The stealth health-care nationalization in the “stimulus”

posted at 10:55 am on January 30, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

Kimberly Strassel gives the Obama administration credit for learning from history with their stimulus package.  Not from the history of economics — the package pretty much entails a What Not To Do aggregation of New Deal ignorance — but from the history of health-care nationalization.  Rather than attempt it honestly, as Bill and Hillary Clinton did in 1993, Obama has hidden nuggets of it within the so-called stimulus bill that passed the House (via Power Line):

Still, it’s the “stimulus” that has proven the real gift horse — a behemoth that has allowed Democrats to speed up the takeover of health care under cover of an economic crisis. They initially claimed, for instance, the “stimulus” would provide Medicaid money to states struggling to pay existing bills. What in fact it does is dramatically expand the number of Americans who qualify for Medicaid.

Under “stimulus,” Medicaid is now on offer not to just poor Americans, but Americans who have lost their jobs. And not just Americans who have lost their jobs, but their spouses and their children. And not Americans who recently lost their jobs, but those who lost jobs, say, early last year. And not just Americans who already lost their jobs, but those who will lose their jobs up to 2011. The federal government is graciously footing the whole bill. The legislation also forbids states to apply income tests in most cases.

House Democrat Henry Waxman was so thrilled by this blowout, it was left to Republicans to remind him that the very banking millionaires he dragged to the Hill last year for a grilling would now qualify for government aid. His response? A GOP proposal to limit subsidies to Americans with incomes under $1 million was accepted during markup, but had disappeared by final passage. In this new health-care nirvana, even the rich are welcome. CBO estimates? An additional 1.2 million on the federal Medicaid dime in 2009.

The “stimulus” also hijacks Cobra, a program that lets the unemployed retain access to their former company health benefits — usually for about 18 months. The new stimulus permits any former employee over the age of 55 to keep using Cobra right up until they qualify for Medicare at age 65. And here’s the kicker: Whereas employees were previously responsible for paying their health premiums while on Cobra, now the feds will pay 65%. CBO estimates? Seven million Americans will have the feds mostly pay their insurance bills in 2009. …

Add it up, and Democrats may move 10 million more Americans under the federal health umbrella — in just four weeks!

Rahm Emanuel once advised that crisis means opportunity, and the Democrats have taken that message to heart.  They’ve exploited the sense of economic crisis in order to build a Trojan Horse stimulus bill that encompasses all of their legislative goals — and they’re trying to stampede people into supporting it out of panic.  Hope and Change?  More like Fear and Loathing.

What this does has nothing to do with stimulating the economy.  Worse, it exponentially increases the difficulty in reforming entitlements, and Medicare already was the one program most in need of reform.  It’s heading into insolvency even without the additional load of ten million new and unplanned subscribers in three weeks.  Now, we will have even more subscribers to throw into the reform grinder, making it more painful than ever to effect the necessary changes to bring the program back into solvency.

And how do the Democrats plan to make this work?  They want to kill the one part of the program that actually receives payments.  Medicare Advantage is exactly the kind of public/private partnership that could rescue Medicare, where recipients buy supplemental coverage to make Medicare work for them better and extend the bargaining power to reduce costs at the same time.  Democrats want to kill that program and force all MA patients back to the poor coverage Medicare alone provides.

This demonstrates what a disaster this stimulus bill is, and what a disaster Democratic rule in Washington will be over the next two years.  It’s hard to believe one could credibly say this, but I long for the honesty of the Clintons.


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Under this bill, can Waxman get his nose fixed? If so, then I am for it.

bloggless on January 30, 2009 at 10:58 AM

Wow. No seriously, WOW.

Bishop on January 30, 2009 at 10:59 AM

Quick, someone search the bill for all possible synonyms and euphamisms related to “reparations for slavery.”

Thanks!

jeff_from_mpls on January 30, 2009 at 11:00 AM

Not. One. GOP. Vote.

