It's no secret that Barack Obama ultimately wants a universal government funded healthcare system in this country. He has chosen Tom Daschle, an over-the-top advocate for universal healthcare as his nominee for Health and Human Services Secretary. Tom's mantra for enacting this reform, as stated in his 2008 book is "Move fast, before the public can debate, and create as vague a bill as possible". How comforting that in Obama's promised new age of transparent government, he chooses someone who will attempt to sneakily foist upon the American people the single biggest change that will effect their lives.
What's little known however, is the dirty little secret that the current Stimulus Plan contains a huge expansion of government funded healthcare. If this porker of a bill passes, up to 10 million more Americans could be eligible for federal healthcare in the next month. Some of the proposed expansions to "stimulate" the economy:
1. The SCHIP program, initially designed for very poor working families, will now enable families who make up to $65K per year to enroll.
2. Medicaid will expand to include Americans who have lost their jobs. In most cases, states cannot apply income tests, so the Investment Banker who just lost his job can sign up for free health care, courtesy of you, the taxpayer. His family gets the free ride too.
3.COBRA, the plan that allows the unemployed retain the insurance of their former employer will allow for workers over the age of 55 to retain this coverage until they are eligible for Medicare at 65, and the feds will pick up 65% of the tab.
4. The government will decide which electronic medical records programs can be used by hospitals and physicians.
Finally, the Dems are gearing up to lower the age of Medicare eligibility to 55. Yes, Medicare, the healthcare program that will shortly run out of money as currently written.
I've got to hand it to the new administration; they are darn good at presenting a crisis argument for the passage of the stimulus to the American people, all the while stealthily attempting to enact laws, that once in place, will be virtually impossible to revoke. I don't know what more infuriating; government's outrageous arrogance, or the American people's ignorance and apathy to the monumental shifts that are taking place right under their feet.