Donna Shalala calls for more taxpayer money to prop up Obamacare
Firmly rooted in defense of a failing system, Donna Shalala, in her race to fill retiring Ileana Ros-Lehtinen's congressional seat, has called for more taxpayer money-shoveling to prop up Obamacare.
The ABC local news affiliate in south Florida, WPLG Local 10, has a clip here.
Asked by the news host what she'd do to lower health care costs, which are hitting consumers hard, particularly those stuck on Obamacare, Shalala laid out her priorities:
Well, first of all, making certain Democrats get elected is important, because Democrats will protect the Affordable Care Act. But we need to improve it, in the same way we need to improve Medicare.
Hear that? Even if Obamacare is failing like any socialist regime, unsustainable as heck, a bottomless pit of costs, keeping the system in place is Shalala's priority. No matter how bad Obamacare is, no matter how horribly designed it was, no matter how opaque, no matter how inefficient, no matter how larded up with useless requirements and crummy profiteers (it was designed to exact maximum pain, as Jonathan Gruber explained), no matter how expensive – Shalala is dead set on preserving the system and thinks it more important than anything those forced to buy it want. The old Obama Legacy über alles.
Note how she also considers the election of Democrats most important, maybe even more important than preserving Obamacare. It's all about keeping Democrats in power, no matter how bad their ideas are. Let's hope voters see right through that.
The news host then asks Shalaa how she would cut costs.
There a couple of changes. One is: We need deeper subsidies. People are paying too much out of pocket. If you talk to people in our community, they're paying too much out of pocket, for all of their health care, whether it's private or public health care, that's what they're concerned about, it's the affordability. And to do that, it's not only subsidies, but it's eliminating waste, fraud and abuse, and focusing on that. It's eliminating the high cost of prescription drugs and focusing on that. Congress can do some of that.
So much for the Democrats' overused shibboleth of "sustainability." For Shalala, throwing more money at a festering problem is the way to fix a systemic failure, as if the Soviets and Chavistas didn't prove the folly of that idea. If a system needs to be continually propped up, isn't there something fundamentally wrong with the system?
The other obnoxious thing about this rich woman's blithe idea of shoveling more subsidies is the question of whom those subsidies will help. How many suffering people will be cut out of the subsidies? I suspect that a token few (with political usefulness to Democrats) will be helped if Shalala gets her way, and the rest will be left high and dry – more roadkill on the Nightmare of Obamacare highway to be ignored.
Another news host delicately brought up that Shalala made a lot of money off Obamacare as a board member for UnitedHealth and then asked what she did while she was there to lower the costs of health care insurance.
Shalala's answer was a doozy:
One of the things I did while I was at UnitedHealth Care was bring a ten million dollar grant into the Jefferson Reeves clinic at Overtown. Ten milllion dollars, a million dollars a year for ten years, to essentially provide high quality health care to the people that use that clinic with the University of Miami doctors.
Money-shoveling. As if someone wasn't making money off that clinic. Again, we see the same picture: A few politically useful people were helped with the presence of a clinic, presumably (News 10 should check on this; we don't know how much UnitedHealth profited), and the rest of the consumers got price hikes from UnitedHealth as Shalala profited on the board. Why didn't she use the cash profits UnitedHealth got to lower prices? The question wasn't asked.
The whole picture here makes one say to her candidacy: Umm, no. Most taxpayers have been through a lot with the nightmare of Obamacare, and they should see right through this. It's interesting that Shalala, unlike other Democrats, is calling for the preservation of the status quo and its propping up. Quite a few other Democrats are calling for single-payer, just as Gruber's master plan called for.
Every last one of these ideas is bad, and the only real solution is to get rid of Obamacare and start over, placing consumers in the picture with free choice, a veto over plans they don't want to buy, and a free market to ensure the developing and innovating of improved care that people will want to buy. One can only hope Florida's voters recognize it.
Image credit: Tiffany LeMaistre via Flickr, Creative Commons SA 2.0.