Obamacare’s Unhappy Birthday

| March 23 2012
Christopher Cook

This week, we are “celebrating” the second birthday of one of the worst pieces of legislation in American history.

The Republican House celebrated by voting to repeal one of the most hated aspects of the law, the Independent Payment Advisory Board.

The Republican-led U.S. House voted to eliminate a Medicare advisory board from the 2010 health-care overhaul days before the U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments on the law’s constitutionality.

The measure, H.R. 5, passed yesterday on a 223-181 vote. It also would cap awards in medical-malpractice claims for pain and suffering at $250,000 in most states.

The Democrats tried to make hay two years ago by suggesting that the term “Death Panel” was an inaccurate and demagogic way to describe IPAB. However, a 15-member board that makes medical decisions for people about life-saving or life-extending procedures does have the power of life and death, albeit indirectly. Much of the money spend on medical care is spent during the patient’s last year of life. The IPAB is tasked with figuring out ways to save money. You do the math. A death panel by any other name . . .

 

Heritage.org is celebrating by noting that no one has reason to celebrate:

  • No gift for Seniors. Obamacare supporters claim that the health law protects and strengthens Medicare, but this couldn’t be further from reality. Instead, the law actually uses savings in Medicare to fund other new government spending while threatening seniors’ access to care and ending Medicare as we know it.
  • No gift for Women. Advocates have touted better benefits and free preventive care, but Heritage research shows that the health law’s new requirements will reduce patient choice, increase costs, and violate religious liberty—for women and everyone else, too.
  • No gift for Young Americans. Advocates have highlighted the provision that allows young adults to stay on their parents’ health plans until age 26. But Heritage research shows that despite this provision, the overall effect of the law will be that younger Americans will face higher premiums and incentives to remain uninsured, meanwhile serving as the generation that will ultimately foot the bill for the law’s new deficit spending.

Letting providers compete with each other to provide the best services at the best prices, and letting people know what those prices are and spend their own money . . . why not try that? Government has been distorting the health care market more and more each decade, making the situation worse and worse. Obamacare is like trying to fix a botched facelift with another botched facelift. Just stop!

 

Arizona senate candidate Jeff Flake is celebrating with an ad touting his opposition to Obamacare.

 

American has passed the bill and seen what’s in it, Ms. Pelosi. And most people don’t like what they see.

 

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