Government Healthcare is Only Making Things Worse

When the so-called Obamacare legislation was being hustled through Congress with no public disclosure, no hearings, no consultation, no input from Republicans, and no amendments allowed (“We have to pass the bill so you can know what’s in it!”), many of us on/in the Right said that the promises being made about the legislation simply weren’t true. Medical services would NOT be improved or made more readily available, Americans would NOT be able to keep our current preferred coverage, and healthcare costs would NOT be contained as Democrats bragged they would, and quite likely would rise even higher and faster than liberals’ obviously dishonest estimates.

Well, with Supreme Court arguments on Obamacare less than a month away, there is growing evidence that the critics were right in our assessment, and Democrats were once again lying about the effects of their prize piece of legislation.

First, from the Washington Post:

Medical costs for enrollees in the health-care law’s high-risk insurance pools are expected to more than double initial predictions, the Obama administration said Thursday in a reporton the new program.

The health-care law set aside $5 billion for a Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan, meant to provide health insurance to those who had been declined coverage by private carriers. Since its launch last summer, nearly 50,000 Americans have enrolled in the program.

Those who have enrolled in the program are projected to have significantly higher medical costs than the government initially expected. Each participant is expected to average $28,994 in medical costs in 2012, according to the report, more than double what government-contracted actuaries predicted in November 2010. Then, the analysts expected that the program would cost $13,026 per enrollee.

The costs also are significantly higher than those of similar high-risk pools that many states have operated for decades. States spent an average of $12,471 on enrollees in 2008, according to the National Association of State Comprehensive Health Insurance Plans.

Next, from Bloomberg comes word that the number of imaging scanners, MRI and CT, for cancer and trauma patients is steadily diminishing as federal regulators limit, then reduce payment for imaging services:

Two years ago, Robert Rapoport, a radiologist in Albany, New York, spent about $1 million to replace a 10-year-old open MRI machine, the only one available within a 30-minute drive.

It’s an expense his imaging centers wouldn’t be able to recoup today, he says.

Rapoport, reeling from the effects of $6 billion in federal reimbursement reductions since 2007, says he’s reached the point where he can’t buy equipment for his patients that will be more effective or safer without taking a loss. And this year, he faces a new ruling: The U.S. has set a limit on how much it will pay for more than one scan per patient in a day…

Regulators say the reductions ensure that testing is efficient and necessary. Doctors, though, are pushing a lobbying effort in Washington to peel the cuts back, saying they’ve forced centers to close, limiting how many MRI’s and CT scans are available to cancer patients and trauma victims, particularly in underserved rural areas…

From 2009 to 2010, as the cuts were rolled out, the volume of imaging services decreased by 2.5 percent, according to CMS.

Since Jan. 2007, the number of mammography centers in the U.S. has shrunk by 209 to 8,624 on Feb. 1, leaving 1,319 fewer breast cancer scanners in place, according to U.S. data. While the U.S. doesn’t track data on how many facilities have MRI’s and CT scanners, radiologists such as Rapaport say the data reflects what’s happened with all imaging centers.

What’s happening in the healthcare field is exactly the same as with student loans and college tuition – when government takes over, costs escalate and quality diminishes. Left unchecked, the end result is rationing.

Improvement in a product or service doesn’t come from a government mandated monopoly. Just the opposite. Improvements in quality and reductions in cost come from free market competition. Period.

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  • Game

    “When the so-called Obamacare legislation was being hustled through Congress with no public disclosure, no hearings, no consultation, no input from Republicans, and no amendments allowed”

    Wow, are you out of it. When a post starts with that big of a bold faced lie, the rest of the words are worthless to debate.

    Here link in which the President destroys the House GOP on the issue. Obviously you either have never watched it or don’t care about the facts. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N5BE9_x7xTo

    • Bat One

      …the rest of the words are worthless to debate.

      Exactly the response I would expect from a liberal who realizes – just barely – that rhetorically he has brought a butter knife to a gun fight.

      Get back to me when you can document that the legislation was posted in its entirety for public notification and comment as the Obama campaign had promised, that Republicans did in fact have input into the crafting of the bill, that GOP House members were permitted to offer amendments that were duly voted on by the full House, or that then-Speaker Pelosi did not infamously say, “We have to pass the bill so you can know what’s in the bill.”  Congressional Record citations will be far more acceptable than the words of inarguably the most accomplished liar to ever hold the office of president.

