According to recent reports, the Medicare buy-in compromise that Majority leader Reid (D-NV) and President Barack Obama heralded as the grand health care compromise just last week, is now dead. Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) is being credited with killing Reid’s deal, and some are even suggesting that the entire idea of a public option is dead. But do not be fooled.
Through incremental expansions of government programs like the State Children’s Health Insurance (SCHIP) program the left has been slowly moving us closer to single payer government run health care system for decades. Obamacare will only accelerate that trend; the only question is how fast. You can’t take the public option out of Obamacare. Obamacare is a public plan. Here are five reasons why:
1. Obamacare Raises, Not Lowers, Health Care Costs. According to President’s own Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the agency in charge of running Medicare and Medicaid, both the House and Senate health bills raise overall health care spending in the United States. The House bill would raise national health expenditures by $289 billion and the Senate bill would raise them by $234 billion.
2. Federal Regulation of Health Insurance. Both the House and Senate bills would result in sweeping and complex federal regulation of health insurance that will create a one-size-fits-all federal health plan that will drive up (not down, as promised by the President) the cost of health insurance.
3. A Ticking Entitlement Time-Bomb. Both the House and Senate would dramatically expand eligibility for Medicaid and extend generous taxpayer-funded subsidies to the middle class. Combined, such commitments are the biggest cost items in the bills would result in scores of Americans dependent on the government to finance their health care. Both bills hide their true costs by claiming cuts and program restrictions that are unlikely to stick. In this regard, the Senate bill is far worse, creating staggering discrepancies between what families with the same incomes would pay for health insurance based on who they bought their insurance through. When future Congress’ “fix” these inequalities, the true cost of Obamacare will skyrocket. According to a recent analysis by the Lewin Group (for the Peterson Foundation) just by adding in the doctor fix (which they should), the Senate and House bills will add to the deficit — $196 Billion in the first 10 years and $765 increase in the second decade under the Senate bill.
4. Employer Mandates. Both the House and Senate bills would impose penalties on many employers. An employer mandate would hurt low-income workers and would stifle much-needed economic growth. Our country does not need a job killing employment tax at a time of 10.2% unemployment.
5. Individual Mandates. Both the House and Senate bills would require virtually all people to obtain health care coverage or pay a penalty, an unprecedented an unconstitutional first for the federal government. Those individuals who do not purchase government qualified health care coverage would be subject to new tax penalties and in some cases jail time.
Heritage Foundation Director, Center for Health Policy Studies Bob Moffit comments: “If the public option goes, it will have only a marginal influence on the substance of the bill. The whole bill is a public option: a massive transfer of power and control over health benefits and financing to Washington.”