Healthcare

The Era of Health Care Rationing Begins

Posted on September 22, 2010. Filed under: Healthcare, Obama, Socialism/Communism |

And so it begins….as we knew it would.

The Era Of Health Care Rationing Begins

By SALLY C. PIPES

Supporters of health reform said it would never happen. Maybe they got caught up in their own rhetoric. Maybe they just didn’t want to believe it was possible. But rationing in America has started.

This week, the Food and Drug Administration is expected to revoke approval of the drug Avastin for the treatment of advanced breast cancer. Louisiana Republican Sen. David Vitter has described the anticipated move as “the beginning of a slippery slope leading to more and more rationing under the government takeover of health care.”

It seems that even loyal Democrats have noticed the Obama administration’s not-so-subtle policy shift toward rationing. According to Politico, many of the 34 House Democrats who voted against the health reform bill are aggressively touting their “no” votes in campaign ads.

The FDA claims its decision won’t be based on cost, but Avastin isn’t cheap — a full regimen costs about $100,000 a year.

Jean Grem of the FDA’s Oncology Drug Advisory Committee was cited in the Wall Street Journal explaining why she voted to deprive breast-cancer patients of Avastin: “We aren’t supposed to talk about cost, but that’s another issue.”

Two years ago, the FDA approved Avastin for breast cancer on the condition that further research would show the drug extended life expectancy. Everyone expected the drug to maintain its approval. Avastin has proven to be a wonder drug for countless women with stage IV breast cancer, slowing the disease’s progression and dramatically extending life.

But when no significant increase in “overall survivability” was reported this summer, an FDA advisory panel recommended that Avastin’s approval be withdrawn. Top FDA officials must decide by Friday whether they will accept or reject the panel’s counsel.

No cancer drug has ever been taken off the market based solely on “overall survivability.” Traditionally, calculations of a drug’s effectiveness have been based on tumor response and progression-free survival rates.

Here, Avastin is a miracle drug. In the manufacturer’s critical phase III study, tumors shrank in nearly 50% of patients receiving the medicine. Patients who received Avastin in conjunction with chemotherapy lived nearly twice as long as would otherwise be expected without their disease worsening.

For some patients — known as “super-responders” — an Avastin regime translates into years of additional life.

If the FDA strips Avastin of its approval, it’s likely that private insurers and Medicare would stop covering the medicine, effectively removing Avastin from the anti-breast cancer arsenal.

Government rationing doesn’t stop at Avastin.

Medicare coverage for Provenge, a drug for advanced prostate cancer, is also in jeopardy. Like Avastin, Provenge is expensive. Created using a patient’s own white blood cells, the drug costs $93,000. The FDA has already approved Provenge as safe and effective, yet Medicare officials are currently deciding whether it will pay for the medicine.

If officials decide Provenge isn’t worth covering, it will mark the first time Medicare has refused to pay for an FDA-approved anti-cancer drug.

The outrage over the administration’s campaign against expensive but effective drugs has not been muted. Major cancer advocacy groups like Susan G. Komen for the Cure and the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance have come out in strong support of both Avastin and Provenge.

It’s terrifying to think that distant, faceless bureaucrats are now making Americans’ health care decisions. Welcome to Obama-Care.

LINK: http://www.investors.com/NewsAndAnalysis/Article/547365/201009151817/The-Era-Of-Health-Care-Rationing-Begins.htm

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Akin Calls Obama Administration on Propaganda Website

Posted on August 11, 2010. Filed under: Healthcare, Obama, Obama Corruption, Politicians, Politics |

Akin Calls Administration on Propaganda Website

July 28, 2010

From Congressman Akin’s Web Site:

WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Todd Akin (MO-2), today sent a letter to Secretary Sebelius expressing opposition to partisan ideological content on the official HealthCare.gov website. Fifty-three other members of the House of Representatives joined Akin in signing the letter.

Akin’s letter cites examples of bias in the HealthCare.gov website and calls on the Department of Health and Human Services to “act as a responsible steward of taxpayer dollars and remove all factual inaccuracies, misleading statements, and subjective one-sided information, while adding essential consumer education information, whether positive or not.”

The PDF of the letter is here. The text of the letter to Sec. Sebelius is below.

July 28, 2010

The Honorable Kathleen Sebelius

Secretary, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

200 Independence Avenue, S.W.

Washington, DC 20201

Dear Secretary Sebelius:

We are writing to express our opposition to the content, or lack thereof, that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has placed on HealthCare.gov, the new web portal established under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).

