Get Ready for ObamaCare Rationing

John Goodman, FloydReports.com

There were two recent announcements that I hope you paid attention to:

  • The American Medical Group Association, representing medical groups that provide care for roughly 1 in 3 Americans, said that 90% of its members would not participate in the new Accountable Care Organization (ACO) model the Obama administration wants to impose on Medicare providers.
  • Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, exercising new powers conferred upon her by health reform (ObamaCare), said insurers would have to justify any rate increases greater than 10%.

So what does one announcement have to do with the other? A lot. I’ll connect the dots below.

Here’s the bottom line. The administration uses the rhetoric of choice and competition and some isolated souls within it may actually think competitive pressures can reduce health care costs. But if that doesn’t work out, it’s goodbye to volunteerism and hello to another way of constraining costs: global budgets and rationing.

The core of Obama administration health reform is managed competition, instituted through a health insurance exchange. In embracing this reform, the administration is following the lead of Mitt Romney in Massachusetts and before that Hillary Clinton’s failed attempt in 1993/94. But the idea really harks back to a book written by Stanford professor Alain Enthoven in the early 1980s. Enthoven argued that the entire health care system should be patterned after the Federal Employees Health Benefits system. (See a brief history and analysis.)

Here’s the difference. Enthoven believed (and still does believe) that competition in health insurance can actually work. Mitt Romney believed that as well. Maybe Hillary Clinton did too. But almost no one in the Obama administration believes that. When is the last time you heard any federal official praising the virtues of a competitive market for any good or service?

For Obama, the purpose of the health insurance exchange is not to bring needed competition to an imperfectly competitive market. The purpose is to exert control over the industry. If you believe in competition, then you want lots of competitors. But the administration is imposing rules and regulations that are driving insurers from the market, as we have previously reported here, here and here. In fact, some careful observers believe that by the time the exchanges become operational (in 2014) there will be only one or two insurers left in most markets….

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Sebelius Tells Gay Teens Obama Admin Has “Finally Come Out of the Closet”

Penny Starr, CNSNews.com

Pam Hyde, a lesbian aide to HHS Secretary Sebelius, tells LGBT youth the Obama admin. is out and proud

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius spoke at the first “Federal LGBT Youth Summit” on Monday after being introduced by a homosexual on her staff, who said the secretary “gets us” and is “tireless” in her support of lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender youth.

“Your federal government has finally come out of the closet in support of LGBT youth,” said Pam Hyde, HHS administrator for Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services.

“It’s great to see so many young faces out there, all gay and proud,” Hyde said.

Sebelius congratulated the teens and 20-somethings for attending the summit and said the goal of the summit was to “really tackle the issues facing the LGBT youth in our country.”

The LGBT Youth Summit was sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education and is being held at the Washington Court Hotel in Washington, D.C. on June 6 and 7.

“Since President Obama took office in January 2009 he has led a commitment, shared by all those in his administration, to make sure that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans have a chance to reach their full potential,” Sebelius said.

Sebelius said LGBT people have a “strong voice” and that the Obama administration hears it.

“I want to tell you, you have a friend in this administration, who will stand beside you each and every step along the way,” Sebelius said.

Sebelius also said LGBT youth are more likely to experience depression, thoughts of suicide, have other emotional problems or abuse drugs or alcohol.

“We know these behaviors are not the result of who these young people are,” Sebelius said. “They are the result of what’s happening to them.”

Sebelius went on to say a federal interagency taskforce is partnering the Departments of Health and Human Services, Education, Agriculture, Defense, Interior and Justice to come up with strategies and programs to fight bullying.

Sebelius also said the health care law signed into law by the Obama administration will encourage health care providers to address the “unique needs” of LGBT patients and will make health care workers “culturally competent” to deal with lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender patients.

She also said the HHS is working with the federal child welfare system to “place LGBT children in loving homes.”

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Obama’s War on Free Speech Heats Up

Dr. Mark W. Hendrickson, FloydReports.com

Free speech has always been one of our most cherished rights. It has come under attack repeatedly by those who find it to be an inconvenient and unwanted obstacle to the attainment of their political goals. Sometimes, those in positions of power ignore the First Amendment and issue laws and regulations to silence their opponents. Other times, politicians or citizens work on an unofficial level, resorting to influence or intimidation to achieve censorship.

President John Adams signed the Sedition Act to criminalize “false, scandalous, and malicious writing” against the government or its officials. Americans didn’t like the federal government censoring expression or presuming to determine truth, so they canned Adams in the next election.

Abraham Lincoln jailed newspapermen whose comments on the Civil War were not to his liking.

In 1935, Franklin Roosevelt signed the National Labor Relations Act, effectively curtailing employers’ freedom to talk with their own employees about their company’s financial condition and the affordability of wages and benefits.

Both Roosevelt and Richard Nixon imposed various wage and price controls. Since prices are the language through which present value is communicated between potential buyers and sellers, they essentially banned a form of free economic speech.

The assault on free speech seems to have accelerated in recent years. Freelance censors on the Left have prevented dozens of conservatives from giving scheduled speeches on college campuses by shouts, chants, and even physical aggression.

A favorite tactic of….

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Obama Declares War on Christians, Strips Conscience Clause from Pro-Life Doctors

Kevin “Coach” Collins, CoachIsRight.com

In January 2009 Barack Obama and his Marxist Congress had a choice. They could ram through the Freedom Of Choice Act (FOCA) appeasing the pro-abortion Left or let it sit while they rammed through “more important items” like ObamaCare and Card Check to appease their union masters. Their sense of the situation told them they probably couldn’t do both.

Now after a series of stinging defeats on Card Check and the ever dimming chances of ObamaCare actually happening, Obama has run back to safe territory. He has decided to kill off FOCA’s Conscious Clause. Obviously, Obama’s political handlers have concluded  there are votes to be had in a fight with Christians in general and the Roman Catholic Church in particular over abortion.

No Conscious Clause

Obama has ordered Kathleen Sebelius the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to start threatening medical professionals who, for reasons of personal conviction, will not dispense drugs that cause miscarriages – in effect aborting fetuses.

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ObamaCare Misses Deadlines, Then Lies About It

Kathryn Nix, The Foundry Blog

Missed deadlines by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) continue to show us the absent-minded way in which Obamacare was put together…

Within the mumbo jumbo of reforms imposed on our health care system, HHS was given short-term implementation deadlines, which are past due. First, HHS missed the deadline mandated by the new law to create high-risk pools for those who could not obtain health insurance due to chronic illness. Next, it didn’t create the two task forces on improving access to health care in Alaska and breast cancer education on time. The list doesn’t end there.

Now, an Interagency Working Group on Health Care Quality hasn’t published a report that was due by December 31. Additionally, the health care law called for HHS to launch a live Health Care Quality Web site by January 1, which is still not accessible. Punxsutawney Phil didn’t see his shadow last week, and the American people have yet to see HHS meet Obamacare’s set time frame.

In response to this past month’s neglected deadlines, along with a plethora of others over the past year, HHS spokeswoman Jessica Santillo emphasized to Politico the already “met” and “beaten” deadlines required by Obamacare, ignoring the department’s downfalls.

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