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  • Morning Bell: After Obamacare

    For the past two years, America has witnessed headline after headline reporting on flaws in President Barack Obama’s health care law. And as America learns more about this intolerable act, the opposition to Obamacare continues to grow. Yesterday, a new poll conducted by The New York Times and CBS News showed that more than two-thirds of Americans want to see the Supreme Court strike down Obamacare in whole or in part, and only 24 percent would keep the law in place.

    In the face of this ground-shaking opposition, the White House is continuing its public relations campaign to save face if the Court rules that Obamacare should fall — a decision that could come by the end of this month. Yesterday, the Administration hosted a health care townhall meeting during which Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius trumpeted the law’s reforms, warned of the consequences if it were to be struck down, and promised that her agency is “ready for court contingencies” if the White House doesn’t get its way.

    This is all part of a broader strategy being implemented by supporters of the law. As Heritage’s Rob Bluey reported late last month, liberal groups have planned an aggressive propaganda effort to sway media coverage and public opinion in defense of government-run health care. But as the Times / CBS poll shows, they have a hard row to hoe. And the mountain of Obamacare failures isn’t making their job any easier.

    According to a new analysis by the American Action Forum, HHS has missed almost half of its legal deadlines in implementing Obamacare, including the failed Community Living Assistance Services and Supports program, which didn’t even get off the ground before it crashed under its own weight. Also this week, Forbes reported on new analyses which conclude that Obamacare’s medical-device tax could destroy between 14,000 and 47,100 jobs while also harming patient health. And that’s not to mention the $502 billion of new or increased taxes and fees that the law imposes, the fact that 35 million people could lose their existing coverage because of Obamacare, higher premiums, continually rising health care costs, increased government control over health care, the negative impact on doctors and hospitals, and the law’s assault on freedom of religion.

    The good news is that there is another, better way, as Heritage’s Nina Owcharenko details in a new paper, Saving the American Dream: A Blueprint for Putting Patients First. Owcharenko says that after repealing Obamacare in its entirety, there are three steps Congress should take to introduce a patient-centered, market-based health care system that replaces the president’s government-run plan. Those steps include: 1) Reforming Medicare and Medicaid, which are costing taxpayers more and more while increasingly failing to meet the needs of those of who depend on them; 2) Restructuring the tax treatment of health care, which today favors those who obtain their health insurance through their workplaces without offering relief to those who purchase insurance on their own; and 3) Refining insurance market regulations to help improve the marketplace for individual-based health insurance.

    Owcharenko explains that Heritage’s proposed reforms are the right prescription for health care reform following Obamacare’s repeal:

    Congress should not try to save Obamacare; it should repeal it. From there, Congress should not ignore the challenges in health care, but instead get back to the basics and pursue policy changes that give control of dollars and decisions to patients, not the government. By focusing on health care entitlements, the tax treatment of health insurance, and commonsense insurance market reforms, Congress would ensure that Americans benefit from better care at a lower cost.

    America is struggling with increasingly higher health care costs, but thanks to Obamacare, the country’s health care problems are only getting worse. After Obamacare, it will be up to Congress to deliver reforms that will empower individuals, not bureaucrats, in a new market-based health care system.

    Quick Hits:

    Posted in Obamacare [slideshow_deploy]

    45 Responses to Morning Bell: After Obamacare

    1. Donna Perry says:

      Just exactly, what do you mean by reforming Medicare,cutting it more ?? obama already slashed it to pay for his monstrosity obamacare..

    2. joyce pierce says:

      I think Obama has got the country in one heck of a mess.

      • JDM says:

        It wasn't jsut Obama. The Congress, especially, the Senate and the Democrat party that shoved this garbage legislation down our throats!!!!

    3. Rob Kulessa says:

      I have been saying this for years. ObamaCare was a political solution to a business problem. The left likes to say we on the right had no ideas. Oh yeah? Here are ideas we in the healthcare business were talking about since Day 1.

