Posts Tagged ‘IPAB’

  • Obama should be fired

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    The S&P has downgraded America’s debt, the stock market has tanked over the past three weeks, and unemployment numbers are high and show no signs of coming down any time soon.

    The President obviously had one thing in mind when he took the oath of office: He wanted to create the change that is now destroying our country. He had no plan whatsoever as the stalemate over the increasing of the debt limit became a crisis.

    The failures of Obama’s presidency are intensifying as he starts his summer vacation on Martha’s Vineyard.  To add insult to injury, he embarks on another campaign trip – a “bus tour” – with American citizens footing the bill. Rather than rolling up his sleeves and getting to work to address the challenges plaguing our economy and country, he’s off working on his golf game.

    Obamacare looms over America as the largest act of our President and a then-Democrat-controlled Congress. It is costing us money that we do not have and will continue to cost us trillions over the long run.

    This new spending under Obamacare will not bring us a better health care system but rather destroy what we have. Medicare cuts continue and fewer physicians are opting to treat Medicare patients. At this point, hospitals are buying up physicians’ practices and providing offices and an in-hospital set up to follow the rules of the Hospital. These new hospital-run operations are starting to look like a government-subsidized rationed-care plan totally controlled by the unaccountable Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB).

    The growing unrest across America is swelling to a large tidal wave of discontent. Every American is feeling the pain or has family and friends in a state of financial distress. In town hall meetings, Democrats in Congress are facing the pressure from their constituents over the dismal economic conditions, government mismanagement, and the wreckage Obamacare is causing as it’s forced upon us all.

    This unrest will not subside as Americans continue to wake up to the fact that Obama is totally disengaged from the job he’s supposed to be doing. He is simply not putting the effort expected of a president who’s supposed to be working for the American people.

    Is there any CEO in this country who would not be fired for such job performance?

    Image by Pete Souza

  • 15 Reasons to Repeal Obamacare

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    Our nation faces a critical debt crisis, and once Obamacare takes its toll, things are only going to go from worse to catastrophic.  Repealing Obamacare will save our nation trillions in the long run, not to mention preserving the world’s greatest health care system.

    In February I posted Ten Reasons to Repeal Obamacare. As implementation of Obamacare marches forward, more reasons to repeal have become evident.

    We need bold leaders to take on Obamacare and end it before it’s too late. One thing such leaders can count on in this fight: The American people. Latest polls show a majority of Americans are now in favor of repeal. The longer we wait, the more damage to America is done.

    Five Additional Reasons to Repeal Obamacare:

    1.   Obamacare is leading to a shortage of medicines across America. Shortages of common drugs like pain-killers, common diuretics, heart tonics, blood pressure treatments and anti-coagulants are skyrocketing.

    2.   With the existence of an Obamacare slush fund and wildly varying cost estimates across the board, no one really knows how much money Obamacare will cost America in the long run.

    3.   Obamacare destroys our privacy by allowing private health plans to pay only those doctors who implement whatever the federal government dictates to improve “quality.”

    4.   Unaccountable “committees” such as the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) will make decisions about what care is appropriate and are beyond the oversight of Congress. The recent ruling removing Avastin as an available treatment for advanced-stage breast cancer is only the beginning.

    5.   Much of Obamacare is unconstitutional, but we cannot simply rely on the courts to declare it so.

    My original Ten Reasons to Repeal Obamacare from February:

    1.   The 1099 Rule Targets Small Businesses. Like hundreds of thousands of other Americans, I am a successful small business owner. Obamacare requires us to file a 1099 tax form for any business purchase over $600. This significant paperwork burden falls on small businesses just as many are struggling to survive the Great Recession. All so we can help “fund Obamacare.”

    2.   Skyrocketing Premiums. The insurance premiums I pay to cover my employees are increasing at well over 80%. Like the 1099 Rule, this is another way Obamacare targets small businesses. These exploding premiums are a not-so-veiled effort to get employers to drop employee health benefits and force them into the government-run insurance. I’m proud to provide my employees with these benefits and I’m appalled that the federal government is squeezing me and other small business owners this way in order to fill the ranks of public-run insurance.

    3.   Seniors Get Squeezed. Many of my clients are seniors who rely on Medicare, which was already facing cuts prior to the adoption of Obamacare. They will be hit again under Obamacare. Now Medicare faces even more cuts under the new law while the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) is proposing a new entitlement insurance program for the “uninsured”. Some that may qualify for a “free ride”.

