A Health Care Primer

It’s actually the Affordable Care Act. We call it Obamacare or the health care reform bill. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, called it “the crown jewel of socialism’ when she took to the House floor.

However you characterize it, most Americans want it repealed.  The Rasmussen poll has the public backing repeal 55-40. But as Dick Morris warns, “if opponents of the program remain complacent, those numbers could change quickly.”

To avoid that catastrophe, here are some points to make about Obamacare that friends and neighbors need to realize.

Your health insurance premiums are going to skyrocket, if they haven’t started to already. Companies cannot pay for all the new people flooding the market, so they have to get the money somewhere and that somewhere is your wallet.  Eventually this practice will push plans out of existence, ushering in the single government payer.

With Medicare cuts of $500 billion coming and the reductions in physician fees, thousands of doctors are closing their doors to Medicare patients. The elderly will have difficulty  just seeing a doctor.

Costs will explode for states. Take a look at Massachussetts’ experience. Despite near universal insurance, the state still spends $414 million on uncompensated care, even though it was promised this would disappear. Of 410,000 newly insured there, 3 in 4 pay zero or very little. The Medicaid expansion has rolls up 25%. The state simply can’t pay for all of this. Emergency room usage has not gone down as promised. From 2006-2008 it increased 9%.

There will be fewer doctors. According to a Physicians Foundation Survey,  40% of doctors plan to drop out in the next 1-3 years. Already ACA has stopped the construction of physician owned hospitals. There were 45 that were stopped since they had to have Medicare certification by the end of last year and didn’t get it. The number of privately owned medical practices has declined sharply in the last five years. In 2005, 2/3 of practices were in private hands. Today it is less than half that number. Doctors are choosing to work at large hospitals over private practice. Last year 49% of first year specialists chose hospital employment.

Prescription drug prices will go up, not down. There is a 2.5 billion excise tax on pharmaceutical companies. They will pass this on to consumers. People with Health Savings Accounts will find they can’t buy over the counter drugs with their funds. It forces them to buy higher priced prescription drugs. This happened with Claritin. It wasn’t included, forcing many to find the higher priced drug.

Although in ACA the government forces everyone to buy insurance or face a fine, some will pay the fine and wait until illness strikes to get insurance. Since pre-existing conditions cannot exclude them, they will have to be accepted.

For specifics, take a look at these provisions:

Page 50/section 152: The bill will provide insurance to all non U.S. residents, even if they are here illegally.

Page 58 and 59: The government will have real time access to an individual’s bank account and will have the authority to make electronic fund transfers from these accounts.

Page 241 and 253: Doctors will all be paid the same regardless of specialty and the government will set all doctors’ fees.

Page 272, section 1145: Cancer hospitals will ration care according to the patient’s age.

Page 425, line 4-12: The government mandates advance care planning consultations. Those on Social Security will be reqired to attend an “end of life planning” seminar every five years.

Page 429, line 13-25: The government will specify which doctors can write an end of life order.

Then, the kicker: It is specifically stated that this bill will not applyl to members of Congress. Members of Congress are already exempt from the Social Security system and have a well funded private plan that covers their retirement needs.

These are just a few of the reasons the bill must be repealed before they can be implemented.

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