Monday, November 9, 2009

Blinding the Health Care System

The three biggest lies about the Obama/Pelosi/Reid health care "reform" are:

1. "If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor. Period. If you like your health care plan, you will be able to keep your health care plan. Period." - Barack Obama, 6/15/2009.

Totally false. From a review of the bill passed by the House on Saturday:

Sec. 303 (pp. 167-168) makes it clear that, although the "qualified plan" is not yet designed, it will be of the "one size fits all" variety. The bill claims to offer choice—basic, enhanced and premium levels—but the benefits are the same. Only the co-pays and deductibles differ. You will have to enroll in the same plan, whether the government is paying for it or you and your employer are footing the bill.

That means if your plan, which you like, does not meet the parameters set by a government bureaucrat, you will not be able to keep it. You'll either pay more for inferior coverage or sacrifice good coverage that the government deems too expensive to fit in under a government mandated maximum coverage.

2. This bill will make health care less expensive.

On Nov. 2, the Congressional Budget Office estimated what the plans will likely cost. An individual earning $44,000 before taxes who purchases his own insurance will have to pay a $5,300 premium and an estimated $2,000 in out-of-pocket expenses, for a total of $7,300 a year, which is 17% of his pre-tax income. A family earning $102,100 a year before taxes will have to pay a $15,000 premium plus an estimated $5,300 out-of-pocket, for a $20,300 total, or 20% of its pre-tax income. Individuals and families earning less than these amounts will be eligible for subsidies paid directly to their insurer.

Definitely false. Average costs might appear to be lower due to subsidies and lower Medicare payments to doctors. But while some people will receive new subsidies to make costs appear lower and doctors will limit care to Medicare and patients in order to avoid a cost/compensation deficit, private insurance plans and taxpayers will be fleeced to pay for those subsidies.

3. The Republicans are the party of "No" and have no alternative.

False. In addition the the Weekly Standard's compilation of conservative market-based and tort reform proposals, the GOP has introduced a bill (.pdf) and a side-by-side comparison of it with the Pelosi monstrosity:

Basically, Pelosi and 219 liberal Democrats passed a bill just to show they could pass something. It doesn't accomplish any of the goals that the GOP bill does, achieves the same level of coverage as the GOP plan, and costs trillions more. It will cost $1.2 trillion between 2010 and 2020, and will probably cost about $2 trillion between 2021 and 2030.

Please, please, please kill this in the Senate.

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