Flashback 2008: Obama Trashed Hillary for Proposing Health Care “Penalty” (video)

Via The Blaze:

White House chief of staff Jack Lew repeatedly insisted Sunday that those who fail to buy health insurance will be assessed a “penalty” — not a tax.

But just four years ago, then-candidate Barack Obama ran an ad attacking rival Hillary Clinton for her health plan that it said would do just that.


Obama Denies Waiver for Innovative Cost Saving Indiana Medicaid Program

I mean, we cant have incentives that are deigned to help people make smart health care choices and actually save money, not when we are trying to bankrupt the country…

I first reported on this story on my old college blog when our friend Amity Shleas wrote an article about Obama moving to kill the popular and budget saving program called HIP. Why? Well Mitch Daniels is our governor and the Obama Administration did not want such a successful program written by a popular Republican governor to get any publicity.

Indiana once again tried to save HIP by asking for a waiver and Obama once again is determined to kill the program.



Obama Administration Denies Waiver for Indiana’s Popular Medicaid Program

In 2007, under Gov. Mitch Daniels (R.), Indiana enacted the Healthy Indiana Plan, an expansion of Medicaid that used consumer-driven health plans to encourage low-income beneficiaries to take a more active role in their own care. Today, Healthy Indiana is the most innovative and successful reform of Medicaid in the history of the program. Today, we learn that the Obama Administration has rejected the state’s request to extend its federal waiver, which means that over 45,000 Indianans who get their insurance through the program are out of luck.

Medicaid, of course, is the nation’s government-run health insurance program for the poor. In theory, it’s jointly run by the federal government and the states, but in reality, any time a state wants to make the tiniest changes in its Medicaid program, it has to go hat-in-hand to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services with a formal request for a waiver, and these waivers are usually denied.

Indiana succeeded in gaining a waiver in 2007 because it was seeking to expand Medicaid to a group of people who weren’t then eligible for the program, and because the state’s effort required no additional outlays from the federal government (the Medicaid expansion was paid for with a 44-cent increase in the state’s cigarette tax.)

Structure of Indiana’s consumer-driven Medicaid plan

Beneficiaries get a high-deductible health plan and a health savings account, called a POWER account, to which individuals must make a mandatory monthly contribution between 2 to 5 percent of income, up to $92 per month. Participants lose their coverage if they don’t make their contributions within 60 days of their due date. After making this contribution, beneficiaries have no other cost-sharing requirements (co-pays, deductibles, etc.) except for non-urgent use of emergency rooms. The state chips in $1,100, which corresponds to the size of the would-be deductible.

Those who have money remaining in their POWER accounts at the end of the year can apply the balance to the following year’s contribution requirements, if they have obtained a specified amount of preventive care: annual physical exams, pap smears and mammograms for women, cholesterol tests, flu shots, blood glucose screens, and tetanus-diphtheria screens.

“We did a lot of reading on criticism of health savings accounts,” says Seema Verma, who was the architect of the Indiana program. “One of the criticisms was that people didn’t have enough money to pay for preventive care. So we took preventive care out, made that first-dollar coverage. Also, people said that people didn’t have enough for the deductible, so we fully funded it. Then, you have to make your contribution every month, with a 60-day grace period. If you don’t make the contribution, you’re out of the program for 12 months. It’s a strong personal responsibility mechanism.”

Indiana’s Medicaid successes

The program has been, by many measures, a smashing success. “What we’re finding out is that, first of all, low-income people are just as capable as anybody else of making wise decisions when it’s their own money that they’re spending,” Mitch Daniels explains in a Heritage Foundation video. “And they’re also acting more like good consumers. They’re visiting emergency rooms less, they’re using more generic drugs, they’re asking for second opinions. And some real money is starting to accumulate in their [health savings] accounts.”

The program has been overwhelmingly popular in Indiana. There’s a large waiting list—in the tens of thousands—to enroll in Healthy Indiana; enrollment was capped in order to ensure that the program’s costs remain predictable. 90 percent of enrollees are making their required monthly contributions. “The program’s level of satisfaction is at an unheard-of 98 percent approval rating,” Verma told Kenneth Artz. Employers didn’t dump their workers onto the program, crowding others out, because you needed to be uninsured for six months in order to be eligible for it.

A 2010 study by Mathematica Policy Research found that the program dramatically increased the percentage of beneficiaries who obtained preventive care, from 39 percent in the first six months of enrollment to 59 percent after one year. Of the members who had money left in the POWER accounts at the end of the year, 71 percent met the preventive care requirement and were able to roll the balances over to the following year. (The remaining 29 percent could roll over their personal contributions, but not the state contributions to their POWER accounts.)