While we have supported similar web portal proposals to be used as consumer information and transparency tools, we never envisioned it as a way to use taxpayer funds to promote political ideology masquerading as “facts.” We take issue with the Administration’s claim during a meeting with Republican staff on July 7, 2010, that the content chosen for the web portal was simply for “consumer education,” as so far the information presented is all one-sided. We are concerned that HHS is misusing its regulatory powers to influence the debate, and we believe it is not HHS’ proper role to limit information to only what the Administration sees as positive benefits of PPACA, while leaving out key information that will have dramatic effects on the lives of Americans.

We provide the following examples as evidence of our claim:

Ø The banner at the top of every page says “health care is getting better,” which is a purely subjective statement.

Ø Information about Medicare Advantage plans is noticeably absent. The only information listed under “Find Insurance Options” is information on Medigap plans (like the kind AARP offers), Medicaid, state-based options, and local facilities that provide “reduced priced care”. American seniors who want to learn “more about insurance for benefits that are not covered by Medicare” deserve to know all of their options.

Ø The warning label that pops up for insurance searches in 45 states says, “A quick note about individual insurance: Unless you live in New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Vermont, or Maine, be aware that the current marketplace creates several challenges for the consumer.” The five states listed are those with guaranteed-issue laws. The statement is certainly biased against states (and insurers) that do not mandate guaranteed-issue. While it is true that coverage may not be guaranteed through the individual insurance market, the webpages that contain this statement fail to contain any follow up statements about other available options in these states or why the state has chosen to not mandate guaranteed-issue.

Ø Under the timeline provided by the Administration, there is a graphic of a briefcase overflowing with money, labeled “Stopping Overpayments to Big Insurance Companies” accompanied by a slide titled “Addressing Overpayments to Big Insurance Companies and Strengthening Medicare Advantage.” Not only is the graphic biased and over the top in its vilification of insurers, but it also fails to be accompanied by information from CMS’ Actuary warning that more than half of seniors will lose access to their Medicare Advantage plans due to over $200 billion in cuts under PPACA.[1]

Ø The website claims, under the “Strengthening Medicare” tab “The life of the Medicare Trust Fund will be extended to at least 2029, a 12-year extension…” This statement is completely false, as these new Medicare cuts are not being used to improve the program’s solvency, but instead are being used to offset the massive new entitlement spending and government programs. According to CMS’ Actuary, “in practice, the improved HI financing cannot be simultaneously used to finance other Federal outlays (such as the coverage expansions) and to extend the trust fund, despite the appearance of this result from the respective accounting conventions.”[2] The truth is either you’re extending the life of Medicare or you’re paying for the bill. You can’t claim both and CBO agrees.[3]

Items that were noticeably left off the HealthCare.gov web portal but certainly fall under the definition of “consumer education” include:

Ø No references to tax increases (among other negative aspects of PPACA) on the timeline.

Ø No warning that consumers should stay away from high-costs plans or be subject to the “Cadillac Tax.”

Ø No mention that there will not be enough funding for the new high risk pools to run through 2014 – as both CBO and CMS’ Actuary have found.[4],[5]

Ø No warning under the “Understand the New Law” tab that over 51% of employees will be in plans without “grandfathered” status, as employers will be forced to change their plans to comply with PPACA.[6]

Ø No information about private entities that offer assistance in picking a personalized plan, such as certified state-licensed independent insurance agents and brokers.

Ø No information about providers that still take Medicaid and/or Medicare.

Ø No information about, or restrictions being placed on, Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs), Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs), etc. through PPACA.

Therefore, we respectfully request that HHS act as a responsible steward of taxpayer dollars and remove all factual inaccuracies, misleading statements, and subjective one-sided information, while adding essential consumer education information, whether positive or not.

We appreciate your attention to this issue and look forward to your prompt response.

Yours truly,

/s/

LINK: http://akin.house.gov/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1544:akin-calls-administration-on-propaganda-website&catid=25:press-releases&Itemid=74

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Jack Cafferty Rips the Bureaucratic ‘Obama-nation’ Created by ObamaCare

Posted on August 11, 2010. Filed under: Healthcare, Nanny State, Obama, Obama Corruption, Socialism/Communism |

Maybe some folks will finally start seeing what we’ve seen all along – Obama is a liar and his policies are bad for America.

