Tag Archives: Medicine

Barack Obama wants to control whether you can pay for your own medical care

Yes, privatized health care is such a bad, bad thing. Health care is so much better in Cuba, North Korea and Vietnam.

Really? Here is a post that begs to differ by Betsy McCaughey on National Review. (H/T Commenter ECM)

Here is a dose of reality, for those who voted for the Democrats:

President Obama pledges to provide health insurance for 46 million uninsured people and, at the same time, restrain the nation’s total health spending. Covering the uninsured is a worthy goal, but it will not save money: Once they are covered, they will use 70 percent more health services overall than before, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

So where will the promised savings come from? The truth is that Americans who already have insurance will get less care.

Well, I know this will come as shock to Democrats who based their vote for Obama on Michael Moore movies depicting health care in Cuba, but government-run heath care means skyrocketing costs and waiting lists for treatment.

Health spending is higher in the U.S. than in Europe not because the American medical profession is less efficient, but because Americans have higher incomes: “The more people have, the more of it they tend to spend on health care,” wrote David Blumenthal, a Harvard Medical School professor. Blumenthal was recently chosen by Pres. Barack Obama to be national coordinator of health information technology, a key position. In his academic writings, Blumenthal has long advocated government limits on how much health care you can get.

Patients will be dissatisfied, he admits. “Government controls on health care spending are associated with longer waits for elective procedures and reduced availability of new and expensive treatments and devices,” he conceded in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) in 2001.

You need to understand that people who voted Democrat did so from a position of total ignorance about how the world actually works. They think money grows on trees. They think that “greed” is the only reason why the world isn’t a utopia of equalized of outcomes, regardless of individual choices. Unfortunately, government-run health care is a done deal in the USA.

Legislators slipped the framework for top-down government controls into the stimulus package passed in February. One provision called for computer technology that will “guide” doctors’ decisions about what care is “cost-effective.” Beginning in 2014, Medicare and other federal programs will impose financial penalties on doctors and hospitals who are not “meaningful users” of this system. Private insurers historically have followed Medicare’s lead.

That’s right. Your doctor will be coerced by the federal government to prevent you from spending your own money on your own health care. Instead, the government has decided that your money would be better spent on more valuable things like sex changes, because those are for a Democract special interest group, and you’re not in that group. You’re just a taxpayer, not a victim. No health care for you!

How much leeway will your doctor have to order tests and treatments? It’s hard to say, because the government can make the standard of compliance “more stringent” over time. Blumenthal says his job is not about “just putting machinery in offices.” In fact, it’s about control. In a New England Journal of Medicine article published April 9, just after his appointment to the Obama administration was announced, Blumenthal explained that if electronic technology is to save money, doctors will have to take advantage of “clinical decision support,” a term of art for computers telling doctors what to do. He predicted that “many physicians and hospitals may rebel, petitioning Congress to change the law or just resigning themselves to . . . penalties.”

Yes, I know this is hard for your People-magazine-reading Democrats to believe, but socialism leads to a loss of liberty. Yes! Isn’t that crazy? If you voted for Obama, you voted for fascism! You voted for the values of the state, as expressed by the ruling elite, to be imposed on the individuals who actually provide the state with capital for their schemes. Surprise!

Government controls on health expenditures will reduce the availability of medical technology, such as MRIs, and cause waits for treatment. Blumenthal says it’s “debatable” whether the timely care Americans currently receive is worth the added price. Ask a cancer patient about waiting, and you’ll get a different answer. Delays lower your chance of survival. For example, women in the U.S are more likely to have regular mammograms than are women elsewhere, according to data from the Commonwealth Fund. Their breast cancer is detected sooner. They are also treated faster and have higher survival rates than women in any other developed country, according to the CONCORD study published in 2008 in Lancet Oncology. These statistics include all American women, not just those with insurance.

