By Columnist Dick Morris
The New York Times, on Nov. 23, reported that redistribution has become the unmentionable word at the Obama White House. Former Chief of Staff William Daley says that redistribution is “a loaded word that conjures up all sorts of unfairness in people’s minds.” He notes that it is a word that in the political world, you “just don’t use.”
But the newspaper goes on to note that “the redistribution of wealth has always been a central feature of the ObamaCare law and lies at the heart of the insurance market disruptions driving political attacks this fall.”
The New York Times, as usual, misses the point. It is not the redistribution of wealth that is the main problem. It is the redistribution of health that bothers us most of all. Money is one thing. Our health and lives are quite another.
By restricting access to certain doctors, hospitals and therapies, ObamaCare limits our access to health. There are 40 drugs that address specific types of cancer genetically. The average ObamaCare policy covers 10 of them. If you have one of the others, you are out of luck.
By cutting reimbursement rates to doctors and encouraging their early retirement, ObamaCare dumbs down health care so everybody gets a little, but nobody gets a lot and many don’t get enough. Even with issues of life and death at stake, ObamaCare limits our options.
We cannot go to Sloan Kettering or the Mayo Clinic or Ceders-Sinai if we have cancer. Its not covered. Nor can we count on ever seeing an oncologist. Very few will accept the low reimbursement rates offered by the system.
A heart patient will rarely get to see a cardiovascular specialist nor will someone suffering from colon disease get to see a gastroenterologist. The reimbursement rates are prohibitively low for these specialists. And, if you go out of network, you have to pay the full freight yourself, including any follow on therapies. Not just a penalty, but the full amount you’d have to pay if you had no coverage.
A top New Jersey Orthopedist called into my radio show and said that there was no one in south Jersey in any of the ObamaCare plans who was capable of performing complex spinal surgery.
ObamaCare redistributes wealth by charging those whose policies have been cancelled a premium to cover the uninsured. And, it charges a 40% premium tax on those with good policies. And it charges a fee of $63 a head for group plans. All this money goes for the poor and uninsured.
But it is not the redistribution of wealth that is the key point. It is the redistribution of health that none of us can afford.