by Dick Morris and Eileen McGann at Townhall.com
Will a young, healthy, childless individual or couple buy health insurance costing 7.5 percent of their income as required by Obama’s health legislation? Not until they get sick. Then, they can always buy the insurance — and the Obama bill requires the insurance companies to give it to them. And, if the premiums come to more than 7.5 percent of their income because they are now sick, no problem. Obama will subsidize it.
Instead, young, healthy, childless people will likely opt to pay the $1,000 fine (a.k.a., slap on the wrist) mandated in the bill. After all, even if they make as little as $50,000 a year, the fine is a lot cheaper than 7.5 percent of their income (or $3,500 a year)!
So … these young households will not contribute to the coffers of any health insurance company until they are sick and need the coverage. By then, their costs will come to vastly more than their premiums.
Who will subsidize the difference? We will.
by Dick Morris and Eileen McGann at Townhall.com
Among the $500 billion in Medicare cuts that will provide the bulk of the financing for Obama’s health care plan is a $160 billion to $180 billion cut in the Medicare Advantage program, which offers a range of benefits not available to beneficiaries under basic Medicare.
Medicare Advantage should be Obama’s favorite program. It combines all the elements he likes — premiums are subsidized for low-income elderly, and the companies negotiate low-priced, managed care that emphasizes prevention, treatment of chronic conditions and coordination among doctors. As a result, its costs on the one hand and its premiums on the other are both much lower than with conventional insurance.
Ten million primarily low-income elderly have voluntarily enrolled in Medicare Advantage and realize savings of about $1,000 annually in enhanced benefits over and above what Medicare itself provides. These extra benefits include reductions in out-of-pocket costs and comprehensive drug coverage, vision, dental and hearing benefits, wellness programs (like gym memberships), and disease management and care coordination programs.
Medicare Advantage, which gained momentum during the Bush-43 years, essentially implements all the economies and efficiencies that Obama preaches nonstop. Doctors speak to one another, duplication is avoided, care is managed, and there is an emphasis on prevention.
WASHINGTON, DC – House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-OH) and Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI), Leader Boehner’s liaison to the nation’s governors, today echoed a growing number of state leaders in warning about the devastating fiscal impact the health care bills proposed by Congressional Democrats would have on both states and future generations of Americans.
“Health care reform that wreaks fiscal havoc on states and piles debt on our children and grandchildren is not reform at all,” Boehner said. “President Obama, Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Reid need to scrap this costly government takeover of health care and start over on a responsible health care reform plan our nation can afford.”
In recent days, letters sounding the alarm about the congressional bills’ impact on states have been sent to the Capitol Hill by GOP governors such as Haley Barbour (MS), Mitch Daniels (IN), Dave Heineman (NE), and Rick Perry (TX).
“State budgets around the country are feeling the squeeze of tough economic times. Unfortunately, after passing a $1,700 per family national energy tax, Democratic leaders in Washington are now trying to ram through a $1 trillion massive federal expansion into health care that will create yet another unfunded mandate on states by permanently expanding Medicaid,” said Rogers. “This is yet another example of how out of touch Washington has become and why Congress needs to start over on common-sense, affordable, free market health care solutions.”
Boehner, Rogers and Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) have launched the GOP State Solutions project, an effort to increase policy coordination among reform-minded Republican state leaders and Members of Congress and highlight the better solutions being offered by Republicans at all levels of government. In July, through the GOP State Solutions project, Boehner and Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R-MN) co-authored a report entitled “Capital Malpractice” warning that the health care bills moving through the Democratic-controlled Congress with President Obama’s support would have a devastating impact on states.
An article in the Sept. 27 Wall Street Journal echoes a key point made in the Boehner-Pawlenty report, describing the proposal offered by Senate Democrats as “the mother – and father and crazy uncle – of unfunded mandates” on states. “One reason [the Senate Democrat bill] allegedly ‘pays for itself’ over 10 years is because it would break all 50 state budgets by permanently expanding Medicaid, the joint state-federal program for the poor,” the WSJ notes. “State budgets would explode – by $37 billion, according to the Congressional Budget Office – because they would no longer be allowed to set eligibility in line with their own decisions about taxes and spending.”