Is the Cure Worse than the Disease?

A month after passage, ObamaCare is already failing.

A little more than a month after the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, President Obama's trillion-dollar overhaul of the nation's health care system, the administration has already begun to tout its successes. On his weekly radio address, the president argued that it was already providing Americans with "real benefits," while Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius released a four-page memo laying out the "significant progress" she claims her department has already made in implementing the law. "Over the coming weeks, our team across government will continue to work diligently to produce the regulations and guidance necessary to implement this landmark new law," she concludes.

The prospect of adding new regulations to the books may be what passes for excitement in Washington these days, but it's hardly a ringing endorsement. So while ObamaCare might qualify as victory for Washington's army of bureaucrats and rulemakers, for the rest of us, there isn't much to cheer.

Since the law's passage, the news about it has been been unrelentingly bad. With each passing it day, it looks more likely that costs will go up, businesses will face new bureaucratic burdens, and many individuals will lose their current health care plans—just as the law's critics predicted before its passage.

Already, businesses small and large are warning of the ill effects of the law's changes to the tax code. In order to generate the nearly $1 trillion necessary to pay for the law, its authors scoured the tax code looking to squeeze out more money whereever possible. And sure enough, within a few days of its passage, a handful of big companies took tax write downs in response to changes in the tax treatment of an existing drug subsidy. An estimate by Credit Suisse puts the total damage across the economy at around $4.5 billion—with $1 billion coming from AT&T alone.

The change involved the tax treatment of a subsidy that never should have existed, but it suggests the extent to which America's health care system is already reliant on government meddling, and how costly expanding the government's role in the system can be. And, perhaps more importantly, a planned investigation into the write-downs revealed that many big corporations are considering dropping their health care coverage and dumping employees onto the public dole.

When Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) heard about the write-downs, he called a hearing with AT&T and other companies claiming big hits. But soon after the subpoenaed corporate documents were turned in, the hearing was canceled. Why? Likely because, as Fortune magazine reported, the documents showed that the companies were considering dropping coverage for many employees—directly contradicting one of the president's key promises, that, under ObamaCare, "if you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan." Even with penalties in place for employers who decline to provide health insurance, documents showed that Caterpillar could reduce its health care costs by as much as 70 percent and AT&T could save as much as $1.8 billion by shifting their employees into public programs.

Small businesses, meanwhile, have discovered that their tax preparation costs just went way up. The PPACA will require small business owners and the self-employed to fill out 1099s for every company they do more than $600 worth of business with. That means any freelancer who buys a mid-range laptop from Best Buy will technically be required to fill out a 1099, no matter if the retailer is an indifferent chain giant. As with the drug subsidy modification, the idea is to beef up compliance and raise additional revenue—about $17 billion worth.

Yet if it works, it will drive up compliance costs—how many home-based freelancers are likely to generate a docket of 1099s, complete with tax identification numbers, for big corporate suppliers all by themselves? And if, as seems likely, the requirement is widely ignored, it will have the exact opposite of its intended effect, pushing more and more taxable transactions into illegal, unrecorded territory.

At the same time, cost projections continue to spiral upwards. The Congressional Budget Office now reports that the law will require an additional $115 billion in previously unreported (and yet unpaid-for) discretionary spending. Medicare's actuary has reported that total medical spending in the U.S. will actually go up and that crucial cuts to Medicare—cuts being used to pay for the law's new entitlement spending—aren't likely to happen, but that Medicare benefits are likely to be reduced. And in Massachusetts, the state whose 2006 health care overhaul served as the model for ObamaCare, insurers have gone to war with the governor, and the state treasurer is warning that the program could drive the state into bankruptcy.

Thanks to the pace of modern medical progress, it's no longer true that, as Jean Baptiste Moliere quipped in 1673, "nearly all men die of their medicines, not their diseases." But when it comes to health care, it may be that governments die of their reforms.

Peter Suderman is an associate editor at Reason magazine.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • ||

    Wow - a "libertarian" lamenting the loss of a Bush-era unearned tax subsidy (corporate bribe) designed to artificially prop up earnings at Pharma at the expense of the taxpayer.

    Reason has sunk to a new low.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Shrike,

    Wow - a "libertarian" lamenting the loss of a Bush-era unearned tax subsidy[...]

    Why is it unearned? If a thief decided to return part of the money he stole from me, would you say the returned money was "unearned"? It was MY MONEY.

  • ||

    First - the author, Mr. Suderman, has rightly corrected me on my mis-perception that he was opposed to overturning the Bush corporate welfare that Bushy-boy and the GOP love so much.