Jack Cafferty Rips the Bureaucratic ‘Obama-nation’ Created by ObamaCare

newsbusters.org

By Matthew Balan

Tue, 08/03/2010 –

Excerpt:

On Tuesday’s Situation Room, CNN’s Jack Cafferty used the term “Obama-nation,” a pun on the word “abomination,” which is used on many conservative blogs, to slam the “sprawling bureaucratic giant…that seems to be the result of President Obama’s new health care law.” Cafferty admitted during his commentary that ObamaCare is “shaping up to be exactly what the critics were afraid it would be.”

The CNN commentator devoted his regular Cafferty File segment 12 minutes into the 6 pm Eastern hour to the recent report from the Congressional Research Service that, as Cafferty put it, “says it’s ‘impossible’ to estimate the number of agencies, boards, and commissions that will be created by this new law.” Cafferty explained that the report “points to many reasons for this. First off, the parts of the law that create these new bodies vary drastically. In some cases, the law gives a lot of details- in other cases, barely a mention.”

Later, the CNN personality cited one provision in the ObamaCare law which “requires six separate agencies- six- within Health and Human Services to each establish an Office of Minority Health- six!” After listing two delays in getting new bureaucracies set up, he continued that there were “questions about the ability of Congress to carry out oversight of this sprawling mess.”

At the end of the segment, Cafferty asked his usual “Question of the Hour” of his viewers: “How’s the government going to manage our health care if it’s impossible to know the number of agencies, boards, and commissions that are created by the new health care law?” He even got one minor dig at his nemesis on the right, Sarah Palin. He asked anchor Wolf Blitzer what he thought of his use of the “Obama-nation” term. When Blitzer replied he hadn’t heard of it before, Cafferty quipped, “Me and Sarah Palin- we make up these words.”

LINK: http://newsbusters.org/blogs/matthew-balan/2010/08/03/jack-cafferty-rips-bureaucratic-obama-nation-created-obamacare

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National Health Service: It’s Coming to America

Posted on August 1, 2010. Filed under: Healthcare, Obama, Politics, Socialism/Communism |

I guess I’ll just keep posting this stuff to remind those who just don’t get it, that we are headed towards disaster with Obamacare!!! We have to get it repealed!

National Health Service: It’s Coming to America

Cal Thomas

PORTSTEWART, Northern Ireland — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid told a group of liberal activists meeting in Las Vegas they shouldn’t worry about not getting the single-payer provision in the new health care law. “We’re going to have a public option,” Reid said. “It’s just a question of when.”

Remember the objections conservatives and many Republicans raised during the debate about government-run health care and the danger of eliminating private health insurance, despite its many flaws? Recall that Britain’s National Health Service (NHS) was frequently cited as an example of where the U.S. health system might be headed: coverage for all, but with lower quality, long waits for major surgery and denial of care when the government decides the procedure is not “cost effective”.

Anyone who believes a U.S. health care system based on the NHS model can somehow fare better than Britain’s had better consider this recent headline and story from London’s Sunday Telegraph: “Axe Falls on NHS Services; Hip operations, cataract surgery and IVF rationed; Cancer care, maternity, pediatric services at risk.”

Rationing? Oh yes, and it is something the unconfirmed, recess-appointed U.S. health care czar, Donald Berwick, strongly favors.

British government leaders had promised to protect frontline services. The Obama administration also made similar promises in order to win enough support from members of Congress, most of whom never read the bill before they voted for it.

Here’s what America can look forward to if it follows the NHS model, according to an investigation by the Sunday Telegraph: “Plans to cut hundreds of thousands of pounds from budgets for the terminally ill, with dying cancer patients to be told to manage their own symptoms if their condition worsens at evenings or weekends.” Never has “take two aspirin and call me in the morning” sounded more callous.

Nursing homes for the elderly would be closed, the number of hospital beds for the mentally ill reduced and general practitioners would be discouraged from sending patients to hospitals. Accident and emergency department services would also be cut.

Thousands of jobs would be lost at NHS hospitals, reports the Telegraph, “including 500 staff to go at a trust where cancer patients recently suffered delays in diagnosis and treatment because of staff shortages.” Katherine Murphy of the Patients Association called the cuts “astonishingly brutal.” She expressed particular concern at attempts to ration (that word again) hip and knee operations. “These are not unusual procedures,” she said. “This is a really blatant attempt to save money by leaving people in pain.

