Deconstructing the Obama health care plan

Okay, it’s actually called the Kennedy bill, but it’s the realization of Obama’s insistence on the federal government forcing and funding mandatory health insurance.  Keith Hennessey, in addition to giving links for you to read the bill yourself, explains the substantive parts of the bill, as well as the probable practical and economic effects the bill will have.  As to the latter, here are just a few things Hennessey gives us to worry about:

  • The government would mandate not only that you must buy health insurance, but what health insurance counts as “qualifying.”
  • Health insurance premiums would rise as a result of the law, meaning lower wages.
  • A government-appointed board would determine what items and services are “essential benefits” that your qualifying plan must cover.
  • [snip]

  • Those who keep themselves healthy would be subsidizing premiums for those with risky or unhealthy behaviors.
  • [snip]

  • The Secretaries of Treasury and HHS would have unlimited discretion to impose new taxes on individuals and employers who do not comply with the new mandates.
  • [snip]

And while Hennessey points out the flaws in the bill, the Wall Street Journal explains all the false data and unsupported assumptions that drive the bill.

I have a different question.  In 1994, when the Clinton’s first tried to created government health care, conservatives launched the brilliant Harry and Louise ad campaign.  (To the extent Harry and Louise have returned, they’re now demanding nationalized health care, which is beyond scary.)  Why haven’t I heard about a single ad initiative aimed at the average American to help him or her understand that there is a disaster in the making here?  Is it because, with DVRs, people no longer watch commercials?  If that’s the case, how in the world do we circumvent the Obama media and get solid information out to ordinary people?

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Comments

  1. says

    Here’s a challenging article in the New Yorker http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2009/06/01/090601fa_fact_gawande?currentPage=all
    that seems (to me) to indicate that the “culture” among physicians is where the problem lies. How that gets controlled is another question, and I don’t see how it can be under a government-funded system.

    I’m reminded of my grandfather, who began practicing in 1919 and kept at it until about 1980. He told me how totally the type of person who entered medicine changed after WWII, when antibiotics became prevalent. All of a sudden, it was technicians entering medicine, rather than the empathetic and caring types (no, not ALL of them) who were more attracted to the profession before. Because all of a sudden, there was something you could DO to cure your patient….where before antibiotics, the ability and willingness to sit with the family of a dying patient was an important part of being a physician.

    Anyhow, when the government begins to control the patient-physician relationship even more than they do today, the type of person going into medicine will change a LOT. The folks who become doctors will be those willing to do what the government tells them, rather than what they believe to be best for the patient. And I expect a LOT more docs will be like the guys described in the New Yorker – perfectly willing to decide on this or that modality, deciding mainly on the basis of its financial implications FOR THEM…….

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