      1 Absorb MedicAid and NJ FamilyCare into one product. I don't care which one but one goes along with it's budget and outlays.
      2. Allow Association Health Plans in all 50 states. Make AHP's available even in "Reform States".
      3. Allow for Catastrophic Plans in all 50 states this way people can truly buy the coverage they need not the coverage the government says they should have.
      4. Allow All Small Business owners even in guaranteed issue states to go through underwriting to see if their group can qualify for lower rates instead of the pseudo community rates they have now.
      5. Allow for tiered plans so that small business employees can choose and not be stuck with a heavy, expensive plan because that's the one the business owner wants.
      6. Open networks nationwide. Allow for carriers to create reciprocity agreements around the country so that a person can use a plan no matter where they are and they aren't bound to a specific geographic network.
      7. Take away mandated coverages and allow small business owners to waive out of the mandated coverages. This is a huge money saver (at least 9-12%).
      8. Allow plan to cross state lines. I know this nullifies McCarren-Ferguson but the times they are a-changin'. We need much more nimble products to meet a shifting population.

      See, we do have ideas that create true free markets while increasing access and opportunity.

      • Steve Ackerman says:

        Great ideas Rob. You left out one of the most important reforms that must be done. Tort Reform. If we can limit the liability of healthcare professional and institutions, health care costs would plummet.

        • Rob Kulessa says:

          Yep, you sir are correct. I did indeed forget Tort Reform as it drives Med Mal rates to in excess of $100k a year or more. We need to stop the legal system from becoming a lottery ticket for some ambulance chasing attorney.

      • muskegonlibertarian says:

        Libertarian proposals are much more simple. Return to a true free market health care system. First step is to repeal perscription laws. This ends the government enforced monopoly that doctors enjoy over the supply of medicine. Second step is to replace licensing with certification by a private agency. Third step would be to allow multiple tiers of hospitals. Not everyone needs 2012 technology when much lower cost established technology might serve. Use different levels of skills that suit the situation. Tort reform. Legal importation of medical drugs for personal use. Repeal our drug laws. Get the government all the way out of health care. Do the same for the other licensed professions. Savings will be at least a trillion dollars a year. $3,000 per capita. All by taking "government" out of health care. No Democrat or Republican will advocate this. Only Libertarians understand the real solution to the problem.

        • Judy says:

          Every time the government adds a new mandate to insurance coverage, the price goes up. I for one, don't need maternity, birth control. or a myriad of other coverages, but the company has to pay for these mandates whether we need them or not. These coverages should be self paid riders if someone wants or needs them. I'm tired of having to pay for services I don't want or need.

      • pcj says:

        Another cost saver: The FDA (Faulty Drug Administration) won't allow drugs and treatments in this country that have not been "tested" in this country. The tests are an expensive and time consuming process but they haven't been very good at protecting us from quickly tested drugs (and some faked test results). Allowing drugs and treatments used for years in Europe, Japan and Scandinavia would give us some safer options and less expensive drugs and treatments. If something has been used safely for years in Germany or Sweden, why not allow it here on the basis of its history?

      • SHIRLEY A. RHODES says:

        ROB, THIS IS GREAT!!! MAY I SHARE THIS IDEA???

    4. toledofan says:

      The sooner the law is repealed the sooner the system can be fixed, but, as long as the Democrats have control of the Senate there is little that will change. The other part of the equasion is that the current Republican leaders don't seem to have the fire or courage to do what needs to be done. For sure Boehner is better than Pelosi and MvcConnell is better than Reid but at the end of the daywe need some real leaders and thanks God for the guys like Ryan, West, and the other freshmen who have America at their best interest. These guys will become the change agents.

    5. John Gaver says:

      After all this time, why have the republicans in Congress been so relunctant to work to toss Obamacare? It would appear that once elected under the pretense of being a conservative that their main focus now is on being re-elected and not on what needs to be done for the betterment of the citizens on the United States…so how do we light a fire under these elected officials?

      • James Stockdill says:

        The republicans would pull this off in the House, but they would also need to get it through the Senate, and that's not possible at this time. They want to pursue it, but lack the votes.

    6. Rich Teti says:

      I quote from above:

      "Those steps include: 1) Reforming Medicare and Medicaid, which are costing taxpayers more and more while increasingly failing to meet the needs of those of who depend on them; 2) Restructuring the tax treatment of health care, which today favors those who obtain their health insurance through their workplaces without offering relief to those who purchase insurance on their own; and 3) Refining insurance market regulations to help improve the marketplace for individual-based health insurance"

      NO! These measures will not work and ARE unsustainable. The Federal Government needs to get out of Healthcare completely. Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security need to be phased out. This can be done over one or two generations. The insurance industry needs to be totally deregulated and there should NO taxes on healthcare.

