Monday, March 27, 2017

On The Failure of Obamacare Light


I have mixed feelings about House Speaker Paul Ryan's withdrawal of American Healthcare Act legislation on Friday.  On the one hand the legislation would have ended Obama's mandate forever.  And it did include a requirement that healthy adults must work to receive it.  However, in an effort to win passage, Ryan had made so many promises, added so much pork, that it was little different than Obamacare itself.

First let's look at the first iteration of the bill when first drafted.  That first draft peeled back a lot of the wasted government gravy, resulting in a savings of $340 billion dollars over ten years.  Then some pork was added to satisfy the RINO's...and the savings dwindled to $140 billion.  Then more pork was added last week...another $85 billion, which would have resulted in a net savings of just $55 billion over ten years.  While that's nothing to sneeze at, it simply wasn't a true conservative approach to solving our nation's health care problems.

And of course Obamacare Light did not have a mandate to market health insurance across state lines....the only real answer to getting our healthcare premiums down.  And it did not have tort reform.  I can accept Ryan's explanation that cross-state marketing would not pass the Sequestration Criteria, and I accepted Ryan's promise that it would be introduced as a separate piece of legislation, but I simply can't understand why tort reform wasn't included in this bill.  (Were the K-Street lobbyists at work here?)

No one knows how all this will turn out.  But it certainly doesn't look good for Republicans...or Trump.  I was disappointed at Trump saying on Friday that he's amenable to just dropping the legislation entirely and allowing Obamacare to continue.  That's no way to lobby for legislation.

As we now know it was about 40 Republicans who opposed the bill, 18 RINO's who wanted even more generous benefits, and 22 from the conservative Freedom Caucus who insisted on legislation that would have pared the  millions of freeloaders who can afford big screen TV's, iPhones and gaming systems...but are not willing to pay their own health insurance.  There was just no way for this bill to audit out the "gamers".

What we saw on Friday was not simply the failure of passing a healthcare bill.  What we saw is how hard it is to take away government gravy after Obama had already set the gravy bowl on the table.  We have never seen a government benefit taken away once it has been given....and Friday proved we never will.


Jerry Carlin said...

OK, I have some questions! Previous to Obama Care, Hospitals were going out of business left and right. By Law they have to admit the sick at least enough to get them out the door, and no one paid these bills for the uninsured. Basically Hospitals doubled the rate for those who could pay to support those who couldn't. We had a system where sick or hurt people subsidized the poor people and that wasn't enough to stop them going out of business. With Obama Care most people now had insurance and hospitals could stay in business and, actually the rate of increase in care went down. That is why Hospitals do Not want to get rid of Obama Care: they Need the money! Personally, I like them to stay open as I might need one one day. It is always easier to be against something until you require their service!
What is interesting to me is the USA is about #35 in the World in terms of health care for those 65 and Under. OVER 65 when we get Medicare we just to #1. So, if we can make it to 65 we live longer, healthier and for less money. It is pretty simple to do the math: We will Never get a decent system until it becomes like Medicare for everyone at all ages, a Single Payer System that we already have in place for those over 65.
I Totally Agree that there are people out there who "don't deserve" this but the fact remains it would be less expensive for all to have it. We need n argument based on Math and Statistics and Not emotions and deserving, entitled. Just what works and what doesn't.
And One More Question! If we were talking Bicycles or Cars, we could get the price Down by creating more bicycle factories and Helping competition. Even Walmart Started the $10 dollar co-pay! Now everyone does it. Why aren't we creating MORE Medical Schools?
Even Trump says Health Care is Complicated!

A Modest Scribler said...

First, let's address your last sentence, Trump, everything is complicated. That said, you almost lured me into dredging up a lot of statistics and numbers to prove my point, but I ain't gonna bother. Instead, I'm going to tote out all the reasons why anything run by the government sucks. (God, I thought we were making progress with you...then you go and dare utter "single payer".

