Jul 24, 2011

MedicalConspiracies- Mass. Healthcare Reform Augurs Badly for Obamacare; Study: Americans "in Poverty" Are Seldom Poor

FYI. Re. 5. I wish that I was that poor. Maybe I can get my PCP
to prescribe a jacuzzi for my arthritis ?;-)))))
Bruce Chesley
Truth is a terrible cross to bear.
Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered. - Thomas Paine
The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws - Tacitus
Treason for $$$$. ALL "pro 2A" orgs.

----- Forwarded Message -----
From: "Newsmax.com" <newsmax@reply.newsmax.com>
Date: Sun, 24 Jul 2011 15:12:10 GMT

Insider Report from Newsmax.com
Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):
1. Mass. Healthcare Reform Augurs Badly for Obamacare
5. Study: Americans "in Poverty" Are Seldom Poor

1. Mass. Healthcare Reform Augurs Badly for Obamacare

A new study of the healthcare reform enacted by Massachusetts and its
then Gov. Mitt Romney five years ago offers an ominous warning about the
likely effects of Obamacare on the nation as a whole.

Researchers at the Beacon Hill Institute (BHI) at Suffolk University in
Boston found that the Bay State healthcare reform plan has led to
increased healthcare expenditures and private health insurance costs, as
well as additional payments for Medicare and Medicaid, for a total of
$8.5 billion in new outlays.

In 2006, Massachusetts enacted healthcare reform legislation that
promised to extend healthcare coverage to all citizens while
significantly lowering costs. The law imposes mandates on residents to
obtain health insurance and on employers to provide it if they have 11 or
more employees.

It also expands Medicaid coverage, establishes a health insurance subsidy
program, and creates an insurance exchange that helps those who are
ineligible for Medicaid buy competitively priced health plans.
The BHI report states: "Now that the law has been in effect for more
than five years, we can begin to assess its impact on the state of

Among the findings:

. State healthcare expenditures have risen by $414 million over the
five-year period.

. Private health insurance costs have risen by $4.31 billion.

. The federal government has spent an additional $2.41 billion on
Medicaid in Massachusetts.

. Medicare expenditures increased by $1.42 billion.

The total cumulative cost over the period is just over $8.5 billion.

But the state has been able to shift the majority of the costs to the
federal government, which continues to absorb a significant part of the
cost of healthcare reform through enhanced Medicaid payments and the
Medicare program - meaning Americans outside Massachusetts are helping
to pay the bills for the healthcare plan.

In analyzing the study's results, the researchers observe:

. Cost-containment is often a major goal of health reform plans.
However, this particular healthcare reform legislation did not provide an
effective means for containing costs.

. The promise of cost-containment rested on a vague hope that the newly
insured would seek preventive care, access their primary care physicians
earlier in their illness and avoid costly emergency room visits. Yet the
number of emergency room visits rose from 2.351 million in 2006 to 2.521
million in 2009, or by 7.2 percent over the period. The total cost of
emergency visits has soared by 36 percent over the period, or by $943

The large number of newly insured residents in the state has increased
demands on the primary care system, forcing patients to visit emergency
rooms at a rate significantly higher than expected.

The BHI report also states that "by increasing demand for healthcare
services without an equal increase in their supply, the universal
healthcare law guaranteed that the price of healthcare services and
health insurance would increase."

The researchers point out that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care
Act signed by President Barack Obama in March 2010 is "essentially
identical" to the Massachusetts law.

Obama claimed the law will lower healthcare costs. But the researchers
conclude: ā€ If the federal law is modeled after the Massachusetts law,
it stands to reason that Massachusetts' experience with healthcare
reform provides an idea of what is in store for the country under the
federal law.

5. Study: Americans "in Poverty" Are Seldom Poor

Most of the Americans the federal government defines as "in poverty"
are "not poor in any ordinary sense of the term," according to a new
study - especially when compared to the poor in less developed

. To the average American, the word "poverty" implies significant
material deprivation, an inability to provide a family with adequate
nutritious food, reasonable shelter, and clothing, - the study from The
Heritage Foundation states.

. The actual living conditions of Americaā's poor are far different
from these images.

The Census Bureau reports that there are 43 million Americans living in
poverty. To help them, taxpayers spend some $900 billion a year in
federal and state dollars "over $20,000 for each person deemed poor"
through more than 70 means-tested programs providing cash, food,
housing, medical care and more.

But according to the government's own survey data, in the past decade
the average household defined as poor by the government lived in a house
or apartment with air conditioning and cable TV, The Heritage Foundation
study found.

. The household had a car "one-third had two or more cars" two color
televisions, a DVD player, and a microwave.

. The home of the average poor family was in good repair and not
overcrowded, the study observes.

. In fact, the typical poor American had more living space than the
average European average, not poor.

. When asked, most poor families stated they had sufficient funds during
the past year to meet all essential needs.

Study authors Robert Rector and Rachel Sheffield cite U.S. Department of
Energy data showing that in 2005, the most recent year on record:

. 62 percent of poor American households had a clothes washer in the
home, and 53.2 percent had a clothes dryer.
. 65.1 percent had more than one TV.
. 54.5 percent had a cellular phone.
. 38.2 percent had a personal computer.
. 36.6 percent had an answering machine.
. 29.3 percent had a video game system.
. 25 percent had a dishwasher.
. 5.2 percent had a photocopier, and .6 percent even had a Jacuzzi.

The study also found that 5.9 percent of households "sometimes" did
not have enough food, and just 1.5 percent "often" did not have
. Some poor Americans do experience significant hardships, including
temporary food shortages or inadequate housing, but these individuals are
a minority within the overall poverty population, the study authors

. Poverty remains an issue of serious social concern, but accurate
information about that problem is essential in crafting wise public
policy. Exaggeration and misinformation about poverty obscure the nature,
extent, and causes of real material deprivation, thereby hampering the
development of well-targeted, effective programs to reduce the

Former Congressman Ernest Istook, now a distinguished fellow at The
Heritage Foundation, echoed that sentiment in a recent Newsmax blog:

. By defining poverty so broadly, we drain resources that instead could
be focused on those who truly are in dire straits.
. And we spend billions that could be cut from the budget instead.

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