Sylvia R. Kennedy of Exeter joins a letter-writing campaign to Carriage Towne News on “Medicaid Expansion” and writes to urge New Hampshire to accept the mandates of Obama-care.
She correctly writes, “health insurance is to protect one...in event of a catastrophic medical shock.” The problem is that Obama-care, with its new mandated coverage, changes this risk-sharing into a system where even routine expenses for self-induced problems are paid for by strangers. It includes in “risk-sharing” anyone who signs up on the eve of surgery (the “pre-existing conditions” deception), and it mandates coverage for adults with free-riding adult children living in the basement. Those who voted for Obama-care didn’t see insurance as risk-sharing, but as a pot of money they could raid and spend.
Dr. Kennedy addresses poor people using the emergency room for primary care. (Some also use ambulances as free taxis to get there). She writes that, “Not only is this delivery of care costly and inefficient, the rest of us pay for these costs....” This puts the cart before the horse; the reason we pay extra costs is exactly the government mandate of free care. The person deciding to get health care is not the person paying for it. The Obama-care approach is to expand the mandate, and that is why we are debating whether New Hampshire should go along with it.
Dr. Kennedy ignores the worst part of Obama-care, which Mr. Obama had to delay until after the next election: An employer can’t just hire someone to get some work done; he must agree to foot the bill for the guy’s complete medical care. This is one big reason jobs are so scarce and millions have left the work force entirely.
Dr. Kennedy focuses on mental health (which she equates to “peace of mind”) and the consequences of mental illness. It may be that a promise from the federal government provides peace of mind, but our legislators should not go along with it when the promise is false. Dr. Kennedy likewise stresses the money “the federal government has promised to pay” to the states to partly cover their new burdens--even as the President has deferred huge sections of the law and issued waivers to his cronies exempting them from it, as Congress last week exempted itself and its entire staff.
Obama-care is only a “win-win for everybody,” as Dr. Kennedy writes, if you believe all the promises. The promise that it would come in under $1,000,000 million, recall, was achieved by shifting burdens to the states (a shift we are now debating) and to employers; and also by combining 10 years of taxes with 6 years of “benefits.” There is no reason we should expect to be able to give 40 million more patients, including border-jumpers, all the health care they want, at the same level of quality. Indeed, Obama-care has no way of “wiping out crippling medical expenses among the poor” except denial of care. The anecdotes of refused coverage, given by union members during Rep. Shea-Porter’s town meetings, are now being written as federal rules by the “Health Choices Administration.” Hospitals are already receiving financial rewards for not treating seniors, and punishments for correcting problems with former admissions. Tell me how 16,000 new IRS auditors reviewing our personal spending decisions “boosts our state’s economy.”
These false promises, and this transition to a system where you are protected against bankruptcy by being kept from getting treatment in the first place, may deliver “peace of mind,” but only in the sense that a lottery ticket delivers financial security.
The economics of Obama-care were a con job from the start; there is no “win-win” except to the Democratic Party and to the bureaucracy and its union. New Hampshire should continue to resist Obama-care.