We need them to be forced to do mammograms. That’s why you see breast cancer awareness month. You see the baseball players wearing pink shoes, and you the football players having pink, uh, uh, helmets. It’s because people dread breast cancer, and you don’t get breast cancer, you can—correct breast cancer—you detect it if you do mammograms. Colonoscopies, if you do colonoscopies, colon cancer does not come because you snip off the—things they find when they go up and—no more, and we need to have insurance companies do this…
The guy got to be Senate Majority Leader and can’t figure out the purpose of a diagnostic procedure.
With the final vote on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act slated to start after sundown Dec. 24, senators and hundreds of their health policy analysts, press secretaries and other aides — not to mention the universe of police officers, clerks and student pages who keep the place humming — wishing to be with their families will instead spend the holiday in Washington. And there’s a possibility the Senate could be called back next week, to take up debt-limit legislation.
The Senate Democrats declare a super-majority of senators will be needed to overrule any regulation imposed by the Death Panels
Upon examination of Senator Harry Reid’s amendment to the health care legislation, Senators discovered section 3403. That section changes the rules of the United States Senate.
To change the rules of the United States Senate, there must be sixty-seven votes.
Section 3403 of Senator Harry Reid’s amendment requires that “it shall not be in order in the Senate or the House of Representatives to consider any bill, resolution, amendment, or conference report that would repeal or otherwise change this subsection.” The good news is that this only applies to one section of the Obamacare legislation. The bad news is that it applies to regulations imposed on doctors and patients by the Independent Medicare Advisory Boards a/k/a the Death Panels.
Section 3403 of Senator Reid’s legislation also states, “Notwithstanding rule XV of the Standing Rules of the Senate, a committee amendment described in subparagraph (A) may include matter not within the jurisdiction of the Committee on Finance if that matter is relevant to a proposal contained in the bill submitted under subsection (c)(3).” In short, it sets up a rule to ignore another Senate rule.
1. Sen. Ben Nelson’s “Cornhusker Kickback.”
2. New England’s Special Syrup.
3. Corruptocrat Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd’s Christmas wish: Hospital helper.
4. “Some insurers are more equal than others” tax exemption.
5. The Frontier Freebie.
6. More Democrat hospital bennies.
7. Bernie Sanders’ socialized medicine sop.
8. Fla.-Pa.-NY Protectionism.
If you review Michelle’s items, you’ll find that six of the items on her list directly involve Medicare and Medicaid, the existing government healthcare programs … that are broke.
This is how our system works and has worked since time immemorial. Discussions of logrolling and pork barrel politics have been part of introductory American politics courses since, oh, the advent of introductory American politics courses. The terms were coined in 1835 (by Davy Crockett, no less) and 1863 (by Edward Everett Hale). Let’s just say Harry Reid didn’t invent them.
This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t shine a light on these abuses. By all means, we should. But let’s not pretend that they’re a recent invention.
It’s hard to imagine a better illustration of the panic and recklessness stringing ObamaCare along in the Senate than the putative deal that Harry Reid announced this week. The Majority Leader is claiming that a Medicare “buy-in” for people from ages 55 to 64 has overcome the liberal-moderate impasse over the “public option.” But if anything, this gambit is an even faster road to government-run health care.
The public option—an insurance program open to everyone, financed by taxpayers and run like Medicare—is intended as a veiled substitute for “single-payer” Canada-style insurance. Under the cover of “choice” and “competition,” the entitlement would quickly squeeze out private insurance as people gravitated to “free” coverage and the government held down costs via price controls the way Medicare does now.
Mr. Reid’s buy-in simply cuts out the middle man. Why go to the trouble of creating a new plan like Medicare when Medicare itself is already handy? A buy-in is an old chestnut of single-payer advocate Pete Stark, and it’s the political strategy liberals have tried since the Great Society: Ratchet down the enrollment age for Medicare, boost the income limits to qualify for Medicaid, and soon health care for the entire middle class becomes a taxpayer commitment.
In the case of Medicare, this means expanding a program that is already going broke. Medicare reimburses doctors and hospitals at rates 70% to 80% below those of private insurers, which means below the actual treatment costs in many cities and regions. Providers either eat these losses—about half of U.S. hospitals are running a deficit or close to it—or they raise prices for private payers. This cost-shifting isn’t dollar for dollar, but all empirical research shows that it adds tens of billions of dollars to consumer health bills, and this will accelerate if several million new patients are added to Medicare. That means higher prices for health insurance.
Adverse selection will also be a big problem, as the people who choose to join will inevitably be higher risk or in poorer health. Mr. Reid hasn’t released any details on his plan, if they even exist, but would the sub-65 uninsured who join Medicare be subsidized? If so, in what sense is this one-hand-subsidizes-the-other taxpayer self-dealing a “buy-in”? It sounds simply like a huge Medicare expansion, especially if employers decide to drop coverage for anyone older than 55.
As for costs, how does adding new beneficiaries square with Democratic promises that they will cut Medicare spending on paper by two percentage points a year for the next two decades—just as the baby boomers retire and health costs continue to climb?
Even with the most drastic reduction of services and rationing of prescriptions, it can’t.
Senate Democrats have provided few details about their latest health care proposal, but this much seems clear: Anyone who wants to buy the same health benefits as members of Congress, or to buy coverage through Medicare, should be prepared to fork over a large chunk of cash.