Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Obamacare, The President's Edition - Bigger, Longer, Taxier, More Expensive

Obamacare rises from the grave yet again. This is like a B-movie horror flick where the beast cannot be killed - at least until November. Obama seems utterly determined to destroy his party - fine by me, as long as he doesn't destroy health care and our economy along the way. Unfortunately, those are two real possiblities. Here are the short facts on the new Obamacare.

- It retains the Senate Bill with some important additions:

- Obama would add more taxes including a 2.9% capital gains tax increase and a doubling of the Medicare Payroll tax for high income earners.

- The Union fix is still there, but now it has been extended to everyone so that the hefty tax on cadillac health plans will kick in about 2018.

- After all Obama's talk that the laws regarding federal funding for abortion should remain the same, we now get to pay for abortions with our tax dollars.

- Taking a page from Hugo Chavez, we get a new bureacratic office, a federal Health Insurance Rate Authority, to effect national price controls on the cost of health care insurance. Price controls lead inevitably to either higher rates as they stifle competition or they end in scarcity. The justification for this are that the evil insurance companies are scamming us - with the most recent example being the 39% increase in premiums by Anthem in California. The problems - there is "virtually no competition in California when it comes to individual health insurance policies. Anthem pretty much has the market sewn up." Further, healthy people are dropping from the insurance rolls because of the horrid California economy, leaving only those with significant problems in the insurance pools. Take a look at Hugo's economy and you can get a good feel for the effect of price controls.

- Obama has tinkered enough with the Senate bill - and done so with sufficient inattention to detail - that the CBO now says that cannot score Obama's bill.

- AP adds the following:

The plan [includes additional] fees on drug companies and other health industry firms. . . .

Like the House and Senate bills, the plan would require most Americans to carry health insurance coverage, with federal subsidies to help many afford the premiums. Insurance companies would be barred from denying coverage to people with medical problems or charging them more.

Bottom line, I didn't think it possible, but Obama has taken the a nightmare of a bill and actually succeeded in making it worse. Again I ask, why in God's name are Republican's going to meet with Obama on this issue on Thursday. Not since Custer decided to meet for a pow wow at Little Big Horn has there been a decision this idiotic. (Note: Custer did not accept an invitation, I just said that for dramatic effect.)


OBloodyHell said...

> in a departure for a country where baseball reigns supreme, soccer stadiums.

I'm of the opinion that soccer is inherently antiAmerican. Not the country, the ideals upon which it is based.

First off, and most obviously, soccer has ties*. The idea that you can play a game for ninety minutes and NOT have a clear winner is just flat out stupid.

Second off, even when there is a winner, it's often pretty arbitrary. The rules are such that it often is tied at the end of regulation, and, what, you go to "penalty kicks" to decide the winner? WTF?

Third is the general reason for the above... you can play for ninety minutes and not have any success?!? Again -- WTF?

It's clear why the game is popular -- it's an excuse to get paid to run around for an hour and a half looking like you're doing something while accomplishing nothing.

If that's not a functional model for a bureaucratic, unionized State I'm a tin kazoo.

I would happily sign any petition to ban its support from public recreational facilities and education.

* Yeah, hockey has ties, too. But it has fights (though I hear they're attempting to momify even that element out of it). And hockey's always been much more of a canuck thing anyway.

OBloodyHell said...

P.S., In re: issue #2, above -- if you want a way to actually make it more effective, then, after regulation, if it's tied, PULL THE GOALIES from both teams, and see who can score the most in 10 or 15 mins of overtime play. THAT way at least who wins is based on who PLAYS THE overall GAME best. "Penalty kicks". Yeesh....

I mean, really.

suek said...



That's another keeper...

(Although, as a Mom, any game that keeps boys running hard and exerting themselves for any lengthy period of time is a winner in my book. The problem - given your points, which I had never considered since I'm not much of a game watching enthusiast - is that there needs to be an age limit so that it ceases to be an adult preoccupation.)