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  • Fast-Tracking Government Control of Health Care

    Private v.s. Gov’t Health Care Tipping Point

    Efforts in Congress to fast-track passage of an economic stimulus package and expansion of the children’s health care program, if successful, would give liberals a big down payment on nationalizing health care. House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-SC) has stated as much.

    America already was on a fast track toward the tipping point in health care — that point where the federal government will control more spending on personal health than the private sector does. Today, as this chart shows, government  controls 46 percent of such spending; its share is expected to reach 49 percent by 2017.  Adding more middle-class kids to the children’s health care program (known as SCHIP), along with expanding Medicaid and sundry health provisions in President Obama’s economic stimulus package, only will move the country faster to socialized medicine.

    The SCHIP reauthorization bill would give states the ability to expand coverage to children — and in some instances adults and immigrants — at any income level. The bill also would accelerate, rather than minimize, losses in private health coverage.  If states follow the leads of New York and New Jersey and expand SCHIP to include families earning over $80,000 a year, a staggering three-fourths of American children would be eligible for government-run health care. This alone would be a tremendous victory for those who want the U.S. government, not the consumer,  to be in charge of health care choices.

    There’s more, though: The economic stimulus package includes components that lay the foundation for more government sway over health care. First, the plan expands eligibility for Medicaid to new populations — making government health care the default option for the unemployed and creating greater dependence on this poorly performing welfare program.

    Second, the plan calls for studies on “comparative effectiveness” of prescription drugs and devices. As Scott Gottlieb noted in the Wall Street Journal: “Report language accompanying the House stimulus bill says that ‘more expensive’ medical products ‘will no longer be prescribed.’ “  In other words, bureaucrats will restrict your choices in personal health decisions.

    This is the ultimate goal of Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Daschle, who champions a national health board based on the British National Institute for Comparative Effectiveness (NICE). The House stimulus plan  also would spend taxpayer money to set up health information technology, a key tool for implementing “delivery reforms” — meaning more bureaucrats butting into your health care.

    And finally, as these bills move to President Obama’s desk for his signature, he should consider how they contradict his stated vision and promises for overall health care reform. Our new president might start with two of his campaign pledges: to seek bipartisan solutions and to protect the private health coverage Americans enjoy today.

    Posted in Economics [slideshow_deploy]

    44 Responses to Fast-Tracking Government Control of Health Care

    1. Ozzy6900, CT (The Bl says:

      With the track record of the Government, why would anyone in their right mind want the Government's hands in the Health Care system?

    2. Steve, Wichita (KS) says:

      My 15 year old son, who lives in England, had been suffering from pain in his back for over a year. Every time he visited his General Practitioner he was just told to rest!

      Finally, his Mother offered to 'go private', i.e, she would pay for him to see a consultant Orthopedic Surgeon. The GP referred him to someone suitable on the spot. Two weeks later he had an MRI which showed a crack in the L5 vertebrae!

      My 17 year old step-daughter visited our GP in Wichita today because of 'numbness' in one of her legs. She is having an MRI…..TOMORROW!!!

      I would sincerely appreciate the opportunity to discuss the health care issue with interested parties of all political persuasions.

    3. lifenliberty, Texas says:

      I work for CVS/Caremark. Everyday I see people both legal and ILLEGAL, young and old, come into the stores getting their drugs on MY tax dollars and it DRIVES ME CRAZY! Often times I see these folks pull away from the store in a brand new car; they cannot afford health care? This system needs to be fixed! I would love to get control of this legislation myself. I am certain that I could fix heck a cave man could do it. – GOVERNMENTIS THE PROBLEM!

      Would anyone continue to go to the same restaurant for dinner if their food came out burnt every time, no matter what they ordered? I think not. Why then do people continue to bow at the alter of the government to which here is no complain department? It's nonsensical to me!

      • Carl says:

        The health care system is like eveything else you going to have pros and cons. There is nothing in this world that is perfect. It is easy to state the problem but can you find the solution. If the health care system was good there would be no need for the government to step in.

        I know people who needs health care but is not able to receive the benefits that other people enjoy. I think you need to think outside your own house. Everybody do not have the same opportunitites as you or the same bank account. Don't make judegements based on assumptions.

