Unraveling the illusions of ObamaCare


Nancy Pelosi saying, "We have to pass the (health care) bill so that you can find out what is in it," may be like saying, we have to open Pandora's Box to find out what is in it.

It will reduce the deficit. It will bankrupt the nation.

It will create death panels. No it won't.

You can keep your insurance coverage and your doctor. Not so.

Back and forth, like a tennis match.

This past weekend featured some interesting attempts to call the foot faults, as well the shots into the net.

Let's start with Robert Samuelson's piece on the cover of the R-J Viewpoints section.

"Obama claims his proposal checks spending," Samuelson writes.

"Just the opposite. When people get insurance, they use more health services. Spending rises. By the government’s latest forecast, health spending goes from 17 percent of the economy in 2009 to 19 percent in 2019. Health 'reform' would likely increase that," he explains, among other things.

Investor's Business Daily features a front page Q&A on the proposals of Wisconsin Republican Paul Ryan, who is counting ObamaCare with his "Roadmap for America's Future."

"IBD: President Obama said his overhaul will bring greater competition, choice, savings and efficiencies to our health care system.'

"Ryan: It will do the opposite of all three of those. It will mean less competition and less choice because it narrows the options consumers will have to get health insurance. It puts everybody on a glide path to go into an exchange where people will have three choices of policies — gold, silver and bronze. It standardizes health insurance and takes underwriting out of health insurance, which is how many insurers compete. At the end of the day you'll have a few big insurers selling different versions of the same color. With the kinds of mandates and rules they impose on insurers, the small and medium-sized insurance companies simply can't compete because they don't have the economies of scale. What you'll simply have are these handful of really large insurers simply becoming claims processors for federally run health insurance."

Over on the editorial page IBD offers a 15-point look at the problems with ObamaCare, including one that says the cost of insurance premiums will go up, not down.

"8. Insurance premiums will rise, not fall! One goal of nationalizing health care is to lower costs, to bend the spending curve downward. Yet, as Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin acknowledged Wednesday, that won't be the case.

"'Anyone who would stand before you and say, 'Well, if you pass health care reform, next year's health care premiums are going down," I don't think is telling the truth,' he said from the Senate floor. 'I think it is likely they would go up.'

"An analysis completed by the CBO at the request of Sen. Evan Bayh confirms Durbin's suspicions. Insurance coverage in the individual market will 'be about 10% to 13% higher in 2016 than the average premium for nongroup coverage in that same year under current law,' it concluded."

Like the others mentioned here, The Wall Street Journal called ObamaCare cost control an illusion and took a point-by-point look at some of the claims.

"It's true that the Congressional Budget Office estimates that the Senate version of ObamaCare would reduce the deficit by $118 billion over 10 years," the WSJ says. "But even that number was concocted by budget gimmicks, such as using 10 years of new taxes to fund six years of benefits, as Wisconsin Republican Paul Ryan showed at the White House health summit."

Check out the WSJ Guide to ObamaCare while we are at it.

For a little light listening, download this padcast by Michael Tanner at Cato Institute titled "Reconciling ObamaCare."

Here is some more of Tanner who says under ObamaCare we'll end up doing as we are damn well told: