Last weekend I visited with a friend who was recentlyhired to do some work for a DEP-run project in New York City.
Following a number of, ahem, adult beverages, I summonedup the curiosity to ask him what is was like to work, albeit temporarily, undersupervision by a branch of the government.
Without hesitation he replied, "It's like this. Forevery one person turning a screw, there's 30 people behind you with clipboardsand triplicate forms asking a series of pointless questions."
After envisioning a similarly bloated hierarchy for theproposed health care plans currently wending through the House and Senate, Iquickly reached in the cooler for a replacement. I predicted it would takeseveral more rounds to help eradicate that nightmarish image from my train ofthought.
But alas, ObamaCare is not something that disappears withan excessive intake of alcohol. In fact, the only thing that promises to vanishwith any expediency under this farcical plan is taxpayers' money. And about theonly reform that the $1 trillion ObamaCare plan will be sure to enact is toexpand the debt load for future generations.
As has been widely reported, the plan will smack wealthyindividuals with a series of tiered tax surcharges contingent on income levels,an 8 percent tax on companies who don't offer insurance as well as sizeablereductions in Medicaid and Medicare.
Okay, even taking that into consideration theCongressional budget Office (a non-partisan group by the way) warned that thiscatastrophe would tack on nearly $240 billion to our national debt.
The response from proponent lawmakers?
Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y. was quoted as dismissing theCBO findings as "a bit wacky" and does not take into consideration(and this is my favorite part) "government savings and efficiencies."
I'll repeat and italicize that for comedic emphasis,"government savings and efficiencies."
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., quipped thatCBO chief Douglas Elmendorf should try running for Congress, when the formerhad the temerity to tell lawmakers about the spiraling costs associated withObamaCare. To Reid's credit, however, he has, for now, postponed a Senate voteon this haphazardly sewn together plan.
One would think that per-patient increases of 35 percentand 34 percent for Medicare and Medicaid respectively, since 1970 would havebeen sobering enough evidence that government is incapable of running healthcare.
Medicare and Medicaid at one time cost an average of $20less than other care. Today, according to analysis conducted by the PacificResearch Institute, it costs nearly $2,000 more.
For those still unconvinced, try polling some folks inMassachusetts, where a bureaucracy oversees and insurance exchange andemployers are mandated to spend up to 10 percent of pre-tax income to purchaseinsurance for their employees or be fined. Costs have exploded and taxes wereraised including an additional $1 per pack of cigarettes.
I even read where Boston Medical Center has filed suitagainst the state claiming it will have to shut down as a result of lowerreimbursements. I won't even broach the subject in this column of what asingle-payer system will do to discourage the next generation of aspiringphysicians.
Aficionados of the Three Stooges will perhaps recognizethe headline for today's column, taken from an episode where the bumbling trioimpersonated doctors in a busy hospital.
A bit of a satire to ObamaCare perhaps but if thissomehow passes, you'd be wise to brace yourself for rationed services completewith lines previously seen only at Wal-Mart on Black Friday.
And of course, the 30 people with clipboards and endlessreams of forms.
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