Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Impact Of Health Care Decision Escapes Limbaugh

Yesterday, Rush Limbaugh told his audience

This law, Obamacare, destroys the American health care system, it destroys patient choice, it destroys -- well, significantly harms health care availability, and it destroys whatever is left of the nation's Treasury. That's where we are.

What he did not tell his audience was that ending implementation of the law, as Ezra Klein noted

means the small businesses that are getting tax credits to buy their employees health-care insurance will stop getting those tax credits. It means young adults who went back on their parent's health-care plan after the law allowed kids up to age 26 to qualify as dependents might be kicked back off. It means the rebate checks being sent out to seniors in the Medicare donut hole will stop. It means insurance plans will no longer have to cover preventive care or be barred from rescinding coverage.

One can hardly expect Limbaugh to let his listeners in on those minor details. He continually maintains that Barack Obama is out to destroy the health insurance industry. If even the hard-right conservatives who form the core of his following learned of the benefits which reform has brought, they might welcome destruction of the insurance companies which made these changes necessary.

Nor did Rush inform his followers that, with Judge Roger Vinson's ruling, insurance companies can resume imposing a cap on lifetime benefits. That would punish what The New York Times reports is an estimated 20,000 insured Americans (who) reach the lifetime limits of their coverage each year" and

For example, Hillary St. Pierre, a 28-year-old former registered nurse who has Hodgkin’s lymphoma, had expected to reach her insurance plan’s $2 million limit this year. Under the new law, the cap was eliminated when the policy she gets through her husband’s employer was renewed this year.

Ms. St. Pierre, who has already come close once before to losing her coverage because she had reached the plan’s maximum, says she does not know what she will do if the cap is reinstated. “I will be forced to stop treatment or to alter my treatment,” Ms. St. Pierre, who lives in Charlestown, N.H., with her husband and son, said in an e-mail. “I will find a way to continue and survive, but who is going to pay?"

Memo to conservatives everywhere: You. And Me (They like that part.). And all taxpayers, even the conservatives wringing their hands over the increase of the national debt, though they forgot to notice it during the prior, Republican, administration.

But all those omissions hardly come as a surprise. Rush yesterday devoted to the Federal District Court's decision a considerable portion of his three hours and boasted "I have consulted legal beagles. My dad was a lawyer. I know this stuff now." Still, he failed to mention that the ruling applies only to those 26 states named in the suit. That would be a major omission most places, but in the Limbaugh fact-free zone, it is standard fare.

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