Abandoning ship

Lawmakers consider fleeing Obamacare, leaving citizens to suffer

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How would you feel as an ordinary passenger upon learning that top officers on the Titanic were thinking about grabbing the first lifeboat? Before many of the passengers even saw the iceberg?

It’s apparently happening, except that the Titanic, in this case, is Obamacare.

A Politico.com report this week says “dozens” of Washington lawmakers and their aides are considering leaving their jobs just to avoid what they fear will be “exorbitantly expensive” health-care benefits under the new federal law taking effect.

“Sources said several aides have already given lawmakers notice that they’ll be leaving over concerns about Obamacare,” Politico writes. “Republican and Democratic lawmakers said the chatter about retiring now, to remain on the current health-care plan, is constant.”

Yes, those in Congress who quit now will supposedly be able to retain their current gold-plated health plans while we’re forced onto Obamacare.

“It’s going to hinder our ability for members to take care of their families,” Politico quotes Rep. Pete Sessions, R-Texas, adding that “he said his fellow lawmakers are having ‘quiet conversations’ about the threat.”

What does that portend for the least of us – that even our gilded rulers in the nation’s capital are looking at abandoning ship? The same ship, mind you, that they put us on and appear prepared to leave us on?

There are two principal differences between us and our rulers in this instance. One is that they are seeing the iceberg earlier and more clearly than most of us passengers – and, two, that they have an exit strategy.

There will be no such escape available to the rest of us.

The iceberg will likely come into full view for the rest of us this fall, when shocking and unlivable insurance premiums are increasingly rolled out.

Officials in Ohio – one of the handful of states that assured Obamacare would stay in place by re-electing Mr. Obama – are warning of staggering increases in health insurance premiums. A policy for a 25-year-old male that cost about $30 a month this year would leap to about $200 a month next year.

That’s for healthy young bucks, mind you. Ohio Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor, notes Forbes magazine, says the state’s “average individual-market health insurance premium in 2014 will come in around $420, ‘representing an increase of 88 percent’.”

“Consumers will have fewer choices and pay much higher premiums for their health insurance starting in 2014,” Taylor said.

The numbers are even more dire in California: Forbes reports premiums there could rise as much as 146 percent.

All this from the Orwellian-named “Affordable Care Act.”

It seems designed to prod the country to a single-payer – i.e., European-style government – health-care system.

We may, in short, be watching the dismantling of the greatest health-care system in the world.

In a season of scandals, that would be the biggest.

You and your family might start looking for icebergs.

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GuyGene
1874
Points
GuyGene 06/14/13 - 03:38 am
6
0
Obamacare means Congress will not have present health care?

If this is true, I thought that's what we have been calling for - make Congress use the same kind of insurance, etc. that we have to use. If so, I like that part of it. Right now, as self employed, our insurance is $1,100.00 per month (right), for two adults only. Typical 80/20% for first $10,000, $1,200 per year we pay deductible, etc. A common policy I think. I do know some Asian countries have good health systems - but, no - we can only study the European model...

carcraft
32287
Points
carcraft 06/14/13 - 05:41 am
6
2
Many of the people that voted

Many of the people that voted for Obama are going to be the ones that lose out in this health insurance debacle. Be ever mindful of the fact that Max Baccus, Senate Finance Majority Leader and a DEMOCRATE , said this is a train wreck and he was one of the authors of the bill. Many Employers will pay the fine instead of providing insurance and the insurance that will be available to employees at an acceptable cost won't cover much, if you can find a Doctor that accepts it.

TrukinRanger
1760
Points
TrukinRanger 06/14/13 - 06:40 am
0
0
The greatest health care
Unpublished

The greatest health care system in the world? Apparently the editorial staff did not actually research that. Other countries laugh at us because we have the potential to be great in this field but it's full of money hungry politicians and their buddies in the insurance industry.

ultrarnr
1076
Points
ultrarnr 06/14/13 - 07:33 am
0
0
Greatest Healthcare???
Unpublished

Nice joke caling the US healthcare system the greatest in the world. It should be called the most expensive. We spend a bigger % of GDP on healthcare than any other developed country, we ran near the bottom of developed countries in infant mortality. Our life expectancy is again near the bottom of the developed countries. I could go on but the point is clear. The US has an overpriced healthcare system that provides inadequate care to the majority.

tom31510
926
Points
tom31510 06/14/13 - 07:40 am
6
2
Vouchers

"Many of the people that voted for Obama are going to be the ones that" will qualify for a free voucher for their insurance premiums. There is so much hidden in this whole affair that only the inner circle know about. But I'm sure, if asked, BHO knows nothing.

deestafford
38920
Points
deestafford 06/14/13 - 07:41 am
6
2
The only positive thing I see coming out of obamacare

is the requirement that government employees and Congress has to live under the same requirements as the peons.

