Congress’ Health Care Oversight May Hurt Their Own Coverage?

April 13, 2010

Has a group ever more richly deserved this irony? From NRO:

In a new report, the Congressional Research Service says the law may have significant unintended consequences for the “personal health insurance coverage” of senators, representatives and their staff members. For example, it says, the law may “remove members of Congress and Congressional staff” from their current coverage, in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, before any alternatives are available. The confusion raises the inevitable question: If they did not know exactly what they were doing to themselves, did lawmakers who wrote and passed the bill fully grasp the details of how it would influence the lives of other Americans?

This health care bill is going to be a noose around the necks of Democrats.

Democrats Reach Their Tipping Point

December 24, 2009

Death Panels In Democrats Rationed Health Care

December 24, 2009

Congressional Budget Office To Reid: Bill Would Reduce Access To Care (Death Panels and Rationing) — And that’s the part of the bill the Democrats want to prevent from being repealed.

Glenn Reynolds, from Pajamas Media, had this to say: “It’s not a scary “Death Panel” that determines who’s denied medical treatment and dies. It’s a friendly “Life Panel” that determines who gets treatment and lives! Mostly friends of the regime, I’d guess, based on recent history.”

Rationing with a happy face.

Interesting how the nonexistent or “Lie of the Year” death panels are popping up all over the place, even the non-nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. And now we know the purpose of the Director of the CBO’s visit to the white house, hide the death panels.

Sarah Palin’s Response To Harry Reid:

Democrats are protecting this rationing “death panel” from future change with a procedural hurdle. You have to ask why they’re so concerned about protecting this particular provision. Could it be because bureaucratic rationing is one important way Democrats want to “bend the cost curve” and keep health care spending down?

The Congressional Budget Office seems to think that such rationing has something to do with cost. In a letter to Harry Reid last week, CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf noted  that the bill’s calculations call for a reduction in Medicare’s spending rate by about 2 percent in the next two decades, but then he writes the kicker: “It is unclear whether such a reduction in the growth rate could be achieved, and if so, whether it would be accomplished through greater efficiencies in the delivery of health care or would reduce access to care or diminish the quality of care.” “A provision that would increase Medicare’s payment rates for physicians’ services by 0.5 percent for 2010 was eliminated. Instead, the 21% reduction in those payment rates that is scheduled to occur in 2010 under current law would take effect”

Though Nancy Pelosi and friends have tried to call “death panels” the “lie of the year,” this type of rationing – what the CBO calls “reduc[ed] access to care” and “diminish[ed] quality of care” – is precisely what I meant when I used that metaphor.

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