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The Future of Healthcare in America – part 2


Heath-insurance

We were promised change when Mr. Obama was elected President.  Well, hang on to your wallets and pray you never get sick, change is coming.

Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) describes a conversation she had with an insurance industry representative. She says: “I said, excuse me sir, the goal of health care reform is not to protect the private health insurance industry.” She adds: “I am so confident in the superiority of a public health care option, that he has every reason to be frightened.”

The idea that there will be more competition in the healthcare sector with the expansion of the Federally funded programs is counterintuitive.  Because Medicare reimbursement rates in some cases are lower than the cost to provide the service, we can expect fewer healthcare providers.  Surely everyone can follow this to the next step.  With fewer providers, it will take longer and longer just to get seen.  We can also expect that there will be fewer expensive diagnostic tests performed as a cost savings measure.

How long will it be before they start making value decisions:  “Mrs. Ray, your mother is old and its just not worth doing the knee replacement since she is not working.  We have decided euthenasia is the best treatment.  That’s a huge savings for the American tax payers.  Not only do we avoid this big expense, but we’ll also be able to stop her Social Security payments.  Thank you for your contribution.”

Michelle Obama is already advocating the idea that some will have to give something up for the greater good.

“The truth is, in order to get things like universal health care and a revamped education system, then someone is going to have to give up a piece of their pie so that someone else can have more.”

Mrs. Obama, the last time I checked, this is still a free democratic nation.  Are you proposing that you and Mr. President are going to give up a painfully large percentage of your personal pie so that someone else can have more?  Probably not.  It seems likely that Washington will not personally suffer the same sacrifice that is being asked of all.

The Foundry had this to say:

In an Editorial on Monday, the Washington Post said: “For liberals, labor unions and others pushing to make health care available to all Americans, however, the fixation on a public plan is bizarre and counterproductive.”

As for me, if we allow the Federal Government to force Single Payer – Universal Healthcare on us, we can only expect the worst.  Higher taxes to pay for it, a dramatic loss in the quality of healthcare, and eventually a cost/benefit formula to see who qualifies for the right to get what they need.

Related Posts:

The Future of Healthcare in America – Part 1

Joint Economic Committee Warns to beware of the budget

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The Future of Healthcare in America


Heath-insurance

The Wall Street Journal article,

The End of Private Health Insurance. When government ‘competes,’ guess who always wins? quoted here that talks about the end of private insurance as we know it.”

The following is an exerpt from the WSJ article describing how universal healthcare would work:

“This public option will supposedly “compete” with private alternatives. As President Obama likes to put it, those who are happy with the insurance they have now can keep it — and if they happen to prefer the government offering, well, gee whiz, that’s the free market at work. The reality is far different. Not only will the new program become the default coverage for the uninsured, but Democrats intend to game the system to precipitate — or if need be, coerce — an exodus to government from private insurance. Soon enough, that will be the only “option” left.“

Our current system is most definately flawed, but what motivation will providers have to continue in private practice if the Medicare sets the rates.  Currently, in diagnostic imaging for example, the provider barely covers cost, let alone make any profit at all.  Small independent facilities that offer a better out-patient experience are effectively reimbursed at a lower rate than a hospital using the same diagnostic equipment.  Many insurance contract prices are already tied to Medicare rates.  Many doctors will no longer accept Medicare patients, again due to the reimbursement.  If Congress insists on reducing the cost of Medicare on the backs of the providers, they will find themselves without anyone to do the work.

This is what we have to look forward to if we allow Congress to expand Medicare to cover everyone.

P.J. O’Rourke said, “If you think healthcare is expensive now, wait until it is free.”  Very aptly put.

Related Posts:

The Future of Healthcare in America – Part 2

Tags: Healthcare,+medicare,+medical+insurance, politics,+opinion,+universal+healtcare,+medicaid

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