Senator Enzi: “Democratic proposals will make the country’s finances sicker”


A leading GOP negotiator on health care struck a further blow to fading chances of a bipartisan compromise by saying Democratic proposals would restrict medical choices and make the country’s “finances sicker without saving you money.” Any health care legislation should lower medical costs for Americans without increasing deficits and the national debt. “The bills introduced by congressional Democrats fail to meet these standards,” he said.

The death knell for Obamacare sounded when White House officials projected a knee-buckling $9 trillion deficit over 10 years. Enzis judgment is particularly noteworthy because he is one of the three Republicans on Senate Finance who have been working on a bipartisan bill. That’s the one that has the agreement with BigPharma to not use government influence to control costs, and disposes of the public option in favor of a cooperative.

Earlier, Enzi called for more competition among health insurers, for the ability of small businesses to band together across state lines to negotiate for lower-cost insurance plans, for tax breaks to help people buy insurance and for reducing malpractice lawsuits.

So what does that leave the Democrats with? Some very viable and attractive options, if they are wiling to take them. Charles Krauthammer lists them in his most recent post and I will review them.

1. Let the public option go. You are never going to get moderate Democrats to go along as long as their re-elections are at stake. And not one liberal will lose their seat because it’s not in there. Cindy Sheehan doesn’t roar that loudly and Democrats don’t turn on their liberals. Not like Republicans turn on their conservatives when they fail.

2. The Senate is already dropping end of life counseling. Keep government out from between the patient and doctor. The Senate is dropping it. The House should follow.

3. Since the real purpose of allowing the government to set “best practices” is to ultimately establish official criteria for denying reimbursement for certain treatments, let that go too.

4. Quit selling Obamacare as cost cutting. Here’s why…

5. Sell Obamacare as nothing but pleasure. Prohibit: denying coverage for pre-existing conditions, dropping coverage if someone gets sick, and capping insurance company reimbursements. Government will impose an individual mandate, making all the young people who don’t buy it now pay for it. The insurance companies will have a larger risk, with more insured in the pool, and those who can’t afford it will be subsidized. Two new revenue streams for insurance companies with universal coverage all in the mix.

In the end, those who buy into the faux utopianism of universal coverage will get it. We’ll get hooked, costs will go up, and care will be rationed just as it is everywhere else. And America will live with it.

Think Democrats will listen?

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