• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • Morning Bell: They Left Out the Socialized Medicine Part

    The Washington Post has a lengthy front-page story today on Barack Obama’s health care plan, which the newspaper admits contains “profound — and controversial — changes.” The Post tries to compare the Obama plan to Massachusetts’ 2006 health care legislation, asserting the only difference between the two is the individual mandate in the Massachusetts plan. This is indeed a big difference between the two plans, but it is nowhere near the most important. For all of its other problems, the Massachusetts plan did not create a new government-run health care plan that would compete side by side with private insurance plan. Obama’s plan does.

    Why is this important? Because not only would the federal government be an active competitor in the health care market, but it would also set the rules for competition. Heritage’s Center for Health Policy Studies Director Robert Moffit explains what would happen next:

    The likely incentives for government officials would be to set rules to advantage the government’s own health plan and to disadvantage the private health plans, including setting the government’s health plan premiums artificially low, reducing or eliminating cost-sharing requirements, or more heavily subsidizing certain benefits to make the government health plan more attractive than the private health plans. These plans would operate without incurring any of the normal financial risks that private health plans must bear.

    One could easily imagine a massive crowd out of private coverage, as employers dropped private coverage and paid the requisite tax. Likewise, lobbyists for businesses or private insurance industry executives may see the government health program as a convenient “dumping ground” for high-risk individuals or families, which would reduce business and insurance industry costs but would amount to massive adverse selection against the taxpayers. … In such a political environment, the value of personal choice and anything at all resembling free market competition would mostly likely be rendered meaningless.

    Obama’s preference for socialized medicine is no secret. He openly admitted earlier this year, “If I were designing a system from scratch, I would probably go ahead with a single-payer system.” The question for Obama and the left is not whether socialized medicine is desirable. They want socialized medicine. The problem Obama is trying to solve is how best to trick the American people into a policy they do not want. Obama’s health plan is the answer to that problem. Just ask New York Times columnist Paul Krugman: “The Demoplans offer choice — so that people won’t feel that they’re being forced into a government plan. Over time, I suspect, many people will choose the government plan or plans — but they’ll have the option of staying with those wonderful people from the private insurance industry.”

    Krugman is undoubtedly right. But not for the reason he states. The government plan will not win because people love socialized medicine (as Krugman recently learned), but because Congress will strangle the private market to death so the American people have no choice. These are the policy options the American people are about to face. It’s high time papers like The Washington Post begin accurately reporting on them.

    Quick Hits:

    Posted in Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    13 Responses to Morning Bell: They Left Out the Socialized Medicine Part

    1. Ken Jarvis - Las Veg says:

      Before ANY writer writes about Universal Health Care

      they should start the article with HOW MUCH THEY PAY.

      Nobody KNOWS what they pay for Health Care Insurance,

      but they ALL know UHCare is bad.

      WRONG!!!!

      Medicare should kick in at birth for ALL.

      It is the BEST Health Care Plan available.

    2. FRAN SMITH says:

      We have the best health care system in the world….I've been to Canada, Scotland, and England…I've had patients from overseas as well…If you are really sick and need an operation or dental work you will be waitting for months and very likely longer…….That's the way it works over in those places…..Get ready America here comes Socialism….Nothing is sacred…Your money,religion, property, guns and liberty are all at risk….Bet the people in Russia didn't see it coming either……The middle class will fade away, because we will be taxed the most……fws

    3. Philip W. Starr says:

      Ken Jarvis, you are an idiot. Pay for your own medical care.

    4. Carmine lisella says:

      Nobody but nobody, not even heritage or the rep party ever mention an obvious fact. I could go on for a long time on this one but suffice it to say "Do you want your physician or surgeon to be a civil servant"? Nobody talks about who we will attract into the profession if big money doesn't attract that best people. Docs should make great money because if they don't they wont be there. And please don't tell me that those who love medicine in spite of low wages will come to our rescue. I don't want someone to treat me who loves medicine; I rather want a smart guy, who can analyze and diagnose and cure me. Don't want tree huggers to be docs, want good good people. This can ruin the state of health care as we once knew it. Already we don't get the care that we enjoyed years ago what with affirmative action and lowering of standards in schools and yes even in medical schools.

