Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Even the Left Has Had Enough

I wonder if Barack Obama could be a one-term president because both the right and the left have had enough of him?

Jane Hamsher is particularly peeved that the Senate health care plan has no public option. She doesn't buy that increasing eligibility for Medicare and Medicaid will perform the same function.

There's stuff in Hamsher's petition we can both agree on...but for different reasons.

When Barack Obama announced his health care plan in 2007, he said insurance premiums for a family of 4 would be cut by $2500. This plan will see premiums increase $1000 each year.

Obama said “coverage without cost containment will only shift our burdens, not relieve them.” This plan does nothing to meaningfully contain spiraling health care costs.

Obama said “it’s time to let the drug and insurance industries know that while they’ll get a seat at the table, they don’t get to buy every chair.” This plan includes a deal between the White House and PhRMA that guarantees there will be no negotiation for Medicare prescription drug prices.

Obama said he’d go after the drug companies who “sell the same exact drugs here in America for double the price of what they charge in Europe and Canada.” But the White House deal not only doesn’t do that, it bans the reimportation of cheaper drugs from Canada.

What does this deal do? It forces Americans to buy the products of large corporations, then the IRS penalizes them if they refuse.

The Senate’s triggered public option is a failure of Barack Obama. Let him know. Click here to sign our petition: Obama is the only one who can save the public option and make these statements more than mere campaign promises. The fight isn’t over, and we need to let Obama know that a failed public option will be his fault. Thanks for all you do.Best,

Jane Hamsher

I don't want additional people poured into Medicare and Medicaid because those programs are already underfunded and overtaxed as it is. And with Democrats promising to cut $550 billion from Medicare, it's hard to see how they can cut funding, increase participation and still provide quality care without that dreaded word rationing.

I agree with Hamsher that Democrats have lied all along the way about what Obamacare was going to contain. They promised increased coverage, lower costs and better care, but none of their bills provide any of those things. On top of that, these bills will create worse problems by disincentivizing doctors from taking Medicare patients (thus creating longer wait times for treatment) and pharmaceuticals from creating new treatments. Those who think pharmaceutical and drug manufacturers are going to invent treatments without a profit motive do not understand human nature at all.

Worst of all are the various nefarious worms buried in every bill: taxpayer funding for abortion, taxes on medical devices, jail terms for those who won't buy insurance, forced insurance enrollment, payment cuts for doctors and so on.

It seems to me that when the rabid left turns on Obamacare, it's finished. But I'm not sure the Democrats are smart enough to wash their hands of this mess.