Thursday, October 29, 2009

ObamaCare Meltdown?

Now that Speaker Pelosi has officially released the House version of health care "reform" (available here; Thank to reader Jeff M!), a 2000-page behemoth which I'm quite sure that she's read from cover to cover. And because she wants to tout the many wonderful benefits contained therein, she's announced a press conference to herald its publication. One would think that one of the points of this exercise is to gain maximum exposure for her efforts.

One might be wrong:

"Multiple people are telling RedState that the Democrats are blocking the public from attending their health care conference on Capitol Hill."


If that's true, and it's certainly credible (if unconfirmed), then we'll ask again: "What are they hiding?"

(There appears to be actual video of at least one Republican congressional staffer being turned away)

Well, not the bill itself, obviously, but if they're not interested in at least facing the folks who'll be affected by this risky scheme, one may be justified in a healthy does of skepticism regarding it. And for good reason: it seems to me that there are 3 key political considerations regarding the viability of PelosiCare (one can't really credit/blame PresBo for this, inasmuch as he chose not to put forth his own plan).

First, abortion coverage. On page 109 of the bill, we learn that plans will not be required to offer this coverage, but may elect to do so. I think that will be a potential deal-killer with the more liberal members of Congress, since they've been pushing so hard for it to be a covered expense. On page 110, we learn that some federal funds will be used to pay for abortions, which would seem to be a deal-killer for pro-life Members.

Perhaps the most divisive issue in this regard pops up on page 147:

"Nothing in this Act shall be construed to have any effect on Federal laws regarding

(A) conscience protection;
(B) willingness or refusal to provide abortion; and
(C) discrimination on the basis of the willingness or refusal to provide, pay for, cover, or refer for abortion or to provide or participate in training to provide abortion

It seems to me that this section alone would be a non-starter for the left-wing.

The second political "grenade" would be coverage for illegal aliens. Here, too, Ms Pelosi et al have been disingenuous: the only reference to this issue in the bill is eligibility for federal tax credits. I could find nothing which prohibited, or even discourage, illegals from participating in the Insurance Exchange itself. Without some kind of guarantee that illegals won't be allowed to buy an Exchange-compliant plan, it seems unlikely that moderate or conservative Members would go along.

The last, and of course most troubling, political issue here is the inclusion of a Public Health Option. We've already covered this extensively, I'll add only that this effectively sets forth a nationalized health insurance program. And since the public is largely opposed to such, I don't see how Members in, for example, so-called Red states could afford to vote for it.

Oh, one more little tidbit: how would you define a "young adult?" If you said "a 27-year old," you win a cheroot. Carriers (in both the group and individual markets) will be required keep them on their parents' plan, regardless of health. How much do you think that will cost?
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