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Krunch
08-28-2009, 02:27 PM
This may have already been discussed elsewhere in the bilge; if so, please merge or delete.

Though I don't always agree with him, I'm almost always impressed by Krauthammer's thinking and vision.

Sadly, I suspect he's probably spot-on about how this all will play out.

Krunch

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Can Dems Rescue ObamaCare?
August 28, 2009
By Charles Krauthammer
Washington Post

WASHINGTON -- Obamacare Version 1.0 is dead. The 1,000-page monstrosity that emerged in various editions from Congress was done in by widespread national revulsion not just at its expense and intrusiveness but at the mendacity with which it is being sold. You don't need a Ph.D. to see that the promise to expand coverage and reduce costs is a crude deception, or that cutting $500 billion from Medicare without affecting care is a fiction.

But there is an exit strategy. And a politically clever one, if the Democrats are smart enough to seize it.

(1) Forget the public option. Whatever the merits, and they are few, it is political poison. It dies by the Liasson Logic, the unassailable observation by NPR's Mara Liasson that there are no liberal Democrats who will lose their seats if the public option is left out, while there are many moderate Democrats who could lose their seats if the public option is included.

(2) Jettison any reference to end-of-life counseling. People see (correctly) such Medicare-paid advice as subtle encouragement to voluntarily refuse treatment. People don't want government involvement in a process they consider the private province of patient, family and doctor. The Senate is already dropping it. The House must follow.

(3) Soft-pedal the idea of government committees determining "best practices." President Obama's Federal Coordinating Council for Comparative Effectiveness Research was sold as simply government helping doctors choose the best treatments. But there are dozens of medical journal review articles that do just that. The real purpose of FCCCERs is ultimately to establish official criteria for denying reimbursement to less favored (because presumably less effective) treatments -- precisely the triage done by the NICE committee in Britain, the Orwellian body that once blocked access to a certain expensive anti-blindness drug until you went blind in one eye.

(4) More generally, abandon the whole idea of Obamacare as cost-cutting. True, it was Obama's original rationale for creating a whole new entitlement at a time of a sinking economy and a bankrupt Treasury. But, as many universal-health care liberals complain, selling pain is poor salesmanship.

(5) Promise nothing but pleasure -- for now. Make health insurance universal and permanently protected. Tear up the existing bills and write a clean one -- Obamacare 2.0 -- promulgating draconian health-insurance regulation that prohibits (a) denying coverage for pre-existing conditions, (b) dropping coverage if the client gets sick, and (c) capping insurance company reimbursement.

What's not to like? If you have insurance, you'll never lose it. Nor will your children ever be denied coverage for pre-existing conditions.

The regulated insurance companies will get two things in return. Government will impose an individual mandate that will force the purchase of health insurance on the millions of healthy young people who today forgo it. And government will subsidize all the others who are too poor to buy health insurance. The result? Two enormous new revenue streams created by government for the insurance companies.

And here's what makes it so politically seductive: The end result is the liberal dream of universal and guaranteed coverage -- but without overt nationalization. It is all done through private insurance companies. Ostensibly private. They will, in reality, have been turned into government utilities. No longer able to control whom they can enroll, whom they can drop and how much they can limit their own liability, they will live off government largesse -- subsidized premiums from the poor; forced premiums from the young and healthy.

It's the perfect finesse -- government health care by proxy. And because it's proxy, and because it will guarantee access to (supposedly) private health insurance -- something that enjoys considerable Republican support -- it will pass with wide bipartisan backing and give Obama a resounding political victory.

Isn't there a catch? Of course, there is. This scheme is the ultimate bait-and-switch. The pleasure comes now, the pain later. Government-subsidized universal and virtually unlimited coverage will vastly compound already out-of-control government spending on health care. The financial and budgetary consequences will be catastrophic.

However, they will not appear immediately. And when they do, the only solution will be rationing. That's when the liberals will give the FCCCER regulatory power and give you end-of-life counseling.

But by then, resistance will be feeble. Why? Because at that point the only remaining option will be to give up the benefits we will have become accustomed to. Once granted, guaranteed universal health care is not relinquished. Look at Canada. Look at Britain. They got hooked; now they ration. So will we.

letters@charleskrauthammer.com

Cuyahoga Chuck
08-28-2009, 04:30 PM
I doubt that Krauthammer is superior in intelligence to Obama. If it can be done Obama will do it. If the big plan can't be pulled off he will settle for something less. The big target is to get something on the books this year to show the anti-intellectual masses that it's a valuble benefit not some kind of poison pill.

High C
08-28-2009, 05:23 PM
....The big target is to get something on the books this year....

Yes, we must pass SOMETHING! Anything at all, gotta pass it, haven't read it, don't understand it...don't care. Must get foot into door, must get nose under edge of tent. Must pass ANYTHING, and pass it now!

You sure you're not a member of Congress? You speak the language.

Cuyahoga Chuck
08-28-2009, 08:56 PM
Yes, we must pass SOMETHING! Anything at all, gotta pass it, haven't read it, don't understand it...don't care. Must get foot into door, must get nose under edge of tent. Must pass ANYTHING, and pass it now!

You sure you're not a member of Congress? You speak the language.

You bet! Obama isn't going to let a valuable public program be run into the ground by citizens too ignorant to know where their personal good lies.
They seem to be saying we won't let grandma be subject to the "death panels" but if she dies before her time 'cause she can't afford normal medical care that's OK.
Have you any doubt there are grandmas out there with no medical insurance and little money to pay for medical care?

High C
08-28-2009, 09:45 PM
....Have you any doubt there are grandmas out there with no medical insurance and little money to pay for medical care?

Grandmas are part of the richest demographic group in the US. Despite their spectacular wealth, we pay for their health care through a secret program known as Medicare.

So no, the Grandma about whom you fantasize doesn't exist, unless you're talking about really young Grandmas like Tammy Wynette.

Cuyahoga Chuck
08-28-2009, 11:45 PM
Grandmas are part of the richest demographic group in the US. Despite their spectacular wealth, we pay for their health care through a secret program known as Medicare.

So no, the Grandma about whom you fantasize doesn't exist, unless you're talking about really young Grandmas like Tammy Wynette.

You must have a different pipeline to Medicare down there in Bobbyland. Did he get his folks a special deal? I had to be 65 years old to get mine. By my calculation a person can be a grandparent at 45 without stretching credulity. And , although I don't have enough fingers to cypher it all out, there is a lot of numbers between 45 and 65. I assume there is a lot of population in that age group, too. But no po'folks? Funny, they are in all the other age groups.

skuthorp
08-28-2009, 11:51 PM
From here it does seem amazing that a life and death matter like health and medical care can be decided on the basis of blind ideology.

PeterSibley
08-29-2009, 12:11 AM
From here it does seem amazing that a life and death matter like health and medical care can be decided on the basis of blind ideology.

It is a little strange .The anti group seems set to ignore any model of any kind at all ,maintaining a state of grace has already been reached .:D

Glen Longino
08-29-2009, 12:50 AM
From here it does seem amazing that a life and death matter like health and medical care can be decided on the basis of blind ideology.\
Well, of course!
That's because you civilized fools underestimate the capacity of we barbaric fools to vote for our own destruction.
Get a grip, man!;):)