This wonderful program had insuring the 40(?)million uninsured people as a major goal. It is now estimated that about 35 million will still be uninsured after obamacare is in full swing.

The other day I heard one of obamacare's authors saying they envisioned employers would keep people as full time employees and provide them with top tier health programs. They did not envision employers reducing hours to make many people part time employees.

This just shows how the people in this administration have no concept of human behavior or how businesses work in a free market. They see businesses as organs of social welfare rather than something that exists to maximize profits while providing people a fair wage for a fair day's work.

Keep in mind, less than 4% of obama's cabinet picks had any private sector business experience. How can one understand how businesses work if one has no background in business? Another example of why we suffer under obama's choices for his picks of people to fill positions.

Radwaste
507
Points
Radwaste 06/14/13 - 08:07 am
0
0
Your health care is not the duty of others to provide.

I have another proposal, which will still ensure doctors get paid - WHICH IS THE CORE NECESSITY OF ANY CARE PLAN. Here's the message I sent my Senators:

"Dear Senator:

I believe I have a model for health care which could revolutionize the industry, improve efficiency and even put you in the White House. Bold claim, no? Well, let's see.

I think you and your staff know the issues with health care today, so I won't bother you with outlining the status quo. I'll get to the point.

We should set up the "Medical VISA Card".

For easy consideration, here are features and points, in no particular order:

1) This card would be issued by an existing Federal agency or contractor to every person attaining majority, or to the guardian of every person for whom one is appointed, upon their acceptance of a contract. There would be benefits to this - see below. I call this a VISA card just because that company has all the assets in place to do this already.

2) The card would be usable ONLY for prescription medicine and for visits to licensed doctors and dentists.

3) The card would have a credit limit. Reaching this limit would trigger agency review of the use of the card. Think of a value determined by the person's economic status - the method by which credit is responsibly extended today.

4) The balance would be due from the holder to the agency, exactly as bank and other credit cards are handled today, with an enhancement: Legislation could require preference for reducing the card's balance, to prevent holders from running up bills on other credit cards, paying them and leaving the Medical VISA Card unpaid.

5) An interest rate on outstanding balances would be established to collect two things: direct cost of the program (overhead), and an investment fund to be used for catastrophic illness and disability of all participants in the program.

6) Card holders could be shown on-line and telephonic instructions for getting medical attention, and encouraged to avoid using emergency rooms for routine care. Emergency rooms can require the medical card to divert patients to other clinics.

8) Unlike with credit cards - which purpose is to make money for the card company - Medical VISA card holders could be encouraged to invest in their own, portable (not job-dependent) medical insurance through building a positive, interest-paying balance in their medical account.

9) Make no mistake about the fundamental nature of this card: up to the spending limit, the holder MUST pay. People simply won't be careful with other people's money.

Senator, people understand credit cards, however woeful the current credit situation might be because of public confusion between ownership and possession. I myself am mystified by my own Blue Cross, Blue Shield statements, which routinely say my treatment cost twice what anyone was paid.

It's time to re-establish the patient-doctor relationship. This will do that.

I recognize that a lot of work would be necessary to turn this into reality; I don't pretend to know this field as well as you and your staff must, just to run your office.

But I suggest that this is a good start."

If you find merit in this, feel free to add to or subtract from it and pass it on - because there is a truth you cannot escape or deny:

You will not get to say what happens unless you are the one paying.

RMSHEFF
22914
Points
RMSHEFF 06/14/13 - 08:47 am
5
3
Single Payer system on the way....

This fall will be the beginning of the end of the best healthcare system in the world. Obamacare , as it stands now, was planned to fail. It is unworkable and unaffordable. In january of 2015 Americans will be so upset with what is happening they will demand the Federal government fix the problems. Remember, federal government is the one who invented Obamacare. Obama will come to the rescue and lead the charge as if he was not the one responsible for the mess. His solution will be a "single" payer system. This is and alway has been his master plan.

dichotomy
42207
Points
dichotomy 06/14/13 - 09:20 am
6
2
"His solution will be a

"His solution will be a "single" payer system"

Exactly. And then we are in big trouble. Emphasis on primary care but limits on procedures if you are really sick or injured. No expensive transplants and hip replacements for grandma and grandpa. There won't be death panels because the death panel rules will be put into law. Shortage of doctors, nasty hospitals with shortages of nurses, extremely long wait times to see a specialist...if there are any left that will work for Obamacare wages.

