Friday, July 13, 2012

Obamacare simplified: 961 pages to one paragraph

From Richard Nikoley's blog, something that has been floating around anonymously (incorrectly attributed to Donald Trump):
Let me get this straight. We're going to be "gifted" with a health care plan we are forced to purchase and fined if we don't, which purportedly covers at least ten million more people, without adding a single new doctor, but provides for 16,000 new IRS agents, written by a committee whose chairman says he doesn't understand it, passed by a Congress that didn't read it but exempted themselves from it, and signed by a President who smokes, with funding administered by a treasury chief who didn't pay his taxes, for which we'll be taxed for four years before any benefits take effect, by a government which has already bankrupted Social Security and Medicare, all to be overseen by a surgeon general who is obese, and financed by a country that's broke!!!!! What the hell could possibly go wrong?
The actual law is here with its addition here, and the regulations created afterward could be five times as long as the Obamacare statutes!

A lot of Americans wanted their free health care. Now they're going to get it "good and hard," as H.L. Mencken would have predictedIt shouldn't surprise us a whit that so many somehow think this gives them "health care," when all it does is make them pay for insurance that they were free to get in the first place. "Tax credits" to help people pay? Paid for by whom, a government that is already $1 trillion in debt each year? "The rich" who already pay two-thirds of income taxes, and will readily repatriate to Singapore or Switzlerland?

Somehow people think that their premiums won't go up now that health insurance providers must pay a "fee." Think on that irony: Obamacare was declared "constitutional" because it's a tax (though Obama said before the fine for not having insurance is not a tax), but it's fine for the federal government to assess a "fee" on health insurance providers.

Somehow people think their premiums won't go up after they add to their existing policy their 26-year-old "children" -- who likely didn't have insurance before and now will have less hesitation to visit a doctor, for the very fact that they now have insurance. How do they think doctor bills and insurance payouts won't go up and be passed on to the family?

Somehow people think their premiums won't go up even though Obamacare is making them pay for the riskiest, sickest patients. It's not the government who's paying, it's the holders of private insurance policies. When someone who has cancer, who never had insurance, finally decides to get a policy and cannot be turned away under Obamacare, and gets to pay the same as anyone else, then gets tens of thousands of dollars of chemotherapy treatment each year for a few thousand dollars a year in premiums, how can insurance companies not pass the costs to everyone else?

The argument "but you already pay premiums for sick people" does not count. It's actually that premiums pay for those who aren't so sick that the insurance company will lose money. It's different if a person already had a policy, because the insurance company's actuaries already factored the person in. If you've had years of cancer treatments, no actuary would take a risk, because you're a guaranteed loss. Some will say that it's "cold" to deny someone treatment by not giving a policy because of pre-existing conditions. In fact, an insurance company is not denying the treatment, for which a person can try to find other means. The type of charity I prefer is when some local kid needs an operation, and the family prays they can raise the money by fliers and word of mouth. What's actually "cold" is forcing a company to lose money, or make its other customers pay more. If the company can't charge more to its other clients, then workers get paid less, and some may be laid off while others' efficiency is squeezed.

Even when I was a teenager, simple logic made it evident that legislation against so-called "drive-by births" necessarily meant higher insurance premiums. A mother with insurance and her newborn stay in the hospital longer, the hospital bills the insurance company, and the insurance company pays out more. Or, a mother paying cash and her newborn stay in the hospital longer, and the hospital bills them more because the first mother's insurance company is balking. "So let's just have the government stop the hospitals and insurers from billing more!" people think. Do they think their grocery stores, clothes retailers and auto mechanics don't raise prices when their operating expenses do? Or do they think "higher taxes on the rich" will pay for it?

Economies work the way they do because production is finite (in fact, economics is simply the study of what people produce and why). Putting aside the immorality of seizing people's property, as I've explained since the very beginning of my blog, taxing "the rich" just means they have less to spend on other things. People of lower incomes might get "tax credits" that are "paid for" by "higher taxes" on high incomes, but it will be exactly offset by "the rich" spending less on all sorts of products, especially luxury products. This means companies will have reduced sales, requiring them to cut back on employees' hours or simply employees. Most Americans are just too ignorant to realize this, instead wanting to believe in a mythology that somehow it only takes a "brave" politician to make companies "do the right thing."

I've said from the day Obama flip-flopped on the "individual mandate"

"When Clinton says a mandate, it's not a mandate on government to provide health insurance, it's a mandate on individuals to purchase it. Massachusetts has a mandate right now. They have exempted 20% of the uninsured because they have concluded that that 20% can't afford it. There are people who are paying fines and still can't afford it, so now they're worse off than they were. They don't have health insurance and they're paying a fine. To force people to get health insurance, you've got to have a very harsh penalty, and Clinton has said that we won't go after their wages." - Barack Obama, February 21, 2008
that it's all a ploy. The whole of Obamacare was specifically designed to make insurance so expensive so that the federal government would come to the rescue with a "public option," further driving insurance companies into the ground and eventually leaving us with just the feds.

And John Roberts can stick a rectal probe up himself. I'm acquainted with his mother-in-law and see her a few times a year, and if she weren't such a sweet lady, I'd have some choice words to say about her son-in-law.


Blogger Travis Jones said...

No. Sentencing somebody to the ultimatum of choosing between death or ending up in crippling debt is what's 'cold'. A company losing money isn't anything. Where is your humanity? Do you think Jesus cares if a company loses money? Some Christian.

I've never seen a corporation care much about whether their customers lost money or not, as long as it ends up in their coffers and not their competitors. Why should the same not be true in reverse?

Don't be such a typical partisan mouthpiece.

Monday, February 18, 2013 2:10:00 AM  
Blogger Perry Eidelbus said...

Actually, Travis, you're the one being a typical partisan mouthpiece. If you weren't such a liberal troll who reacts so knee-jerk to everything, you'd realize I actually don't belong to either party. It's fools like you that assume because I don't support this or that, then I must be one of those evil right-wing Christian gun-toting warmongering extremists. Guess again.

And you foolishly assume there's this magic wand to give everybody free health care, without economic or even social consequences. Every time you make an insurance company pay out more, it might save a child who needs a heart transplant, but what about the laid-off workers? What about their own children who then don't have health insurance? Oh, you'd say, let's just raise taxes and insure everybody regardless. So then the waiter might get free health care for his family, but after losing his job, they lose their house and can only afford a small apartment. You liberals never stop to think that when you're pulling on all these threads, you'll inevitably unravel much more than you ever anticipated.

Jesus wants people to take care of others. There's no glory to God, no honor, if you simply pay taxes because a government forces you to, then let the government do the supposed good works for you. That's not charity in any wise.

If you call yourself a Christian but want to force others to pay for the lives of others, then your perjorative "Some Christian" applies only to you and your own hypocritical behavior. Try reading Matthew 25 and tell me how Jesus wanted the poor and sick taken care of. I don't see government in there at all.

Monday, February 18, 2013 11:43:00 AM  
Blogger Austen Ballad said...

Dear Mr. Eidelbus,

Tom Paine could not have said it better. However, there's one point you make that needs emendation, namely, "If you've had years of cancer treatments, no actuary would take a risk, because you're a guaranteed loss." Well, no worry...let's remember those 'expert panels" empowered to serve as Obamacare's "actuaries." They will deny treatment with a smile because it will all be for the greater good, dontcha know (as Sarah Palin would say).

Thursday, February 21, 2013 2:07:00 PM  

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