    To answer - the victim is the taxpayer Mexican - the thief is the corporate lobbyist.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Shrike,

    To answer - the victim is the taxpayer Mexican - the thief is the corporate lobbyist.

    Your answer leaves more questions, like for instance: Don't corporations pay taxes as well? Isn't their money that which they are not giving to the thief-in-chief through these tax rebates?

    Again, why are these tax custs "unearned"? Wasn't it their money to begin with? Who produced the goods, them or the government? Who sold the goods, them, or the governent? Who thus EARNED the money they would be giving in taxes to the Thief-In-Chief, them, or the "tax payer" you allude to?

  • ||

    Do you really believe that corporations are paying their taxes??? If so you are ignoring facts. http://news.yahoo.com/video/bu.....s-19828009
    If corporations really did pay, there wouldn't be a need for higher taxes. Also, do yourself a favor. Read up on the "Laffer Curve".

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    Oh, great. Another shrike/MNG/Tony/Chad clone. This one's named "Shaun", or so we're led to believe.

  • ||

    Can't speak for the others on this column but I don't believe there is any corporate tax collected anywhere in the world. There are only taxes on individuals buried in the cost of goods and services so governments can mis-state the taxes people pay and placate the bleating sheep who think they can avoid their responsibilties by foisting them elsewhere.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    Indeed.

    The only persons and/or companies in this country who are getting a "subsidy" from the federal government are those whose total dollar amount of taxes paid to the federal government are less than dollar value of services that the receive explicitily and directly from the federal government calculated on a user fee basis.

    Every person and company paying more than that calculated amount is subsidizing somebody else.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Gilbert,

    Every person and company paying more than that calculated amount is subsidizing somebody else.

    If a thief steals from me $180.00 and the very same thief steals from another $150.00, I am certainly NOT subsidizing the other victim by $30.00.

    If you placed taxation in its proper context, that of wholesale thievery, you would stop using red herrings to judge those that receive rebates.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    Old Mex:

    That is not what I am saying.

    What I am saying is that if I pay the government $180.00 but it only provides me with $150.00 worth of demonstrable provable services in exchange for my money, then I am not getting a "subsidy" on an overall net basis regadless of what tax credits, deductions or whatever else that some people like to call subsidies went into the mix that resulted in me paying $180.

    Someone who paid $150 and got $180 worth of government services would be getting a subsidy.

    I am basically on your side in this arguement. I am just expressing it in a different manner.

  • ||

    Only a psychotic immersed in ideology could possibly think that a tax cut -- a reduction in what the government steals from you -- is in some sense a "giveaway" at the "expense" of the taxpayer.

  • ||

    Or someone with a brain...When the gov't BORROWS MONEY FROM CHINA to give tax cuts to the richest 1%, guess who's gonna pay that money back to China! Hint...It's NOT the top 1% who got the tax cut.

  • ||

    What are you smoking? The government doesn't borrow money from China to "give" a tax cut to anybody. The money doesn't come from government in the first place, or from China.

    The money, my logic-challenged Orwellian friend, is in the hands of the taxpayer, for he earned it by his own toil. Then along comes the government and says gee I need that money to pay off my friends on Wall Street who made some bad bets, so just fork it on over.

    Er...except, I guess, for some reason or other, Congress wants us to not collect 10% (or whatever) of what we said you owe us. Fortunately we have brainless robot minions on the Internet who will come along and say that's money we're "paying" you, so we can make you feel bad about keeping it.

    I suppose you would fall for one of those weird scams, where the car salesman says he's going to give you a 10% break on the price of a new car, and that's money he's "giving" you, so you should turn around and spend it on a pile of accessories.

    If you've actually graduated high school, your math teachers ought to be ashamed of themselves. If not...go study or something. Maybe it's not too late to attain some grasp of how numbers work.

  • ||

    That does it! Mandatory economic and financial classes for liberals. Now!

  • ||

    Hahaha, no kidding.

  • ||

    I'm with shrike on this one. Targeted tax cuts are rentseeking bullshit.

    But the article does say that the sibsidy "should not have existed"

  • Xeones||

    shriek, those nice men in the white coats gave you those pills for a reason. Take them.

  • ||

    X, didn't you know that shriek is Napoleon XIV?

  • Peter Suderman||

    Shrike:

    Not sure if you noticed, but I did write: "The change involved the tax treatment of a subsidy that never should have existed."

  • ||

    I stand corrected. My speed-reader missed it - 100% my fault.

