Ted 'the Swimmer' Kennedy wants to be Your 'Worst Nightmare' Doctor

Ted Kennedy Wants to be Your DoctorObama Administration pushing a nationalized health care plan that will destroy private health insurance and put bureaucrats in charge of your health.

Louis P Sheldon

Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA), an Obama surrogate in the Senate, has unveiled a health care plan that will be a nightmare of bureaucracy and oppressive government control over your health care. The working title of this bill is “Quality, Affordable Health Care For All Americans.”

The Kennedy plan – part of Obama’s “health care reform” effort – was recently unveiled. Former Bush senior economic advisor Keith Hennessey has analyzed the Kennedy plan and has exposed the dangerous threat it poses to our nation’s health care system

Listen to Sen. McConnell on Socialized Healthcare Plan: http://www.alainsnewsletter.com/read/269/politics/ted-kennedy-wants-to-be-your-doctor/

The Kennedy-Obama plan, says Hennessey will:

•Mandate that every person buy a government approved health care plan. If you don’t, the federal government will punish you with a tax (which is undefined and left to the discretion of the Secretaries of the Treasury and Health and Human Services).

•It will create an employer mandate. If the employer fails to offer insurance to employees, the employer will be punished with a tax.

•Every “qualified plan” approved by a bureaucrat will cover “essential health benefits” to be defined by a Medical Advisory Council (MAC). The MAC will determine what health benefits you get.

•No health plan can charge higher premiums for risky behaviors! Smokers, drinkers, drug users would all have their premiums subsidized by healthy persons.

•The bill will expand Medicaid to cover everyone up to 150% of the poverty level. People from 150% up to 500% would have their health insurance subsidized on a sliding scale.

•The federal government will set up a “public plan option.” Under this government plan, it would pay health care providers Medicare rates plus 10%.

•Group health care plans with 250 or fewer members would be banned from self-insuring.

•The bill will create a fund to pay “navigators” to educate people about the bill, distribute information about health plans, and help people enroll. These navigators can be unions. Hennessey lists numerous reasons why this is a bad bill: This would have severe effects on the more than 100 million Americans who have private health insurance today: •The government would mandate not only that you must buy health insurance, but what health insurance counts as “qualifying.”

•Health insurance premiums would rise as a result of the law, meaning lower wages.

•A government-appointed board would determine what items and services are “essential benefits” that your qualifying plan must cover.

•You would find a tremendous new disincentive to switch jobs, because your new health insurance may be subject to the new rules and would therefore be significantly more expensive.

•Those who keep themselves healthy would be subsidizing premiums for those with risky or unhealthy behaviors.

•Far more than half of all Americans would be eligible for subsidies, but we have not yet been told who would pay the bill.

•The Secretaries of Treasury and HHS would have unlimited discretion to impose new taxes on individuals and employers who do not comply with the new mandates.

•The Secretary of HHS could mandate that you provide him or her with “any such other information as [he/she] may prescribe.” Federal Coordinating Council Will Ration Health Care

Did you know that that the Obama Administration created the Federal Coordinating Council for Comparative Clinical Effectiveness Research in February 2009? Congress gave $1.1 billion of our tax dollars to fund this new bureaucratic council. Forbes magazine reports that this council will “compare the effectiveness and expense of various medical treatments and to decide which ones should be covered by government health care plans like Medicare, Medicaid and the federal insurance pool proposed by President Obama and congressional Democrats.” The council is modeled after the British National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE).

As Forbes describes NICE, “That program denies British citizens access to breakthrough drugs for debilitating and life-threatening conditions like cancer, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's disease and macular degeneration because those medicines are not sufficiently effective--as judged by bureaucrats--for every patient who takes them.” In short, NICE rations health care and decides what treatments are “cost effective.”

Patients United Now describes the dangers of creating British or Canadian-style socialized medicine. The Heritage Foundation also has additional materials on the dangers of adopting ObamaCare in the United States!

A Fox News Panel and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) also discuss the dangers and folly of adopting socialist ObamaCare.

Grants For Jungle Gyms And Skate Parks?

Sen. Kennedy’s bill contains a section that will spend $10 billion a year on a Prevention and Public Health Investment Trust. Of this, $100 billion will be spent on Community Transformation Grants. These grants would “create healthier school environments, including increasing healthy food options [and] physical activity opportunities … working to highlight healthy options at restaurants and other food venues.”

What will these grants be used for – building jungle gyms and skate parks? Or, to force restaurants to serve “healthy” food (by whose standard?).

The House Republican Conference has pointed out that if Kennedy is concerned about the 13 million overweight children, we could spend $4.7 billion yearly and give each of these kids a year-long membership in a Bally Total Fitness center – or a free annual pass to Breckenridge Ski Resort for $7.8 billion.

Oddly enough, the Kennedy bill repeals a section of existing law that permits employers to provide health insurance premium discounts to workers based on healthy behaviors – the same incentives that resulted in four straight years of zero premium increases for Safeway employees!

Government Care Will Drive Out Private Care

Peter Ferrara, the director for budget and entitlement policy at the Institute for Policy Innovation worked at the White House for President Ronald Reagan.

Ferrara has analyzed President Obama’s report, “The Economic Case For Health Care Reform” and has reached the same conclusions as Hennessey over the dangers of socialized medicine to our system.

Ferrara notes:

While Obama's CEA [Council of Economic Advisors] explains exactly how the Obama health reforms will impose severe government health-care rationing to reduce costs, it is totally blind as to how those reforms will increase costs, and bankrupt the nation. Obama’s socialized medicine plan will increase health costs by increasing demand, not primarily through increased demand from the currently uninsured, but because of the incentives for all patients under the new system. With the government paying the bill, the incentive is to consume health care until the net benefit from it is equal to zero, rather than equal to costs as in an efficient market.

Even worse are the incentives for health-care providers, which greatly reinforce the rationing. Obama’s socialized medicine plan will increase health costs by reducing supply. The government already has a long history of failing to pay adequately for health services under Medicaid, and increasingly for Medicare. With a complete government takeover of health care, these payment policies will soon cover the entire health-care system. That and the loss of freedom of choice and control over their own practices and services due to vastly increased government control will cause doctors and other health professionals to leave the industry, and talented young people to choose other professions.

Still more damaging is that investors will flee health care, taking with them the capital that is needed for new, expanded, updated, modernized, and maintained hospitals and clinics. Gone will be the capital for buying new, modern, advanced, high technology, as the government cannot be expected to pay adequately for such technology, and even wants to discourage it. And who will pay for the research and development of new medical advances and technology, for the new miracle drugs, for the new biotech and genetic breakthroughs that our modern science makes possible? With the government as the new monopoly buyer of all health care, investors will turn to other industries.

The Kennedy plan to take over our nation’s health care system should be rejected by Americans and by his colleagues in the Senate.