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Posts tagged as “Government health care”
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.
At a public forum on health care in Wichita held last Sunday, Dr. Douglas Bradham, DrPH, professor and chair of the Department of Preventive medicine and Public Health at the KU Medical School-Wichita, said this: "Direct-to-patient advertising for procedures and for pharmaceuticals, in my mind, should be eliminated."
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.
At the recent New Hampshire town hall meeting, President Obama took a softball question from a young girl. It seemed innocent enough. Almost natural.
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."
I wonder: who has the greater incentive to avoid wasting money on useless overhead? The government, or a private company who can keep the money saved as profits?
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.
Other than the source of its premiums, Medicare is no different, economically, than a regular health-insurance company. But unlike, say, UnitedHealthcare, it is a bureaucracy-beclotted nightmare, riven with waste and fraud. Last year the Government Accountability Office estimated that no less than one-third of all Medicare disbursements for durable medical equipment, such as wheelchairs and hospital beds, were improper or fraudulent. Medicare was so lax in its oversight that it was approving orthopedic shoes for amputees.
Is there a right to health care in America?
If you believe in liberty, the answer is no.
Today, about 30 activists gathered in Wichita to express their concern over the possible takeover of health care by the government. For me, what I will remember from today is the story told by Wendy Aylworth about the death of her cousin's daughter.
Normally I shy away from using humor when discussing such a serious issue as health care. But this is a humorous look at what lies ahead if we're not diligent.
Here's a message -- much more than that, a heartfelt story -- I received from my friend Wendy Aylworth. She cares very deeply about the direction America is headed regarding health care. Now her family has suffered a tragedy caused by government control of medicine. Here's her story.