What do politicians care about that? In Britain, as in America, top officials (including Berwick who has lifetime health coverage given to him by the Institute for Health Care Improvement) will always have access to the best care, even while they decide the rest of us cannot.

This paragraph in the Telegraph story should send chills down the spine of every American: “Doctors across the country have already been told that their patients can have the operations only if they are given ‘prior approval’ by the Primary Care Trust, with each authorization made on a ‘case by case’ basis.”

When cost, rather than the value of life becomes supreme, rationing will inevitably lead to other cost-cutting policies. And yes, despite protestations from those who favored Obamacare that “death panels” would not be part of the equation, you can count on them. They will, of course, be called something else. We wouldn’t want to disturb any remaining moral sensibilities we might have.

It has taken the NHS 62 years to get to this point. America’s journey should be a lot shorter given the declared goals of Harry Reid and Donald Berwick.

It is more than ironic that this is taking place in the year when Britain is observing the centenary of the revered nurse Florence Nightingale. Given the prevailing attitude toward the value of human life and its care, her replacement might be the likes of Dr. Jack Kevorkian. Hemlock, anyone?

LINK: http://townhall.com/columnists/CalThomas/2010/07/29/national_health_service_its_coming_to_america

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Time Magazine Admits That ObamaCare Was Sold Under False Pretenses: You WILL Lose your Healthcare

Posted on June 28, 2010. Filed under: Healthcare, Obama, Obama Corruption, Politics |

We knew it wasn’t true, so when will liberals actually hold Obama accountable for his lies???

OK, So It’s Not True

Jennifer Rubin – 06.26.2010 – 8:30 AM

Over the last year or so, Obama has repeated dozens — perhaps hundreds — of times that his health-care ”reform” would allow you to keep your existing insurance plan. It’s quite apparent now that this was false. Time magazine is the latest to report:

Now that regulations about existing employer-sponsored plans have been issued, it’s becoming clear that many of the 160 million Americans with job-based coverage will not, in fact, be able to keep what they currently have.

Republican critics of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act point to the Obama Administration’s own estimates that by 2013, 39% to 69% of employer plans will be subject to new regulations and not grandfathered in, or exempted from the new rules. House minority leader John Boehner issued a press release about the new regulations with the headline “New ObamaCare Tagline Should Be ‘If You Like Your Health Care Plan, Too Bad.’ “

While the reporter feels compelled to call GOP rhetoric “overheated,” she readily concedes that conservative critics have the facts on their side:

The truth is that employer-based plans, which many assumed would easily be categorized as grandfathered, will be subject to the full regulatory thrust of the new law if they are altered in ways that are standard practice in the industry. Plans that increase the percentage of costs patients must pay out of pocket — known as co-insurance — lose their grandfathered status. The same is true for plans that significantly decrease the percentage that employers contribute to premiums or those that significantly increase deductibles or co-payments. An employer that switches health-insurance providers also loses its grandfathered status. These kinds of changes are common year to year in the current marketplace, since employers are constantly looking for ways to limit their expenses in the face of rising costs.

The “keep your plan” hooey was as deceptive as the claim that ObamaCare would reduce the deficit. In short, ObamaCare was sold under false pretenses. In contract law, such a deal would be rescinded. In politics, the solution is for lawmakers to explain that the bill doesn’t do what it promised and repeal it so that they can start over. And what if Obama decides to veto the repeal of his handiwork? Well, there will be an election in 2012 and a campaign to debate just how misleading were Obama’s assurances.

LINK: http://www.commentarymagazine.com/blogs/index.php/rubin/320511

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You’re Losing Your Health Plan: ObamaCare’s True Face Emerges

Posted on June 14, 2010. Filed under: Healthcare, Obama, Socialism/Communism |

I am so bummed and angry about this. We tried to warn people before this idiotic healthcare plan was passed, and now all the things we worried about really are coming true!!! I want Obama thrown out of office and all of his socialist policies rescinded. I am so scared that too much damage will be done before we can fix it!!! I’m getting more and more discouraged by the drastic changes he is making so quickly.

You’re losing your plan

ObamaCare’s true face emerges

By SCOTT GOTTLIEB

June 14, 2010

Late last week saw the first leaks of the administration’s draft regulations for imple menting the ObamaCare law — and everything is playing out just as the critics warned.

The 3,000-odd pages of legislation left most of the really important (and controversial) policy decisions to the regulations that government agencies were told to issue once the bill passed. Now that those regs are starting to take shape, it’s clear that the Obama team is using its new power to exert tight control over the payment and delivery of all formerly “private” health insurance.