      • Game

        788 amendments filed, 67 came from Democrats and 721 from Republicans. Only 197 amendments were passed in the end—36 from Democrats and 161 from Republicans.

        Most of those amendments where put up only in an effort to slow down legislation they knew was going to pass, and to claim, as you obviously believed, that they did not have any input on the bill.

        • Game

          You should study up on how the House of Representatives works. Not every amendment offered for ANY bill is voted on by all members of the house. 

          • Wayne

            Where in the hell were you when all of this BS was going on.  Typical liberal, only sees what they want to see.  Facts be damned.  The was rammed through.  No Republican was involved in the drafting of the legislation.  Offering amendments is not the same thing.  Republicans were locked out of conference rooms while the Democrats were cooking up this POS.  And then Democrats used tricks to ram it through.  They should all be in jail for the way this played out.

          • Game

            Let me help you with this….
             
            “No Republican was involved in the drafting of the legislation”- Who cares, Legislation can be drafted by anybody, and you never have to have any kind of consciences to draft legislation.  . Michelle Bachmann has introduced legislation to repeal health care reform. Should I be upset that no Democrats were involved in the drafting of legislation?
             “Offering amendments is not the same thing.” Actually, it is much more binding than the drafting of legislation. . Amendments change the bill and allow for input from more than just the drafting legislators. Each amendment, when approved, replaces or adds to the bill.
            “Republicans were locked out of conference rooms while the Democrats were cooking up this POS.”  Republicans did not support Health Care Reform, so they were not part of planning for health care reform. I would challenge you to prove that any locked doors were involved
             
             “Democrats were cooking up this POS.  And then Democrats used tricks to ram it through.” By tricks, do you mean a majority vote of both houses of congress and the signature of the President of the United States?

        • donwalk

          Game, You could have at least gave credit to “Slate” for your posting and also post the complete paragraph.Pay close attention to the very last sentence below, please?You are including technical amendments which always take place and which are usually very minor or minute things. From “Slate”, July 16th, 2009″That said, some context: Of the 788 amendments filed, 67 came from Democrats and 721 from Republicans. (That disparity drew jeers that Republicans were trying to slow things down. Another explanation may be that they offered so many so they could later claim—as they are now, in fact, claiming—that most of their suggestions went unheeded.) Only 197 amendments were passed in the end—36 from Democrats and 161 from Republicans. And of those 161 GOP amendments, Senate Republicans classify 29 as substantive and 132 as technical. “

          • Game

            Well I did not list the ‘Slate’ because I was responding to a post on a blog, not writing a research paper.

            Also, Thanks for proving my point that Republicans had multiple opportunities to offer amendments. Just because they lacked the votes to get them passed, does not mean they were not offered the possibility.

          • donwalk

            They didn’t even get out of committee for a full vote, because Liberal Democrats wouldn’t allow it. What were the Democratic Leaders afraid of – public disclosure?

            Subject: [ndsayanything] Re: Government Healthcare is Only Making Things Worse

          • 2hotel9

             So, you plagiarized and used it to tell a lie. Nice. Typical leftarded sh*t spew, but the stealing was a nice touch.

          • donwalk

            My posting clearly states that the info came from “Slate”? I don’t understand what you are accusing me of – shouldn’t your response have been directed to “Game”?

            Subject: [ndsayanything] Re: Government Healthcare is Only Making Things Worse

          • 2hotel9

             Sorry, it was.

          • donwalk

            Seems to be a lot of misdirected replies on “discust” lately!

            Subject: [ndsayanything] Re: Government Healthcare is Only Making Things Worse

          • 2hotel9

             Been having page load problems for awhile, thought it was just my antique laptop being clitchy.

  • SigFan

    No HONEST person could look at Obamacare and arrive at the conclusion that it would make ANYTHING better.  This has never been about making health care improve in quality or cost, or even making health care insurance more affordable.  It is, always was and remains a power grab by the federal government under the control of the left.  

    • cylde

       Honest people were locked out of conference rooms and not allowed to see the giant bill until near the end and then were merely given hours to study a bill over 2,000 pages long. Remember Pelosi’s admonition that we have to pass it to find out what is in it. I am not sure that there is an honest democrat but many of them admitted that they never read the bill before voting on it.

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/YSM6XGIY2CLRQKYDB746ZVVUUI Texas Accountant

    Game,

    “Elections have consequences.  I won” – Barack Obama

    How many amendments were added by Republicans in the Senate?  I don’t remember.  Help me out.

