Obama's foreign policy: screw our friends, reward our enemies ...
Blaming Netanyahu for impeding the peace process ...

IS OBAMA PLANNING TO DESTROY A FUNCTIONING HEALTHCARE SYSTEM WHICH SERVES 85% AND REPLACE IT WITH AN UNKNOWN SYSTEM TO COVER AN ADDITIONAL 15%? (Updated)

UPDATE: 07-17-09 NEW ESTIMATES SHOW THE COST HAS RISEN TO $1.6 TRILLION ...

According to the Associated Press ... "Senate sources say the latest cost estimates for health care legislation are around $1.6 trillion over 10 years. Two Senate staffers, one Democratic and one Republican, said Congressional Budget Office estimates put the cost of the Finance Committee version of the bill at around $1.6 trillion. A third staffer, a Finance Committee Democratic aide, indicated committee members are working to lower the cost to less than $1 trillion over 10 years, a level preferred by the Obama administration."

"The staffers spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of negotiations over the legislation. Cost problems have slowed work on the sweeping legislation." <Source>

UPDATE: 07-16-09 OBAMA IS GLOSSING OVER THE TRUTH ...

Thank heaven for the Congressional Budget Office which takes its non-partisan task seriously and is immune from external political influences. Read the analysis carefully, your life depends on it.

CBO Analysis of Kennedy Healthcare Legislation
June 15, 2009 pdf -Letter to the Honorable Edward M. Kennedy


Health Care Reform and the Federal Budget
June 16, 2009   pdf  blog
Letter to the Honorable Kent Conrad and the Honorable Judd Gregg

"The attached table summarizes our preliminary assessment of the proposal’s budgetary effects and its likely impact on insurance coverage. According to that assessment, enacting the proposal would result in a net increase in federal budget deficits of about $1.0 trillion over the 2010–2019 period. Once the proposal was fully implemented, about 39 million individuals would obtain coverage through the new insurance exchanges. At the same time, the number of people who had coverage through an employer would decline by about 15 million (or roughly 10 percent), and coverage from other sources would fall by about 8 million, so the net decrease in the number of people uninsured would be about 16 million."

Not only is this not a complete cost analysis, since at least two major costs are omitted from the analysis, but the uninsured numbers include at least 9-12 million illegal aliens.

Folks, its about power and money -- and a toxic ideology which would destroy the current healthcare programs for the vast majority of taxpayers and citizens to allow an additional 16 million people -- not the 47 million number bandied about -- to be covered with a system which features healthcare rationing to all but the wealthy, powerful and those who are politically connected. This is downright unacceptable and un-American. But then I may ask, what do you expect from a drunken, lecherous representative who allowed a young girl to drown to pursue his political ambitions? A man who has existed on nothing more than family connections and influence-peddling for years. The face of the current democrat party.

The Congressional budget office notes that: "

The proposal would have significant effects on the number of people who are enrolled in health insurance plans, the sources of that coverage, and the federal budget." It's your health and that of your family that is at stake -- guard it as you would your freedom and citizenship.

 


Response to Questions About Health Care Industry Stakeholders' Proposals
June 16, 2009   pdf  blog
Letter to the Honorable Dave Camp

Original Blog Entry ...

Whatever they say about the current private/public healthcare system now functioning in America, it is immeasurably better than those found in Britain and Canada. And in spite of far-left claims, better than the healthcare systems in Marxist and Communist countries.

Before letting the democrats embark on medical adventurism, let us consider their past record taking care of smaller and more well-defined constituencies: the American Indians and providing healthcare to America’s veterans. An experience which is described by the great majority of coerced participants as horrible and unacceptable.

Now we find President Barack Obama doing the unconscionable – planning to reduce the present day coverage of a functioning system which serves approximately 85% of the population in order to better serve a target audience of 15% – which is said to be comprised of a significant number of illegal aliens.

According to the Washington Post …

Trims to Medicare, Medicaid Are Proposed to Help Fund Reform

“President Obama yesterday outlined measures to trim spending on federal health programs for the elderly and the poor by an additional $313 billion over the next decade, bringing his total proposed savings close to the amount necessary to cover the cost of his signature health-care plan, a top adviser said.”

Is this the very same Administration, led by a rank amateur with little or no legislative or executive experience, which presided over an emergency stimulus bill that was to limit costs and has ballooned into the trillions?

“In his weekly radio address, Obama proposed limiting the growth of Medicare fee-for-service payments, taking hospitals and other health-care providers at their word that they will reduce costs. He also proposed cutting subsidies to hospitals that treat uninsured patients on the theory that such payments will decline as more people are covered through his plan.”

