Canadian model?

At Neo-neocon: The cost of Canadian health care

It’s not just the financial cost, it’s also the suffering cost while waiting for an appointment.

There is no free lunch. There is no free health care. And anyone comparing outcomes in different countries by comparing statistics on infant mortality and life expectancy is comparing apples and oranges. These matters are influenced by much more than a healthcare insurance system.

Among other things, it’s whether you count preemies who die as stillbirths. In the US, it is far more likely they’ll be counted as live births.

Health Insurance and Health Care are not the same thing

Most recent data from Canada, where there is universal health insurance: Waiting Your Turn – Wait Times for Health Care in Canada, 2017 Report

Waiting for treatment has become a defining characteristic of Canadian health care. In order to document the lengthy queues for visits to specialists and for diagnostic and surgical procedures in the country, the Fraser Institute has — for over two decades — surveyed specialist physicians across 12 specialties and 10 provinces.

This edition of Waiting Your Turn indicates that, overall, waiting times for medically necessary treatment have increased since last year. Specialist physicians surveyed report a median waiting time of 21.2 weeks between referral from a general practitioner and receipt of treatment—longer than the wait of 20.0 weeks reported in 2016. This year’s wait time—the longest ever recorded in this survey’s history — is 128% longer than in 1993, when it was just 9.3 weeks.

Unsurprisingly, when supply of a good is bureaucratically rationed, shortages result. When the good is “free,” it’s worse.

Somebody should tell Nancy and Bernie.

Trump: I don’t know, and I don’t care

Donald Trump’s Health Care Plan Shows His Complete Disdain for Expertise
He’s not just clueless—he’s willfully ignorant.

[I]t is not really news that Trump is clueless when it comes to health policy. Trump has never demonstrated even the smallest iota of interest in in the underlying details of policy on this or any other issue. To the extent that he has provided any, they have been incoherent or contradictory: In interviews and speeches, he has praised single-payer health care and promised universal coverage paid for by the government, but also said that his Obamacare replacement will rely on competition and private plans. It is nonsense policy…

Trump, then, is not just ignorant on policy details. He is willfully ignorant. It’s not just that he doesn’t know what he’s talking about. It’s that he’s avoided finding out.

RTWT it’s well worth it.

Health Care and oh, say, the Nuclear Triad are not the only things that don’t arouse his curiosity.

Maybe you should have read it first

And maybe Americans should have been told what was in it rather than being told we had to pass it to find out.

From Whitehouse.gov

“We got [Obamacare] done. Now, let’s face it, a lot of us didn’t realize that passing the law was the easy part.”
-Barack Obama

Yep, they supposed deconstructing 1/6 of the American economy would be as easy as convincing Nancy Pelosi to say something stupid. Hell, they assumed she needed convincing to say something stupid. I’m pretty sure she volunteered.

Of course passing the law was the easy part. Unfortunately, just waving your hands and saying, “Make it so.” doesn’t work when your minions have zero experience in actually building anything and are economically ignorant.

So, Barack, You did build that.

Finding out what’s in it

Changing Stance, Administration Now Defends Insurance Mandate as a Tax

When Congress required most Americans to obtain health insurance or pay a penalty, Democrats denied that they were creating a new tax. But in court, the Obama administration and its allies now defend the requirement as an exercise of the government’s “power to lay and collect taxes.”

…“For us to say that you’ve got to take a responsibility to get health insurance is absolutely not a tax increase,” the president said last September,

He forgot to add, “Until we have to defend it in court.” Of course, the question is semantic, whatever term is used.

Insurers Push Plans Limiting Patient Choice of Doctors

The relentlessly rising cost of health insurance is prompting some small Massachusetts companies to drop coverage for their workers and encourage them to sign up for state-subsidized care instead,…

Since April 1, the date many insurance contracts are renewed for small businesses, the owners of about 90 small companies terminated their insurance plans with Braintree-based broker Jeff Rich and indicated in a follow-up survey that they were relying on publicly-funded insurance for their employees.

“Publicly-funded” may be the most dangerous phrase in the English language. Of course, you’ll be able to keep your doctor and your current health insurance under a Federal plan. The president said so.

Lost in Taxation

[W]ith ObamaCare, the agency [IRS] is now responsible for “the most extensive social benefit program the IRS has been asked to implement in recent history.” And without “sufficient funding” it won’t be able to discharge these new duties…

Well, well. Republicans argued during the health debate that the IRS would have to hire hundreds of new agents and staff to enforce ObamaCare. They were brushed off by Democrats and the press corps as if they believed the President was born on the moon.

No. That’s Hawaii.

I can’t wait to find out what’s in the financial “reform” legislation.

Liars and fools

From the Wall Street Journal: Democrats Voice Health-Bill Doubts

RTWT.

Some House Democrats wavering over whether to back a health-care overhaul questioned whether it would effectively curb the country’s health costs, highlighting a difficult issue that the White House and congressional leaders must address in the final negotiations on the measure.

Either BS or lunacy. The issue is not difficult. If there are any who believe Federal control of health care will reduce costs for health care, they are either liars or fools. Or both.

When these Dems say they “need a much clearer picture,” they are saying “I’ll accept whatever Obama eventually says and I will then claim it controls costs.”

They’ve been saying this for a year already.

Contracts

One provision of the health care “reform” bill now being crafted behind closed doors by Washington Democrats is a tax on health care plans with annual premiums of over around $25,000 (the exact number varies weekly).

It is proposed that union members won’t have to pay this tax. Like Nebraskans, they are to be exempt from a health care tax that applies to everyone else.