This is the death of our healthcare system. When you can't get that knee replacement...thank a Democrat.

rmwhitley
5547
Points
rmwhitley 06/14/13 - 09:48 am
0
0
Ain't gonna
Unpublished

happen. congress and All gubmint employees will have preferential healthcare at the expense of the people who work for a living. Gubmint motors and Crybaby motors (bailout recipients and Crybaby motors twice- once back in 76, 77, or 78) will suck the life from the economy with their exorbitant pay scales and insurance demands. These insurance measures were designed for gubmint "workers", union "workers" and illegal aliens who contribute little if nothing to America.

Bizkit
42079
Points
Bizkit 06/14/13 - 09:59 am
5
2
We aren't modeled after the

We aren't modeled after the single-payer European system-we have the American system. And face America has more nobel laureates in Medicine and basic sciences than any other nation and has made the most contributions to medicine the last 100 years. Sure we have problems but they could have been fixed rather than exaggerated. The single payers system just isn't going to work in our country-maybe in a few generations when the people who grew up in liberty and freedom are dead but not now. It is going to be difficult to tell people who have been eating steak they now have to wait in the back of the bread line because it seems there plan is ruin everyone's coverage so they can add a few more insured to the rolls. Redistribute wealth -now health.

Bizkit
42079
Points
Bizkit 06/14/13 - 10:04 am
8
2
Yet despite polls indicating

Yet despite polls indicating Obama's policy are hated and people don't trust govt- people still like and apparently trust Obama (which isn't even logical given recent incidents). Likely just like the scientist was saying today that all the data mining can be used politically to manipulate people's voting habits without them knowing it. It is the only explanation-half of America is brain-washed and Obama stole this last election.

itsanotherday1
52073
Points
itsanotherday1 06/14/13 - 10:04 am
5
2
That was obvious from the get-go,

and I was one of many warning this was the end game.

"it seems designed to prod the country to a single-payer – i.e., European-style government – health-care system."

Marinerman1
6936
Points
Marinerman1 06/14/13 - 10:11 am
5
2
Obamacare Is Ugly

The Healthcare Reform discussions started and and ended with our arrogant president, being his disgusting self. He would not even listen to the Republican options. He then bribed enough Democrat senators to pass the legislation. All of the Democrat senators that voted for Obamacare, should be recalled. Those senators and our president, are unfit for office. There will not be enough money for the "vouchers" past year number two. And the "smart" States are not increasing the Medicaid rolls, because there is only Federal money for two years. After that, the State has to pick up the tab. Don't get sick...

t3bledsoe
14291
Points
t3bledsoe 06/14/13 - 11:21 am
2
12
The truth is hidden in the details

I am in complete dismay why conservatives are so, sooo against "THE 47 MILLION AMERICANS" with-out health insurance to be able to finally get health insurance !!

carcraft
32287
Points
carcraft 06/14/13 - 01:06 pm
7
2
Bledsoe We are not against 47

Bledsoe We are not against 47 million people getting health care. This bill is going to leave 30 million with out, increase costs and add layers of government officials such as Sibilius ( who would not change regulations so a 12 year old could get her lung Transplant) We Were lied to and insulted. Well now we have health care engineered by a community organizer with no private enterprise experience . Tell me why ANYONE would think you could add children to health are policies from age 24 until age 26, give out free birth control and not add a cent to health care? How do you think you could add 47 people to a health care system with out increasing costs? Well you can if you cut benenfits. The alternative the insurance providers are doing is cut benefits and increase the cost of policies.

carcraft
32287
Points
carcraft 06/14/13 - 01:15 pm
5
2
The decision by Sibilius just

The decision by Sibilius just demonstrates the problem of having none health care professionals,i.e. beuracrates, making health care decisons. The IRS is gong to get into the middle of all this. Thie idiots at the IRS had a 5 million dollar conferance. Boy imgaine the type of conferance they can have with health care dollars added in. Maybe, instead of a star wars parody they will produce a whole movie with foriegn sub titles incouraging mexicans to come to the US for free health care!

