Posts Tagged ‘Romneycare’

  • Romneycare is Wrecking the Economy in Massachusetts

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    In the GOP Presidential primaries, the issue of health care has loomed larger than most. As the architect for the “prototype” of Obamacare, Mitt Romney has been on the defensive over his responsibility for Romneycare in Massachusetts.

    In place for a number of years now, it’s clear that Romneycare is a failure in terms of cost savings, jobs, and freedoms.

    The Boston Herald highlights a study by Suffolk University’s Beacon Hill Institute, which concluded that Romneycare:

    • cost the Bay State 18,313 jobs;
    • drove up total health insurance costs in Massachusetts by $4.311 billion;
    • slowed the growth of disposable income per person by $376;
    • and reduced investment in Massachusetts by $25.06 million.

    As an example of how Romneycare is affecting everyday life in the state, my good friend and former Massachusetts resident tells me the following:

    In Massachusetts, you must provide proof of health care insurance when you file your state tax return or pay a stiff fine. The more income reported, the stiffer the fine.

    We must stop Obamacare before it’s fully implemented and does to America what Romneycare has done to Massachusetts.

  • 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.”

  • What a week in Washington

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    It has been a challenge this week sorting through all the news about the disgraceful behavior of another politician gone morally amok. This behavior is happening too often, creating unacceptable distractions from real issues. You know their names.

    Looking towards 2012, the GOP is getting down to business. Their leading man thus far, Mitt Romney, is holding his frontrunner position with 23% in the polls. He continues to stay on message, has the campaign organization, plenty of cash and a solid understanding of the current woes and dangers posed by our teetering economy.

    Leading, but with one big problem.

    The biggest thorn in Romney’s side is also the most difficult for him to extract: “Romneycare”, the prototype for President Obama’s national healthcare overhaul disaster. Romney simply can’t get around this since stating firmly that he has no regrets and he’d do it all over again, even with Massachusetts now grappling with its destructive consequences. Romneycare, and to a much larger extent Obamacare, are creating intractable problems for business and the health care industry while accelerating the downward spiral of this country.

    » Read the rest of the entry..

  • The Rounds: Rep. Ryan Exposes Mediscare, Unconventional Wisdom and a Tale of Two States

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    As the 2012 campaign for the White House and Congress heats up, health care has moved to the forefront once again, along with the typical “Mediscare” tactics which I previously discussed. Rep. Paul Ryan, the architect of the GOP’s “Roadmap” budget, rightfully and effectively exposes the latest round of Mediscare attacks, using independent analyses from Politifact, Factcheck, and even the Washington Post’s Fact Checker blog. Read Ryan’s piece here.

    The conventional wisdom, especially after the GOP’s loss in the special election in New York’s 26th district, is that Rep. Ryan’s plan to save Medicare will be a political liability for the GOP in 2012. The Weekly Standard has a different take after looking at polling data and correctly pointing out that “Ryan’s plan would preserve Medicare’s sinking ship, keeping it afloat for future generations.”

    The fact is that Ryan and the GOP are the only ones serious about solving our nation’s looming fiscal disaster and saving Medicare. Even the Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza, while believing this may be a short term political advantage for the Democrats, points out that at least the GOP is serious about proposing plans to save Medicare.

    The problem for Democrats is, if they want to get serious about reforming the entitlement program, they are putting their own necks on the chopping block AND giving up a hugely potent political issue.

    Andrea Tantaros of the New York Daily News has another takeaway from the NY26 special election: The GOP should attack Obamacare more strongly. Rather than spend time defending Rep. Ryan’s “courageous” plan to save Medicare, the GOP must go on the offensive against Obamacare.

    The GOP has a strong case to make, and it should be out there making it. But instead of defending Ryan’s plan, they should be poking holes in Obamacare. Only then will the benefits of their alternative become clear to the American public.

    Read it here.

    On to Obamacare. Ralph R. Reiland of The American Spectator continues to expose the Obamacare waivers handed out to the politically-connected. It helps if you live in Nancy Pelosi’s district.

    I again ask the question: If Obamacare is so great, why the need for any waivers at all?

    What about the prototype for Obamacare? Heartland.org looks at the failure of Romneycare in Massachusetts.

