efficiently.

Hopefully? I for one have had my fill of hope and for that matter change. What is being proposed is not just a change to our health care system but to the very fabric of our nation. When the smoke clears Obama will stand victoriously over the corpse of freedom and America will be resigned to a footnote in history: They had it all and gave it away without even a whimper of protest.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Be respectful or be deleted. Your choice.