Posts Tagged 'healthcare'

The Right to Taxpayer Funded Abortion

Imagine if Mitt Romney gets elected, makes polygamy legal and mandates mission trips for young people.  I think we would be pretty shocked at the bold establishment of religion coming from the white house.  Yet we did not have that same gut reaction when Obama established his religion from the white house and got it passed without the required majority support through budget reconciliation. 

This is why the conservative movement has been so unprepared to handle charges that they are oppressing women or denying people rights when we object to being forced to pay for abortion.  Being told that by me not paying for someone else’s birth control, I am denying them the right to birth control is like telling a jungle native that they must be born again and put Jesus in their heart.  It just doesn’t translate.  The argument that healthcare is a right and society must therefore provide it is so ridiculous that conservatives reject it automatically.  But for Obama and social justice, liberation Christians it is gospel truth.

I checked, healthcare isn’t in the constitution.  But neither are puppies, and there are certain things you just have to be cautious about when arguing against.

What is in the constitution is religion and guns.  In fact, the private ownership and practice of both are enumerated rights.  What if I am too poor to afford a gun?  What if my community is too poor to support a church?  How is it that social justice does not then require the government or society to purchase my gun for me?  And as simply as that, for the non-liberation theologian, the idea of society owing me healthcare is defeated.

So why doesn’t this concept fall so easily?  If you listen to the liberal argument, Georgetown is denying Sandra Fluke the right to birth control by not buying it for her.  The right has a “war on women” because we want to protect the religious liberty and conscience of churches and religious organizations.  Conservatives have already ceded the rights of the religious employer in a secular field.  And how easily we let go.  I often wonder if Ben Nelson, Democrat from Nebraska who sold his conscientious objection to abortion funding for an earmark, ever wishes he could buy back his soul.

To understand the religious connotations of social justice in healthcare and why this religion shamelessly trumps the constitution, you have to understand liberation theology and James Cone.  Cone was required reading at Obama’s church.  Cone divided his teaching into dogmatic and methodological teachings.  The dogmatic teaching was the paradox that there is no universal truth.  Not even revelation in the Scriptures is absolute truth.  In fact, God is not in control and the very evidence of that is the existence of racism.

Cone’s methodological approach was contextual-dialectic.  What this means is that scripture has value in the way it relates to the reader’s context.  For Cone, this meant that the value of scripture was how it confirmed his own perception of racism against blacks.  From his perspective, there was no value in the original, contextual meaning of the scriptures.

Apply this to Obama’s thinking, and it makes sense that he would think Jesus wanted him to raise taxes, or that healthcare is a social justice right that trumps the constitution.  It also explains a lot about the ambiguity of Obama’s faith, his comfort level with the Muslim faith, and why he is so eager to impose his liberation theology on the country.  Obama is what the media keeps trying to convince us Santorum is.  Obama is a religious fanatic who is seeking to impose his beliefs on the country.  He is not alone, social justice and liberation theology is the spine of the liberal movement in the United States.  Documents like the constitution have value only to the extent that they endorse the liberal readers personal context.

That is why when a religious employer refuses to buy abortion pills for their employees, they are actually denying that employee the right to have abortion pills and are stealing her rights.  This is truth from the liberal perspective.

If Conservatives are going to successfully defend the constitution, perhaps James Cone should be required reading for us as well.

Back to being just President

It’s amazing to me that after shrugging of Republican fears of anti-constitutional judicial activism, now Democrats are crying judicial activism after the voiding of Obamacare by a Pensacola judge.  Judge Roger Vinson agreed with 26 states that the Federal government does not have the right to force citizens to buy certain products from private corporations.

He is right.  Where in the constitution does it even suggest that the government can force people to buy things?  And this is for a very good reason.  After all, if the government could mandate that you buy certain products from private industries, then those in power could maintain their power by picking winners and losers through legislation.

For a good example, you don’t need to look any further than the Obama administration’s handling of the bailouts.  They violated the constitution when they took Chrysler and GM from the bond and stock holders and handed them over to the unions.  Imagine what they could do if the judiciary upheld a law stating that they could order citizens to purchase goods from private companies.

What would happen is that we would all eventually be fit into the government mold of a model citizen.  If the government could tell you what foods you could eat, or what car you could drive, don’t you think they would?

Actually, they already do through our tax system.  You get tax breaks if you buy a home, go to school, buy energy efficient improvements or cars, give to charity, or do so many other government approved activities.

