Archive for September, 2009

The truth about Obamacare for illegals

The Unablogger

The Unablogger

Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC) was rude, boorish and disrespectful when he blurting out “You lie!” during President Obama’s nationally televised address Wednesday night, but the substance of his remark was absolutely correct.

The mainstream media buy the Democrats’ superficial argument – that the language of the bill specifically excludes illegals. The problem is that the bill excludes the normal enforcement mechanism. It effectively says, “No benefits for illegals – wink, wink.”

That is like saying there are no “death squads” in the bill just because the bill doesn’t use those precise words to describe the administrative decision panels that are in the bill.

Rep. Dean Heller (R-NV) had offered an amendment that would have required that individuals applying for the public health care option would be subject to two systems used to verify immigration status already in use by the government: the Income and Eligibility Verification System (IEVS) and the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) program. The two systems cross-reference Social Security numbers and employment information to establish whether an individual is a U.S. citizen. But the House Ways and Means Committee voted down the amendment on a 26-to-15 straight party-line vote. notes that H.R. 3200, while claiming to block illegal aliens from the plan, actually provides incentives to ignore citizenship. State Medicaid agencies are given the ability to set eligibility standards for the low income subsidies that will be used for the plan. But they have no incentive not to enroll illegal aliens, particularly since it’s a 100% federal match. So doctors are not required to verify citizenship because they and the states will get greater allotments the faster the rolls grow.

Newsmax noted one irony of the proposed legislation. It would fine American citizens who opt not to purchase insurance coverage, but illegals are not subject to that penalty, because they are not supposed to participate in the program.

Democrats, including the President himself, belie their professed denial of the bill’s coverage of illegals by the numbers that they use in support of the supposed need for the legislation. They claim that 47 million U.S. residents are uninsured. But the only way there are that many uninsured is by including nearly 10 million uninsured illegal immigrants. Note, 10 million is no mere rounding error or statistical noise; it represents 21% of all uninsured residents of the United States. Illegals had to have been consciously included in order to have come up with that number. Thus, the Democrats’ own numbers demonstrate conclusively that they fully intend for illegals to be covered.

So, are the Democrats lying about the number of uninsured, or are they lying about whether the legislation will provide subsidized health care to illegals? I think they are sincere about wanting to extend insurance to everyone, including illegals, but they are disingenuous about admitting it.

What ‘hope & change’ voters need to understand about Obamacare

The Unablogger

The Unablogger

The most common response I get to the defects of the President’s health care proposal from everyday people who still support it is,”But we’ve GOT to do SOMETHING about health care.” The inference is that doing anything is better than doing nothing.

Common as that feeling may be, it is based on a major fallacy. That fallacy is the automatic assumption that change is always good. It’s based on a fundamental misunderstanding of the mathematical concept of negative numbers.

Most people understand that zero (0) is nothing. Small numbers are a little more than nothing, and large numbers are a lot more than nothing. All positive numbers are better than nothing.

But zero isn’t the smallest number! Minus one (-1) is less than nothing. All negative numbers are less than nothing.

Zero is like “no change.” Change for the better is like a positive number.  But there can also be change for the worse, which is like a negative number.

Let’s apply that dull math to real life. A lonely single person may want change. A marriage to an ideal spouse would be really positive change. But a marriage to a spouse who then steals from you or makes your life miserable would be a negative change. Remaining single (no change) would have been better than marrying the lousy spouse.

And so it is with health care. The United States currently has excellent health care resources, including plenty of doctors, good established programs that provide medical care for seniors (Medicare) and the poor (Medicaid), and successful research and development that constantly creates new drugs and procedures that extend and improve our lives. People from other countries come here to get it. The President’s health care proposal would change health care by redistributing our health care resources. That would be a big change. But we need to determine whether the change is good or bad before we sign on.

A change that creates shortages in health care by simultaneously increasing the demand for health care services while reducing the number of providers of those services is also change, but it is a negative change. Creating “savings” to pay to insure the uninsured by causing doctors to receive smaller “reimbursements” for the same service will reduce our supply of doctors to satisfy the greater demand, as more doctors retire early and fewer new doctors are available to replace them because fewer students will be willing to sacrifice their time and money to become doctors and earn the diminidhing financial rewards of doing so. Not changing anything is better than making that change.

A change that prevents drug companies from including research and development costs (including costs of researching “blind alleys” that didn’t produce anything worthwhile) in what they charge for drugs will reduce the availability of new treatments and medications, because there will be no further incentive for companies to invest in the research and development necessary to make the new discoveries. A cure for cancer? Forget about it if Obamacare becomes law. Not changing anything is better than making that change.

And a change that reduces Medicare services now provided to seniors in order to spread health care around to others who are uninsured is a negative change, at least to the seniors who paid into Medicare for years in order to be eligible for it now, only to have it taken away from them and given instead to others who paid little or nothing for it. Not changing anything is better than making that change.

So, no, we don’t have to do SOMETHING. Not until we come up with a positive change.