[U]nion officials … [said] the tax would be phased in and would exempt workers in collective bargaining agreements, as well as state and municipal government workers, until 2018, costing $60 billion in revenue over a 10-year period.

Under the agreement, non-union workers with expensive health plans would reportedly begin paying the tax in 2013.

Consider; Ben Nelson’s bribe was only $100 million for a Nebraska population of 1.8 million – about $56 each. The unions are getting $60 billion for their 16 million members – about $3,750 each.

Exempting union members removes $60 billion from the $150 billion the “Cadillac” tax was to have raised. That’s 40%, but the approximately 16 million unionized workers in the US only make up around 12% of the US workforce. This says something about who is inflating health care costs. According to the Obama administration, the reason for the tax is to reduce health care costs.

It is further worth noting that union membership for public sector workers includes about 37% of those workers, nearly 5 times higher than the 8% unionization rate for private industry workers.

The SEIU, for example, has 2.2 million members. 1.1 million work in health care and 1 million in the public sector. The SEIU contributed over $60 million to Barack Obama’s presidential campaign. As Andy Stern said in May 2009, “We spent a fortune to elect Barack Obama — $60.7 million to be exact — and we’re proud of it.”

Nebraska’s motto is “Equality before the law.” SEIU’s is “Stronger Together.” Unlike Nebraska’s motto, the SEIU motto is for members only.

Aside from the reciprocal affinity of Democrats and unions, you may wonder how anyone can argue the “Cadillac” health care tax shouldn’t apply equally to those 12% of covered individuals who receive 40% of the “taxable value.”

Unions and Democrats contend the tax would affect union members unfairly because unions have what are known as “contracts” with their employers. These contracts specify that part of the compensation package for union workers is a “Cadillac” health care plan – you know, the kind that destroyed General Motors. Besides, say the unions, taxing their health care would mean Obama had broken his promise not to raise taxes on those making less than $250,000 per year.

It’s hard to see how both these arguments do not apply to every worker. Health care is very often part of your compensation, whether you have a union contract or not. “Ah yes,” say the unions, “but we have long-term contracts based on current health care tax regulations.”

Sorry. I still don’t get it. Can’t these contracts be renegotiated? Or simply abrogated? I am not one to support arbitrary dissolution of contracts by the Federal government, but this administration has no problem with the concept. Remember the Chrysler bondholders who were told they’d have to take what Obama told them they could have so he could give Chrysler to the UAW? The bondholders had contracts. Remember those AIG bonuses, approved as part of the bailout by our Congress? The bonuses that got everyone so upset? Those were contractual.

Those contracts didn’t matter, why should the unions’? Because they’re a major source of support for the takeover of health care by the government.

Adding to the hypocrisy, to make up for the union exemption the Democrats are talking about further increasing the Medicare payroll tax and applying it to capital gains. Isn’t the Medicare tax a “current health care tax regulation,” too? Won’t this raise taxes on people making less than $250,000 per annum?

Finally, we must wonder about another “union” contract: The Constitution. Where, in that contract, does it say Nebraska, Louisiana and labor unions get special treatment? Where does it allow the federal government to force you to buy a specific product or pay a fine to the IRS? On the face of it, and for but one example, the 14th Amendment equal protection clause would seem to prohibit such statist intervention.

If contracts mattered, that is.

Senator Tom Coburn on the Health Care Bill

Voting Against Government-Run Health Care

This vote is indeed historic. This Congress will be remembered for its arrogance, corruption and stupidity. In the year of 2009, a Congress ignored the coming economic storm and impending bankruptcy of our entitlement programs and embarked on an ideological crusade to bring our nation as close to single-payer, government-run health care as possible. If this bill becomes law, future generations will rue this day and I will do everything in my power to work toward its repeal. This bill will ration care, cut Medicare, increase premiums, fund abortion and bury our children in debt.

This process was not compromise. This process was corruption. This bill passed because votes were bought and sold using the issue of abortion as a bargaining chip. The abortion provision alone makes this bill the most arrogant piece of legislation I have seen in Congress. Only the most condescending politician can believe it is appropriate to force Americans to pay for other people’s abortions and to coerce medical professional to take the lives of unborn children.

The Congress also not merely ignored, but disdained, the overwhelming opposition of Americans to this bill. These corrupt looters need to be taught a lesson. And I don’t mean a vote. I mean incarceration alongside former Representative William Jefferson, their clumsy mentor and spiritual guide.

Read the whole thing at the link above.

Houses Secretly United With Themselves Will Not Stand

Harry. Nancy. Do this at your peril.

Look for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to try to circumvent the traditional conference committee process by which the different versions of health care reform passed by each house will be reconciled. If so, it will be the latest example of violating principles of transparency and accountability in the single-minded pursuit of legislative victory.

Conferences involving members from both houses are messy things. They are usually conducted in public and often televised, and can produce a compromise version of the bill that leaves rank-and-file members tempted to vote against the final version. That could be perilous in the case of health care since it’s likely to pass without a vote to spare in the Senate and the House’s version passed by only five votes.

“Principles” of “transparency” and accountability?That those words appear on the same page as the words “Pelosi” and “Reid” is a travesty.

I predicted this, and it is proven true: Our current government is the most corrupt United States government of the last 100 years.

This is not merely domestic malfeasance. As the Obama Administration ages, it edges ever cosier to third world corruption. It encourages Putin, Chavez, Jong-il and Ahmadinejad while dissing Brown, Sarkozy, Netanyahu and all of the former Soviet colonies in Eastern Europe.