American Elephants


Misleading Claims Don’t Inspire Much Confidence! by The Elephant's Child

President Obama is back on the campaign trail.  Yes I know, many will wonder, with some justification, just when he ever left it.  Democrats running for reelection and those running for office for the first time are trying hard to avoid presidential endorsement or even acquaintance.

So Obama is out trying to convince disaffected Democrats that all that change he promised them — is still coming, it just takes time.  He has done everything right, but he has been hampered by the criticism of the evil Republicans who, although Democrats control the entire Congress, still have the nerve to disagree with him.

Mr. Obama’s problems, however, are largely of his own making.  He promised change, but most people thought he meant changing the atmosphere in Washington.  They were astonished when they found that he wanted to change the best health care system in the world into a replica of England’s National Health Service, close to the world’s worst.  At least that is the system that Obama’s health care advisers most admire.

The president went on to make his problems worse with promises that have already proved to be false.  People don’t like being misled.

Mr. Obama said over and over that if you like your current coverage, you can keep it.  Many employers will stop offering insurance, benefits will go down and co-pays will go up.  Pilgrim Health in Massachusetts has already announced that its 22,000 seniors will be dropped from Medicare Advantage.

The president said that health-care reform would stop insurance premiums from rising rapidly, but would reduce them by $2,500 a year for a family.  Uh huh.  Ours has just gone up by 16% because of the new mandates.  When you add more people, it costs more.  When you make sure that nobody can be turned down, it costs more. When you insist on all sorts of “preventative” care, that costs more. Elementary school math.  Price-WaterhouseCoopers has found that, with reform, premiums are likely to rise by 111% over the next ten years, compared to an increase of 79% if nothing had been done.

Remember that odd phrase —”bending the cost curve down?” The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services has found that we will spend an estimated $311 billion more over the next ten years than if the bill had never passed.

The bill will cover some of the uninsured, but over 20 million will remain uninsured.  The plan is for Medicaid to cover 30 million more, but there are not enough doctors now for all Medicaid patients, and more and more doctors are refusing to take Medicaid patients because the government does not pay for their costs.

Obama made a big deal of children being able to be covered on their parent’s policies, but parents who could not afford insurance insured their children on inexpensive separate children’s policies to make sure the children were protected. Parents try hard to protect their children. But child-only policies are no longer available, and the parents still cannot afford insurance.

The president promised no tax increase for the middle class, but there are hefty taxes on medical equipment and medical devices.  So no increase in taxes unless you need a cane or a wheelchair, a stent, or a prosthesis.

Employers’ existing plans will not be legal under Obamacare, they will have to change significantly to accommodate all the mandates and regulations to come. As plans get more expensive, they will have to raise premiums to pass the costs along.  But Obamacare puts limits on how expensive a policy can be. Too expensive, and it will just have to be a loss for the insurance company. Private insurers will not operate at a loss, but go out of business.

And this is what we know with a system that is not yet fleshed out with all the mandates and regulations.  The bill, all 2000+ pages of it, establishes dozens and dozens of agencies, bureaus, offices, and departments of this and that — each of which will devise another ream or two of regulations and procedures. Secretary Sebelius is supposed to set this all in motion, and she doesn’t want anyone claiming that anything is not the insurance companies fault.  If you attempt to blame it on the Obama administration, you will have to go to reeducation camp.

Health care doesn’t matter much when you are healthy.  You can pretty much do without it.  Health Care matters when you are sick, or old and frail, or badly hurt. Democrats hate it when you use bad examples from other systems.  They call them “scare stories.”  And of course they are. Because that’s the important question.  How are you treated by a failing system when you are in need? If you don’t like the answer, you don’t just write it off as just a “scare story.” You recognize that could be you, and try to prevent such a situation from ever coming to pass.

John Hinderaker from Power Line assembled some stories from Britain’s National Health Service,  Easy Opinions blog took the Power Line list, and annotated it for easier searching: Annals of Government Medicine, annotated. That is the inevitable end result of ObamaCare.  Did you think the Brits did this on purpose?Progress



Small Business Doesn’t Much Like ObamaCare Either! by The Elephant's Child

Democrats are debating the expiration of the Bush tax cuts.  They particularly want to end any tax cuts that went to “the rich,” for they have been yapping about “tax cuts for the rich” for the last ten years.

This theme sounds good, and is a favorite populist sound bite.  What Democrats refuse to grasp, because they need that sound bite,  is that many of those who are defined as “the rich” are small business owners who file as individuals. If you own a business, even though you may employ many people, there are advantages to filing as an individual rather than incorporating.

Democrats are anxious to blame the Bush tax cuts, and the War in Iraq for the financial crisis.  “The Bush tax cuts substantially reduced 2006 revenues and expanded the budget deficit,” they say. ” Capital gains tax cuts do not pay for themselves,” they say.  “Raising taxes is the best way to raise revenue,” they say.  “The Bush tax cuts are to blame for the projected long-term budget deficits,” they say. No!  No!  Sorry! And just plain wrong!

The economy usually responds strongly to tax cuts.  Capital gains tax revenues doubled following the 2003 tax cut.  Higher tax revenues correlate with economic growth, not tax rates.  Pro-growth tax cuts support incentives for productive behavior.

Obama has already put in place all sorts of taxes and mandates that will make doing business harder, especially for small businesses, whether in ObamaCare or the Financial Reform bill or in new energy requirements and costs.  The uncertainty about what taxes will be raised, how new government bills will affect them when applied, and what rules will make their activities more difficult has business sitting on their hands and not hiring.  Obama has no one to blame but himself for the dismal unemployment scene, but he continues to blame Bush, and thus solves nothing, nothing at all.




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