[On October 8, 2010, I wrote the following article on Obamacare. This is why this morning’s ruling by the Supreme Court is so important. The ruling this morning is about FREEDOM.]
President Barack Hussein Obama (mm mmm mmmm) appeared on CBS’ 60 Minutes last night. During an interview with Steve Kroft, Scooter said that the political cost of overhauling the health care system turned out to be higher than he had expected.
Did he expect Americans to just shut up and take it?
He went on to say that the health care system itself is huge and complicated and that changing it eluded previous presidents because it was so difficult.
But he plowed right on through with it…because he’s special…and a socialist ideologue:
I made the decision to go ahead and do it, and it proved as costly politically as we expected — probably actually a little more costly than we expected, politically.
Obama went on to say, probably sarcastically, that he thought that he would find common ground with Republicans by advancing health care proposals that had been introduced by Republican administrations as well as potential presidential candidate Mitt Romney when he was governor of Massachusetts:
I bet ol’ Mittens was squirming in his recliner at the house when Scooter said that.
I couldn’t get the kind of cooperation from Republicans that I had hoped for. And that was costly, partly because it created the kind of partisanship and bickering that really turn people off.
So, what it is that everyone has been bickering about? Here is a brief overview of the timeline for the implementation of Obamacare, from a pdf prepared by the House Ways and Means and Energy and Commerce Committees on April 2, 2010.
- Immediate Access to Insurance for Uninsured Individuals with a Pre-Existing Condition.
- Eliminating Pre-Existing Condition Exclusions for Children.
- Prohibiting Rescissions. Prohibits abusive practices whereby health plans rescind existing health insurance policies when a person gets sick as a way of avoiding covering the costs of enrollees’ health care needs.
- Covering Preventive Health Services. All new group health plans and plans in the individual market must provide first dollar coverage for preventive services.
- Extending Dependent Coverage. Requires all plans in the individual market and new employer plans that provide dependent coverage for children to continue to make that coverage available up to age 26
- Reducing the Cost of Covering Early Retirees. Creates a new temporary reinsurance program for health benefits for retirees age 55-64.
- New, Independent Appeals Process.
- Improving Consumer Assistance.
- Improving Consumer Information through the Web. Requires the Secretary of HHS to establish an Internet website through which residents of any State may identify affordable health insurance coverage options in that State.
- Cracking Down on Health Care Fraud. Requires enhanced screening procedures for health care providers to eliminate fraud and waste in the health care system.
- Rebates for the Part D “Donut Hole”. Provides a $250 rebate for all Part D enrollees who enter the donut hole.
- Improving Public Health Prevention Efforts. Creates an interagency council to promote healthy policies at the federal level.
- Strengthening the Quality Infrastructure.
- Extending Payment Protections for Rural Providers.
- Establishing a Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute. Establishes a private, non-profit institute.
- Ensuring Medicaid Flexibility for States.
- Non-Profit Hospitals. Establishes new requirements applicable to nonprofit hospitals beginning in 2010, including periodic community needs assessments.
- Encouraging Investment in New Therapies.
- Tax Relief for Health Professionals with State Loan Repayment.
- Excluding from Income Health Benefits Provided by Indian Tribal Governments.
- Establishing a National Health Care Workforce Commission. Establishes an independent National Commission to provide comprehensive, nonbiased information and recommendations to Congress and the Administration for aligning federal health care workforce resources with national needs.
- Strengthening the Health Care Workforce. Expands and improves low-interest student loan programs, scholarships, and loan repayments for health students and professionals to increase and enhance the capacity of the workforce to meet patients’ health care needs.
- Special Deduction for Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS).
- Indoor Tanning Services Tax. There are a lot of torqued-off women out there.
- Holding Insurance Companies Accountable for Unreasonable Rate Hikes.
- Bringing Down the Cost of Health Care Coverage.
- Strengthening Community Health Centers and the Primary Care Workforce.
- Increasing Reimbursement for Primary Care.
- Increasing Training Support for Primary Care.
- Improving Health Care Quality and Efficiency. Establishes a new Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation to test innovative payment and service delivery models to reduce health care costs and enhance the quality of care provided to individuals.
- Improving Preventive Health Coverage.
- Improving Transitional Care for Medicare Beneficiaries.
- Expanding Primary Care, Nursing, and Public Health Workforce.
