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  • Morning Bell: Americans Deserve the Health Care Congress Has, Not Health Care Run by Congress

    When selling his vision for health care reform to the American people, President-elect Barack Obama promised: “I will establish a new national health plan, similar to the plan available to federal employees and members of Congress, that gives every American the opportunity to buy affordable health coverage.” The Heritage Foundation has long been an advocate for organizing a national health exchange based on the same model that delivers care to members of Congress; the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP). The problem is that both Obama’s plan and the plan recently released by Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) contain key differences from the FEHBP that will completely undermine its success.

    Under the FEHBP, national and local private health plans compete on a level playing field for the business of members of Congress and thousands of federal government employees. The FEHBP has relatively few mandated benefits, which allows for both more choice in the types of plans available and keeps a lid on costs. The Obama plan, in particular, moves away from this model by significantly increasing the number of mandated specific benefits. This would send already rising insurance premiums through the roof. Worse, the Obama plan clearly intends to bring price controls into the health care sector. Obama promises Americans will be charged “fair” premiums and “minimal co-pays.” Presumably, Congress would define these terms. This would put the federal government in the business of deciding what constitutes a fair price and a proper co-payment for benefits and ser­vices, leading to some type of centralized rate set­ting or standardization of payments for providers. In the FEHBP, prices are market-based. No price regulation is imposed on plans or services.

    Much more distressing, though, is the creation in both the Baucus and Obama plans of a government-run health care plan that would compete alongside the private plans. The FEHBP contains no such government entrant into the marketplace. The government-sponsored health exchange would naturally write the rules of competition to benefit the government plan. Imagine if baseball umpires and the New York Yankees both worked for George Steinbrenner. The Red Sox or Rays wouldn’t stand a chance. If you think a government entrant in the marketplace will not inevitably turn into a monopolistic financial disaster, then we’ve got two failed mortgage financing giants we’d like to sell you.

    Responding to a campaign supporter in New Mexico this summer, Obama said, “If I were designing a system from scratch, I would probably go ahead with a single-payer system.” The Obama plan does not scrap our entire health care system in favor of a brand new government-run system, but it is definitely a deliberate first step down that path.

    Quick Hits:

    • The Suez Canal faces the threat of a dramatic decline in traffic as shipping companies shift to other sea routes to avoid Somali pirates.
    • Small community banks have emerged as the fiercest critics of the FDIC’s plan to guarantee $1.4 trillion in bank debt.
    • Despite banning key opposition candidates, Hugo Chavez is still expected to suffer losses in Venezuela’s upcoming elections.
    • Argentina’s Senate approved a government takeover of that nation’s private pension system.
    • Despite an inspector general report finding that Obama supporter and Department of Job and Family Services director Helen Jones-Kelley “had no legitimate reasons” to check on Obama critic Joe the Plumber, Gov. Ted Strickland (D-OH) stood by her.
    Posted in Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    21 Responses to Morning Bell: Americans Deserve the Health Care Congress Has, Not Health Care Run by Congress

    1. BOB DAVIS says:

      CONGRESS WILL DO TO THE HEALTH INDUSTRY WHAT THEY DID TO THE HOME MORTGAGE BUSINESS BY SETTING UP FANNIE MAE AND FREDDIE MAC. WHY DOES NOT THE CONGRESS SELL OFF THESE TWO MISTAKES? BECAUSE THEY USE BOTH AS A COOKIE JAR FOR CORRUPTION AS THEY TAKE CONTRIBUTIONS FROM BOTH. DISGUSTING. LIBERALS WILL RUIN US LIKE THEY HAVE RUINED CALIFORNIA.

    2. Mike: Orlando, Fl. says:

      Why the Silence concerning the Lawsuit against Obama that the Supreme Court will be reviewing on December 5th? Why is there NO Media coverage on the MOST important Fraud ever put over on the American people.

    3. Mary, Wisconsin. USA says:

      America needs to resort to history books for leadership! Health care is just one more "big government" mistake that the constitution was written to protect us from! Our country was founded by our "religious" forefathers. If people don't like it, they should leave! What a mess we are in! An illegal drug smuggler got shot in the back end (basically a warning shot?) and the two border patrolmen (who were protecting us and our children)are in prison! Where's is my country headed!

    4. Robert Chatham, Hous says:

      Perhaps I am "OFF BASE", However, I would like to "OFFER, fOR CONSIDERATION", the Following:

      The President could request a meeting between a representative group of Members of the AMA, The AHA. Insurance Company Groups and A Selected group of VARIOUS size Business, Who could TRY to Decide on a "FREE MARKET" Solution for HEALTH CARE ! !

      I understand that getting such a DIVERSE group to AGREE on ANYTHING will be ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE. However, Each Group Will (Seperately, have some STRONG opinions on SPECIFIC AREAS).

      MAYBE , IF properly orchestrated , such a meeting could bring US closer to Solutions for a Health Insurance Program (s) that he Entire Country could AFFORD, and keep the Government "OUT OF IT" ! !