    • Game

      There were 161 Senate Republican amendments to Health Care reform. Despite this, none of them voted in favor, other than one vote in committee.

      • Wayne

        He asked how many were added, not how many were offered.

        • Game

          Perhaps I was not clear,There were 161 Senate Republican amendments ADDED to Health Care reform. 

          • donwalk

            List of Rejected Republican Amendments to Health Care Bill
             
            Here are a few rejected amendments that as far as I know were never brought back up for passage. Unless of course additional meetings took place in secret, in which they modified the original language. This is a partial list I kept from 2009 and I believe it came from Representative Forbes from Virginia.
             
            – Stop the government-run health plan. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) to eliminate a government-run health plan to compete with private sector health plans.
            – Prevent bureaucrats from making personal medical decisions for patients. Rep. Phil Gingrey, M.D. (R-GA).
            – Require all Members of Congress to get their health insurance through the proposed government-run plan. Rep. Dean Heller (R-NV).
            – Establish a $1 trillion deficit cap. Rep. Lee Terry (R-NE).
            – Keep the federal government out of health care decisions. Rep. Wally Herger (R-CA).
            – Protect Americans from “hurry up and wait.” Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX).
            – Stop the job-killing employer mandate. Rep. Sam Johnson (R-TX) offered an amendment in the Committee on Ways & Means to improve the Democratic legislation by taking out the section of the bill that requires American employers to provide health coverage for all of their employees.
            – Suspend the job-killing employer mandate if the national unemployment rate reaches 10 percent. Reps. Wally Herger (R-CA) and Pete Hoekstra (R-MI).
            – Waive the employer mandate if it will cause layoffs, worker salary cuts, or reductions in hiring. Rep. Dave Reichert (R-WA).  
            – Protect employers from unfair taxation. Under the Democratic bill as written, if an employer offers qualifying health care coverage but an employee rejects it for any reason, the employer can still be slapped with an 8 percent tax on the value of that employee’s wages as a result of the job-killing employer mandate in the bill. Rep. Geoff Davis (R-KY). – Protect employers who offer health care coverage to their workers. As written, the Democratic health care bill would gut ERISA (the Employee Retirement Income Security Act), the federal law that makes it possible for millions of American workers to receive quality health care benefits and other benefits through their employers. Rep. John Kline (R-MN). – Create small business health plans. Rep. Howard P. “Buck” McKeon (R-CA) offered an amendment that would modify the bill to allow the creation of small business health plans (also known as Association Health Plans).
            – Keep unnecessary lawsuits from driving up health costs. Under the Democratic bill, Americans would be required to obtain their health care through a “national health insurance exchange” that is limited to “qualified” providers. In the Ways & Means Committee, Rep. John Linder (R-GA) offered an amendment that would keep the so-called exchange from operating in states that do not have reasonable limits on lawsuits relating to medical care
            – Prevent taxpayer-funded health benefits from going to illegal immigrants. Rep. Dean Heller (R-NV).
            – Prevent taxpayer funding of abortion. Reps. Sam Johnson (R-TX), Eric Cantor (R-VA) and Mark Souder (R-IN).
            – Ensure states are not forced to provide abortion benefits. In the Energy & Commerce Committee, Rep. Nathan Deal (R-GA).
            – Prevent health care providers from being forced into a government-run plan. Rep. Charles Boustany, M.D. (R-LA), a physician, offered an amendment to prevent American health care providers from being forced into the government-run plan established under the Democratic bill.
            – Require the government-run plan to operate under the same rules as private health plans. Rep. Boustany.
            – Specify that Congress should read the health care bill before voting on it. Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX).
            – Keep President Obama’s tax pledge not to raise taxes. Last year, in his campaign for the presidency, President Obama pledged he would not raise taxes on anyone making less than $200,000 ($250,000 for those filing jointly), but the health care legislation written by House Democrats would violate this pledge. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI).
            – Keep President Obama’s pledge that health care reform will not add to the deficit. Rep. Tom McClintock (R-CA).
            – Ensure that workers who like their current health plan can keep it. Reps. Judy Biggert (R-IL) and Tom Price (R-GA).
            – Stop seniors from being stripped of their health care choices. Rep. Brown-Waite offered an amendment that would remove portions of the health care bill that would cut the Medicare Advantage program.
            – Prohibit unfair advantages for government-run health plan. House Republican Conference Chairman Mike Pence (R-IN).
            – Keep the federal government from choosing “favored” physicians. Rep. Tom Price (R-GA).
            – Allow states to opt out. Rep. Price also offered an amendment to permit states that have crafted their own health plans to apply for waivers from the Democratic legislation’s requirements.
            – Preserve Americans’ health care freedom and choice. Many Americans favor Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), which give individual Americans more direct control over their health care spending, but the Democratic bill as written would wreak havoc on HSAs and similar tools that empower individuals and consumers. Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) offered an amendment to improve the Democratic bill by ensuring that HSAs would not be shut down or gutted by federal mandates.
            – Allow Americans to continue to enroll in private individual market health plans. Rep. Dave Reichert (R-WA).

