Mittwoch, März 24, 2010

...a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing...

That is, of course, from Macbeth, Act 5, Scene 5, and was used here to underscore a point.

The point is that ObamaCare, aka The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (HR 3590), is just that: a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

Consider this: no one has had the time to really go through HR 3590 with the necessary manpower, intelligence, wisdom and knowledge to understand what the act really implies: no one really understands the implications.

With perhaps, of course, this exception: this is nothing but a deal being cut by the Obama Administration with no one less than those who he has publicly vilified: President Obama has cut a deal with the insurance companies such that nothing will really happen to them.

Why do I say this? Because they aren't protesting the way that they would if their very existence were threatened. I've written exactly that here: private insurance cannot exist long under ObamaCare, as it removes the public paying for the risks.

Unless, of course, that the public is going to be paying for the whole thing from start to finish: that is what is going to happen.

Consider this (originally from a Q&A from the NYT, via the link above), my emphasis:

In 2014, once the state-run insurance exchanges are up and running, people who earn up to 400 percent of the poverty level (or $88,200 for a family of four) would not have to pay more than 9.5 percent of their income on premiums. People with low incomes could pay as little as 3 percent. The government would help subsidize the rest.

But ultimately, premiums will still reflect the medical care costs in your geographic area, according to Sara Collins, vice president for the Affordable Health Insurance Program at the Commonwealth Fund. That said, insurers would have to adhere to new rules.

For one, older people cannot be charged more than three times as much as younger people. The legislation also includes provisions that could help bring down premiums, but it's still too early to tell how well they would work.

For instance, large group plans that spend more than 15 percent of your premiums on items other than medical costs (or more than 20 percent, in the case of individual and small group plans) must provide a rebate to consumers beginning in 2011. Details are still fuzzy.

Moreover, the legislation would immediately create a process for review of increases in health care premiums and would require plans to justify those increases, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. And once the state-run insurance exchanges are up and running, states would be required to report premium increases and recommend whether any plans should be excluded due to unjustified premium increases, according to Kaiser.

Read that and understand: the insurance companies are getting one hell of a deal from this. The government is fixing the premiums for everyone: there will be no further price competition. If individuals don't have the money, they'll be subsidized, based on their income in reference to a multiple of the poverty level.

But see the emphasis I've put in above: premiums will still reflect the medical care costs.

That means that for the insurance company, nothing changes. Older people cannot be charged more than three times? Then raise the premiums for the young until the premiums for older people reach the levels needed.

And it's not that premiums won't increase; they will. But the increases will be planned, and you can be sure that the plans will be always a bit more than is needed in order to drop it down a bit to make themselves look good.

The reason that insurance companies were largely completely and totally silent in this entire debate is because they helped write the legislation and they are in "on the deal".

Now, there are those who might see this as being cynical about the government: but can you honestly look at the corruption of the Chicago machinery and not become cynical?

To quote:

It's like a wet dream for lawyers / insurance companies / client advocates and all other manner of middlewo/men who can make their own livelihoods telling people what they are and are NOT eligible for under the new rules – which, of course, will be SO different than the way things are today.

Of course, it's a bit of crap shoot for people with some kind of chronic disease, like, say, cancer, or who suddenly have a heart attack in the "pre" period – but, hey, they've got to play the game like everybody else.

That said, don't think insurance companies are the ONLY big winners here – so are drug companies, aka Big Pharma, hospitals, and those practitioners of the Hypocritical Oath, the doctors, especially the 55% who DIDN'T support single-payer.

Now you understand why pharmaceutical companies and others lobbied for "reform," rather than protesting it: this is perhaps the most cynical, egregious grab for control of such a huge sector of the economy.

What's in it for those benefiting?

The elimination of competition, no price controls, no additional regulation by the Feds, collusion in markets and having 12 years of exclusive marketing rights for biologic drugs (made from living cells), at the cost of market transparency, effective regulation to control prices and the closing of special loopholes.

HR 3590 and the whole theater that the Democrats took it through to get it passed is just that: theater to hide the true nature of what has just been signed into law: the exact opposite of what was claimed.

If anything, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act should be, if there was honesty in packaging here, more properly be renamed the Health Industry Profitability Act.

Because no patients are being protected; no care is being made affordable. Instead, the government is now going to ensure the profitability of the Health Industry (presumably in return for their permanent and undying loyalty in things political, coupled with carefully planned waste and corruption that will make the current incompetency of Medicare pale in comparison.

Instead, there is the cynical misuse of Democratic voter gullibility and the corruption wide-spread in the Democratic Party. 

It's the biggest swindle since ... well, probably Social Security. But given that Social Security is a multi-generational swindle, this one is worse: the swindle is permanent and ongoing.

And you won't be able to escape it.

But proclaiming something to be the radically opposite of what it actually is is nothing new: see this for an utter absurdity along these lines.

But hey, this is nothing new for this smoke-and-mirrors President: see this as well. Smoke and mirrors, smoke and mirrors, folks, in the very best tradition of the corrupt Democratic Party Machine from Chicago. Put up a faked, irrelevant controversy to hide the wholesale thievery.

And President Obama is increasingly looking to be the greatest con man in the history of the American Presidency.

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