  • Force shits upon Reason's back||

    That explains how you were able to read the Health Care Act three times before voting on it.

  • ||

    Peter, some of those words have multiple syllables. You can't expect Shrike to actually comprehend a sentence more complicated than what's in his preferred reading material.

  • ||

    Right - its not like the "liberal media" didn't publicize the hell out of all those AT&T and Caterpillar fake "losses" they were taking from the disappearance of those Bush subsidies from the Medicare Pharma Welfare Act, right?

    I apologize to Peter for the mistake - I don't apologize to the GOP fans here for hating on their policies.

  • ||

    Three posts without using the term "Bushpig". And complete sentences all. Wow. You are getting better. Maybe the meds are starting to kick in.

  • ||

    shrike|5.14.10 @ 3:37PM|#
    "Right - its not like the "liberal media" didn't publicize the hell out of all those AT&T and Caterpillar fake "losses" they were taking from the disappearance of those Bush subsidies from the Medicare Pharma Welfare Act, right?"

    And I'll bet you're convinced Elvis' alien love child plays a part in this too, right?

  • Old Mexican||

    Is the Curse Worse than the Disease?

    There. Fixed.

    The curse of government controlled ANYTHING, if you ask.

  • ||

    It is entertaining to read the liberals over at Megan McCardle's page try and defend Obamacare. Their defense basically boils down to that no cost is too small to end the national embarrassment of having uninsured people. In the run up to passing the bill, it was all about how this bill was going to save us from bankruptcy. Now the line is that even bankruptcy is preferable to having uninsured people. The fact that the bill will still leave millions uninsured even at the end of the decade is ignored.

  • T||

    Can somebody explain to me the liberal fascination with insurance? Insurance != health care. Wouldn't we be better served expanding access to health care by making it cheaper and better? Say, in a competitive marketplace? I don't see how funneling the same pool of funds through government and insurance companies is going to make more health care magically appear.

    I realize I'm preaching to the choir, but damn, this retarded fascination with insurance grates on me.

  • ||

    I honestly think liberals think insurance companies print their own money. You are right. If you are concerned about people not getting enough health care, shouldn't the solution be to figure out a way to produce more health care? Let's figure out a way to make doctors more productive and set up an incentive system to get more people to become doctors and nurses.

    Liberals don't see it that way. To them, everything always boils down to a zero sum game of distribution. It is always about distribution. Taking from some less favored group (evil pharmaceutical companies or greedy insurance companies or the "rich") and giving to favored groups. The thought of increasing the pie rather than killing each other over what is there never enters their mind.

  • ||

    Because health insurance is an erratic payer - much like a lottery ticket, here one day and gone the next.

    Progressives prefer single-payer - which I am adamantly opposed to.

    My RADICAL solution is to hand Medicare/caid over to interns. Hey- if you're on the dole - you get cheap help.

    Successful interns then move to the private payer side.

    And if you're Buffett wealthy you just say fuck Medicare altogther.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Shrike,

    My RADICAL solution is to hand Medicare/caid over to interns. Hey- if you're on the dole - you get cheap help.

    WHy not simply leave the decisions to the client and the supplier? The same way we pay the auto mechanic or the plumber, we pay the doctor and be done with it. Just take out the regulations.

    If the State regulated and managed vet care, you would also end up having to buy pet vet insurance just to afford having a mutt. The fact that this is not the case is testimony of how the regulations are pervasive and destructive.

  • Democrats||

    WHy not simply leave the decisions to the client and the supplier? The same way we pay the auto mechanic or the plumber, we pay the doctor and be done with it.

    Because we prefer institutions between buyer and seller.

  • Old Mexican||

    Because we [sic] prefer institutions between buyer and seller.

    What's with this "we" business, Kimosabe?

  • MrGuy||

    Hahaha!

  • shrike, simplified||

    Rich people suck.

  • ||

    No we don't. Other than the unfortunate it's the lazy ass***** and losers that failed to make something of themselves and prefer to use politicians to steal it from those who educate themselves and work hard.

  • ||

    The idiocy of it all is, even if distribution is your game, make it efficient distribution. They could have funded the (pick your number) uninsured by simply buying each of the puds a basic Blue Cross policy cheaper than this debacle.

  • ||

    "Liberals" (Marxists) know exactly what they are doing. ObamaCare is all about CONTROL & CENTRAL PLANNING--it is immaterial to them whether or not the proletariat obtain any medical services. Robbing those who paid into Medicare their entire lives by defaulting on govt's social contract with them IN ORDER TO CREATE THE NEW RATIONING MACHINE, COVERING THOSE WHO HAVE PAID/WILL PAY NOTHING, is the very essence of Marxism. (EVERYONE must become equally impoverished; ALL must be deprived, for the good of the state, which is ever-expanding & all-encompassing).

