Tag Archives: Medical Treatment

Ezra Klein on the costs of Obamacare: then and now

Consider this article from Forbes about Obamacare and how it was presented by Ezra Klein, a well-known journalist from the left-leaning Washington Post. (H/T Bernie M.)

Excerpt:

The key thing to remember is that back when Obamacare was being debated in Congress, Democrats claimed that it was right-wing nonsense that premiums would go up under Obamacare. “What we know for sure,” Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber told Ezra Klein in 2009, “is that [the bill] will lower the cost of buying non-group health insurance.” For sure.

In 2009, was Ezra saying that it’s ok that premiums will double for the average person, because a minority of people will pre-existing conditions will benefit? No.

Earlier that year, AHIP, the private insurer trade group, commissioned a report from Price Waterhouse Coopers to analyze the impact of Obamacare on health insurance premiums in the individual market. That report, which I reviewed here and elsewhere, found that the version of Obamacare then being considered by the Senate Finance Committee would increase premiums by 14 to 32 percent, depending on the year you looked at. In retrospect, the PwC report was a bit optimistic.

But Ezra described the PwC analysis as “the insurance industry’s deceptive report,” comparing it to sham research put out by the tobacco industry and Big Oil. Ezra did concede at the time that “buying better insurance will cost somewhat more,” because insurers would no longer be able “to sell a deceptive and insufficient product.”

But high-deductible, catastrophic insurance isn’t cheaper because it’s dishonest. It’s cheaper because it’s more efficiently designed. And it’s precisely that sort of efficiently-designed insurance that Obamacare abolishes.

I blogged about that study from Price Waterhouse Coopers before, too. In fact, I fully explained why specific provisions of Obamacare would necessarily raise health insurance premiums.

Before the 2012 election, I linked to an article from Investors Business Daily, which confirmed that premiums had indeed risen since the passage of Obamacare.

Excerpt:

During his first run for president, Barack Obama made one very specific promise to voters: He would cut health insurance premiums for families by $2,500, and do so in his first term.

But it turns out that family premiums have increased by more than $3,000 since Obama’s vow, according to the latest annual Kaiser Family Foundation employee health benefits survey.

Premiums for employer-provided family coverage rose $3,065 — 24% — from 2008 to 2012, the Kaiser survey found. Even if you start counting in 2009, premiums have climbed $2,370.

What’s more, premiums climbed faster in Obama’s four years than they did in the previous four under President Bush, the survey data show.

Despite these facts, the American people went along with the mainstream media and re-elected Obama for a second term in 2012, blocking any repeal of Obamacare.

I think that the American people need to realize that most journalists cannot be counted on to handle research and evidence accurately. Most of them probably never even completed a high school math or science course. They studied journalism. Journalism is not computer science. Journalism is not petroleum engineering. Journalism is not nursing. Journalism is an area where students are graded based on their ability to parrot what their leftist professors tell them to believe.  At best, left-wing journalists are not competent. At worst, they are outright liars. Study after study on media bias has confirmed that left-wing journalists cannot be trusted to report the news fairly. That is not my opinion, that’s a fact.

Unfortunately for us, our failure to fix our little Obama mistake in the 2012 election is going to cost us all dearly – especially young people.

Related posts

NHS denies pap smear to woman later diagnosed with cervical cancer

Video here via DoublePlusUndead. (H/T ECM)

I suspect that they did it to save costs – it’s the UK version of the public option.

Britain’s National Health Service pays millions to gag whistleblowers

Story here from the UK Independent. (H/T Legal Insurrection via ECM)

Excerpt:

NHS whistleblowers are routinely gagged in order to cover up dangerous and even dishonest practices that could attract bad publicity and damage a hospital’s reputation.

Some local NHS bodies are spending millions of taxpayers’ money to pay off and silence whistleblowers with “super gags” to stop them going public with patient safety incidents. Experts warn that patients’ lives are being endangered by the use of intimidatory tactics to force out whistleblowers and deter other professionals from coming forward.

The IoS has learnt of children in Stoke-on-Trent needlessly losing organs after safety issues highlighted by a senior surgeon – who was suspended after coming forward to voice concerns – were ignored. In one of more than 20 serious incidents, a newborn baby girl needed an ovary removed after a standard procedure to remove a cyst was delayed because of staff shortages.

According to Public Concern at Work (PCaW), two-thirds of doctors, nurses and other careworkers are accepting non-disclosure clauses built into severance agreements, in order to avoid years of suspension, financial ruin, incriminations and distress before a case reaches court. The details of these claims, including allegations of dangerous practice, dishonesty and misconduct, are never disclosed to the public.

The problem with government-run health care is simple. They take your money through income taxes, and they promise that later on, when you are sick, they will give you treatment. But because you have paid them up front, when the time comes to be treated you have lost your leverage to get the treatment. None of the people providing you with health care have any incentive to treat you – you’ve already paid them! No one’s salary or bonus is riding on providing you with what you want! Provision of care is often rationed so that those who voted for the party in power are served first.