For once, a judge is saying no and is upholding the constitution.  President Obama must be mystified that a court would actually act as a check and balance against his power.  For years the judiciary was the vehicle of social changes that the legislature could not pass if they hoped to be re-elected.  Whether it was deciding that women have the constitutional right to privacy when depriving their unborn of the constitutional right to life or almost any decision by the 9th circuit, the courts have not been the last line of defense for constitutionalism that they were designed to be.  This time, the system worked.

Fresh into Obama’s presidency, he chose to stop enforcing federal drug laws in medical marijuana states.  He so poorly enforced immigration laws that states resorted to writing their own immigration laws, which he then sued them for.  Obama chose to drop the voter intimidation case against the black panthers even after the justice department had won the case.  He violated the constitution with a moratorium on oil drilling in the gulf.  When a judge struck it down, he turned around and issued a new moratorium.

With everything going on in Egypt, if anyone should be respecting the will of the people and our democratic rule of law, it should be President Obama.  Our constitutional system of freedom, elections, and a government of checks and balances is what prevents Presidents from becoming tyrants, and citizens from becoming revolutionaries on days other than the first Tuesday in November.

Sofar, the administration is appealing and ignoring the ruling.  But if Vinson’s ruling stands, Obama will need to make a decision.  Will he respect our constitution and the rule of law and start over on healthcare?

Obama has delivered change.  We now have an executive branch that can own private businesses, force consumers to buy, pick and choose what laws to enforce, reward supporters and punish detractors.  Obama has greatly extended the power of his office.

The message from Judge Vinson’s ruling is clear.  We have a democratic government designed with checks and balances and based on the constitution.  It’s time for Obama to go back to being just President.

Why I am a Conservative Constitutionalist

Originally posted 4/11/10

There are people in this country who, if they had their way, would shut down every strip club in the country. Many of us wouldn’t mind that. Our neighborhoods would be safer, husbands would be home at night, there might be fewer sexual crimes, and our society would spend less time looking at women as objects and instead looking at them as individuals.

There are people in this country who, if they had their way, would shut down every church in the country. Many of them wouldn’t mind that either. People could spend Sunday morning drinking, Sunday night with a whore, and not feel an ounce of guilt about it. They could walk to work without having to fear someone telling them God loves them, and walk home at night not having to fear someone telling them God hates their sin.

There are people in our country who only eat vegetables, tofu, black bean burgers and the like. They believe that eating meat is disgusting. Then there are others who love a steak and a beer and don’t care if eating that steak makes it 81.5 degrees out instead of 81.4.

This is why I am a Conservative Constitutionalist. Our founders came from a society where their government told them who and how they could worship. Their government sent them to wars, not for protection but for expansion of the empire. Their government did not listen to their voice, but “took care of them”. In exchange, they belonged to the government. Their money was the king’s property, to be surrendered upon demand. Their homes were military barracks on loan to them. Their speech was regulated. Their writings could put them at the end of a noose. What the government said was truth, even when it contradicted fact and conscience.

Our founders created a society of individual freedom. Each man is responsible for the application and management of his own destiny, rights, and pursuit of happiness. The “king” is subject to the same laws as the “subjects”. In fact, not only are the leaders subject to the same laws as everyone else, but they are also subject to popular removal. Every four years we have a bloodless revolution.

I am a Conservative Constitutionalist because I believe in my right to choose – not to choose whether I can kill someone, steal from someone, or break the common laws that we as a nation have approved under the limitations of our constitution, but to choose whether I want to drink or go to church. To choose whether I want to save for retirement or buy a hot tub and work till I die. To choose whether I want to pay more for my health care and eat burgers every day or pay more for the gym and look like an athlete. Whether I want to drive a Hummer or an electric golf cart. These are my choices because the Constitution limits the government’s ability to take my rights away.

I have the right to call my president a god or a moron. I have the right to shoot attackers, whether criminal or governmental. I have the right to let a US soldier whom I hardly know live in my house for half a year (which I did once) or to tell that soldier to take a hike. I have the right to kill someone in cold blood in front of witnesses and be tried by a jury of my peers before society has a right to sentence me to death for it. I have a right to choose who I do and don’t associate with. I have a right to worship my dog or my God however I want. I have the right to vote for someone to be the leader of my nation because I think they have a strong chin and I don’t like that the other guy is a Buddhist. I have a right to live by these freedoms without the fear that another nation, state, city, or homeowner’s association will remove my rights without my consent. I have the right to start a business, make a million dollars, and spend every penny of it (aside from the taxes necessary for efficient government) on Twinkies. I have the right to choose not to buy government-taxed tea.

