Update, 9:50 AM: The Patient Power Now blog presents more explanation why the new Harry Reid “compromise” is a bad deal.
So the big news from Capitol Hill is that Democrat leaders in Congress have ditched the “public option” — which means we can claim some small victory, right? WRONG. What’s the matter with the Democrats’ new “compromise” deal on so-called health care reform? Keep on reading….
At National Review, health care expert Sally Pipes explains how this new proposal still leads the U.S. down the path to unpopular, single-payer government health care in the next five years:
The idea of establishing a type of Federal Employees Health Benefits Plan managed by OPM where individuals, families, and small businesses can buy insurance from non-profit insurance entities in exchanges is giving government more power and control. There is also discussion on mandating that insurance companies spend 90 percent of the premiums they collect on providing health services. This will have a negative effect on their ability to earn a profit. And, if insurance companies do not offer the plans deemed appropriate by the federal agency, then the trigger will kick in for the public option. In other words, the public option is not dead yet.
Hence, Jillian Bandes in her newest Townhall column calls the “compromise” proposal “Public Option Lite”, because it still bloats the existing debt-ridden government bureaucracy:
The expansion of Medicare presented the biggest problem.
“Medicare is currently $50-100 trillion in debt, depending on which accounting measure you use. Allowing younger workers to join the program is the equivalent of crowding a few more passengers onto the Titanic,” said [Cato Institute Senior Fellow Michael] Tanner.
Further probing the bizarre claims behind the bizarre new planMark Tapscott of the Washington Examiner writes:
If the claim that government-run health insurance can be a “private” program is patently absurd, this latest Senate Obamacare deal actually includes something even more bizarre. Millions more Americans are to be made eligible for Medicare, which is supposed to be cut by $500 billion to pay for this Rube Goldberg contraption. Go figure….
And, of course, as Fox News reports, the price tag for the new brand of government so-called health care reform is still excruciatingly high:
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.
(It’s worth noting that health care expert Sally Pipes estimates the cost of the new plan at more than $2 trillion.)
Smoke and mirrors, my friend. The American people are shouting at Congress to stop the madness and try again some other time. And when next you pursue so-called health care reform, do something that actually addresses affordability and quality by de-regulating the market and doing more to empower consumers — not impose mandates, raise taxes and expand government bureaucracy, whether it goes by the name “public option” or not.