Published March 25, 2010
A new CBS News poll finds that “nearly two in three Americans want Republicans in Congress to continue to challenge parts of the health care reform bill.” At this point, there will only be minor technical changes in the bill even with the new House vote required for final passage. But the battle over public opinion goes on. Here are seven sickening questions about Obamacare that all Americans must consider:
1. What big government entitlement program has ever:
• Reduced the deficit?
• Only cost what it says it will and lowered the costs of goods and services?
• Improved quality?
• Enhanced efficiency?
• Decreased delays?
• Fostered more choice and competition?
• Featured competent bureaucracy?
• Operated with honest accounting?
• Avoided fraud, abuse, waste, maddening red tape, and higher taxes?
Why should we trust that Obamacare will do all that? Obamacare’s deceptive budget cooking was described in one instance by Senate Budget Committee chairman Kent Conrad (D-ND) as "a Ponzi scheme of the first order, the kind of thing that Bernie Madoff would have been proud of."
2. Why does Obamacare exempt some in Congress and the White House from having to buy the same health care plans that the law forces other Americans to purchase: President Obama, Vice President Biden, Cabinet members, top White House staff, congressional committee staff and leadership staff, such as those who work for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.)?
Republican Senators Chuck Grassley (Iowa) and Tom Coburn (Oklahoma) tried to close this loophole, but Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) wouldn’t even let it come up for a vote. As Grassley says, “It’s only fair and logical that top administration officials, who fought so hard for passage of this overhaul of America’s health care system, experience it themselves. If it’s as good as promised, they’ll know it first-hand. If there are problems, they’ll be able to really understand them, as they should.”
3. How will we deal with a doctor shortage caused by Obamacare, particularly when doctors are being asked to treat 32 million more Americans now insured by the new law?
The Medicus Firm a medical recruitment company, found in a survey that 46 percent of physicians said they’d quit or retire if Obamacare became law. According to the survey, "even if a much smaller percentage such as ten, 15, or 20 percent are pushed out of practice over several years at a time when the field needs to expand by over 20 percent, this would be severely detrimental to the quality of the health care system."
4. How will patients—particularly senior citizens—feel when their doctors and even hospitals tell them, “Sorry, but we’re only taking on non-Medicare patients who pay privately, in full”?
The New York Times (which championed Obamacare) wrote last year that “Some doctors—often internists but also gastroenterologists, gynecologists, psychiatrists and other specialists—are no longer accepting Medicare, either because they have opted out of the insurance system or they are not accepting new patients with Medicare coverage. The doctors’ reasons: reimbursement rates are too low and paperwork too much of a hassle.” Under ObamaCare, physicians’ Medicare fees are supposed to be cut 21 percent and hospital reimbursements for Medicare patients chopped by $1.3-billion. How long can doctors and hospitals sustain those losses before they’re forced to pull the plug on treating Medicare patients (although some exceptions may be made in dire emergencies)? Count on Congress to use budget tricks like temporary “fixes” to defer those cuts until at least after the November elections.
5. How can President Obama claim that insurance premiums will go down when the very same nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office he quotes, selectively, has said that Obamacare will cause the average family’s premiums to go up by as much as 13 percent by 2016?
6. Remember the “jobs saved or created” canard regarding Obama’s economic stimulus?
The president is repeating that fantasy by applying it to Obamacare. However, the nonpartisan Lewin Group estimates that as many as 600,000 people will lose their jobs due to the onerous new employer health care mandates in Obamacare.
7. Do you realize that Obamacare turns Medicare into what should really be called "Medi-pare"?
Obamacare slices $528-billion from Medicare, including $136-billion carved out of Medicare Advantage. As The Washington Examiner’s Susan Ferrechio has reported, “The Medicare Advantage cuts will force 4.8 million seniors off the popular plan by 2019. An additional $23 billion in cuts to Medicare will come from a panel charged with slashing Medicare spending.”
Those are just some of the gut-wrenching questions about Obamacare that cry out for answers. But as the expression goes, “It’s what you don’t know that really hurts you.” Obamacare is so full of dubious assumptions that in future years we may rename it Obama’s box, as in Pandora’s box.
Communications consultant Jon Kraushar is at www.jonkraushar.net.
Fox Forum is on Twitter. Follow us @fxnopinion.