Health Care: Where do we go from here?

Friday, March 26, 2010

We all know the story of Hansel and Gretel -- the two children who discover a house made of candy and other goodies only to find out it is a deception by a wicked witch and the truth is much more dangerous.

In many ways the recently passed health care bill resembles the house made of candy. It too has unfortunate realities waiting to be discovered.

It is true the first year provisions of the bill are popular fixes. It will allow those with pre-existing conditions to enter high-risk pools. It prohibits the practice of rescinding existing health insurance policies when a person gets sick. It prohibits insurers from imposing lifetime limits and restricts the use of annual limits while extending dependent coverage for unmarried young adults until the age of 26.

That is the candy. Now comes the oven.

The truth of the matter is the Democrats used nearly every trick in their book and every method of arm-twisting to get this bill passed. Now they are engaging in a "full-speed-ahead" push to convince us this massive growth of bureaucracy is a good bill.

Just prior to signing the health care bill, President Obama claimed there would be no cuts in "guaranteed benefits" for seniors -- despite the fact there are $528.5 billion in cuts to Medicare.

Already, American manufacturers are warning about how much the health care overhaul will cost them. Both Deere & Co. and Caterpillar are reporting the bill will result in their reported earnings declining by $150 million and $100 million respectively because of the mandates and tax increases included in the bill.

Insurance companies have been told they must insure everyone regardless of health. But the cost has to come from somewhere, meaning premiums will rise to compensate for those more at risk. Because the bill limits how much premiums can rise based on age, much of this cost will fall on younger people who can least afford the increased costs.

This is a bad bill, and flying around the country giving speeches isn't going to change the minds of Nebraskans who are familiar with the bill. They oppose a government takeover of health care. They oppose the job-killing tax increases, individual mandates, and the creation of "incentives" which will result in millions of Americans losing the health insurance they have.

Health care reform should be patient-centered to increase access to care and reduce cost without bankrupting our nation and limiting our liberties. The fight to enact common sense reforms to preserve and protect health care must be fought, but it shouldn't be a public relations war. The American people are eager to embrace a plan which will expand access, preserve quality, strip away the barriers to insurance competition, and finally address the runaway costs of lawsuit abuse.

This can be done by allowing individuals to band together across state lines, allowing tax deductibility to everyone for the cost of premiums, and cracking down on junk lawsuits.

As Milton Friedman once said, there's no such thing as a free lunch. That adage certainly applies to this health care bill. Like Hansel and Gretel, I am afraid our country is in for an unpleasant surprise once the sugar rush has worn off.

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  • Anyone visited Cuba recently?

    I read that Castro is praising Obama for ObamaCare.

    If that is not a wakeup call to Americans we are doomed to repeat history, not just our own, but the history of any country....

    -- Posted by Justin76 on Fri, Mar 26, 2010, at 3:17 PM
  • "Already, American manufacturers are warning about how much the health care overhaul will cost them. Both Deere & Co. and Caterpillar are reporting the bill will result in their reported earnings declining by $150 million and $100 million respectively because of the mandates and tax increases included in the bill."

    What this is saying is a Government subsidy will lose its tax exempt status.

    Closing down corporate welfare would be a bad thing to the GOP.

    -- Posted by Meshedup on Fri, Mar 26, 2010, at 6:23 PM
  • Meshedup what in the world are you talking about? That makes absolutely no sense? Deere and Cat are tax exempt now?

    WHat it ways is it will cost lots of money and those costs are always passed along to the consumer period, this is basic econ 101 something you obvously missed in school.

    I alsonotcie you fail to adress the fact Castro praised this new law. One of the worst communist dictators the world has known endorses this bill does that not bother you?

    -- Posted by Chaco1 on Fri, Mar 26, 2010, at 7:04 PM
  • Under the 2003 Medicare prescription drug program, companies that provide prescription drug benefits for retirees have been able to receive subsidies covering 28 percent of eligible costs. But they could deduct the entire amount they spent on these drug benefits -- including the subsidies -- from their taxable income.

    The new law allows companies to only deduct the 72 percent they spent.

    So basically the new law is just saying you can't deduct a subsidy.

    I've never much worried what Castro has had to say one way or the other about US policies. My guess is you haven't either until now.

    -- Posted by Meshedup on Fri, Mar 26, 2010, at 7:38 PM
  • I did a little reading last night and found that this cut in the tax break is going to push more retirees onto medicare. This is going to cost many retirees their benefits because the companies aren't going to continue to do this. Is that what you had hoped for with this bill?

    Castro isn't a great source of angst but I find it interesting that a comunist dicatator finds this a step in the right direction.

    -- Posted by Chaco1 on Sat, Mar 27, 2010, at 9:49 AM
  • Losing a tax deduction on 28% is going to push them over the edge?

    How about we stop the 28% subsidies all together? This was just more corporate welfare given out in 2003 that our grandkids will have to pay for. BTW who held all 3 houses in 2003?

    While you are doing research take a look at the 1993: The Dole-Chafee Bill. See how it compares to the healthcare reform bill that the right is ready to revolt over. You might be surprised.

    -- Posted by Meshedup on Sat, Mar 27, 2010, at 2:14 PM
  • Losing the tax credit is going to hurt retirees and employees. Youjust don't want to adress this do you? They will cut the benefits and force more into medicare more money for our Grandkids to be in debt over. Funny you don't care about the huge entitlement spending do you?

    1993? AMazing the tactic you use. Can you ever try to discuss the issue not say well billy did it so I can too? Why not just screech it's Bushs fault its Bushes fault. I don't think thats going to work any more especially not in November.

    I am all for eliminating all forms of welfare from farm subsidies to food stamps. Re you as consistent or just so hateful of corporations and sucesful people it stops there?

    -- Posted by Chaco1 on Sat, Mar 27, 2010, at 4:53 PM
  • Never mind I thought you knew who Bob Dole was.

    -- Posted by Meshedup on Sat, Mar 27, 2010, at 8:17 PM
  • So no you don't care about debt when it is an entitlement do you?

    -- Posted by Chaco1 on Sun, Mar 28, 2010, at 10:21 AM
  • I didn't think so.

    -- Posted by Chaco1 on Mon, Mar 29, 2010, at 8:46 AM
  • I'd wish that everyone including rep. smith would have cited the precise language from the measure that would result in the effects they predict.

    I'd also like to thank Chaco1 for reinforcing my contention that whenever the concept "hate" or "hateful" is introduced into a discussion it's usually a conservative doing the introduction.I can only suspect that this comes from a long and intimate relation with that emotion.

    -- Posted by davis_x_machina on Mon, Mar 29, 2010, at 8:55 AM
  • Thats all you can come up with? After years of tea baggers, Cheney is darth Vader and many other absolutely hateful things from the likes of the now unemployed Air America crowd you have the hutzpah to say it's just from the right.

    I notice you don't want to talk about the effects this will have on the retirees and medicare do you?

    -- Posted by Chaco1 on Tue, Mar 30, 2010, at 9:00 AM
  • Oh and by the way it was a CNN host who came up with the term Tea Bagger, Anderson Cooper. Most of you won't know who he is since only about 14 people are atill watching CNN.

    -- Posted by Chaco1 on Tue, Mar 30, 2010, at 8:54 PM
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