Former Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean acknowledged Tuesday on CNBC's "The Kudlow Report" that Obamacare's negative impact on doctors and hospitals would hurt patients down the line, saying cutting provider payments to pay for the law was wrong.
LARRY KUDLOW: Can you just tell me — I don't understand. If the providers — you're talking about doctors, hospitals.
HOWARD DEAN: Right, hospitals.
LARRY KUDLOW: If the providers are damaged by this, how can the patient not be damaged by this at some point in time? That's the part I never understood.
HOWARD DEAN: Ultimately, they will be. Because cutting Medicare or anybody else's provider payments is not the right thing to do. You have to fundamentally change the way we pay for medicine. You've got to pay by the patient, and stop paying by the procedure. Otherwise, no form of cost control is ever going to do any good. The fact is, and I didn't support this bill, but there are some things in it that are going to be good. One, I would agree with Betsy that 30 million people will lose health insurance out of the private sector but go into the public sector with government subsidy and break the link between employment and health insurance. I think that's a good thing. The Obama people disagree. But it's a good thing in the long run.
Part of the discussion involved a Wall Street Journal column by Daniel Kessler, which stated the coming shocks from Obamacare would negatively affect 30 to 40 million Americans, causing them to pay higher premiums, lose coverage and have work hours scaled back.
Former New York lieutenant governor and Obamacare opponent Betsy McCaughey called the president's claims that people who are already insured will not have to change their policies or pay higher premiums under the new law was patently false. Somewhere between 7 and 30 million people who have on the job coverage will lose it, she said, and 50 million people on Medicare are paying for over half the law through cuts to their benefits.
"The president's lying through his teeth, and by the way, he also used the politicians' f-word, free, claiming that the preventive care people are getting through their insurance policies is free," McCaughey said. "Actually, they're paying for it up front in their premiums, and getting a colonoscopy isn't so bad, but having to pay for one whether you want it or not feels really bad. But the point is, that people who already have insurance will be very affected. The 25 million people in the individual market who already have insurance will see double-digit premiums."