    Taxes, costs, and political interference in medical decisions have all increased, while access to medical care has deteriorated. It’s now apparent Romney did not give Massachusetts universal private health coverage. Instead, he put the state on a glide-path to a single-payer, government monopoly health system—the same path Obamacare now follows at the national level.

    On the rising costs of health care in Massachusetts under Romneycare, Peter Suderman of Reason explores how the state’s explorations in universal, government-mandated care is working out and provides an ominous forecast:

    The Obama administration has explicitly stated on numerous occasions that RomneyCare was the model for the federal overhaul. Given the Bay State’s spiraling costs, it seems more and more likely that, thanks to ObamaCare, we can all expect higher health insurance premiums in our future.

    Finally, last week I looked at California as an example of where America is headed under Obama. Walter Russell Mead has an excellent piece in The American Interest where he concludes California is now a failed state.

    Let there be no mistake: when you produce so many criminals that you can’t afford to lock them up, you are a failed state.  Virtually every important civil institution in society has to fail to get you to this point.  Your homes and houses of worship are failing to build law abiding citizens, much less responsible and informed voters.  Your schools aren’t educating enough of your kids to make an honest living.  Your taxes and policies are so bad that you are driving thousands of businesses away… California used to be the glory of this country, the dream by the sea, the magic state.  Now it produces so many criminals it can’t pay to keep them locked up.

  • Obamacare’s Chilling Provisions Begin Taking Effect

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    Starting last month, some patients I have treated have arrived with the diagnosis of “End of Life” on their hospital discharge forms. Knowing what I know about the provisions contained within Obamacare, seeing this diagnosis begin to appear on discharge forms sent me a chill.

    The fact is, we are now starting to see some of the more insidious components of Obamacare take effect. I have listed some of these below, courtesy of Judge David Kithil of Texas.

    Under Obamacare, doctors and surgeons with years of advanced training will be reimbursed at the same rates as all MDs. We all know where policies like this will lead. Medical School Enrollment is down — so much so in fact that soon we will face a physician shortage in excess of 100,000. In Massachusetts, where we can see the effects of Romneycare, the prototype for Obamacare, people now face wait times of seven to 48 months for MD visits.

    Doctors, specialized surgeons and medical specialists should be compensated according to their experience and advanced knowledge, education and training. Patients treated by these very specialized MD’s are certain to have more accurate diagnoses and better outcomes.

    Ladies and Gentlemen, this is no joke. Obamacare was shoved down the throats of the American people who were vehemently opposed to it by a left-wing triumvirate composed of Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and Barack Obama. We must repeal this law in its tracks or we risk our lives and freedoms and must defeat these out-of-control left-wing socialists in 2012 by defeating Obama and taking back the Senate. The House Republicans are doing a great job advancing important legislation, but these achievements will continue to stall without victory in 2012 and control of the Senate and the White House.

    And now, some of the more insidious components of Obamacare. Thanks to Judge David Kithil of Texas for compiling it. These Obamacare provisions affect us all (unless you’re a friend of Obama and you’ll get a waiver).

    • Page 50/section 152: The bill will provide insurance to all non-U.S. residents, even if they are here illegally.
    • Page 58 and 59: The government will have real-time access to an individual’s bank account and will have the authority to make electronic fund transfers from those accounts.
    • Page 65/section 164:  The plan will be subsidized (by the government) for all union members, union retirees and for community organizations (such as the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now – ACORN).
    • Page 203/line 14-15:  The tax imposed under this section will not be treated as a tax.
    • Page 241 and 253:  Doctors will all be paid the same regardless of specialty, and the government will set all doctors’ fees.
    • Page 272. section 1145: Cancer hospitals will ration care according to the patient’s age.
    • Page 317 and 321: The government will impose a prohibition on hospital expansion; however, communities may petition for an exception.
    • Page 425, line 4-12: The government mandates advance-care planning consultations.  Those on Social Security will be required to attend an “end-of-life planning” seminar every five years. (Death counseling…)
    • Page 429, line 13-25: The government will specify which doctors can write an end-of-life order.