    Note that Almighty Fat Federal Govt has become the SOLE issuer of residential real estate mortgages. It is a no-brainer that the where-with-all to continue propping prices (in the current Marxist system) WILL COME FROM DEFAULT ON THE SOCIAL CONTRACT WITH THOSE WHO PAID FOR MEDICARE BENEFITS.

  • Chicken George||

    Wouldn't we be better served expanding access to health care by making it cheaper and better? Say, in a competitive marketplace?

    Because even with cheap basic care and appropriately utilized catastrophic insurance, you're still going to have a lot of people who can't afford care for less common chronic conditions. The contemporary sob story is "I can't afford $2,000 a month for my multiple sclerosis medications."

  • ||

    Er...isn't "catastrophic insurance" what you use to take care of "less common chronic conditions?" Seems to me getting MS at a young age qualifies as a "catastrophe" very well: it's very costly, and very unusual.

  • ||

    The point is NOT what would make US better off--it is all about what makes our Marxist rulers better off! Quadrupling the supply of medical professionals would force them to compete & lower prices--but was never on the agenda. Deporting illegal aliens would lower medical costs, dramatically, as well--but was never on the agenda. As for "I can't afford $2,000 a month for my multiple sclerosis medications"--under rationing, the old and sick die. Period.

  • ||

    I sure can't. It stinks of just picking on one segment of what is an enormous industry. And liberals are supposed to be soooo thoughtful.

    They say the GOP demonizes and preys on fear, but I saw a whole lot of populist bull shit rhetoric and demonizing of insurance from Obama and his minions. As if the solution ran through insurance companies.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: John,

    In the run up to passing the bill, it was all about how this bill was going to save us from bankruptcy. Now the line is that even bankruptcy is preferable to having uninsured people. The fact that the bill will still leave millions uninsured even at the end of the decade is ignored.

    I don't know if you have noticed, John, but the left is not very concerned about logical consistency or the cogency of their arguments.

  • ||

    Really? No they are not. For them it is all about emotion. It is really more of a religion than a political movement.

  • Old Mexican||

    That's what I mean - they are NOT concern with the cogency of their arguments, i.e. they are irrational dolts.

  • Brian Defferding||

    Whenever I talk about how much Obamacare is going to cost and how it will fail reaching its coverage goal, it seems the average Obamacare supporter response is "single payer."

  • ||

    That is what they think. But I think our impending bankruptcy is going to foreclose that as an option. Seriously, the bond markets would not support a single payer plan.

  • ||

    Indeed, that is the liberal/progressive mindset. In their minds, this plan will fail (and most liberals/progressives do concede, at least among their own, that this plan will fail) because it won't go far enough. In their logic, the failure of the insurance industry (the fact that this failure has been and will be brought on by government is lost on them) will necessitate single payer, meaning that they get what they want after all.

  • Jeff Perren||

    It's not a fascination with insurance, per se. Progressives believe that money is all-powerful. Their desire is to control funding. Control those who control the money and you attain ultimate power "to do good," in their view.

    Never mind where money comes from, or what conditions are required to produce wealth. It's all about control and social engineering. Early 20th century Progressives were very clear about this but their 21st century counterparts don't read much history so they're not aware of it.

  • qwerty||

    We'll just tax the rich a little more. That'll solve the problem.

  • MrGuy||

    Don't forget to tax the children.

  • ||

    Just got a letter from the company president the other day, saying our Blue Cross/Blue Shield premiums were taking a 25% increase all in one hit.

    We're a small company (~50 people) manufacturing purified water systems. And struggling, I don't mind saying. This sort of increase could easily sink us for good.

  • ||

    My wife's pulmonologist just stopped taking Blue Cross because they dropped their payments. Obamacare is the first bill I have ever seen that results in immediate and large scale negative effects on people. The politicians who voted for it and their enablers in the media ought to be shot.

  • yojimbo||

    They should be shot in the stomach and left to die that way its slow and painful.

  • DT||

    Lmfao. Aw, that must be the voice of Reason...

  • ||

    This is what the progressive really wants; to manufacture a crisis to take more of our freedoms. Remember, never let a crises go to waste.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "On his weekly radio address, the president argued that it was already providing Americans with "real benefits,"

    And THAT is pure, undiluted bullshit.

