I was reminded of one of the more egregious features of Obamacare while watching this interview with one Julie Rovner from NPR, on News Hour last night.
The new health care reform law that President Obama signed last year not only expands the number of people who get coverage, it also requires the secretary of health and human services to determine which preventive benefits should be provided by all insurers.
There were three categories of preventive care that were automatically covered [under the new law]…
There was a fourth category that was listed — that came about because Sen. Barbara Mikulski from Maryland actually got an amendment added that the secretary would have discretion to add, and these would be preventive services for women, because over the years preventive services for women have thought to have been left out by the Preventive Health Services Task Force.
And those were left to the secretary’s discretion.
[The HHS Secretary] is determining — first she’s going to determine whether this will be part of this preventive health package that will be made available with no co-pays, but she’s also determining these essential — what kind of things will be included in the essential benefits package.
The story focuses on contraception being left to the HHS Secretary’s discretion as to whether it’s included in government-subsidized healthcare, ie taxpayer-funded healthcare. But let’s not kid ourselves. Going forward, this will morph into other controversial services being covered at the whim of the HHS secretary. Someone who’s unelected and unaccountable to anyone, playing politics with an industry that accounts for nearly 15% of the economy.
Where are the liberals screaming about imperialism in the government?
NHS managers are blocking hospital appointments for patients to save cash, a survey of family doctors has revealed, and at least one health trust proposes to stop sending obese people and smokers for routine hip and knee surgery because their unhealthy lifestyles lower the chance of the operations’ “success”.
With the health service asked to find an unprecedented £20bn efficiency savings over the next few years, many are resorting to moving procedures out of the NHS. In Kent hospital managers say abortions will now be provided by the charity Marie Stopes with hospitals only dealing with complicated cases. Last winter local GPs were asked to “stop referrals” for many procedures.
Health trusts are having to pare back costs in new ways. NHS North Yorkshire and York, the area’s primary care trust, is planning to stop patients who smoke, and those with a body mass index of more than 35, from having routine hip and knee operations.
The rules of economics apply to the English as well as to Americans. When the government needs to rein in costs in a regulated healthcare market, the inevitable result is rationing. Plain and simple.
Worry not, you loathsome cretin, our economic utopia is upon us:
Vice President Joe Biden on Tuesday announced an ambitious $53 billion program to build new high-speed rail networks and make existing ones faster over the next six years.
Biden, who estimated he has ridden Amtrak between Washington and his home in Wilmington, Delaware, some 7,900 times, made a strong pitch for rail transportation to enable the United States to compete and lead internationally.
“This is about seizing the future,” he said, making the announcement at Philadelphia’s busy 30th Street station with Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.
Japan and China are already building high-speed rail, and “there’s no reason, none,” that the United States cannot do the same, Biden said.
“If we do not, you tell me how America is going to be able to lead the world in the 21st century.”
I don’t think I fully understand the liberal obsession with high-speed rail. Is it because of their love for everything European, as in political systems and economic policy? (“Most of Europe has government-run healthcare, why don’t we”, was the mantra during the Obamacare debate, for example.)
Apparently, they’d like us rubes to forget that the United States has dabbled in public rail systems before, and um, well….that hasn’t worked out so good.
Of course, if anyone is opposed to flushing more taxpayer money down the toilet for the sake of “high-speed rail”, they will no doubt be labeled as racist or hate-mongers, or “against progress” and the like, because the
media left supports it.
So be prepared for that meme, as the White House pushes
its next government solution to solve everything high-speed rail.
Who would’ve thought that Michael Moore is a lying sack of…er, something?
Cuba banned Michael Moore‘s 2007 documentary, Sicko, because it painted such a “mythically” favourable picture of Cuba’s healthcare system that the authorities feared it could lead to a “popular backlash”, according to US diplomats in Havana.
The revelation, contained in a confidential US embassy cable released by WikiLeaks , is surprising, given that the film attempted to discredit the US healthcare system by highlighting what it claimed was the excellence of the Cuban system.
Castro’s government apparently went on to ban the film because, the leaked cable claims, it “knows the film is a myth and does not want to risk a popular backlash by showing to Cubans facilities that are clearly not available to the vast majority of them.”
Sicko investigated healthcare in the US by comparing the for-profit, non-universal US system with the non-profit universal health care systems of other countries, including Cuba, France and the UK.
