Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Medicare & Medicaid; Hostile Government Takeover; Not Able To Keep Current Insurance; Indiana Health Insurance Costs Rising; University of Washington study that established "web-based sex diaries" for gay males as young as 16

Here's a warning!  New projections from the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid paint a stark picture of the impact of the ObamaCare law: We're in for a massive redistribution of health resources.
When the projections were released this month, news reports stressed that the president's "reform" utterly fails to slow the growth of health-care spending. Every year through 2019, employers and consumers will face higher premiums than if the law hadn't passed.
But worse news is how radically the Obama law spreads the health wealth around.
In 2014, a staggering 85.2 million people -- 31 percent of all nonelderly Americans -- will be on Medicaid and CHIP (the Medicaid-like children's health program). This accounts for the majority of those who'd gain health coverage. Amazingly, only 3 percent more people will have private insurance.
President Obama pledged to reduce the number of uninsured by making health plans affordable -- but that's not how his law actually does it. Rather, it loosens Medicaid eligibility by raising the income ceiling and barring asset tests.
In short, it pushes our country toward a welfare state.
Often, workers put up with low salaries to get good health benefits for their families. But the new law stipulates that Medicaid recipients get the same benefits that employers are required to provide workers. That will diminish the incentive to work -- another step toward reversing welfare reform. Why stick it out on the job if the benefits are just as good in Medicaid?
ObamaCare is the health component of an overall move to make more people dependent on government. 
Figures don't lie. The projections from the Obama administration's own agency, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, depict the truth in stark terms.
Higher premiums are bad enough, but to see the older generation victimized in order to expand a welfare culture is a total reversal of American values.
Read more:
The Anatomy of a Hostile Government Takeover, from National Review Online: 
Obamacare at six months.  It’s now been six months since Congress passed Obamacare — not a long time given the sweeping nature of the legislation and the long phase-in schedule for its most significant provisions. Even so, it is already abundantly clear that Obamacare’s critics were dead right: The new health law has set in motion a government takeover of American health care, and a very hostile one at that. The Obama administration’s clumsy and overbearing behavior since its passage proves the point.
Two weeks ago, HHS secretary Kathleen Sebelius sent a letter to the nation’s insurers with a plainly stated threat: Either the insurers conform to the political agenda of the administration and describe the reasons for premium increases in terms acceptable to the Democratic party, or they will be shut out entirely from the government-managed insurance marketplace. What could possibly have provoked a cabinet secretary to launch such an indiscriminate broadside against an entire industry? Simple: A handful of insurers had dared to utter the truth, noting that the new law has imposed costly insurance mandates that will raise premiums for everyone. For that offense, the federal government has essentially threatened to put the truth-telling insurers out of business. And what’s truly astonishing, and telling, is that the new law almost certainly gives the HHS secretary the power to do so if she really wants to.
For the next year and a half, Dr. Berwick, [Obama appointed with not one Congress hearing or vote],  is free to use the Center for Medicare and Medicaid’s enormous new powers to force doctors and hospitals to conform to his vision of effective health care, and he is essentially accountable to no one but the president.
HHS sent a letter to the nation’s Medicare beneficiaries supposedly explaining what the new law will mean for them. Somehow, it failed to mention that the law will cut Medicare by half a trillion dollars over a decade, and cut the value of Medicare Advantage by an average of 27 percent by 2017.
President Obama's most frequently repeated health care reform claim -- "If you like your present health insurance, you can keep it" -- sounds about as credible these days as the finger-wagging Bill Clinton did when he said, "I did not have sexual relations with that woman." On Tuesday, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care in Massachusetts dropped its Medicare Advantage program, leaving 22,000 senior citizens to find other coverage to take care of expenses not paid by Medicare. Harvard Pilgrim said the decision to drop its Medicare Advantage program resulted from the company's concern for "the long-term viability of Medicare Advantage programs. ... 
We know that cuts in Medicare are being used to fund national health care reform." In fact, the $145 billion in Medicare Advantage cuts are routinely used by Obama and his spinmeisters to pay for yet another Obamacare fiction, that their masterpiece will reduce the federal budget deficit.

Read more at the Washington Examiner:
IndyStar writes: In what has become as much a part of autumn as falling leaves, Indiana workers and their employers are bracing for an even heftier round of increases in health insurance costs this open-enrollment season. Nationally, workers are expected to pay average premiums of $2,209 in 2011. That's an increase of 12.4 percent, the biggest increase in four years, according to a report this week by Hewitt Associates, an Illinois-based human resource consulting firm. Helping drive up premiums a little more than usual is uncertainty over the costs of coverage mandated by heath-care legislation, some analysts say.  He attributes higher costs to a lack of large employers in the state -- bigger groups can sometimes better control costs by spreading risk among more people -- and Indiana's high rates of smoking and obesity. .  posts?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|
( - The National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID), a division of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), has awarded $126,000 over the past two years to a University of Washington study that established "web-based sex diaries" for gay males as young as 16.
By the time the grants end in 2011, taxpayers will have spent more than $250,000 for the study.
“The study's second aim is to assess the feasibility of using web-based sex diaries to collect sexual behavior data and to identify the appropriate diary schedule. MSM [men who have sex with men] will be randomly assigned diary schedules and we will compare the frequency of reported behaviors across diary schedules and against the retrospective questionnaire data,” the grant abstract states.



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