The ObamaCare law references the Secretary of Health and Human Services almost 2,200 times and uses the phrase “the secretary shall” more than 725. Each reference requires HHS to set new rules on medical care, giving control to an existing federal office or one of 160 new agencies that the bill created.

HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius (who was once the Kansas state-insurance commissioner) has taken to these tasks with zeal. In some circles, she’s now known as the nation’s “insurance regulator in chief.”

She’s starting off by applying new regs to health plans offered by large employers — even though these costly rules were supposedly only going to apply to plans sold in the state insurance “exchanges” that don’t get created until 2014. This twist is spelled out in an 83-page draft of a new regulation that leaked late last week.

Bottom line: Sebelius means to dictate what your insurance plan must look like almost from day one, no matter how you get your coverage.

Indeed, the draft regs envision more than half of all policies having to change within three years — an unmistakable break with President’s Obama’s oft-repeated promise, “If people like their insurance, they will be able to keep it.”

Yet that may be the least of the broken promises.

Ultimately, these rules force consumers to buy one of just four health policies — which vary mostly only by trading off higher co-payments for lower premiums, while offering essentially the same actual benefits. In arguing for passage of the law, ObamaCare’s defenders claimed the rules were aimed at health plans sold in the “exchanges.” Oops: Now Sebelius is applying them to employer plans. Eventually, this would force all but the very wealthiest Americans into a single government-designed insurance scheme.

This is far from the only area where Secretary Sebelius is exploiting the law’s fuzzy language to tighten her control over the private insurance market. In recent weeks, she has said that the new law gives her authority to review and even set the rates on health policies sold in private markets, a role previously left to state insurance regulators.

The ObamaCare bills were written to paper over an intellectual divide between White House economists and HHS policy wonks. Some economists wanted genuine competition to take root in the new federally managed insurance “exchanges.” The HHS crew favored a one-sized government plan with tight federal regulation over benefits.

The law itself didn’t explicitly side with either school — but it did leave the writing of the implementing regs to those same HHS wonks. Unfortunately, those more moderate White House economists are now leaving the administration, including the rumored departure of widely admired businessman and health-care expert Robert Kocher.

Washington insiders refer to this HHS team as “true believers” — a group of earnest, left-leaning activists who’ve long favored a single nationalized health plan. They are massaging the law’s vagueness to give themselves the tight federal control over health care that will bring their vision into practice.

Critics warned that the Obama bill meant a federal takeover of health care, with Washington bureaucrats making core decisions about medical care. With ObamaCare taking shape, that’s exactly what consumers are getting. Saying “we told you so” is no consolation to those who took the president at his word.

Scott Gottlieb, a physician and American Enterprise Institute fellow, was a senior official at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. He is partner in a firm that invests in health-care companies.

LINK: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/opinion/opedcolumnists/you_re_losing_your_plan_O2H1EFmYlHSoQmqp48uDHI

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Maurice Ferre: Cut Medical Costs for Those About to Die

Posted on June 10, 2010. Filed under: Healthcare, Politicians, Socialism/Communism |

And they mock Sarah Palin because she says they want death panels?? I think she hit the nail on the head. Here comes healthcare rationing!

Maurice Ferré: Cut medical costs for those about to die

Senate candidate Maurice Ferré said it is wrong to spend thousands of dollars to prolong the lives of the dying for a short time.

BY GEORGE BENNETT

Palm Beach Post

Miami Herald

Excerpt:

WEST PALM BEACH — Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Maurice Ferré says the United States spends an “absurd” amount on end-of-life care and should gradually move to a universal health system in which the government controls costs by setting prices for medical procedures and capping expenditures based on age and medical condition.

Speaking to The Palm Beach Post editorial board Wednesday, Ferré said he would have voted for the healthcare overhaul passed by Congress and signed by President Barack Obama as “a step in the right direction.” He said the “Medicare-for-everyone” system he favors should be phased in over about 25 years.

<snip>

“I’ve already written in my will that I don’t want you to go spending half a million dollars to keep me alive for three more months all tubed up with all kinds of liquids going in and out of my body and my mind slowly slipping away. It’s a torture chamber,” Ferré said.

“Now you say, well, that’s a `death panel.’ Well, you know what, when you get to be 85 or 90 years old, you’re going to die. And I’m sorry, you call it, Sarah Palin, what you want, but the fact is that it is absurd for us to be spending the types of money we’re spending to extend life three months.”

