Monday, July 2, 2012

Truth Telling on ObamaCare and Future Health Care Costs

And Now, Health Care Reform? hits the nail on the head, however regrettably:

"Winners and losers flow from every policy decision . . . real health-care reform still lies in the future.

Insurers and hospitals are celebrating because the mandate survives. But the mandate is weak and unlikely to be strenuously enforced. The real game for providers was always going to be to lobby Congress for enough subsidies to make the scheme work. ObamaCare, despite all its distracting moving parts, really boils down to throwing more tax dollars at an unsustainable system.

 Forget Scotus. Amazingly, John Kerry laid out its real epitaph in 2004 in a major campaign address. Mr. Kerry delivered the unwelcome message that extending coverage to the uninsured would only lead to a renewed explosion of health-care spending as the uninsured now participated in the same incentives to overspend as the rest of us. Bingo.

Liberals love to lament what they call the "stagnating" wages of the middle class, but wages haven't stagnated so much as all the gains have been gobbled up by health care. ObamaCare does nothing about this. ObamaCare, in fact, doubles down on the incentives for unsustainable spending, which is why the health-industrial complex was never the enemy the president liked to pretend.

And real reform remains anathema to the industry. Former Aetna Chief Ron Williams made a splash recently by recanting his support for the individual mandate, which his company had lobbied for.

Notice that Mr. Williams hasn't recanted his support for the giant regressive subsidy for healthcare overspending known as the tax benefit for employer-provided insurance.

Bottom line: There is no health reform without tax reform, unless we're going to a single-payer system—a truth perhaps we're free to rediscover now that the distraction over ObamaCare's constitutionality is out of the way."

Summing Up

Even John Kerry had this one right as far back as 2004. Add millions of people and health care costs will increase.

Thus, the nation's health care costs will continue to escalate, and insurers, hospitals and politicians will all be trying to extract more dollars from We the People.

Along those lines, look for hospitals to be urging states to adopt the Medicaid extension since doing so will give those hospitals lots of billing dollars courtesy of the taxpayers -- er -- government.

We can't afford to pay for what we already have, and we sure won't be able to afford what's coming next.

To repeat, Senator Kerry long ago nailed this one. It looks like a continuing explosion in health care spending lies ahead.

If that happens, there will be even less money for wage and salary increases, thus leading to lower consumer spending, fewer jobs, higher deficits and debts and ------ well, you know the story.

Thanks. Bob.

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