ObamaCare Will Increase the Deficit and Kill Jobs

The House is planning to vote next Wednesday on a full repeal of ObamaCare, and the administration is defending the law with a long list of Alice-in-Wonderland claims.

The White House says it will “provide Americans with more freedom and control in their health care choices” and that it is “good for the economy and good for jobs.” And it warns newly elected Republicans that voting to repeal the law will increase the deficit.

Where is the False Claims Act when we need it!

No one believes that you can spend another $1 trillion on new entitlement programs and credibly say you are going to reduce the deficit. And yesterday’s Congressional Budget Office letter showing that repealing ObamaCare will increase the deficit by $145 billion is based upon gimmicks, double-counting, and phony assumptions that were deliberately written into the law to hide its true cost.

Former CBO Director Doug Holtz-Eakin, in a piece in Health Affairs with his associate Michael Ramlet, examined the underpinnings of the original CBO analysis of PPACA and concluded:

“?it is built on a shaky foundation of omitted costs, premiums shifted from other entitlements, and politically dubious spending cuts and revenue increases. A more comprehensive and realistic projection suggests that the new reform law will raise the deficit by more than $500 billion during the first ten years and by nearly $1.5 trillion in the following decade.”

Just as ridiculous, the administration is attributing the first glimmerings of an economic recovery and any jobs creation to the health law. This is outrageous! We all know that employers already are trying to figure out ways to either shed health insurance or employees — or both — to escape the mandates, higher costs, and potential penalties of ObamaCare. And they haven’t even taken effect yet!

We will have more to say about this shortly so watch your inboxes. In the meantime, here are some of our articles since our last newsletter, including a piece I had in today’s USA Today. It’s an invited response to their editorial on “Nonsense about ‘death panels’ springs back to life.” And you’ll find much more below, with a video clip and other articles and papers you won’t want to miss.

On the Road to Rationing

Grace-Marie Turner
USA Today, 01/07/11

In the summer of 2009, town hall meetings erupted as people voiced fears about greater government control over health care decisions. The fears were sparked by a small provision in an early version of the health bill involving end-of-life care. People sensed a potential conflict of interest if the federal government was paying doctors for end-of-life counseling and also paying for end-of-life care. Many Americans worry that, as government tries to control health spending, unelected officials could decide not to pay for treatments seen as too expensive. These fears are not fanciful. A pattern is emerging that at least gives the appearance that payment can be denied if therapies are seen as too costly. For example: The FDA in December withdrew its approval for Avastin for late-stage breast cancer; A Medicare advisory panel met in November to review findings from an investigation into Provenge, a pioneering but costly vaccine approved to treat prostate cancer; Medicare is picking winners and losers in its competitive bidding program for medical equipment, drying up competition and driving out suppliers whose products save lives but might cost more. And the new Independent Payment Advisory Board and the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute will have sweeping authority over payments and access. When government controls so much of health spending, it can quash investments in innovation and interfere with the natural processes of scientific investigation by denying payment and therefore blocking access to its huge markets. Many investigations are better than one centralized government body in determining whether a product is efficacious. Governments too often make decisions in silos. Integrated private plans are more likely to see the overall benefit of paying for a costly drug to avert an even more expensive hospitalization.
Read More »

America Comes First

Grace-Marie Turner
National Review Online: The Corner, 01/05/11

Speaker Boehner clearly intends not only to listen to the newly elected House members but to give them a voice in leadership decisions. And he hears loud and clear the message from the mid-term elections that the American people want action to repeal and replace ObamaCare. These and dozens of other members of Congress were elected with a pledge to repeal this hugely unpopular law. They will be looking for every opportunity to show progress toward that goal before they face the voters again in two years. After the repeal vote on January 12, the members will get to work in committees to defund, dismantle, and delay whatever they can in the new law, as well as to shine a light on the straightjacket of regulations the Obama administration has been issuing. They also will work with the states to help them in defending their citizens against ObamaCare’s sweeping mandates.
Read More »

Dismantling ObamaCare

Grace-Marie Turner
The Shreveport Times, 01/09/11

While the House will likely pass a bill to repeal the health overhaul legislation early this year and the Senate might even follow, there is virtually no chance the president would sign it. Therefore, the only way Congress can protect people from this unpopular law is to try to dismantle it, piece by piece. Congress can keep what works, including some of the early popular provisions, without turning our health sector over to the federal government. Here are three first steps: repeal the individual mandate; repeal the 1099 requirement; and repeal taxes and penalties. We definitely need health reform, but the mandates, regulations, and new taxes in the health overhaul law move us further, not closer, to the right solution.
Read More »

Pro & Con: Is health care reform a ‘government takeover’? Yes: The law gives government the power to determine ‘essential’ services.

