Monday, May 22, 2017

Obamacare Schadenfreude Dragging On

and on and on. . .

Left over from before the day we left for Italy, news that Obamacare continues the spiral of destruction: Aetna pulls out of Virginia Obamacare market. Only because it's so good and well thought out, right? Trump, Shouting ‘Death Spiral,’ Has Nudged Affordable Care Act Downward, whines the New York Times. Ben Voth at the American Thinker wonders How many Americans does Obamacare kill each day?, utilizing the usual liberal tools:
In 2015, something unexpected and unusual happened to the United States. For the first time since 1993, life expectancy in the United States declined. The decline was significant and extensive. Life expectancy is one of the most basic indicators of human health and the United States is one of the most advanced nations in the world. The decline should be causing a careful consideration of its causes and potential solutions. This is largely being ignored by our intellectual leadership for a rather obvious reason: the Affordable Care Act that promised to make health insurance more affordable and available for Americans. Recognizing the most important achievement of the Obama administration and its potential role in declining health outcomes for Americans is an important investigation. . . 
I know, correlation is not causation, but the  article does go on to point out how Obamacare has negatively impacted American healthcare. Michele Malkin, with Jimmy Kimmel in mind asks Who has Absolute Health Care Moral Authority?
When I countered late-night joker Jimmy Kimmel’s Obamacare-cheerleading monologue tied to his newborn child’s chronic illness with my own experience as a mother of a chronically ill child, left-wing readers called me an “insensitive b—-” “mean-spirited” and “twisted.” One reading comprehension-challenged letter writer, Diane Goldwater, wrote:
“Perhaps one day one of your children will suffer from a life-threatening disease… what goes around comes around we will see how you feel when it happens to someone you love.”
Along similar bloodthirsty lines, in response to all Republicans who supported the House health insurance package, Newsweek writer Kurt Eichenwald seethed on Twitter that he wanted his political enemies and their loved ones to be “tortured:”
“I hope every GOPr who voted 4 Trumpcare sees a family member get long term condition, lose insurance & die.”
As ever, absolute moral authority only belongs to those who preach civility and compassion for others — while ramming their own policy preferences and values down our throats.
What? House GOP hasn’t sent health-care bill to the Senate, may need to vote again. Maybe, maybe not!

"Death Panel" redux: Remember IPAB? It's time for a full repeal
The Independent Payment Advisory Board aroused considerable furor when it was included in the 2010 healthcare overhaul, then all but vanished from the public consciousness. It's about to come roaring back, and Congress should kill it before it can.

The idea behind the IPAB is to restrain the growth in spending by having 15 bureaucrats decide what should and should not be covered by Medicare – in effect, those unelected "experts" will be rationing healthcare for some of our most vulnerable citizens.

IPAB is supposed to come into being when Medicare spending growth begins to exceed target levels. We're not there yet.

The report from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' chief actuary, who determines whether growth is exceeding projections, is past due for 2017. But projections indicate there is a good chance growth will exceed the target this year or next. That gives Congress a narrow window to kill the beast before it emerges fully from its lair.

The decisions made by IPAB carry the force of law unless Congress specifically rejects them under Obamacare rules that make such a rejection extremely difficult. That gives this cabal of Washington power brokers almost unilateral authority to dictate healthcare policy, putting those bureaucrats between you and your doctor.

Congress has for the second year in a row refused to fund the IPAB as it awaits its summons from the actuary. But starving the beast isn't good enough. Lawmakers need to drive a stake through its heart.

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