Health Care Reform – Democrats Have An Agreement With No Republican Input

Posted by Jason | Posted in Health Care | Posted on 09-12-2009

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According to the Wall Street Journal, 10 Senate Democrats have decided the fate for all of us as far as far as health care insurance goes. You will buy what you are told, because after all you live in a democracy (once a republic).

WASHINGTON — Senior Senate Democrats reached tentative agreement Tuesday night to abandon the government-run insurance plan in their health-overhaul bill and to expand Medicare coverage to some people ages 55 to 64, clearing the most significant hurdle so far in getting a bill that can pass Congress.

So Democrats dropped the government-run insurance plan, but expanding a government run insurance plan? Considering our aging population and people living longer (for now anyways), it’s not hard to see that a majority of our country eventually falling under a government plan. Do you think they aren’t going to try to expand this further?

The agreement capped several days of high-stakes negotiations by a group of 10 Democratic senators — five moderates and five liberals. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) had advanced a bill that would have had the government directly operate a health-insurance plan, while giving states the right to opt out.

I love this. In our supposed Republic, we are forcing 1/6th of our economy under government control because of  5 liberals and 5 moderates. Who’s to say they are moderate? I guess they are moderate socialists. Wow, that makes me feel better. Moderate socialists are the ones protecting our liberty, so you can sleep well tonight.

In place of that, the senators embraced a more limited proposal that would empower the government’s Office of Personnel Management to put in place a new low-cost national health plan, congressional aides said. The office already administers plans offered to federal employees and members of Congress. The new national plan would be run by nonprofit entities set up by the private sector, and would be available to the public on the new insurance exchanges that would be created under the bill

If no private insurers sign up with the Office of Personnel Management to offer a national plan, the office would be authorized to implement a direct government-run plan, an unlikely prospect, aides said.

Didn’t they say they got rid of the government option? Instead they are going to have the government setup national plans and have them ran by non-profits? Sure sounds the same to me, except more corruption. Who’s going to pick the non-profits? Hey, isn’t ACORN a non-profit?

So here is where the government run plan comes in. If no private insurers sign up for the government designed national plan, then the government will create the plan itself. Despite what “aides” say, I would say it’s likely that no private insurers will sign up. Look at what working with the government has done with the banks. You sign up with them, you are going to do what you arer told, and what you are told changes at their discretion. How can a private insurance company plan for the future under conditiosn like that? Even if private insurers do sign up, it is no different than other quasi-government institutions like Fannie Mae, Amtrack or the Post Office. They will be ran into the ground, and we’ll be paying for them anyways. The politicians will setup the rules, so they will not be ran as a private institution.

The arrangement is attractive to Democratic centrists who worry about the government’s growing footprint in the private market.

Can this sentence be any more disengenous? So called centrist are worried about the growing government footprint in the private market? They sure have a funny way of showing it. Let’s see, TARP, Government Motors, bailouts, stimulus bills, newspaper bailouts, and oh this massive ass health care takeover.

In a nod to Democratic liberals still intent on expanding coverage, the group agreed to a proposal that would open Medicare, the health-insurance program for the elderly, to Americans ages 55 to 64. The proposal would benefit an estimated two million to three million Americans who have difficulty obtaining coverage elsewhere, including those who have lost their jobs. People in the 55-to-64 group who already get health insurance through their employers would continue to do so under the proposal.

Republicans criticized the Democratic negotiations. “What’s becoming abundantly clear is that the majority will make any deal, agree to any terms, sign any dotted line that brings them closer to final passage of this terrible bill,” said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.).

Sen. John Barrasso (R., Wyo.) said expanding Medicare “is putting more people in a boat that’s already sinking.”

The American Medical Association said it opposes expanding Medicare because doctors face steep pay cuts under the program and many Medicare patients are struggling to find a doctor. Hospitals also said expanding Medicare and Medicaid is a bad idea.

“We want coverage — in the worst way — expanded, but both of these means are problematic for hospitals and physicians,” said Chip Kahn, president of the Federation of American Hospitals, which lobbies on behalf of for-profit hospitals. “It’s going to make it difficult to make it work.”

Well, I guess the AMA can go screw themselves now. They had to back the Democrats health care bill before, and what do you know, it’s come back to bite them in the ass. Should have heeded my warning about making a deal with the devil.

The legislation is designed to extend insurance coverage to tens of millions of Americans. It would create new tax subsidies to help low- and middle-income people comply with a mandate to purchase coverage.

It would also bar insurers from engaging in a range of practices, such as denying coverage because of pre-existing conditions, and Senate Democrats were considering adding to those restrictions.

Under discussion among Senate Democrats was a proposal that would require insurance companies to spend no less than 90% of the insurance premiums they take in on health services, effectively limiting how much they can reap in profit. The health bill the House passed last month contains a similar provision, though it sets the minimum at 85%.

Aides cautioned that the accord reached Tuesday could be reopened if the CBO identifies major problems. Moreover, other issues, such as proposals to control the rapid growth of health costs, may still need to be negotiated over the next few days.

But if Mr. Reid has his way, he could begin the process of shutting off debate late this week. That would set the stage for another test on the Senate floor early next week that will demonstrate whether he has 60 votes for the bill. Final passage could come late next week.

via Senators Strike Health Deal – WSJ.com.

The government take over plan is so obvious. Expand, expand and expand the government programs in place. Then restrict, regulate and starve private insurance out of existence. The so called moderates like Joe Lieberman know better. They are just trying to save face when they hand over our liberty.

This bill is going to pass, so I hope we are all ready for it. We can only hold out hope now for public outrage next year to the extent that we elect enough new congress people that will then overturn all these government takeovers. They will need a veto proof majority, which is not going to be easy. Hopefully, insurance premiums adjust quickly and people feel it in their pocketbooks. If insurance premiums reflect the new costs imposed, people will notice it. They will be pissed off, and they will not have the government options until 2013. Hopefully, that will drive enough people to the polls to elect some real politicians who believe in freedom.


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