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EDITORIAL-Health Care Relief is Ours

At long last, relief is here; let us be glad

$88,200.
How many of you earn that amount in a year?
Not I, says the teacher. Nor I, says the letter carrier. Nor I, says the clerk at the corner store. Certainly not I, says the senior citizen living on Social Security.
$88,200. That’s 1,700 bucks a week in your paycheck. If yours is a family of four, and you make less than that, some relief is here, at last.

It comes in the form of the sweeping health care reform signed into law this week by our president.
It is the biggest and best legislation to help America’s middle class since the introduction of Medicare in 1965. If you and your family are members of the middle class or the working poor, you should be celebrating this amazing piece of legislation. It makes life better for you, for your children, for your grandparents- and for the future of this country.
Now that the opponent’s distortions and untruths have been defeated, it is a time for individual Americans to consider what this new law will do, and just how they will benefit from it. Here are a few of the plusses to begin this year:
• An immediate reduction in the cost of health care for families and small businesses.

• Adults uninsured because of pre-existing conditions will have access to affordable insurance through a temporary high-risk pool.

• Senior Medicare recipients will receive a $250 rebate to help cover any gap in prescription drug coverage; next year, the law institutes a 50 percent discount on prescription drugs in the donut hole.

• New private health insurance plans will be required to provide free preventive care, with no co-payments and no deductibles for preventive services. And next January, Medicare will do the same.

• Children with pre-existing conditions can no longer be denied health insurance coverage; that heinous insurance company practice is now against the law. Now no insurance company can deny coverage to a child based on his or her health.

• Young people may remain on their parents' insurance policy until their 26th birthday.

• Insurance companies cannot drop people from coverage when they get sick, and they may no longer impose lifetime caps on coverage; restrictive annual limits on coverage also will be banned
Among other positive benefits: funding for community health centers will double over the next five years; the number of primary care providers – doctors, nurses, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants – will increase; and discrimination based on salary is now outlawed.
The Republican attacks are based on political distortions, even outright lies. Much of the “Party of No” rhetoric begins with the falsehood that they speak “ for the American People.”
But wait: In the election just 16 months ago between McCain/Palin and Obama/Biden, each campaign stated what their policies would be if elected. The American people voted 53% to 46% to elect President Obama. In fact, almost 70 million chose him, while less than 60 million voted for McCain.
So pay no attention to the overheated rhetoric from John McCain’s Republicans. They had the controls of the country for eight years, and they are embittered by their loss of power.
To his credit, during the campaign Barack Obama told the country the details of his political agenda, and pledged to deliver health care reform. When they voted, the American people said yes, that’s what they wanted.
Barack Obama delivered on his promise this week, and the country is all the better for it.
– Ed Forry

Comments

Fidel Castro said he thinks it's a good plan too...This from the communist dictator of an impoverished country where even toilet paper and pencils are "luxury items". But let's not forget, he was good buddies with fellow communist and "celebrity" murderer Che Guevara...he's the guy who's picture was seen in several Obama campaign offices and can probably currently be found on some of the walls of the interior of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

First we had TARP to rescue the mortgage industry followed by huge bank bailouts and then the govt gets its hands on the auto industry...now they muscle in on private healthcare (and the student loan industry). Will the govt do as splendid a job with healthcare as it's done with the bottomless money pits such as the Post Office, Amtrak, Medicaid...etc, etc? Where does this madness stop??

A majority of Americans have a dim view of the sweeping health care bill passed by the House, saying it gives Washington too much clout and won't do much to reduce their own health care costs or federal deficits.

It's purpose is very clearly designed to end private insurance and move everyone in the country towards the public option, socializing healthcare in effect, while pretending that choice is still an option.

If you as an employer do not currently offer insurance, you will pay an 8% penalty on the average wage of each of your employees. There's no lowering the salary of your employees to pay. If you lower the salary of your employees to pay for the penalty, you pay the lowered salary amount and the premium. This prevents employers from pushing the cost onto the employee.

You can keep your old insurance, but if premiums rise, you're stuck. Premiums on grandfathered plans will skyrocket, as it will represent the only area where profit can be made for insurance companies. And even if you can take five years of astronomical premiums, at the end, your insurance is gone, replaced with Obamacare.

New companies have to take Obamacare, and existing companies will eventually be driven to take Obamacare. So much for keeping insurance you're happy with.

Faced with rising premiums and no relief, many companies will simply choose to eliminate health insurance altogether. 8% of a salary is very low for health benefits. Most small businesses I speak to are at 10-15% or higher for healthcare premiums. Dumping their employees off onto the public option is an immediate cost saver. They save 2-7% of the salaries, and no longer have to deal with the headaches of offering benefits.

Some companies will attempt to offer coverage to avoid the stigma of the public plan, but enough employers will ditch insurance to raise premiums in the private market. As some insurance companies fail, some companies will have no choice. Insurance companies will be squeezed between benefits and premiums, and many will fail. The result will be a large number of companies and individuals forced into the public option, even if they would prefer private insurance.

Small businesses who currently don't offer insurance will be forced to lay off 1 of out of 10 workers. Since you can't lower the salary of an employee to cover health insurance premiums, small business owners will be forced to cut payroll by 8%. In addition, the surtax on the wealthiest will add additional burdens on the owners, who will be paying 8% of their payroll plus 2-3% more of their income. The result will be layoffs.

In the end

1. Everyone but the richest among us loses their current insurance
2. Most Americans end up on the public option (which will transition to single payer when the numbers are big enough)
3. Wages and hiring will be chronically depressed
4. Rates for the public option will rise, as will taxes.
5. Rationing will set in as insurance companies fail, and payments are negotiated lower.
6. With too few people in the private insurance market, only boutique policies for the ultra wealthy will be feasible.
7. The infrastructure built up by a strong private sector will begin to age (as it has in England), and care will suffer, along with new treatments and new drugs.

This is the end result of the bill. Those seven points will happen, and in truth, that is the point of this healthcare "reform." There are no negotiations that will fix it. There are no taxes, and no blue ribbon panels that can get around it. The purpose of this bill is to start America towards a single payer system by destroying private insurance and the free market. Once there, you can never go back to a strong private market.

Anyone who tells you different either hasn't read the bill, doesn't understand it, or is a lying two-faced socialist who thinks you're too stupid to understand what they are trying to do. And for the record, keep in mind that no staffer of McCaskill or any other representative would dare discuss this in public. Their only hope is you shut up, sit down, and let this pass without complaint.

By the way, I grew up on Burt street in Dorchester near Ashmont station, 3rd floor triple decker. However because of the bussing riots of the 70's I had to quit school at 17, joined the army, stayed 23 years, retired, paid for an MBA on my own through hard word and now work for a large software company in the Northwest. Point I am making is that I did not grow up with a silver spoon in my mouth.

Obama is a socialist and this song and dance about him looking out for the little people is just a song and dance that Obama, Reid and Pelosi wanted on their resumes regardless of the cost both in long term financials to the consumers, tax payers, doctors etc. Point to whatever poll you want, polls are biased based on who is sending them which is predicated upon who reads or watches that media venue.

What I do know is Obama enjoyed a 76% favorable rating one year ago. He now has a 51% favorable rating which will rise slightly from the democratic side because of the passing of this bill, however, soon it will go right back down again.

The bigger cost to democrats is not just this Nov, and not just the 2012 presidential election, but longer than that because the demoncrats and far left wingers in this administration are taking this country down a road most Americans do not want to be on but they force it anyway which means starting this Nov many things will change and when it changes back to the right and democrats and liberals get upset just go look in the mirror because you are the one that helped put him there.