The secret 2008 cable is based on reports from the USINT’s foreign service health practitioner (FSHP) of her conversations with local people, unauthorised visits to Cuban hospitals, and experience of helping USINT American and Cuban personnel access healthcare.
The cable describes a visit made by the FSHP to the Hermanos Ameijeiras hospital in October 2007. Built in 1982, the newly renovated hospital was used in Michael Moore’s film as evidence of the high-quality of healthcare available to all Cubans.
But according to the FSHP, the only way a Cuban can get access to the hospital is through a bribe or contacts inside the hospital administration. “Cubans are reportedly very resentful that the best hospital in Havana is ‘off-limits’ to them,” the memo reveals.
What’s not a surprise is that liberals still need to lie about the “benefits” of the left-wing utopian idealism that they try so hard to push on others.
[Hat Tip: Memeorandum]
Time to bend over, Connecticut. You wanted healthcare reform? You got your healthcare reform:
The state has given Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield the go ahead to raise premiums by as much as 47 percent for some members, and says health care reform is the reason why.
Attorney General Richard Blumenthal sent a letter to Insurance Commissioner Thomas Sullivan on Oct. 6, asking what he called “excessive” increases were approved without full consideration of all the facts. His letter mentioned rate increases for both Anthem and Aetna.
Sullivan responded to Blumenthal saying the new rates included “very rich benefits” mandated by federal law.
“There is not one person in the state of Connecticut who will see an increase in their current premiums based on what the department approved for Anthem and Aetna,” Sullivan said in a release. “The rates that were filed and approved reflect the current cost to deliver care and the impact of more comprehensive benefit designs required under the federal healthcare reform law. If the attorney general wants to complain to someone, he should complain to Congress.”
“I find myself in an unprecedented place and time, as do my counterparts throughout the country, in overseeing one of the most far-reaching policy initiatives enacted by the federal government in recent history,” Sullivan said in the letter. “It is unfortunate that this reform, while addressing insurer behavior, has provided little to no reform of the escalating costs of the health care delivery system.”
Let’s not forget that Dick Blumenthal is also the Democratic party’s candidate for Senate in this year’s midterm election.
So there you have it. Left wing utopian fantasies of “bending the cost curve” and greater accessibility of healthcare always fall to economic reality. The road to full nationalization of healthcare comes at a steep price.
A note to Connecticut voters–this insanity doesn’t end with a Senator Blumenthal as part of your Senate delegation.
Just hit the wire:
States can proceed with their lawsuit seeking to overturn President Barack Obama’s landmark reform law, a Florida judge ruled on Thursday.
U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson had already indicated at a hearing last month that he would reject parts of a motion by the Justice Department to dismiss the lawsuit, led by Florida and 19 other states.
The suit was originally filed in March by mostly Republic state attorneys general.
In his formal ruling on Thursday, Vinson said the case would continue as scheduled. He had previously set a hearing for December 16.
“If you like your existing health insurance plan, you can keep it” was the big pseudo-slogan for President Obama while stumping for healthcare reform last year.
It’s so benevolent and kind for our Federal overlords to bestow upon us the privilege of keeping existing healthcare coverage.
That is until, you can’t:
Harvard Pilgrim Health Care has notified customers that it will drop its Medicare Advantage health insurance program at the end of the year, forcing 22,000 senior citizens in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine to seek alternative supplemental coverage.
The decision by Wellesley-based Harvard Pilgrim, the state’s second-largest health insurer, was prompted by a freeze in federal reimbursements and a new requirement that insurers offering the kind of product sold by Harvard Pilgrim — a Medicare Advantage private fee for service plan — form a contracted network of doctors who agree to participate for a negotiated amount of money. Under current rules, patients can seek care from any doctor.
“We became concerned by the long-term viability of Medicare Advantage programs in general,’’ said Lynn Bowman, vice president of customer service at Harvard Pilgrim’s office in Quincy. “We know that cuts in Medicare are being used to fund national health care reform. And we also had concerns about our ability to build a network of health care providers that would meet the needs of our seniors.’’
Cuts in Medicare you say? There’s a couple hundred Democrats out on the trail right now who will deny this fact to the bitter end of their political careers (in about five weeks), not to mention that healthcare “reform” will eventually price out private healthcare providers, thus leaving consumers with–little choices and higher costs.
Funny how that is the opposite of what Democrats promised healthcare reform would accomplish.