Contrast government-run health care with a free market system. In a free market, sellers of health care services and medical devices compete to earn your money by giving you the highest quality for the lowest price. You have the power over these competing sellers because you have the money in your hand – no one took it from you before you needed to use it. You can always go to a competitor if you don’t like what’s being provided to you for your money, unlike government-run systems. The consumer can choose what they want by comparing prices and patient outcomes across vendors.

Tom Coburn explains what Republicans think of Obama’s health care bill

Video from the Washington News Observer. (H/T Granite Grok via ECM)

Senator Coburn is a medical doctor who has delivered over 3,000 babies. He is a staunch social conservative.

Social conservatives are stopping the Democrat health care bill from passing

Maybe it’s time that social conservatives got a little more respect from fiscal conservatives?

From Riehl Worldview. (H/T Health Care BS via ECM)

Excerpt:

There are still a number of dirty little secrets stalking the back alley’s of Congress ready to derail health care reform. And chief among them is abortion. Surprise, surprise, it’s moderate and conservative Democrats, especially many who won seats in the last election, preparing to cause trouble, no matter how much Pelosi wants to not discuss the issue right now.

[…]The stumbling block is especially huge given the dynamics of many of our largest cities. Catholic hospitals carry the bulk of the load for health care in those areas. They’ve already dug in their heels on this a long time ago, claiming they would close facilities before allowing them to perform abortions.

I’m conservative in both areas, of course.

MUST-READ: How government-run health care leads to euthanasia

I have been writing a lot of posts in the last few months about the pitfalls of government-run health care in Canada’s single-payer system, and in the National Health Service in Britain. Some people may wonder whether comparisons can be made between these systems and Obama’s government-run medical insurance idea.

Consider the words of bioethicist Wesley J. Smith: (H/T ECM)

The UK’s National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence–the Orwellian-named NICE–is the template promoted by Obamacare’s primary non government pusher, Former Senator Tom Daschle, called by the New York Times to be the most influential adviser to the POTUS and Congressional Democrats on health care reform.  Indeed, he has repeatedly stated we need an American version of NICE.

That means what NICE does matters to Americans.

Smith then notes this article from the UK Guardian which explains what NICE does.

Excerpt:

A drug which can give women with advanced breast cancer extra weeks or months of life has been turned down by a government watchdog body for use in the NHS. The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice) says it proposes to reject Tyverb (lapatinib) in spite of changes in the rules brought in specifically to allow people at the end of their lives to have the chance of new and often expensive treatments.

Tyverb is the only drug licensed for women with advanced breast cancer whose tumours test positive for a protein called HER2 and for whom Herceptin, a Nice-approved drug, is no longer working. In much of the rest of Europe, Tyverb is then given, in combination with a standard chemotherapy drug called capecitabine. Around 2,000 women in the UK could be eligible for the drug, which has the additional benefit of being taken in pill form, which means that women can stay at home and attempt to live normal lives. Nice turned down Tyverb earlier this year, saying it was too expensive for the benefit to patients it offered…

Smith concludes:

And don’t forget NICE also pushed the Liverpool Care Pathway, that may have brought back door euthanasia to the UK.  Similarly, we recently discussed a similar refusal of coverage in Ontario, Canada, for life-extending colon cancer chemotherapy.

This is our future if we pass Obamacare, unless we explicitly forbid by statute such rationing power to the cost control boards. But attempts to do so have all been turned down.  NICE isn’t nice, and it is an approach to health care that Americans should reject.

Now consider this story about the Liverpool Care Pathway from the UK Daily Mail. (H/T Andrew)

Excerpt:

A grandfather who beat cancer was wrongly told the disease had returned and left to die at a hospice which pioneered a controversial ‘death pathway’.

Doctors said there was nothing more they could do for 76-year- old Jack Jones, and his family claim he was denied food, water and medication except painkillers.

He died within two weeks. But tests after his death found that his cancer had not come back and he was in fact suffering from pneumonia brought on by a chest infection.

To his family’s horror, they were told he could have recovered if he’d been given the correct treatment.

[…]Mr Jones was being cared for at a hospice which was central to the contentious Liverpool Care Pathway under which dying patients have their life support taken away, although the hospice claims it wasn’t officially applied in his case.

The scheme is used by hundreds of hospitals and care homes, and is followed in as many as 20,000 deaths a year.

Read the whole thing.

In a socialized system, you pay you income to the ruling elite based on your ability to produce. You only have value to the state while you are working to pay taxes, taxes that socialists can use to buy votes and control other people lives. When you stop working and start needing services, you become the enemy of the state.

Contrast socialism with a free market system. Now you have the power because you have the money. Doctors and hospitals only get paid if they give you what you want – quality health care for the lowest price. You can go a competitor if you don’t like what you are offered from any particular provider. Choice and competition.

More NHS horror stories listed here.