Healthcare Philosophy: Kind of Surprising?


President Obama has been campaigning for his healthcare bill like his life depended on it. 

That’s because it does.  His political life, that is. 

He has steadfastly stuck by his claim that if you like the plan you have, you will be allowed to keep it.  He has said that there will be no “death panels,” that all the talk about rationing is “misinformation” laid out by the right to scare people into not supporting his bill. 

Really?  His Healtcare Czar, Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, White House Chief of Staff Raum Emanuel’s brother, says different. 

According to Dr. Emanuel, the reason for skyrocketing cost is the hippocratic oath.  Yep, according to the good doctor, people overuse healthcare, and doctors put too much emphasis on their patients.  This causes more tests to be run, causing costs to rise.  He thinks that there should be a group of people who decide what patient gets what care, based on how old, or sick, or economically challenged, or how much value their life has.  And guess who would make this decision?  Not you and your doctor.  Some beaureaucrats at a table, provided at taxpayer expense, reading your medical record, looking at your tax returns, and looking at how you have filled out health assessment forms would decide if you get a knee replacement, or cancer treatment, or eye surgery. 

This sounds like rationing to me.  And I find it a little disconcerting that the guy the president has appointed to oversee the healthcare in our country believes this drivel. 

Now, technically, the president is not pushing this agenda.  He has people around him to push the agenda, so he can keep his hands clean.  All the president is doing is lying about the plan to everyone who will listen.  Here are some nuggets from the bill, HR 3200, which is available on the US Congress website. 

In the first hundred pages, the bill calls for the creation of two new beaureaucracies.  Both of these report to the president, with oversight from congress.  Their main function is to oversee the implementation of a governement plan, and to oversee the weaving of Medicare and Medicaid into the new legislation.  That’s right.  Medicare and Medicaid, the two programs that Obama has promised will not be affected, would cease to exist under the new plan, with the new system managing their operation. 

Also within the first hundred pages, (on page 16 in fact) the bill says that if you change jobs or your current employer ceases to offer healthcare insurance, you can’t shop around for a new policy in the private market.  You will be forced onto the government plan. 

Think about this for a second.  Let’s say I own a company with 200 employees.  I provide healthcare for these employees, at great cost to myself, and great pains from all the admin involved.  I decide that my employees will be covered and I can save a truckload of money.  If I don’t offer my employees something, I have to pay at least 8% of my payroll as a fine.  I offer my employees the government option, do away with the private company I have worked with for years, and the savings rolls in.  What company wouldn’t do that?  This pattern will happen over and over, killing the private health insurance industry, and put a lot of people at risk in the government system. 

And, as I outlined before, they believe that you go to the doctor too much, and doctors’ role is focused too much on patients and not enough on cost.

The truth is that doctors focus too much on insurance.  They focus on malpractice insurance and health plans for their patients, and don’t have the luxury of focusing solely on their patients. 

Guess who gets screwed no matter what?  The patient! 

The reasons for high cost is malpractice insurance, fraud, and overuse of services by people who can’t pay.  I’m talking about people who go to the emergency room with a runny nose and can’t pay for the services they receive.  I’m also talking about tort reform, and fraud by doctors trying to get paid for services they didn’t perform, as well as patient fraud. 

The Republicans have an alternative plan offered.  It is HR 3400, but I doubt you have heard about it in the mainstream media.  It’s too easy for Katie Couric to complain that the Republicans are the party of no, without reporting a bill they have drafted as an alternative to a ridiculous government option.  Their bill includes tort reform, tax free healthcare savings accounts, and other provisions that could save us from government interference in who lives and who dies. 

But, Iguess as long as our president keeps campaigning, what he says must be true. 

Except that it’s not.

–J

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