      The answer is Laissez-Faire Capitalism!!!!! The federal government is only there to protect individual freedom and put up a unified front against any would be adversaries…PERIOD. Domestic policy is up to individuals, families, churches and extremely limited local and state governments.

      Again, I posted my plan before….here it is again

      RICH TETI’S PLAN TO RESTORE THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

      America's best hope for survival is derived from the United States Constitution and relies on all of our effort. It is essential that we boil our case down to a choice between Individual Freedom (with this freedom comes personal responsibility) and Collective Servitude. This should be the message hammered day in and day out to America. Specifically, to have maximum freedom and minimal government (less servitude) we need a separation of business and state at all levels of government. This will eliminate corruption, eliminate social engineering and will raise the standard of living for all Americans. At the Federal level, as an American Citizen, I would like to see a long term plan formulated, presented and hammered home on a daily basis that reduces the Federal Government to three Executive Departments, State, Treasury and Defense, Congressional staffs reduced to two assistants, Repeal of the 16th (repeal all direct income tax) and 17th (restore a needed check on Federal Power and Mob rule) Amendments, add a Balanced Budget Amendment, the States will pay for the Federal Government according to population within each State and additional revenue may be obtained from port fees and other appropriate fees for service that are within the confines of the Constitution, add Line Item Veto Amendment for the President, add Amendment to limit Congressional House members to three terms, Senators to one term and limit Supreme Court Justices to one eight (8) year term (service to the Country should not be a Career), eliminate legal tender laws and the Federal Reserve, allow a 100% reserve free banking system to flourish with a sound metal commodity based money unit. All of this can be summarized as true free market Laissez-Faire Capitalism. The only system consistent with Individual Freedom and the United States Republican Form of Government laid out in the Constitution by the Founding Fathers. Charities and other non-profits will be more than adequate to take care of the needy. I am confident that this plan can be achieved within two generations if we start aggressively educating people (Start with Ludwig von Mises Institute; http://mises.org/) of their choice between Individual Freedom and Collective Servitude. Remember one thing: "The Big Tent" is Individual Freedom; Diversity takes care of itself after that.

      We need leaders to help initiate the process of peeling the Collectivist Federal Monkey off the American Citizens back, so we as State Citizens, can concentrate on rolling back our oppressive State and Local Governments.

      Rich Teti, Age 45, Electrical Engineer

      Proud Citizen, Drexel Hill, PA 19026, United States of America

      • Patricia Collins says:

        Amen to your plan Rich! Your words are like manna. Thank goodness you mentioned TERM LIMITS for Congress and the Supreme Court. Thank goodness you speak out for limited government. More centralized control of anything leads to tyranny. Obamacare will put us there. This is exactly the type of situation our forefathers tried to prevent when framing the Constitution. Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security would be greatly improved if we would exclude any funding to illegal aliens, teachers who work 1 day and draw SS and just plain lazy butts who chose not to work. Instead of over 30 years of medicare and social security contributions, had I been able to set aside and manage monies specifically for health care and living expenses, tax-free, for the duration of my career I would have a heck of a lot more than is in the pot right now. Having said all of this, we can't put all the blame on Congress. Americans, mostly Progressives, look to ' the government' for all the answers. There is a grand scheme and it's been brewing for decades and the stew is about ready. If we just do three things this country could get back on course: (1) TERM LIMITS (2) NO TAXPAYER FUNDED ANYTHINIG FOR ILLEGAL ALIENS (3) TORT REFORM Serving in Congress is not a career path; stop the congressional entitlements immediately. Our tax-payer-funded schools (grades 1-12) are for American citizens. Anyone legally staying in the USA may send their children but there is out-of-nation tuition and we teach in English. If you are not here legally. . . . . adios! Any schooling beyond 1-12, pay for yourselves.If doctors are bad doctors. . . . . . adios. Lawyers need to be leashed to the Constitution.

