Contrary to what some Democrats and others in the press would have us believe, everyone agrees that the U.S. Healthcare system has some problems, especially in the insurance arena, and is in need of reform. But, implementing any change, just for the sake of change or to say “we did something”, is not necessarily good. Fact is, the more the average American – including many Democrats – find out about this bill, the more they realize what a mess (and a threat) it will be. Three of the biggest concerns voiced by many, including at town hall meetings, are:
Huge costs: The proponents of Obamacare insist it will be “revenue neutral”, or even reduce costs to the Treasury, while covering an additional 47 million people* that currently have no health insurance. Others, including the non-partisan CBO, have shown that this is preposterous. On the contrary, it will add another $1-1.5 trillion on top of the already massive debt that the current administration is racking up. (The CBO recently corrected the administration’s estimate of the deficit from $7 trillion to $9 trillion in the next decade!) Even if everything goes according to plan, the CBO says it would still end up $239 billion in the hole. And it all comes back on the American taxpayer. (You have all heard about some of the proposed tax increases, right?)
Some have said that the bill proposes taking $400-600 billion out of Medicare, Medicaid, and other programs to help pay for the new plan. While the specifics are unclear, no one is denying that many billions of dollars’ worth of health coverage will be cut out in order to save money. In fact, current proposals are to cut from $34-37 billion over the next 10 years from the very successful (and cost-saving) Medicare home care services. Not only will this seriously affect the health and well-being of the 3.2 million people who benefit from these services, but it will put over 6500 home health care workers out of jobs by 2011.
President Obama has also told the AARP that he wants to cut nearly $177 billion in subsidies for private Medicare Advantage programs. This amounts to about 30% of the reductions being proposed. Twenty-five percent of Medicare users take part in these popular programs, which cover additional services not covered by basic Medicare – including “wellness programs”, which are also being pushed by Obamacare. But the President, seeing yet another corner to be cut, says they are a “waste” of federal funds. This leads to our second area of concern….
< to be continued… >
*It is claimed by the Left that 46-47 million Americans, or roughly 15% of the population, do not have health insurance. This is a shame and a travesty, they say. Well, as laid out recently by Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-UT, the fact is that 6 million qualify through their employers but choose not to get it. Eleven million qualify for CHIP and Medicaid. Another 9 million earn at least $75K/yr, and therefore can afford to buy their own health insurance, but choose not to. There are about 6 million illegal aliens who do not have health insurance but are still able to use emergency health care (which costs the rest of us money). That leaves about 15 million legal residents who genuinely need to have health insurance and cannot afford it. (Personally, I think these last two numbers are off, since the number of illegal aliens in the U.S. is generally agreed to be 12-20 million.)