Ever wonder why the Senate health bill expects to pay for itself in part by a tax on medical devices, of all things? That’s a tax on items like prosthetic limbs and pacemakers. Weird, no?
Not so weird, says Dick Morris: The medical device makers are essentially being punished for not going along with Obamacare like the American Medical Association and the AARP.
Morris examines the deals, special favors, and extortion underlying the endorsements for the Democrats’ version of healthcare reform on the part of nearly all segments of the health industry:
· The American Medical Association (AMA) was facing a 21 percent cut in physicians’ reimbursements under the current [Medicare] law. Obama promised to kill the cut if they backed his bill….
· The AARP got a financial windfall in return for its support of the healthcare bill. Over the past decade, the AARP has morphed from an advocacy group to an insurance company (through its subsidiary company). It is one of the main suppliers of Medi-gap insurance, a high-cost, privately purchased coverage that picks up where Medicare leaves off. But President Bush-43 passed the Medicare Advantage program, which offered a subsidized, lower-cost alternative to Medi-gap. Under Medicare Advantage, the elderly get all the extra coverage they need plus coordinated, well-managed care, usually by the same physician. So more than 10 million seniors went with Medicare Advantage, cutting into AARP Medi-gap revenues.
Presto! Obama solved their problem. He eliminates subsidies for Medicare Advantage. The elderly will have to pay more for coverage under Medigap, but the AARP — which supposedly represents them — will make more money….
· The drug industry backed ObamaCare and, in return, got a 10-year limit of $80 billion on cuts in prescription drug costs….They also got administration assurances that it will continue to bar lower-cost Canadian drugs from coming into the U.S. All it had to do was put its formidable advertising budget at the disposal of the administration….
The insurance companies were supposed to get a deal, too: 40 million potential new customers roped in by mandates forcing everyone to buy coverage. But then the Senate Finance Committee reduced the fines for not buying health insurance, and the insurance industry pulled its Obamacare support.
The only industry that refused to knuckle under was the medical device makers. They stood for principle and wouldn’t go along with Obama’s blackmail. So the Senate Finance Committee retaliated by imposing a tax on medical devices such as automated wheelchairs, pacemakers, arterial stents, prosthetic limbs, artificial knees and hips and other necessary accoutrements of healthcare.
That’s what happens when you don’t make nice and take the bribe. Kind of like waking up with a horse’s head in your bed.
Finder’s fee: Retired Doc