The President is a freaking far-left Marxist loon if he thinks that reading a prepared message on a TelePrompTer is sufficient to reform the healthcare system. Obama has repeatedly said that improvements to electronic health recordkeeping and management would result in significant savings – something that is unlikely to happen in the next ten years.

“The president also called for reducing payments to drug companies that serve Medicare recipients. Advisers declined to release details, saying the idea is still under discussion.”

Is this the Obama modus operandi – paint the grand picture with broad brush strokes and then let a 31 year-old with no industry experience run the program? It seems to be what happened to the auto industry. And while there are alternatives to purchasing another car, who is going to supply health services if he wrecks the system?

Of course, there are no details – there is no plan – only lofty words written by a speechwriter.

" ‘These savings underscore the fact that securing quality, affordable health care for the American people is tied directly to insisting upon fiscal responsibility,’ Obama said. ‘And these savings are rooted in the same principle that must guide our broader approach to reform: We will fix what's broken, while building upon what works.’"

Obama is full of crap. First, when the government cuts payments to medical service providers, it is not synonymous with “savings.” Second, Obama’s Administration has yet to demonstrate fiscal responsibility in any area they have touched – and refuses to take responsibility for what they have done, preferring to blame it on former President Bush’s Administration. Third, and most importantly, his claim to fix what’s broken and build upon what works is nothing more than code words for rationed healthcare.

The way it works is that the government compiles a list of so-called “best practices” which track outcomes of medical treatments. Because experimental treatments and treatments for the elderly in the later stages of their lives seem to have expected poor outcomes, this becomes a reason for denying “life extending” or “life saving” care in your later years when it is needed the most. Sorry folks, go off in a corner and die to save expenses for the younger illegal aliens which are most likely to be liberal democrats.

“Obama and his senior advisers have identified rising health-care costs as the biggest long-term drag on the federal budget, mainly because of the sharply escalating costs of the Medicare and Medicaid programs. He has said that reining in health-care costs is the key to reducing the deficit and has vowed that his plans for reform will require no additional borrowing.”

The biggest drag on our federal budget is waste, fraud, corruption, mismanagement and the funding of unnecessary programs that reward special interests with stranglehold on political fundraising. The likelihood that Obama’s reform will require no additional borrowing is pure and utter bullshit. Or if they are sincere, it will involve printing more money and devaluing the dollar even further.

“The radio address capped a week during which Obama emphasized in and away from Washington the importance of health-care reform. He held a town hall forum in Green Bay, Wis., on Thursday, and he asked that this fall, congressional leaders send him legislation extending health insurance to the 47 million Americans without it. As he said in his radio message yesterday, ‘I know some question whether we can afford to act this year. But the unmistakable truth is that it would be irresponsible to not act.’"

It would be irresponsible for Congress to pass legislation crafted by lobbyists and political hacks  (most likely without reading or understanding it) implementing Obama’s pipe dream of universal healthcare.

The Obama Administration is planning to implement the biggest real-time government health database to track individuals in the history of man. This from a government which cannot track legal immigrants arriving and departing from our nation.

“His offer of new spending cuts comes against a backdrop of public concern over the nation's fiscal health and long-term spending plans that even he has acknowledged would lead to ‘unsustainable’ deficits. His 10-year budget would shrink the $1.3 trillion annual deficit left by the Bush administration before allowing it to widen again in its final years.”

Ten years? He will be gone in 4 years, possible (heaven forbid) 8 years. He can’t project what will happen in two years, let along ten years.

Obama has just pushed the nation’s debt far beyond the combined expenditures of every president since George Washington to former President Bush and he still speaks of the Bush Administration’s deficit. This budget and the deficit is owned by Obama and cannot be blamed on anyone else.

“By requiring cuts in federal payments to health providers, the measures would go a long way toward ensuring that innovations produce savings for the federal government and restrain runaway growth in spending on Medicare and Medicaid.”

Doctors are already over-scheduled and can hardly spend more that 15 minutes with a patient. The quality of doctors has steadily declined while the number of doctors with foreign schooling and credentials has steadily risen. Many prospective medical students look at the system, the lifestyle and turn to other professions.

Medical devices such as the CT, PET, MRI scanners become more expensive each year – and since the tests are necessary for screening and providing quality healthcare, there are only a few options to curtail these costs – one of which involves mass manufacturing the devices to bring down costs. But, like computers, they are always subject to improvement, so these costs are likely to continue to rise.

Congressional budget analysts agree that the approach will save money, and the Senate Finance Committee has included two of Obama's biggest money-saving ideas on a list of financing strategies.”

What approach? No specific plans were presented or submitted for costing. The Senate Finance Committee is thoroughly corrupt and the government’s books are being cooked. We can hardly trust them for an objective answer since they are so blinded by a toxic ideology. Want to see up close and personal the government’s interference in business affairs – look at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac!

