cur-mud-geon: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner
An interesting thing is happening in the world of public opinion; there is a decided ObamaCare backlash being identified by the polls.
Rasmussen, the poll I think most likely to be accurate since it polls 'likely voters', has found that there are now 58% opposed versus 38% in favor of ObamaCare. People seem to be thinking a bit more for themselves rather than simply ignoring and/or accepting the politicians' word for what is included/excluded. The numbers above, interestingly, track quite closely with the percentage of Democrats versus the percentage of Republicans and Independents combined. That suggests that the indications of a significant change being possible in the elections this year might well be realized.
The Senate, we have learned over the holiday break, included language that makes change to ObamaCare very difficult by any future body. The bill put together by Sen. Reid (D-NV) has language on page 1,020 that states, "it shall not be in order in the Senate or the House of Representatives to consider any bill, resolution, amendment or conference report that would repeal or otherwise change this subsection". It seems that "His Highness" Harry Reid has determined that it will be against the law to change his law. I suspect that this language, if not removed in conference, will lead to a court challenge.
Beyond this, we know that the 'scoring" by the Congressional Budget Office has noted the 'costs' using the language in the bill that would reduce the reimbursement to physicians for Medicare patients. Without that change, there is no way this bill is going to reduce costs; and, of course, Congress has yet to find the will to make these reductions even though this was supposed to have happened several times over recent history.
The Mayo Clinic has told President Obama that it will no longer participate in the Medicare program if reimbursements are reduced, and has stated that reimbursements need to be increased since it loses money on those patients (as does every other provider). Mayo's Arizona clinic has notified the Medicare patients it now treats that it will not accept Medicare for their services, other than laboratory and specialist care. They will have to pay cash if they wish to continue to see their regular Mayo physician. This could, according to Mayo, spread to their other facilities if this two-year program appears to have been successful.
If the flagship that is the Mayo Clinic is doing this, do we think that other organizations won't follow suit? Is this going to have the effect of giving the weak-spined politicians the excuse for denying the need to reduce doctors' fees this time?
I am not advocating for reduced physician fees; to the contrary, I am advocating for the necessary overhaul of Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement schedules to rid us of the cost-shifting that has been helping to cause spiraling health care cost increases in the private sector programs as more and more people have Medicare or Medicaid coverage.
As this helps to demonstrate, ObamaCare will do nothing to help cure the real problems in our health care system; it will exacerbate those problems and serve to make the system worse, not better, for all.
This is but one small indicator of the problems to come from the adoption of ObamaCare as currently constituted. This is also an indicator that the American people may well have finally gotten their fill of this particular version of "hope and change".