During the roughly six months since the federal takeover of health care was passed, some of the "fog of confusion" so memorably described by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi -- whose talent for obfuscation gives new meaning to her hometown's nickname, the "Fog City" -- has indeed lifted, as she predicted. Unfortunately, the picture that's forming isn't reassuring. Let's take a look at some specifics:
Has the heath care takeover lowered costs for families and for businesses?
No. According to a recent Wall Street Journal report, "insurers have asked [state regulators] for premium increases of between 1% and 9% to pay for extra benefits required under the law, according to filings with state regulators. [Insurers] say Congress's landmark refashioning of U.S. health coverage, which passed in March after a brutal fight, is causing them to pass on more costs to consumers than Democrats predicted." -- "Health Insurers Plan Hikes", Wall Street Journal, September 8, 2010.
Will the health care takeover improve access to health care for children?
No. According to the Los Angeles Times, many health insurance companies are dropping child-only policies, "because the new federal requirement could create huge and unexpected costs for covering children." -- "Big health insurers to stop selling new child-only policies", Los Angeles Times, September 21, 2010.
Will the health care takeover lower health care costs?
No. In fact, the new health care law will actually increase costs. The Obama Administration's own Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services released a report that stated that the health care bill "will have negligible effects on total national health spending in the next 10 years." In fact the report went on to say that health care spending will actually increase at a faster rate. -- "Health Outlays Still Seen Rising", Wall Street Journal, September 8, 2010.
(The new government report released by HHS says President Obama's health care law will have negligible effects on total national health spending in the next 10 years, neither slowing nor fueling the explosive growth of medical costs.)
What seems clear as we learn ever more about the health care takeover is that the very premises for passing the law -- to increase access and reduce costs -- are not being honored as it begins to take effect. And this is just the beginning. America needs a plan that works, and on November 2, your vote for Nan Hayworth will be a step towards achieving that. The choice, too, is clear.