Monday, December 21, 2009

Left-Right Convergence On Opposition to the Health Care Plan

While you've got Democrats in Congress still trying to pin opposition to the health care plan on far right wing tea party groups and Aryan groups just as Democrat Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) did over the weekend, it looks like there's a right-left convergence on finding the whole health care plan one big fiasco.

It will do nothing to reduce costs, and will in fact increase costs to many in the middle class.

Jane Hamsher (firedoglake, who also posts at HuffPo) makes many of the same criticisms I have done for weeks about the costs of this plan, and how Democrats have hidden the true cost of this plan in plain sight by imposing taxes and fees immediately, but phasing in the actual health care changes over a period of three years so that it looks like everything is balanced over a 10-year period, when it will most certainly lead to deficits once the cushion disappears.
Top 10 Reasons to Kill Senate Health Care Bill

1. Forces you to pay up to 8% of your income to private insurance corporations — whether you want to or not.
2. If you refuse to buy the insurance, you’ll have to pay penalties of up to 2% of your annual income to the IRS.
3. Many will be forced to buy poor-quality insurance they can’t afford to use, with $11,900 in annual out-of-pocket expenses over and above their annual premiums.
4. Massive restriction on a woman’s right to choose, designed to trigger a challenge to Roe v. Wade in the Supreme Court.
5. Paid for by taxes on the middle class insurance plan you have right now through your employer, causing them to cut back benefits and increase co-pays.
6. Many of the taxes to pay for the bill start now, but most Americans won’t see any benefits — like an end to discrimination against those with preexisting conditions — until 2014 when the program begins.
7. Allows insurance companies to charge people who are older 300% more than others.
8. Grants monopolies to drug companies that will keep generic versions of expensive biotech drugs from ever coming to market.
9. No re-importation of prescription drugs, which would save consumers $100 billion over 10 years.
10. The cost of medical care will continue to rise, and insurance premiums for a family of four will rise an average of $1,000 a year — meaning in 10 years, your family’s insurance premium will be $10,000 more annually than it is right now.
As I've previously pointed out, the Democrats' proposals do nothing to control costs - only shifting around who pays for the premiums, the individual or the taxpayers in general. That was one of the reasons that President Obama pushed a health care reform package in the first place; to reduce the cost of care, but this bill does none of that. It only adjusts who pays for the already skyrocketing costs of care.

The changes may well result in still higher costs, as more people seek out doctors for care at a time when the medical profession isn't seeing a huge influx of new doctors and health care professionals.

Greater demand plus constant supply = higher prices.

If Congress mandates lower reimbursement rates, that means doctors and hospitals will take it on the chin again, and will not recoup their own costs. That will drive doctors out of the profession, creating a vicious feedback loop.

So, at a time when Democrats are claiming that only the far right is opposed to this health care folly, it looks like we're seeing a convergence of opposition based on a shared understanding of what the Democrats in Congress are proposing to do.

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