  • The Other Kevin||

    The headline in Indiana this week was that this bill could cost the state $3.5b due to the law requiring more people to be covered by Medicaid, but providing less federal money per person insured.

    There is a quote by a Dem. rep saying that it might "only" cost $2.1b. I laughed till I nearly peed.

  • ¢||

    And THAT is pure, undiluted bullshit.

    The Obama fans I know have gotten a lot of HA-HA MOTHERFUCKERS YOU CAN'T STOP US YO SUUUUUUCK IIIIIIIIIIT! out of it. That's a thing they like.

  • KT||

    What?? I'm self-employed. Thanks form making my like alot easier Team Obama.

  • ||

    I love how Big Statists love to use the tax code for social engineering, by burdening Bad Things with taxes and encouraging Good Things with tax breaks.

    Then, magically, the very social engineering that they championed in favor of Good Things becomes an evil theftacular subsidy when they decide they want to keep the money after all.

  • Some Guy||

    The PPACA will require small business owners and the self-employed to fill out 1099s for every company they do more than $600 worth of business with. That means any freelancer who buys a mid-range laptop from Best Buy will technically be required to fill out a 1099, no matter if the retailer is an indifferent chain giant.

    What possible reason is there for doing this?

  • ||

    Burdens small business and the self-employed (who mostly vote Republican) and encourages them to go become wage slaves in large corporations, who are generally in bed with government and love Democrats, with whom they can always cut lucrative deals.

    Total win for Obamacrats.

    Er...wait...you mean what possible reason relative to the welfare of citizens and voters could there be? Ha ha ha.

  • Some Guy||

    But usually they at least come up with an excuse. What is it?

  • ||

    Their excuse is that people cheat on their Federal Income Taxes! Our entire income tax system is based upon forcing comrades to "squeal" on one another, so that Almighty Fat Federal Govt can continue to suck in the tax $$$ to give our Marxist rulers their ongoing standard of living increases.

  • Paul||

    Meanwhile, small businesses have discovered that their compliance costs just went way up. The PPACA will require small business owners and the self-employed to fill out 1099s for every company they do more than $600 worth of business with. That means any freelancer who buys a mid-range laptop from Best Buy will technically be required to fill out a 1099, no matter if the retailer is an indifferent chain giant.

    Jeeesus! Is this true?

  • ||

    I heard this about a week ago. I have been looking for a reference to this requirement in the Act itself (http://www.opencongress.org/bill/111-h3590/text), but I can't find one. However, since most of the details of the law won't be known until the regulations are implemented, who knows.

    I'd like to see a citation on this.

  • ||

    TeaParty.org

    A message to all members of TeaParty.org

    What a unique way to look at things!

    THANK GOD FOR THE PRESIDENT?


    Written by a 82 year old very wise lady. She gives us a whole new slant on the job Obama is doing:

    That is right - I will say it "(THANK GOD FOR THE PRESIDENT)."

    1. He destroyed the Clinton Political Machine - Driving a stake thru the heart of Hillary's Presidential aspirations -something that no Republican was never able to do. Remember when a Hillary Presidency scared the daylights out of you!

    2. He killed off the Kennedy Dynasty - No more Kennedy's trolling Washington looking for booze and women wanting rides home. American women and Freedom are safer tonight!

    3. He is destroying the Democratic Party before our eyes!

    Dennis Moore had never lost a race - quit

    Evan Bayh had never lost a race - quit

    Byron Dorgan had never lost a race - quit

    Harry Reid - soon to be GONE

    These are just a handful of the Democrats whose political careers Obama has destroyed! By the end of 2010 dozens more will be gone.

    In December of 2008 the Democrats were on the rise. In the last two election cycles they had picked up 14 senate seats and 52 house seats. The press was touting the death of the Conservative Movement and the Republican Party. In just one year, Obama put a stop to all of this and will probably give the house, if not the senate back to the Republicans.

    4. He has completely exposed liberals and progressives for what they are. Every Generation seems to need to relearnthe lesson on why they should never actually put liberals in charge. He is bringing home the lesson very well.

    Liberals tax, borrow and spend - check

    Liberals won't bring themselves to protect America - check

    Liberals want to take over the economy - check

    Liberals think they know what is best for everyone - check

    Liberals aren't happy till they are running YOUR life - check

    5. He has brought more Americans back to conservatism than anyone since Reagan. In one year he has rejuvenated the Conservative movement and brought out to the streets millions of Freedom Loving Americans.

    Name me one other time in your life that you saw your friends and neighbors this interested in taking back America!

