This is second in a three-part series on what the new Congress should set as its priorities.
While most Republicans ran on repealing the Health Care Act of 2010, Democrats kept saying that Americans would eventually embrace the features of the bill and that Republicans would never be able to overturn such a major piece of legislation. A new analysis of the bill – by the National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA) – would make any common-sense individual an enthusiastic devotee of the total obliteration of this monstrosity.
The rules established in this massive bill would set anyone back on their heels. Yet these are only the tip of the regulation iceberg that is aimed at the heart of every American. The NCPA identifies 159 new federal agencies in which bureaucrats define what medical care you may or may not receive. But is that true? The U.S. Chamber of Commerce states there are 183 new federal agencies. It’s perverse enough that all these agencies are being created. But if two reputable organizations can analyze this legislation and still disagree on how much bureaucracy springs from its pages, what hope will we ever have to survive this mind-warped beast?
The NCPA analysis clearly illuminates the fantasy-land economics of the bill. Democrats have applauded the elimination of pre-existing conditions, lifetime spending caps, and the fact that your ne’er-do-well child can be tethered to you until they reach the age of 27. They fail to mention the huge costs involved, which we are already seeing (with soaring medical insurance premiums). The Democrats have identified enumerable ways to pay for this, two of which are: (1) a new tax on health care premiums of about $500 per year, and (2) significant cuts in Medicare payments amounting to over $50 billion per year.
If you believe that this is going to happen, then you also believe Nancy Pelosi is the tooth fairy. Medicare reimbursements paid to doctors are scheduled to drop 30% over the next three years. Doctors already complain about low Medicare fees – and how it is just a cost shift to private insurance carriers – but it gets worse. By 2019, Medicare fees are scheduled to drop below Medicaid reimbursements, and by 2050 Medicare payments will fall to 50% of the private sector. At these rates, most doctors will undoubtedly opt out of the system, further limiting the access and quality of medical care for senior citizens. Of course, this is all predicated on the revised reimbursement rates actually getting through Congress – which hasn’t happened in any of the last ten years.