Obama explains how he plans to eliminate private insurance

No matter what you hear, remember this: “When the government finances something, it ends up managing it.”

I never tire of reminding people about the dangers and serious inadequacies of the single payer plan, mainly because it goes against everything that we know works in America. It goes against states being laboratories for what works for them. It goes against competition. It goes against choice. It goes against freedom. And what do they have in response? Its all about profit. Its messy. What about poor people? Well, why don’t we review the countries that we would like to model ourselves after, shall we?

78% of Canadians believe their health care system is in crisis, a majority support user fees and 50% support privatization. Before single payer insurance, Canadians lived longer.
* Number of MRI units per million population in 2006: US: 26.5; Canada: 6.2
* Number of MRI exams per million population in 2004/05: US: 83,200; Canada: 25,500
* Number of CT Scanners per million population in 2006: US: 33.9; Canada 12
* Number of CT exams per million population in 2004/05: US: 172,500; Canada 87,300
* Number of inpatient surgical procedures per million population in 2004: US: 89,900; Canada: 44,700.

“We thought we could resolve the system’s problems by rationing services or injecting massive amounts of new money into it,” says Castonguay. But now he prescribes a radical overhaul: “We are proposing to give a greater role to the private sector so that people can exercise freedom of choice.” Castonguay advocates contracting out services to the private sector, going so far as suggesting that public hospitals rent space during off-hours to entrepreneurial doctors. He supports co-pays for patients who want to see physicians. Castonguay, the man who championed public health insurance in Canada, now urges for the legalization of private health insurance.

In England there are over a million people waiting for surgery or treatment in a country of 60 million. And on June 22, Doctors in England were told that “free care for all cannot continue”.
* The English are sending patients to India for operations
* The English deny hospital care to smokers and the obese
* Burueaucrats outnumber Health Staff
* Englands NHS is called the worlds worst HMO

In a defined benefits program, eligibility and benefits are fixed and universal. It’s costs that are variable. This means that if you are eligible, you are entitled to all the benefits, regardless of the costs to the government or the taxpayer. Thus, the name “entitlement program.” Politically, it is almost impossible to cut benefits or eligibility, as we heard earlier today. Note the present pressure for expanded benefits like pharmaceutical coverage, or moves to guarantee access like the patients’ bill of rights.

So it usually falls on providers and reimbursement to control costs. But wage and price controls, no matter what their name, always have an impact on quality.

We are a long way from the 1970s attempts at cost controls. Eventually, we must ration access to care because it is inevitable. This devolution into a rationed and price-controlled system with poor quality has already occurred in America. It is called Medicaid.

Finally, the aging of the population means an absolute and real fivefold increase in long-term care spending by the year 2020. Note that half of all long-term spending comes from Medicaid. Also note that one-fifth of all present state spending is for Medicaid. If you multiply 20 percent times 5, you come up with 100 percent for Medicaid for state budgets. This means that the Medicaid program and long-term spending alone could bankrupt every single state government within a generation.

For Families USA and the Health Insurance Association of America to put an increased burden on this already overburdened government program is unconscionable. We should be looking at creative ways to stimulate private sector coverage. It appears that the arrogance and snobbery of the British physicians in the late 1800s who didn’t want to treat the poor has now been transferred to the Health Insurance Association of America because they don’t want to cover the poor.

That’s the only way you can rationalize supporters of Obamacare.

I can’t put it any simpler than that.

** Editors Addendum
Not to leave out an important example, but Sweden, long the leftists ideal model of state run medicine has been privatizing hospitals and medical care for nearly a decade. So much so that half of Stockholms hospitals are now privately run. Again, going in “the opposite direction” of American leftists. When are they going to listen? Ideologues never do.

“Today the discussion is not whether private health care should have a role in the system, but rather what role private health care will have,” says Klas Öberg, of Sweden’s National Board of Health and Welfare.

About Terry Crowley