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November 19, 2010
New battle lines in the fog of ObamaCare
The TSA screening fiasco is a stark reminder of where we are headed under ObamaCare.
In just the past few days, new critiques of ObamaCare have emerged from groups that were on the pass-the-bill bandwagon:
An assortment of unions, including the United Federation of Teachers, are among 111 entities receiving ObamaCare waivers, reports the Examiner. Also notable on the waiver list are health insurers Aetna and Cigna.
Drug companies are another group wearing two masks, from Bloomberg:
Pharmaceutical companies led by Eli Lilly & Co. are trying to eliminate a government panel aimed at controlling Medicare spending seven months after they supported the health-care overhaul that created it.
Hospital chains are also "trying to eliminate the panel, known as the Independent Payment Advisory Board."
Meanwhile, a controversy continues over alleged foot-dragging by Donald Berwick's Medicare board (CMS) on the approval of cancer drug Provenge.
As the Wall Street Journal notes, "the high cost of Provenge - $93,000 for a course of treatment... is not supposed to be considered." However, the American Spectator concludes:
This callous and possibly illegal process reflects Berwick's stated belief that only a centralized entity should decide what's best for us. People with prostate cancer have died and will die waiting. If that's not a death panel, I don't know what is.
According to Paul Krugman, death panels are part of the ‘real solution.'
On yet another front, the Journal reports that MetLife
will halt sales of long-term-care insurance, a type of coverage that repeatedly has flummoxed insurers and forced some to pay significantly more in claims than they expected...
Long term care insurance was added to ObamaCare, and the NCPA states (p.48) that
according to the Medicare chief actuary, the program faces "a significant risk of failure" because the high costs will attract sicker people and lead to low participation.
Amid the fog of ObamaCare, new battle lines are emerging this week:
- The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has announced "stepped-up" opposition, noting "the biggest single threat to job creation... is a regulatory tsunami of unprecedented force," and citing the "183 new agencies and federal bodies of ObamaCare," reports the Washington Times.
- The newly elected president of a Catholic bishops group said "he would carry on the forceful opposition of his predecessor" to ObamaCare and financing for abortion, and that he will not "countenance" rogue Catholic groups, as "happened this year when some groups representing Catholic hospitals and nuns came out in support of the... bill, despite the bishops' staunch opposition," from the New York Times.
- Senators Scott Brown (R-Mass.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) are introducing legislation "allowing states to opt out of the controversial individual-mandate requirement," Politico reports.
- The Senate Finance Committee held a truncated lame-duck hearing with the infamous Dr. Berwick, allowing each Senator five minutes to question Obama's recess-appointed CMS Director, who has espoused rationing and redistribution.
Sen. Orin Hatch (R- Utah) called the hearing ‘pathetic,' according to CNS News, and said "it's clear that they held a hearing just to say they've held one."
Now that the Democrats have pushed health care off the cliff, we can look forward to years of bitter and divisive politics as America attempts to pick up and live with the pieces.
Our children deserve better.