At least that’s the way it’s supposed to work.

Instead, the government takes 12.4% of my income off the top and puts it towards an underfunded retirement I may never see. The government forces me to buy health insurance from heavily taxed companies – absolutely no different than when the government forced the colonists to buy heavily taxed tea. The government takes almost half of my income. What do I get in exchange? The government spends my money telling me and my family how the government thinks I should live. The government takes my money and spends it to deny fifth, seventh and fourteenth amendment rights to the unborn. The government exempts office-holders from these very laws that they impose on the rest of us. The government calls me a radical and a terrorist, when our own President began his political career hand in hand with real terrorists who have committed real violent acts. The government has decided what my happiness should be, takes my means from me, and tries to pursue it for me.

But the very nature of government is that its own limitations now become my limitations. The government buys my health insurance, but can’t afford to insure my lifestyle. Therefore, I can no longer smoke and drink without paying penalties to the government. And soon, if I eat burgers every day I will not be able to enjoy rationed health care privileges that were rights just a few months ago. I will not be able to start and run a business because the government needs my profits. But I will also no longer have the right to waste my talents as I see fit since the government cannot afford to exist without them.

Instead of making and producing goods and services that people want and need at prices they can afford, the government demands that we produce goods and services that the government thinks we need and want at prices the government demands. That is not conservatism; that is not constitutionalism.

The greater good can only be achieved through the will of the greater majority. When we no longer trust the masses is when the masses become slaves to the Machiavellian few. And when the Machiavellian few are handed the keys to all our dreams and happiness is when suddenly the governing become the privileged and “lobbying” those in power is the only avenue left for happiness. Haven’t we already seen this with the deals in the stimulus and health care bills? It will only get worse.

I am a Republican, but I am a Conservative Constitutionalist first. It is not the government’s job to take care of me, put a roof over my head, provide me happiness, feed me, or buy my health care. It is the government’s job to get out of my way, pave the road in front of me, and keep all others not subject to the same protections of citizenship to our government from hindering me. Anything beyond that is a usurpation of my freedom and individual responsibility.

Obama’s Healthcare Plan vs. My Healthcare Solutions

A few months ago I wrote fifteen Conservative Constitutionalist healthcare solutions that would fix our healthcare system.  Since then, Obama has passed his healthcare reform tax bill.  Let’s see how his solutions measure up.

1. End medicare and medicaid. These open ended guaranteed government payments allow businesses to operate and make millions while justifying poor service because the Government thinks it is paying discounted prices. Any medical assistance programs must be implemented on a state level where it is not unconstitutional.

Instead, Obama cut Medicare payments to doctors and Medicare prescription plans for seniors.  At the same time he expanded Medicaid requirements for states, except for states of Senators whose vote he bought.  And he expanded Medicare to everyone who makes under 133% of the poverty level, starting in 2014.  He also increased Medicare taxes for individuals who make more than $125,000 (if married) and on investment income.

2. Employers should be able to let employees choose their individual plan based on their needs. For example, I am not going to get pregnant, and I don’t anticipate most of the health problems that come with age at this point in my life. Yet I am paying for all of that in my insurance plan.

Instead, companies will be penalized up to $2,500 per employee who they don’t cover under one of Obama’s qualified plans that covers what Obama thinks should be covered.  If your company doesn’t cover you, you will face fines up to $2,260 for not buying your own health insurance that Obama thinks you should have.

3. Insurance should be portable and easily picked up and dropped. When you buy car insurance, you are covered at that moment. When you buy health insurance, you have to wait a year for some coverage to become applicable. This will create competition.

When Obamacare finally comes online in 2014, your insurance plan still won’t be portable because your company will still be required to cover you.  However, it will supposedly be easier to purchase insurance since you can’t be denied for pre-existing conditions.  It does mean though that insurance will be more expensive.

4. People should be able to buy policies from other states. However, insurance companies should also have the option to not sell to certain states that have strict laws regulating insurance companies.

Buying across state lines is still not allowed.  And many insurance companies will be squeezed out of current state markets through higher taxes on insurance companies and increased regulations.

