PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

Opinion

October 8, 2012

Not so hidden costs of Obamacare

PORT NECHES — Last September, the independent Newsmax surveyed 3,660 doctors nationwide in all 50 states. Their political affiliations were mixed with 35 percent Republican; 24 percent Democrat; 26 percent Independent; 6 percent Libertarian; and 7 percent unaffiliated.

This survey showed that if the election were held today, 55 percent would vote for Romney and 36 percent for Obama. The remaining were undecided or claimed to support another candidate.

The survey, conducted by Jackson & Coker, a division of Jackson Healthcare, said Newsmax, is the third largest healthcare staffing company in the US.

While other polls show opposite numbers, what is it doctors see that the rest of us do not?

It could be the following five downsides pointed out by Nick Tate, an award-winning journalist, in the ‘Obamacare Survival Guide’

Downside One: Robbing Peter to Pay Paul.

How? Obamacare has taken $716 billion from Medicare over the next ten years, which means less funds for those of us who use Medicare.

Downside Two: Insurance companies are free to pass on increased costs in the form of higher premiums, co-pays, and deductibles. There is nothing to keep costs in check. AARP has already raised its premiums, says Tate, from 8-13 percent.

Downside Three: Doctor shortage anticipated due to lowered payment rates for Medicare among other areas. Up to 40% of those surveyed could retire or seek other aspects of health care. With the additional millions covered by insurance coupled with a 30-40% decrease in doctors, I’d hate to think how long I’d have to wait to get in to see one.

Downside Four: Delayed implementation of Obamacare as well as hundreds of unwritten rules.

According to Tate, many of the rules of the new healthcare system have not been written. The author surmises that as costs balloon, benefits for consumers are likely to lessen significantly, particular for seniors who are the highest users of health services.

Downside Five: Unelected government official will have control to make decision about your healthcare.

The previous drawbacks are shocking enough, but now let’s get into some specifics.

Downside Four for example-delayed implementation of rules.

If you’ll think back, you’ll remember how we were told many of these ‘benefits’ would be phased in over the years. That was clever political maneuver designed to delay any public outrage until after this upcoming election.

The Americans for Tax Reform has pointed out taxes that are slated to kick in after the election.

1. 2.3 percent tax on medical devices including pacemakers, prosthetics, stents, even the operating table.

2. Deductible medical expenses must exceed 10% of your income instead of 7.5% for income tax purposes.

3. Funds for Flexible Spending Accounts will be capped at $2,500. Currently, there is no cap, allowing families to spend untaxed funds on everything from glasses, contacts, braces, crutches, bandages, anything not covered by insurance. It will even impact families with special needs children.

4. Surtax on investment income that pundits estimate will take over $123 billion taken from taxpayers’ pockets over the next ten years.

5. Medicare payroll tax increase, which could cost employers over $86 billion in the next decade.

You want to know how bizarre, how ill-thought out this plan really is? Read on.

In one of the rulings, the Health Resources and Services Administration says http://www.hrsa.gov/womensguidelines/ "Non-grandfathered plans and issuers are required to provide coverage without cost-sharing consistent with these guidelines in the first plan year that begins on or after August 1, 2012. ... All Food and Drug Administration approved contraceptive methods, sterilization procedures, and patient education and counseling for ALL (author capitalization)women with reproductive capacity."

All women. In Oregon, a woman’s age of consent is fifteen, which means a fifteen-year-old girl in that state can request sterilization without her parents’ permission.

Is that the type of idiocy you want to permeate our health care in the years come?

If you watched the presidential debate, you know that not even President Obama could explain his own plan.

Kent Conwell of Port Neches is a retired educator. Cotact Conwell at rconwell@gt.rr.com. He blogs at kentconwell.blogspot.com.

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