    Cartoon Credit: Eric Allie

  • Down and Out on the GOP Trail

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    The 2012 GOP field has shifted considerably in the past few days. Although I was pleased with his connection to the issues facing the GOP, I thought we would get more of the positive side of Newt Gingrich before he “stepped in it” — but after his statements to David Gregory on Sunday’s Meet the Press that Paul Ryan’s Plan for Medicare was “radical engineering from the right” there may be no recovery phase for the former Speaker.  Back circa 2004 Gingrich had created a health care initiative and I spoke with him as he was out promoting it. Both he and his plan seemed to lack focus and I was not impressed with his understanding of the healthcare industry in America. His comments Sunday only reinforce the fact that he doesn’t understand healthcare. Newt’s campaign may be done before it really begins. It’s done with me.

    Mitt Romney has the most cash (he just raised $10 million in one day), the best organization and decent polls — all things pointing to a campaign that’s in really good shape. That was until he doubled down last week on his signature law from his stint as governor of Massachusetts, Romneycare, the blueprint for Obamacare. Rather than admit the state-wide universal healthcare mandate has become a costly failure pockmarked by growing wait lists for care, he said he’d do it all over again. He won’t be able to square his defense of Romneycare when Obamacare ranks as one of the biggest objections to Obama by the American public. I believe Romney will have to exit the field as he faces an increasing backlash from GOP primary base on his seemingly irreconcilable healthcare positions.

    Donald Trump yesterday announced that he will not run for the Presidency because he has more passion for “business”.  Is it not ironic that NBC made a deal with him that he could not refuse (and may have threatened to replace him with a new business leader at the helm of Celebrity Apprentice).

    Mike Huckabee was in a good position to continue harnessing the strong support that he enjoyed during the 2008  presidential campaign. Some early straw polls placed him in the lead. Instead, his “heart says no” to another run. This isn’t surprising, as he was doing little to prepare and many surmised that he is having a great time and making money for the first time with his popular show on Fox News.

    Now we have a very open field and it’s anyone’s guess as to who will break out of the pack. Will safer, more conventional candidates like Gov. Mitch Daniels or Gov Tim Pawlenty fit the bill? Or will we have the opportunity to support two of my favorites: Congressman Paul Ryan and Governor Chris Christie? Will a draft movement get them in the game? I certainly hope so. After all, we must beat Obama in 2012!

    Update 5/22: Mitch Daniels is also out.

  • The Rounds: Vinson’s Agitation, Obama’s “Olive Branch”, and a “Scary” Defense

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    Faced with multiple lawsuits from states challenging Obamacare, President Obama has offered them options:

    “If your state can create a plan that covers as many people as affordably and comprehensively as the Affordable Care Act does – without increasing the deficit – you can implement that plan,”

    The Wall Street Journal calls this “olive branch” a mirage.

    In Massachusetts, a state that has been the testing ground for Obamacare with it’s version, Romneycare, The Boston Globe points to skyrocketing health care costs, where premiums have gone up 25-30% year over year.

    If Massachusetts is the model, then national health care reform is ultimately doomed.

    On the legal front, U.S. District Court Judge Roger Vinson, who you recall found Obamacare unconstitutional and voided the entire act claiming the individual mandate is unseverable, is becoming impatient with the Obama Administration’s lack of a timely reaction. After delay, Obama asked for a “clarification,” prompting Vinson to “chastise” the administration for stalling.  He wrote:

    “It was not expected that they would effectively ignore the order and declaratory judgment for 2 1/2 weeks, continue to implement the act, and only then file a belated motion to ‘clarify'”.

    The National Review has more on Vinson’s “clarification”.

    More on the legal front: Rich Lowry points us to “the scariest defense of Obamacare” yet, Judge Gladys Kessler’s assertion that the charge that the individual mandate is unconstitutional because it attempts to regulate “non-activity” is wrong because choosing not to engage in commerce is a “mental activity” and therefore fair game. Lowry points that even Obamacare’s most strident defenders didn’t think this one up.

    The sophists in Eric Holder’s Justice Department must be embarrassed that they didn’t themselves dredge up this killer rejoinder.

    The Wall Street Journal has a nice round-up themselves on the mess of Obamacare and the mayhem that’s resulting.

    Finally, The Hill reports that the total number of Obamacare waivers exceeds 1,000. If it’s so great, why do so many companies need waivers?