Vashta.Nerada on January 30, 2009 at 11:01 AM

The more this thing drags out, the more is found out about this “porkulous” bill. That is why the Democrats and Mr. President wanted it passed so quickly. This bill will not stimulate the economy, only the Democrats and their co-horts.

kingsjester on January 30, 2009 at 11:01 AM

Perfect Ed… A breakdown of the ingredients is exactly what is needed for healthy discussion and exposure of the truth.

Good work!

Keemo on January 30, 2009 at 11:01 AM

I want to see tongue.

Mr. Joe on January 30, 2009 at 11:02 AM

Unbeliveable.

If you think government health care is the best in the world it’s not. It sucks. There are never any appointments to get in to see your dr. You have a new dr every year or so. Most of the time the tell you to go to an urgent care clinic or the ER. If the government plans to run the health care like the do the military health care it’s really going to suck.

Brat4life on January 30, 2009 at 11:03 AM

Please keep these threads going…

We need to be going over, PAGE by PAGE, this abortion and screaming at our Congress and anyone who will listen…

CALL, E-Mail, do it ALL… We need this cut and killed!

Mark Garnett on January 30, 2009 at 11:03 AM

TROJAN HORSE FULL OF LIBERAL SH*T.

marklmail on January 30, 2009 at 11:04 AM

If one Senate Republican Votes for this Stimulus Package, they will be the “reaching across the isle” poster child for the media.

PappaMac on January 30, 2009 at 11:05 AM

Somewhere in there is “Repeal of the 2nd Amendment”, how else could these slags expect to get away with what they’re doing?

Death by a thousand cuts.

Bishop on January 30, 2009 at 11:05 AM

F***ing a**holes! (I’m pissed but unsurprised)

ErinF on January 30, 2009 at 11:07 AM

This is amazing that our country is being hijacked in front of our very eyes. The damage will never be undone.

carbon_footprint on January 30, 2009 at 11:07 AM

If one Senate Republican Votes for this Stimulus Package, they will be the “reaching across the isle” poster child for the media.

I’ll bet money that my stupid senators Snowe and Collins will be your poster children.

ErinF on January 30, 2009 at 11:07 AM

I’ll bet money that my stupid senators Snowe and Collins will be your poster children.

ErinF on January 30, 2009 at 11:07 AM

One of the two already came out against it, not sure which.

Vashta.Nerada on January 30, 2009 at 11:09 AM

Two questions for the esteemed RINO senator from Maine, Ms. Olympia Snowe?
1) You appear to be the only Republican senator on record as supporting this hideous monstrosity of a bill. How is this bill consistent with Republican, no make that American in this case, values?
2) If your answer to #1 is “I can’t think of any other than it’s about bipartisanship”, could you do us all a favor and switch your party to “Democratic Socialist” and officially join the majority?

peterargus on January 30, 2009 at 11:10 AM

the package pretty much entails a What Not To Do aggregation of New Deal ignorance

Nice line

LimeyGeek on January 30, 2009 at 11:11 AM

One of the two already came out against it, not sure which.

Cool. That’s news to me, but hopefully both will be on the right side of things for a change. I’ve been spending my morning calling all of their various numbers to encourage them to go against the anti-stimulus. Falling on deaf ears, I’m sure.

ErinF on January 30, 2009 at 11:12 AM

Vashta @ 11:09

It wasn’t Snowe, she voted for it as a member of the finance committee.

peterargus on January 30, 2009 at 11:12 AM

They have to hide it because it’s WRONG.

I loathe these people … American Revolution II … Let’s roll.

ex-Democrat on January 30, 2009 at 11:12 AM

Nice job, Ed… thank you for the information!

D2Boston on January 30, 2009 at 11:13 AM

I think it’s wonderful. Washington can only pay for everyone for so long. Things like this will make it have to end quicker.

Pile on more. If you ask me.

Why stop here?

lorien1973 on January 30, 2009 at 11:13 AM

I was thinking that the Republican senators should allow a cloture vote and then all vote no on this crap sandwich. This, though, is too much. The implementation of this bill must fail, since, if implemented, the failure and hardship this bill will cause will be too great.