This is an astounding achievement, given that the biggest problem with Medicaid is the way that it ghettoizes its participants, preventing them from gaining access to routine medical and dental care. This lack of physician access is the biggest reason why health outcomes for Medicaid patients lag far behind those of individuals with private insurance, and even behind those with no insurance at all. Healthy Indiana has completely reversed this trend, achieving preventive care participation rates that are higher than the privately-insured population.

Forbes: ObamaCare Responsible for Health Insurance Premium Increases that Tripled in 2011


Higher Health Insurance Premiums This Year? Blame ObamaCare.

Most Americans saw their insurance bills jump this year, according to a new study from the Kaiser Family Foundation. The average employer-based premium for a family increased a startling 9% in 2011. Over the next decade, rates are expected to double.

The Kaiser report is only the latest piece of research to indicate that ObamaCare isn’t driving down health care costs, as its proponents promised, but is instead accelerating their rise.

This year, the average premium for a family hit $15,073 — $1,303, or 9%, higher than the year before. And that’s on top of increases of 5% in 2009 and 3% in 2010.

Employees are picking up a substantial portion of that tab. They paid an average of $4,129 for their family insurance premiums this year — more than double what they shelled out 10 years ago. And that figure doesn’t include out-of-pocket health expenses.

These premium hikes have outpaced general inflation and salary increases — and thus are swallowing a greater share of American households’ budgets. A study published in the September 2011 issue of Health Affairs found that burgeoning health costs have decimated nearly an entire decade’s worth of income gains. In 2009, the average American family had just $95 more to spend at will than it did in 1999.

Worse, there’s no relief in sight. Next year, employers expect premiums to rise 7.2%, according to the National Business Group on Health.

Over the next ten years, American families can expect rising health costs to continue to offset pay raises. According to the Kaiser study, premiums are set to reach a whopping $32,175 by 2021. And more than 50% of employers have stated that they plan to shift a greater share of health-insurance costs onto their employees.

ObamaCare is to blame for much of these impending increases. Richard Foster, the Chief Actuary for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), reports that America will spend an additional $311 billion on health care in the next decade because of the law.

CMS estimates the growth in health insurance costs will increase 10 extra percentage points in 2014 because of ObamaCare — a 14% increase, versus 3.5% without the law.

ObamaCare drives up the cost of insurance by piling mandates and required coverage benefits onto every single policy.

British Socialized Health Service Kills Off 130,000 Elderly Every Year

And Obama tried to appoint Don Berwick as a senior HHS official who believed that the British socialized rationed system was “the” model.

UK Daily Mail:

The NHS kills off 130,000 elderly patients every year

  • Professor says doctors use ‘death pathway’ to euthenasia of the elderly
  • Treatment on average brings a patient to death in 33 hours
  • Around 29 per cent of patients that die in hospital are on controversial ‘care pathway’

NHS doctors are prematurely ending the lives of thousands of elderly hospital patients because they are difficult to manage or to free up beds, a senior consultant claimed yesterday.

Professor Patrick Pullicino said doctors had turned the use of a controversial ‘death pathway’ into the equivalent of euthanasia of the elderly.

He claimed there was often a lack of clear evidence for initiating the Liverpool Care Pathway, a method of looking after terminally ill patients that is used in hospitals across the country.

It is designed to come into force when doctors believe it is impossible for a patient to recover and death is imminent.

It can include withdrawal of treatment – including the provision of water and nourishment by tube – and on average brings a patient to death in 33 hours.

There are around 450,000 deaths in Britain each year of people who are in hospital or under NHS care. Around 29 per cent – 130,000 – are of patients who were on the LCP.

Professor Pullicino claimed that far too often elderly patients who could live longer are placed on the LCP and it had now become an ‘assisted death pathway rather than a care pathway’.

He cited ‘pressure on beds and difficulty with nursing confused or difficult-to-manage elderly patients’ as factors.

Professor Pullicino revealed he had personally intervened to take a patient off the LCP who went on to be successfully treated.

He said this showed that claims they had hours or days left are ‘palpably false’.

In the example he revealed a 71-year-old who was admitted to hospital suffering from pneumonia and epilepsy was put on the LCP by a covering doctor on a weekend shift.

Professor Pullicino said he had returned to work after a weekend to find the patient unresponsive and his family upset because they had not agreed to place him on the LCP.

‘I removed the patient from the LCP despite significant resistance,’ he said.

‘His seizures came under control and four weeks later he was discharged home to his family,’ he said
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2161869/Top-doctors-chilling-claim-The-NHS-kills-130-000-elderly-patients-year.html#ixzz1zVNAucT9