In the health care debate, President Obama pleads with Americans to get the facts straight before making up their minds. But that's easier said than done, and by his actions, I wonder if the president really believes this.
Posts published in “Health care”
Advocates for more government control over health care, including President Obama, cite cases where people have been abused by private health insurance companies. We ought to be sure that these cases are real, and we need to be aware of the scope of the problem, before we assign weight to these arguments.
While doctors aren't the only source of information we should use when considering health care reform, they are on the front lines of providing care, and so their insights are valuable.
Recently, Ronald Dworkin contributed An Anesthesiologist's Take on Health-Care Reform to the Wall Street Journal. He makes some good observations on doctors in general, and on the special nature of anesthesiology.
The Sam Adams Alliance presents another humorous look at health care reform in American. The first, Health rations and you, was very popular on YouTube. Now: "After months of Americans happily sacrificing for the Health Administration Bureau, Health Czar O'Brien holds his first press conference, ready to answer the tough questions."
Wichita activist Wendy Aylworth has taken her cause, Morticians for National Health Care to Washington. This group, a tongue-in-cheek preview of the future Wendy believes we face under ObamaCare, seeks to inject a little humor and satire into the debate over health care reform.
Speaking to a joint session of Congress and the American people, President Barack Obama laid out his latest vision for health care reform.
A video that's getting some viewers on Youtube (235,000 as of this moment) serves as an illustration of how wrong the left is in its prescription for health care reform.
One of the arguments used to promote more government involvement in the provision of health care is this: government already provides so many services, and government does it so well, that we ought to turn over medicine to it too.
Last week we looked at U.S. Census data regarding the number of people in America without health insurance, and we saw that a large number of people are eligible for various free insurance programs, but haven't applied. The number may be as high as 14 million.
Today's Wichita Eagle has a story that may illustrate such a case. A family of four -- two adults, two children -- earns $2,000 per month, but has no insurance.
One of the problems in the health care debate today is lack of facts -- at least facts that all sides of the debate can agree on. Without such agreement, without a basic set of facts and data to reason from, we're not likely to make any progress.
One example of a fact often used as evidence is the high number of uninsured in America. Often the number cited is 45.7 million, which is a substantial fraction of our population. The source of this number is the United States Census Bureau report Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2007. Specifically, the table "People Without Health Insurance Coverage by Selected Characteristics: 2006 and 2007" (page 22) gives this number, along with some detail and breakdown by various characteristics.
At a recent forum on health care in Wichita, the system of health care in Switzerland was mentioned as a system that we could learn from.
At a recent forum sponsored by the South Central Kansas 9.12 Group, Dr. George Watson of Park City, Kansas laid out a conservative case for health care reform. His messages was different than that of most reformers: instead of more government involvement, we need less government.
"Yes, we need change," he said. He also said that a public option will result in government takeover of medicine.
One of the issues discussed in the health care debate today is the allegedly wasteful administrative and overhead costs of private health insurance, compared to -- again allegedly -- efficient government processes.
The article Comparing Public and Private Health Insurance: Would A Single-Payer System Save Enough to Cover the Uninsured? makes some useful points.
The Lone Star Times reports how, at a town hall meeting in Texas, an Obama supporter claimed to be a physician when asking a question. But she isn't: Obama camp plants fake doc, Che fan at Jackson Lee forum.
I wonder if this happened at the same Sheila Jackson Lee town hall where the Member of Congress talked on the telephone while citizens asked questions. Classy.
In 1994, George Reisman wrote a pamphlet explaining the problems with America's health care system. He criticized the Clinton plan for reform, and offered an alternative based on freedom and markets rather than government interventionism. It is a brilliant work, and still relevant today: "I wrote this essay to help defeat the Clinton plan for socialized medicine. In all essentials it’s as valid today as it was then. It’s a demonstration that government intervention inspired by the philosophy of collectivism is the cause of America's medical crisis and that a free market in medical care is the solution for the crisis. I urge everyone who wants to help defeat the essentially similar Obama scheme to read it."
In less than 90 seconds this video highlights the upside-down priorities of Oregon's Medicaid system. Lobbying groups have used the political process to push coverage for special-interest causes like substance abuse and weight loss treatment ahead of treatments for some kinds of cancer on the priority list.
Those who advocate government takeover of health care and the elimination of private insurance cite the "wasteful overhead" and "high profits" of health insurance companies. But: "Net income comes to just a few cents per dollar of premiums.
"I don't know if you'd call it passion or manufactured passion ... the uproar at these meetings is counterproductive .. and it's organized, which I think is the most disturbing part of it."
"Possibly to avoid any confrontation with concerned citizens who have read the proposed health care legislation in Congress, HHS Secretary Sebelius will hold a conference call on Friday with health care activists and SEIU members."
John Stossel covers health care, particularly health care in Canada, on the ABC television new show 20/20. Why anyone would want to bring this to the United States is a mystery. Click on Health Care: Does Canada Do It Better? to view the video. Reaction from viewers is at Reaction To Healthcare Segment.