Sunday, October 4, 2009

President Obama's New Lie

Obama has added a new quid pro quo in his renewed charge for socialized medicine: economic recovery in the USA relies upon healthcare reform.

This is some plan. How does he propose that it will work?

In Obama's address to the Nation filled with such a plethora of deliberate misinformation that it caused Joe Wilson's outburst of "YOU LIE!", the President proudly laid the absurd claim to his victory over the economy.

But facts are stubborn things.

The news this week that close to 300,000 more people lost their job in September, bringing the unemployment rate to nearly 10% (17% if you include people whose hours have been scaled back to part-time), we're back to the "brink of disaster".

Our sophomoric leader is now exploiting this situation to once again float the notion that burdening the healthcare system with 50 million more people who can't afford to pay for it is the key to economic recovery.

In the essay linked above, Noel Sheppard quotes Obama and has some rational thoughts for the foolish and impractical ideas coming out of the White House:

But yesterday’s report on September job losses was a sobering reminder that progress comes in fits and starts, and that we will need to grind out this recovery step by step. [...]

It won’t be easy. It will require us to lay a new foundation for our economy – one that gives our workers the skills and education they need to compete; that invests in renewable energy and the jobs of the future; and that makes health care affordable for families and businesses – particularly small businesses, many of which have been overwhelmed by rising health care costs.

This is something I hear about from entrepreneurs I meet – people who’ve got a good idea, and the expertise and determination to build it into a thriving business. But many can’t take that leap because they can’t afford to lose the health insurance they have at their current job.

Excuse me, Mr. President, but as a small business owner myself, I can say with great certainty that anyone that can't afford health insurance on his own doesn't have the seed money to start a new business...PERIOD!

It isn't convoluted. It's straightforward. I can't help but think that the Harvard educated man knows this. It's getting harder and harder not to draw the foregone conclusion: Obama is deliberately lying.

Earlier this Summer,the Boston Medical Center (who serves the poorest of the poor in Boston) filed a lawsuit against the Patrick administration, alleging the state's landmark health care reform law hurts lower-income residents.

In a post I wrote in July, Lead, Follow or Get Out of the Way, I spoke about how the experiment in socialized medicine is everything but merciful to the poor:

Catholics should be outraged that the poor are being used and exploited by the White House to swindle them out of benefits and life itself. Catholics United, Catholic Charities and other social pirates who are propagating the myth that this type of health care “reform” is about service to the poor should be vigorously castigated. The poor already have health coverage in combined federal- and state- subsidized programs. (For example, in Massachusetts, there is MassHealth – Medicaid and SCHIP.)

In Massachusetts, where health care “reform” was instituted in 2007, benefits have been siphoned off from the indigent and transferred to households earning $77,400 for a family of five. For a family of eight, the household income can be up to $111,080. But families earning $30,000, previously eligible for free health care, are burdened with premiums and co-payments costing nearly $10,000 for the least expensive plan.

In fact, in early July, Boston Medical Center (formerly known as Boston City Hospital, serving the poorest of the poor in Boston) filed a lawsuit against the Commonwealth of Massachusetts:

The suit says the hospital will lose more than $100 million next year because the state has lowered Medicaid reimbursement rates and stopped paying Boston Medical “reasonable costs” for treating other poor patients.

“We filed this suit more in sorrow than in anger,” said Elaine Ullian, the hospital’s chief executive. “We believe in health care reform to the bottom of our toes, but it was never, ever supposed to be financed on the backs of the poor, and that’s what has happened in Massachusetts.”

The central charge in the suit is that the state has siphoned money away from Boston Medical to help pay the considerable cost of insuring all but a small percentage of residents…

According to the suit, Massachusetts is now reimbursing Boston Medical only 64 cents for every dollar it spends treating the poor. About 10 percent of the hospital’s patients are uninsured – down from about 20 percent before the law’s passage in 2006. But many more are on Medicaid or Commonwealth Care, the state-subsidized insurance program for low-income residents.

