Home > Obamacare > A rebuttal to Ruth Marcus’ column

A rebuttal to Ruth Marcus’ column

Ruth Marcus’ Washington Post column states that the GOP and conservatives are engaging in “health scare tactics. To use her favorite phrase in the column, that is “not true”. Let’s go over her points one by one:

Not true. The CBO hasn’t said anything of the sort. Boehner’s office acknowledges that he misspoke: He meant to cite a study from the Medicare actuary estimating that projected enrollment would be down by 64 percent — if the cuts took effect. Choosing not to enroll in Medicare Advantage is different from “losing” it.

Actually, Ruth is not being straight with the facts. If you fix the game to make it harder for people to enroll, you are in effect causing them to “lose” Medicare Advantage. And how long will it be before actual enrollees literally lose their coverage? The point of liberals is to reduce competition in healthcare, not expand it (which Medicare Advantage does).

Not true. The bill imposes a surtax on the top 0.3 percent of households, individuals making more than $500,000 a year and couples making more than $1 million.

Ruth is once again not being straight here. Anyone who believes this small slither of individuals would fund all of healthcare is engaging in the most egregious form of subterfuge. Let’s just do some simple math: .3% of American households (let’s be generous and say there are 300 million households) is 900,000 households. Let’s be generous again and say that all of these households make $1,000,000 for a total of $900 billion (yes, unrealistic, but for simplicity’s sake). The surtax is 5.4% of gross income. 5.4% of $900 billion is only $48,600,000. Using even the Dems’ false cost of $864 billion, the surcharge on the “rich” only covers 5% of the cost of Obamacare. Even taxing the “rich” at 100% barely covers the Dems’ false cost of $864 billion. The CBO stands by its $1.4 trillion number. Do you think that the “rich” are the only ones who would pay this?

Not true. The bill sets up a Center for Comparative Effectiveness Research “in order to identify the manner in which diseases, disorders, and other health conditions can most effectively and appropriately be prevented, diagnosed, treated, and managed clinically.”

Are Republicans against figuring out what works? There’s nothing in there about cost, and certainly nothing about denying “lifesaving patient care.

Republicans and conservatives are not against figuring out what works. That’s why we recommend doctors figure out what works and patients say yea or nay to it. We ARE against a bureaucracy that will make these decisions because that will inevitably lead to rationing of care. You don’t have to go far to see that this is the end result: go Massachusetts for what happens when healthcare demand exceeds healthcare dollars. For a more acute example, please go to Canada and the U.K. to see what happens when a governing board has to spread limited dollars and determine what “diseases, disorders, and other health conditions can most effectively and appropriately be prevented, diagnosed, treated, and managed clinically.”

Not true. The vast majority of Americans get their insurance through their employers. The bill envisions setting minimum federal standards for such insurance, in part to determine who is eligible to buy coverage through the newly created insurance exchanges. This is hardly tantamount to making it “illegal” to obtain “health care” without Washington’s approval.

I have three words for Ruth Marcus and other liberals who think like her: Internal Revenue Code.

Not true. The bill requires people to obtain insurance or, with some hardship exceptions, pay a fine. No one is being jailed for being uninsured. People who intentionally evade paying the fine could, in theory, be prosecuted — just like others who cheat on their taxes.

And pray tell, Ruth, what would be the penalty if someone refuses to pay the fine? The JBCT already confirmed that the Internal Revenue Code would penalize anyone who fails to pay the fine with up to 5 years in jail and/or a penalty of up to $100,000. I direct you to the Sections 7201-7203 of the Internal Revenue Code, which states that an attempt to evade or defeat taxation will cause a violator to be fined up to $100,000 and/or serve a term no more than 5 years in jail. The IRS is tasked with collecting the taxes and fines associated with the healthcare bill. It doesn’t take a huge jump to make a conclusion about what happens when Americans don’t pay the fine.

Not true. No one is required to enroll in the public option. In fact, most people won’t even be eligible to enroll in the public option or other plans available through the exchanges.

Ruth must study the concept of “crowding out”. The federal government will not allow its project to fail and it would subsidize to death the “public option”. Please see Post Office, Amtrak, ethanol and farm subsidies, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and GMAC. If this were an honest competition and an honest selection, every consumer would instantly select a private insurer as opposed to selecting the public option. See also Post Office when it comes to delivering packages and all kinds of rail and bus services which regularly loses out to autos. But this isn’t an “honest” competition because contrary to what the Left is saying, the Dems are fixing the game to setup the insurance companies to fail and force people into the public option. They are also making it to where employers will force their employees onto the public option as the payroll tax is set so low that the cost of paying the tax is lower than the cost of providing insurance to employees.

Finally, the “individual mandate” means that EVERYONE is required to enroll in some form of insurance or otherwise be fined. It only takes a small amount of logic to conclude that the game of the Dems is to ensure that all Americans are put on the public option.
“Not true. Christina Romer, chair of the Council of Economic Advisers, has estimated that the bill would increase economic growth and add jobs. Republicans misuse Romer’s previous economic research on the impact of tax increases to produce the phony 5.5 million number.

Vaguely stating something does not make it so. Christina Romer has not produced any evidence to suggest that new regulation and new taxes will lead to economic growth and jobs. ALL economic theory suggests otherwise. If she is to disprove this she needs to submit new research that is supported with strong empirical evidence and peer reviewed to show as much. I would probably say it will never happen because Christina Romer knows it not to be true that you can get more growth and jobs through increased regulation and taxes. Oh, by the way, this the same Christina Romer that invented the “jobs created or saved” rubric for the failed stimulus.

You have to wonder: Are the Republican arguments against the bill so weak that they have to resort to these misrepresentations and distortions?

This is a case of projection. The arguments presented by the Left are so weak that they have to resort to misrepresentations and distortions. Indeed, if anyone were to read the bill for themselves they would see that everything that the GOP and conservative critics state is correct. Even IF you do not read the bill, it only takes a small amount of logic to make so simple conclusions about where many of the things that the Left are putting in the bill will lead. If you want to get a better understanding of what is in the bill I suggest you visit Critical Condition at National Review Online. There they give it to you straight and don’t engage in political subterfuge and play on your ignorance of what is in the bill.

In essence it is “not true” that the GOP or conservatives are engaging in health scare tactics, but interpreting the bill as it is written. As the bill is written there will be increased regulation on all Americans, increased taxes on all Americans, increased bureaucracy and government control, all the while Americans will experience a reduction in quality of care and freedom and liberty. That is not only true, it is a certifiable fact for when the government grows, liberty must give up ground.

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