The bewildering new health care system defined by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 is graphically depicted:
To view a larger .pdf version of this eye-straining chart, click go the the website of the Joint Economic Committee that created it. By the way, the committee analysts admitted they could not actually fit everything relevent into the schematic.
Health care is a matter of the utmost concern for all of us, and I know that in Marin and Sonoma counties a number voters tend to favor some kind of government intervention to redress problems with the system with which we’ve all been dealing. However, when one sees the bureaucratic morass that the new legislation will heap on us all, it is no wonder that an increasing majority of Americans have come to the conclusion that the bills that became law in late March don’t solve our concerns and instead of being implemented, should be repealed with all speed. The invasions of privacy, the costs, the red tape, the likelihood that many of us won’t be able to keep the coverage we currently have and which many of us want to retain — these are all reasons why this health care legislation is deeply, deeply flawed and will make our health care system even less efficient and less desirable than what it is replacing. As noted by the Joint Economic Committee, this legislation will result in
- $569 billion in higher taxes;
- $529 billion in cuts to Medicare;
- swelling of the ranks of Medicaid by 16 million;
- 17 major insurance mandates; and
- the creation of two new bureaucracies with powers to impose future rationing: the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute and the Independent Payments Advisory Board.
Yet, Lynn Woolsey is all too eager to support the federal push to take over health care. She voted for passage of these two pieces of legislation and shows no inclination to worry about the above consequences.
And, of course, she and some of her colleagues just introduced a revived public option proposal on July 22, 2010. Armed with figures from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), she claimed it would reduce the nation’s massive deficit (by $68 billion between 2014 and 2020). However, the total cost of the new health care plan (with or without a public option) jumped after passage; the CBO reported that the plan would cost $115 billion more than previously assessed, putting the total estimated cost at over one trillion dollars — more than the president and Congress had promised. A “saving” of $68 billion won’t even put us back at baseline. Not to mention that costs will almost surely climb a great deal more in the future, despite assurances from politicians and public option or no public option. Furthermore, a public option as part of a “menu” of choice regarding insurance plans is not the true goal of those pushing it. The idea is to crowd out private insurers, leaving only the government’s plan. Basically, they want, in time, a federal monopoly on health plans. Remember, Lynn Woolsey and others in Congress think government should control your health care.
By the way, the health care bill vote in the House was very close: 219-212. If only four Congress members had changed their votes to “NO,” we might not be facing the bureaucratic tangle that chart illustrates. If District 6 and three other districts had had representatives who didn’t think government was the answer to everything, perhaps health care reform could have taken a more sensible, less tortured approach.