    6. His leadership has sparked the greatest period of sales of firearms and ammunition this country has seen. Law abiding citizens have rallied and have provided a "stimulus" to the sporting goods field while other industries have failed, faded or moved offshore.

    7. In all honesty one year ago I was more afraid than I have been in my life. Not of the economy but of the direction our country was going. I thought Americans had forgotten what this country was all about. My neighbors, friends and strangers proved to me that my lack of confidence of the Greatness and Wisdom of the American people was flat wrong.

    8. When the American People wake up no smooth talking teleprompter reader can fool them!

    Barack Obama woke up these Great Americans! Again I want to say Thank You Barack Obama! This is exactly the kind of hope and change we desperately needed.

  • ||

    It will all be for naught, unless ALL INCUMBANTS are thrown out! Republicans and Democrats merely enable each other--both parties created the mess we are in. Without a return to the founding principles in the US Constitution/Bill of Rights, we are doomed. (We are already economically doomed, in any event).

  • ||

    It's just hard for me to believe that anybody ever truly believed that the costs for this monstrosity would come in less than even 10 times the "projected" cost. What a joke!

    Looking forward to November.

  • Kelly||

    Always know if the juice is worth the squeeze!

  • Barry O||

    Sure, I'm not the one getting squeezed!

  • Holy Cow||

    To all the paid Reason writers who endorsed Obama (because Gosh! McCain tortures prisoners and Palin reads the Bible instead of High Times!): F^%$ you!

  • Windtell||

    I think a McCain/Palin presidency would have been a completely different kind of incompetent.

    I lament daily that in America both parties seem to equally blow chunks, and it doesn't seem like the American public is going to change the fact that one of them will perpetually be in charge.

    America is a good example for why a two party system is a horrific idea.

  • ||

    lol good article

    hey check out this politics site i think u guys might like it

    ThePartisanDialogues.com

  • ||

    Can we PLEASE block the stupid Pingback??!!

  • ||

    Pingback wouldn't even be as annoying if we could reply to it like a regular comment. In fact that might be quite fun...

    "Can Vaseline or petroleum Jelly be used to cure hemorrhoids or symptoms of hemorrhoid" links to this page.

    Well I have an old college roommate that could sure use that information.

  • cost||

    The only way to sustain-ably solve the problem is to allow actual competition to drive down costs. As it is now, legitimate safety concerns have been abused to prevent competition. Until Japanese MRI centers can freely set up operation here, and give us $98 MRI scans like in Japan, medicine cash prices will be unaffordable for the majority. This unaffordability will force the majority to ask for help from government.

    $98 MRI scans in Japan versus $1600 cash prices here. Its not hard to understand why the public cannot afford this cost differential, and why the government is going broke trying to subsidize the higher prices.

  • St. V||

    Ahahaah. Someone didn't read the entire Wikipedia page.

    I'll ignore the $1,600 figure, as I can get one here for $600, but the $98 figure you quote is the government subsidized price.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Health_care_system_in_Japan

