Nancy Pelosi couldn’t have announced the new House healthcare reform bill, the Affordable Health Care for America Act (H.R. 3962), with any more pomp and circumstance. It was certainly more impressive than the Senate’s mouse-like rollout, apparently intended to avoid rubbing salt in the Baucus “bipartisanship” wound. H.R. 3962 is definitely a major milestone in attempting to reform our broken system-less healthcare; it’s historic, certainly. But no, it’s not the best our legislators could do. Image Credit: Wikipedia
Obama Administration: Horse Trading For Healthcare Control
Many have said it over these last several months ... "It's the Chicago way." What pundits have been reacting to is the way Barack Obama and the Administration around him negotiate in bad faith in order to get what they want, politically, even when the outcome will create more damage to our Constitutional country than fix the problems they say they are trying to address.
Just this last week, President Obama was able to come to the microphones Friday and tout the fact that he has received the endorsements of some pretty recognizable health care and special interest advocacy groups in the run up to the close approval of the House of Representatives Bill for the radical overhaul of America's health care insurance industry - HR-3962.
This excerpted and edited from The Doc Is In -
Health Care Reform 2009: Why Did the AMA & AARP Back Obamacare?
by Dick Morris & Eileen McGann
Here are the deals:
* The American Medical Association (AMA) was facing a 21 percent cut in physicians’ reimbursements under the current law.
Obama promised to kill the cut if they backed his bill. The cuts are the fruit of a law requiring annual 5-6 percent reductions in doctor reimbursements for treating Medicare patients. Bravely, each year Congress has rolled the cuts over, suspending them but not repealing them. So each year, the accumulated cuts threaten doctors and as of this point in time, they have risen to 21 percent. With this leverage as blackmail, Obama compelled the AMA to support his bill … or else!
* The AARP got a financial windfall in return for its support of the healthcare bill.
Over the past decade, the AARP has morphed from an advocacy group to an insurance company (through its subsidiary company). It is one of the main suppliers of Medi-gap insurance, a high-cost, privately purchased coverage that picks up where Medicare leaves off. But President Bush-43 passed the Medicare Advantage program, which offered a subsidized, lower-cost alternative to Medi-gap. Under Medicare Advantage, the elderly get all the extra coverage they need plus coordinated, well-managed care, usually by the same physician. So more than 10 million seniors went with Medicare Advantage, cutting into AARP Medi-gap revenues.
* The drug industry backed ObamaCare and, in return, got a 10-year limit of $80 billion on cuts in prescription drug costs.
This represents chump-change to HR-3962's almost $3 trillion projected costs over the next decade. They also got administration assurances that it will continue to bar lower-cost Canadian drugs from coming into the U.S. All it had to do was put its formidable advertising budget at the disposal of the administration.
* Insurance companies get access to 36-40 million potential new customers.
When the Senate Finance Committee lowered the fine that would be imposed on those who don’t buy insurance from $3,500 to $1,500, the insurance companies jumped ship and opposed the bill, albeit for the worst of motives - so the fine stood.
The only industry that refused to knuckle under was the Medical Device Makers (MDM). They stood on principle and wouldn’t go along with Obama’s blackmail strategy for an endorsement. The Senate Finance Committee reacted to this stance by imposing a tax on the MDM marketplace targeting medical devices such as automated wheelchairs, pacemakers, arterial stents, prosthetic limbs, artificial knees and hips and other necessary accouterments and consumables of healthcare.
So, these endorsements were not freely given, but were bought and paid for by an administration that is intent on passing its "Control of Healthcare" program at any cost. This is not the American way, you know, for the good of the country ...
... It's the Chicago way!