WashJeff on January 30, 2009 at 11:13 AM

BOHICA!

grapeknutz on January 30, 2009 at 11:14 AM

I loathe these people … American Revolution II … Let’s roll.

I’m with you. Mass tax revolt is the first step.

ErinF on January 30, 2009 at 11:14 AM

The Stimupus Bill will be guttted. Just enough to keep the economy from tanking fast. The Empty Suit in the White House will have a much tougher time than he expects playing Chicago politics on the national stage. The wild urgency to save the banking system that scared everyone into Treasury Secretary Paulsen’s wild money shower a few months ago is not present in this situation. With time and Rush on their side, Republicans will get the most absurd and destructive nonsense dropped in the next few bills. Oh, yes, there will be more coming.

So we are not going to drown fast — we will just be put in enough socialist mire to keep us slogging along for generations.

IlikedAUH2O on January 30, 2009 at 11:16 AM

Politicians are just people that seek power and desire to keep that power. They will do everything they can whether or not the effects of their personal gains ruin the country. If I weren’t lying in bed suffering right now I’d be hopping mad. So for now I’m horizontally mad.

cannonball on January 30, 2009 at 11:17 AM

Can’t wait to see this discussed on the 6 o’clock news.

Oh wait….

cs89 on January 30, 2009 at 11:17 AM

Hopefully the bill will provide funding for Senate Republicans to buy a set of balls and not roll over for this vote. This bill will go through anways, but I will have a small sense of pride knowing that I have a party again. Not one GD VOTE.

kriscoleman on January 30, 2009 at 11:18 AM

This nationalized health-care “stimulus” is making me sick.

teffertoes on January 30, 2009 at 11:18 AM

And, just think…

A little over 12 weeks ago, this blog was spending 50% of it’s time, bitching about McCain.

Way t’go.

franksalterego on January 30, 2009 at 11:18 AM

Nothing short of a concerted effort to see that any Republican who votes for this is not re-elected, will do. It is time for us to THROW THE BUMS OUT!!!! We should focus on Pelosi, Reid and Frank, too.

bloggless on January 30, 2009 at 11:19 AM

I loathe these people … American Revolution II … Let’s roll.

I will get to work on a the new constition for the second republic. I will start with the confederacy’s constitution less the slavery clauses.

WashJeff on January 30, 2009 at 11:20 AM

Surprisingly unsurprised sums it up…

Mark Garnett on January 30, 2009 at 11:20 AM

Continue to buy gold and guns. This cannot continue and will lead to a massive collapse sooner rather than later. Don’t get caught with your pants down waiting for wretched scum in our federal government to fix anything. They are f@#kin’ up by the numbers as usual with no regard to anything but their own well being. I cannot adequately express in either words or writing how much I loathe the politicians of Washington.

King of the Britons on January 30, 2009 at 11:20 AM

So the jobs created by this plan will be government jobs to administer the new people who are dependent upon Washington?

lorien1973 on January 30, 2009 at 11:20 AM

One crap sandwich for Mr. Obama ready for pick-up !!!

Mr. Obama ???

Mr. Obama ???

Mr. Obama, didn’t you order this sandwich ???

Come pick up your food Mr. Obama !!!

You OWN IT, so come and get EXACLTY what’s coming to ya!

Mark Garnett on January 30, 2009 at 11:23 AM

But fifty four percent agreed with Mr. Obama and nearly two thirds with the democraps, so let them bankrupt the country and await their attempt at commie revolution. Looks like 2012 will be the barricades year. Be prepared.

eaglewingz08 on January 30, 2009 at 11:24 AM

Note: Since He keeps the Oval Office at steaming tropical (jungle?) temperatures and works in his shirtsleeves, we can’t call him the the Empty Suit since he doesn’t wear one. Any suggestions on a new name for Dear Leader?

