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Topic: Health Care Reform

Taking Down Paul Krugman

Posted on Oct. 07, 10 | 08:45 AM by Andrew Roth | Topic: Health Care Reform
Economist David Henderson does a fine job of turning Paul Krugman's words against him on the matter of health care reform.  Best blog post of the day.
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Max Baucus on ObamaCare

Posted on Sep. 14, 10 | 01:47 PM by Andrew Roth | Topic: Health Care Reform
Here's what Democrat Sen. Max Baucus told a crowd at a recent townhall meeting in Montana about ObamaCare. From the Associated Press:

"Mark my words, several years from now, you're going to look back and say, 'Well, that wasn't so bad after all,'" Baucus said.

Wanna bet?
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Obama Administration Threatens Health Insurers

Posted on Sep. 10, 10 | 09:43 AM by Andrew Roth | Topic: Health Care Reform
Is this not the most overt threat you've seen in a while?  Obama has become so ensconced in power that this is par for the course.  From the Wall Street Journal:
The Obama administration on Thursday told health insurers that it will track those who enact "unjustified" rate increases linked to the health overhaul and may block those companies from a new marketplace for insurance coverage.
Kathleen Sebelius, secretary of Health and Human Services, issued the warning in a letter to Karen Ignagni, the insurance industry's top lobbyist.
[...]"There will be zero tolerance for this type of misinformation and unjustified rate increases," Ms. Sebelius wrote. "We will not stand idly by as insurers blame their premium hikes and increased profits on the requirement that they provide consumers with basic protections."
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Health Insurers Plan Hikes

Posted on Sep. 08, 10 | 08:09 AM by Andrew Roth | Topic: Health Care Reform
It's Economics 101.  When you mandate more coverage and more benefits, premiums have to go up.  From the Wall Street Journal [emphasis mine]:

Health insurers say they plan to raise premiums for some Americans as a direct result of the health overhaul in coming weeks, complicating Democrats' efforts to trumpet their signature achievement before the midterm elections.

Aetna Inc., some BlueCross BlueShield plans and other smaller carriers have asked for premium increases of between 1% and 9% to pay for extra benefits required under the law, according to filings with state regulators.

These and other insurers say Congress's landmark refashioning of U.S. health coverage, which passed in March after a brutal fight, is causing them to pass on more costs to consumers than Democrats predicted.
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Dear Patients: Vote to Repeal ObamaCare

Posted on Sep. 07, 10 | 09:36 AM by Andrew Roth | Topic: Health Care Reform
I missed this great op-ed in the Wall Street Journal last week.  Dr. Hal Scherz is warning his patients about the disastrous consequences of ObamaCare.  In a open letter to his patients, he writes:

"Dear Patient: Section 1311 of the new health care legislation gives the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services and her appointees the power to establish care guidelines that your doctor must abide by or face penalties and fines. In making doctors answerable in the federal bureaucracy this bill effectively makes them government employees and means that you and your doctor are no longer in charge of your health care decisions. This new law politicizes medicine and in my opinion destroys the sanctity of the doctor-patient relationship that makes the American health care system the best in the world."

Read the rest of the article here.
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Furious Parent Blasts Senator Kagan Over Health Care

Posted on Aug. 19, 10 | 08:58 AM by Andrew Roth | Topic: Health Care Reform
These townhall meeting videos are starting to pop up now that we're in a congressional recess.  Let's see more!
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I Don't Think Missouri Likes ObamaCare

Posted on Aug. 04, 10 | 09:43 AM by Andrew Roth | Topic: Health Care Reform
Missouri voters approved of Proposition C last night.  The ballot initiative repudiated ObamaCare, specifically the law's individual mandate to buy health insurance.

Prop C passed in a squeaker - 71% to 29%.

Hey Democrats...try to spin that in your favor.

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One Step Closer to Repeal of ObamaCare

Posted on Aug. 02, 10 | 11:12 AM by Andrew Roth | Topic: Health Care Reform
This is breaking news from the Washington Post:

A federal judge Monday refused to dismiss a Virginia lawsuit  challenging the constitutionality of the federal health-care law, handing the law's foes their first victory in a courtroom battle likely to last years.

U.S. District Court Judge Henry E. Hudson rejected arguments from Obama administration lawyers that Virginia has no standing to sue over the law and no chance of ultimately prevailing in its constitutional claim.

The lawsuit, lodged by Virginia Republican Attorney Gen. Ken Cuccinelli II, argues that Congress overstepped its constitutional authority when it included a provision in the law mandating that citizens purchase health insurance by 2014 or pay a fine.
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The Berwick Solution: QALY Him

Posted on Jul. 08, 10 | 10:19 AM by Michael Connolly | Topic: Health Care Reform
I'm usually a fan of presidential recess appointments.  Nomination holds are annoying, the president should have leeway in getting his people into office, and under recess appointments, whoever it is will only pester the public for a year or so.

The recess appointment of Donald Berwick to direct the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is different.  There was no hold on his nominatioin.  The president appointed him during recess, thereby avoiding a Senate confirmation vote, because he was afraid of being embarrassed by Berwick's performance at his nomination hearing. 

Why?  Well, because Berwick is embarrassing. 

His well publicized views about government health care rationing are not only economically ridiculous, they are morally creepy.  "I am a romantic about the [British] National Health Service," he said.  "I love it," it's "a global treasure."  He favors a system of "algorhythms" by which bureaucrats in Washington can determine if your grandmother, child, or you deserve, say, a hip replacement, a heart transplant, or, in President Obama's memorable words, "the red or blue pill."  He wants really smart people -- like him! -- "to weigh public welfare against the choices of private consumers."  That is, individuals only get care if the delivery of such care is good for the government..  er, the public.

The Grand Unified Algorhythm is called QALY, quality-adjusted life year.  In Britain, a QALY is about $49,000.  That is, if the care you need to extend your life by one year costs less than $49,000, you may get it; if it costs more than $49,000 a year, don't buy any green bananas. 

Alas.  Now that he's been appointed, there's no much congressional Republicans can do about it... Unless... Wait a second. 

How about if some enterprising Senate Republican offered an amendment to, say, ration Mr. Berwick's salary and benefits at CMS to, I don't know, say, $49,000 a year until he receives actual hearings and a confirmation vote.  Maybe the amendment could do the same for everyone at CMS, weighing, as we must, the "public welfare" against the bloated costs of health care bureaucrats.

I have to say, I'm a romantic about this idea.  I love it.
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Two for the price of one?

Posted on Jun. 17, 10 | 11:57 AM by Michael Connolly | Topic: Health Care Reform
Over at The Corner, Robert Costa has an interest post about the continuing dividends being paid by the defeat of Utah Sen. Bob Bennett last month:

Hatching a Plan to Repeal Obamacare   [Robert Costa]

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R., Utah) wants to repeal Obamacare, piece by piece. Today, he’s introducing two pieces of legislation: The first would repeal the individual mandate and the second would repeal the employer mandate. “By repealing both the unconstitutional individual mandate and the job-killing employer mandate, the most egregious elements of this devastating health law will be eliminated,” Hatch says. “This would be a huge leap in the right direction for hard-working families and small businesses.”

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A Discharge Petition for Repeal of ObamaCare!

Posted on Jun. 17, 10 | 08:50 AM by Andrew Roth | Topic: Health Care Reform
Rep. Steve King has just unveiled a discharge petition to repeal ObamaCare.  Encourage your representative to sign on!

For those who don't know, a discharge petition allows the minority in the House to force a vote when the Speaker is currently blocking it.  Once a discharge petition has 218 signatures, the ruling party has to schedule a vote, usually within a couple of weeks.

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