Treating cancer is costly. Nancy-Ann De Parle, newly appointed director of the White House Office of Health Reform, said on March 23, “we have to get to a system of keeping people well, rather than treating the sickness.” That would make sense if all disease were preventable. But many cancers and other diseases are linked to genetics or unknown causes. De Parle’s pronouncement echoes the chilling explanation offered by Sir Michael Rawlins, head of Britain’s National Institute of Clinical Effectiveness (NICE), for his nation’s low cancer survival rates. The British National Health Service, he is quoted as saying in the NEJM last November, has to be fair to all patients, “not just the patients with macular degeneration or breast cancer or renal cancer. If we spend a lot of money on a few patients, we have less money to spend on everyone else.”

Isn’t that great? You pay into the system based on the amount of money you earn, and then left-wing activists with degrees in Marxist Studies decide when, or even IF, you will be treated. That is what we have in this country now. And we got it by our incredible ignorance about the way the world works.

And do you know what else gets reduced or eliminated in government-run health care?

Also, built into the U.S. health-care tab is research for cures. Five hospitals in the U.S. do more clinical trials than any entire country in Europe, including the U.K., the McKinsey Global Institute reported in December. If someone in your family has an incurable disease, you start each day hoping for a breakthrough. Yet in his writings, Blumenthal identifies innovation as a culprit driving up health spending.

The health provisions in the stimulus legislation were rushed through without discussion. “Speed is essential,” Blumenthal wrote in the NEJM last November. “Bill Clinton waited for nine months to introduce his Health Security Act in 1993, which allowed his opposition to mobilize and defeat him.” This time, he added, a “savvy health advisor” will warn the president, “Hurry up, we’re almost out of time for health reform.”

Now ask yourself. What is the point of producing wealth in a country where your money is confiscated to pay for other people who live risky lives and never pay anything into the system. Is work worth it? Is prudent living worth it? Only the suckers produce wealth and live clean, in Obama’s socialist utopia. Ignorance of economics is going to mean death for many Americans. And Democrats don’t care. They want everyone to be “equal”, regardless of individual choices.

UPDATE: John Lott posts that Obama thinks that US taxpayers should give up 63 billion dollars to pay for health care abroad.

Excerpt from MSNBC:

The Obama administration wants the United States to spend $63 billion over the next six years to fight global diseases and provide more aid for prenatal and postnatal care, children’s health and fighting tropical diseases.

“We cannot fix every problem,” Obama said in a written statement Tuesday. “But we have a responsibility to protect the health of our people, while saving lives, reducing suffering, and supporting the health and dignity of people everywhere. America can make a significant difference in meeting these challenges and that is why my administration is committed to act.”

That is more than 10% the total cost of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars in one fell swoop! At least we got good strategic value for the money spent on the wars! What can we expect from this? Obama’s enormous ego to become even more inflated while he spends other people’s money?

How do Democrats plan to improve health care?

I think it’s important to be clear about what their goal is for their seizing control of reforming health care.

The Heritage Foundation says this:

Earlier this month in Chicago, Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) told a rally of government-run health care supporters: “I know many of you here today are single payer advocates and so am I … and those of us who are pushing for a public health insurance don’t disagree with this goal. This is not a principled fight. This is a fight about strategy for getting there and I believe we will.”

And let’s be clear about how they mean to do it:

Recent SCHIP expansion and additional Medicaid funding in the stimulus package made a substantial down payment on major expansion of government run health programs. Established research shows that a public health plan will ”crowd out” private insurance, forcing millions of Americans off their current plans, and away from their family doctors. A public health plan, coupled with Comparative Effectiveness Research, would engineer artificially lower prices for medical services through the imposition of Medicare-style price controls. Such Medicare-style payment levels would undercut the market share of existing private health plans, and, combined with a mandate on employers, stack the incentives against workers in private employer-based health insurance by encouraging their employers to dump them into a new government-run health plan. Watch the video of Rep. Schakowksy’s statements on The Foundry. She clearly admits that the purpose of the government run option is to kill private insurance so everyone eventually is forced into government-run health care.

And the result is also known:

Moving all Americans into a government-run health care system will not only bankrupt our country, but will lead to less innovation in the health care sector and lower quality care for all Americans.

This is what people who vote for Democrats will get. It’s not what they expected, but it’s what they’ll get.