Tag: "public option"

Seniors Know More than Polltakers

Perhaps you saw the headline: “Most Seniors Misinformed…[About] Key Provisions of the Affordable Care Act.” Yet on closer inspection, it turns out that the seniors — who are about to get taken to the cleaners under ObamaCare — knew a lot more than the polltakers.

It reminds me of last summer’s townhall meetings, when members of Congress claimed their constituents were confused and misled. Turned out, the voters often were much better informed than their representatives.

On the answers to the polling questions, you be the judge.

It’s Baaack! Return of the “Public Option”

After a painful and ultimately losing struggle against bipartisan opposition in Congress, it’s surprising to see that advocates of the so-called “public option” have brought that zombie back from the dead. 

Just as Congress prepares to recess for August, Representative Lynn Woolsey and 128 co-sponsors have brought back a somewhat slimmed down version. H.R. 5808 would establish a Medicare-like public option in ObamaCare’s exchanges. That is, people acquiring health insurance through the exchanges would be able to choose a government-owned plan alongside the ones offered by private insurers. The Left, which wants a single-payer, government monopoly, health plan, sees the public option as a necessary step. By crowding private insurers out of the exchanges, the public option would make more people dependent on the government and paves the way for “Medicare for all.”

Health Reform Policy Update

Harry Reid: “We are going to have a public option before this bill goes to the president’s desk.”

Frist corrects the record: He’s against the Baucus bill.

A ban on pre-existing condition discrimination by insurers could actually make discrimination even worse.

The Terminator sells out.

Quote of the Day – 2009/10/5

There’s a public option; there’s a public option, and there’s a public option. And we’re gonna look at each of them.

                                                                             — Sen. Harry Reid

Doctors Seven Times More Satisfied with Payments from Private Insurance as Medicare

With all the polls of Americans on health reform, one group’s members are rarely surveyed about their preferences: physicians. Although medical societies are lobbying for special privileges, the views of actual physicians have remained largely unexamined. Two physicians recently sought to remedy this by surveying a random sample of 6,000 physicians (of which 43% responded) and publishing the results in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Funded by the Robert Wood Johnson (RWJ) Foundation, the survey’s results were promoted with a different headline than you see above.

Hits & Misses – 2009/9/8

Native Americans are Already in a Public Plan — and It’s Not Very Good

This is Terry Anderson, writing in the Wall Street Journal:

In 2007, rates of infant mortality among Native Americans across the country were 1.4 times higher than non-Hispanic whites and rates of heart disease were 1.2 times higher. HIV/AIDS rates were 30% higher, and rates of liver cancer and inflammatory bowel disease were two times higher. Diabetes-related death rates were four times higher. On average, life expectancy is four years shorter for Native Americans than the population as a whole.

Rural Indians fare even worse….. in Montana and Wyoming, Indians suffer diabetes at rates 20% higher, heart disease 12% higher, and lung cancer rates 67% higher than the average across all IHS regions in the country. A recent Harvard University study found that life expectancy on a reservation in neighboring South Dakota was 58 years. The national average is 77.

What Froma Harrop Doesn’t Understand About Health Insurance

Ordinarily I don’t respond to a newspaper column. But this piece is touching and powerful. And the conclusions the writer draws from it are wrong.

Here’s the back story: The husband of Providence Journal columnist Froma Harrop died of liver cancer. After the diagnosis, the couple learned that the best place in the country for liver cancer treatment was in Boston. But since the facility was not in United Healthcare’s network, the insurer refused to pay for it. Eventually the insurer relented but not before a long, frustrating bureaucratic battle — the last thing in the world any family would want on the eve of the death of a loved one.

It’s hard not to sympathize. But Harrop uses the incident to argue for a government-run plan. Not because the government plan would have paid for an out-of-network treatment. It probably wouldn’t have. But because a government plan would have required less hassle:

The bureaucrat would have given a simple “yes” or “no” based on official guidelines. He or she would have had no personal stake in denying you care…… a government-run program doesn’t tell you what treatments you may or may not have. It tells you what the taxpayers will subsidize. You are free to go out with your own money and buy whatever you want.

Believe me, “death panels” already exist, and they have nothing to do with the government.

Here’s what Harrop doesn’t understand.

Hits & Misses #2 – 2009/8/17

Obama to Town Hall Gathering: The public health plan will be just like the US Postal Service

During Tuesday’s so-called “town hall” in New Hampshire (in which a schoolgirl warned the president that there were people outside holding signs that said “mean things” about his plan), the president gave the US Postal Service as an example to calm our fears about a new government program, the “public option,” destroying private health insurance.

The president said, “UPS and FedEx are doing just fine, right? No, they are. It’s the Post Office that’s always having problems.” (Laughter.)

He’s got that right. The Postal Service is going to need a taxpayer bailout of $7 billion this year. And despite the president’s claim, it doesn’t have competition in its core market of letter delivery. It’s illegal for FedEx or UPS to undercut the government’s price on letter mail. It’s also illegal for any other entity to send mail to a Post Office Box. And the Postal Service maintains that they – not you – are the real owners of your mailbox.