Friday, August 20, 2010

Meet Obamacare

The true name of this law is (obviously) not Obamacare, just as the abomination thought up before was not really called HillaryCare.  But no one will ever call it by it's real name, the "Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act, P.L. 111-148; and Health Care & Education Reconciliation Act, P.L. 111-152"

Behold the flow chart (source) (and while you're there, download the full sized pdf of this chart):
Is that Byzantine enough for ya?  According to the guys who made this up, it's the simplified version.
Brady admits committee analysts could not fit the entire health care bill on one chart. “This portrays only about one-third of the complexity of the final bill. It’s actually worse than this.”

I'm particularly intrigued by this little corner:
Why is Homeland Security so closely involved to the president.  I understand you'd like them to be around in case of something that's a security threat, say a bio-terrorism attack.  But everyday?  The other two lines feeding them are from the two main powers, the IRS and the secretary of HHS. 

In addition to capturing the massive expansion of government and the overwhelming complexity of new regulations and taxes, the chart portrays:
  • $569 billion in higher taxes;
  • $529 billion in cuts to Medicare;
  • swelling of the ranks of Medicaid by 16 million;
  • 17 major insurance mandates; and
  • the creation of two new bureaucracies with powers to impose future rationing: the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute and the Independent Payments Advisory Board.
As the TV pitchmen say, "But wait, there's more!".  In "Obamacare and Taxes: The Final Tab"  Americans for Tax Reform lists the 20 new or higher taxes they've found so far. Some of these are:
Individual Mandate Excise Tax, Employer Mandate Tax, Surtax on Investment Income ($123 billion/Jan. 2013):  Creation of a new, 3.8 percent surtax on investment income, Excise Tax on Comprehensive Health Insurance Plans, Medicine Cabinet Tax, Flexible Spending Account Cap (FSA accounts to be capped at $2500)Tax on Indoor Tanning Services (the famous "honky tax"), Brand Name Drug Tax (let's hurt everyone!) Tax on Innovator Drug Companies (can't allow any innovation!) 
Even that is just the start.  In the pdf for the post "Six Months to Go Until The Largest Tax Hikes in History" they list the taxes coming our way.  That they know of.  So far.

It has been speculated that the goal of this system is to collapse, so people will demand the wonderful government replace it with a National Health Service.  I don't see any reason to rule that out, in light of comments of many associated with developing the plan. 

As the wonderful Mark Steyn said so long ago,
Why squander your presidency on trying to turn an economically moribund feudal backwater into a functioning nation state when you can turn a functioning nation state into an economically moribund feudal backwater?
I believe it was Mark who pointed out the essential problems with a national health service like the British or Canadian models.

The expenses go so high and the systems get so complex that they suck all of the government money and political effort up into the health system.  It becomes central to every election. 

Health care becomes highly politicized.  Diseases with the loudest, most active lobbying groups get the most money.  So money goes into treating AIDS or breast cancer, or sex change operations, but not hip replacements, pneumonia, or prostate cancer. 

Since it's politically sexier to put money into these politically backed diseases than buildings, the infrastructure is ignored.  Buildings crumble.  Cleaning staff is reduced, so hospitals become filthy places and hospital borne infections kill thousands.  

Another consequence is that pharmaceutical research grinds to a halt.  When companies are forbidden to profit, forbidden to pay for the top talent, it goes elsewhere.  When antibiotics fail, people will complain there are no alternatives - which will be a decade of work away.

With limited resources, rationing must happen, and treatment is denied to people who "haven't suffered enough", or are "too fat to get that hip replaced".  Care delayed is care denied, and people die. 

Another thing to ponder is this: the National Health Service for the UK - that tiny little piece of land - is the third largest employer on Earth, behind the People's Liberation Army (of China) and the Indian National Railroad system.  How much larger will our system have to be? 

I've heard a buzz of "Repeal and Replace".  I say "Repeal Now".  Worry about replacement later.  Look at every bubble on that flow chart and shut them down now.  Send those people home now. 


1 comment:

  1. You're right... REPEAL NOW!!! Then REPLACE all the "progressives" holding political offices, so we don't have to go through this kind of insanity again.

    Somehow, I just don't think it's going to happen.