Biden gaslights about Republicans raising health care costs

Anybody taken a look at his new health care premiums for 2023?

I did — and what a sticker shock.  My premiums are going up 14%, or $173 more per month, as of January 2023.  Hey, who doesn't have a spare $173 lying around to pay health care premiums?  It's only 14%!

My insurer, California Blue Shield, attributes it to inflation and other factors. 

So Bidenflation strikes again, soon to hit health care premiums at the first of the year, as if soaring prices on gasoline, food, electricity, rents, and everything else weren't enough.  A new survey out today reports that two out of three Americans are now just living paycheck to paycheck, so the premium hikes are going to hit hard across a broad swath of society.

Can't blame Vlad Putin or Big Oil on that one.

It's out-of-control inflation, which permeates all prices in society based on the fact that inflation is "always and everywhere a monetary phenomenon."  Biden's big spending is what's creating the inflation.  It's not Putin.  It's not oil.

This explains why Joe Biden has been spending a lot of time pre-emptively blaming Republicans for the health care costs, warning voters that if they elect Republicans, prices will skyrocket. 

He probably already knows that they will.

According to the New York Times, in a piece dated Oct. 14:

Speaking to a friendly audience, Mr. Biden argued that Republicans would drive prices higher if they gained power. He noted their opposition to his efforts to allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices, which he said would force prices down for medication for millions of seniors. And he said Democrats had pushed through price caps on critical drugs like insulin.

If Republicans in Congress have their way, it's going to mean the power we just gave Medicare to negotiate lower prescription drug prices and other costs over time goes away — gone," Mr. Biden said, standing in front of signs that said "Lowering Costs for American Families." "Two-thousand-dollar cap on prescription drugs goes away — gone. The $35 month cap on insulin for Medicare is gone."

Nothing like a few Band-Aids of subsidies for special interest groups when the cost of health care is broadly skyrocketing across the board.  He's shielding one group, and the rest pay for it through higher premiums.  He's hoping you will just blame Republicans.

His blame game on Republicans is pretty cynical and amazing.  The text of his Oct. 14 speech is here:

Republicans are telling us their number-one priority is to repeal — if they win back the House and the Senate — repeal the Inflation Reduction Act. That includes things that I'm not even talking about today, including the environment.

But let's be crystal clear of what that means. If Republicans in Congress have their way, it's going to mean the power we just gave Medicare to negotiate lower prescription drug prices and other costs over time goes away. Gone.

The $2,000 cap on prescription drugs goes away. Gone.

The $35-a-month cap on insulin for Medicare is gone.

Savings from healthcare premiums got just for — we just got for millions of Americans. Gone.

And, of course, it's not the Inflation Reduction Act they want to get rid of. They're still determined to get rid of the Affordable Care Act. You — what people don't realize — they didn't realize the Affordable Care Act is the only basis upon which people with a pre-existing condition can get healthcare, unless you can afford an expensive policy. If Republicans have their way, that's gone as well.

And here — here's the bottom line, so please hear this: When it actually comes time to do something about inflation around the kitchen table, Republicans in Congress are saying, "No." If Republicans take control, the prices are going to go up, as will inflation. It's this simple.

What we have here is a pre-emptive bid to blame Republicans for skyrocketing health care costs that are expected to go into overdrive in January.  Biden knows they are coming, so now he is planning to pin them on Republicans and make that the dominant "narrative." 

According to the New York Post, citing a Fed report, in a story dated Oct. 12, it will get bad:

According to the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, the rate of health care inflation will jump to 3.9% in the second quarter of next year — up from 2.1% in this year's second quarter — as insurance companies price in soaring labor costs.

Researchers project that health care inflation will remain above 3.5% through 2024 as the US presidential election gets into full swing.

"Health care inflation has been around 2% since 2022, close to its pre-pandemic level," the Dallas Fed said in the report released last month. "This is likely to change, however, given the recent pace of rising wages for health care workers."

Politico says the soaring health care costs are likely to hamstring Biden as he seeks to spend more during the rest of his term and will sock the Democrats by midterms:

A dramatic spike in the cost of health insurance — which would be felt by consumers, businesses and government alike — would represent a major challenge to Biden's post-midterm agenda as he navigates a fractured political environment and deep economic challenges that show no signs of abating. It could spell trouble for Democrats who've long been able to lean on their record of expanding health care access and reducing costs in brutal policy battles with Republicans.

While White House officials say the president and Democratic leaders have already taken meaningful steps to address the problem — the Inflation Reduction Act Biden signed in August included Obamacare subsidies and prescription drug pricing rules that could be a salve to sticker shock — health care advocates and budget hawks say that won't be enough to remedy a significant deterioration in the affordability and quality of health coverage.

"This is going to be something where consumers feel a pinch — for real," said Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, a bipartisan deficit reduction think tank. "I don't know anybody who is taking the lead on this issue."

What better than for him to say, "Look!  Squirrel!" and try to claim that Republicans are to blame for all the "I did that" sticker shock they are sure to feel after January?  He still thinks he can subsidize his way out of inflation, as if money printing would do the trick. 

It's gaslighting.  Republicans need to get wise to this cynical tactic; focus hard on getting rid of Obamacare, the "Inflation Reduction Act," and all other things that have created this situation in health care costs; and start putting out realistic solutions such health care alternatives, concierge care, automobile insurance–style build-your-own health plans, and other things that break up the federal monopoly on health care, which is driving costs so much higher.  That's his doing, not the Republicans', and any effort to pin it on them is gaslighting.  Besides taking control of the health care issue, they need to call Biden out:  He made the inflation; he can take "credit" for the higher heath care costs that are about to blow Americans away.

Image: Pixabay, Pixabay License.

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