Oh am I bad.

IlikedAUH2O on January 30, 2009 at 11:24 AM

Kool. The Feds are gonna pay for my health care, and make my mortgage payment. Wonderful.

Can I get groceries delivered? Where do I sign up? I’ll never leave the house again.

Skandia Recluse on January 30, 2009 at 11:24 AM

They’ve exploited the sense of economic crisis in order to build a Trojan Horse stimulus bill that encompasses all of their legislative goals — and they’re trying to stampede people into supporting it out of panic.

A Trojan Horse indeed… one designed to make the USA into another Euro-socialist state and American conservatives into a permanent, powerless minority.

petefrt on January 30, 2009 at 11:24 AM

Any suggestions on a new name for Dear Leader?

Oh am I bad.

IlikedAUH2O on January 30, 2009 at 11:24 AM

The Ear’d One ???

King Louie ??? (from The Jungle Book)

**** Oh this is FUN!

Mark Garnett on January 30, 2009 at 11:26 AM

Can I get groceries delivered? Where do I sign up? I’ll never leave the house again.

Skandia Recluse on January 30, 2009 at 11:24 AM

Your in luck, Peapod service is in the stimulus bill.

WashJeff on January 30, 2009 at 11:26 AM

I will get to work on a the new constition for the second republic. I will start with the confederacy’s constitution less the slavery clauses.

WashJeff on January 30, 2009 at 11:20 AM

I suggest some changes to voting requirements. I’d suggest something like limiting the vote to those who’ve served in the military, maybe two tours of duty, or any combat service. (Got the idea from Heinlein’s book Starship Troopers,which describes the US after the fall of all the Western democracies, including our own.)

JiangxiDad on January 30, 2009 at 11:27 AM

Why don’t we call him “Tarzan”?

bloggless on January 30, 2009 at 11:29 AM

Lord Lobes

MDWNJ on January 30, 2009 at 11:30 AM

JiangxiDad on January 30, 2009 at 11:27 AM

I was think of enshrining the original voting requirement of property ownership. If the founders followed this rule for voting, it is probably the best way to go.

WashJeff on January 30, 2009 at 11:31 AM

I’d suggest something like limiting the vote to those who’ve served in the military, maybe two tours of duty, or any combat service.

Like shooting hippies?

LimeyGeek on January 30, 2009 at 11:31 AM

O’Dumbo, the failing President

kingsjester on January 30, 2009 at 11:32 AM

This needs to be sold as-”this is not a burden for the government this is a burden for taxpayers who can barely afford to pay their rent– now they are expected to hand over their tax dollars to provide medical care for those(like the woman who just had 8 children plus the 6 she already has at home who filed bancruptcy a yr ago...)who are not working”.

canditaylor68 on January 30, 2009 at 11:32 AM

Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity were both talking about the beginning of nationalized health care being in this bill before people even started talking about the other issues with the bill.

I know a lot of people get annoyed with Beck and Hannity, but they were way ahead of the curve on this one.

MobileVideoEngineer on January 30, 2009 at 11:32 AM

The left is as insidious as invading cockroaches and cancer. They must be watched every second.

rplat on January 30, 2009 at 11:32 AM

WashJeff on January 30, 2009 at 11:31 AM

Property ownership is a good benchmark. It’s a shame we ever abandoned it as a qualification for voting.

LimeyGeek on January 30, 2009 at 11:33 AM

will get to work on a the new constition for the second republic. I will start with the confederacy’s constitution less the slavery clauses.

WashJeff on January 30, 2009 at 11:20 AM
I suggest some changes to voting requirements. I’d suggest something like limiting the vote to those who’ve served in the military, maybe two tours of duty, or any combat service. (Got the idea from Heinlein’s book Starship Troopers,which describes the US after the fall of all the Western democracies, including our own.)

JiangxiDad on January 30, 2009 at 11:27 AM

T heck with that, let’s just start by DEMANDING that you MUST have a valid OFFICIAL STATE ID, Drivers Liscense, ID card… No more homeless, no more illegals voting!!!

