Tag Archives: Provision

Dean of Harvard Medical School gives health care bill a failing grade

Story from the Wall Street Journal, by the Dean of Harvard Medical School Jeffrey S. Flier.

Excerpt:

As the dean of Harvard Medical School I am frequently asked to comment on the health-reform debate. I’d give it a failing grade.

[…]Speeches and news reports can lead you to believe that proposed congressional legislation would tackle the problems of cost, access and quality. But that’s not true. The various bills do deal with access by expanding Medicaid and mandating subsidized insurance at substantial cost—and thus addresses an important social goal. However, there are no provisions to substantively control the growth of costs or raise the quality of care. So the overall effort will fail to qualify as reform.

In discussions with dozens of health-care leaders and economists, I find near unanimity of opinion that, whatever its shape, the final legislation that will emerge from Congress will markedly accelerate national health-care spending rather than restrain it. Likewise, nearly all agree that the legislation would do little or nothing to improve quality or change health-care’s dysfunctional delivery system. The system we have now promotes fragmented care and makes it more difficult than it should be to assess outcomes and patient satisfaction. The true costs of health care are disguised, competition based on price and quality are almost impossible, and patients lose their ability to be the ultimate judges of value.

Worse, currently proposed federal legislation would undermine any potential for real innovation in insurance and the provision of care. It would do so by overregulating the health-care system in the service of special interests such as insurance companies, hospitals, professional organizations and pharmaceutical companies, rather than the patients who should be our primary concern.

In effect, while the legislation would enhance access to insurance, the trade-off would be an accelerated crisis of health-care costs and perpetuation of the current dysfunctional system—now with many more participants. This will make an eventual solution even more difficult. Ultimately, our capacity to innovate and develop new therapies would suffer most of all.

In order to have an economy recover, you need people running government who actually understand health care and economics. My lunch-time book is Regina Hertzlinger’s “Who Killed Health Care?”. Regina teaches at Harvard University, as well. She talks about how we need to lower costs and improve quality by introduce elements of choice and competition. Her plan is similar to the Republican’s Patient’s Choice Act. Consumer-Driven health care is the right solution to the problem of rising health care costs. Obama’s plan just adds fuel to the fire.

The right way to reform health care without sacrificing liberty

Consumer-driven health care:

Health Care: Fostering Focus Factories
with Dr. Regina Hertzlinger
(8:46)

Choice, Competition Should Drive Health Care Reform
with Dr. Michael D. Tanner
(5:21)

The Republican Plan (“Patient Choice Act”) is consumer-driven:

Obama’s False Health Care Choice
with Rep. Paul Ryan
(10:39)

Ideas for Free-Market Health Care Reform
with Rep. Paul Ryan
(8:30)

What’s wrong with Obamacare, Medicare, RomneyCare and CanadaCare:

Competing with the Government
with Dr. Michael F. Cannon
(7:34)

Medicare: A Model for Reform?
with Dr. Michael D. Tanner
(4:34)

Lessons from Massachusetts Health Care Reform
with Dr. Michael D. Tanner
(4:18)

The Canadian Health Care Experience
with Sally C. Pipes
(7:45)

Puncturing the Myths of American Health Care
with Sally C. Pipes
(about 8 minutes)

Milt Rosenberg hosts radio debate on health care featuring David Gratzer

First, listen to Canadian Sally C. Pipes for explaining the myths of American health care. (9 minutes)

The debate!

Milt Rosenberg talks to James Milam and Canadian David Gratzer about the problems surrounding American healthcare.

Here is the MP3. (86 minutes, commercial-free)

The bad guy isn’t all that bad – he likes HSAs and high-deductible plans.

Learn more

Understand the right way to reform health care… with short podcasts!

MUST-READ: A medical doctor explains how Obamacare fails patients

This American Thinker essay is awesome, and was sent to me by ECM.

The author gives the physician’s perspective on Obama’s government-run health care plan.

First, Pollard explains that Medicare is not providing good service now because it is rationing care.