5. People shouldn’t have to go to doctors with 8 years of college debt to get simple physicals or other simple procedures and diagnosis. They can if they want to, but they shouldn’t have to. I can go to Wal Mart for a $70 eye exam, or I can spend a couple hundred dollars to see a private eye doctor practice.

Actually, Obama’s bill makes you need to go to the doctor for more.  Under the Obama bill, you cannot deduct over the counter medical expenses or pay for them with your HSA or 125 plan without a doctor prescription.

6. Some prescriptions should be de-regulated. Think about it, you can get Plan B over the counter, but for a much lower dose birth control taken daily you have to get annual checkups and pay prescription costs.

Again, not only will there be greater impetus to get doctor prescriptions for drugs, but this bill actually subsidizes name brand prescriptions which will squeeze cheaper generics out of the market.

7. HSA plans are a good idea, but the fees make them not worth it. HSA plans must be made simple like a self-directed IRA to be used for any medical costs no matter what your insurance is. If someone wants full coverage and an HSA, go for it. If they want no insurance and an HSA, go for it.

This bill severely limits what you can contribute to health savings accounts of all kinds, limits what you can spend the funds on, and doubles penalty taxes if you spend the funds on the wrong things, like over the counter drugs. And again, it makes it illegal to not patronize the insurance companies even if you can afford your own healthcare without insurance.  This bill makes insurance companies the permanent middleman which will keep prices for basic medical care high.

8. Doctor/patient confidentiality must apply only to citizens and legal residents. Illegal aliens must be treated and then sent back to their home country where they can obey our immigration laws just like everyone else, however they must pay any medical expenses outstanding as part of the citizenship process.

This bill does nothing to curb use of our healthcare system by illegal aliens.  In fact, this is a better system for them because they don’t have to pay penalty taxes for not paying for insurance.

9. Uninsured individuals must pay for procedures. They can negotiate payment plans and prices with the doctors, but if they use medical services they must pay what the doctor determines they owe. Medical liens should be available to doctors so that they can choose whether or not to treat a delinquent patient before doing an operation.

Now, uninsured individuals can wait until they get sick or injured and then buy insurance that day.  It will increase the price of insurance, which will cause more people to choose to not buy insurance and pay the penalty taxes instead.  The result is a spiral upward of healthcare prices. The mandates don’t bring down health insurance prices, they only fund Obama and the government for more spending.

10. There must be truth in advertising. Doctors must be able to let you know exactly what you will owe for a procedure before you have it and you must be able to easily acquire from your insurance company what they will and will not cover. Except in emergencies, reimbursements must be issued before the procedure takes place. This will ensure limited legal action and no recalculations of what you owe after the fact.

The insurance exchanges are supposed to produce this.  But with insurance companies as the permanent middleman between us and our doctors and the government as the permanent middleman between us and our insurance companies, don’t count on it.

11. We need serious and real tort reform. I would recommend a standardization of what a doctor or insurance company must pay for each situation. I would also recommend a clear understanding between doctor and patient of what creates a legal liability for a doctor. For example, if they amputate the wrong foot, it should be clear what your legal options are. If they are doing a procedure and due to no fault of their own something goes wrong, they should be protected from lawsuits. If a doctor explains an operation to you, listing the risks, and you choose to have the operation, you must be the one responsible for that decision.

We got nothing.    Obama would not sell out his lawyer supporters.

12. Doctor education needs to be reformed. The cost of doctor education is unreasonable. But education is a whole other topic that I have dealt with in other places.

Now, when doctors finally get out of school, they will be paying taxes on their services as well.    And when they go to school, there will no longer be competition in regards to their student loans because the Government has taken over the entire school loan sector of our economy.  Apparently that makes us healthier.

13. Patients medical records should be made electronic with every patient being able to access and transfer them from doctor to doctor. GOVERNMENT MUST NOT BE ABLE TO ACCESS THESE RECORDS. You think voter ID cards are a violation of civil rights…

Not only will the government have access to our personal records, but so will the IRS and Social Security administration.  The chief of Health and Human Services will use our medical records to standardize and de-humanize treatments.

14. It’s up to the states, but I would recommend that states do not cover abortions, smoking or drug related illness, sexually transmitted diseases or cosmetic surgery.

Smoking and age are now the only two factors insurance companies can use in determining what you pay.  Apparently you can still drink, eat twinkies for breakfast lunch and dinner, engage in promiscuous sex, do drugs, and whatever else as long as you don’t smoke.  And when you get AIDS, liver disease and diabetes from your unhealthy lifestyle, the insurance companies have to cover you that day and charge you the same as what they charge your health-nut neighbor (unless he smokes in which case they can charge him more).  Philip Morris must not have sent enough lobbyist muscle to Washington.

