Conservatives are shocked that overwhelming percentages of Americans are opposed to changing Medicare to a defined contribution system, i.e., over 80 percent. Of course, if they knew what ObamaCare had in store for them, the Independent Payment Advisory Board they would probably oppose that by 60 percent. According to The Wall Street Journal the board seems to have power to do one thing.
Mr. Obama, by contrast, is relying on the so far unidentified technocratic reforms of 15 so far unidentified geniuses who are supposed to give up medical practice or academic research for the privilege of a government salary. Since the board is not allowed by law to restrict treatments, ask seniors to pay more, or raise taxes or the retirement age, it can mean only one thing: arbitrarily paying less for the services seniors receive, via fiat pricing.
So, the Obama policy for Medicare is price controls. Maybe that is the only way to get to a reform of Medicare. We know what will happen with price controls. Shortages. President Obama's policy will end up wrecking Medicare.
But maybe that's the point. If 80 percent of people are opposed to reforming Medicare by turning it into a regular health insurance plan, and they will surely be opposed to the secret "death panel" plan to screw down payments to providers, and if President Obama is refusing to agree to any spending cuts in the mammoth welfare state, as his April 13 speech indicates, then reform will have to wait until the system crashes.
I keep saying this, but I must say that I can hardly believe it.
There is another thing that I can hardly believe, but which is suggested by the out-of-town tryout in Madison, Wisconsin. When the crunch comes, Democrats will be putting their people into the street.
What is the best scenario for America? I'm coming to the view that we need President Obama to win reelection in 2012. Probably we'll get a Republican Senate as well. Then, of course, 2013 and 2014 are going to be hell. Either the president will implement spending cuts or we will have inflation and a debt default. In either case there will be a massive rejection of the Democrats in 2014, setting up a Republican president and Congress in 2016.
The problem is that many people are going to suffer. Forget seniors and health care (let's face it, we geezers are going to die anyway sooner or later) what about the ordinary Americans whose lives will have been wrecked by the economy maelstrom?
I had my hair cut yesterday by a young woman that's worried about her husband, a construction superintendent. He's worried about being laid off, and they are worried about losing their home in a Seattle suburb. What about them, as the two sides in the political civil war play their political games?