Great starting place…

In the new republic we will also put in that you will need 100% proof of legal status to get a job, home, apartment, health care… It’s just SO simple…

Mark Garnett on January 30, 2009 at 11:34 AM

Mark Garnett on January 30, 2009 at 11:34 AM

You’re on your own as far as I’m concerned….

LimeyGeek on January 30, 2009 at 11:35 AM

I was think of enshrining the original voting requirement of property ownership. If the founders followed this rule for voting, it is probably the best way to go.

WashJeff on January 30, 2009 at 11:31 AM

IMO,too elitist, and exclusionary, although I understand fully the notion that voters MUST pay federal taxes or we’re dead (like right now.) Still, I figure if some guy or gal is putting his life on the line for me, I owe.

JiangxiDad on January 30, 2009 at 11:35 AM

You’re on your own as far as I’m concerned….

LimeyGeek on January 30, 2009 at 11:35 AM

why ?

Mark Garnett on January 30, 2009 at 11:37 AM

JiangxiDad on January 30, 2009 at 11:35 AM

Is it too great a stretch of the grey cells to incorporate both principles?

LimeyGeek on January 30, 2009 at 11:37 AM

T heck with that, let’s just start by DEMANDING that you MUST have a valid OFFICIAL STATE ID, Drivers Liscense, ID card… No more homeless, no more illegals voting!!!

Great starting place…

Cuts out most fraud, I agree. But doesn’t eliminate those who aren’t paying taxes. That’s our biggest problem now. Those that don’t pay fed taxes are the constituency that elected Obama. They are now literally voting themselves other people’s money. Your ID rqmt’s don’t address that.

JiangxiDad on January 30, 2009 at 11:38 AM

why ?

Mark Garnett on January 30, 2009 at 11:37 AM

I was holding out some hope you’d respond with “I was being sarcastic, dummy”.

Papers please.

LimeyGeek on January 30, 2009 at 11:39 AM

IMO,too elitist, and exclusionary, although I understand fully the notion that voters MUST pay federal taxes or we’re dead (like right now.) Still, I figure if some guy or gal is putting his life on the line for me, I owe.

JiangxiDad on January 30, 2009 at 11:35 AM

Maybe just limit the franchise to people who pay taxes? Corporations don’t let non-shareholders vote, why should we?

Vashta.Nerada on January 30, 2009 at 11:39 AM

Didn’t Rahmbo say something about not letting a good crisis go to waste. Liberal’s are using the economic crisis to try and push through all their pet projects. I’m sure Rush advised us of these efforts BEFORE the election.

Don’t Doubt Rush!!

PappaMac on January 30, 2009 at 11:40 AM

Is it too great a stretch of the grey cells to incorporate both principles?

LimeyGeek on January 30, 2009 at 11:37 AM

Heh. No, but prop. ownership is, I think, an archaic way of ensuring that the voter is a taxpayer. But that was before the income tax. Now, I think being a fed tax payer and having served in the military would be a GREAT idea to preserve representative democracy.

JiangxiDad on January 30, 2009 at 11:40 AM

JiangxiDad on January 30, 2009 at 11:35 AM

I agree with the military right to vote. If you have life or property at stake…vote.

Sure would be interesting, and sad, to transport through time a Madison, Jefferson, Adams, Washington, etc. and see how they would be rediculed as extremists in our times.

WashJeff on January 30, 2009 at 11:40 AM

Papers please.

LimeyGeek on January 30, 2009 at 11:39 AM

Crap, fell right into that one…

**** runs back over border ****

(Now, you can put your tim foil hat back on Sir… Geez, and they claim I wear one because I still want to see the Messiahs Birth Records and School Transcripts…)

Mark Garnett on January 30, 2009 at 11:41 AM

Vashta.Nerada on January 30, 2009 at 11:39 AM

The problem with the ‘taxpayers only’ voter model (while I agree with the principle) is that I would very much like to see the FairTax enacted, which kinda scuppers the notion.

