Due to pressure from enraged Americans, the most pernicious features of Obama's health care legislation have, for now at least, been stripped from his bill. This is no time for complacency, however, since the liberals are trying to push back and get the provisions back in.
As the bill now stands, it doesn't have any teeth.
-- Without the public option, the government does not have the financial clout to enforce the decisions of the new secretary of health about the protocols of care to be followed. The left had hoped that the federal public option insurance company would put the private firms out of business and leave a single, governmental payer in place.
This single payer could slice reimbursements to providers at will and bring them into line offering low cost, long waiting lists and rationed medical care. But with no expansion of Medicare to those over 55 and no federal public option, the secretary of health won't have the power to force bad medical care down the throats of the American people.
-- Relatively few new people will get health insurance. The costs of coverage are too high, the subsidies too shallow and the punitive fines too low to force people to buy policies they don't want and think they don't need. What young, childless couple is going to pay 8 percent to 12 percent of their income for insurance rather than just pay the $1,000 fine for not having coverage? Oddly, this bill is really just a tax on the uninsured.
-- Without the feared flood of new patients into the system, the rationing that threatened may not be as bad as it once seemed. With only a few newly insured people, the long waiting lists and shortages of medical personnel Massachusetts is experiencing under Romney-care may not happen nationally.