            – Slow Medicare’s march toward bankruptcy. Concerned about the coming fiscal tsunami that will result from out-of-control spending on entitlement programs, the GOP-led Congress earlier this decade passed legislation specifying that if 45 percent or more of the Medicare program’s funding came from general tax revenues for two consecutive years, the President had to submit to Congress legislation that would slow spending and make the program financially stable. Democrats gutted this rule as part of their rules package for the current Congress. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) offered an amendment to restore it. The amendment was killed in committee.

            – Prohibit new taxes until Medicare fraud rate is reduced to below 1 percent. Rep. Dave Camp (R-MI).

  • Gern Blanston

    Game, why would Pelosi make a statement like “We have to pass the bill to see what’s in it.” Who in their right minds would actually make such a pronouncment, particularly about such a large and impactful piece of legistlation.  It’s not like this was mearly a vote on parking regulation in Washington DC.  This is government run health insurance for crying out loud.

    And now we see the next logical step: with proivate insurance companies escalating the cost of insurance to comply with ObamaCare, it is clear we have to ‘stop the greedy insurance companies.’ We need to let the Feds take over so we can keep insurance affordable…

    • Game

      I am not a fan of Nancy Pelosi, but the speach was made to a group of supporters of Heath Care Reform, and she was trying to say that as people lerned more about the benifits of health care reform, they would grow to support it more.

      As polls have shown HCR as becomming more popular with time, she is right.

      Also, it is working. Health care spending in 2009 and 2010 grew at the slowest rates in 50 years. http://www.commonwealthfund.org/Blog/2012/Jan/Bending-the-Health-Care-Cost-Curve.aspx

      • Gern Blanston

        So, why wasn’t it posted publicly for all to see prior to the vote? Why is it so freakin’ huge?  Why are there so many exceptions granted by this White House? Why does it have verbiage that is subject to the interpretations of the current executive branch? Why does a Federal Governement take on Health Insurance when its chief purpose is to protect our freedoms and limit its control over the collection of States? Why would a country founded on the principle of limiting control over them by a far-away power pass legistlation that starts us down the road to nationalizing 1/6 of our economy?

      • 2hotel9

         Really? People are getting less healthcare and the cost is rising steadily and that is exactly what Barri and Nanny said would happen? Oh, yea, it is. Healthcare is becoming more expensive, exactly as Democrats want it to, you stupid c*nt.

      • 2hotel9

         Oh, and “HCR as becomming more popular with time,” is a f*cking lie. As more Americans are driven out of their own insurance and forced into government controlled programs Obamacare is becoming more hated, you stupid c*nt. But hey, keep spewing your lies and sh*t, that is all you have.

  • 2hotel9

    And exactly who did not know this was the intent of Obamacare from the start? Go ahead, point out the morons who did not know.

  • Econwarrior

    “As polls have shown HCR as becomming more popular with time, she is right.”

    Exactly the opposite of the truth.  Opposition is increasing, and the tax hikes haven’t even started yet, along with the rationing and the group-based quotas.

    • Wayne

      Right!  Often what you hear coming out a liberal’s month is the exact opposite of truth.  It’s the talking points you hear, not the truth.

      • Game

        In May 2009, 63% of Americans favored overturning Health Care Reform. Today, it is 52%. That is according to pollster Scott Rasmussen, who is a shill for the far right. Who knows what the numbers really are, perhaps 10% less than that.

        • Game

          My correction, that was May 2010.

        • 2hotel9

          More lies and sh*t spew from yet another sh*t spewing liar. Good job, liar.

  • http://nofreelunch.areavoices.com/ Kevin Flanagan

    That darn law of supply and demand! Who is going to supply all this new “affordable” healthcare?

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  • Garrythomson2

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