Thursday, October 29, 2009

Wake up, America!

Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi "unveiled" her long dreaded health care reform bill today.  Jonathan Allen at Politico describes it thus:
It runs more pages than War and Peace, has nearly five times as many words as the Torah, and its tables of contents alone run far longer than this story.

The House health care bill unveiled Thursday clocks in at 1,990 pages and about 400,000 words. With an estimated 10-year cost of $894 billion, that comes out to about $2.24 million per word. .

And for some members, that may not be enough.

A “robust” public option can’t be found in the bill. Neither can the word “doctor” – save for a few references to degrees. No “cost curve” is bent. No “blue pill” is dispensed.

“Death” and “taxes” are both in there, but “death panel” is not.

The text defines dozens of words and phrases, including “family” (“an individual and . . . the individual’s dependents”), “health insurance coverage,” “exchange-eligible individual” and “Indian.”

And for those who cry “read the bill,” beware. There are plenty of paragraphs like this one:

“(a) Outpatient Hospitals – (1) In General – Section 1833(t)(3)(C)(iv) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1395(t)(3)(C)(iv)) is amended – (A) in the first sentence – (i) by inserting “(which is subject to the productivity adjustment described in subclause (II) of such section)” after “1886(b)(3)(B)(iii); and (ii) by inserting “(but not below 0)” after “reduced”; and (B) in the second sentence, by inserting “and which is subject, beginning with 2010 to the productivity adjustment described in section 1886(b)(3)(B)(iii)(II)”.

The section deals with “incorporating productivity improvements into market basket updates that do not already incorporate such improvements,” if that helps.
Got that?  Fox News also reports today that the bill has 3,425 occurrences of the word "shall."  In other words, it is replete with orders, dictates, mandates, decrees, commands, ordinances, directives, instructions, fiats, obligations......... you get the picture.  Isn't this what our founding fathers and colonial predecessors revolted against?

Wake up, America!  The health care debate heretofore has been about ideology.  These questions have been examined ad nauseum in (secret) detail.

What should the government do?
What services should the government provide?
To whom should the government guarantee health care?
What services should the government provide to those for whom it selects to provide government health care?
At what prices should the government reimburse health care providers for services to the government's covered insured?
How should the government penalize employers who do not provide government approved health insurance their employees?
How should the government penalize individuals who do not purchase government approved health insurance?
How should the government tax people who already have really good insurance?
How should the government price its health insurance premiums to insure that private health insurance providers are kept honest?

Okay, if that doesn't give you the creeps, and you believe that money flows from heaven, please consider what is missing from the debate.  Honestly, what evidence do we have that the federal government is even remotely capable of managing and delivering health care to 300 million people?  When the evil insurance companies fold and private physicians acquiesce, retire or leave the medical profession altogether, that is what the health care demand will look like.

To repeat a Dick Morris quote from my earlier post today:

If it can't run the epidemiological equivalent of a two-car funeral, how can Obama promise that the government will do an adequate job of managing the nation's health care system?

1 comment:

  1. I can't think of a more incompetent group of people or more anti-life group of people than the Republican Party. It's an absolute sin. Insurance companies are RAPING the American people and they - and you apparently do not care. In fact, the party stance is the to maintain the broken, corrupt and unsustainable health insurance scam that currently exists.

    It demonstrates a lack of serious understanding of the issues to rely on a propaganda network like Fox and their peers.