Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Does No One Understand English?

I caught some Fox & Friends this AM and again was amazed at the inability of either the Senator speaking or the people listening to understand what was being said. The frighteningly young Senator looked at the camera and intoned that, "the current medical care insurance that you and I have could not be cancelled for a pre-existing condition..."

The anachronism in that isn't complex. If you and I, Senator, have a current healthcare plan, then conditions now disclosed are not "pre-existing" by definition. I suppose he meant that seeking another plan with another job or even enrolling in that wonderful "public option" will not be vetted for pre-existing ailments, but that wasn't what he said.

Then there was the slavering in the Dallas Morning FishWrap some of which I offer here:

Most Americans would be required to purchase insurance, and the government would establish a new series of exchanges through which consumers could shop for policies.
The measure includes hundreds of billions of dollars in subsidies to defray the cost of insurance for families with incomes up to about $88,200 a year for a family of four.
Additional assistance would go to small businesses to help them afford coverage for workers.

The critical words there are "Americans would be REQUIRED to purchase..." then "hundreds of billions in subsidies..." and then "incomes up to about $88,200 a year..." I've never before had government demand that I spend my money on anything. I wonder where hundreds of billions more government money are coming from. And, I recall that the national average income for families of four runs about $42,000 a year, so that tells me that roughly 3/4 of all families will be subsidized. But, don't forget that it also says even more assistance will go to small businesses. Wow!

Large companies would not face a requirement to cover employees. But the government would impose charges if any of them did not do so and any of their workers qualified for federal subsidies to help them afford private coverage.

Recalling all of those people who will qualify for the subsidy we now see the conflict in this paragraph. Large companies would not face a requirement except if ANY of their workers qualified for federal subsidies!! Can you identify any large companies in which all of the employees make more than $88,200 per year? So all large companies will be forced to cover employees or be subject to fines.

In his remarks, Obama took issue with ads and claims by critics about the bill’s impact on the federal budget, citing CBO estimates that predicted it would reduce the deficit.
“So all the scare tactics out there, all the ads that are out there are simply inaccurate,” he said.
“There are still disagreements that have to be ironed out. There is still work to be done in the next few days,” he said, without going into specifics.
The legislation would be financed by about $460 billion in cuts in projected Medicare payments to health care providers over a decade.
It also includes higher payroll taxes on individuals making more than $250,000 annually and higher taxes on high-cost insurance policies, drug makers, medical device makers and others

And, there we have it folks, the ultimate fiscal legerdemain. All of the subsidies are going to be financed by $460 billion in CUTS to Medicare which already pays only about 60% of the cost of medical services which hospitals and healthcare providers deliver.

But the kicker is that higher payroll taxes line for that segment of the population which actually creates economic growth and jobs. Top that with the higher taxes on high-cost insurance policies (so I won't keep my excellent plan will I?), drug-makers (so I'll take a lot more aspirin for my cancer pain, won't I?), medical device makers (hooks and peg-legs are so romantic, aren't they Capt. Jack Swallow?), and that all-encompassing "others."

Deficit neutral? Tax cuts for 95% of wage earners? Gimme a break. I speak English and I still understand what you said.

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