Sunday, March 21, 2010

Health Care Passes ...On The Backs Of The Elderly.

From the wire:

"To pay for the changes, the legislation includes more than $400 billion in higher taxes over a decade, roughly half of it from a new Medicare payroll tax on individuals with incomes over $200,000 and couples over $250,000. A new excise tax on high-cost insurance policies was significantly scaled back in deference to complaints from organized labor."

"In addition, the bills cut more than $500 billion from planned payments to hospitals, nursing homes, hospices and other providers that treat Medicare patients. An estimated $200 billion would reduce planned subsidies to insurance companies that offer a private alternative to traditional Medicare." (So then, who is going to be the life or death Czar that determines what doctors couldn't afford to do ... Cut back on diagnostic tests)

I have two problems with this bill. Well, actually more than two, but these stand out. First, they are going to pay for this plan from cuts in medicare. Already, more than 50% of family practitioners are not accepting new medicare patients, due to low reimbursement. Some are even kicking their current medicare patients out of their practices. Now the government is saying, we'll cut back on doctor and hospital reimbursement for the funds to make this work. Yet again another unfunded mandate for the states to struggle with.

The second thing I have a problem with is that there was no tort reform included. "It isn't the high malpractice premiums that are driving costs up, but defensive medicine. When a doctor orders expensive tests that they don't feel is necessary, to avoid lawsuits." said my doctor, whose name will go unmentioned.Medical schools will watch a dwindling or maybe disappearing supply of doctors wanting to specialize in geriatric care.

Still, the 800 pound gorilla in the room is asking what then, are we going to do with our seniors? Stick them out on an ice flow in mid-winter like the ancient Eskimos did? No, they will end up on state welfare roles with medicaid, thanks to the federal government. Forget about the Wall Street crooks that got us, along with the help of congress, into this mess. The largest flim-flam ever perpetrated has just been acted upon by the representatives WE sent to do our business for us.

Every action, it is said, has an equal and opposite reaction. To coin another cliche, Robbing Peter to pay Paul is not good legislation. This was/is a desperation plan on the part of socialists to do what they could to nationalize as much as possible before the inevitable loss of power in the coming mid-term elections. Pulling stunts to avoid debate runs afoul of congress' own rules, that reconciliation not be used for anything other than evening out appropriations.

Look out for some interesting actions. 37 states including Idaho which has already passed their legislation, are setting up a massive lawsuit against our overreaching federal establishment. The next couple of years are going to be very interesting, that is if we survive the breadlines to come.

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