Grace-Marie Turner
Atlanta Journal Constitution, 01/03/11

PolitiFact.com, the online oracle of all things true and untrue in America’s political debate, is wrong in saying it is the “lie of the year” to call ObamaCare a government takeover of health care. The proclamation shows that its editors need a Truth-O-Meter of their own. The legislation that passed in March creates the architectural drawings for the government-controlled system the administration is busily constructing. Its 2,801 pages of legislation and insidious regulatory structure give the secretary of Health and Human Services almost unlimited authority to rule over every corner of our health sector. PolitiFact needs to revisit its decision or it will soon find that its own pants are on fire.
Read More »

ObamaCare’s Unraveling Begins

Grace-Marie Turner
The Orange County Register, 12/30/10

U.S. District Judge Henry Hudson’s ruling last month that ObamaCare’s individual mandate is unconstitutional was a huge rebuke of the president’s health law — but it was just the beginning. In another federal courtroom in Florida the same week, U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson also was skeptical about the federal government’s authority to require everyone to purchase government-approved health insurance. Meanwhile, other components of the law are beginning to unravel. ObamaCare imposes a battery of new rules on insurance plans, dictating that they must spend a certain percentage of premium payments on medical care vs. administrative costs. But many firms simply can’t meet the test, for a number of reasons. As ObamaCare unfolds, the only way to avert real catastrophe is to repeal it and start over with real reform that puts doctors and patients, not Washington bureaucrats, in charge of health care decisions.
Read More »

A Doctor Is a Doctor Is a Nurse

Jason Fodeman, M.D.
The Daily Caller, 01/03/11

A recent Institute of Medicine report calls for expanding the authority of nurses to practice medicine and for increasing their pay. Besides helping a loyal unionized constituency, the report claims that allowing nurses to do more can alleviate the physician shortage. In reality this will likely have the exact opposite effect by disincentivizing individuals from becoming medical doctors in the first place. Thereby, rather than improving patient access to physicians, these recommendations will make the problem even worse. This short-sighted and misguided proposal will limit access to physicians and prevent patients from getting the care that they want and need.
Read More »

CLIP OF THE WEEK

Grace-Marie Turner discusses government’s guaranteed health care policies

In this FOX Business interview, Grace-Marie Turner discusses government-guaranteed health policies and the need for increased competition in health care to drive down costs.
Watch now >>

HEALTH REFORM

Buckle Up for Round 2
David Brooks, The New York Times, 01/06/11

Will Health-Care Reform Really Save the Government Money?
Ruth Marcus, The Washington Post, 01/06/11

GOGI Budgeting
Douglas Holtz-Eakin, National Review Online: The Conrer, 01/06/11

Healthcare Reform In GOP Cross Hairs
Thomas P. Miller, National Public Radio, 01/06/11

Obamacare: An Unacquired Taste
Michael D. Tanner, National Review Online, 01/05/11

Private Practice’s Poor Prognosis
Sally Pipes, The Orange County Register, 12/19/10

A Modest Proposal on Kidney Donation
Sally Satel and Ira Brody, The Wall Street Journal, 01/06/11

Obama’s New ‘Unreasonable’ Standard
Merrill Matthews, Forbes: Right Directions, 12/28/10

The Uninsured: A Primer
The Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured, 12/10

MEDICARE

Reforming Medicare: The Affordable Care Act versus the Rivlin/Ryan Proposal
Andrew J. Rettenmaier and Thomas R. Saving, National Center for Policy Analysis, 01/05/11

Medicare Variation Revisited: Is Something Wrong with McAllen, Texas, or Is Something Wrong with Medicare?
Robert A. Book, Ph.D., The Heritage Foundation, 01/04/11

PRESCRIPTION DRUGS

A Double Edged Sword for U.S. Healthcare
Paul Howard, RealClearMarkets, 12/22/10

Fraudulent Autism Vaccine Study Shows The Flaws In Medical Journal System
Robert Langreth, Forbes: Treatments, 01/06/11

STATE ISSUES

A First Look at Pawlentycare
Nicole Russell, The Atlantic, 01/03/11

National Health Care Reform and the New Medicaid
Roger Stark, MD, FACS, Washington Policy Center, 01/11

The Great RomneyCare Denial
Jeff Jacoby, The Boston Globe, 12/19/10

Medi-Cal Long-Term Care: Safety Net or Hammock?
Stephen Moses, Pacific Research Institute, 01/04/11

Events

Media Call on Medicaid and CHIP Coverage
Kaiser Family Foundation Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured Conference Call
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
11:30am ET
To register, contact RSVP to tfordfields@kff.org.

Medical Innovation at the Crossroads: Choosing the Path Ahead
Council for American Medical Innovation Symposium
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
8:30am – 12:30pm
Washington, DC

The Business of Health Care: Defining the Future
University of Miami School of Business Administration Conference
January 12-14, 2011
Miami, FL