" ‘We are examining a wide range of options as we work with the president to craft bipartisan legislation that can become law this year,’ Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.), the Finance Committee chairman, said yesterday in a statement. He applauded Obama's ‘commitment to our shared goals of lowering health care costs and ensuring quality, affordable care for all Americans.’"

Bipartisanship – bullshit! The democrats locked the Republicans, who represent approximately 46-48% of the voting public, out of the meetings when they drew up their last two spending bills. It is unlikely that this will be a bi-partisan effort no matter what is written in Obama’s canned script.

“But many lawmakers are not enthusiastic about slashing payments to hospitals and other providers without clear evidence that the cuts will not hurt patients back home. Even small cuts on the Senate Finance Committee list have provoked widespread grumbling.”

“Aides in the Senate Finance and House Ways and Means committees, whose members are working to draft health reform financing plans, said yesterday that Obama's new proposals would ‘raise some hackles’ and spur ‘some pushback.’"

Some pushback? How about tossing all of the current crop of legislators out of office for being complacent or complicit while the current Administration further destroys America’s economy and foreign policy?  ‘

Obama’s big lie …

The cuts Obama proposed yesterday would bring the total savings he has identified to pay for health-care reform to $950 billion, an amount that may still not be enough to cover the full cost of reform. Some outside analysts have said that Congress may have to spend $1.5 trillion or more over the next decade to extend coverage to all Americans.”

Someone needs to explain to me how “savings” translate into the expenditure of $1.5 TRILLION?

"These savings will come from common-sense changes," Obama said. "For example, if more Americans are insured, we can cut payments that help hospitals treat patients without health insurance. If the drugmakers pay their fair share, we can cut government spending on prescription drugs."

Is this man a moron? If he reduces payments to drug companies, just who is going to spend the hundreds of millions required to research and bring a drug to market? Or is Obama prepared to use the American public as one big trial population for new drugs?

Lawmakers have yet to finalize details of the reform plans moving through Congress, much less submit them to congressional budget analysts for a cost assessment. White House budget director Peter Orszag said $950 billion is ‘in the ballpark’ of the plans under consideration. Congressional sources confirmed that, saying lawmakers are looking at plans that would cost about $1 trillion over the next decade, with the annual cost ramping up to about $150 billion by 2019.”

They admit they don’t have the details and cannot submit them to the analysts for a cost assessment, so where are they getting the numbers from? Pulling them out of their ass, like they did with the $700 billion TARP (Troubled Assets Relief Program) because $500 billion sounded puny and $1 trillion sounded like too much?

Again I ask, in what Orwellian world do “savings” cost over a TRILLION dollars? 

“In February, Obama's budget request set aside $635 billion for health-care reform, about half in cuts to Medicare and Medicaid and half in new taxes. Orszag called the additional savings Obama outlined yesterday an ‘unprecedented’ effort to ‘put down in such clarity how reform will be financed.’"

How can Orszag claim clarity when they also admit they can’t submit the plan to legislative analysts to compute the numbers?

“Orszag said the cuts proposed yesterday would save the government money in the short term and ‘spur productivity in a way that does not exist under current law.’ They would also save Medicare patients money -- as much as $43 billion in reduced premiums for prescription drug coverage over the next 10 years.”

Crazy talk? What proposed cuts? They admit there is no plan and no numbers, so what the hell are they talking about? The “details they decline to release?”

In Obama’s world – this is words, nothing but words. How can you claim to save money in the short term while spending additional billions or trillions to ramp up the system? How can you “spur productivity” by adding millions of additional patients to a system which in all likelihood will consist of the same number of medical facilities and doctors? This is more crazy talk from a man seeking to control the population by controlling their healthcare. And as for saving patients money – are they crazy/stupid – the patient will pay much, much more in taxes and assumed obligations than they are presently paying.

After weeks of loud demands for Obama to cut spending, Republicans reacted cautiously to the proposal. House Minority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) said, ‘There is no doubt that Medicare and Medicaid need reform, but serious changes should not be rushed through Congress as part of a new government-run program that will raise taxes and make health care more expensive, costing middle-class families even more.’"

What middle class? The middle class that they are now destroying. They are creating a new class of politically-beholden government workers which will be supported by the productive members of society which will be bled dry for the Marxist experiment that is under way. The Republican lack the will and the balls to openly challenge the Obama Administration. Face it guys, you might as well do the right thing – because if the people get angry enough, you are out of a job.

“Tomorrow, Obama is scheduled to speak in Chicago to the American Medical Association, a trade organization wary of the president's reform plans.”

“Another interest group, AARP, said yesterday that it ‘agrees that there are ways we can eliminate wasteful spending and inefficiencies from Medicare -- such as reducing preventable hospital readmissions or overpayments to drug companies -- that will actually improve care and strengthen the program.’ The organization, known formerly as the American Association of Retired Persons, has 40 million members.”

