Saturday, May 23, 2009

On Being Terrified of Obama's Healthcare Plan

Just want to say to all my friends and readers that I hope you are having a memorial weekend filled with love ones and with memories of loved ones. That's just what I am doing. In fact, I have friends visiting from Colorado, and if you have noticed that I haven't been online much for the last week, that's why. A few things can't be passed by, like President Obama choosing C-SPAN to inform the country that "we're out of money." Did Tim Geithner just fill him in? Whatever. Obama took the opportunity to speak about the urgency of his new healthcare plan, which he indicates will help us get runaway spending under control. What??? Yes, if we make the "investment now," he calls it a "game changer," and says even if we don't see reduced costs this year or next year, but maybe in "ten years from now or twenty years from now we are going to see substantially lower costs." President Obama says that all these stakeholders - insurance companies, drug companies, hospitals - all coming together and committing to me that they will reduce costs 1.5 percent per year." The savings, he says, will be $2 trillion. Is that over ten or twenty years? So much just doesn't add up.

Obama's Healthcare Plan
President Obama blames much of our debt for the healthcare that he has not spent a dime on. The "last several decades" with no healthcare decisions, are the culprit, he says. If we let this President sell this, we get what we deserve. The Heritage Foundation suggests an alternative to the Obama plan:
  • Take Bold Steps, Give States the Power: Instead of expanding Washington's control of the health care system, allow states to develop solutions that will transfer direct control of health care dollars and personal health care decisions back to individuals and families.
  • Give Consumers a Real Choice: Give Americans a true consumer-choice system modeled after the one available to Members of Congress, not a fa├žade for government-run health care.
  • Be Imaginative: Instead of typical liberal tax hikes combined with technocratic tinkering of administrative payments, Congress should reform existing health care spending, where value is secured for "payers," not patients
The Heritage Foundation has done some serious thinking about healthcare reform. I admit that this subject is like Greek to me except for the clear memory of Obama promising Americans the same healthcare that Congress gets. You can read that speech here, along with an insightful piece by Betsy McCaughey at Bloomberg News titled Ruin Your Health with the Obama Stimulus Plan. In February, McCaughey warned us of a few things. I don't know exactly what's brewing among the healthcare czars in the White House now, but I bet most, and probably all of McCaughey's concerns are still concerning. Here's some rehash of some the problems we need to be aware of: Bloomberg's Betsey McCaughey reports that the healthcare provisions are "virtually identical" to those outlined in former Senator Tom Daschle's recent book (which I will not name here), but it appears that many of Daschle's recommendations were taken from a British model. One example of that model is that the elderly with macular degeneration had to wait until all sight was gone from one eye before treatment on the second could begin. (1) A new position within government is planned: a National Coordinator of Health Information Technology who will do the tracking of your medical conditions - AND
will monitor treatments to make sure your doctor is doing what the federal government deems appropriate and cost effective
(2) The health care provisions in the stimulus bill affect "every individual in the United States. (3) If you doctor does not join the electronic monotoring, he/she will be severely penalized. If you need experimental treatments, forget it.
In his book, Daschle proposed an appointed body with vast powers to make the “tough” decisions elected politicians won’t make. The stimulus bill does that, and calls it the Federal Coordinating Council for Comparative Effectiveness Research The Federal Council is modeled after a U.K. board discussed in Daschle’s book. This board approves or rejects treatments using a formula that divides the cost of the treatment by the number of years the patient is likely to benefit.
(4) If you are elderly, you will be culled out of Medicare payments for routine preventative care. The stimulus bill changes Medicare's acceptance of treatments deemed safe and effective. The idea: "individuals benefit in younger years and sacrifice later." I don't know about you, but I don't think this is anything close to the coverage the Senators have. Gird your loins and buckle your seatbelts, it's going to be a bumpy ride.
Terrified of Obama's Healthcare Plan
Thanks to Hot Air Photo credit: Wish I knew the actual jokester, but I found this at BTW, Dennis, if you see this: I've lost your file, your cartoons and contact information. Please email if you can.

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