Well, duh! Of course the new health care overhaul passed by Congress and signed by President Obama is confusing. Do you think the confusion comes because the bill clocked in over two thousand pages long? Not according to Carrie McLean, a licensed agent for eHealthInsurance.com:

McLean said the call center had been inundated by uninsured consumers who were hoping that the overhaul would translate into instant, affordable coverage. That widespread misconception may have originated in part from distorted rhetoric about the legislation bubbling up from the hyper-partisan debate about it in Washington and some media outlets, such as when opponents denounced it as socialism.

It’s not the size of the bill, but the “hyper-partisan debate” and calling it socialism that is confusing people. The news article isn’t clear whether that is something McLean actually stated, or if it is an editorial addition by the article writer, Margaret Talev. Based on the left-leaning nature of the print media, I guess it’s the latter.

Adults with pre-existing conditions are frustrated to learn that insurers won’t have to cover them until 2014 (though those under 18 will be protected in late September); then they become both hopeful and confused upon learning that a federal high-risk pool for them will be established in the next few months. “Health insurance is so confusing. You add this on top of it and it makes it even more confusing,” McLean said.

Free-market health care insurance should be no more confusing than buying tuna fish in the grocery store. You weigh the costs and benefits, and then you select the one that best suits your needs and wallet. When it’s not that simple, it’s not the free market; the government has stepped in and has meddled. That is exactly what has happened in the health care market for the past 70 years.

The solution is getting government meddling out of health care, but somehow government thinks that passing a multi-thousand page bill will fix it. Oh, yes, this time it will work, they tell us. Just like all the previous massive bills “fixed” health care before.

And now for some inadvertent comedy hidden in a survey of Republicans:

Americans who suggest Barack Obama should rot in hell are apparently deadly serious.

Nearly a quarter of Republicans believe the Democrat president ‘may be the Antichrist’, according to a survey.

Who actually asks these sort of questions? I do like the weasel word “may” in the quote, as in “Obama may be an American,” or “Obama may be the offspring of a Martian sheep pimp.” There’s lots of wiggle room in “may.” Anyway, any prominent person “may” be the antichrist, but we’d have to look at his actions and words to know. And as it says in 2 Thessalonians 2:4, the antichrist “sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.” Can you think of a prominent politician whom people see as God?

An even greater number compared him to Hitler.

The corollary to Godwin’s law should have stopped this poll right there.

More than half of the Republicans quizzed by Harris Poll, 57 per cent, believed the president was secretly Muslim, something he has consistently denied.

His favoritism to Muslim nations and his antagonism to Israel surely doesn’t indicate anything. Nor does the time Obama mentioned “my Muslim faith.” George Stephanopoulos was quick to correct him. It was a simple mistake, and one I make all the time as mistakenly call myself a Hindu instead of Christian.

And 67 per cent of Republicans who responded believed Obama was a socialist, despite his central leanings.

With the passing of socialized medicine, I believe the answer should be closer to 100% now.

Back in June 22, 2007, then-candidate Barack Obama made a pledge to the American people. You can watch it, if you can stomach it, starting at the 1 minute mark in the following video:

“When there is a bill that ends up on my desk as the president, you the public will have five days to look online and find out what’s in it before I sign it.”

The Health Care Reform Act passed the House late on Sunday, and today, Tuesday, President Obama will sign it into law. Now I’m no rocket scientist, but I know the difference between two days and five. If Obama were to keep his promise, the bill would be online for five, count ‘em, five days on the White House website so we can see what the hell it is he is signing. But what do you see when you follow the “Learn More” button?

Nothing to see here, move along.

To those people who voted for Barack Obama believing in his promises, I have just one thing to say:

Suckers!

Here’s a lovely story as reported in Politico.com recently:

President Barack Obama had exhausted most of his health care reform arguments with members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus during a White House meeting last Thursday when he made a more personal pitch that resonated with many skeptics in the room.

One caucus member told POLITICO that Obama won him over by “essentially [saying] that the fate of his presidency” hinged on this week’s health reform vote in the House. The member, who requested anonymity, likened Obama’s remarks to an earlier meeting with progressives when the president said a victory was necessary to keep him “strong” for the next three years of his term.

