Whilst trolling the internet, I have found a beautiful example of liberals at their most urbane. The author of this monumental achievement in political punditry is a man named Uwe Reinhardt. I know he’s a man because there is a totally candid photo of him posted next to his article. Mr. Reinhardt comes to us with some rather impressive credentials. He’s the James Madison professor of political economy at Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School. (Ever notice how liberals use a lot of other people’s name to tell you how important they are?) His article is called, “Frightening Future if Health Reform Fails.” Let’s assume he’s a proponent of the President’s health care reform. Let’s see what Mr. Reinhardt (oh, great another German socialist, I thought we got rid of them back in the 40’s!) has to say about the failure of “health reform:”
“Watching the angry outbursts at town hall meetings on health reform and the continuing public ambivalence about current efforts to reform our health system almost makes me wish that the reform effort fails.”
Wishes aside, does this man have any grasp of reality? How can you say that there are “angry outbusts at town hall meetings” and “continuing public ambivalence” in the same sentence?!? People can not possibly be ambivalent and angry all at the same time, can they? Despite the disparity in the opening sentence, I read on:
“Perhaps Americans need to be taught a basic lesson on the economics of employment-based health insurance before they will feel as smugly secure with it as they do now and before they will stop nitpicking health-reform efforts to death over this or that detail.”
Wow, this guy really seems to have a disdain for the average American. He feels we need to be “taught a lesson” and that we are smug and nitpicky. It’s fascinating to me that when people of good faith have an honest disagreement with their policy-makers, the insults start to fly! This guy is a classic example of the liberal elite, where their opinion is king and if we disagree with them, we’re stupid. Nevermind that no socialist experiment has ever worked – ever!
The rest of his article you can read for yourself, if you want to. He goes on to make the point that an employer-based insurance system cannot sustain itself. On that point, we might agree. Only his solution is to remand the insurance system into the hands of the federal government! I don’t know about you, but that scares me to death. Instead of an employer-based system, as always, I prefer a system where the power resides with those who actually need the health care. The people!!
But let’s get back to Mr. Reinhardt. He blames those who don’t want public health care of “nitpicking health-reform efforts to death over this or that detail.” Let’s look at a couple of those “nitpicky” details. Right now, there’s only one bill that has made it through any of the Congressional committees. That bill is HR 3200 in the house of Representatives. (You can find a copy online by searching for it and follow along if you like.) The President has not put forth a bill, the Senate has not put forth a bill. There is one bill. It is complete and ready for the House to vote on it and with sizable majorities in both houses, the Democrats can pass it without a single Republican vote. It is important for us to see what’s in it so we know what our Representatives have as goals for the final version.
Fortunately, a professor at Duke University, who is not a physician or a politician, took a layman’s view of the bill and presented his findings at classicideals.com. He’s found some interesting things, let’s call them “nitpicky” details. According to the bill:
First, you don’t have a choice as to whether you have health insurance or not. According to page 102, “an individual who. . .has not elected to enroll in (a). . .health benefits plan is automatically enrolled under Medicaid.”
You don’t have the choice to “opt out.” You are going to have health insurance and you will not have a choice what it is. What happens if you do try to “opt out?” According to pages 167-168, “In the case of any individual who does not meet the requirements of subsection (d) at any time during the taxable year, there is hereby imposed a tax. . .” That’s right, if you reject health insurance, you are taxed, that is to say, you pay a penalty.
Ok, so I have to have coverage, I’ll just take the private health option that my employer offers me, right? Well according to pages 149-150, a section called “EMPLOYER CONTRIBUTIONS IN LIEU OF COVERAGE,” your employer will have to provide health care that meets federal standards. If not, they will pay a tax, “equal to 8 percent of the average wages paid by the employer during the period of enrollment.” Generally speaking, an 8% tax would be substantially less than paying for the strict kind of health insurance endorsed by the government. It wouldn’t take long for the employers to “opt out” and leave you, once again, with no other option than the public option.”Nitpicky,” I know.
But, obviously the government wants me to have great health care, that’s why they’re insisting that I “go public.” So as the employers’ insurance plans start to dry up, and more and more of my fellow citizens go on the public plan, I’m sure there will be no problem getting the health care I need, like a hospital stay, right? Well, according to pages 284-288, “excess readmissions shall not include readmissions for an applicable condition for which there are fewer than a minimum number (as determined by the Secretary) of discharges for such applicable condition for the applicable period and such hospital.” Well, I’m not sure I understand that. What’s an “excess readmission?” It will be, “specified by the Secretary.” Ok, so what’s an “applicable condition?” Oh that will be, “selected by the Secretary.” So this “Secretary” will be deciding what I can go into the hospital for and when? That sounds like rationing, more importantly, it sounds like I will not have a part in deciding how I want my health care managed. But I’m probably just being “nitpicky” over this or that detail, right?
Perhaps the President can reassure us that we won’t be denied coverage just because we’re too old. I mean, he wouldn’t tell us we can’t help save our parents if they are dying, right? In an exchange with Jane Sturm at his health care infomercial on ABC a couple of months ago, President Obama said, “End-of-life care is one of the most difficult sets of decisions that we’re going to have to make.” Whoa!! What do you mean by that? If my Mom needs a procedure to save her life, my decision is for her to have it! The President leaves no doubt what he means: “Maybe you’re better off, uhhh, not having the surgery but taking, uh, the painkiller.” Ok, now I know I’m not being nitpicky! I prefer to rely on the words of my ideological icon, Ronald Reagan, from his farewell address:
As government expands, liberty contracts.”