For those expecting something original or even bipartisan in the President’s healthcare proposal, you will be truly disappointed. The same tired proposals or lack thereof are once more foisted upon the American public wrapped in new Obama clothing.
Remember in the 1970’s when Richard Nixon tried to introduce price controls? This was a disaster of epic proportions. Well doctors across the country will tell you: they’re back. Consumers are usually very happy with price controls at first. But when the manufacturers of the products they wish to consume see that they are not making money to pay their employees, they leave the business. In this case, the consumers are the American public and the product is health insurance. Since the government is going to regulate the prices and what the policy must offer, you will rapidly see the exodus of the American insurance company. We all know who will be left to pick up the pieces…the government. Voila, you have the back door approach to government healthcare. Everyone gets rationed care, long lines and cookie-cutter treatment.
Hasn’t time and history taught us that the best way to improve product and cost is through the marketplace? Why can’t anyone open up the insurance market and sell the product across state lines and throughout the United States? Instead of a handful of companies in each state you would have hundreds of options across the nation. But then again, this would not lead to national health care; therefore, President Obama has discarded this concept.
With bureaucrats determining our healthcare and with the imposition of more and more governmental regulations, what will happen to the doctor-patient relationship? The obvious answer is that your health will be determined by individuals who have no experience taking care of patients. Within the last few months the US Services Preventative Task Force deemed mammograms for women below 50 unnecessary. This recommendation was made despite the fact that countless women have been saved by this screening. This new recommendation was promulgated by the board of that organization but there is not one cancer doctor (oncologist) or x-ray doctor (radiologist) on that board. Shouldn’t doctors who actually know their patients make that decision?
Isn’t it interesting that the House has its bill, the Senate has its bill and now the President has his bill. But none of them talk about tort reform. We spend hundreds of billions of dollars each year on the practice of defensive medicine and frivolous lawsuits. One would think that someone would postulate a system to mitigate this expense. But you can forget about it when the plaintiffs’ attorneys are one of the biggest donors to the party in power! Doctors save lives, attorneys save their skin in this proposal.
Taxes here and taxes there, there are taxes everywhere. If you don’t buy mandated insurance, you get fined. If your company makes a life saving drug, you are taxed. In fact, drug makers get a new $33 billion in taxes. If you have the nerve to be a moderately high income worker, you get almost 3% of your income taxed to pay for this bill. You better not be married because there is a marriage penalty. You see the tax kicks in at $200,000 for you rich single people and $250,000 for your ultra-rich married folks. Our country is going through an epic financial crisis. Has there ever been a recovery spurred by taxes? This country needs jobs not job-killing legislation. The Presidential healthcare proposals are like a treasure hunt of new taxes. Just 11 pages in length it mentions taxes 35 times.
It is amazing that anyone believes the Congressional Budget Office numbers. They are never right and always underestimate the true cost of things. In 1965 when Medicare was initiated they projected the cost of the program to 1990 and estimated it would cost $9 billion. Guess what, it cost $67 billion. They were off by over 700%! Medicaid had a special hospital benefit introduced in 1982. “They” estimated it would cost 11 billion dollars in 1992, but it came in at a cool $100 billion. That is almost a 10 fold difference. Why do people believe governmental estimates? They are merely tools to propel bad proposals into law.
President Obama says his plan will cost $1,000,000,000,000. If past history is correct that will cost the American public $7-10 trillion dollars. Who will pay for this? Those reading this article will be long dead! Isn’t it time for solutions that our children and grandchildren will not be responsible for? Isn’t it time for some common sense proposals from those who actually provide health care in this country — physicians?