Asked what he would do as a senator to control such costs, Ferré said: “I would absolutely say that this is the cap on how much is available for you to spend at age 90, 87, with a heart condition of this sort, with diabetes of this sort, two legs missing and, you know, this is how much is available for you to spend. And you spend it any way you want.”

LINK: http://www.miamiherald.com/2010/06/10/1672403/ferre-cut-medical-costs-for-those.html?mitest=B_case

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Breaking– ObamaCare Prompts Top Companies to Consider Dropping Employee Coverage

Posted on May 6, 2010. Filed under: General, Healthcare, Obama, Politics, Socialism/Communism |

Just as we predicted!!!! I hope everybody who thought ObamaCare was such a great idea enjoys watching things fall apart.

Breaking–ObamaCare prompts top companies to consider dropping employee coverage

Anthony G. Martin – May 5, 2010

In a stunning revelation Wednesday, several top U.S. corporations are seriously considering dropping employee health insurance coverage in light of what they see as the inevitable consequence of ObamaCare–skyrocketing costs.

The companies state that after their legal experts poured over the thousands of pages in the new law, it will cost them less to pay the fines for not providing healthcare coverage for employees than continuing to provide employer-paid health insurance benefits.

As a side-note to the announcement, the companies maintain that ObamaCare will result in a dramatic increase in expenses for providing employee coverage, with added costs skyrocketing to multi-billions of dollars.

According to Business Record:

“Additionally, the penalties to businesses for not offering coverage are less expensive than the cost of providing insurance, she said. “But for those that aren’t providing coverage now, this is a huge burden to them. And for employers that have a lot of employees working 30 hours (the threshold to be considered full- ime), you may have a lot of businesses cutting them back to 29 hours.”

Business Record maintains that despite this fact most companies will probably try to continue to provide coverage.

But a report issued today in Fortune Magazine and reported by CNN indicates that the dire warnings of ObamaCare critics concerning the consequences of approving the costly legislation are in fact well-founded.

The report points to internal documents from AT&T, Verizon, John Deere, and several other large corporations which show that executives are, in fact, looking at the option of dropping healthcare coverage for employees due to what they are sure will be unsustainable increases in costs. These costs will be so prohibitive that it would benefit the corporations to pay the government fines instead:

“Internal documents recently reviewed by Fortune, originally requested by Congress, show what the bill’s critics predicted, and what its champions dreaded: many large companies are examining a course that was heretofore unthinkable, dumping the health care coverage they provide to their workers in exchange for paying penalty fees to the government.

That would dismantle the employer-based system that has reigned since World War II. It would also seem to contradict President Obama’s statements that Americans who like their current plans could keep them. And as we’ll see, it would hugely magnify the projected costs for the bill, which controls deficits only by assuming that America’s employers would remain the backbone of the nation’s health care system.

Hence, health-care reform risks becoming a victim of unintended consequences. Amazingly, the corporate documents that prove this point became public because of a different set of unintended consequences: they told a story far different than the one the politicians who demanded them expected.

This information will most certainly be added motivation for those who are intent on repealing ObamaCare following the November 2010 midterm elections, or at the very least refusing to fund the program which was passed by Congress as an appropriations measure.

LINK: http://www.examiner.com/x-37620-Conservative-Examiner~y2010m5d5-BreakingObamaCare-prompts-top-companies-to-consider-dropping-employee-coverage

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ObamaCare and the Constitution

Posted on April 8, 2010. Filed under: Healthcare, Nanny State, Obama, Socialism/Communism |

ObamaCare and the Constitution

By Daniel Henninger – WSJ

If Congress can force you to buy insurance, Article I limits on federal power are a dead letter.

The left-wing critics are right: The rage is not about health care. They are also right that similar complaints about big government were heard during the New Deal and the Great Society, and the sky didn’t fall.

But what if this time the sky is falling—on them.

What if after more than a century of growth in the national government, starting with the Progressive Era, the American people are starting to push back. Not just the tea partiers or the 13 state attorneys general seeking protection under the 10th Amendment and the Commerce Clause. But something bigger than that.

The Democratic left, its pundits and academics criticizing the legal challenges to ObamaCare seem to be arguing that their version of our political structure is too big to change.

That’s not true. The American people can and do change the nation’s collective mind on the ordering of our political system. The civil rights years of the 1960s is the most well-known modern example. (The idea that resistance to Mr. Obama’s health plan is rooted in racist resentment of equal rights is beyond the pale, even by current standards of political punditry.)