  • ||

    In democratic societies like the United States, the voting process is a means by which citizens hold their government accountable, conflicts are channeled into resolutions, and power transfers peacefully. Our system of representative government works only when honest ballots are not diluted by fraudulent ballots. When elections become corrupted, democracy becomes threatened.
    The FBI has a limited role in ensuring fair and free elections in the United States. Election crimes become federal cases when:
    The ballot includes one or more federal candidates;
    The crime involves an election official abusing his duties;
    The crime pertains to fraudulent voter registration;
    Voters are not U.S. citizens.
    First Name: kenyan born at the white house
    Last Name: TRUTH
    Address: AMERICA
    Address: INPEACH OBAMA
    City: USA
    State: usa THE END OF AMERICA
    NPR archive describes Obama as 'Kenyan-born'
    Michelle say Barack born in Kenya
    Obama's grandmother say he was born in Kenya
    Subject: OBAMA SAID approval ratings are still very high in the country of my birth.
    Message: INPEACH OBAMA TO THE WEAK-KNEED REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRAT
    obama people have no idea of the extent to which they have to be gulled in order to be led." "The size of the lie is a definite factor in causing it to be believed, for the vast masses of the nation are in the depths of their hearts more easily deceived than they are consciously and intentionally bad. The primitive simplicity of their minds renders them a more easy prey to a big lie than a small one, for they themselves often tell little lies but would be ashamed to tell a big one." "All propaganda must be so popular and on such an intellectual level, that even the most stupid of those towards whom it is directed will understand it. Therefore, the intellectual level of the propaganda must be lower the larger the number of people who are to be influenced by it." "Through clever and constant application of propaganda, people can be made to see paradise as hell, and also the other way around, to consider the most wretched sort of life as paradise. "pelosi don't see much future for the Americans ... it's a decayed country. And they have their racial problem, and the problem of social &^% ...obama feelings against Americanism are feelings of hatred and deep repugnance ... everything about the behaviour of American society reveals that it's half &^%, and the other half &^& How can one expect a State like that to hold TOGTHER.They include the angry left wing bloggers who spread vicious lies and half-truths about their political adversaries... Those lies are then repeated by the duplicitous left wing media outlets who “discuss” the nonsense on air as if it has merit… The media's justification is apparently “because it's out there”, truth be damned. State: *usa Obama chuckles at America*
    If YOU PASS THE NORTH KOREAN BORDER ILLEGALLY YOU GET 12 YRS HARD LABOR, YOU PASS THE AFGHAN BORDER ILLEGALLY YOU GET SHOT. Under the Mexican law, illegal immigration is a felony, punishable by up to two years in prison,There is no immigration allowed in China, India, Bangladesh, Russia, Japan, Cuba, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Syria, Turkey and MOST other countries YOU PASS THE AMERICAN BORDER ILLEGALLY YOU GET A JOB, DRIVER'S LICENSE, ALLOWANCE FOR A PLACE TO LIVE, HEALTH CARE, EDUCATION, BILLIONS OF DOLLARS SPENT SO YOU CAN READ A DOCUMENT. WE CARRY PASSPORTS IN OTHER COUNTRIES OR FACE JAIL TIME. REPOST THIS IF YOU AGREE!! ((STOP COMMUNIST OBAMA)) THE COMMANDER

  • ||

    INPEACH OBAMA In democratic societies like the United States, the voting process is a means by which citizens hold their government accountable, conflicts are channeled into resolutions, and power transfers peacefully. Our system of representative government works only when honest ballots are not diluted by fraudulent ballots. When elections become corrupted, democracy becomes threatened.
    The FBI has a limited role in ensuring fair and free elections in the United States. Election crimes become federal cases when:
    The ballot includes one or more federal candidates;
    The crime involves an election official abusing his duties;
    The crime pertains to fraudulent voter registration;
    Voters are not U.S. citizens.
    First Name: kenyan born at the white house
    Last Name: TRUTH
    Address: AMERICA
    Address: INPEACH OBAMA
    City: USA
    State: usa THE END OF AMERICA
    NPR archive describes Obama as 'Kenyan-born'
    Michelle say Barack born in Kenya
    Obama's grandmother say he was born in Kenya
    Subject: OBAMA SAID approval ratings are still very high in the country of my birth.
    Message: INPEACH OBAMA TO THE WEAK-KNEED REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRAT
    obama people have no idea of the extent to which they have to be gulled in order to be led." "The size of the lie is a definite factor in causing it to be believed, for the vast masses of the nation are in the depths of their hearts more easily deceived than they are consciously and intentionally bad. The primitive simplicity of their minds renders them a more easy prey to a big lie than a small one, for they themselves often tell little lies but would be ashamed to tell a big one." "All propaganda must be so popular and on such an intellectual level, that even the most stupid of those towards whom it is directed will understand it. Therefore, the intellectual level of the propaganda must be lower the larger the number of people who are to be influenced by it." "Through clever and constant application of propaganda, people can be made to see paradise as hell, and also the other way around, to consider the most wretched sort of life as paradise. "pelosi don't see much future for the Americans ... it's a decayed country. And they have their racial problem, and the problem of social &^% ...obama feelings against Americanism are feelings of hatred and deep repugnance ... everything about the behaviour of American society reveals that it's half &^%, and the other half &^& How can one expect a State like that to hold TOGTHER.They include the angry left wing bloggers who spread vicious lies and half-truths about their political adversaries... Those lies are then repeated by the duplicitous left wing media outlets who “discuss” the nonsense on air as if it has merit… The media's justification is apparently “because it's out there”, truth be damned. State: *usa Obama chuckles at America*
    If YOU PASS THE NORTH KOREAN BORDER ILLEGALLY YOU GET 12 YRS HARD LABOR, YOU PASS THE AFGHAN BORDER ILLEGALLY YOU GET SHOT. Under the Mexican law, illegal immigration is a felony, punishable by up to two years in prison,There is no immigration allowed in China, India, Bangladesh, Russia, Japan, Cuba, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Syria, Turkey and MOST other countries YOU PASS THE AMERICAN BORDER ILLEGALLY YOU GET A JOB, DRIVER'S LICENSE, ALLOWANCE FOR A PLACE TO LIVE, HEALTH CARE, EDUCATION, BILLIONS OF DOLLARS SPENT SO YOU CAN READ A DOCUMENT. WE CARRY PASSPORTS IN OTHER COUNTRIES OR FACE JAIL TIME. REPOST THIS IF YOU AGREE!! ((STOP COMMUNIST OBAMA)) THE COMMANDER