The AMA is a liberal organization and AARP is nothing but a lobbyist for the group’s leadership. We must remember that AARP was born out of an insurance company’s marketing efforts and today continues to earn much of its money making affinity deals to sell healthcare and other insurance and travel products to senior citizens.

" ‘We want to make certain that any Medicare savings proposals will reduce beneficiaries' premiums and deductibles so that our members realize real savings in their own out of pocket spending, which has been increasing at a rapid rate,’ David Sloane, the group's senior vice president for government relations and advocacy, said in a statement.  ‘At the same time, we also believe that some of these savings should be reinvested in filling the gaps in Medicare coverage.’"

Sloane must be either stupid or a political stooge – reducing beneficiaries’ premiums and deductibles will be offset by higher taxes, lower wages and reduced medical coverage. If Congress does not have the program details, certainly AARP and the AMA don’t have them either. Both organizations are engaging in political posturing for their respective constituencies.

Bottom line …

In the final analysis, to believe either Congress or the Administration can come up with a well-thought out plan for reducing medical costs, improving medical care and enlarging the coverage in the months since January 20, 2009 is to believe in the magic of Obama’s pixie dust.

This is a government which has only slapped on the wrist those who rip off Medicare and Medicaid – and fails to aggressively fight systemic corruption.

My take …

I would be remiss in my duties as a citizen if all I did was piss and moan about the situation without providing a few suggestions.

(1)   Start with prosecuting all fraud.

(2)   Plan to utilize the large amounts of medical equipment and supplies which are simply thrown away because they have been drawn from inventory, charged to a patient and remain unused.

(3)   Reduce the crazy rules which lead to massive overcharges of Medicare Patients with respect to medical supplies and equipment. One example: a wheelchair which costs $500 retail must be leased for 3 months at a cost of $65/month, then the government pays for the next twelve months when the patient is given the opportunity to buy the chair or continue leasing. The equipment companies tell you that by leasing the patient is always able to get repairs, servicing and a loaner if necessary. This results in tremendous profits for the medical supply company and grievous overcharges for the government program. Since only authorized equipment companies can apply for Medicare reimbursement, the individual is prevented from purchasing the products and saving the government program money.

(4)   Eliminate coverage for illegal aliens. Bill back care for foreign nationals to their country of origin or, alternatively, reduce their foreign aid by the same amount. I know of no other nations which will pay for my healthcare if I should become sick or incapacitated in their jurisdiction.

(5)   Set up an open and transparent hospital pricing system that does not gouge the middle class to pay for the indigent. Demand that hospitals use the “most favored nations” billing when billing private patients. That is, patients would get the best price available. Make it a punishable crime to knowingly bill for goods and services which are not received.

(6) Mandate that Congress receives the same medical attention that is available to Medicare recipients and must convert their retirement funds into a 401k structure. No more special privileges for politicians or government workers.

(7)  But most of all, enlarge the insurance company pools to allow everyone to be covered at the “group price.” This would allow individuals who are self-employed or unemployed to purchase insurance coverage at a decent price instead of being gouged under COBRA regulations. This single action would reduce the number of uninsured drastically. There is no reason why insurance companies need to form small pools when they could, for the same cost of administration, form larger pools.

We have destroyed our healthcare system by allowing lobbyists to subvert politicians into inserting insurance companies into the medical care of individuals and then paying them bonuses to curtail costs by denying or reducing service to their customers. Talk about large executive bonuses – here’s a place to start looking. It is self-defeating to continue this practice. We must find a way to disintermediate (remove) superfluous layers of bureaucracy from the healthcare delivery system.

There are many good ideas for improving healthcare and the healthcare delivery system. Unfortunately, they do not seem to come from politicians with a political or self-interest agenda. The biggest start to reforming healthcare is to remove the complacent or corrupt politicians first. And then engage in a meaningful debate about how to make the private sector more responsible and efficient.

DO NOT ALLOW THE OBAMA SOCIALISTS TO DESTROY A FUNCTIONING HEALTHCARE SYSTEM FOR AN UNKNOWN ATTEMPT AT POLITICAL CONTROL OF HEALTHCARE.

-- steve

_______________________________________________

OneCitizenSpeaking: Saying out loud what you may be thinking …

Reference links …

Trims to Medicare, Medicaid Are Proposed to Help Fund Reform

Capture2-11-2009-6.54.19 PM


“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!

“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw

“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”

“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS

"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius

“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell

“Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt." (The people gladly believe what they wish to.) ~Julius Caesar

“Describing the problem is quite different from knowing the solution. Except in politics." ~ OCS


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