    4.   Legal Abuse Left Untouched. Why have health care costs been shooting through the roof over the past 20 years? A key driver is abuse of the legal system through malpractice lawsuits. Frivolous claims and outrageous awards have sent malpractice insurance premiums every doctor must pay into the stratosphere. Democrats in Congress and President Obama failed to address this obvious cost driver in Obamacare because trial lawyers are among their biggest contributors.

    5.   Doctors are Being Squeezed. Medicare keeps slashing the rate that medical doctors are reimbursed for the care they provide —  currently about 25% less than market rates. Doctors had already begun declining to take on new Medicare patients because they can’t continue to absorb the costs. Obamacare will continue to slash these reimbursement rates, further limiting the ability for seniors to find a doctor to treat them. Access will certainly be limited.

    6.   Hidden Taxes will Kill Small Businesses. Obamacare is extremely complex, and we’re just beginning to fully understand the details of its implementation. Over the next two years hidden taxes contained within Obamacare will hit many small businesses hard and drive many others under! Where will these tax revenues go? To pay for Obamacare, of course! Whether you deserve it or not! Spread the wealth.

    7.   Research and Development Takes a Hit. Medical device and pharmaceutical companies take huge risks every year to develop the innovative products and medicines that improve and extend the lives of millions of Americans. Obamacare allows politicians to dictate what medical products and treatments should cost, setting up a situation where companies cannot recoup their development costs and will not have the resources to continue taking such risks.

    8.   Cancer Treatments Rationed. Under Obamacare, many cancer-treating medications will be rationed and may not be available at all. It’s already begun. Let’s hope you can continue to afford private insurance or maintain your treatments under Medicare.

    9.   Obamacare is a Job-Killer. How are entrepreneurs and small business owners going to swing all of the new taxes and regulatory burdens imposed on them and pay the high costs of health insurance? It will be more difficult to bring on the types of skilled employees that I need for my business. It will place a strain on my ability to continue providing the premier private and skilled services that I am now able to provide. Just when we need more jobs, Obamacare goes for the kill.

    10.   Obamacare is a Business-Killer. Obamacare will cut me off at my knees. In 2013 I will likely need to sell real estate to generate capital to reinvest in my business. I need to hire more employees and treat more patients at home that need personal care, skilled nursing and physical therapy. But wait a minute! Under Obamacare I now face an additional tax on the capital gains from real estate sales. Now after all of the hard work to save, buy, maintain and hope to gain some equity in real estate, I must to fork over another 3.8% to fund Obamacare and not my business! Obamacare will kill businesses.

    Obamacare’s 2,700 pages is set to transform many aspects of American life, business and society. It is a law far too sprawling in scope to warrant specific fixes. It must be fully repealed and defunded soon, before permanent damage to our nation occurs.

  • The Rounds: Debt limits, Obamacare crushed our economic recovery, and more on IPAB

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    The debate over raising the debt limit is dominating the news cycle. With a deal near, The Wall Street Journal’s Paul Gigot thinks Obama’s spending cuts aren’t what they appear to be:

    One of President Obama’s advantages in the debt-limit talks has been his ability to sound like a born-again spending cutter in public while the details of what he’s willing to accept remain secret. The reality is that the White House offer on spending reforms was much less than publicly advertised, and by the end it even included $136 billion in new spending proposals over 10 years.

    While spending is the major issue, our continued economic slump isn’t helping our nation’s fiscal matters. Obamacare is now a clear root cause of our economic woes. The Heritage Foundation has released a new study: Economic Recovery Stalled After Obamacare Passed. Just as the economy was on the mend, Obamacare sank it again, the study says, pointing to statistics explaining the unemployment and growth challenges. The Weekly Standard also looks at Obamacare’s effects on the economy and refers to the Heritage study.

    Also in The Weekly Standard, Terry Eastland takes a close look at the legal basis for challenging Obamacare, and the prospects of SCOTUS finding it unconstitutional. There’s hope in the words of Justice Anthony Kennedy:

    Notably, Kennedy’s opinion makes the point that “laws enacted in excess of delegated governmental power” are problematic if they “direct or control” the actions of individuals, for then their “liberty is at stake.” One can expect this and other portions of Bond will be quoted to the Court when it reviews Obamacare.

