Hamilton, Madison, and Jay

This blog is devoted to a variety of topics including politics, current events, legal issues, and we even take the time to have some occasional fun. After all, blogging is about having a little fun, right?

Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Anyone think that they won't ration health care if the slow-death reform passes?

Last week I cited a piece written by James Pethokoukis. In his piece for Reuters, Mr. Pethokoukis broke down nine reasons why the House's health care (or slow-death, as I call it) reform bill was a mistake. That dealt solely with the surtaxes involved. Bill Kristol tips readers off to Senator Ted Kennedy' admission that their slow-death reform plan will definitely contain rationing, and in the worst possible sense. From the Kristol piece:

Newsweek Managing Editor Daniel Klaidman explains that his magazine decided to ask Sen. Ted Kennedy to author a cover piece on health care, because "his absence during this historic debate had been so palpable, yet here was a way for this respected voice on health care to weigh in and be part of the national conversation at a critical moment."

Well, Sen. Kennedy has
weighed in, and he may have helped doom Obamacare.

For Kennedy and his co-author, Bob Shrum, have let the rationing cat out of the bag. And that's a problem for President Obama and the Democrats. Make no mistake: Beyond all the other crippling problems with the Democrats' health care proposal--its cost at a time of massive deficits, the tax increases it requires at a time of recession, its preference for government over the private sector and for central planning over free competition--the deepest vulnerability of Obamacare is that it (intentionally) puts us on a course towards government rationing of health care.

Here's the key paragraph from Kennedy and Shrum:

We also need to move from a system that rewards doctors for the sheer volume of tests and treatments they prescribe to one that rewards quality and positive outcomes. For example, in Medicare today, 18 percent of patients discharged from a hospital are readmitted within 30 days--at a cost of more than $15 billion in 2005. Most of these readmissions are unnecessary, but we don't reward hospitals and doctors for preventing them. By changing that, we'll save billions of dollars while improving the quality of care for patients.

By changing it? That only means one thing which is exactly what Great Britain is doing now. Plenty of stories from reputable sources have cited the sort of treatment that seniors receive in Great Britain or Canada, to the point where seniors are left in ambulances or waiting rooms until they get a chance to see a doctor. Does the term triage mean anything to you? It should because that's how our health care will be if Congress and Barry get their way.

But Kennedy has let the mask slip about how we'll be treating seniors if this passes. They're going to be denied care. It's that simple. Heart bypass? Don't think so, grandpa. Hip replacement? Sorry, granny, you're over sixty. What's that? You need your asthma meds? Forget it, old man. You're over seventy. This is the same way that regimes around the globe in the past treated their older people because they were undesirable. For example, Germany, as the Nazis were rising to power, didn't just look that way towards seniors (of course their motives weren't entirely about saving money) but they looked down on all that were considered "inferior."

And if you think it'll end there, think again. What about children born with diseases like asthma, or MS, or diabetes? Better yet, what will happen if this crap is enacted, and they tell a pregnant women it'll cos the government too much to deliver that baby, but an abortion is cheaper, and more preferable? And let's ask ourselves this question -- Let's say you're Rich Uncle Pennybags and you've got gobs of cash (think Bill Gates). You need a heart bypass, and you can afford the operation. The problem is whether you can find a doctor willing to take a risk and do what you need to have done despite the government bean-counters saying that you're not worth the operation because you're too old or for some other idiotic reason. What do you do then?

If the Congress and Barry get their way, our health care will be rationed. Worse yet, as Betsy McCaughey observes (she's read the bills making their way through Congress) that if we go down this road, our health care will NEVER be the same:

PRESIDENT Obama promises that "if you like your health plan, you can keep it," even after he reforms our health-care system. That's untrue. The bills now before Congress would force you to switch to a managed-care plan with limits on your access to specialists and tests.

Two main bills are being rushed through Congress with the goal of combining them into a finished product by August. Under either, a new government bureaucracy will select health plans that it considers in your best interest, and you will have to enroll in one of these "qualified plans." If you now get your plan through work, your employer has a five-year "grace period" to switch you into a qualified plan. If you buy your own insurance, you'll have less time.

And as soon as anything changes in your contract -- such as a change in copays or deductibles, which many insurers change every year -- you'll have to move into a qualified plan instead (House bill, p. 16-17).

When you file your taxes, if you can't prove to the IRS that you are in a qualified plan, you'll be fined thousands of dollars -- as much as the average cost of a health plan for your family size -- and then automatically enrolled in a randomly selected plan (House bill, p. 167-168).

It's one thing to require that people getting government assistance tolerate managed care, but the legislation limits you to a managed-care plan even if you and your employer are footing the bill (Senate bill, p. 57-58). The goal is to reduce everyone's consumption of health care and to ensure that people have the same health-care experience, regardless of ability to pay.

The bills are a disaster.

The number you all need to call is 202-224-3121. We don't care if your representative is Democrat or Republican. Call them and tell them to stop this bill. If this passes, even if the GOP does retake the Congress in 2010, it'll be impossible to rollback once the entitlement crowd sinks their claws into this. It'll be just like welfare and social security. We've been trying to reign those in for years and reform them -- if not outright killing them -- and we're no closer now than we were before. If the slow-death reform is passed, this nation is screwed.

And if this bill was so bloody good, why are there Democrats defecting on this issue? There was supposed to be a vote on the House Energy committee today on this bill and it's been postponed now. Why? Because the Blue Dogs are refusing to go along with this fiasco. They're concerned with the price this is going to cost this nation. REMEMBER, these are fiscally-conservative Democrats that are taking the CBO's deficit numbers seriously. They know damn good and well that if they go for this their days in Congress are over. So, keep up the pressure. Congress is hearing us. It's the idiots like Reid, Pelosi, and Barry that refuse to listen to people that, no offense, are far more intelligent and less politically-motivated than they are.

Publius II


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