Astoundingly, with all the rancor and rhetoric from Democrats about the compassionate immigration policies absent in the Republican agenda, when the cost of operating “health care reform” produced an ever-growing deficit, 30,000 legal immigrants were the first people thrown under the bus by the Democrat-controlled Massachusetts legislature: 30,000 of them received letters of health care termination.

The cost of providing health care to the 30,000 immigrants is approximately $130 million a year. A vote on July 29 restored $40 million of the budget, leaving uncertainty about the effect of eliminating $90 million in coverage for permanent residents who have had green cards for less than five years.

In January, five years into the operation, the Patrick Administration admitted the pricetag on the experiment was soaring out of control and threatening to bankrupt the entire system.

Governor Deval Patrick yesterday accelerated his administration's efforts to control spiraling statewide healthcare costs, warning that rising premiums threaten to crush families and businesses and doom Massachusetts' groundbreaking experiment with universal insurance....

"The increases at this rate over time [are] just not sustainable, not for families, not to business, not for government," Patrick said at a news conference after the summit.

In today's news, hospital administrators across the Commonwealth are responding to "cost-cutting" ideas in the Patrick Administration.

Three months after a state commission proposed the bold plan to control exploding health care costs within five years, many hospital executives and doctors call it unrealistic, and say it could bankrupt some providers and compromise patient care if implemented too quickly and without major changes.

Ellen Zane, chief executive of Tufts Medical Center and president of the Massachusetts Hospital Association, said in an interview that the state “does not understand the ramifications of the proposal.

“There are major significant questions that have to be answered,’’ she added, or “it could kill the industry.’’

Here's how the proposed changes will work. Following the metamorphosis, you can see how these changes roll out the denial of care to the very people who need it the most, the sick and suffering:

A 10-member commission, which included key legislators and members of Patrick’s administration, recommended in July that private and public insurers largely scrap the current fee-for-service system in which insurers pay doctors and hospitals a negotiated fee for each procedure or visit - a system that is widely viewed as encouraging unnecessary and uncoordinated care.

Instead, the commission recommended that insurers pay providers predetermined, per-patient annual fees, called global payments, which would cover all of a patient’s medical care during the year. Doctors and hospitals would have to form larger groups, called accountable care organizations, that would provide most of the care for individual patients and divvy up the payments.

The change would mean that hospitals and doctors are at greater financial risk if their patients need a lot of expensive medical care - a risk now borne mostly by insurers. There’s also greater risk that patients would be denied necessary but very costly care, as some patients experienced during the early 1990s under a similar payment method called capitation.

Siphoning care from the poor in Massachusetts did not generate enough revenue to sustain the exploding costs of paying for healthcare for everyone who cannot afford it themselves in addition to paying for it for our own families.

One would think it would be common sense.

  • The poorest in our country get free healthcare.
  • Illegal immigrants can show up in hospitals and get free care.
  • Those who can pay for healthcare for own families with the help of our employers.
  • Healthcare costs skyrocket and burden everyone in the system.
  • The wizards come along saying the fix is in: add 50 million people who can't afford healthcare.

Where are we losing people?

Even if Catholics could muster the nature to be so cold, uncaring and selfish, where is the logic to proves Obama's thesis that adding 50 million people who can't pay for insurance will save us all money and create new jobs? I have yet to see the well-thought out ideas explaining how he has come to his conclusions.

This is not momentum towards a more merciful Nation. It is not a plan based upon mercy and love for our brothers and sisters. It is a narcissistic plan to cut care for sick people to stimulate the economy and job growth.

The plan is unraveling for anybody who wants to pay attention to it. People with cancer and other catastrophic illnesses and accidents, the elderly and those with predetermined risks will be the very people robbed of healthcare.

St. Francis of Assisi, pray for us.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sounds just like capitation to me: "insurers pay providers predetermined, per-patient annual fees, called global payments, which would cover all of a patient’s medical care during the year."