Sunday, June 14, 2009

A New Disaster- "Fixing" Health Care

It is amazing. The administration piles lie on top of lie when trying to sell single payer health care and no one challenges them. Where are our spokesmen?

The government says it is not single payer. They say you will not have to give up your insurance if you are happy with it. Yet, Obama and most of the advocates are on the record saying a plan like this is the first step in creating a single payer system. You will not keep your insurance because your insurer will be bankrupt. The government insurance "option," which the advocates argue will "create competition," will undoubtedly put the 1,300 health insurance companies out of business. With that many companies already competing, we don't need the government.

The left says skyrocketing costs make this necessary. Unlike electricity where the product we get is the same every year, the health care product we get each year is different and better than the year before. Another reason for increasing costs is government involvement through Medicare and Medicaid. Included in your health care bill is a non itemized cost of about 20 percent which you pay to make up for the shortage in Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements to doctors and hospitals. These programs pay about 80 percent of what it costs the provider to deliver the services. You are picking up the other 20 percent in your insurance premium. If the "government insurance option" passes, they will shift more and more costs onto the private insurers until the necessary premium increases make them noncompetitive. Their business would be forced (as they are to a lesser degree now) to pay for their "competition's" expenses (the government's), and they will go out of business. The government is the problem, not the solution.

These socialists also say this whole thing is necessary because of the "large" population of uninsured. I have unmasked this fiction in other blogs. The most commonly used number of uninsured is 46 million. 10 million are illegal aliens, and I for one would rather not insure them so as to weaken the magnet drawing them here illegally. 10 million uninsured earn over $75,000 per year. They can afford it but choose not to buy it. Another 10 million already qualify for government provided health care but are too dysfunctional to simply sign up for it. A more realistic number is 16 million.

Recently the Congressional Budget Office put a cost on Obama's proposal of 1.6 trillion dollars over 10 years. They said the proposal would cover 39 million uninsured, but that it would create 23 million new uninsured. This is idiocy on steroids. Divide 16,000,000 net newly insured people into 1.6 trillion dollars. That works out to a smooth 1 million dollars per person over 10 years, or 100,000 dollars per year.

Another reason for cost increases is the Democrats/ socialists support of trial lawyers. The left is now claiming (they are probably correct) that one third of all medical tests and studies conducted are unnecessary. Of course this is almost entirely because trial lawyers have parasitically attacked the doctors and hospitals. Consequently they take many tests they know are unnecessary simply to inoculate themselves against lawsuits. But the Dems point to the waste without noting this reason, and falsely claim that bureaucratic inefficiency is the reason. Their next phony claim is that they can eliminate it. It can be eliminated, but they never will. This unholy Troika of Democrats, the press which is perfectly happy to support their lies, and those stalwarts of American values, the trial lawyers, who are savaging the hospitals and doctors without regard to anything but the money, will continue to lie and dissemble in support of one another's criminal malfeasance.

Chris "friend of Angelo" Dodd was on Fox and regurgitated these lies, but he took it a step farther and said we could save 30 percent of health care costs by correcting the waste in testing. Tests and studies are only a small percentage of overall costs. If the Dems really did eliminate all the waste (nonsense), it wouldn't save nearly a third of total costs. My guess is it would be closer to 1 or 2 percent.

If a fair evaluation of any government run system were done this proposal would be a non starter. Health care rationing is a part of every current government system. Don't get cancer in Canada, because none of the costly newly developed drugs are available (resulting in a significantly shorter life expectancy). And don't get old with kidney problems or cataracts or a lot of other things in Great Britain. You will be refused many services, including life saving dialysis (over a certain age), second cataract procedure (considered elective surgery), and a much more. It takes about 4 months to get a birth control pill prescription in Canada. And don't get sick in Canada in December. The provinces always run out of money by the end of the year, so not surprisingly that is when the doctors choose to vacation. If you need an MRI or a CT scan in the US you can usually get one within 24 hours and with a choice of facilities. In Canada the same thing is usually 3 months or more. The US has 10 times as much major medical equipment per capita as Canada and I'm sure every other government run program. The halls of British hospitals are filthy and smell like urine. Americans would never tolerate the unsanitary conditions, the waits, or the rationing. I could go on, but this idea is so idiotic it dwarfs the imagination it is even being considered.

Think of this. What does the government do better than the private sector? Is the post office more efficient than UPS or Federal Express? The distribution of welfare money costs 3 dollars for every one dollar that gets to a recipient. Is there any private company that could exist with that kind of overhead? Throughout history everything every government in the world has done has cost vastly more than a similar job in the private sector. If this gets passed, health care will suffer the same fate. It will just be more painful.

Don't let the liberals point to the boils and warts in the system and then claim they can do better. Certainly our system can be improved, but it is still by far the best system in the world. If we want to improve it we might start by having the government pay its fair share. We might get rid of the trial lawyers and replace them with a workman's comp like system. And we might stop states from mandating services which prevent the marketplace from designing policies that best serve the customer at the lowest price.

1 comment:

Matthew said...

I don't think you are correct. Without a public option, Americans are dying. Please read more at