Another caucus member, Rep. Jose Serrano (D-N.Y.), said, “We went in there already knowing his presidency would be weakened if this thing went down, but the president clearly reinforced the impression the presidency would be damaged by a loss.”

Added Serrano: “He was subtle, but that was the underlying theme of the meeting — the importance of passing this for the health of the presidency.”

This nation elected a narcissist, so we shouldn’t be all that surprised that he spends his time thinking about himself. Rather than electing a President with gravitas, we got the equivalent of Meredith from the “Bratz” movie:

Now here’s some cheery news showing how popular the health care bill is:

A new poll that should cause significant concerns for backers of the pro-abortion Senate health care bill finds nearly half the nation’s physicians would consider quitting if the bill becomes law. The survey, appearing in the New England Journal of Medicine, indicates 46 percent of doctors would consider leaving their practice.

The poll finds 46.3% of primary care physicians (family medicine and internal medicine) feel that the passing of a public option will either force them out of medicine or make them want to leave medicine.

Doctors also seem to understand the impact that will have as 72% of physicians feel that a public option would have a negative impact on physician supply, with 45% feeling it will “decline or worsen dramatically” and 27% predicting it will “decline or worsen somewhat.

Seems obvious that the nation’s doctors are very concerned about the proposed health care bill in Congress. And almost half say that they will either be forced out or want to leave their practice. And this bill is supposed to help the care American’s get? So what happens when nearly half of the nation’s doctors are gone?

The answer’s simple: since the health care bill will force people to buy insurance, even if they don’t want to, it’s not a stretch to imagine government forcing these doctors to remain in their jobs. After all, this bill isn’t about health care — it’s all about force.

There is an inherent problem with the concept of passing a bill because it is popular. The problem was brought to my attention again when I was doing some research about how many Americans are dependent on the government and its handouts. (Answer: too damn many – 54% in 2000 and growing since then.) In my searching, I stumbled across a post on ThinkProgress.org about the high support for Obamacare in August, 2009:

New poll finds that 77 percent of Americans still support the public option.

In recent weeks, the fate of the public option in new health care legislation has been uncertain. Yet, while the issue continues to be hotly debated in the halls of Congress, a new poll by Survey USA finds that the idea is as popular as ever amongst the American public:

More than three out of every four Americans feel it is important to have a “choice” between a government-run health care insurance option and private coverage, according to a public opinion poll released on Thursday.

A new study by SurveyUSA puts support for a public option at a robust 77 percent, one percentage point higher than where it stood in June.

The SurveyUSA poll finds similar results to several other polls that also show that the public option is very popular, a fact that some members of Congress consider to be a detriment.

Quick, pass Obamacare! 77% of Americans support it! Well, not so fast. If you live by the poll, what do you do when the polling goes against you? The answer, as evidenced by the way liberals act, is to ignore the polls when they turn unfavorable and press on with the legislation anyway.

I’ve not heard of SurveyUSA before, but I have to discount this poll. Looking at Rasmussen polling from Jun 27, 2009 to Mar 14, 2010, I see only two times when the polling has been favorable for Obamacare: Jun 27-28, 2009 has it 50% for and 45% against Obamacare, and Sep 12-13, 2009 when it was 51% for and 46% against. Of the remaining 37 polling times, one was tied (Sep 11-12, 2009) and the rest opposed to Obamacare. If I compare this to a sport team’s win-loss-tie score, it comes out as 2-36-1. That’s 2 wins, 36 losses, and 1 tie. Pitiful. A coach with that sort of record would get fired. Heck, coaches get fired for performances that rate significantly better than Obamacare. But liberals in power are charging ahead with this legislation.

Why the rush? The people certainly aren’t clamoring for it. Industry isn’t begging for it. Health care in American hasn’t collapsed in the many months since President Obama and fellow Democrats first started claiming it was broken. And history has shown again and again that socializing medicine results in greater expenses and reduced services, so informed Democrats can’t possibly believe this bill will create an improved health care system. So why are they pushing so hard for it that Speaker Pelosi says it is worth losing elections for?

