American Elephants

Stop! In God’s Name, Just Stop! by The Elephant's Child

You would think President Obama would be overwhelmed with all he has on his desk: the big Cairo speech, the Chrysler bankruptcy, the GM bankruptcy, a jobs report that says the economy has lost another 345,000 jobs in May, clear evidence that the stimulus isn’t working, his wife and kids off shopping in Paris, nobody wants the prisoners from Guantanamo, a federal deficit that is projected to reach $1.8 trillion this fiscal year, a Cap-and-Trade bill that will raise costs for everything we buy, and little things like National Security, a War in Iraq, a War in Afghanistan, so now  he wants to reform the entire American health care system, and get it done by August.

The official scorekeeper for health reform legislation in Congress has stated that the reforms proposed by the administration could — increase costs.

The administration proposes three main reforms in order to reduce costs:

  1. increased use of information technology, especially medical records.
  2. disease management, especially follow-up on chronic diseases.
  3. comparative effectiveness research, or cost-benefit analysis to find the best treatment for each cost dollar.

The Congressional Budget Office says these reforms could increase costs.  The reforms won’t work, and there are no incentives here to encourage doctors or patients to seek cost-effective care. CBO suggested— improving incentives.

The result?  Shoot the messenger!  “Budget Scolds” from the Washington Post, “The bean counters who could kill healthcare reform” from The New Republic. The trouble is that outside research pretty much agrees with the CBO.

American families over the last year have lost 8 percent of their net worth partly as a result of  clumsy government meddling.  If Obama has his way they will soon be hit with a 100 percent increase in public debt.  Without the Obama surge in debt and the taxes that will entail, taxpayers will face the prospect of 60 to 70 percent income tax rates in the future to pay for the $48 trillion of unfunded liabilities under existing entitlement programs.  So the President wants to top that off with a universal health care entitlement.

There was some mention a while back about raising taxes only on “the rich.”  Uh huh.  If the cost of everything you buy goes up dramatically, that’s not technically a tax, is it?  But a little inflation here, a little inflation there, and first thing you know everybody’s poor.  Or something like that.

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I read somewhere, that the proposed bills going through congressional committees right now contain language suggesting forced insurance offering by all employers, and that private citizens would be required to take on a health insurance plan or face a new tax/fee if they refuse. Any truth on this?


Comment by Mike Lovell

Under the Kennedy bill, everyone will be required to have a “qualified” health insurance plan or pay a new tax. Employers would have to offer insurance.
Go to (2 Ns,2 Ss) He was President Bush’s senior economic adviser. He is thoroughly exploring the whole thing. At James Capretta also writes a lot on this mess. Hennessey takes apart the “Kennedy bill”


Comment by The Elephant's Child

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