"First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win." -- Mahatma Gandhi

Obamacare Exposed: More Bureaucracy & Higher Premiums

August 3rd, 2010 by MarkTwain · No Comments

It’s been a few weeks since the Democrats’ massive, unpopular health care law has been in the news, but there are several stories involving the bill this week, and, as has been the case since it was signed into law, they all feature negative consequences, hidden, troublesome provisions in the bill, or show the truth of the bill contradicts Democrats’ sales job. Politico has a must-read story whose headline says it all: “Health reform’s bureaucratic spawn.” Meanwhile, The New York Times examines the changes the law requires and notes a number of potential negative effects. On top of that, the Obama administration got caught in its double-counting of Medicare cuts. And of course, yesterday, a federal judge ruled that Virginia’s lawsuit against the health care law based on the individual mandate could proceed.

Politico’s story aptly illustrates the consequences of Democrats writing a 2,800-page bill, jamming it through Congress, and then having House Speaker Nancy Pelosi declare, “[W]e have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it . . . .” Politico writes, “Don’t bother trying to count up the number of agencies, boards and commissions created under the new health care law. Estimating the number is ‘impossible,’ a recent Congressional Research Service report says, and a true count ‘unknowable.’ . . . The provisions of the law that create the new entities vary dramatically in specificity. The law says a lot about some of them and a little about many, and merely mentions a few. Some have been authorized without any instructions on who is to appoint whom, when that might happen and who will pay.” Not only that, Politico reports, “One entity might not be enough and could spawn others, resulting in an ‘indeterminate number of new organizations.’ The CRS report cites as an example a minority health provision that ‘requires the heads of six separate agencies within Health and Human Services to each establish their own offices of minority health.’”

While Politico looks at the bureaucratic fallout, The New York Times today notes the challenges in implementing the law without “destabilize[ing] or disrupt[ing] the existing market in a way that makes insurance less available or more expensive to consumers.” Of course, that’s precisely what this law will do, and the NYT acknowledges this even as the story points to some of the benefits touted by Democrats. As an example, the NYT points to the flap about coverage for children with pre-existing conditions. After President Obama signed the law, insurers were notified they must cover all children, but “[f]our months later some insurers said they would stop writing new coverage for children in the individual insurance market.”

Further, the Times story notes that new requirements in the law mean “[c]onsumers could see higher premiums” and another provision that “requires insurers to spend at least 80 percent of every premium dollar on medical care and activities to improve its quality” could mean “some insurers may curtail sales to individuals or small businesses if they find the requirements too difficult to meet.” Indeed, the NYT reports, “The insurance superintendent in Maine, Mila Kofman, cited that concern in asking the federal government for an exemption from the medical loss ratio requirement. “Absent a waiver, I believe that the federal standard may disrupt our individual health insurance market,” said Ms. Kofman, a strong supporter of the new law.”

Meanwhile, two events yesterday again exposed the misrepresentations made by Democrats and the Obama administration in selling the health care takeover in the first place. On a conference call with Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told the American Spectator’s Philip Klein that it’s perfectly okay for the administration to count cuts in Medicare as extending the life of the Medicare trust fund when that money is also being used to pay for the expanded insurance coverage in the law. But even the AP notes, “[C]ritics say trust fund solvency will only improve on paper, since actual savings from the Medicare cuts would have been spent to provide coverage for more than 30 million uninsured Americans.”

Finally, in rejecting a motion from the Obama administration to dismiss Virginia’s suit against the health care law, federal Judge Henry E. Hudson said of the individual mandate, “Unquestionably, this regulation radically changes the landscape of health insurance coverage in America. . . . The Commerce Clause aspect of this debate raises issues of national significance. The position of the parties are widely divergent and at times novel. The guiding precedent is information but inconclusive. Never before has the Commerce Clause and the associated Necessary and Proper clause been extended this far.” Yet Democrats repeatedly dismissed constitutional concerns during the debate over the health care bill.

Yet again, Americans who disapproved of the health care bill before it was passed are learning about the unintended consequences, the hidden bureaucracy, and the misleading claims made by the Obama administration and Democrats about the bill, all after the fact. This bill needs to be repealed and replaced with common-sense reforms that won’t break the bank and raise premiums for Americans.

Related:

Rasmussssen Reports: 57% Say Health Care Plan Bad For the Country, 59% Favor Repeal

TPM: Missouri Poised To Become The First State To Reject Health Care Reform

OzarksFirst.com: Tea Party Seen As Deciding Element on Health Care Referendum

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