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PinocchiObama and Democrats Noses Growing as They Lie About Public Option

Joe Wilson redux. Mr. Obama, “YOU LIE!”

Whatever happened to “not one thin dime” of new taxes on 95% of Americans? Whatever happened to no taxes on anyone making under $250,000/year?

I’ll tell you what happened, Mr. Obama. YOU LIED!

Now that you, Harry Reid, and the other democrats are saying the “public option is dead,” YOU ARE LYING AGAIN? You are doing what you have always done by changing a few words around, but not changing your original meaning. Rather than create a brand new government agency to enslave Americans, you are simply going to expand an existing one.

But paradoxically, what lies at the heart of the compromise may be a more durable, if initially smaller, form of the public option: an expansion of Medicare, the huge federal health insurance program for seniors, to include millions of Americans ages 55 through 64.

Your own democrats are admitting that this is the truth.

“Expanding Medicare is an unvarnished, complete victory for people like me,” said Rep. Anthony Weiner, D-N.Y. “It’s the mother of all public options. We’ve taken something people know and expanded it. … Never mind the camel’s nose, we’ve got his head and neck under the tent.”

Mr. Obama, Mr. Reid, Ms. Pelosi, we KNOW you’re lying to us. You are destroying the country while saying you are trying to save it. What you are doing is like pumping a gallon of heroin into an addicts arm saying you are trying to save him. America is overdosing on your irresponsible spending, and your theft of American wealth, freedom, and liberty.

– AP
– December 09, 2009

Get Ready for Health Care ‘Sticker Shock’

Have your checkbooks and credit cards ready. There’s a price for health care security — particularly for solid middle-class households, who wouldn’t get much help with premiums.

WASHINGTON — Health care overhaul now looks like it really will happen, with a compromise coming together in the Senate to give uninsured Americans options they’ve never had before. But it won’t be a free ride.

Have your checkbooks and credit cards ready. There’s a price for health care security — particularly for solid middle-class households, who wouldn’t get much help with premiums.

President Barack Obama hailed the Senate agreement Wednesday, building expectations that the yearlong fight over revamping health care had finally come down to the bill now emerging.

That measure, like the Medicare prescription drug benefit that passed when Republicans ran Washington, would offer consumers a dizzying lineup of health plan choices — with different costs and benefits. (This is where the shell game starts. They provide a bevy of options under new and inviting poll-tested names that hide the fact that you will still somehow be pushed into a mandatory government plan.)

“People who need to buy coverage as individuals and small employers are going to have a lot more in the way of attractive health insurance options, and they won’t have to worry about whether their medical condition precludes them from being covered,” said policy expert Paul Ginsburg, who heads the nonpartisan Center for Studying Health System Change.

The downside: “Sticker shock is going to come to some.”

Get ready for a whole new set of trade-offs.

For example, people in their 50s and early 60s, when health problems tend to surface, are likely to pay less than they would now. Those in their 20s and 30s, who get the best deals today, will face higher premiums, though for better coverage.

The tentative deal by Democratic senators would give millions of Americans the option of signing up for private plans sponsored by the federal employee health system, which covers some 8 million, including members of Congress. The compromise, which also offers people age 55 to 64 the option of buying into Medicare, appears to have given Democrats a way around the deal-breaker issue of a new government plan to compete with private carriers. Senators continued to debate for a 10th day, with Democrats pushing to pass the bill by Christmas.

The 2,074-page Senate bill will grow even longer as amendments are considered, but the basic outlines of the legislation most likely to pass are becoming clearer.

The overhaul will be phased in slowly, over the next three to four years. (But you will start paying for it IMMEDIATELY in the form of higher taxes.) But eventually all Americans will be required to carry coverage or face a tax penalty, except in cases of financial hardship. Insurers won’t be able to deny coverage to people with health problems, or charge them more or cut them off.

Most of the uninsured will be covered, but not all. As many as 24 million people would remain uninsured in 2019, many of them otherwise eligible Americans who still can’t afford the premiums. Lawmakers propose to spend nearly $1 trillion over 10 years to provide coverage, most of the money going to help lower-income people. But a middle-class family of four making $66,000 would still have to pay about 10 percent of its income in premiums, not counting co-payments and deductibles. (Remember when Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and Barack Obama were all grandstanding talking about how they wanted to make sure EVERY American had health insurance? They are going to spend $2 TRILLION that we DON’T HAVE, and STILL leave 24 million people uninsured. The stated reason of the democrats to undertake this massive takeover of the health care system was to “insure the 40 million uninsured.”