    7. Curt Krehbiel says:

      Obamacare in its 2,000 plus pages is a giant step toward government control of every aspect of people's lives. This control is also known as socialism, or communism, as the two are separated by a very indistinct line. It has little to do with health care but a lot to do with control. It must be defeated. Health care has become prohibitively expensive over the past 50 years after our government started paying the bills through medicare and medicaid and the tort lawyers found a gold mine in alleged malpractice lawsuits.

      • Trevor Davies says:

        Over here in Europe, we don't think of keeping people healthy and having a public run health system as being anything to do with socialism. In fact Churchill and Bismarck were strong advocates of it, and they were certainly not socialists. Fit healthy people work and fight harder! And our health care systems explain in part why life expectancy in the USA is lower than so many other countries, even Cuba! and Greece, with all their problems. (USA is number 38 on a list of all countries pretty poor I think for the world's richest country) Get it right and it isn't prohibitively expensive and you will all live for another 4 years!!
        You know it makes sense!

    8. Frank says:

      The best thing government (both Federal & State) can do is get rid of as much interference as possible between the doctor & his patient & allow the public to gain access to whatever is the best insurance policy possible even if the company is beyond state lines. Ensure competition among patients for the best doctors & best insurance policies. Let the "invisible hand of the free market" rule once again. Some sort of Tort Reform is also needed to get rid of nuisance law suits & unreasonably high awards that jack up the cost of medical malpractice for the doctors. I know this will sound heatless, but we should phase out Medicare & Medicaid. Either phase it out completely or 100% privatize is so as to not be reliant on public subsidy. This will again put back into play the "invisible hand of the free market" to control costs. People who simply cannot afford to pay any money for health care will have to ask for help from family, friends, their local church, charitable organizations & charity from doctors & institutions… like they did for hundreds of years before the growth of our welfare society.

    9. Pam McDonald says:

      They completely left off Tort reform, which should be #1

    10. James Stockdill says:

      We must also correct the behavior of a sue happy society which in turn drives the cost of malpractice insurance through the roof. If this behavior is not somehow corrected, medical services will continue to be high, thus driving up the price of medical insurance. All of the problems with our medical system must be fixed at their root, or the solution would be just as futile as a price capping control. Something always has to give, so let's put careful consideration into the points where the giving is forced to occur, otherwise the house of cards will come tumbling down.

    11. Lloyd Scallan says:

      Do you really expect THIS Congress to "deliver reforms" to health care after the Dems shoved ObamaCare down our throats without one Republican vote? Democrats in this Congress are blocking any proposal the Repbls make on direct instruction from Obama. When Sebelius threatens us with "court contingencies" can we not understand there is no compromise with these Marxist? They have a goal to drive this nation into socialism by collapsing our economic system. ObamaCare is the first step.

    12. Gene says:

      I am SICK to DEATH of people saying that Obama is SO stupid, and this was all one Great big mistake, and so forth… That's what people apparently do NOT realize, or want to admit. Obama made it QUITE CLEAR of His intentions from DAY ONE. ObamaCare IS the Biggest disaster to come along in Decades, but make NO mistake, this was NO ACCIDENT. Obama is NOT stupid, He knows EXACTLY what He is doing, and His agenda has NEVER been Anything other than an attempt to DESTROY The United States. I cannot Believe WE, The People, were Stupid enough to FALL for this Garbage to begin with. And now, We're just going to sit here and hand our Constitution over th Him freely so He can put the REST of it on His CHOPPING BLOCK??? I WILL BE DAMNED >:(((((

    13. Grover says:

      Tort reform MUST COME FIRST.

    14. Jeanne Stotler says:

      The problem from the start has been giving benefits to those who did not earn them. Illegas are getting Medicare, social security, laws are being ignored, not deporting those who broke the law coming here without documentation, we also are allowing these same people to have use of ALL our rights, they are voting and driving, plus running up huge bills in healthcare and not paying them. "Anchor" babies are being acknowlged as citizens when if read correctly, 14th admendment does NOT apply, I could go on. Obama and his Chicago mobsters are trying t bring America (USA) to it's knees so the likes of Geo. Soros and Co. can have their World goverment and tell us all how to live, beathe and yes even dress.