    5. Carmine lisella says:

      Although implicit in your explanation of the dems' health care notion is the effects on physician compensation It seems that very few critics consider a dimunition of compensation to physicians as significant. Aside from the direct effect on the physician, the fallout from this to me is quite obvious. If docs are not paid really well, there will be fewer good people entering the field. The opposition will tell you that there will always be people who love to be there in spite of income shortfalls, but frankly, I don't want someone taking care of me who "loves" medicine. I want a smart guy who is resourcefull enough to diagnose and fix. No tree huggers for me in medicine please. I want the best minds available in the country rather than seeing them go the way of investment bankers or entrepreneurs. Docs should be paid well, even exorbitantly well, in order to absolutely get the best into the field. Have no illussions about how we get people to do things in America. Of course if O has his way all quality of life issues will replicate at very best socialist western europe or at worst third world entities.

    6. Ken Jarvis says:

      Make it SIMPLE

      Start Medicare for ALL at birth.

      To see the REAL O Proposals

      go to Change.gov

      health care.

    7. Andrea, Southern Cal says:

      That was a tough headline to figure out.

      It shouldn't be a problem to have the same benefits as the government unions and our congress. After all…

    8. quantumfoam/townvill says:

      The democrat party seems to be using Venezuela as the model government to follow.Nationalization of industry and banking & seizure of pension plans. What next? Perhaps intimidation of ordinary citizens for daring to ask a politician a question. Oh, I forgot about Joe The Plumber.

    9. Ireland, Alabama says:

      Why the Silence concerning the Lawsuit against Obama that the Supreme Court will be reviewing on December 5th? Why is there NO Media coverage on the MOST important Fraud ever put over on the American people.>>

      The media will never report on this because the outcome could be dangerous. There’ll be racist riots as 14% of our population demand he stay. The media will then report on the race riots but not what caused it.

      The lawsuit should have focused more on his duel citizenship which is not allowed by our Constitution. Since his father was never an American citizen, he remained a Kenya citizen and at the time of his birth automatically he was made a Kenya citizen. 1961 at the time of his birth, Kenya was considered a British colony, which also made him a British citizen. He has never denounced his Kenya citizenship, his British citizenship expired on August 4, 1982. It still remains an issue, because the Constitution states “natural-born citizen at birth” he can’t be that because of the rules at the time automatically made him a duel citizenship.

      This is the heart of the lawsuit from Alan Keyes a congressman from Illinois who’s black and a former democrat, now a member of the alternative party, who lost by a landslide to Obama for the US Senate seat in 2004, also joining the lawsuit is Wiley S. Drake, and the Chairman of the American Independent Party, Markham Robinson in California Superior Court. It has nothing to do with producing a birth certificate. This suit has merit and could be his downfall as long as Congress doesn’t change the rules listed on our Constitution. He would be totally out of a job, since Sunday he resigned as Senator from Illinois, he would have to be re-appointed by the Governor or have a special election, unless of course the Governor hasn’t already named a replacement. Alice Palmer would call that payback.

      The media does not want to showcase this because if they remain quite on the birth certificate issue, we won’t discover this issue. Putting in perspective why no ones covering this lawsuit in the media, their native son really isn’t a native son

      The Constitution states… Presidential office requires a natural-born citizen if the child was not born to two U.S. citizen parents, which of course is what exempts John McCain though he was born in the Panama Canal. US Law very clearly stipulates: "If only one parent was a U.S. citizen at the time of your birth, that parent must have resided in the United States for at least ten years, at least five of which had to be after the age of 16." Barack Obama's father was not a U.S. citizen and Obama's mother was only 18 when Obama was born, which means though she had been a U.S. citizen she did not remain in the United States.

      You can read the points of this lawsuit here. http://www.worldnetdaily.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.vi

    10. Evan from Anchorag says:

      If we can't copy some other countries tried and proved health care plan— we shouldn't do anything. We do not have the spare cash for experiments. We definitely need some kind of reform.

    11. mike hutchings texas says:

      i think you could stuff very extractive tool in the socialist arsenal into the void of that empty suit. it appears that order has broken down and we must be made to believe that the very people who are causing this have solutions in hand. from what i have seen they want this to continue and they are following the model of chinese facism without worrying much about world stability. when i was a boy i remember the british pull back east of suez in the context of the cold war and that was an extension of the naval agreement with japan that let them concentrate power in the atlantic and mid east.we took up the slack for the british and japan was able to project power aganst us useing a weakened france to gain forward positions in south east asia.the french refused to adapt and nationalized thier arms industry and heavy industry and put under programs innovation and a weakened and ill used people folded up and held on only to thier arrogance(self esteem)and retained great power status like a dirty corner store because of thier location.my question is this, when we weaken our selves with goverment control of the auto and related industry and expand into service sectors(health) and the finance that sustains them how do we maintain our ability secure sea lanes and trade(piracy east of suez)with a diminishing industrial base overlaid with a parasitic green management team that is a protection racket in effect. how do you defend yourself when you burn up muscle and then start on the bone.