The answer is power. Democrats want to take the business of medicine and bring it under their political control. And when you have no option other than government for your health care, then government can tell you what to do and how to live your life. It’s happened in the UK, and in numerous other countries where medicine has been socialized. Do you really believe that some bureaucrat in Washington D.C. knows better than you how to live your life? And even if you believe he could, do you really think some bureaucrat has the right to make your life choices at all?

Contrary to what the SurveyUSA poll said in August of last year, most Americans are and have been against Obamacare. But if the American people were asked if they would be in favor of government taking more control over their lives, I believe the number supporting government takeover would drop to single digits. If Democrats continue to push for an unpopular health care takeover, then they will pay the price at the poll that matters most: the November 2, 2010 elections.

Today is the first anniversary of President Obama’s inauguration, but there won’t be any partying to celebrate.

Don’t expect any partying at the White House on Wednesday.

Press secretary Robert Gibbs says nothing special is being planned to take note of Barack Obama’s first year as president. Obama took the oath of office on the steps of the Capitol around noon on Jan. 20, 2009.

Gibbs acknowledged that Wednesday is an “anniversary of types” but says the staff isn’t focused on marking the first year.

Why so serious? After all, the White House has been party central this past year.

In fact, according to the Chicago Tribune, the stylish Ms. Rogers and the party-hearty First Couple hosted no less than 170 parties and social events through December 3 of 2009. And that does not even include the 17 parties and 11 open houses – feting more than 50,000 guests – ABC News reported the Obamas hosted throughout the Holiday Season.

For those not counting, that means by January, 2010, Ms. Rogers had staged one gala White House event every three days throughout the first year of the Obama Administration, making the once austere Executive Mansion look more like party central.

No reason to celebrate Obama’s first year? What could possibly stop the constant partying? Could it be the election of Scott Brown in Massachusetts to fill Teddy Kennedy’s old Senate seat? Could it be that many Democrats and independents who had voted for Obama for President voted yesterday for a Republican for Senate? Could it be Obama’s plans for government take-over of health care are now needing emergency care?

Maybe President Obama has decided to spend more time working this year instead of golfing so much.

“Good morning, class. I have a light reading assignment for you. First read War and Peace, all 1,296 pages of it, and then tackle the 832 pages of Anna Karenina, both by Leo Tolstoy. Pay particular attention to the supporting characters, and the differences between the Tsarist society of the Napoleonic wars of War and Peace and the later time period of Anna Karenina. Tests and essays determining how well you have learned the books will comprise a large part of your grade.

“Oh, and the test may happen any day now, so I suggest you best get cracking.”

Do you think you could successfully navigate through the required 2,000+ pages of Russian prose with complete understanding? Do you think you would have the time to finish the reading and fully grasp the subtleties of Tsarist society of 19th century Russia in the short time allotted? Do you think the professor is a complete idiot to pile this load of work on you in such a small time? Doesn’t he know that you have other classes and activities you are responsible for?

But this is exactly what the Senate is doing. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act before the Senate clocks in at 2,074 pages, making it slightly shorter than the 2,128 pages in the Tolstoy reading assignment. To make it even, feel free to skip the last part of Anna Karenina after the title character dies, and Tolstoy rambles on about his Mary Sue.

Do you think any Senator has actually read this monstrosity of a bill? And do you think any Senator fully understands what is in the bill? And worse still, do you think any Senator has an understanding of the unintended consequences that will arise by the passing of this bill? Or do you think this is just a naked power-grab by Washington D.C.?

A power-grab? Surely not! It’s not like government has already grabbed the reigns of power over the economy already. Oh, wait, it has already begun.

William Boyes, an economics professor at the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University, estimates that the government now owns or controls businesses that generate about one-third of U.S. economic activity.

And adding the medical industry’s 17-18% of the U.S. economy under the thumb of the government will raise the level of the government’s control close to, if not past, the 50% mark. But don’t you dare call President Obama a socialist!