Okay, let's get to it. First of all, while I admit that a batch of liberal Supreme Court judges once mandated that hospitals take in the lame and lazy, that does not justify institutionalizing a system where 30 million free loaders can game the system and enjoy their luxury goodies and still demand that we pay for their healthcare. Nor, do I want to subsidize someone getting paid cash under the table, or otherwise hiding their income in order to get healthcare subsidized by me.

Next, re, Medicare, you're going to have to show me a source for the assertion that Medicare jumps us to number 1 in the world. (By the way have you not been reading of the massive Medicare and Medicaid fraud going on for the last two decades? The Russian Mafia ripping off Medicare in $500,000,000 chunks over and over? Or the U.S government's own investigations that found Mobility Scooter companies charging Medicare up to 5 times more than they sell on the open market? And shall we even get into the ills of our Medicare masters bureaucratic rumblings when paying our medical bills? Or the idea that our government masters can take a program we paid into and extract funds from that source to pay for something else. And with Medicaid it gets even more corrupt. Do I really have to pay for incontinence diapers and fund the medical needs of every illegitimate bastard that is bred without benefit of a father? JERRY, I WANT THE GOVERNMENT TO STAY THE HELL OUT OF MY CRITICAL LIFE DECISIONS! Oh, and please tell me where you got the notion that, under Obamacare, medical insurance went down????? Premiums have soared!

To answer your question about more medical schools. Jerry, do you realize the average (average!) medical malpractice insurance for a doctor these days is over $100,000 dollars a year? Who in their right mind wants to be a doctor with all the ambulance chasers running about? You can't watch a TV show without a commercial from a law firm that wants you to join a class action to sue a drug company that made a pill that helped a million people but made a hundred get sick! There are free market solutions, Jerry. We must employ them.

Jerry Carlin said...

OK, I have had my morning beat down and I feel better already! and I agree with you about less government in MY life, in fact I am philosophically opposed to ALL PENSIONS and PERS as they are all Ponzie Skeems and I guess for the same reasoning I might be against Social Security!!! I have LONG ago gotten back Way More than I ever put it as do most people, so, another Ponzie Skeem! Probably to keep life simple and fair, when you get old or sick you should just be shot. God knows he made a mistake when He said "go forth and multiply" we are Not an endangered species!
Ironic how quickly we forget the horrid economy under President Bush!

A Modest Scribler said...

Jerry, take a look at the GDP growth rate under Bush (even after the economic aftermath of 9/11). And had Clinton not implemented the dissolution of the bill that kept bankers from spinning CDO's, and had not the Dems pushed Fannie and Freddie to extend home loans to people who used the pawn shop for banking, we might not have had the crash of 08. Finally, as regards to classifying Social Security as a Ponzi scheme, I again invite you to google those interest accumulation charts that show that, if old Lyndy Johnson had not swept social security money into the general fund, Social Security had enough funds, accruing federal bond rate interest, to last well into the 22nd Century.

You are welcome to send me any of your social security that you deem tainted. I could really use the money.

And why is it that every time YOU argue a position it is "benign"...and every time I argue a position it is a beatdown?

TheRandyGuy said...

Concur with your assertion that government crack via social welfare programs is just addicting as the street drug. The other aspect is the exposure of many of the R's as self-serving pols that stand for nothing, big-government liberals that should proudly wear the "D" badge after their name. The R party is composed of the two factions that are fighting the war to this day: One is a smaller number of conservatives, the last of the old guard that take the notion of a limited federal government of enumerated powers seriously. The other has adopted the "government as your keeper" mentality, believing that if government can act, it should, the Constitutionality of such actions be damned. The liberal wing is winning, since they have the solid support of the D's to vote with them. Populism will be the death of individual liberty and what remains of the Bill of Rights, for as government increasingly transforms rights into privileges (to be granted or withheld as the politicians desire), the people will have no say. I voted against HRC, but had little faith Trump alone would be able to change the direction of government. This failure to repeal the ACA makes that crystal clear.

A Modest Scribler said...

True, Randy, and the addiction took hold so quickly. God help those still here when someone swoops over to the table and presents the bill for all this in that little leather bi-fold.