    15. victorbarney says:

      Nexy, on September 16, 2012 comes the two-witnesses of Revelation, chapter 11 to severely punish u.s.! While they can only punish Anglo-Saxons for 3 1/2 years, it will take it's toll on EVERYBODY! Watch!

    16. Brian says:

      Here are four nearly free steps that would revolutionize American Healthcare.
      (1) Make medical malpractice a crime, like assault, w/ similar standard of proof, and forbid civil penalties.
      (2) Forbid direct payments from insurers (including the government) to medical service providers
      (3) Permit healthcare providers to prescribe their own services – pharmacists may prescribe and sell legal medicines, labs may prescribe and deliver tests, etc.
      (4) Make patients the sole legal custodians of their own medical records and history – forbid a doctor from retaining any such records for anyone they haven't personally treated in 6 months.

    17. Jeff says:

      How does congress put forward a "market-based healthcare system"? Doesn't the market need to do that? Is the assumption here that the market won't supply a healthcare system without congress setting it up? If not,then why is the government involved at all, except for enhancing that marketplace with insurance and tax reforms? Perhaps this needs a bit more detail…

    18. My husband had his pacemaker/defib replaced. Total $179,000.00.

      Out of pocket: $0. Don't tell me the health care system is broken.

      • Pragmatic says:

        I'm happy that it didn't cost you anything and even happier that your husband received treatment and is okay. But to be fair, there is no reason why that treatment should cost ~$180K. I have a feeling your insurance company is subsidizing those without insurance and then some.

    19. Debbie says:

      Meanwhile, healthcare cost are rising. Health insurance cost are rising. My husband's went up 50% last year. The plan my job offers is laughable. It is hurting the middle class, the people that work hard and do not expect the government or any one else to provide for them. It has been said that the early stages of Obamacare were designed to force people into government plans. If that is true then it is working. Small businesses in Florida pay outrages premiums forcing some to stop offering coverage. What in the world is going on?

    20. Bobbie says:

      what's really concerning are the increasing diagnosis' of Alzheimer and autism in the last 4 years, when the labeling is based on opinion. what's even more concerning, they train care givers to treat patients by supporting these mental disorders instead of challenging the diagnosis. An elderly person forgets but if there's an agenda at hand forgetting is symptom and labeled Alzheimer that wouldn't exist in half the people labeled if there wasn't an agenda at hand with automatic increase in health costs. When people get old so do their cognitive abilities that, because of the government agenda can and are falsely diagnosed as Alzheimer.

      The label autism are put on children who might not blink as much as whatever any government approved doctor assumes a normal person blinks or a child that is uninterested in social attachments the label calls "detached" but autism is diagnosed, cheating children what their minds can do without labeling them conscientiously aware they're diagnosed with autism. When a child can absorb the meaning of the diagnosis, his mind is more likely to be drawn into it whether he actually has it or not. Wonder what race of children this is predominately labeled in?

      Community centers are building to house autism patients and their families as if the future is already known!!!???? hmm… careful of those pills…

      that really sounds like they're trying to help. keep secluded from society…
      extremely suspicious!

      Please take no offense to this personal assessment. I am involved with people that have been labeled with one and the other and witness for myself… For example a patient labeled with Alzheimer wants to do an activity, the care giver tells the patient directly "you can't do that, you have Alzheimer's!" This is wrong, people. You don't have to be a psychiatrist to know the mind doesn't need constant reminders of something it doesn't request reminding of. Same with the child labeled with autism. Doctors literally treat the label instead of encouraging the mind. Something needs change in the mental diagnosis area!!!!

      Feeding vulnerable minds fills vulnerable minds with only what's being fed!!! Time and prescription drugs will bring people to their government label if something doesn't change…

    21. Blair Franconia, NH says:

      After Obamacare, a new beginning.