LimeyGeek on January 30, 2009 at 11:42 AM

Maybe just limit the franchise to people who pay taxes? Corporations don’t let non-shareholders vote, why should we?

Vashta.Nerada on January 30, 2009 at 11:39 AM

Personally,still not restrictive enough for my tastes. Bear in mind, I didn’t serve,and I fully expect to lose my vote to a soldier, and do so willingly, as long as others in my situation do.

JiangxiDad on January 30, 2009 at 11:42 AM

Can’t have health care but need more socialism and bonuses for the banks.

Call, call, call.

getalife on January 30, 2009 at 11:42 AM

Vashta.Nerada on January 30, 2009 at 11:39 AM

I like that. Therefore if vote for people who take you off the tax role, you are voting to not have a vote in future elections.

(In Mr. Burns voice) EXCELLENT!

WashJeff on January 30, 2009 at 11:42 AM

The office of the Chief Deputy Republican Whip (Eric Cantor) just released an email explaining why he voted against the so-called stimulus package. One bullet addressing nationalized health care said: It spends $600 million to “prepare our country for universal healthcare”. Those inept, pandering Republicans in the senate need to take their collective heads out of their backsides and tell their constituents what is being shoved down their throats.

rplat on January 30, 2009 at 11:42 AM

The problem with the ‘taxpayers only’ voter model (while I agree with the principle) is that I would very much like to see the FairTax enacted, which kinda scuppers the notion.

LimeyGeek on January 30, 2009 at 11:42 AM

Sounds like a bargaining chip. You want to vote again, scrap the income tax.

WashJeff on January 30, 2009 at 11:43 AM

getalife on January 30, 2009 at 11:42 AM

Health Care is NOT a right, go look at your Constitution.

Business free from restrictive gov intervention IS…

Mark Garnett on January 30, 2009 at 11:43 AM

Mark Garnett on January 30, 2009 at 11:41 AM

Easy tiger, easy ;)

I just raise an eyebrow at the ease with which you (and others) rush towards a statist ID-centric solution. It kinda negates my view of ‘freedom’.

LimeyGeek on January 30, 2009 at 11:44 AM

Sounds like a bargaining chip. You want to vote again, scrap the income tax.

WashJeff on January 30, 2009 at 11:43 AM

LOL That would truly be a poetic twist.

LimeyGeek on January 30, 2009 at 11:45 AM

LimeyGeek on January 30, 2009 at 11:44 AM

Point…

Mark Garnett on January 30, 2009 at 11:45 AM

Sure would be interesting, and sad, to transport through time a Madison, Jefferson, Adams, Washington, etc. and see how they would be rediculed as extremists in our times.

WashJeff on January 30, 2009 at 11:40 AM

They would be for sure. But they knew this was a possible outcome of the experimental rep.democracy they created, and they warned us!

Asked, I think, of Franklin after the Const. Convention:

“Well, Doctor, what have we got—a Republic or a Monarchy?”
Franklin responded:

“A Republic, if you can keep it.”

JiangxiDad on January 30, 2009 at 11:46 AM

Well, Doctor, what have we got—a Republic or a Monarchy?”
Franklin responded:

“A Republic, if you can keep it.”

JiangxiDad on January 30, 2009 at 11:46 AM

That quote has been going through my head a lot these last few months.

WashJeff on January 30, 2009 at 11:47 AM

Those inept, pandering Republicans in the senate need to take their collective heads out of their backsides and tell their constituents what is being shoved down their throats.

rplat on January 30, 2009 at 11:42 AM

Most use Rush and Sean, etc. for the heavy lifting :)

JiangxiDad on January 30, 2009 at 11:49 AM

WashJeff on January 30, 2009 at 11:47 AM

ditto.

JiangxiDad on January 30, 2009 at 11:49 AM

Bear in mind, I didn’t serve,and I fully expect to lose my vote to a soldier, and do so willingly, as long as others in my situation do.

