Some Hard Facts About Current Heathcare Proposals

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Democrat congressional leaders have said that they want to pass a healthcare bill before the August recess.  That deadline is approximately six weeks away.  The debate will definitely heat up during that time, and there will be a lot of things left out of the debate by both sides. 

Two of the best articles on the healthcare plans were posted last week at The Heritage Foundation (a conservative group that generally deals in numbers and statistics) and at by Michael Barone (a political writer for U. S. News & World Report).

Michael Barone points out that the government plan will crowd out private health insurance.  He points out:

"We are told that a government insurance plan reduces the amounts spent on health care by using "comparative effectiveness research" -- in other words, by rationing care and limiting options through the use of statistics. Unfortunately, statistics are constantly in flux and do not capture the differing needs of actual patients as well as skillful practitioners can."

He cites three major problems with government healthcare:

1.  How will it be paid for?

2.  Most Americans are satisfied with their health insurance and don't see a government plan as necessary or as an improvement.

3.  The group that overwhelmingly voted for President Obama was the 18 percent of voters that are under 30.  They voted for President Obama by a 66 to 32 percent margin.  They are also the segment of the population that is the least concerned with health insurance.

The Heritage Foundation article talks about the consequences of government healthcare.  The article points out that premiums in a grovernment program would be 25-40 percent lower than private insurance premiums, as the public plan would reimburse providers less than private payers would--and often less than the cost of care delivered.  This would eventually drive out private healthcare.  It would also create financial problems for doctors and hospitals.  The article states:

"More specifically, of the estimated 157.4 million Americans who have private employer coverage, up to 107.6 million people could lose their private employer coverage, even if they like it and would prefer to keep it." 

I strongly suggest reading both articles completely, but here is the closing argument from the Heritage Foundation:

"Discussions surrounding the creation of a new public plan, based on Medicare and intended to compete with private health plans, have not adequately considered the potential consequences for patients and providers." 

The thing to remember as this debate continues is that Congress will not be affected by whatever legislation they pass.  Congress has its own very good healthcare program that is paid for by the taxpayers.  Even as Congress' healthcare gets more expensive due to nationalized healthcare, the taxpayers will continue to fund it.  Congress will not be impacted by the change.  If national healthcare is a nightmare for Americans, Congress will have no incentive to change it--they are not covered under it--just as they have no incentive to properly fund Social Security--they opted out of it in the 1960's (about the same time they started stealing money from it). 

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This page contains a single entry by Granny G published on June 14, 2009 6:16 AM.

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