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Sunday, August 23, 2009

Who's Afraid of a Health Care Debate?

The union packed town halls, the boycotts organized against Glenn Beck and Whole Foods, and the entire  smear campaign against critics of ObamaCare demonstrates all too clearly that it is the Obama administration and its allies that are afraid of a real debate on health care. After all people who aren't afraid of a real debate don't need to try and force critics off the air or boycott an entire chain because its CEO ran an op-ed pointing out what's wrong with ObamaCare.

The Obama administration tried to peddle ObamaCare as an infomercial product, promising that it could do everything, while refusing to actually address the details, the contradictions and the problems involved with rolling out a national health care program. The administration was betting that the public would forget or ignore that the administration had botched every initiative to date, that the budgeting was being contradicted even by the Congressional Budget Office, and that despite a tanking economy, everyone would be eager to see the government climb untold hundreds of billions deeper into debt. They were wrong.

Peddling government centralization of health care under the misnomer of "Health Care Reform", the Obama administration has relied on anecdotal horror stories about health care today, often revolving around HMO's. The problem is that the modern HMO is itself the product of a Democratic congress and the Nixon administration which in the 70's salvaged a dying industry by using government grants and imposing requirements on any business with more than 25 employees to offer HMO coverage to their employees. The term HMO itself was coined by Dr. Paul Ellwood, a liberal supporter of big government health care programs.

If the HMO is an abusive monster, as liberal health care reformers claim, then it's a monster that they themselves created through government intervention and mandate. And any larger big government health care program will only further centralize those same faults. Reformers who blast HMO's over their cost reduction plans that deny health care services to patients, seem to have no problem with similar health care rationing so long as it is implemented by "ethicist" and government health care advisers such as Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, who has dedicated a good deal of energy to exploring various health care rationing models based on age, degree of illness and even civic participation.

The sad HMO horror stories being trotted out in defense of ObamaCare are an emotionally manipulative shell game that ignores the fact that under ObamaCare there will be more rationing, not less. And for every HMO horror story "reform" advocates dole out, there are just as many from across the Canadian border or from the United Kingdom, not to mention Cuba, whose health care system Michael Moore has shamelessly celebrated.

And the best response to ObamaCare proponents is to paraphrase Churchill by saying that America's health care system is the worst in the world... except for all the others that have been tried. Yes there are no shortage of problems with the health care we have today, but it is also the system that offers the most options and the most possibilities. The "reformers" who promise the American people health care redistribution for everyone are selling a lie. And it's a lie that the people have seen through very quickly.

The Obama administration and its congressional allies have tried to sell the public on health care pie in the sky, only to find that the public had suddenly grown wary and was watching their wallets. Simple questions such as "How are we going to pay for this", "What kind of limits will there be", and "What kind of rationing can we expect" have toppled the system, and while the media has done its best to make anyone asking such questions look ignorant or crazy, the skepticism toward ObamaCare has only grown.

That is because the numbers don't add up on a common sense level. After all how is anyone supposed to believe that the government will offer more health care with triple the bureaucracy for more people and with more access... without running up a tab that will make Social Security seem lightweight. From the man on the street to the Congressional Budget Office, the premise never passed the smell test.

Government social welfare programs are usually billed as kinder and gentler wealth redistribution programs that turn out to redistribute the wealth on a ratio of 30 percent to those in need and 70 percent to the massive government bureaucracy administering them. As dubious as wealth redistribution may be, the socialist practice of it is to use the pretext of social needs to seize it to expand the size of government.

Communism may well be the extreme example of that, as under the pretext of giving the people, "Land and Bread", the Commissars took away everyone's land and everyone's bread, and after taking the best portion of the nation's agricultural production for themselves, redistributed the crumbs along an echo of the same old system, with the best remaining products sold on the black market, the medium products sold in Moscow, followed by poorer products sold in other cities, followed finally by the collective farms themselves who received the worst of the worst.

While the USSR may be an extreme example, government centralization and resource redistribution is a model that reproduces the same results over and over again, with radical reductions in available resources, followed by the wealthy buying the resource on the sly, the middle class straining to use whatever available disposable income they have to get their share, and those on the bottom of the ladder once again being stuck with the worst of the worst.

That is because human beings are natural capitalists. Resource shortages will not prevent the wealthy from getting the best, because there will always be someone to sell it to them. In the case of health care that can mean Canadian style illegal clinics and trips to the United States for operations, as in Communist health care systems it means skipping the line through bribery. What government centralization and administration does is limit the available health care resources, thus driving up the price on both legal and illegal health care.

Government administration cannot increase available health care resources, instead it can only decrease them. When the cost of the administrative bureaucracy is piled on top of existing health care costs, the bureaucrats will naturally try to squeeze medical providers, resulting in a diminished quality of health care, and patients, resulting in diminished access to health care resources. The one part of the triangle that will never be squeezed or cut back, is the administrative bureaucracy itself, which will continue growing and growing, until like a weed it strangles the life out of both health care providers and patients. Or as it's better known, the Public Option.

The socialist solution is good for government, and bad for everyone else. It is government intervention that created the system of HMO's, that advocates of government intervention now condemn for being unfeeling bureaucracies that only care about profit. And then instead of hundreds of unfeeling bureaucracies that care about nothing but cutting costs in order to maximize profits, we can look forward to one single unfeeling bureaucracy that cares about nothing but cutting costs in order to keep their jobs-- and to which there will be no legal alternative.

