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  • The Magical Properties of Socialized Medicine

    Blogging for the AFL-CIO, Mike Hall extols the benefits of socialized medicine, including: (1) lower heath care costs, and (2) higher health care costs. Here’s how he puts it:

    The incoming Obama administration is developing a comprehensive plan to address a broad range of health care concerns. The AFL-CIO has not endorsed a specific plan but has established certain principles that any plan should be built around.

    Reform must secure high-quality health care for all; lower the costs that are now crushing working families and businesses and share responsibility among employers, government and individuals among other principles.

    Earlier this week, the California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee (CNA/NNOC), which backs a single-payer, Medicare-for-all health care reform plan, released a study that says such a plan would not only guarantee health care for all, but would be a major boost to the nation’s staggering economy.

    The study, conducted by the Institute of Health and Socio-Economic Policy, says a single-payer plan would provide a major stimulus for the U.S. economy by creating 2.6 million new jobs and infusing $317 billion in new business and public revenues, with another $100 billion in wages into the U.S. economy.

    Got that? Socialized medicine will “lower the costs” but also “infuse $317 billion in new … revenues.” What are those new revenues, other than higher costs for whoever is paying those revenues?

    The California Nurses Association summarized their study as follows:

    Medicare for All (Single Payer) Reform Would Be Major Stimulus for Economy with 2.6 Million New Jobs, $317 Billion in Business Revenue, $100 Billion in Wages.

    The number of jobs created by a single payer system, expanding and upgrading Medicare to cover everyone, parallels almost exactly the total job loss in 2008, according to the findings of a groundbreaking study released today.”

    How convenient! Of course, for years the Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP) have been telling us we need socialized medicine because it will result in $350 billion in lower health care costs.

    Doctors and hospitals must maintain costly administrative staffs to deal with the bureaucracy. Combined, this needless administration consumes one-third (31 percent) of Americans’ health dollars.

    Single-payer financing is the only way to recapture this wasted money. The potential savings on paperwork, more than $350 billion per year, are enough to provide comprehensive coverage to everyone without paying any more than we already do.

    That $350 billion saved in paperwork of course means $350 billion in lost jobs for whoever is doing that paperwork.

    So socialized medicine will both create jobs by spending over $300 billion more – and save money by spending over $300 billion less. Now that’s magic!

    UPDATE: The duplicity of the left goes even further than originally believed. Just three months ago, the same California Nurses Association posted an article by John Geyman of Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP), claiming that Medicare for All was a good idea because it will result in $350 billion in lower health care costs.

    So the California Nurses Association is claiming both that “Medicare for All” is good because it will save $350 billion, and good because it will cost an extra $317 billion. How it will do both of these is not – and cannot – be explained. But regardless of the predicted outcome – it’s nationalized health care, so they’re in favor of it.

    Posted in Obamacare [slideshow_deploy]

    17 Responses to The Magical Properties of Socialized Medicine

    1. Dennis A. Social Cir says:

      Socialized medicine is not the way we need to go. Look at the other countries that have this and see for yourself what has happened to health care, it goes down, not up.

    2. Ann Tronsor---Arkans says:

      OMG Our government has lost it's mind. What can we do to stop this insanity?

    3. Adam, Virginia says:

      I'm as conservative as most. I even voted McCain in the election.

      But I'll tell you one thing. Our medical system is a shot right now. I'm an independent contractor and own my own business, but getting decent maternity insurance right now is close to impossible. We have to wait 6 months? We have to change doctors? We have to go to a hospital in a different county?

      Folks – it is broken. As a certain SNL character would say – "FIX IT!".

    4. Geoffrey Magistrate, says:

      Once you have national healthcare you will never go back, America will be lost – we will be France or possibly UK, where you wait YEARS for operation, cant choose your doctor and interestingly the doctors in "specialist" areas are many times not where they want to be – i.e they are assigned by the government to areas where they are needed. I have good friend who works in emergency services who wants to be in cardiology but cant get into it as he was assigned to where his is now, he is quitting.

      Once national healthcare is in place in the USA you will never be able to roll it back, we will become an nation of amoebas who believe they deserve everything frm the government. What happened to personal responsibility?