- Increasing Access to Home and Community Based Services.
- Reporting Health Coverage Costs on Form W-2: Requires employers to disclose the value of the benefit provided by the employer for each employee’s health insurance coverage on the employee’s annual Form W-2.
- Standardizing the Definition of Qualified Medical Expenses. Conforms the definition of qualified medical expenses for HSAs, FSAs, and HRAs to the definition used for the itemized deduction. An exception to this rule is included so that amounts paid for over-the-counter medicine with a prescription still qualify as medical expenses.
- Increased Additional Tax for Withdrawals from Health Savings Accounts and Archer Medical Savings Account Funds for Non-Qualified Medical Expenses.
- Cafeteria Plan Changes.
- Encouraging Integrated Health Systems.
- Linking Payment to Quality Outcomes.
- Reducing Avoidable Hospital Readmissions. Directs CMS to track hospital readmission rates for certain high-volume or high-cost conditions and uses new financial incentives to encourage hospitals to undertake reforms needed to reduce preventable readmissions, which will improve care for beneficiaries and rein in unnecessary health care spending. Can you say “here come the Death Panels”?
- Payments to Primary Care Physicians. Requires that Medicaid payment rates to primary care physicians for furnishing primary care services be no less than 100% of Medicare payment rates in 2013 and 2014.
- Administrative Simplification. Health plans must adopt and implement uniform standards and business rules for the electronic exchange of health information to reduce paperwork and administrative burdens and costs.
- Encouraging Provider Collaboration. Establishes a national pilot program on payment bundling
- Limiting Health Flexible Savings Account Contributions.
- Increased Threshold for Claiming Itemized Deduction for Medical Expenses.
- Medical device excise tax. Establishes a 2.3 percent excise tax on the sale of a medical device by a manufacturer or importer.
- Limiting Executive Compensation.
- Fee for patient-centered outcomes research.
- Reforming Health Insurance Regulations.
- Eliminating Annual Limits.
- Ensuring Coverage for Individuals Participating in Clinical Trials.
- Establishing Health Insurance Exchanges. Opens health insurance Exchanges in each State to individuals and small employers. This new venue will enable people to comparison shop for standardized health packages. Local hack politicians are lining up for jobs right now.
- Providing Health Care Tax Credits. E
- Ensuring Choice through Free Choice Vouchers.
- Promoting Individual Responsibility.
- Small Business Tax Credit.
- Quality Reporting for Certain Providers.
- Health Insurance Provider Fee. Imposes an annual, non-deductible fee on the health insurance sector allocated across the industry according to market share.
- Continuing Innovation and Lower Health Costs. Establishes an Independent Payment Advisory Board to develop and submit proposals to Congress and the private sector aimed at extending the solvency of Medicare, lowering health care costs, improving health outcomes for patients, promoting quality and efficiency, and expanding access to evidence-based care.
- Paying Physicians Based on Value Not Volume. Creates a physician value-based payment program to promote increased quality of care for Medicare beneficiaries.
- Excise tax on high cost employer-provided health plans becomes effective. Tax is on the cost of coverage in excess of $27,500 (family coverage) and $10,200 (single coverage), increased to $30,950 (family) and $11,850 (single) for retirees and employees in high risk professions.
Gosh, Mr. President, I can see why you can’t understand why the never-ending spider’s web of new government bureaucracies and excessive taxation that you and your Democrat minions in Congress rammed down our throats and gloated about has been met with such resistance. After all, you did it for our own good, didn’t you?…Regardless of the fact that Government-run Healthcare has been a miserable failure wherever it has been tried.
Is Obama sorry that he stuffed this turkey of a bill down Americans’ throats at the cost of the 2010 Midterms? I doubt it. He said last night:
But I think that in terms of how I operated on a day-to-day basis, when you’ve got a series of choices to make — I think that there are times where we said let’s just get it done instead of worrying about how we’re getting it done. And I think that’s a problem. I’m paying a political price for that.
Gosh, Scooter. Ya think?
[Regardless of the way SCOTUS rules this morning, we can not allow the legislative monster known as Obamacare to continue to live and suck the life out of the greatest nation on Earth.
When we elect Mitt Romney as President, with a Conservative House and Congress to back him, there will be no more excuses. If Obamacare doesn’t not die today, it must be de-funded.]