    22. ganymede says:

      I think you people are truly psychotic. Of course, Obama's health care program is dumb. It was made dumb because of the opposition of rightwingers who have no sense of what's going on in the world of healthcare. Virtually every developed country has a system of universal healthcare that involves the government in one way or another. People in these countries have healthier outcomes and think we're nuts not to have some system that's available to all its citizens. Look into what goes on in Canada, Germany, France and dozens of other countries. Don't fall for the propaganda put out by the right. Talk to someone who's had experience with health problems while they've been abroad – you'll be amazed at the incredible health service they received, quite often at no cost! You accuse Obama of wanting to destroy our country which is truly sick, Evidence and history will clearly show how rightwing negativity and nihilism has come close to ruining America. It's known as being on the wrong side of history which is the story of most rightwing movements, especially the one that led to pure fascism, Hitler's Germany. Is this what you want?

    23. Edward Manring says:

      Nina Owcharenko misses one important point. Tort claim reform would save gobs of money. We spend far too much money supporting lawyers over trivial law suits.

    24. roy smith says:

      When the head of HHS (Kathleen Sebelius), and others who support Obama's health care plan, start telling the American people how bad it will be if this plan isn't passed or upheld by the supreme count, this constitutes no more than having a serious imitation factor on the American people. If any plan has merit, it will stand on it's own and does not need a court to decide if the plan is valid or not. If 75% (or 3/4) of the people do not want obamacare and this tells me that 49% of the people receiving entitlements, some who do not work, half of them do not want this scam laid on them. Most people know that if you want higher health care cost, rationed health care, having lay people telling your doctor what proceedures you can have or NOT have, or receiving overall sub-standard health care, then by all means support this idiotic fantasy. I do not know what all is in the health care bill, but neither does anyone else, and those responsible for passing such garbage, without reading it, deserve whatever contempt is coming their way.

    25. Agleh Renreow says:

      Medicare and Medicaid needs to be reformed, there is to much fraud going on there. I have one incident my husband was left in the emergency ward bed for the whole day evenso he could have been dischsarged after a 2 hr test but NOOO they draged it out till 5PM so as to get a full days pay. Over charging those agencies by doctors as well as hospitals and lots of other frought going on must stop.Then it would be solvend again.Besides that, the Dud in our White House must go before he brings America to its knees as he promised to do.

    26. Joseph McKennan says:

      First I want to state that I am not opposed to universal health care for everyone. I am opposed to the government doing it. Whatever the government attempts to do is always a failure because of the size of bureaucracy.. which leads to what we have now… something that has enormous cost with little or no ACTUAL benefit. When Obamacare became law the leaders who wrote it up excused themselves from having to sign up for it.
      WHY?

    27. Wayne Peterkin says:

      Another good article by Mr. Brownfield. I only wish that one additional point had been mentioned. One of the worst of many bad aspects of Obamacare is the rationing of care for those people who need it the most: the elderly. There are those in the administration who favor "death panels", panels of bureaucrats who can decide that someone has reached the point that medical care is no longer economically beneficial so that person should be denied medical procedures. Those panels were written into this law. The entire law is designed to favor younger people over the older. While many may agree, the sad fact of life is that as we age, and I mean all of us, our need for medical care increases while our desire to live continues. One major reason for increasing life expectancy is better medical care, yet Obamacare is designed and intended to lower costs of elderly care by simply denying that care. If you are old enough and need a heart valve replaced, too bad. At some point, that procedure will be denied as will other life-prolonging procedures and even many joint replacements. As pressure mounts on escalating costs, politicians and the panels can decide to increasingly limit that kind of care over time. It is terrible law. There were many ways of addressing escalating medical costs in general along with Medicare and Medicaid reforms, including major Tort Reform. Instead of sensible, reasonable legislation, we got Obamacare. I only hope the Supreme Court does it's duty and strikes this monstrosity down.

    28. To Nina Owcharenko, I have spent the last six years developing a health care plan that does exactly what you talk about in this article. I sent that plan to Kate Nix at Heritage a couple of months ago and got no real response. I am an architect with over forty years of experience in health care. The plan I have is a very comprehensive plan and therefore will take a face to face meeting to be understood. I will come to Washington on my own nickle if you or someone in your organization that put together the health care part of "Saving the American Dream" will meet with me. No plan is "perfect" therefore the more professional eyes you can get to look at it the closer to "perfect" it becomes.

    29. @FLArkie says:

      You can bet the farm that Obama already knows what the vote was on Obamacare. That's one of the reasons he has two appointees on the Court. Why else would he be making comments about making changes to the plan?

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