• The Rounds: Obamacare sinks; Medicaid battles, and proud new owners of the economy

    Real Clear Politics’ David Paul Kuhn looks at the prospects for Obamacare in the coming few years and why Obama’s definitive “achievement” is in jeopardy (court battles, legislative prospects), along with his legacy. We can only hope.

    In the New York Post, Betsy McCaughey explains how Obamacare is destroying our privacy with a new national health database:

    Section 1311 of the Obama health law says that private health plans can pay only doctors who implement whatever the federal government dictates to improve “quality.” This is the first time the federal government has asserted a broad power to control how doctors treat privately insured patients.

    In The Washington Post, George Will calls Obamacare a “travesty of constitutional lawmaking”.

    The point of [Obamacare] is cost containment. This supposedly depends on the Independent Payment Advisory Board. The IPAB, which is a perfect expression of the progressive mind, is to be composed of 15 presidential appointees empowered to reduce Medicare spending — which is 13 percent of federal spending — to certain stipulated targets. IPAB is to do this by making “proposals” or “recommendations” to limit costs by limiting reimbursements to doctors. This, inevitably, will limit available treatments — and access to care when physicians leave the Medicare system.

    Shikha Dalmia looks at the numbers to compare Obamacare with Rep. Paul Ryan’s proposal and comes to the following conclusion:

    ObamaCare is the worst thing that could happen to seniors in their old age; inaction is the next and RyanCare is the least bad. As a senior in the making, if those were my only options, I would ignore Democratic demagoguery and take RyanCare in a heartbeat. ObamaCare, however, I’d avoid like the plague.

    Obamacare continues to sink in the court of public opinion. Keith Koffler points to a new Rasmussen poll:

    The survey of likely voters finds that 54 percent at least somewhat favor repeal of the health care law while 35 percent are at least somewhat opposed. And the passion is with the opponents. Some 41 percent strongly favor appeal compared to 28 percent strongly oppose it…. Obamacare remains a political weakness for Obama, and not one he is likely to solve before Election Day.

    This week, 29 GOP governors joined together to call for relaxation of federal rules on Medicaid spending.

    Across the country, governors are concerned about the burgeoning cost of Medicaid, which in fiscal 2010 consumed nearly 22 percent of state budgets, according the National Association of State Budget Officers. That’s larger than what states spent on K-12 public schools.

    More on Medicare: Politico reports that Senate Democrats are having a tough time resisting GOP efforts to reform and save the program.

    Economist Lawrence B. Lindsey does a great job in the Weekly Standard explaining the financial straightjacket America finds itself in.

    Right now, thanks in large part to Federal Reserve policy, Uncle Sam can borrow at an average cost of just 2.5 percent. The average borrowing cost over the last three decades was 5.7 percent. Our debt is now $14 trillion and scheduled to grow to $25 trillion by the end of the decade. If interest rates normalize over that period, the added interest costs in 2021 alone will be $800 billion—more than 20 times the mere $37 billion in budget cuts that tore up Congress in March… we are stuck in a world in which the Fed must keep rates artificially low in order to prevent a budget disaster.

    Read Lindsey’s full article, where he deftly dissects the structural issues with Medicare and Medicaid.

    Patrick Buchanan likens the Obama Administration’s position to that of France early in World War II when the Germans smashed their initial defenses and had no reserves to call upon:

    The Obama administration… has drawn and played all its cards: the $800 billion stimulus bill, three straight deficits averaging $1.4 trillion, the Federal Reserve’s mass purchases of bad paper from the world’s banks, and QE2, the monthly purchase of $100 billion in Treasury bills that ends June 30. Yet, from the numbers that came in from May, Obama looks to be holding a losing hand. The anemic growth of the first quarter of 2011 seems to have stalled, and the prospect of a double-dip recession looms.

    About one of those cards played, President Obama chuckled that “Shovel-ready was not as shovel-ready as we expected” when asked about the anemic results of all his economic stimulus initiatives.

    And when DNC chief and Florida Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz stated that the Democrats now “own the economy”, Investors Business Daily agrees, and it doesn’t look good for the President or his party.

    Let’s face it. Obama and the Democrats own this economy and the destruction of our great health care system. They own the blame. The misinformed that voted for him are “on to him”. Even his once solid base is turning on him. Is there any question why our economy isn’t improving?

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