Friday, March 19, 2010

There Is Indeed a Difference Between Health Coverage and Health Care

Do we any longer know what this health care "reform" bill is about? The hysteria and arm twisting and personal nature of the fight between Obama and those who don't support the bill (which I guess means the majority of the American people) is, perhaps, the first truly historic event in this much heralded "historic presidency."

Whenever the swirl of hysteria takes over, my training as a portfolio manager forces me to step back and try to discern the salient facts--the pivotal issues, the bottom line, if you will, to make an informed decision.

So, since, Obama's health care benefits don't kick in until 2014, I have to assume the urgency to get this done isn't about providing health care to the uninsured. Oh yes, and can we just stipulate right now that even though Obama doesn't have his own bill (though he keeps referring to one) and it is fairly clear from his Fox News interview that he didn't read the version of the bill passed by the Senate and that since the House is planning to DEEM the Senate Bill passed without voting on it, while simultaneously passing their own amendments to the Senate bill to send to Obama for signature that (take a deep breath) Sunday's Congressional vote will be a vote where no Representative has any idea WHAT they are voting on? And no intention to any longer consider the limitations of the Constitution? Welcome to Club Obama--the land of the virtual bill that is whatever Obama wants it to be no matter what we or the Constitution says! So for argument's sake let's just assume we are all talking about the same bill. I know it is a great deal to ask but these are those kinds of times.

And since, Obama's health care bill increases taxes on the middle class astronomically and we begin paying the taxes immediately, while--stay with me here--the "benefits" don't kick in until 2014, should we assume since the tax portion is more urgent than the health care portion that this is really about taxes?

But then we hear the bill calls for the hiring of 15,000 new IRS agents (and oh by the way allows the government to take over the Student Loan program for some reason) and the evidence would show that health care is certainly NOT at the forefront of the President's agenda. It looks more like a GIGANTIC power grab to me. Recent examples? Obama has taken over the auto industry, banks, soon health care and student loans, is beefing up the IRS. I bet we can assume energy is next by the way.

Yeah, come to think of it power does seem to be at the top of the President's agenda.

So when your friends--the "independents" and democrats who voted for Obama, complain that while they now have health care coverage but can't seem to get any care you might want to remind them there was plenty of evidence this plan wouldn't work. Just ask the 33,000 Canadians who came to the U.S. for health care last year because they couldn't get what they needed from their own socialist plan, or the patients in Massachusetts who have to wait 63 days to get an appointment with their primary care physician or 70 days to see their OB/GYN (how does that work? Self delivery?). They could have told us how they like their "free coverage." If this was actually about health care that is.

So we'll all hold our breath for Sunday's vote and the slimy, fence-straddlers will miraculously come down For the bill. It will be tough. They will tell the cameras what a hard decision it was but that the $1.2 Trillion (and rising) bill to cover 32 million people will be well worth it. We'll see. We just need to trust as Joe Biden told a crowd right before he revealed that once it is passed we will have control over the insurance companies.

Come to think of it, Joe may be on to something. Perhaps that is what this is about after all. Control. Over each and every one of us.

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