      You work, make money and if you can afford it get good healthcare, if not change jobs or do something on your own!!! Thats attitude that built america – not let the government give it to me!!!

    5. Laura, California says:

      Through private insurance, our health care dollars are wasted on lobbyists, political contributions, public relations and advertising (aka propaganda), and multi-million dollar salaries. With private insurance, approval for treatment is decided by an individual whose pay, promotion, and bonuses are based on denial rates. Expensive treatments are often denied, or co-pays set so high that people cannot afford them. 50 percent of all bankruptcy filings were partly or entirely the result of medical expenses, 68% of those had health insurance.

      The insurance mandate plans, or the private sector's plan to use of our government to extract payment from us, is the epitome of corruption. Such plans would force us all to pay for the lobbyists, propaganda, and political contributions that make such corruption possible.

      I would gladly contribute to your health care fund through taxes, but I cannot, in good conscience, contribute to the corruption of our democracy that insurance spends our health care dollars on.

    6. Jerry Pollard says:

      What will be the incentive for doctors to work long hours or

      work hard to built their practice or continuing to increase their skills through ongoing education.Doctors are presently limiting the number of MEDICARE patients because of government rules and compensation.Frivolous lawsuits(unwarranted)keep the costs high.Malpractice insurance is unaffordable due to unreasonable awards given by juries.At least if doctors work for the government they can't be sued!Truly, men,woman or children who can't afford health care must be given access but not through emergency rooms.

    7. Spiritof76, New Hamp says:

      Whatever has happened to common sense in this country?

      Insurance system is bogus. You don't buy automobile insurance or home owner's insurance for maintenance. You do it for catastrophic events. Yet,in our health care system, we seek insurance for treatment for cold and fever.

      If that sounds bad enough, wait till the government becomes the dispenser of health care. Everybody will be entitled to two aspirins and glass of water.

      There is no free lunch!!!

      When are we going to stop believing in tooth fairy and face reality?

      Get rid of private insurance for ordinary health care. Get rid of the government intervention. Better yet, I want to deduct all my medical expenses from my taxes. You empower people to buy health care just like you buy groceries. Above all, get rid of the lawyers that are the least productive in our society. People, take charge of your own health.

      Your employer can probably afford to pay you more as he/she doesn't have to pay for your health care to a third party!

    8. Aaron Roland, Burlin says:

      I am a private family doctor running a small group practice. When I asked my billing service (which takes a 7.5% cut of my revenue for their labors) for a report on the insurers I deal with the list ran four pages, 90 (yes, ninety!) separate plans. For me, the prospect of single payer is a dream I long for: a publicly financed system of universal health coverage paid for through an equitable tax system and delivered through our existing network of private providers….

    9. Robert Book Robert A. Book says:

      To Adam in Virginia: Yes, the health care system is seriously dysfunctional. But using it for economic "stimulus" will make it worse, not better!

      To Laura in California: Most of the health-care lobbying comes not from private insurance companies, but from associations of doctors, hospitals, and other providers. The lobbying is usually aimed at increasing the payouts from Medicare for those providers. For example, a medical specialty association will lobby for higher payments for procedures provided by their members, and will sometimes lobby to prevent other types of specialists from taking way their business.

      Putting all health care under government control will result in more lobbying and political contributions related to health care, not less. And instead of paying people at insurance companies to deny care, subject to appeals, we will have government rules for denying care under color of law. In fact, this is exactly what Secretary-designate Tom Daschle has proposed — a "Federal Health Board" to determine who should be denied health care and under what circumstances. The administration's argument is, the U.S. spends too much on health care because private insurance companies don't deny enough care! So, they want to force insurance companies to deny more care!

    10. Robert Book Robert A. Book says:

      To Dr. Roland in Burlingame: Ask your billing service how much time they spend dealing with Medicare, compared to private insurers (on a per-claim basis).

