Saturday, March 6, 2010

You Lie!

Desperate times call for desperate measures I suppose.  In today's weekly address we heard the president spin a pretty picture of his health plan, but he had to play fast and loose with truths to do it.
Now, despite all the progress and improvements we’ve made, Republicans in Congress insist that the only acceptable course on health care is to start over.  But you know what?  The insurance companies aren’t starting over.  I just met with some of them on Thursday and they couldn’t give me a straight answer as to why they keep arbitrarily and massively raising premiums 
That's pretty disingenuous, or at least playing very stupid. Insurers that are losing money get their rate increases approved by state regulators. There is nothing arbitrary about it. And if it's massive, then it's massive because of state requirements that make demands on the insurance company.

The WellPoint Mugging
The brawl over rate increases is a preview of ObamaCare.

WellPoint's California unit, Anthem Blue Cross, recently informed nearly 700,000 individual insurance customers of premium increases of up to 39%. President Obama jumped on the announcement, claiming in a pre-Superbowl TV interview that the hikes were a "portrait of the future if we don't do something now."
Wellpoint's rate hikes are the direct result of the Golden State's insurance regulations—the kind that Democrats want to impose on all 50 states. Under federal Cobra rules, the unemployed are allowed to keep their job-related health benefits for 18 to 36 months. California then goes further and bars Anthem from dropping these customers even after they have exhausted Cobra. California also caps what Anthem can charge these post-Cobra customers.

This explains why Anthem lost $58 million in California on its post-Cobra customers in 2009. If WellPoint didn't raise premiums amid these losses, it would soon be under assault from its shareholders, if not out of business.
Over and over again there are examples of where the types of regulations that Obama wants to impose on everybody are already raising the costs of health care. Not reducing the costs.

In the weekly address he goes on to say
The proposal we’ve put forward would end the worst practices of the insurance industry, lower costs for millions of Americans, and give uninsured individuals and small businesses the same kind of choice of private health insurance that Members of Congress get for themselves
Not really. It will either raise costs, or put insurance companies out of business. He is hoping for out of business, because then the government will have to step in with the single payer plan.
What won’t change when this bill is signed this:  if you like the insurance plan you have now, you can keep it.  If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor.  Because nothing should get in the way of the relationship between a family and their doctor.  
Not true either. He already inadvertantly revealed this lie a week ago at the health care summit he held at Blair House.

So much for "If you like your plan............."

on February 25th, the president admitted he lied about being able to keep your plan, if you like it.

Defining ObamaCare Down

One fact is that the Congressional Budget Office estimates that premiums in the individual market would jump by 10% to 13% in 2016 because the government will mandate that consumers buy richer benefits than they otherwise would. Mr. Obama eventually conceded that point but said these mandates are simple consumer protections. "Yes, I am paying 10% to 13% more because instead of buying an apple, I'm getting an orange," Mr. Obama said. "We want competition, we just want some minimum standards."
Whoop there it is........
So to paraphrase "If you like your apple, you'll have to eat this orange". Great. Thanks.
And finally he finishes with:
And so I ask Congress to finish its work.  I ask them to give the American people an up or down vote. 
To which I say yes! Do it! But do it now! Do it Next week! Don't wait until you've paid everyone off. Don't wait until you've threatened or leveraged people to change to votes against their conscience. This is yet another moment of naive bravado. Without more dirty tricks and more Chicago style corruption he does not have the votes, even though the democrats have openly gamed the system.

on reconciliation

It's no slam dunk. And hopefully in the end, this will be resolved and the will of the American people will be served, and my pollyanna view that "cheating cheaters never win" will be maintained.
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