Obama took months to pick out a dog for the family, and he has yet to pick a church to attend, but the mind-boggling complexity of the health industry, the planned reforms, and their unintended consequences don’t need careful scrutiny. Nope, it’s already passed the House, and the Senate is rushing toward a vote with the grace and understanding of the long-range ramifications as a college kid homing in on the frat house beer keg. And when I say rushing, I mean it. The Senate may have a procedural vote on the bill today, when normally Saturdays are reserved for pressing the flesh of their home-state constituents. But not when it’s time to ram home a double novel sized health care bill.

I have to wonder if the people of 19th century Russia who were complaining so loudly about the corruption and abuses of power under the Tsars would have been so anxious to support their overthrow if they had foreseen the corruption and abuses of power under the later communists? It’s the unforeseen consequences that will always get you when you rush into a massive change. Do you think the people cheering the fall of the Tsars and the rise of the communists in 1917 were also cheering for political repression, economic depression, and the murder of 20 million people under Stalin? I don’t believe so. I think they were just caught up in the moment as they called for change. People forget that change can also be for the worse.

Anna Karenina starts with the best line of the whole novel: “Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” Once government has successfully taken over our health care industry, every unhappy family will be unhappy in the same way — the unhappiness that comes from reduced freedoms and government oppression. And reduced freedoms and government oppression is exactly what you get when the Senate rushes to pass a 2,074 page long bill that they haven’t even read.

“What’s in the bill? Who cares?!? Change!”

“There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics,” is a phrase often attributed to either Mark Twain or Benjamin Disraeli, and it is often misquoted like I have done today. It is the third kind of lie, that of government budget estimates that I want to address today. Here’s the news that greeted me this morning.

Health care legislation drafted by a key Senate committee would expand coverage to 94 percent of all eligible Americans at a 10-year cost of $829 billion, congressional budget experts said Wednesday, a preliminary estimate likely to power the measure past a major hurdle within days.

The Congressional Budget Office added that the measure would reduce federal deficits by $81 billion over a decade and probably lead to “continued reductions in federal budget deficits” in the years beyond.

The report paves the way for the Senate Finance Committee to vote as early as Friday on the legislation, which is largely in line with President Barack Obama’s call for the most sweeping overhaul of the nation’s health care system in a half-century.

I find it interesting that the last paragraph talks about this bill as the “most sweeping overhaul” in a “half-century.” That last overhaul was Medicare, and as Jeff Emanuel points out, it’s not a good example of wise government spending.

At its inception in 1966, Medicare carried an annual price tag of $3 billion. Its Congressional founders predicted that cost would rise to $12 billion a year by 1990 — a figure that accounted for inflation.

The true cost of Medicare is stunning. In 1990, rather than costing American taxpayers $12 billion, Medicare cost $107 billion — an increase of 800% over the government’s best guess at the program’s cost 23 years before. That cost has increased exponentially as the years have passed since 1990. This year, $484 billion will be spent on mandatory Medicare outlays; by 2018, that number will be $885.1 billion, according to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office. The total amount owed Medicare beneficiaries (American workers who are at least 22 years old and who have paid into the system, meaning they are due Medicare coverage upon retirement) is a staggering $32.3 trillion — an amount over twice America’s GDP, and nearly five times the publicized national debt.

The fact that the federal government has allowed a key health coverage program with which it has been entrusted to fall over thirty trillion dollars in debt should send a powerful message about Washington’s ability (or, more correctly, inability) to be a good steward of Americans’ health care dollars and coverage.

I’m not impressed over the CBO’s numbers because I recognized them for the guess that they are, and I don’t see them as a green light for passing the unfinished health care overhaul. I’m all too aware that the government estimates of one year are the horrible over spending of years later. Since the government can’t properly handle Medicare in a manner fiscally responsible, I have no desire to give them access to a large chunk of America’s economy to muck up.

You’ll hear the CBO estimate many times in the next few days and weeks. If anyone tries to use them as a reason for passing President Obama’s dream of health care reform, simply ask them to name a government program that has ever come in on budget. Past government performance proves that there are lies, damn lies, and government budget estimates.