Friday, July 17, 2009

How Do I Hate This Health Care Bill? Let Me Count The Ways

1. It ignores the obvious fact that at least part of reason for spiraling health care costs is because insurance companies, trial lawyers, and federal regulations increasingly insert themselves between the physician and the patient.
2. Imagine the result on grocery store prices if employers had to cover the costs of groceries for all their employees. (And groceries are surely more vital to employee well being and job performance than insurance.) Wouldn’t employees be less careful with their grocery shopping? Wouldn’t they tend to buy more of the allowed items and less of whichever items were not covered? Think how much more reasonable plastic surgery has become because most of it is not covered by insurance.
3. While each botched diagnosis or surgery is grievous and victims deserve some compensation, the trial lawyers have developed a cottage industry out of malpractice lawsuits. It is common for malpractice insurance bills to average $250,000 per year. And that has to be paid before caring for the first patient. John Edwards, for just one example, built up a fortune and encouraged numerous obstetricians to flee North Carolina because his lawsuits wrongly convinced juries that birth defects were caused by the physicians.*
4. Regulations by the federal government needlessly cause the price to be higher for selected procedures. For example, Medicare patients must endure multiple days in the hospital when a home health care assistant would be just as effective, less costly, and easier on the patient while simultaneously protecting him from hospital induced illnesses. For example, private insurance companies cover in-home IV infusions treating some cancers, arthritis, gastrointestinal disorders, and infections, but Medicare only pays if it’s done in the hospital.
5. All health care “reforms” now being considered focus only on insurance, not on the whole health care system in the United States. And what we know of the proposals so far reveal that Congressional Clowns are more interested in increasing government control than in caring for patients.
6. The bills now on the table ignore all common sense solutions such as those proposed by Herman Cain: change the tax code so that individuals could deduct insurance expenses just like businesses do, reduce costly government mandates and regulations (see above), allow insurance companies to operate across state lines to enhance competition, encourage retail clinics for basic services, and expand health savings accounts to allow people to make better choices for themselves.
7. The mass media has studiously avoided publicity about any proposals by Republicans. In May, Senators Richard Burr (R NC) and Tom Coburn, M.D. (R OK) along with Representatives Devin Nunes (R CA) and Paul Ryan (R WI) introduced the Patients’ Choice Act that received accolades from conservative groups, but hardly anyone knows about it. Apparently S 1009 just does not cost enough money or expand government enough to make it newsworthy. Just this week Rep. John Shadegg (R-AZ) introduced H.R. 3218, “Improving Health Care for All Americans Act.” Did you hear about it on television news last night?
8. The bill now on the table will allow government agents to enter private homes to vaccinate family members that they deem to have inadequate inoculations. And who knows what vaccinations from Big Brother may be in our future?
9. It costs too much money. The estimates now are $1,500,000,000,000 and we all know estimates are low-balled. The nation is in a recession and government spending is already way out of hand. We owe so much money that our creditors are becoming increasingly reluctant to buy our bonds. Yet our President and Congressional Clowns insist on ramming a new money-pit law down our throats. No one but Joe Biden believes that ‘we have to spend more money to avoid bankruptcy.’
10. The bill in all of its variations will damage, if not kill small business, the real engine of American economy and innovation.

And, I’m sure I’ll find more reasons when I have time to think about it. To read past blogs about health care "reform" and socialized medicine, go here.

*My brother was a trial lawyer, and my niece and her son did suffer greatly because of a poor obstetrician, but that is much more rare than John Edward would have you believe.

No comments: