Thursday, September 23, 2010

Nightmare on Main Street

If you toggle between CNBC and the Fox Business News Channel you quickly learn that business, investors and economists all really despise the Health Care Reform Bill, enacted six months ago today.

If you read virtually any of the polls you already know the public really hates the same health care reform, generally called ObamaCare. I believe that this single bill is the primary cause of the growth of the Tea Party movement and the unexpected Republican resurgence.

It is possible that Republicans will take control of the House, although I fear that is unlikely. But it is a moot point regardless, as without either controlling the Presidency or having a filibuster proof majority in the Senate (60 whopping votes), overturning the bill is virtually impossible.

It sure as hell needs to happen as the bill is quickly becoming the Freddie Kruger of legislation and it haunts our every dream, turning any hope of an economic recovery into a nightmare of recession and possibly depression.

Here, thanks to the editorial page writers of the Washington Examiner are a few bullet points of the current and impending disaster:

» Obamacare won't decrease health care costs for the government. According to Medicare's actuary, it will increase costs. The same is likely to happen for privately funded health care.

» Obamacare won't allow employees or most small businesses to keep the coverage they have and like. By Obama's estimates, as many as 69 percent of employees, 80 percent of small businesses, and 64 percent of large businesses will be forced to change coverage, probably to more expensive plans.

» Obamacare will increase insurance premiums -- in some places, it already has. Insurers, suddenly forced to cover clients' children until age 26, have little choice but to raise premiums, and they attribute to Obamacare's mandates a 1 to 9 percent increase. Obama's only method of preventing massive rate increases so far has been to threaten insurers.

» Obamacare will force seasonal employers -- especially the ski and amusement park industries -- to pay huge fines, cut hours, or lay off employees.

» Obamacare forces states to guarantee not only payment but also treatment for indigent Medicaid patients. With many doctors now refusing to take Medicaid (because they lose money doing so), cash-strapped states could be sued and ordered to increase reimbursement rates beyond their means.

» Obamacare imposes a huge nonmedical tax compliance burden on small business. It will require them to mail IRS 1099 tax forms to every vendor from whom they make purchases of more than $600 in a year, with duplicate forms going to the Internal Revenue Service. Like so much else in the 2,500-page bill, our senators and representatives were apparently unaware of this when they passed the measure.

» Obamacare allows the IRS to confiscate part or all of your tax refund if you do not purchase a qualified insurance plan. The bill funds 16,000 new IRS agents to make sure Americans stay in line.

Read more at the Washington Examiner:
Examiner Editorial: Obamacare is even worse than critics thought


Unknown said...

At this point I am convinced that this Healthcare Bill is exactly what Obama wants.

Bob Keller said...

Lee, I just don't know. We do know that Pelosi and Reid crafted the legislation packing it with gifts, special interest perks, compromisies and pork.

I think Obama felt it was the best compromise he could get. But Obama was (and is) a very weak President in way over his head.

Our problem is that I don't believe President Obama is very bright, lacking both raw intelligence and street smarts. He won't read the tea leaves like Bill Clinton did and build consensus and compromise.

I see little chance for any real reform and no chance for repeal until Obama is forced out in 2012.

Doc Häagen-Dazs said...

What is needed to fund healthcare is a surtax. A surtax is easy to administer. And the whole idea is easy to understand. Tax the wealthy to keep everyone healthy. Not even a bad bumper sticker.

Oso said...

I agree the Healthcare Bill is an abomination.IMO if we wanted to insure everyone then Medicare for all would keep down expenses.

Portions of the bill sound good, but there is no enforcement mechanism other than the already overly strained state resources.

I have a different take on Obama.I think he is an extremely bright and capable POLITICIAN, who as Lee points out got exactly what he wanted in the bill.

An enormous injection of funds to the health insurance industry, solidifying him as business friendly.

A toothless (like his financial reform bill)piece of legislation which accomplishes nothing but looks good if one doesn't look too deep.

Good for the Democratic Party, good for Obama's legacy.Great for the health insurers. Only one who really loses is the American people.