It looks as if a concerted effort is being made by the present Administration and majority party to shove the health care reform bill down our throats , despite the fact that well over half the American people have stated loud and clear that they don't want it. As the Wall Street Journal pointed out before Christmas:
The rushed, secretive way that a bill this destructive and unpopular is being forced on the country shows that "reform" has devolved into the raw exercise of political power for the single purpose of permanently expanding the American entitlement state. An increasing roll of leaders in health care and business are looking on aghast at a bill that is so large and convoluted that no one can truly understand it, as Finance Chairman Max Baucus admitted on the floor last week. The only goal is to ram it into law while the political window is still open, and clean up the mess later.
There's more at the link. Words in bold print are my emphasis.
I highlighted that sentence because it's becoming more and more clear that this bill has nothing whatsoever to do with health care as such, and everything to do with expanding the power of the Federal Government. As the inimitable Karl Denninger postulates:
... here's my prediction.
Congress will somehow manage to put these two bills together and come up with something that both Houses of Congress will pass, and Obama will sign it.
The lawsuits will come immediately thereafter.
They will succeed, because there is simply no justification anywhere in The Constitution, nor can one be manufactured, to force someone under pain of federal fine and/or imprisonment to purchase something from a private party simply as a consequence of being alive.
This is so blatantly unconstitutional that nobody in The House or Senate can seriously expect it to stand. Therefore, we must conclude that it is not intended to stand - both House and Senate fully expect that mandate to be struck.
When, not if, it is you will discover the what I have said all along is the truth purpose of this so-called "reform" - a single-payer system.
Here's how it will happen.
1. Congress will pass and Obama will sign something containing this "individual mandate."
2. This will generate immediate lawsuits which will begin their way through the system, headed for the United States Supreme Court. That process will take several years. Note that the so-called "benefits" of this reform will also take several years to show up. This is not an accident.
3. Meanwhile, the taxes begin immediately. This is exactly what happened in the 1930s by the way - taxes were raised right into the maw of an economic recession, and helped turn it into a Depression. Such it will be this time as well.
4. Young, healthy people will pay the "fines" under protest and refuse to buy coverage (it's cheaper than complying with a $15,000/year mandate to pay the $750/year fine!) and join said lawsuits in Step #2. This will in turn begin to force private companies out of the system (remember, there are also price controls in there!) as adverse selection will not be eliminated as promised.
5. At some point the courts will strike the individual mandate. Free to not pay the fine or buy insurance and prevented from raising rates adverse selection will collapse the remaining private health insurers.
At this point you have:
1. Permanently higher taxes (since it is constitutional to tax!)
2. NO private health insurers left in the market.
3. The "standards and practices" remaining and impossible to remove (note the super-majority requirements in the bill - intentionally put there to prevent the removal of those standards and practices!)
What comes next? Unable to impose mandatory individual payments to private companies, The Government will then have "no choice" but to put in place a Canadian-style system.
For good or bad, you will get both rationing and a tax-funded medical system in The United States. Private override insurance may remain available and you may be able to continue to buy health care for cash, but neither is assured - neither can be done (for the most part) in Canada, as just one example.
I do not believe this outcome will be an accident - indeed, I believe it is the intention of the Obama Administration and The Democrats all along.
Those who are ascribing some sort of partisan "liberalism" motive - that is, a desire to take over 20% of the economy - are wrong. The real desire is to collapse health care spending to around 9-10% of GDP.
Since neither party is willing to have an honest debate and discussion with Americans relating to the amount of care we can afford to provide people, including but not limited to care as we age, for those who are unable to pay for it on their own, and since both parties have been co-opted by the medical device and pharmaceutical industry who have clamored for "more and more" of GDP (while delivering relatively small incremental "benefits" in the form of extending life, albeit at a questionable level of quality), this is what we're going to get.
Again, there's more at the link. Bold print is Mr. Denninger's emphasis.
More and more people seem to be waking up to the real danger of this health care bill. Even Jerry Pournelle, citing a Wall Street Journal editorial, recognizes another of its implications.
There is no better term for the ObamaCare Bill than Despotism. It's all very well for Congressmen and Senators to look out for their states, but this bill is a pure transfer payment from Republicans to Democrats. There is built into the bill a 40% tax on the most comprehensive -- and thus most expensive -- health care plans: But it does not apply to everyone. Longshoremen, for instance, are exempt -- and of course their unions have negotiated some of the most comprehensive healthcare short of what Congress gets. Other lines of work, nearly all heavily unionized, are exempt from the 40% tax (which will pretty well eliminate these plans for those who aren't exempt from the tax). Also, 17 States will be exempt; for the rest it's just too bad. There is no attempt at an explanation for these arbitrary transfers from those taxed to those not taxed. There is no logical reason why some are taxed and some are not. It's simply a set of earmarks, rewards to those supporting the "plan" and punishment for those who don't.
It's exactly what the Constitution was designed to prevent, a despotic transfer of wealth from one group to another.
Change you can believe in.
It's not to late to stop this abomination before it becomes law. Let's get hold of our Congressional representatives and Senators and demand an end to it, right now. Let's kill the bill once and for all - because if we don't, we're screwed.