Tag Archives: Cost Cutting

House health care bill provides health care for illegal immigrants with taxpayer money

Robert Rector does the analysis here at the Heritage Foundation. (H/T National Review via ECM)

Here’s the abstract:

H.R. 3962 would deliberately permit illegal aliens to participate in the government health insurance exchange and in the public option insurance program. It would nominally bar them from receiving health care “affordability credits” and most regular Medicaid benefits, but verification procedures are weak and subject to fraud. Moreover, any limitations on benefits provided to illegal immigrants under the House bill are deceptive. The Presi­dent and the congressional leadership clearly intend that these limits will be only temporary, to be overturned by amnesty or “comprehensive immigration reform” legisla­tion that will be introduced next spring.

And here are the main points:

The health care bill recently passed by the U.S. House of Representatives (H.R. 3962) clearly and directly contradicts the President’s declarations and promises. Under H.R. 3962:

  • Illegal immigrants are clearly permitted to purchase health insurance under the government health insurance exchange created by the bill.
  • Illegal immigrants are permitted to receive cover age under the “public health insurance option” created in the bill.
  • Illegal immigrants are ostensibly barred from receiving taxpayer-funded “affordability credits” to subsidize their health care, but the verification procedures used to determine the legal status of those who receive credits are weak and subject to fraud.
  • The bill expands the Medicaid program. Illegal immigrants are nominally barred from receiving most Medicaid services, but the verification procedures used to determine the legal status of those who receive credits are also weak and sub ject to fraud.
  • All illegal immigrant women who do not have private health insurance and who give birth inside the United States will have the full cost of childbirth paid by the U.S. taxpayers. There will be no effort to have the mother repay any of the cost. Given the fact that nearly 400,000 children are born inside the U.S. each year to illegal immigrant women, these costs could be quite large.
  • The bill will provide tax credits to small businesses to subsidize the purchase of health insurance for illegal immigrant employees. Under H.R. 3962, small businesses will be given tax credits to encourage them to purchase health coverage for employees; because firms are not required to verify the legal status of subsidized employees, both legal and illegal employees will receive taxpayer support.
  • Illegal immigrants will continue to receive so-called emergency medical services under the Medicaid program.

The full research paper, with references, is here.

BONUS: The Senate bill includes a monthly abortion premium for all enrollees in the government-run health plan.

Former NIH director says that health care bill is an attack on patient choice

Story here at Hot Air. (Via Confederate Yankee via ECM)

Here’s the ex-NIH Director:

Dr. Bernardine Healy ran the National Institute of Health has a rather daunting resumé on health care issues.  She became the first woman to run the National Institute of Health in 1991, has served on two Presidential Council of Advisers on Science and Technology, and served as President of the Red Cross.

And here are her comments in US News:

The bill takes all sorts of choices out of patients’ and doctors’ hands. Even mammograms and prostate-specific antigen (PSA) tests would be similarly restricted by the government for millions of people, and they actually serve as better examples of what happens more broadly to personal medical decision making in the new system.

[…]As the pioneering prostate cancer surgeon Patrick Walsh of Johns Hopkins points out, a European randomized trial showed that PSAs saved lives. In the United States, there has been a 40 percent reduction in prostate cancer deaths since testing began in the early 1990s. Yet prostate screening arouses many of the same concerns as does breast cancer screening: too many follow-on studies, too many biopsies, and surgery on slow-growing tumors that may never have harmed the patient. The government task force claims that there’s insufficient evidence to make a recommendation for routine screening of men younger than 75 and is firmly against screening in men older than that. The American Urological Association’s position is the polar opposite: Baseline PSAs should be offered to men at age 40, and the frequency of subsequent testing should be determined by doctor and patient choice.

Ed Morrissey adds:

Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) tests help catch prostate cancer early. The American Urological Association wants men screened with the test beginning at age 40 to catch the problem at its earliest stages.

[…]The government board wants to move away from what it sees as excessive testing, claiming that it will reduce unnecessary stress and anxiety in patients. It’s no small coincidence that it will also save the government money — and in the case of PSAs, it will save money directly if Medicare refuses to pay for PSA tests until age 75, rather than retirement age.

Right now, the US leads the world in catching, treating, and curing prostate cancer. Britain, which has a single-payer system that rations care, has one of the lowest ratings in the world. That’s not a coincidence.

He who pays the piper calls the tune. If we want to keep patient choice, then we have to pay for our own care. If we allow the government to absorb our choices in the name of “fairness,” expect the USPSTF and other government panels to ration these tests and reduce our chances of surviving these cancers.

Previously, I wrote about a Stanford University professor’s survey of health care systems around the world, in which he compared American health care to single-payer systems, favored by those on the left. In Canada, there is a 184% increase in prostate cancer mortality rates, compared with American mortality rates for prostate cancer. That’s what we’re headed for if the public option passes.

Government-run health care: Ireland cancels scheduled surgeries to cut costs

Story from Irish Central. (H/T Secondhand Smoke via ECM)

Excerpt:

Three Irish surgeons have revealed that they are being paid a whopping $350,000 to do nothing. The three orthopedic consultants at Letterkenny General HospitalCounty Donegal have revealed that the Irish Health Service is paying them to “sit around doing nothing” while operating theaters are empty. Senior consultant and team leader, Peter O’Rourke said he is “frustrated and depressed” about the current working climate in Letterkenny General Hospital. The surgeon claims there is little or no work for his team in the busy hospital despite massive waiting lists for essential knee and hip surgeries known as elective surgeries. The health service has put such surgeries on hold until next year as the “elective” budget has overrun by $3.3 million.

It might be a good time to check out Thomas Sowell’s four-part series on the economics of health care cost-cutting in a government-run system. This story from Ireland shows how the government “cuts costs” in a government-run system. They ration health care services and products for the elderly, who have paid into the system their whole lives.

As I’ve said before, government-run health care is about equalizing life outcomes regardless of personal health and lifestyle decisions. It’s about giving some people health based on need because of their own choices, including sex changes, drug needles, in vitro fertilization, abortions, etc. And the care is paid for by people who avoided those costly behaviors, but have their incomes garnished in order to pay for the decisions of others who engage in costly behaviors.

“From each according to his ability, to each according to his need” – Karl Marx. This is Obama’s worldview, in my opinion, and the worldview of all those who voted for him.