Obama's speech last night clarified the one-two punch he and the Dems are planning for our health care system (wreck the private system, force the public system). Lots of noise in the media today about the distractions, but there are a few things that stuck out for me...
1. Obama plans to make exclusion of pre-existing conditions illegal along with lifetime benefit limits. This will exponentially increase the cost of coverage for private payers. Initially, insurance companies will compensate by increasing premiums and deductibles. But at some point, companies and individuals will no longer be able to afford coverage and will be forced into the public option. Or the public option will actually provide superior coverage with the private system heavily regulated and burdened--remember the government runs the public option to compete with the private system and makes the rules that regulate the private system.
2. Every American will be required to have health insurance under force of law. This is remarkable and I was speechless when I heard it. Sure, the idea has been floated around and implemented in Massachusetts, but now the President believes every American has to be licensed just for being?!? If this isn't bold-fact fascism I don't know what is and it certainly isn't American.
3. Illegal immigrants will be excluded from the system but there is no mechanism by which this can happen. Mandatory treatment laws will still be in effect and the nation's ERs and urgent care facilities will be open to whoever needs treatment. This is a huge problem for the status quo and our inability to address will destroy whatever utopian solution Democrats can dream up to guarantee votes.
4. If the plan turns out to add to our deficit, other spending cuts will be required elsewhere in the budget. This is an obvious false promise and I don't even think liberals believe this one.
Overall, I'm pleased with the President's speech. He made commitments and promises that are now on the record.
Although I don't like the idea of having to carry a card with me proving I'm insured, I'll take some solace in the fact that the alternative lifestyle groups (non-workers), who heavily support radical left causes, will be impacted more than I. This aspect of the plan might actually employer-sponsered plans (attached to full-time jobs) more attractive, at first!
I also like that the promised free lunch is getting harder and harder to find in all of this. Many folks thought this would be free. It won't be. It's guaranteed to cost all of us more with less coverage and services.
In ten years there will be a "Health Care Then and Now" analysis and Obama's speech will mark the turning point.