Obamacare was on life support after the election of Senator Scott Brown but President Obama is trying to resuscitate it. After a couple of weeks of pretending to make jobs his number one priority for 2010, Obama is pushing hard again on his favorite big government program against the wishes of the majority of the American people.
The New York Times is urging him forward:
Mr. Obama and Democratic leaders should fight to win.
Obama’s $950 billion plan, posted yesterday on the Internet, is going in the wrong direction – actually making Obamacare even sicker in three significant respects. It adds more spending. It adds more taxes, including on the middle class through an increase in the Medicare payroll tax. And it adds more federal bureaucracy and control of the health care sector. Meanwhile, the Congressional Budget Office director, Douglas W. Elmendorf, said that he needed more detail than the White House has provided to assess its cost impact. Way to go, Barack!
Instead of removing the insurance industry’s antitrust exemption and allowing competition across state lines, he proposes federal price controls on the health insurance industry – an industry that is making a modest 3.4 percent profit margin according to data provided by Morningstar.
The key to reforming health care – including the health insurance industry – is to rein in costs. Nothing does that more effectively than healthy competition, which the Republicans have proposed to deafening silence from Obama and the Democratic leaders in Congress. They will not permit competition among health insurers across state lines. Another cost-saving measure is to make it more difficult for the Democrats’ biggest donors – trial lawyers - to bring frivolous malpractice lawsuits which force doctors and hospitals to order unnecessary expensive tests for defensive purposes. I bet those trial lawyers have a much higher profit margin than 3.4%!
The unconstitutional mandate requiring everyone in America to buy health insurance (with a few hardship exemptions) is still in Obama’s new plan, with stiffened penalties to enforce it. And finally there is nothing in Obama’s new plan that guarantees us that we and our doctors will have the final say on our own medical treatment. More federal databases and ‘expert’ committees deciding what is and what is not medically necessary will take away our control over our own health decisions.
Obama’s plan will make us sicker – as individuals and as a nation.