  • ||

    Apparently, according to REASON, people with illnesses who will longer be jerked around by insurers have gained nothing huh? I agree with much of the writing in this magazine, but on this issue they have some serious blindspots. THIS is what insurers, pursuing their own economic interests, do to people and without the provisions in this law would not have changed:http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20100423/hl_nm/us_wellpoint_cancer

  • TruthOffering.com||

    If Obama didn't pass this healthcare deform...err..."reform," McCain surely would have. We can thank the Council on Foreign Relations for that; they own both sides of the political landscape, so no matter who you pick, their candidates will always win.

    As for Obamacare, this wouldn't even be possible without the Federal Reserve system which allows corrupt politicians and bankers to inflate away the value of our currency. If we didn't have the Fed, they wouldn't be able to pay for universal healthcare so it wouldn't even be a consideration.

    We must end the Fed so we can end the days of being a welfare-warfare state. Otherwise, we may as well own up to the fact that we're headed down the same destructive path ancient Rome passes down before it collapsed.

    Check out this great article about how the CFR owns both political parties and how we can fix that problem:

    http://www.truthoffering.com/c.....count.html

  • ||

    Alright everyone, lets destroy American health care. We can’t have Pharma, Insurance, or providers making any money from us. We’ll do the same thing to them that we did to the greedy manufacturing business.

    The rich will go on health vacations overseas to get there bypasses. The rest will deal with what we can get on the black market, and the Mexican boarded clinics. China can be the new pharma king.

    Next maybe we can destroy agriculture. We hate those farm subsidies, don’t we?

    .

  • ||

    the administration has already begun to tout its successes

    It's cockpunchin' time. Putting their balls in a vice is going a lil too far. Or is it?

  • ||

    To declare the health care bill a failure after 1 month has to be one of the most ridiculous assertions I've ever read. Wait until it covers 32 million persons now uninsured, wait until it provides insurance to people with pre-existing conditions, wait until it denies insurance companies the right to deny insurance to people after they get sick, and then revisit whether it is a failure or not. And please for those of you commenting, check your ideology and use reason and compassion for a change.

  • sinko||

    Gosh, Ernie,
    Who declared the bill a failure after only one month? Some straw horse? Of course it's a ridiculous assertion. Who said it besides you? The same people who--before it was passed--said it would be some sort of a disaster are still pointing to a future disaster. No one knows how many people actually don't have health insurance of some kind. Of the 8, 9, 12, 30, 32, 46, 47, or 50 million who have been claimed as not having health INSURANCE how many received health CARE paid for by themselves or through "free to all" emergency rooms? Your list of fixes does not require the federal government to grab 1/6th of the economy. Let's all wave the flag for sustainable everything except federal entitlements!

  • Tired||

    Why CAN'T people afford life insurance? That is the question that needs to be asked. Is it because they all have $300 phones and 50 inch TVs in their homes? Or is it because "health" isn't a priority to some people? It's time for people to take personal responsibility. Drop all forms of healthcare welfare and then see what happens? Of course there are those that truly can't afford it but there should be MORE than enough money to cover these folks through charity and NOT government. And please don't tell me it's MY responsibility to care for someone I don't know that wastes their money on crap. I have my own family to take care of. I will give charity to who I want to. Not what the government dictates us to. Maybe you should take care of yours.

  • Donkeyrock||

    This is what I got from my accountant:

    "The law is the same as it always was. If you pay an unincorporated company more than 600. in a calendar year, you have to file a 1099. That means you'll need their soc sec number, mailing address and dollar amount paid. That excludes all incorporated companies such as retail stores.

    This article is wrong."

  • ||

    Onward to totalitarian socialism. You won't have any rights, but at least you'll be safe... like this kid:

    http://news.therecord.com/News.....cle/712892

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    Indeed, that is the liberal/progressive mindset. In their minds, this plan will fail (and most liberals/progressives do concede, at least among their own, that this plan will fail) because it won't go far enough. In their logic, the failure of the insurance industry (the fact that this failure has been and will be brought on by government is lost on them) will necessitate single payer, meaning that they get what they want after all.

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