JiangxiDad on January 30, 2009 at 11:42 AM

As much as I appreciate the sentiment behind awarding voting privileges to the military……just what do you think makes the military any more qualified to make decisions about civilian government than the rest of us?

The principle behind ‘property ownership’ or ‘taxpayers’ as a qualification for voting, is that people that provide tangible contribution to the fabric of this nation have greater incentive to think carefully about such decisions – how they will affect future wealth & prosperity.

LimeyGeek on January 30, 2009 at 11:49 AM

The new stimulus permits any former employee over the age of 55 to keep using Cobra right up until they qualify for Medicare at age 65. And here’s the kicker: Whereas employees were previously responsible for paying their health premiums while on Cobra, now the feds will pay 65%.

So, suppose Joe, aged 56, works at my company. He, like every other employee, gets his health insurance through the company, provided by Aetna. Joe pays 20% of the premiums, the company picks up 80%.

Now Joe is laid off. Times are hard, and employers are not exactly clamoring for 56-year-olds. At the same time, Joe is beginning to be at the age when the chances of major illness — or even just the need for expensive medication — start to soar, so he needs to take advantage of COBRA, which means he can continue to be insured by Aetna, except now the company no longer pays 80% of the tab.

To sum up, Joe is looking at long-term unemployment, an increased chance of illness, depleting savings and a five-fold increase in health insurance premiums.

And the reaction of those commie-liberal muslim-loving homobortionists in the Obama administration? They pick up 65% of Joe’s private health insurance tab while he is in this tough period of his life.

Truly despicable!

factoid on January 30, 2009 at 11:50 AM

WashJeff on January 30, 2009 at 11:47 AM

ditto.

JiangxiDad on January 30, 2009 at 11:49 AM

ditto indeed

LimeyGeek on January 30, 2009 at 11:51 AM

What this does has nothing to do with stimulating the economy.

That’s better and more accurate economic analysis. Well done. This is spending money on INSURANCE – not stimulative whatsoever. . . it will NOT create a job, it will NOT save a job, it will NOT end any time in the future like a one time stimulus payment might.

Medicare Advantage is exactly the kind of public/private partnership that could rescue Medicare, where recipients buy supplemental coverage to make Medicare work for them better and extend the bargaining power to reduce costs at the same time.

I’m not going to be too harsh here because you actually made a valiant effort at something very important that is difficult to understand. MA plans are very good. . . for insurance companies (under Bush). One area where the D’s are going to cut costs is the payment to the insurance companies for MA plans. They will make it so that insurance companies lose money to insure these MA people. I was an original seller of the MA plans until I realized what was going to happen.

There is going to be a mess. When it is no longer profitable for insurance companies to offer MA plans due to a reduction in subsidies from the federal government, insurance companies will either cut benefits, or go out of business or both. . . dumping them all right back onto the federal governments’ back.

THIS is a nuclear bomb waiting to go off. I stopped selling MA plans 3 years ago because I know it’s coming sooner rather than later. . . and nobody really knows about it.

ThackerAgency on January 30, 2009 at 11:51 AM

thank you for complimenting my Clintons Ed. They were up front with the American people, Hillary still is and she was all through her campaign.

Obama told everyone what they wanted to hear and the bought it hook line and sinker. Wonder if the Wall St CEOs that backed him are also longing for the pro business, moderate Clinton Democrats (of which I am one :0)

ginaswo on January 30, 2009 at 11:52 AM

I have been in practice for 18 years. I make 75 percent less per patient now than I did then. Hospitals are going bankrupt. Medical care is one of the largest employers in the US behind government and schools. MA is one of the biggest reasons. If this plan goes through, I guarantee you will see a HUGE impact over the next two years. You will see over five thousand hospitals close by 2011. This is not democrat chicken little stuff. This will happen.

