Category: Obamacare

Obama Health Care Will Cover Every American...except Those Exempted By Its 1,040 Waivers

Bruno Korschek (BK) writes:  [Not an alias for Brian Kelly (BK) ]

There are many reasons to doubt the effectiveness of the many components of Obama Care. The latest set of numbers from the Department Of Health and Human Services (HHS) adds another layer of doubt that the political class really had any sense of reality when they passed the legislation. Less than a year after the legislation was passed, HHS has already granted 1,040 waivers to the law to various organizations across the country.

This raises some pretty obvious and simplistic questions:

* If this law is so good, why have so many waivers been granted so quickly for temporary exemptions from the law?

* How could the architects of this law not have even a clue that it would adversely affect so many Americans so quickly (the healthcare blog from "The Hill" estimates that these 1,040 waivers/exemptions cover about 2.6 million Americans).


* Since over 800 waivers have been granted just over the past three months, how many more waivers affecting how many more Americans are yet to be granted?

* Accusations have been made that many of these waivers have been granted to union organizations, the very types of organizations that supported Obama Care in the first place: is this granting of waivers a payment for union support for the passage of Obama Care?

Just another aspect of this very bad law.

President Obama is holding an important Health Summit at the White House to workshop his plans and ideas for health reform with a wide range of influential stakeholders. Hopefully he will keep his blackberry switched on because this is now one of the emerging new tools commonly used to deliver healthcare. President Obama, with his promotion of information technology, broadband networks and electronic health records, is poised to accelerate many positive changes in healthcare, so what goals should be identified for this Summit?

Let's review all of the negative aspects of the law that have erupted or oozed to the surface so far:

- While the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) originally estimated that Obama Care would reduce the Federal deficit by about $135 billion over ten years, their estimate did not include all of the components of Obama Care that were finally included in the legislation.

Associated Press analyses found over $100 billion of excluded costs that at the very, very best case makes Obama Care deficit neutral, not positive.

- Even so, the ten year CBO analysis included ten years worth of revenue and taxes and only six years worth of expenses, an apples to oranges, invalid analysis.

- Some of the starting programs of Obama Care are woefully under enrolled, missing their estimated enrollment totals by over 95% in most cases, indicating that maybe these programs are not as good as the political class would have us believe.

- Twenty six states, more than half of the state governments in the country, are in court trying to stop various aspects, if not the whole, of Obama Care. While there are obviously some degree of partisan politics in play here, if Obama Care was that great, there would be no basis for the state court actions. Given that two judges have already found serious flaws with the legislation indicates that the 26 states may be on the right track.

- New York Congressman Anthony Weiner, an ardent supporter of Obama Care when it was going through the legislative process, has now asked for waivers for some areas in his Congressional district. His reason? He wants to see if their is a less expensive or more flexible approach available besides Obama Care for his constituents. If one of your best supporters is asking for waivers, this is not a good indication that this legislation is worthwhile.

- The enitre state of Maine has been given a waiver to Obama Care, with other states also likely to file for waivers. How effective can this law be if entire states can get out from under it?

- The current legislation gives very little credence or support to medical tort reform, a strategy that has significantly reduced health care costs in states that have already implemented tort reform in this area.

- This legislation gives very little credence or support to allowing insurance companies to easily operate across state lines, which would increase health insurance competition and reduce costs.

- This legislation gives very little credence or support to reducing the main culprits of bad health and increased health care costs in this country: smoking, bad eating habits, and lack of exercise of most Americans. Thus, even if Obama Care works perfectly, which is highly unlikely, the root causes of our high national health care costs will still be in place: Americans smoke too much, Americans eat too much of the wrong kind of food, and Americans do not exercise enough. These life style root causes will not be solved by Obama Care which is only a doomed taxing and government bureaucracy approach, not a life style and personal responsibility approach.

- Although Obama Care is supposed to reduce health care costs and allow more Americans to get health care insurance, the legislation is structured so poorly that many major U.S. corporations (AT&T, Verizon, John Deere, Caterpillar, MacDonald's, others) have already publicly stated that they may drop health care insurance for their employees and retirees since it would be less expensive, under Obama Care, to pay the Obama Care fine than continuing to offer health care insurance for their people. Thus, a political class action to reduce the number of Americans without health care insurance is likely to attain just the opposite result: increase the number of Americans without health care insurance.

- This legislation, via its mandate that orders all citizens to buy a product/service that they may or may not want, health care coverage insurance, is a basic violation of our freedom to choose and to live our lives as we see fit.

So let's review:

- This legislation is so bad that every month, hundreds of American companies and unions get exemptions from the law.

- This legislation is so bad that it will likely increase the number of Americans without health care insurance, the exact opposite of what is supposed to do.

- This legislation is so bad that it does not address the underlying, American life style root causes (smoking, obesity, lack of exercise), meaning it will never solve the symptoms of high health care costs and high uninsured rates.

- This legislation is so bad that the very people it is supposed to be helping already have basically ignored the programs it introduced.

- This legislation is so bad that over half of the state governments in the country are in court to stop the law, an unprecedented move on any other Federal legislation in our history.

- This legislation is so bad that the Democrats in the political class did not even have the and courage to pass the law in traditional ways, needing to sneak in the side door of reconciliation to get it passed.

- The legislation is so bad that there are serious flaws in the methodology and analysis used to prove its financial worthiness.

- This legislation is so bad that even its supporters are looking for waivers to get out from under its requirements.

- This legislation is so bad that it undercuts our basic freedom of choice in this country with its government mandates.

What is needed is not an individual waiver from Obama Care. What is needed is a waiver of the entire program and a fresh start with experts in the health care field, not politicians and lobbyists, driving towards a solution. We need out a logical, problem solving approach to health care in this country, without the intrusion of politics, an approach that attacks the root causes of our high health care costs. We see what the political class and lobbyists have gotten us, it is time to put a waiver out on them and do the job right the next time.

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