Excerpt:

I have taken care of Medicaid patients for 35 years while representing the only pediatric ophthalmology group left in Atlanta, Georgia that accepts Medicaid. For example, in the past 6 months I have cared for three young children on Medicaid who had corneal ulcers. This is a potentially blinding situation because if the cornea perforates from the infection, almost surely blindness will occur. In all three cases the antibiotic needed for the eradication of the infection was not on the approved Medicaid list.

Each time I was told to fax Medicaid for the approval forms, which I did. Within 48 hours the form came back to me which was sent in immediately via fax, and I was told that I would have my answer in 10 days. Of course by then each child would have been blind in the eye.

Each time the request came back denied. All three times I personally provided the antibiotic for each patient which was not on the Medicaid approved list. Get the point — rationing of care.

Over the past 35 years I have cared for over 1000 children born with congenital cataracts. In older children and in adults the vision is rehabilitated with an intraocular lens. In newborns we use contact lenses which are very expensive. It takes Medicaid over one year to approve a contact lens post cataract surgery. By that time a successful anatomical operation is wasted as the child will be close to blind from a lack of focusing for so long a period of time.

Again, extreme rationing. Solution: I have a foundation here in Atlanta supported 100% by private funds which supplies all of these contact lenses for my Medicaid and illegal immigrants children for free. Again, waiting for the government would be disastrous.

That is what happens when the government is the single-payer for treatment. Long delays, waiting lists, rationing. The solutions are all with the private free market, not with the government.

The rest of the article contains other examples of problems with government-run health care:

  • how Sweden’s government-run health care system puts people on waiting lists
  • how Medicare is slow to reimburse doctors for services performed
  • how government-run care in the military is rationed
  • how the British government-run system denies care to the elderly
  • the consequences of billing the government for care instead of paying your doctor what they ask for
  • the real story about whether the uninsured receive care

But there is one point you may never have heard before, and I want to cite this last point in full.

In the free market, doctors compete with other doctors to provide the best care for the patient at the lowest price. But the government is run by politically correct social engineers who make rules based on what seems fair to them. And often, what seems fair to them is racial discrimination and gender-discrimination in the form of affirmative action programs. And that has consequences for you.

Excerpt:

One last thing: with this new healthcare plan there will be a tremendous shortage of physicians. It has been estimated that approximately 5% of the current physician work force will quit under this new system. Also it is estimated that another 5% shortage will occur because of the decreased number of men and women wanting to go into medicine. At the present time the US government has mandated gender equity in admissions to medical schools .That means that for the past 15 years that somewhere between 49 and 51% of each entering class are females. This is true of private schools also, because all private schools receive federal funding.

The average career of a woman in medicine now is only 8-10 years and the average work week for a female in medicine is only 3-4 days. I have now trained 35 fellows in pediatric ophthalmology. Hands down the best was a female that I trained 4 years ago — she was head and heels above all others I have trained. She now practices only 3 days a week.

Don’t let the government run your health care plan, do it yourself. There are other ways to reduce costs that do not involve rationing of care.

John Stossel annihilates Michael Moore in ABCNews health care debate

UPDATE: Welcome, readers from Pundit and Pundette! Thanks for the link!

Note: If you prefer to learn about socialized vs consumer-driven health care with podcasts, click here.

ABCNews features libertarian John Stossel explaining what’s wrong with socialized medicine!

Here’s part 4, which contains the showdown with Michael Moore.

Here is the entire show in 6 parts:

Voters laugh when Democrat claims that socialized medicine will save money. (H/T Michelle Malkin, Hot Air)

Meanwhile, Pundit and Pundette wonder why the elderly voted for Obama, especially in view of Obama’s latest slip.

UPDATE: ECM e-mails more John Stossel.

Understand the right way to reform health care… with short podcasts!

CBO says that the total cost of Obamacare is 1.3 trillion over 10 years
CBO says that the total cost of Obamacare is 1.3 trillion over 10 years

Source: The Heritage Foundation

The problem with health care today in the United States is that medical care and services cost too much. Now, everyone seems to think that the only solution to this problem is to go with a single-payer system like Canada or Cuba. Only one problem: there is another solution that no one is talking about: consumer-driven health care. And this is the only solution that actually works.