The government will ensure that everything else is covered.  And if you want an abortion, the government will write you a blank check.  Just don’t tell them what it’s for.  It’s like telling anti-gun advocates that you are going to give $1 million to every gunstore in the country so that they can increase their inventory of safety equipment.  You’re not anti-safety, are you?

15. Businesses and individuals should be allowed and encouraged to pool insurance plans or create healthcare associations to negotiate for lower rates and create pooled risk. Already there are many Christian community organizations who do this and provide medical coverage for less than $100 a month.

The government will allow for government regulated non-profit insurance co-ops, but with taxes on doctors, healthcare equipment, drugs, and increased regulations on health savings accounts and insurance companies, it’s doubtful whether even a non-profit co-op would be affordable.

Dear Sen. Nelson’s Staffer

Dear Sen. Nelson’s Staffer,

I address you because I know Senator Bill Nelson is a busy man and will not actually read my email.  Besides, you are the one I want to talk to.  If your job, along with reading Bill’s email, is going over legislation that he doesn’t have time to read and disseminating it for him, you have failed miserably.

Today I received an email from your boss (well, probably from you) containing the speech he recently gave regarding health “reform” from the Senate floor.  As I read it, it became obvious that he has not read the bill.  It also became obvious that you have not read it either.  Let me give you some examples:

“Mr. President, for the first time, we as a nation are recognizing that people have a right to not be destroyed by sickness.”

Oh, I’m sorry, I didn’t know not getting sick was something you could legislate.  Last time I checked, even the rich and powerful get sick.  In fact, most of them die too.  And the ones who haven’t probably will some day.  My question would be, if you can outlaw sickness, why haven’t we done it already?…

“Under the Senate bill passed by the House and signed into law by the president – folks will no longer have to choose between their health and their pocketbooks.”

Ok, this is true.  It won’t be a choice anymore.  Because if we don’t pony up for health insurance, we will be penalized by the government.

“Parents will no longer have to worry about whether they can afford to get their kids to the doctor. ”

I didn’t see a provision in the bill that makes kids healthcare free.  I saw something that makes it so that insurers have to cover kids under their parents insurance until they are 26 (which will increase premiums for everyone).  I also saw something saying that parents who wait until their kids have pre-existing conditions before buying healthcare can get it no questions asked (which again means higher premiums, much higher than the penalty for not buying insurance).  I saw in 2014 they have tax credits that the middle class don’t qualify for to pay for these much higher premiums.  But nope, nothing about free healthcare for kids.  At least not anything we didn’t already have through SCHIP, mandates that ERs treat people, and state programs.

“Seniors won’t have to wonder if Medicare will still be there for them several years down the road.”

Ok, that one’s true.  Medicare will be there.  Medicare Advantage won’t.  Doctors who take Medicare patients won’t.  But Medicare will be.  So will Medicare taxes on their retirement investments they have been accumulating all their life.

“But very, very importantly, we’re also going to hold the insurance companies accountable.”

If by holding them accountable you mean forcing everyone in the country to buy their product, then I guess this one would be true too.

I understand how happy you all are over there on the Left about finally adding healthcare to the long list of things we must rely on the motherland for, but don’t take us for fools.  We know exactly what you have taken from us with this bill.  We may not have been in the backrooms watching the deals take place, but we saw who walked in and what came out.  While there are many now who imagine that this bill means Christmas, we know any present your boss and his colleagues consider themselves unworthy of is not something we are interested in either.  Oh, and you can tell him we know the dirtiest secret of all, that we will be forced to fund abortion.

So, when do they pass healthcare REFORM?

The bill is passed.  Finally, after hundreds of years, we have healthcare.  No more poverty, no more sickness, no more evil insurance company profits.  But before you cancel your policy and call your representative for your free health insurance card, you might want to do a little research and see just what is, and isn’t, in this bill.

First of all, you won’t see the majority of the provisions in this bill until 2014.  The tough parts of the bill hit in odd years, and the best provisions start in even years.  Guess what else happens in even years…elections.

