Archive for March, 2010

House passes buck

March 22, 2010

I try to follow health care on this blog, along with green, traditional medical, and ecological issues, not political issues. So I’ve decided to breach that schism when it comes to the health care vote in the House of Representatives.

Much remains unclear as to what the final bill, still to be passed by the Senate might contain. I’ve got some initial conclusions and prediction below. I think the CBO numbers and common sense back the idea the bill will cost a lot, too much as a matter of fact.

Must we allow the private health care insurers to come between us and our health care? I mean wouldn’t the more efficient solution to be deliver health care through a single payer? More and more, it seems if the solutions gov’t provides to problems in the private sector contain massive handouts for those with the most influence with the administration and Congress. The financial industry and health care insurers profit by cronyism and influence with the White House and Congress.

Time will tell whether the bill’s an effective use of taxpayer money or, to be more accurate, borrowings based on future taxes on our children’s future labor, + interest.

I’ve posted a comment over at OpEdNews.com, where I’m active. It follows:

“I don’t know about this. This bill will grow increasingly unpopular. I think it has some good changes, but this is an inadequate fix. Better it may be to let the health care system deteriorate as soon as possible, to make clear the incompatibility of capitalist profiteering and good health care.

Where does the gov’t think it’s going to get the money for this? To make it deficit-neutral (a silly promotional play), taxes will spike and Medicare to be cut badly. In order to make that status (the bill’s much maligned CBO estimates calculate a reduction in gov’t spending), yet to cut Medicare will alienate seniors who are too rich to qualify for Medicaid and now must face higher co-pays with Medicare supplemental insurance (an indirect method of passing on the cuts.)

As I’ve written, the gov’t seems to actually being cutting its obligations under Medicare through this bill. It’s poor and eager to discharge as much of Medicare’s huge liability on taxpayers, and the elderly receiving care (and those who pay for supplemental insurance for their retirees, etc. The bill targets Medicare recipients.

Way I see it, the bill’s cost and bureaucracy, coupled with continued high health care premiums and expenses (which remain largely unchanged  under the CBO’s estimates) could cost Obama a second term. Angry seniors will vote their higher out-of-pocket health care costs.

 If the Senate loads it down with additional unrelated spending bills (which I believe student loans to be), then people could cringe what else gets into the final bill, which we don’t know will contain.”

End comment. I think this so-called health care reform package will be a massive political liability for Obama and the Democrats. Maybe it will provide enough of a patch to delay the inevitable switch to single payer.

The status quo may dominate a while but not too long, as fiscal discipline and eventually solvency appear less solid with this bill’s passage. We’re on a track to ruin financially, and our monetary system will pay the price of overspending as we monetize the debt (for lack of creditors willing to buy our debt, outside of our own banks through the Federal Reserve-with money borrowed from the Treasury no less.)

Paradoxically, financial necessity and budget priorities may force change later rather than sooner. If this bill can’t reduce overall health care costs (of which gov’t is only one actor) and Seniors vote their anger, it could cost a lot politically and deliver nothing except more of the same: higher premiums and reduced benefits for those with Medicare.