Over the past few months I keep returning to this same topic in my personal and blog conversations and arguing with people that just aren't tuned into reality. It baffles me how people can think that the federal government can overhaul and run one sixth of our nation's economy via our health care system and expect to have an improved outcome for everyone.
WHERE has the government EVER ran any department or program and achieved efficiency and cost savings for all? If any semblance of a health care plan is passed of the type which is currently being discussed, we can all expect our doctor/hospital visits to resemble a trip to the DMV. Uh, personally, no thanks!
The arguments in favor of a complete overhaul are ridiculous to begin with.
First, it is claimed that there are 50 million uninsured Americans out there. That number is actually a lot closer to 12 million, but I will accept the erroneous figure for the sake of the argument. Now if Obama care is passed, we would ostensibly be adding 17% more people to the health care rolls while at the same time dictating to doctors what their fees can be for taking care of their patients. This will inevitably cause huge disincentives for those wishing to enter the medical field and ultimately result in fewer doctors. Simple economics would suggest that if you add more potential patients that need to be administered to by fewer doctors available, then you will result in much longer waiting times for treatment. Rationing of medical care will be the inevitable result.
Don't take my word for it though. Look at Canada, Britain, France, and Germany as examples of this. In fact, it is ironic that some socialized medical system countries like Britain have finally come to their senses and realized that their medical care is broken and are making attempts to privatize while we wish to jump into that very pit of which they are trying to climb out.
Next, Obama and the Democratically-controlled congress want a "public option" to be a part of this bill. They claim that a federally tax-payer subsidized option will provide competition with private insurers and thus bring down costs. Sounds good except that is a lie, and they KNOW it!
Again, the federal government has no incentive to administer the public option efficiently. If they need more money to support the otherwise-uninsured Americans, they simply can raise taxes, print more money, or borrow it from China. Private insurers don't have those options, and will consequently not be able to compete with the federal government financially, and will eventually fold up shop.
Their customers will then have no other choice but to go to the public option plan. Eventually, the undercutting of prices will force all insurance companies out of business and place everyone on the public option. President Obama has said this himself, in a rare candid moment as senator, that a public option is what he wants and that it will incrementally over the course of ten to fifteen years put everyone under governmental health care control. And THAT is what this is really all about! Control! It certainly is not about better health care for everyone, as the facts are all completely against that even being a possibility.
Then there are the moral issues involved with this. Never mind the un-Constitutionality of socializing 1/6th of our economy in a critical sector, but certain drafts and suggestions for this monstrosity Obama-care bill have suggested that abortions will be covered at tax payers expense. Further, it was also suggested that there not be exceptions for those doctors that conscientiously objected to perform abortions. The government, if this provision was left in tact, would FORCE doctors to perform such procedures whether they wished to or not. What would that do to Catholic hospitals? If forced to perform abortions, one would have to assume that the Catholic church would shut down the hospitals. Since the Catholic hospital system makes up a very significant percentage of our health care network, this would really increase rationing of medical services.
All of this debate was promised by President Obama to be televised on C-Span and open for discussion with complete transparency. What has happened instead is that Senator Max Baucus, Harry Reid, and Speaker Pelosi and their committees have crafted and fashioned this monstrosity almost completely behind closed doors. Obama has wanted votes on this with no time for the public to read the bill, let alone the congressmen and senators who are supposedly voting on it with full knowledge of the contents therein to read it. Why the secrecy if this is such a good thing for the American people? Further, if this is such a great plan, why have the Democrats in congress put provisions in the bill to exempt themselves from being covered by whatever final plan they spit out for us?
The fact is that as more people learn of the specifics proposed, the lower the support for this evil plan is manifested.
Now don't get me wrong. I think there are absolutely changes that must be made, but socializing the entire system is unequivocally the wrong way to go about doing it. As a civilized society, we absolutely have a moral obligation to take care of those people that cannot take care of themselves. We do NOT, however, have an obligation to take care of the lazy or those that do not want to take care of themselves.
The Democrats have said that the GOP should come up with alternatives then. Well, the fact is that they have and their plan is actually a good one for a change. It actually addresses the problems at hand instead of trying to install a massive power grab over our nation's health care.
The GOP plan has several key elements that actually would reduce costs for insurance and thereby make it more affordable for everyone so that those people that wish to be insured but cannot afford it currently will finally be able to cover their families.
The GOP plan proposes to remove pre-existing condition clauses for starters. It also allows insurance companies to compete for customers across state lines, thereby increasing free market competition and thus lowering prices. The plan allows for transferability of one's insurance when they leave a job for another job. It also dictates that serious tort reform be enacted. This will remove doctors from the burden of practicing preventive medicine by ordering unnecessary tests etc. just so that they are covered in case of a frivolous law suit. This alone will drop insurance costs drastically, particularly for the OB-GYN doctors. (Of course the trial lawyers association is a HUGE Democratic constituency and special interest contributor, hence the Democrats lack of desire to pursue any meaningful tort reform). These ideas and the rest contained within the GOP plan will actually reduce costs and not remove the power from We The People.
Of course, as a consequence of the last election, the Democrats have filibuster-proof majorities in congress, so if they all stick together they can pass this evil legislation and doom America with unfunded billions in expenses for decades to come. Which brings up a good point. If the Democrats are so sure of the good behind Obama-care, why do they not just pass it instead of trying to get Republicans on board too?
I think its because even some of the blue dog "conservative" Democrats know the bill to be a lie. They know that if they were to vote in favor of it, they would be shown the door in their respective districts come the next election cycle. The Democrats want Republicans on board so they can claim bipartisanship on this mess and thereby deflect any blame from them alone when things spiral downhill. Of course by then, it will be too late to undo the damage, and the government will already have control of your health care, which is really what this conundrum is all about anyway.