The health care reform being offered today would magnify every problem with health care today, be completely financially unfeasible and do nothing in the long run except create government administrative jobs. The American people know that. And that is why its advocates are afraid of a real health care debate. It is easier to pack the Town Halls with purple shirted union goons, to try and force Glenn Beck off the air or intimidate the CEO of Whole Foods into retracting his criticisms of ObamaCare-- then it is to have an honest and open health care debate.

10 comments:

Keli Ata said...

"The health care reform being offered today would magnify every problem with health care today"

The most concise and accurate argument against ObamaCare. It says it all.

Anonymous said...

Debbie Schlussel has a post about how anti-israel/pro muslim terror Whole Foods is. It's quite indicting. Whole Foods deserves what it gets and conservatives are being misled

Igor said...

How you tell when politician lie?

Comrade Pelosi blink

Slick Willy rub nose

Comrade Oboma open mouth

Dumb Donkey Gibbs laugh...Hehaw..he..haw..he..haw!

Is this really healthcare "reform"?

Compare Obama Care vs Igor Care at Obama vs Igor Care


I Igor produce Barrack Milhaus Hussein Obama Birth Certificate at www.igormaro.org

Lemon said...

Reform is a propaganda buzz word used to make people change their paradigm on health care.
US health care is the finest in the world, bar none.
Anyone can find problems in anything if they look hard enough or are just used to complaining alot.

Socialists play on people's greed and natural tendency to whine.

Anonymous said...

I would have commented earlier, but I spent the entire day on the bus because I had to go see a specialist, an oral surgeon, on the recommendation of my dentist.
I live in Eilat, Israel & my Kupat Holim (our version of an HMO) is Macabbi. They don't have an oral surgeon in Eilat so I had to go to Rishon le-Tzion.
My dentist is in private practice, meaning I pay, not my gov't. insurance. So, I had to make an appointment to see my Macabbi doctor to get an authorization to see a specialist. Then, I had to go to the administration office to get the name of authorized specialists affiliated with Macabbi. They gave me three names to call. The first, at a Beersheva hospital, was not a working telephone number. The second, in Tel Aviv, could not give me an appointment until the end of November. The third, in Rishon le-Tzion, only had an answering machine, but they called me back in four days & gave me an appointment. I then had to return to the Kupat Holim to get a form to be filled out by the oral surgeon & another form so I could be reimbursed for my bus fare.
In order to reach Rshon le-Tzion for a morning appointment, I had to take a bus at 4:00 A.M. - a four hour trip, change buses for another 1 1/2 hr trip, & then take a cab to the doctors office. I made it on time, saw the doctor, the examination took about 20 minutes, & she filled out the Macabbi forms. This was at 10:30 A.M.
Then, I had to do the return trip, a cab to the bus stop, another 1 1/2 hr. trip to catch the bus back to Eilat, another 4 hours on the bus. I was back in Eilat at 5:30 P.M. & took a cab home.
I might add that at this time of year, the temperature is well over 40*C so waiting for buses is a rather warm experience.
Today, I must submit the forms to the Kupat Holim.
Luckily, I have no serious problem, it was not a pre-cancerous lesion, but I have to repeat this trip again in six weeks to make sure the treatment works.
Keep in mind that this is in Israel, a very small country. We have excellent doctors although there is a developing shortage.
But my point is that I cannot even imagine what our system, which works relatively well, would look like when blown up to the size of the United States.

Sultan Knish said...

Anonymous 1,

Yes I'm aware of Debbie's post. My point was not that Whole Foods is great, my point is that the tactics being used by the left are about silencing debate.

Sultan Knish said...

Anonymous 2,

exactly. And Kupat Holim, which I believe was itself an outgrowth of the now crumbling Histadrut system, even in Israel was never meant to accommodate as many people as it does today

Keli Ata said...

Anon2--

Wow. That's an awful lot of traveling! I'd hate to think of someone in pain having to travel so much especially in summer heat.

What would happen if you didn't have the front money to pay for a cab? You can't get reimbursed if you don't have the money to spend up front in the first place:(

You bring up a good point about having to wait for referrals to be approved and selecting a specialist from an authorized list, which national health care in the US, I fear, will only authorize the cheapest providers.

Another concern I have in the US about national health care is that the government will start employing and relying on nurse practioners and physician assistants rather than MDs.

I can only imagine the many newly created but unlicensed "physician expanders" hospitals and clinics will start to hire.

My family doctor is in private practice but he also has a nurse practioner. I refuse to see the nurse practioner. I pay for an MD I want to see an MD.

Mark my words, under socialized medicine there will be more and more clinics staffed by physician extenders who can't rule out or rule in complex conditions because they don't know such conditions exist.

Sultan Knish said...

And we're going to see more people shoved into clinics with assistants, practioners, etc, whose role will be as gatekeepers to the MD's in order to cut costs and reward unions such as SEIU

Yochana said...

I'm with Beck. There's more here than meets the eye. There's something freaking sinister about obama's whole game.

I thought obama was going to come in and do his dastardly deed slowly, but he hit the ground running. I don't think any of us saw his purposeful spending to drive us straight in the hole. Wonder if the plan involves his muzlim buddies in Saudi getting us out of it. That would give definite way to shariah law.

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