The Healthcare Bill – What you need to ponder…


Well, I’m back.  Work obligations for my dad had prevented him from posting regularly… What a summer we’ve had though, eh?

Obviously the prime issue at this point in time is the healthcare “reform” bill which is winding its way through Congress.

Let me take a few minutes to give you what I think are the biggest problems with this whole thing.  I realize there are far more problems than what I’ll describe below, but in the deluge of information/misinformation, there are a few key points worth remembering.

  1. The whole central issue in healthcare reform, according to the liberals, is the fact that 45 million people are uninsured.  So, the story goes, because they’re not insured, their healthcare ends up costing the rest of us dearly.  But, if you check this article at Factcheck.org, you find that the true picture is quite different.  Putting it all together, about half the 45 million are truly the ones who don’t have access to insurance, and of this 25 million, about half of that (12 million or so) are illegal immigrants or others who probably won’t enroll in any insurance plan.  So, we’re going to tear apart the framework of health insurance for 300+ million Americans to get coverage for 12-15 million who need it, but probably won’t ever enroll, and they show up in the emergency room anyway.  Ask yourself if that makes sense or not?
  2. Obama and Congressional leaders claim that under the healthcare plans being proposed, if you like your insurance, and your doctor, you can keep them. Well, that’s a myth as you can see here. It is quite simple to understand:
    • First of all, if a public plan or govermment healthcare exchange emerges, it is funded and subsidized by your taxes and mine.  Until someone figures out a way to avoid paying income tax that doesn’t involve also spending time in a jail cell, and or being subject to hefty fines, the government is really free to confiscate as much of our income as they want.
    • The government can run deficits and print money to cover those debts.  This means that even if the plan requires more than today’s government revenue (again from us taxpayers), Treasury bills can be issued to get additional funding.
    • Of course, that only works as long as whoever is buying the Treasury bills does not demand a higher interest rate on them.  Until recently, that WAS the case.  Now, if you check here, you find that when the government issues debt, the buyers are demanding higher interest rates.  Since January, the 30 year Treasury Bill (which really helps benchmark mortgage and long-term loan rates) has gone from 2.83% to 4.31%.  This is an increase of over 150 basis points.  This trend may continue, and if it does, expect to see mortgage rates go above 7% sometime in 2010. That won’t do much for the recovery (if one materializes).  The net result of this is everytime the government issues more debt, they have to pay higher interest rates to the buyers to get their money.  That’s not a good situation, because it is equivalent to you maxing your credit cards, letting them go to higher interest rates, and then opening more credit cards to continue the spending.  Eventually the debt service payments start to spiral out of control.
    • But, let’s assume that the two bulleted conditions above hold true… The government can subsidize healthcare premiums on a public healthcare plan at levels that could never be met by a private healthcare insurer.  Since the private company can’t run debts at the size/scope that the government can, and they can’t tax someone to bring in money, the public plan for healthcare would force private insurers to go out of business.
    • When confronted about whether someone would lose their doctor or healthcare insurance plan, the President even has to admit he can’t guarantee that they’ll keep the insurance or doctor.  Here’s the story.
  3. Any government plan for healthcare would by definition ration care because the government has an interest in keeping its payments to doctors/hospitals as low as possible to prevent the taxpayers and citizens from paying exorbitantly for it.  So, deny procedures, specify how many doctors can be put in place at a given location, and also make it very difficult for people to do fee-for-service where you just pay the doctor directly.  All in the name of keeping costs down. That’s called the “greater good trap”.  Putting aside the pretzel of logic that results from saying this and continuing to run debts to finance the program… Let’s take a little peek into what rationed care looks like… Here’s an article you might find interesting
  4. The poll numbers show that a majority of Americans do not want to give up their insurance to move into a government plan and many of them have also heard about the provision that you need to meet with someone to discuss end of life issues.  I’ll leave it as an exercise for the reader to find the articles on that, but Pat Buchanan puts it quite nicely in this article.  If the government is paying doctors to do this kind of counseling, what would prevent the government from issuing guidelines on what that doctor should tell you??  If you really need more evidence of what could happen, check here.  I didn’t need to be reminded of the Monty Python clip in this context.  It was funny back then, but now it is chilling, and should really make you wonder how far the government will carry this.
  5. Many of you have no doubt heard about the townhall meetings and the level of debate that has occurred.  It really bewilders me how liberals (now that they are in power) are railing against the same things they did to the Bush administration in terms of debate/dissent.  However, beating people up is beyond the pale.  Over at Hot Air, there’s an article talking about how union organizers/thugs have beaten up people who show up at these townhall meetings.
    • We now also have Paul Krugman, who is the liberal’s favorite economist saying people (meaning the ordinary citizens who show up to ask questions at the town halls) are deranged. It shows you just how small the thinking is on the left side of the political spectrum.  They have been pushing the idea of healthcare reform (on their terms) for nearly a century now and the attacks against anyone who says they need more infomration or time to digest it are getting downright absurd.
    • Peggy Noonan has a good article on how desperate the Democrats are getting.  Usually, I don’t agree with her, but she’s got it right this time.
    • I would not expect at all that Obama’s message for people to “get out of the way”, is going to carry very far. I know he aimed it at the special interests that made the mess which he says he has to clean up.  However, ordinary citizens don’t usually show up in large masses to these townhall meetings unless they are outraged about something.  Here’s the perspective on that. Particularly note worthy is Roger’s assertion that there is NO moral imperative for health care for all, and the politicians are getting extremely good now at exploiting the basic American compassion for other means.
    • Finally, if you want to see exactly how both sides come out to protest for and against the healthcare plan, check this photo essay and narration out.  I found it quite telling that some of the people sent out by Organizing for America (what used to be ACORN), were day laborers who couldn’t speak English and didn’t know what their signs said.

I’ll be writing more about this subject as events unfold.  If you want me to add you to my blogroll here, send me a note at katia98dog (at) gmail (dot) com.

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One Response

  1. Nice blog post! Glad to see you posting again. As usual you are right on target with your observations about health care. Keep up the good work!

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