At lunch yesterday, I went to the Chinese buffet and started to read a new book on this issue by Regina Hertzlinger, a professor at Harvard University who specializes in health care policy. So now I understand it a little more. And I managed to round up a few podcasts that can explain her idea of consumer-driven health care to you, too. (I listed them in a sensible order)

Consumer-driven health care:

Health Care: Fostering Focus Factories
with Dr. Regina Hertzlinger
(8:46)

Choice, Competition Should Drive Health Care Reform
with Dr. Michael D. Tanner
(5:21)

The Republican Plan (“Patient Choice Act”) is consumer-driven:

Obama’s False Health Care Choice
with Rep. Paul Ryan
(10:39)

Ideas for Free-Market Health Care Reform
with Rep. Paul Ryan
(8:30)

Obamacare, Medicare, RomneyCare and CanadaCare are all garbage:

Competing with the Government
with Dr. Michael F. Cannon
(7:34)

Medicare: A Model for Reform?
with Dr. Michael D. Tanner
(4:34)

Lessons from Massachusetts Health Care Reform
with Dr. Michael D. Tanner
(4:18)

The Canadian Health Care Experience
with Sally C. Pipes
(7:45)

Puncturing the Myths of American Health Care
with Sally C. Pipes
(about 8 minutes)

Check out this article from the Wall Street Journal entitled “Universal Health Care Isn’t Worth Our Freedom”. (H/T Club For Growth)

This is the key insight that everyone must understand:

Many Americans would willingly pay for insurance to protect them against the exorbitant cost of treating their own leukemia. But how many Americans would willingly pay for insurance to protect them from the expenses of treating their own depression?

Everyone recognizes that the more fully we wish insurance companies to defray our out of pocket expenses for our car repairs, the higher the premium they will charge for the policy. Yet foregoing reimbursement for trivial or unnecessary health-care costs in return for a more suitable health-care policy is an option unavailable under the present system. Everyone with health insurance is compelled to protect himself from risks, such as alcoholism and erectile dysfunction, that he would willingly shoulder in exchange for a lower premium.

Liberty means choosing the right amount to pay for your own health care, based on your own lifestyle choices, and your own risk assessment. Anything less is tyranny.

Along those lines, people who are sexually promiscuous or who abuse drugs will be paying the same medical premiums as everyone else, under Obama’s health care plan. Your lifestyle decisions are irrelevant to the amount you pay and the amount of coverage you get.

Excerpt:

Under the terms of the health-care reform bill approved by the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, the legal use of tobacco products is the only vice for which insurance companies will be able to charge their customers higher premiums.

…In other words, a person could have been admitted to hospitals three times for heroin overdoses, or been pregnant five times out of wedlock, or been treated for venereal diseases at least once per year for the past five years, but none of these factors could be used to charge that person a higher insurance premium.

This is a massive transfer of wealth from clean–living, productive citizens to citizens who are not minimizing lifestyle risks and who are not productive. This is nothing but a massive incentive for people to stop working and stop being moral. What would be the point to restraining yourself? Someone else will pay for your mistakes anyway, right? And that’s just what the compassionate, progressive secular-leftists want. To abolish income differentials and the privileges of moral living. So everyone will be the same, and no one will feel bad for being lazy and immoral.

And as if that wasn’t bad enough…

Investors Business Daily is reporting this scary story.

Excerpt:

It didn’t take long to run into an “uh-oh” moment when reading the House’s “health care for all Americans” bill. Right there on Page 16 is a provision making individual private medical insurance illegal.

As Ed Morrissey explains in this Hot Air article, the government has a track record running health care programs already, such as the Indian Health Service. This is a single-payer system run by the federal government. Click through to the article and find out how good of a job government does of running anything. People are dying. Government-run health care is an inefficient system that allows bureaucrats to decide how health care is rationed.

Books I am reading about health care

Right now, I’ve picked out 3 books on health care to help me learn about the issue.

Who Killed Health Care?: America’s $2 Trillion Medical Problem – and the Consumer-Driven Cure
by Dr. Regina Herzlinger

The Cure: How Capitalism Can Save American Health Care
by David Gratzer, M.D.

The Top Ten Myths of American Health Care
by Sally C. Pipes

The latter two books are by Canadians intimately familiar with the Canadian single-payer system.