Now that the deed is done, we know which of the politicians' brilliant ideas will become law. Here are three of the most harmful:
1) The ban on “discriminating” against anyone with a pre-existing condition. This is popular, and yet one of the most damaging part of the bill. It forbids insurance companies to charge sick people more for insurance. The result: I will wait until I get sick to get insurance. The bill supposedly has a $750 fine for not buying insurance [Page 323.] But that won’t even be enforced [page 336.] Even if I did have to pay a $750 fine, so what? That’s much less than the $20,000 plus that it would cost me to buy insurance for my family. I’d be a fool to buy insurance now.
Soon only sick people will buy insurance, so premiums will skyrocket. One study found that it would increase premiums by 50%. Will our politicians see their mistake and fix it? No, they'll bash "evil" insurance companies. The insurance market is competitive today. Obamacare will reduce competition.
2) The cost. Supposedly $568 billion just for the years 2015 to 2019 (it doesn't really kick in until 2015.) This comes at a time when the debt is already so high that the federal government is in danger of losing its AAA credit rating. And get this -- Warren Buffet's company can now borrow money at a lower rate than the US government--apparently investors believe his company is more likely to pay them back.
What got the bill through were the dubious promises given to the CBO, ie: the promise to cut Medicare. But we all know Congress won't actually cut Medicare -- it has voted to ignore automatic, scheduled Medicare cuts every year since 2002 (once they even overrode a veto to do it).
This graph represents the future of our debt payments, before the health care bill passed. The area in red shows how much the federal government will have to pay in the coming years simply in interest on the debt.
Now, Congress adds a nearly $1 Trillion health care bill. And of course, government programs always cost more than promised.
3) Mandates will raise costs. The bill forces all insurance plans to cover "at least... maternity and newborn care... Mental health and substance disorder services... behavioral health treatment... preventative and wellness services and chronic disease management... pediatric services, including oral and vision care." In the real world, some people want these and some don’t. By requiring insurance companies to pay for all, we guarantee vast increases in wasteful spending. Also, the future offers endless new mandates — the bill gives the Secretary of Health and Human Services the power to create them. [Page 105.]
With problems like those, the disgusting earmarks in the bill -- like the $100 million "Cornhusker Kickback" and the $300 million "Louisiana Purchase" -- seem barely worth a footnote.
The New York Times editorial board says that the bill "has some imperfections but is worthy of support."
Give me a break.
This Week's Show -- July 10, 2014
CENSORSHIP AT CBS: Investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson has a similar story. She explains why she left CBS after it became "harder and harder to get stories on television" that criticized this government and "any powers that be."
IS STOSSEL BIASED?: Years ago, journalist Howard Kurtz criticized me for not being objective. I said it's impossible for any journalist to be completely objective. Now that Howard Kurtz is on Fox, we debate again.
THE OBJECTIVITY MYTH: Andrew Kirell of Mediaite.com says, "every journalist has a point of view and they don't just magically check it the minute they walk in the newsroom door."
NEW MEDIA: Reason TV's Remy Munasifi uses music videos and parodies to complain about things like politicians' spending. One of his latest parodies highlights the scandal surrounding the VA hospitals. Munasifi discusses his videos, which have gone viral on YouTube.
RETRO REPORT: It's great there's a new media organization called Retro Report, which reveals media hype of the past ("crack babies," America's landfill "crisis," the "superpredator," etc.) and corrects stories everyone in the media got wrong. I discuss the new show with its executive producer, Kyra Darnton.
REAL OR FAKE?: Sometimes people in the media say things that are so bizarre, you'd think they were made up. Kennedy of The Independents quizzes FoxBusiness.com's Kate Rogers, Fox Business host Charles Payne and me to see if any of us can tell which quotes are real, and which were made up by my staff.
MY TAKE: I used to report on lots of scares. CBS even ran an ad for me where someone called me a "guardian angel."
That's bunk. The only guardian angel is a free and open society. That's what allows innovation, gives people longer lives, and lifts billions out of poverty. But these gradual improvements aren't newsworthy. Scares and disaster make the news.
News is broken not just because we're biased but because most good and important news happens slowly.
9PM ET on Fox Business Network