Stanley Feld M.D., FACP, MACE Menu


Lest We Forget


Stanley Feld M.D.,FACP MACE

I have pointed out the many trick plays President Obama used to pass his healthcare reform plan. These trick plays are now obvious to the majority of Americans. The tactics have led to profound mistrust for President Obama.

Democrats running in this falls midterm election are avoiding talking about their vote for the healthcare reform law. Twenty-one states believe the bill is unconstitutional.

Two weeks ago, Politico broke the news that a major coalition of liberal supporters of the health care overhaul was telling activists not to mention deficit or cost reductions when attempting to sell people on the bill. Now, Politico reports, another major liberal health care activist group, Health Care for America Now, has an even better strategy for helping out the politicians who voted for the bill: Maybe just avoid talking about the law entirely! 


Over the next couple of weeks President Obama is going to campaign to persuade voters of the benefits and constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare).

I think President Obama will be shooting Democrats running for re-election in the foot.

The majority of Americans is not buying anything President Obama has promised.

Remember Nancy Pelosi telling us not to worry because we will understand the bill after it is passed?

Americans are now finding out what is in the bill. It is not pretty.

If you like your plan, you can keep your plan.

Americans are realizing that President Obama couches his words with double meanings.

“What I’m saying is, the government is not going to make you change plans under health reform,”

Everyone knows employers change plans each year. These new plans do not qualify under President Obama’s statement. In a draft document laying out grandfathering rules it states that most plans will relinquish their grandfathered status if the plan is unchanged after a period of time.

Healthcare Reform will cost around $900 billion.

President Obama told a joint session of Congress that his health care plan would cost “around $900 billion over ten years.” He even said it would save tax payers money.

It will be paid for “mostly” by shifting around money that we are already spending.

Actually, the majority of the money from the bill’s official scored cost comes from new taxes. According to the CBO, “the two pieces of legislation [that make up the health care law] were estimated to increase mandatory outlays by $401 billion and raise revenues by $525 billion.”

The original CBO’s report said the final cost estimate for the law came in at about $950 billion. After the bill was law the CBO report stated the law will actually require about $115 billion in additional discretionary spending, putting the official price tag well over $1 trillion.

My guess is this estimate is still low.

President Obama said healthcare reform law will not cut Medicare benefits.

He said, “Nobody’s talking about reducing Medicare benefits.” But according to the head of the Congressional Budget Office, “thanks to $130 billion in planned cuts to companies that offer Medicare Advantage plans, the health care law will “reduce the extra benefits that would be made available to beneficiaries through Medicare Advantage plans.”

President Obama’s statement again represents another misdirection of reality.

President Obama declares that his healthcare reform law will put Medicare on better fiscal footing.

In August 2010, the Obama administration’s Department of Health and Human Services released a report claiming that the PPACA would “extend the life of the Medicare TrustFund by 12 years.”

Affordable Care Act Update: Implementing Medicare Costs Savings

“This new law recognizes that Medicare isn’t just something that you’re entitled to when you reach 65; it’s something that you’ve earned. It’s something that you’ve worked a lifetime for, having the security of knowing that Medicare will be there when you need it. It’s a sacred and inviolable trust between you and your country. And those of us in elected office have a commitment to uphold that trust – and as long as I’m President, I will.And that’s why this new law gives seniors and their families greater savings, better benefits and higher-quality health care. That’s why it ensures accountability throughout the system so that eniors have greater control over the care that they receive. And that’s why it keeps Medicare strong and solvent – today and tomorrow.”

President Barack Obama, June 8, 2010

The Director of CBO Douglas Elmendorf said that “to describe the full amount of HI trust fund savings as both improving the government’s ability to pay future Medicare benefits and financing new spending outside of Medicare would essentially double-count a large share of those savings.”

Medicare’s top actuary agreed. He said “in practice the improved (Medicare hospital insurance) financing cannot be simultaneously used to finance other Federal outlays (such as the coverage expansions) and to extend the trust fund.”

President Obama’s Healthcare Reform act will give consumers more access and greater choice.

I do not think so. It will generate many unintended consequences.
Organizing for America, the successor to Obama’s campaign organization, claims that the new health care law will result in “more choices…for millions of Americans.”

Most experts expect that the health care overhaul will result in a serious doctor shortage, particularly amongst primary care physicians, meaning many individuals will have to wait longer for care, and may not get to see the doctor they want to see. Meanwhile, insurers in some states are already cutting back on insurance options. Healthcare insurance premiums will increase dramatically.

It will bring down the price of insurance.

President Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid promise their healthcare reform bill would provide affordable healthcare insurance. The even called the bill the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

The healthcare insurance industry is raising the cost of insurance between 10% and 29% next year. Insurance deductibles are increasing. Consumers’ out of pocket expenses are increasing.

“The CBO predicted that the law will cause average health insurance premium prices to rise by 10-13 percent in the individual market. And a recent survey indicates that most businesses expect insurance prices to rise as a result of the PPACA.”

I wonder what President Obama meant when he said the law would “bend the cost curve”? The implication is it would reduce the cost of healthcare coverage. I think it is bending the curve in the opposite direction.

CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf said in presentation at the Institute of Medicine; “the health legislation e
nacted earlier this year does not substantially diminish [the] pressure” of rising health costs.”

The big question should be where is all the money going? It is not physicians. Reimbursement is continuously being reduced.

The money is going to the additional government bureaucracy, and the healthcare insurance industry.

I think the American people get it. I wanted to repeat it

Lest We Forget.

The opinions expressed in the blog “Repairing The Healthcare System” are, mine and mine alone.

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