Powerful political forces suddenly seem to be in motion across the U.S. What they have in common is anxiety over what government has become in the first decade of the 21st century.

The tea party movement is getting the most attention because it is the most vulnerable to the standard tool kit of mockery and ridicule. It is more difficult to mock the legitimacy of Scott Brown’s overthrow of the Kennedy legacy, the election results in Virginia and New Jersey, an economic discomfort that is both generalized and specific to the disintegration of state and federal fiscs, and indeed the array of state attorneys general who filed a constitutional complaint against the new health-care law. What’s going on may be getting past the reach of mere mockery.

Constitutional professors quoted in the press and across the Web explain that much about the federal government’s modern authority is “settled” law. Even so, many of these legal commentators are quite close to arguing that the national government’s economic and political powers are now limitless and unfettered. I wonder if Justice Kennedy believes that.

Or as David Kopel asked on the Volokh Conspiracy blog: “Is the tax power infinite?”

In a country that holds elections, that question is both legal and political. The political issue rumbling toward both the Supreme Court and the electorate is whether Washington’s size and power has finally grown beyond the comfort zone of the American people. That is what lies beneath the chatter about federalism and the 10th Amendment.

Liberals will argue that government today is doing good. But government now is also unprecedentedly large and unprecedentedly expensive. Even if every challenge to ObamaCare loses in court, these anxieties will last and keep coming back to the same question: Does the Democratic left think the national government’s powers are infinite?

No one in the Obama White House, asked that in public on Sunday morning, would simply say yes, no matter that the evidence of this government’s actions the past year indicate they do. In his “Today Show” interview this week, Mr. Obama with his characteristic empathy acknowledged there are “folks who have legitimate concerns . . . that the federal government may be taking on too much.”

My reading of the American public is that they have moved past “concerns.” Somewhere inside the programmatic details of ObamaCare and the methods that the president, Speaker Pelosi and Sen. Reid used to pass it, something went terribly wrong. Just as something has gone terribly wrong inside the governments of states like California, New York, New Jersey, Michigan and Massachusetts.

The 10th Amendment tumult does not mean anyone is going to secede. It doesn’t mean “nullification” is coming back. We are not going to refight the Civil War or the Voting Rights Act. Richard Russell isn’t rising from his Georgia grave.

It means that the current edition of the Democratic Party has disconnected itself from the average American’s sense of political modesty. The party’s members and theorists now defend expanding government authority with the same arrogance that brought Progressive Era reforms down upon untethered industrial interests.

In such times, this country has an honored tradition of changing direction. That time may be arriving.

Faced with corporate writedowns in response to the reality of Congress’s new health plan, an apoplectic Congressman Henry Waxman commanded his economic vassals to appear before him in Washington.

Faced with a challenge to his vision last week, President Obama laughingly replied to these people: “Go for it.”

They will.

As to the condescension and sniffing left-wing elitism this opposition seems to bring forth from Manhattan media castles, one must say it does recall another, earlier ancien regime.

LINK: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304252704575156031760261858.html?mod=WSJ_hp_mostpop_read

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N.Y. Times Columnist: Death Panels Will Save ‘a lot of money’

Posted on March 31, 2010. Filed under: Healthcare, Obama, Politics |

How very interesting…

N.Y. Times columnist: Death panels will save ‘a lot of money’

Paul Krugman tells ‘Roundtable’ economists agree it’s ‘going to be major’

Posted: March 30, 2010

By Bob Unruh

© 2010 WorldNetDaily

Left-leaning New York Times economic columnist Paul Krugman says the so-called “death panels” established by President Obama’s trillion-dollar nationalized health-care plan will end up saving “a lot of money” for the government.

The comments from Krugman, who also writes on the New York Times blogs, came during a discussion of “Obamacare” on the ABC News Sunday program “This Week.”

“People on the right, they’re simultaneously screaming, ‘They’re going to send all the old people to death panels,’ and ‘It’s not going to save any money,'” he said.

Another panelist interjected, “Death panels would save money,” to which Krugman responded:

The advisory panel which has the ability to make more or less binding judgments on saying this particular expensive treatment actually doesn’t do any good medically and so we are not going to pay for it. That is actually going to save quite a lot of money. We don’t know how much yet. The CBO gives it very little credit but, but most, most of the health care economists I talk to think that’s going be a really, uh a really major cost saving.

