First, from the New York Times:
Health Overhaul Is Drawing Close to Floor Debate
With the Senate Finance Committee set to approve its health care bill this week, Democrats are tantalizingly close to bringing legislation that would make sweeping changes in the nation’s health care system to the floor of both houses of Congress.
Party leaders still face immense political and policy challenges as they combine rival proposals — two bills in the Senate and three in the House. But the broad contours of the legislation are in place: millions of uninsured Americans would get subsidized health benefits, and the government would move to slow the growth of health spending.
Now read this from Hot Air:
Shhh--White House Negotiating For Public Option Behind the Scenes.
Then move on to Real Clear Politics:
Destroying Private Health Insurance
The Baucus bill includes an "individual mandate" that requires everyone to buy health insurance-but not inexpensive, high-deductible catastrophic health insurance. Instead, it imposes a requirement for pricier comprehensive coverage that pays for routine costs like annual checkups. The bill then requires that insurance companies provide coverage to people with pre-existing conditions, and that they charge customers at high risk of medical problems the same rates as those with lower risks-which means that these extra expenses will have to be paid for by raising everyone else's premiums.
And then the Baucus bill delivers the knock-out punch: after forcing us into expensive comprehensive insurance plans and driving up the cost of those plans, the bill would impose a massive 40% tax on "gold-plated" plans-which turn out to include the health-insurance plans of many in the middle class. So that drives up the cost of insurance even higher.
You can see why it doesn't much matter whether or not we have a "public option" in the original bill. Everything else in the bill is designed to make private health insurance unaffordable-so that in a few years, people will clamor for a government-subsidized "public option," and the same politicians who destroyed private health insurance can make a big show of coming to the rescue of their victims.
Democrats haaaaate private insurance. With a passion. Except, of course, for themselves or when Ted Kennedy needs new brain cancer treatments, but it's really mean to point these democrisies out.
I've had this discussion with various (liberal) friends over the last four months, and they honestly believe that (a) socialized medicine would be hunky dory for all of us and (b) we could implement this plan and everybody would still be able to keep the insurance they now enjoy. Of course, it's impolite to call my friends "liars," and so I don't. Maybe they are just naive or misinformed. If they were simply some of the dorks who visit here periodically from the left, I'd probably call their bullshit straight up. But given that these are people I know very well and like, I try to be more restrained.
The RCP piece is excellent, and goes on to describe what we are in for here:
What happens after people have been forced out of private insurance and into government-run insurance? Well, that's already happened for everyone over the age of 65, and Obama's plans for Medicare gives us a preview of our future under a government-run system.
President Obama and the Democrats are proposing large cuts to Medicare ($500 billion), including cuts to payments to cardiologists and oncologists. Gee, who typically needs cardiologists and oncologists most? 25-year-olds?
It's no accident that the Democrats want to cut payments for Medicare now, just as the Baby Boomers are hitting retirement. Baby Boomers are used to getting what they want and letting future generations pay for it. But now, Democrats are looking to create Obamacare using seniors as their Soylent Green (yes, I said that).
Democrats mocked townhall protesters for saying, "Keep your hands off my Medicare," and for worrying about "death panels." But both cases are essentially true. Seniors are dependent on Medicare for their health care in ways the rest of us don't have to deal with, and they know that cuts to doctors they depend on (such as cardiologists and oncologists) is condemning them as surely as any "death panel" would. The fact that Democrats are determined to inflict this disaster on us, despite public opposition tells you what HopeNChange was really all about. Elections do have consequences.