Redglen on January 30, 2009 at 11:52 AM

The principle behind ‘property ownership’ or ‘taxpayers’ as a qualification for voting, is that people that provide tangible contribution to the fabric of this nation have greater incentive to think carefully about such decisions – how they will affect future wealth & prosperity.

LimeyGeek on January 30, 2009 at 11:49 AM

That, plus the basic concept that the taxpayer is funding the government, so they should be the only ones with a say in what that funding is used for.

Vashta.Nerada on January 30, 2009 at 11:53 AM

They pick up 65% of Joe’s private health insurance tab while he is in this tough period of his life.

Truly despicable!

factoid on January 30, 2009 at 11:50 AM

No. They force me to pick up Joe’s tab. I don’t give a shit about Joe. I don’t know Joe. Why didn’t Joe save some emergency funds? Why is every answer to personal hardship always a bailout at gunpoint?

LimeyGeek on January 30, 2009 at 11:54 AM

Vashta.Nerada on January 30, 2009 at 11:53 AM

Good clarification.

LimeyGeek on January 30, 2009 at 11:54 AM

ThackerAgency,
exactly!! the Fiscal Intermediaries will drop Medicare like a hot potato…I used to process Medicare supplemental bens when I worked at a union benefit fund in my early days and later I processed Medicaid for several states…

this is going to be very very ugly, it will cripple the system….and our healthcare providers are not prepered for the influx of patent load, another 10 million? it will overstretch the system to freezing point..

ginaswo on January 30, 2009 at 11:55 AM

As some bright commenter noted last week:

Control the money, control the people.

blatantblue on January 30, 2009 at 11:56 AM

I think this is great news. I didn’t vote for Obama, but if he can pull this off, I’ll vote for him in 2012.

It’s time that health care was treated in the US like it is everywhere else. {By the way, the bill only picks up 65% of the COBRA cost for the first 12 or so weeks of coverage, not for the entire period).

jim m on January 30, 2009 at 11:57 AM

Brat4life on January 30, 2009 at 11:03 AM

Whether government health care really sucks or not should be debated on another day, but notice that what’s being proposed here is most definitely not government health care.

What the Administration is proposing is to help people who lost their jobs pay their health insurance premium to their current private health insurance company. The proposal does not offer health care of any kind being provided by the government.

factoid on January 30, 2009 at 11:57 AM

jim m on January 30, 2009 at 11:57 AM

WOOOOOWWWWWW

blatantblue on January 30, 2009 at 11:59 AM

Any suggestions on a new name for Dear Leader?

Oh am I bad.
IlikedAUH2O on January 30, 2009 at 11:24 AM

Daddy Fedbucks?

Kafir on January 30, 2009 at 12:01 PM

jim m on January 30, 2009 at 11:57 AM

What other professions are you interested in seeing the gov’t nationalize?

What about lawyers? Maybe we can set your fees and work rules.

JiangxiDad on January 30, 2009 at 12:02 PM

No. They force me to pick up Joe’s tab. I don’t give a shit about Joe. I don’t know Joe. Why didn’t Joe save some emergency funds? Why is every answer to personal hardship always a bailout at gunpoint?

LimeyGeek on January 30, 2009 at 11:54 AM

I agree, but I wouldn’t have said it as harshly as you. The American people are the most generous people in the world.

Liberals are always talking about how you should help your fellow man and yadda yadda yadda. This is true and the Bible even says so (the liberals also try to mention this).

However, Jesus never says that the government is the one who is to provide assistance. The church and individual people are to help out individuals. Individuals helping out individuals works a whole lot better.

Like for instance, I am currently freelancing as a video engineer and I’m working, but I don’t get paid until a month after the show. So my first check won’t come until February 10th, but I was out of money before that. I could apply for unemployment, but by the time I got it, I would already have my first check. So my friends and family have been helping me out until I get my first check and after that I probably won’t need anymore help.

So to get to the point, personal assistance is a whole lot faster and cheaper than government assistance.

MobileVideoEngineer on January 30, 2009 at 12:02 PM

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