In 2010, we see expansions of coverage.  Children with pre-existing conditions cannot be denied coverage, even if parents had ample time to establish coverage before the condition was discovered.  The definition of a dependent (for insurance purposes only) will change to anyone up to 26 years of age and insurance companies must cover them under their parents’ plan.  Seniors who have spent more than $2,830 on prescriptions will get an extra $250.  There will be tax credits for businesses with up to 25 employees, but that may be subject to average salary levels which could be as low as $25,000 a year.

Hospitals, healthcare providers, home health agencies and others will face significant reductions in Medicare payments.   Many will probably stop taking new Medicare patients, especially when healthy young 26 year olds can go to the doctor’s office for the sniffles and daddy’s insurance has to pay for it.  When I was 26 I was making less than 25k a year and buying health insurance for my family.

What about taxes?  Well, in 2010 we see a 10% sales tax on indoor tanning.  Good thing I live in a beach town.  What about free healthcare?  Not yet.  In fact, we will all be paying more to make up for lower Medicare payments to doctors.  But senior voters will get their $250 vote bribe.

In 2011 we see a voluntary long-term care benefit created to cover nursing home costs or home health, but benefits won’t start until you’ve been paying in for five years.  Medicare patients who have spent that $2,830 get a 50% discount on name brand drugs, not generics.  Doctors in underserved areas, who are still taking Medicare patients, get a 10% bonus to continue taking Medicare patients.  Payments to Medicare Advantage are frozen, but funding for community health centers is boosted.  Whether or not those centers will be able to perform abortions with that funding is still up in the air.  And finally, the bill imposes a $2.3 billion tax on drugmakers which will go up every year.  It shouldn’t take an economics degree to know who will pay that $2.3 billion tax.

In exchange for that $2.3 billion in extra taxes that drug-makers will pass on to consumers, competition from generics is crushed.  Also, with this bill it is illegal for the Government to negotiate for lower prices on Medicare drugs.  That’s probably why the Wall Street Journal calls this bill a huge victory for big drug companies. Good job Democrats.  By the way, in 2011 still no free health insurance.

In 2012 we will have the public option.  Yes, you read that right.  A new government program will be set up to create non-profit insurance co-ops to compete with commercial insurers.  While it is not a government run insurance program, it will be interesting to see how it is implemented and subsidized.  Also, hospitals with high readmission rates will be penalized and possibly cut off through lower Medicare reimbursements.

So, no free health insurance in 2012.  But it is Obama’s re-election year, so we will see a de facto public option.  Will the public option cut costs?  It’s doubtful when everything else in this bill sofar increases actual healthcare costs.  Public option co-ops may not have to pay for profits, but they will have to pay the embedded taxes and make up for Medicare cuts.  But that doesn’t matter.  What matters is the PR generated by the public option being generated in Obama’s election year.

In 2013 we have some good news.  Insurance company paperwork will be standardized, which should hopefully eliminate confusion and cut costs.  The bad news is that it is being standardized by the Government.  More bad news in 2013 includes limits on Flexible Spending Accounts (cafeteria plans) deferrals and higher taxes.  The wage threshold for deducting medical expenses will go up from 7.5% to 10% for all Americans, and we will pay a 2.3% sales tax on medical devices and equipment.  All these additional taxes will take effect in 2013 but the only mandates sofar are that insurers provide coverage to children with pre-existing conditions and 26 year olds under their parents’ plan.  There is some relief for Medicare patients (not enrolled in Medicare Advantage), however experts feel Medicare doctors and providers are hit hardest by the bill.

For individuals making $200,000 (joint filers making $250,000) Medicare taxes are going up .9%.  Also these individuals will also owe an additional 3.8% in taxes on investment income, including stock sales, dividends, interest, rental income, etc.  I suppose Obama is counting on the economy being all better before we get hit with these taxes on economic growth.  Of course, by the time these taxes hit, we might have a Republican President.

2013, still no free healthcare.  Not even cheaper healthcare.  Instead, by 2013 prices will have skyrocketed from embedded taxes.  Insurers will still be able to drop anyone older than 26, and drug companies will be making out like bandits with little competition.

2014 is when the major provisions of the bill finally hit.  So free healthcare, right?  In 2014, insurers will no longer be able to deny coverage to anyone based on pre-existing conditions.  But they also won’t be able to vary rates based on anything beyond age, location, and tobacco usage.  This means that healthy Americans will pay the same rates as the obese and drunk, so long as they don’t patronize the evil tobacco industry.  Insurance rates can go as high as $27,000 per family without the insurance company paying additional taxes.