      It is indeed simpler to deal with one payer, but what if that one payer denies more claims and cuts payment rates? Each year for the past several years, the formula Medicare uses to calculate physician payments has called for a payment cut. And each year except one, Congress has stepped in to prevent that payment cut. Why? They are worried that if Medicare cuts its payments and private insurers don't, too many doctors might stop seeing Medicare patients. If government is the "single payer," they won't have to worry about that — they'll be able to cut their payments to the bone, since you'll have no other source of income.

    11. Robert Book Robert A. Book says:

      To Dr. Roland in Burlingame: Ask your billing service how much time

      they spend dealing with Medicare, compared to private insurers (on a

      per-claim basis).

      It is indeed simpler to deal with one payer, but what if that one

      payer denies more claims and cuts payment rates? Each year for the

      past several years, the formula Medicare uses to calculate physician

      payments has called for a payment cut. And each year except one, Congress has stepped in to prevent that payment cut. Why? They are worried that if Medicare cuts its payments and private insurers don't, too many doctors might stop seeing Medicare patients. If government is the "single payer," they won't have to worry about that — they'll be able to cut their payments to the bone, since you'll have no other source of income.

    12. bhi, California says:

      An equitable tax system?

    13. Adam, Virginia says:

      To:Robert A. Book

      I'm not advocating a single payer or any kind of socialized medicine. All I'm saying is that the current system is broken and does not allow for me to get the kind of insurance that I need.

      To Spiritof76, I completely agree. We have lost the definition of insurance. What medical insurance is to many people is prepaid medical.

      My complaint is that I cannot get good maternity insurance for my family without changing doctors, changing hospitals, them telling me when we can have a baby, etc.

      (It is very telling that we're talking about pre-paid medical instead of insurance when the insurance company tells you that you can't get pregnant for 6 months)

      I would be happy to pay for the cost of the doctor's visits, delivery, etc but I want insurance if things don't go well (baby comes early, complications with delivery, etc). As far as I know, there's no insurance that will do that (just cover if there are complications). If anyone knows of an insurance that will do that, let me know. The one issue that I can see with that is that insurance companies get a better deal in pricing with the hospitals than I would…

    14. Larry, California says:

      To: Adam in Virginia

      It appears to be that what you are experiencing with purchasing "insurance" seems to actually be that the insurance carrier insures "…family planning by spread-sheet…" As in, whatever is least expensive to the carrier is how you will plan for your family.

    15. Don McCanne, San Jua says:

      The single payer model of reform advocated by Physicians for a National Health Program has support in numerous peer-reviewed studies published in prominent, highly credible journals in medicine and health policy. Several studies by the Lewin Group, plus the experience of existing single payer programs in other nations also provide support for the PNHP model. These studies show that there would be considerable savings by changing from our current dysfunctional, fragmented system of financing health care to an administratively efficient single payer system. The increased spending for health care for the uninsured and under-insured would be off-set by the savings of the single payer model, thus single payer would be cost neutral.

      PNHP and the California Nurses Association are separate, unrelated organizations, although both support single payer reform. PNHP did not participate in nor had any advanced knowledge of the CNA/NNOC study. Although the CNA leadership concludes that single payer would create more jobs and infuse more funds into the economy, the leadership of PNHP does not accept the view that this one study refutes the great body of health policy literature which indicates that a single payer system would be cost neutral.

    16. SHAWNA, West Virgini says:

      I own my own business and finding "good" insurance that I can actually afford is VERY HARD.

      The plan I have now is inadequate, but at least I have something.

      I had cancer six years ago and I'm still alive to tell the tale. The quality of health care I received was excellant.

      But, I will be paying this bill for the rest of my life!

      It seems to me that the quality of health care is excellent but the INSURANCE COST & COVERAGE IS WHAT IS BROKEN!

      IF there was an insurance company that gave excellent coverage with low premiums, they would be the leader in health care in no time.

      With all of the money they needed to invest to become a giant.

      FIX THE INSURANCE COMPANYS!!!

    17. Joe, California says:

      Medicare and Medicaid take care of most of the problem with the over 65 group and the lower income group.The SHIP program needs to be the same in each state and have a reasonable level of income allowed for qualification(no one over 18years old).The young healthy group should consider high deductable insurance plans and health savings accounts.No one should expect first dollar coverage but rather,be covered for large "catastrophic" type care.

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