Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Saturday, August 15, 2009
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
This is the second in a series of posts about American medical care and the government’s attempts to meddle in it. Posts about other topics may appear between them.
My first post in this series pointed out that among the people who want to do away with the way medical care is delivered in America, most of them cite
But few Americans really want to “abandon our system.” Polls repeatedly show that 75 to 80 percent of us are happy with our coverage and our care. What most people do want is to find a way to accommodate those who are faced with hardships that genuinely prevent them from receiving medical services.
But the percentage of our population which falls into that category is small, and finding a way to accommodate them does not require that we eradicate the entire apparatus by which our care is delivered.
Obama has breezily claimed that 47 million Americans are uninsured, but nobody who analyzes the census estimates concurs with him. Sure, for 2007 (the most recent year for which census estimates exist) the stated number of uninsured was 45.7 million. However, after you back out the number of non-citizens -- and the number of people who already qualified for existing public care -- and the number of high earners who chose not to buy insurance because they could afford to pay for whatever treatment they needed -- and the number of people who were temporarily uninsured because they were between jobs, or were simply waiting to meet their new employer’s waiting period before they could be eligible for benefits -- the number plummets to anywhere from 8 to 15 million, depending on who’s doing the estimating.
And that is a relatively small number that should be easy to deal with. There are many things (to be discussed in a future post) that Obama & Co. could do to help those people without jeopardizing the care everyone else receives. However, those things are not even being discussed because the government’s goal is not to help people, but to control them.
On many occasions, Obama has said that under the proposed legislation you can keep your current plan if you like it and keep your current doctor if you like him. This is not true. The House bill would assess a fine, equal to anywhere from 2 to 8 percent of payroll, on employers who do not provide medical insurance to their workers. What Obama & Co. choose not to tell you is that for most employers, the amount of money they are already paying for medical insurance is much higher than that -- usually around 15 percent of payroll. Therefore, the fine will actually incent businesses to drop their insurance. In a competitive environment, what business owner would not choose to pay 2 to 8 percent to the government over paying 15 percent to an insurer.
Worse, when you look at page 16 of the bill, you will find that after your employer drops your insurance, the so-called public option will be the only one available to you because purchasing private insurance will then be illegal.
Further, the bill forbids anyone who does keep their private insurance after the legislation goes into effect from ever making any changes to it...so if you (or your employer) want to do anything like change your deductible or your prescription co-pay, or opt out of maternity coverage, you must either 1) forget the idea, or 2) lose your coverage and be forced into the public system since new private insurance will not be legal.
If the president and his minions were honest, they would stop referring to their plan as a public “option” and call it what it is: a dictate from on high that has everything to do with seizing power and nothing to do with saving lives.
Information used in this post was obtained from Investor’s Business Daily, the Chicago Tribune, the Lewin Group, and the Schnitt Show.
Saturday, August 8, 2009
This is the first in a series of posts about American medical care and the government’s attempts to meddle in it. Posts about other topics may appear between them.
Poll after poll is showing that the American people are not buying what Obama &
In this environment, I have not felt as compelled to write about Obamacare as I did a few weeks ago. But at the same time, I know the fight is far from over, and I know it is foolish to trust people called “Blue Dog Democrats” or “moderate Republicans” to follow their consciences when it comes time to vote. And I know that many people are still susceptible to magic phrases like “universal health care” and “single-payer system.” So, into the water I wade.
When it comes to critiquing the legislation, the main problem is that there is so much to criticize it takes forever to figure out where to start and what angle to take. Therefore, the most logical thing to do is go back to the beginning and ask: Is involving the federal government in our medical care necessary in the first place, and if so, why? Which is important, because so far no answer has been established to either part of that question.
Sure, we hear that health insurance is expensive, but we never hear actual numbers. We also hear that many Americans don’t have health insurance, but the numbers we hear are usually false. Does anybody honestly believe that government is more capable than the free market when it comes to delivering care in an effective and timely manner? And that it can reduce costs in the process? Even diehard leftists know this is not possible.
Almost always, the folks who want to do away with our medical marketplace and replace it with a “system” believe we should do things the way they are done in
The overall cancer survival rate, which is widely considered the most important measure of medical care quality, is 16% higher here than it is in
When it comes to Europe, a study published by the BBC shows the overall cancer survival rate in the
Along the same lines, 40% of cancer patients in the
The average wait time for an MRI in
Though I have not seen an official statistic on wait times in the
So before we go further, I ask: Why should we abandon our system and follow theirs?
In addition to the BBC and U.K. Department of Health, information used in this post was obtained from www.healthcare-economist.com, the