    12. Ardell Nagle Rexburg says:

      We need health care reform, but should it come from the Government.

      Have you ever stayed in hospital and received the bill and found that you payed 300% more for a Tylenol than if you bought it from the supermarket. Payed a doctor $178.00 for an office visit for which he spends five minutes and tells you to take a pill and sends you home.

      What are really paying for. Not only do we need Congress accountable for what they spend, we should expect good service from anyone we get service from.

      I also would recommend everyone who can get access to a speech that then Secretary of Agriculture Benson during Eisenhower on communism or socialism. On meeting with Kruchev, Benson states that Kruchev said that socialism we creep into our society a little at a time and before you know it we be under communist rule. So there fore we need to fight against more government and handing out money like there is no end to it.

    13. Michael J O'Bri says:

      Alas, can we ever expect congress to do the right thing for us, yes, the taxpayer whose money they love to waste on their pet projects. Just wait, we can expect the Detroit Car manufacturers to get a big chunk of our money in December. Then we still have the remaining $350 bn TARP remaining to spend, and the homeowners will be bailed out. As far as health insurance, it’s questionable that the Treasury can afford a premium deal for us. We have the baby boomers retiring now and that is another $41 – $50 Trillion obligation. We are in trouble. These idiots cannot manage finances, and they want to tell us how to take charge of our health, give me a break. They want to appoint an automobile czar, imagine foreign automobile manufacturers reacting to that type of free market principle. These idiots, and principally the liberals, will take us right down the road to final disaster. Let’s keep in mind that since Obama was elected the Dow has fallen from 9635 to 7552. Nice piece of confidence.

    14. Pingback: Americans Deserve the Health Care Congress Has, Not Health Care Run by Congress « Conservative Thoughts and Profundity

    15. Steve Fulton Aurora, says:

      We don't need a "fair" national health plan. What we need is no national health plan! Socialism dosen't work!

    16. atlantalisa, Suwanee says:

      When offering a nationalized health care plan they will no doubt make it to include all the "undocumented" aliens. Have you seen what offering free health care to them has done to the local hospitals here in Atlanta? Bankrupt is the word my friends. The emergency rooms are being used at all hours to have their kids seen for runny noses and when you have an actual emergency you have to be wait to get help. It's sad. Why can't we work hard and have our own health care. I don't want the government stepping in – they mess up everything they touch. ps– dont bother calling me a racist about this either, I have no issue with documented citizens getting health care. I just think when you enter our country ileagally you should not be expecting free health care. We don't get it why should they.

    17. Dell, South Carolina says:

      Here I am again–an hour late and a dollar short–as usual! I've read all the comments here and I'm really scared with what I feel is happening to America. It seems that we're all going to be in some "deep doo-doo" at the rate the big "O" is going.

      But I guess my biggest concern is why didn't that 52% of the voting public who put him in charge of our futures see this coming? He didn't really hide what his intentions were. In fact, the "spread the wealth" comment to Joe the Plumber came in plenty of time for anyone with two brain cells left to rub together to understand what he was telling us!

      And it isn't just health care we need to be worried about. This financial meltdown happened on Bush's watch alright but, even as silly as "43" could appear sometimes, I think his biggest problem was the people he surrounded himself with. I'm certainly not making excuses for anyone–I'm simply saying that we were warned and we failed to heed that warning. Too many people were too interested in "making history" by putting the first black president in the White House–and I'm not being a racist when I say that–I'm merely pointing out the fact that if you elect the leader of the free world, you'd best be doing it for the right reasons!

      Needless to say, it wasn't much of a secret that we got what we deserved by not supporting the GOP better and "Jughead" got what he PAID for because of all the Pavlov's dogs out there like La Raza, Acorn, etc. who didn't care about the issues– just the fact that they can brag to their kids some day, "Hey, yo' mama and daddy got to 'make a mark in the history books!"

      Well, we've got two years to put up with this and if we aren't a totally socialist country by then, maybe we can all rear up on our hind legs and put the right party back into some semblance of power! God forbid if the Dems end up with a filibuster-proof majority. There won't be enough gold in Ft. Knox–or anywhere else!–to keep the dollar from being great fire starter! I listened to his lordship's "fireside chat" and all I could hear was spend, spend, spend!

      Oh, sure, he's going to end the war in Iraq saving untold billions of dollars and lives–just in time to send them to Afghanistan to spread THAT wealth around! Then it'll be North Korea and Venezuala or Russia–yeah, they're going to LOVE watching capitalism groveling in the dirt, sure 'nuff!

      Well, as I said in the beginning, I hope health care is the ONLY thing we're going to be worrying about this time next election!

    18. Pingback: Morning Bell: Americans Deserve the Health Care Congress Has, Not …

    19. Dennis Aderholt Soci says:

      This is a bunch of junk. Obama is trying to get us sociallized medicine. It will not work.

    20. Pingback: Obamacare is coming; Congress will opt out | the will to exist

    21. Pingback: nina_owcharenko’s Diary » Holding Obama Accountable on Health Care ::

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