    5. W Howard Baker, Bard says:

      As far as any portion of the mainstream media reporting the truth, assuredly you jest. I, also, hae seen the health care systems of the single pay countries, It sucks. I am now 64 years old so, if I were in England, for instance, I would not qualify for any major operations that would cure terminal conditions. We have also heard of the interminable waits for tests that we take for granted. What has been the downfall of all the socialized medicine systems is that they didn't figure that everyone would use them since they are "free". It got the Massachusetts and Hawaii plan with the Hawaii plan lasting only seven months.

      I saw the beginning of Medicare and it was awesome. Where, before Medicare doctors' offices were pretty much empty and an appointment was a formality, after medicare the waiting rooms were "standing room only" and you had to make an appointment at least two weeks out for a "family practitioner" and well over 2 months for a "specialist". This with only a small portion of the populace involved. You can imagine what it will be with everybody included and with parents tending to take their children to the doctor for anything.

      The government will soon realize that socialized medicine is unaffordable and start rationing the service, which will make our health care right out there with England's.

    6. Michael J O'Bri says:

      I am sure this guy Ken Jarvis is a plant by heritage so this forum can have spirited debates, nobody can be that ill informed and mindless.

      Having worked for a UK firm for many years, one of the many aspects the expats admired about this great nation is our health care system. The UK has socialized medicine [just look at the teeth of the average brit], so most executives of private companies join private health clubs to have medicine on demand, otherwise patients, must wait months before seeing a physician. Socialized medicine has never provided a level of health care that this country has, and the heritage is correct, the U.S. government will put the health of the population at risk and private insurers out of business. There simply is no constitutional entitlement to health care, but Obama and the socialist democrats believe the government is better at managing our lives than the individual. Obama has rarely told the truth about his grand design on this nation; it is simply to grow the government until there is complete income leveling, government control of our lives, and the equal sharing of misery. Obama and his gang are not honest brokers. The Rev. Wright and Bill Ayers are having the final laugh, and should Obama get elected, we will get what we deserve for voting for his socialist cause. Pray for the counrty.

    7. Pingback: UPDATED..WaPo: Obama Taking Illegal Donations UPDATE: Will Media Report Palestinian Campaigning for Obama from Gaza? | Right Voices

    8. Pingback: John McCain On Best Political Blogs » Blog Archive » Morning Bell: They Left Out the Socialized Medicine Part

    9. Pingback: Sarah Palin On Best Political Blogs » Blog Archive » Morning Bell: They Left Out the Socialized Medicine Part

    10. Pingback: Credit Card On Credit Speak » Blog Archive » Morning Bell: They Left Out the Socialized Medicine Part

    11. John, Minnesota says:

      This isn't about unfair competition by government, it is about the coercion of the american publin into socialized medicine. This plan is a classic example of an economic approach to modifying behavior while still preserving the illusion of "choice". Essentially, one must devise a scheme where there are two choices (thus preserving the illusion of free will). Choice A has a strong positive economic incentive, while choice B has a negative economic incentive. People will obviously choose what is best for their pocketbook, and therefore choice B is really no choice at all.

      Once a vast majority of the population is on the government plan, they will play the predictable "politics of envy" plan: Only the rich can afford private insurance – they are the healthiest because they can afford to hire private chefs, eat better, work out at the gym, etc. The obvious solution to this problem is, of course, forcing everyone into a single-payor system.

      The real solution to our medical "crisis": no more entitlements, tort reform to reduce malpractice insurance premiums, and the government getting out of the health insurance business.

    12. Barb - mn says:

      Totally agree… if everyone paid their own it wouldn't be so expensive. There would be more choices. Those that get it free now are better taken care of. If anything goes wrong with them they are privileged with no cost lawyers and usually win, where as if anything goes wrong with the people that pay their own expense are left with the burden of cost and time and rarely win. And government healthcare, no accountability…not a victim yet, but a witness.

    13. Pingback: DB’s Medical Rants » Universal coverage and health care rights

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.

    ×