RMSHEFF
22914
Points
RMSHEFF 06/14/13 - 01:35 pm
4
2
Bledsoe

Wake up although its most likely to late. Carcraft is correct. OBM has projected that after full implementation, ObamaCare will leave 30 million uninsured. It will cost 2.6 trillion instead of 900 billion and EVERY promise Obama made in regards to his plan is not true. Keep your plan....keep your doctor....premiums will go down...you name it....all false.

You must accept reality.....you were lied to. Obamacare has nothing to do with healthcare. It is a plan by big government socialist to take over another large part of the our free market economy for the sole purpose of control. I will take no pleasure in saying "I told you so" in a couple of years when this all comes to pass. It will be to late to get back, what was the best health care system on the planet. Once the Federal government take control you can never reverse the takeover. The solution will alway be another government program to fix the first government which no longer works.

allhans
25529
Points
allhans 06/14/13 - 02:14 pm
2
1
The voucher can only be used

The voucher can only be used as a deduction on your tax liability. It doesn't come to you as money....
If you have no earnings then of course you get no voucher...You instead get Medicaid.

Radwaste
507
Points
Radwaste 06/14/13 - 05:20 pm
4
2
It's a shame...

That the Chronicle could not afford to support its forums as they appeared years ago. That allowed the posting of persistent content, so that it would not be necessary to repeat points every time the issue appeared in the papers.
The Affordable Health Care Act is not. It adds thousands of bureaucrats who have nothing to do with treating you. It does not see that doctors are paid, which is the ONLY requirement for treatment to occur - in fact, it pretends that government money only needs to be thrown to solve the problem.
No, again.

Sick? The clerk is not sick. Fill out this form. Is the form filled out? Good. That means that any remaining problem is yours. You're not being denied care - it's just not available right now. Sit and wait. The clerk will tell you when you can be treated.

Consumer22
4
Points
Consumer22 06/14/13 - 06:02 pm
2
6
People, get a grip!

All this doomsaying is quite overdone. I realize nobody in Georgia trusts the program because our president happens not to be 100 percent white. But honestly, the world is not going to end because we take a pathetic, dysfunctional system and reorganize things to be fairer to families and businesses, to keep people from going bankrupt from medical expenses, and to stop denying care to people by excluding them from coverage due to their medical histories. My favorite part of the law is that it ends job-lock, the unfortunate phenomenon where middle-aged folks stay in jobs they hate at big companies only because of the health plan. The existing insurance market does not sell affordable insurance to these folks. Obamacare will in fact guarantee that they can buy affordable insurance, meaning people will be liberated from those corporate jobs they are sick of. It'll be good for the companies and the younger folk if some of these older workers get out of the way and be entrepreneurial or try new stuff rather than just hang on to a good insurance plan. Check out this article by an Indiana University health policy expert and then take a breath. http://theincidentaleconomist.com/wordpress/the-sky-didnt-fall-before-an...

I'm talking to you, Chronicle editorial writers! Next year and the year after, when the health care law is in effect, we'll all still be debating important issues on this page and life as we know it will go on. So in the meantime, how about focusing on REAL problems that deserve your critical eye, like the unwillingness of Congress to work on job-creation. Now THAT's worth bloviating about.

KSL
164695
Points
KSL 06/14/13 - 06:11 pm
1
2
LOL

Too funny!

carcraft
32287
Points
carcraft 06/14/13 - 07:12 pm
3
2
consumer22

When the Democratic head of the Senate Finance committee, who helped author the bill, says we are heading into a train wreck perhaps YOU should get a grip. Max Baccus isn't running for office again so he really has no point in fabricating!

Gage Creed
21218
Points
Gage Creed 06/14/13 - 07:20 pm
2
2
" It'll be good for the

" It'll be good for the companies and the younger folk if some of these older workers get out of the way" A telling comment if I have ever heard one....

allhans
25529
Points
allhans 06/14/13 - 07:22 pm
1
2
What a shame. They just

re; 6:02 pm
What a shame. They just can't help it....

RMSHEFF
22914
Points
RMSHEFF 06/14/13 - 09:27 pm
1
2
Consumer22

You just like ObamaCare because Obama is blacK !

Dixieman
20211
Points
Dixieman 06/14/13 - 09:32 pm
1
2
My new health care plan

1. Save my money for a rainy day.
2. Fly to Singapore if I need any major surgery or treatment. Excellent hospitals and well-qualified doctors.

KSL
164695
Points
KSL 06/14/13 - 09:54 pm
1
2
Dixie

That is exactly why the libs did not like HSA's. Had they been around when we self-employeds first started having to have individual plans, and we were young and healthy, we would have a ton of money to do exactly that.

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