    [The Bond decision] provides reason to think that Kennedy will see the Obamacare mandate as a law too far—one that exceeds the enumerated powers of Congress, cuts into the authority of the states, and violates individual liberty.

    In Reason, Peter Suderman takes a look at the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) which I’ve discussed. Suderman explores why IPAB is already a mess, unconstitutional, and nearly impossible to repeal. The Goldwater Institute has filed a lawsuit claiming that IPAB is unconstitutional because, according to Diane Cohen of The Goldwater Institute, the organization filing the suit, “Congress cannot delegate away its legislative responsibilities under the Constitution.”

    Congress made repeal of IPAB very difficult as well by setting time limits on introducing repeal legislation and requiring a supermajority to pass it.

    Remember the story that President Obama told repeatedly during the 2008 campaign about how his mother spent her dying months battling with her insurance company because they claimed she suffered from a pre-existing condition? It turns out that the story was fabricated, and Michelle Malkin has the scoop.

    The state-level health insurance exchanges under Obamacare go into effect in 2014, and the Wall Street Journal takes a closer look. Should Republicans refuse to participate in creating exchanges as an act of civil disobedience?

    In an editorial, Investors.com looks at the prototype of Obamacare, former Governor Mitt Romney’s health insurance reform in Massachusetts. In addition to not achieving universal coverage, “…the cumulative cost of RomneyCare is nearly $8.6 billion. The promise of cost-containment has not only been broken, it’s been ripped asunder in spectacular fashion.”

  • How Obamacare Threatens Medicaid

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    The so-called “Misery Index” is back and is rivaling that of Carter Administration. Gearing up for his reelection effort, President Obama’s approval ratings are hovering near their lowest points during is presidency. Add to this the fallout from Obamacare, and things aren’t looking good for him or the country.

    As Obamacare implementation marches forward, the focus has been on Medicare. But we should not forget about Medicaid, which is another threat from Obama’s signature law.

    Let’s take a look at two scenarios for Medicaid as Obamacare rolls over the country.

    Medicaid Scenario I

    One very dismal forecast shows that by 2014 most employees will lose their private Employee Sponsored Insurance. Faced with rising costs, many of employers will have no choice but to abandon employer-based health insurance, opting instead to pay the $2,000 penalty as mandated under Obamacare.

    By choosing to pay penalties over providing benefits, employers will save thousands of dollars while unfortunately driving their employees into the welcoming arms of the government. Unable to pay the skyrocketing health insurance premiums, the only option available is the government-run health insurance, or Medicaid. Individuals will have to endure “least common denominator” health care quality while both federal and state governments will struggle to manage the growing financial strain.

    Medicaid Scenario 2

    The Democrats attacked Paul Ryan’s plan to save Medicare by privatizing it with select options. However these same Democrats are creating a scenario that threatens both Medicare and Medicaid. Key to this is the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) as mandated in Obamacare. This controversial provision, effective in 2015, creates a 15-member panel to be appointed by the President and accountable to the Department of Health and Human Services. Note that Congress abdicated their oversight role, essentially creating 15 health care Czars!

    The structure of our new health care system: Obamacare

    IPAB will be responsible for decreasing Medicare spending by slashing reimbursements to health care providers. The result will be Medicare reimbursement rates that are lower than Medicaid rates. If doctors today are turning away Medicare patients because of lower reimbursement rates, I predict that soon with the fallout from the IPAB, doctors will not take any Medicare patients.

    It is predicted that by 2015 there will be a mandatory requirement for all Nurse Practitioners to have a Doctorate/Nurse Practitioner Degree. The DNP will most likely be the sole prescriber and the one treating patients. A perfect storm is brewing to create a crisis-level health provider shortage as we shove more and more people into Medicaid while health providers run away.

    And what about “RyanCare”, Rep. Paul Ryan’s plan to save Medicare? RyanCare proposes to empower seniors to make decisions to control their Medicare dollars and save the Medicare system by controlling costs and avoiding a mass exodus to Medicaid. Democrats don’t want you to have such a say and would rather empower an unaccountable committee of 15 to apply rationing measures and drive seniors to Medicaid with almost no access to doctors.

    If this were a multiple-choice test, I would choose RyanCare over Obamacare and the Democrat’s unaccountable decision-making panels any day.

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

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    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?