The news is full of analysis of yesterday’s 7-hour healthcare summit. Every detail is being discussed–from the inequity in time allotted the Republicans to the sparring between former presidential opponents McCain and Obama, to was the “best Republican” and “best Democrat” in attendance, everyone has something to say. But perhaps the best summary I’ve found is from the Wall Street Journal which sums up yesterday’s summit with this short paragraph:
The point of yesterday’s session was to give a soothing, moderate political gloss to a government health-care takeover that will raise costs, greatly expand the entitlement state, and reduce choice and competition-the opposite of everything Mr. Obama claims.
The Journal also addresses one of the most contentious debates–whether premiums would increase or decrease under Obama’s plan. Clearly the Journal sees Obama applying the gloss in this area as well:
The morning was dominated by an argument over whether ObamaCare would lower insurance costs, and the exchange was telling. Republicans, led by Tennessee Senator Lamar Alexander, rightly said that premiums would increase, while the President disagreed. “This is an example of where we’ve got to get our facts straight,” he said, in keeping with his strategy of depicting any disagreement as factually challenged or politically motivated.
One fact is that the Congressional Budget Office estimates that premiums in the individual market would jump by 10% to 13% in 2016 because the government will mandate that consumers buy richer benefits than they otherwise would. Mr. Obama eventually conceded that point but said these mandates are simple consumer protections. “Yes, I am paying 10% to 13% more because instead of buying an apple, I’m getting an orange,” Mr. Obama said. “We want competition, we just want some minimum standards.”
Well, yes, politicians alwaysclaim their standards are the minimum. Despite vastly different consumer health needs and preferences, the core of ObamaCare is the brute-force regulatory standardization of benefits and how they should be paid for, so that government can afford to subsidize health care for all. West Virginia Democrat Jay Rockefeller let the mask slip when he said the goal is to stomp on the insurers and “clip their wings in every way you can,” because it is “a rapacious industry that does what it wants.” Mr. Rockefeller added that “Sometimes decisions have to come from Washington.”