That number is misleading and inaccurate, but let’s assume for a moment that there are 40 million people who can’t afford insurance. Tort reform and competition are the BEST ways to make it affordable, but let’s assume again for the sake of argument that the government needs to step in.

A family of four can get a pretty decent health insurance for about $400 per month. That’s $4,800 per year for a family of four. Now let’s assume an even worse case that the cost is $4,800 per person per year. Multiply that times the 40 million claimed by the democrats to be uninsured and that comes out to $192,000,000,000. That’s 192 billion dollars.

So if the government simply wrote those 40 million people a check to buy a PRIVATE insurance policy, it would be over 13 times LESS EXPENSIVE than the plan the democrats are pushing, and that’s using the most conservative estimates of the overall costs of $2.5 TRILLION. Most think it will be much, much higher.

Again, looking at THE ORIGINAL STATED GOAL OF INSURING THE UNINSURED, I have to ask how can we possibly be going down this road and remotely think it’s a good way to go about it?)

No dramatic changes are in store for most people who get coverage through their jobs — about 60 percent of those under age 65. The Congressional Budget Office says the bill wouldn’t have a major effect on premiums under employer plans, now about $13,000 a year. Parents would be able to keep dependent children on their coverage longer, age 27 in the House bill.

One benefit for people with employer coverage is hard to quantify: It should be easier to get health insurance if they’re laid off.

The real transformation under the legislation would come for those who now have the most trouble finding and keeping coverage: people who buy their own insurance or work for small businesses. About 30 million could pick from an array of plans through new insurance supermarkets called exchanges.

Some people’s taxes would go up. (Some? Try ALL.)

To pay for expanded coverage, the House bill imposes a 5.4 percent income tax surcharge on individuals making more than $500,000 and families earning more than $1 million. The Senate slaps a 40 percent tax on insurance plans with premiums above $8,500 for individual coverage and $23,000 for family plans, among other levies. (So this is a preemptive penalty to keep people from getting “premium” plans like our beloved politicians have.)

The rest of the financing would come mainly from cuts in federal payments to insurers, hospitals, home health care agencies and other medical providers serving Medicare. Yet another LIE uncovered. They swore they wouldn’t cut Medicare. This will cut services and benefits to those now enrolled in Medicare.)

Preventive benefits for seniors would be improved. So would prescription coverage. But people enrolled in private plans through the Medicare Advantage program are likely to see higher out-of-pocket costs and reduced benefits as overpayments to insurers are scaled back.

The latest big wrinkles in the debate involve intriguing opportunities for consumers. But even there, it may be less than meets the eye.

Lawmakers have been talking for years about giving average Americans the option of coverage through the federal employee system, “just like members of Congress.” The compromise among Senate Democrats would make plans certified by the federal employee system available nationwide, bringing competition to states in which one or two large insurers now control the market.

The other big new idea is to allow people age 55 to 64, one of the groups now most at risk for losing coverage, to buy into Medicare.

Yet from the inside, the federal employee health benefits plan isn’t looking all that great these days. Federal workers do have a wide choice of insurance plans, but they’re looking at hefty premium increases next year. Individual coverage under the most popular plan is going up 15 percent.

“I don’t think you’ll ever find someone satisfied with the price,” said Jacqueline Simon, policy director for the American Federation of Government Employees. “And you’ve got people who are priced out.” The union estimates that 250,000 federal workers are uninsured, mostly because they can’t afford the premiums.

And what about Medicare? It is widely accepted, with 74 percent of doctors saying in a recent survey that they’re taking most or all new Medicare patients. But buying into Medicare won’t be cheap, about $7,600 a year not counting out-of-pocket costs for deductibles and copayments.

Ginsburg, the policy expert, says he’s puzzled as to why anyone in their late 50s would want to buy into Medicare instead of picking a plan offered in the new exchanges, the insurance supermarkets. His reasoning: The exchange plans should have lower premiums since they would also include younger people who don’t go to the doctor that often.

“The legislation already solved the problem by offering them coverage through the exchange,” he said. “A Medicare buy-in based on the older age group is going to cost a lot more.”


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