The following article was written Oct.30,2010 by David Rosenberg
Again, healthcare reform is scrutinized and the picture that emerges is not a pretty sight.
Health Reform Riddled With Problems
In “What health care reform can do for you” (Oct. 7), David Berger presents a socialist utopia in which all get health insurance (though not necessarily care) with no worries about costs, deficits, a bankrupt country, and the actual level of care that would be provided. Berger demonizes the 39 Democrats and the Republicans who voted against Obamacare as if they do not care about your health care.
Berger starts with the inaccurate, original Congressional Budget Office projection that over 10 years Obamacare would reduce the deficit. If he cared to look at updated numbers which factor in the unpaid-for “doctor fix,” double-counted Medicare cuts, and many other budgetary deceptions, the CBO predicts Obamacare will increase the deficit by at least $1 trillion over 10 years. Government-run health-care reform will result in higher costs, lower quality care, and higher taxes.
The Lewin Group, a highly respected heath-care consulting firm, states the majority of individuals with employer-based coverage will lose their current plan. Up to half of people with private insurance will lose existing health coverage. Comprehensive plans and more affordable plans such as health savings accounts will be eliminated owing to government mandates, regulations, and price controls. Those with coverage will see their premiums increase significantly. A majority of employers will drop coverage.
McDonald’s announced it would drop coverage for its employees, so the Obama administration granted a waiver of its mandate to save political face in this election season. President Obama’s only method of preventing massive increases so far has been to threaten insurers.
Quality of care will decline. As a Washington Post editorial noted, Obama’s all-gain-no-pain stance masks the reality that lowered health reimbursement and costs will limit what procedures and medications can be covered. As the Post indicates, the primary driver of health care costs is technological is there a generic ventolin innovation. Without such innovation, quality of care will decline.
Obama’s proposal to pay doctors and hospitals a lowered flat fee will limit care and encourage rationing.
Medicare and Medicaid will be cut. To reduce costs, Congress is looking to slash Medicare and Medicaid by at least $300 billion. Medicare Advantage plans will be eliminated (these currently cover one in five seniors). As the number of Medicaid enrollees rises, rationing and waiting periods are likely to increase.
According to the President’s Council of Economic Advisors, as many as 6 million jobs could be lost owing to increased taxes on firms that do not currently provide health insurance. In fact, 60 percent of Americans believe Obamacare will result in job losses as small businesses cut payrolls (Source: Public Opinion Strategies).
Obamacare imposes a huge nonmedical tax compliance burden on small business. It will require them to mail IRS 1099 tax forms to every vendor from whom they make purchases of more than $600 in a year, with duplicate forms going to the IRS. Like so much else in the 2,500-page bill, our representatives were apparently unaware of this when they passed the bill.
Taxes will increase for all wage earners, and progressively higher in the upper tax bracket of small business owners. Some of this money will be needed to hire the 10,000 new IRS agents needed to confiscate your tax refund if you do not purchase a qualified plan.
Hospitals will lose billions. With the loss of private insurers, reimbursement rates to hospitals will fall by at least 30 percent, or $62 billion (Source: The Lewin Group). This will only hurt quality and availability of care.
The problem actually goes further. It is not only the quality and availability of care that will decline as hospitals lose billions. The facilities themselves will close due to lack of operating costs, thereby making medical options even more scarce.
Buckle your belts- we are in for a rough ride ahead!