The video has been posted on the Conservatives4Palin website, and it was Palin who was among the first to denounce the “death panel” concept in the Democrats’ government-run health care plan. That’s the idea that appointed government officials who under the plan will have access to medical records will determine if a treatment will be provided to a needy patient. Theoretically, that could be a death sentence for a patient denied a treatment.

In the United Kingdom and other nations where such government procedures already are in place, the survival rates for such afflictions as breast cancer or prostate cancer are lower than in the U.S. Critics say it is partly because of denial or delay of treatment. WND columnist Jane Chastain wrote about the issue shortly before the congressional vote.

“This bill sets up an Independent Medicare Advisory Board, which is to recommend cuts for the sole purpose of limiting the amount of resources going to Medicare patients. Some have called it a ‘Death Panel,'” she wrote.

“You may think this is harsh, but if this bill passes, many seniors will die prematurely because the recommendations of these unelected bureaucrats will go into effect. Congress is not required to act on them!”

“Obama … wants Granny to believe that she will be able to receive that operation or treatment that could save or extend her life. Nothing could be further from the truth! There is a reverse incentive in this bill that actually penalizes Granny’s primary-care physician if he or she is in the top 10 percent of doctors who refer patients to specialists. This puts a wedge between Granny and the doctor she trusts to act in her best interest.”

Richard Poe, a New York Times best-selling author, documented in a previous report for WND how the government’s plan to cut health-care costs will, in effect, cut health care itself for some.

“The only question is whose” health care will be cut, Poe wrote. “The numbers make clear that most of these cuts will have to come at the expense of those who need health care the most – the elderly, the disabled and the gravely ill.”

He cited Obama’s acknowledgement that “older, sicker societies pay more on health care than younger, healthier ones.”

“He is right,” Poe wrote. “According to a 2006 study by the Department of Health and Human Services, five percent of the U.S. population accounts for nearly 50 percent of health care spending in America. Who are those five percent? Most are people over 65 years of age with serious, chronic illnesses.

“By contrast, the study notes, half of the U.S. population ‘spends little or nothing on health care… with annual medical spending below $664 per person.’ These, of course, are mostly healthy young people – people without serious, chronic illnesses,” Poe wrote.

“Obviously, Obama will not meet his cost-cutting targets by reducing care to healthy young people. They are already spending next to nothing. It is the old, the dying and the chronically ill whose health care he will cut. The numbers make this clear,” Poe said.

Some of the “old, the dying and the chronically ill” appear to be catching on. According to a report from Fox News, an estimated 60,000 members of AARP, which endorsed “Obamacare,” have turned in their cards and canceled their memberships in recent weeks.

Poe elaborated on his concerns about the president’s plan.

“How will Obama cut costs? His June 13 radio speech gave some hints. Obama said his plan would provide ‘incentives’ to doctors to ‘avoid unnecessary hospital stays, treatments and tests that drive up costs,'” Poe wrote.

“And what sort of treatment does Obama consider ‘unnecessary?’ In an ABC News special June 24, he implied medical treatment might be wasted on elderly people with grave illnesses, citing his own grandmother as an example,” he said.

Obama concluded, “Maybe you’re better off not having the surgery, but taking the painkiller.”

Poe also documented how such health care limits already are being used overseas, including the U.K., where “British elders are routinely denied treatment for cancer, heart disease and other deadly illnesses.”

Further, “death” boards already are operating in Oregon, where officials with the state Health Plan agreed to refuse a patient life-extending cancer drugs but volunteered to pay for her to commit suicide.

He reported Barbara Wagner of Springfield, Ore., was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2005. Chemotherapy and radiation put her cancer into remission. But the cancer returned in May 2008.

Wagner’s doctor prescribed Tarceva, a pill which slows cancer growth. There was a good chance it might extend her life by a few weeks or even months.

At age 64, Wagner had two sons, three daughters, 15 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. Every moment she could spend with her loved ones was precious, he noted.

But Oregon’s health officials nixed the plan. Her Tarceva treatment would cost $4,000 per month. Wagner was going to die anyway, so why waste the money?

Wagner received a letter stating that the Oregon Health Plan would not approve any treatment for her “that is meant to prolong life, or change the course of the disease. …” However, if Wagner opted for physician-assisted suicide, Oregon would be happy to pick up the tab, said the letter.

Physician-assisted suicide is legal in Oregon and costs only about $50.

LINK: http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=134401

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