States will be forced to create and maintain insurance exchanges (whether they can afford it or not), but these insurance exchanges won’t provide free coverage.  They will just squeeze any smaller insurance companies out of the market so that the bigger companies can charge more.  Every American will be forced to purchase insurance, which will increase demand and prices.  In fact, businesses will have to pony up $2,000 for every employee they don’t cover, and individuals will have to pay up to $2,250 in penalties to the IRS if they don’t buy insurance.  The government is hiring 17,000 new IRS agents to enforce this unconstitutional mandate.

So when does the government start giving us free insurance?  It doesn’t.  When you get laid off from your job because your boss can’t afford another $2,000 per employee, how do you afford $27,000 premiums and embedded taxes on your drugs, equipment and doctor’s visits?  The government gives you tax credits.

To qualify for this government handout, you have to be making less than 400% of the poverty level.  The subsidy would be on a sliding scale, up to 9.5% of your income.  So how would this work?

If you are single, making $42,400 or less you can get a tax credit.  But 9.5% of your income on a sliding scale means you probably wouldn’t even see $4,000 in subsidies.  If you make more than 400% of the poverty line, you are out of luck.    My wife and I are just above the threshold for couples and would not be eligible for any tax credits.

In the meantime, in addition to higher prices on drugs and medical supplies, embedded taxes on doctors and providers, and limitations on competition, in 2014 every insurance company left is hit with $8 billion a year in taxes to pass on to us.  This tax will weed out any remaining competition, and will help drive prices up even higher so that even an $8,000 credit for a family of four won’t cover half your plan.  With additional taxes not hitting insurance plans until they reach $27,000, that may be the point.  We can’t have the single payer socialist system Obama always wanted until this plan fails.

No free healthcare, no competition, no help for the middle class, no punishing evil CEOs, and surprise surprise, no healthcare reform.

Stupid Stupid Stupak

We thought Obama’s healthcare takeover was dead.  We may be wrong.

One thing is for sure, we probably aren’t going to see a new bill.  In order to ditch the current junk bill and prepare a new bill, the House and Senate would have to have some potential of actually agreeing with one another.  With the pro-life Democrats in the House and not enough Senators willing to break their rules and use reconciliation to pass social policy, a new bill would be almost as likely than an actual bi-partisan compromise.

But Obama doesn’t need a new bill.  All he needs is for the House to pass the bill that the Senate passed before Brown was elected in Massachusetts.  There’s only one problem, and I highlighted this back in November: the Senate bill funds abortion and the House doesn’t want that.

Whereas the Senate bill funds abortion, the House bill makes it so that abortion cannot be covered by insurance companies.  That is just one of the costs of government run insurance.  When the people pay for your healthcare, the people can decide what healthcare you can get.  In an act of uncharacteristic heroism, Representative Bart Stupak ensured that the House bill had an amendment that does not allow the government to buy our insurance if that insurance covers abortion.  It was the only way Pelosi could get enough votes to pass their version.  Since the government will soon fund every insurance company, companies would no longer be allowed to insure abortions.  It would almost make passing the bill worth it.

Stupak had been the last line of defense against the House passing the Senate bill, but now he is talking about making a deal.  What would a Democrat, willing to put his career on the line to protect the unborn, sell his soul for?  In this case, nothing.  Stupak instead is about to fall for the oldest trick in the book.

It’s like in the movies when the evil interrogator says “Tell me what I want to know and I’ll let you go free!”  We all know what’s really going to happen.  They can’t make changes to the Senate bill without the Senate having to pass it again, which won’t happen.  What they can do is tell Stupak that if he votes for the Senate bill, they will pass a “fix” bill with his amendment.  Obama has already been talking about passing a second fix bill because face it, he knows as well as we do that the current bill is crap.  Even Steny Hoyer could only muster a “better than nothing” when describing the current healthcare bill.  Stupak may be close to making this deal.  He will vote for the Senate bill with nothing more than a promise from Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid that the Democrat leadership will write, pass and get a Presidential signature on a bill that says no government funded insurance plan can cover abortion.  Come on Stupak, think about it.

If the Democrat party with complete control over both houses of Congress cannot pass their own healthcare reform bill, there is no way they will pass a second bill placing any sort of limits on abortion.  If he lets this bill pass, it will be Stupak surrounded by millions of taxpayer funded aborted babies, with Stupak saying, “But you promised nobody would get hurt!”


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