Dick Morris on the health care bill

Mark M. writes:

Allow me to suggest that you watch the O’Reilly Factor when it comes back on at 11:00 PM this evening. Dick Morris provides an extremely lucid explanation as to why everyone’s health insurance premiums will go up if the current Senate health care bill becomes law. Morris comes on immediately after O’Reilly’s introductory remarks.

As Morris explains, by prohibiting insurance companies from excluding people with preexisting conditions, the Senate bill provides an incentive for young and healthy people to postpone the purchase of health insurance until they get sick (and to pay the modest tax penalties in the interim). This will deprive the health insurance pools of the premiums of healthy people, thus causing the cost of health insurance to rise. In turn, this increase in the cost will encourage more healthy people to postpone the purchase of health insurance, creating a vicious circle. Morris predicts that the Senate bill will become law, but that the Democrats will lose control of both the House and the Senate as a result.

Although I am not insensible to the notion that we will be diminished as a nation if the Senate bill becomes law, I’m thinking that this may not be the worst of all possible outcomes. Ultimately, everything is secondary to the immigration issue. And, if we continue to allow the mass immigration of low IQ, non-white peoples from the Third World, we will end with some variant of socialism or fascism in any event. If the passage of a deeply unpopular bill leads to a Congressional majority in favor of immigration restriction, perhaps it is worth the cost. It is not as if all leftist measures are irreversible. For instance, the maximum federal income tax rate used to be 91 percent; it is now 35 percent. The demographic changes that will occur in the next 10-15 years unless something is done, however, will be irreversible.

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A. Zarkov writes:

Iwatched Morris on the O’Reilly Factor tonight and I found his narrative incomplete. Let’s assume the House passes the Senate bill unchanged. My understanding is the Senate bill still contains the individual mandate and these young people will be forced to buy insurance or pay a fine and even go to jail. As such they they will be forced to pay excessive premiums, and this over charge provides the money to hold down premium costs over all. That’s the whole point of the mandate. That’s why Pelosi refused to answer the question about the constitutionality of the mandate. So I don’t understand why Morris says the health young will “pay the modest tax penalties in the interim … ” But one thing is sure: the mandate is essential. Should the Supreme Court decide it unconstitutional the legislation falls apart because the finances don’t work.

I also find Morris incomplete and even confusing about how the Senate bill will drain money away from Medicare. Here’s why. Eligible people who elect Medicare have their doctor fees covered by Plan B. Currently Plan B pays 80% of the allowed fee. The other 20% can get picked up in one of two ways. The first way is to buy a Medigap plan where you pay a premium to get that 20% covered. The second way is to buy a Medicare Advantage plan. This is where the action is. When one elects an Advantage plan, that plan is supposed to pick up everything. In other words, the private insurer now pays what Medicare would have paid under Plan B. The government pays the private insurer a fixed amount, about $8,000, to do this. Many people elect the Advantage plan over the Medigap plan because the premiums are cheaper. Now I suspect the government will drain money away Medicare by lowering that $8,000. This leaves less money for the private insurer to pay the doctor bills. The private insurer now has to low ball the doctor. What Morris does not tell us is what happens to the Medigap people. Does Medicare lower the allowed fee for the doctor? As we see this whole thing is complicated, and the devil is in the details. Details we still don’t know.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at December 16, 2009 10:28 PM | Send

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