    4. Dennis Social Circle says:

      Well it seems we are on our way to socialized medicine thanks to those that are in charge. We need this like we need another stimulus package. It is hard to believe that the tax payer will be responsible for the health care of all. I have always payed my health insurance and payed my bills. I was not brought up to believe the "guvernment" would see to my needs. I have worked for my needs and some of my wants. WHY CAN'T WE GET BACK TO THIS CONCEPT?????

    5. Jim, Wisconsin says:

      Ozzy, you're correct again, what is wrong with the people in this country they won't realize the problem that will be created until it's too late. I have relation in Sweden and they tell me the problems they have with social health care and the taxes they have to pay. They ask me why we want the same thing. God help us!

    6. Pingback: BlogWonks » Blog Archive » Yeah, that sounds about right

    7. Marshall Hill-Michig says:

      As documented by a friend in the Physical Therapy

      Industry who has just returned from a Study in the

      U.K. of their Operations has shown that it takes an average of Eighteen Months to get to Therapy in

      that Country!

      Have they reinvented the Wheel?

      Many Patients,the Majority will be Crippled by this Insanity that this New Group of" Intelligent

      Politicians "who will not be using the program!

    8. Marshall Hill-Michig says:

      WE all want the same Health Care Senator Obama had,which is for Citizens only!

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    15. Kurt,medford oregon says:

      Barrack and his minions will soon have total control, it is futile to resist.lay on your back with your legs up like a good liberal would do.

      Soon it will be your turn.WAKE UP AMERICA!!.Its population control through subsidized healthcare.We are being forced to pay for our own

      demise.

    16. Devi, Durham NC says:

      I've been a nurse for 14 years. I have taken care of people who have had to choose between rent, food, and medicine, because they can't pay for all three. They get sick because the medicine seems to be the easiest thing to let go of. Then they come to the hospital. Sometimes they die. All because they have no way to pay for their medicine, or no money to pay for a doctor.

      I personally held off seeing a doctor for 3 months after I had an accident, because at the time I was waiting for my insurance to kick in and I knew if I went to the doctor, my injuries would be considered a 'preexisting condition' and not covered. When I finally went to the doctor, I had a broken ankle and a 96% ligament tear that required a $12K surgery. There was no way we could have covered that surgery without insurance. Putting off going to the doctor aggravated the injury substantially to the point where I have to be extremely careful to never injure this ankle again.

      People always talk about 'choice'. What if your choice is between a roof over your head, food on your table, heat in your house or medicine for your out of control blood pressure or sugar?

      That kind of choice can end up killing you. Put yourself in that position before you go off about choice.

    17. CB, Northern Califor says:

      Choice means good with bad. "No choice" will not bring utopia and NO pain! YOU made a choice NOT to go to the doctor. You say you couldn't afford it. We buy cars and houses on credit why not health care? Better yet, how about we actually save for a rainy day, not have another child, pets, or skip the TV and take a second menial job. Life does not come with a guarentee. Yes, YOU have to be careful not to injure your ankle AGAIN! How is this or anyone else's responsibility but yours.

      I am sorry you had an accident. I am sorry your future has been diminished in your eyes. But it is your problem, to solve with your personal economics. Self pity is a common emotion to be worked through after any serious injury.

      The line is "Pursuit of happiness" which implies activity(not whining)on your part and provides no guarantee, but the right to try yourself, not make others pay.

    18. Michele, Pensacola F says:

      For the nurse who wrote in holding off on medical care after auto accident due to lack of insurance. Her injury must have caused severe pain, swelling & impaired her ability to work as a nurse. Being a nurse in a community you have access to physicians, clinic resources & hospital resources that would have probably treated her injuries & more than likely she would have been given deep professional discounts. If not just do what a lot of others do…..go to the hospital get treated & make monthly payments as much as you can & pay your debt. I have been in a smiliar position & I just paid the hospital a measley $100.00 per month until my surgical bill was paid in full. As long as you pay something to the hospital they cannot take your life (home) away. I have to admit I hated paying that thing once a month but there was no way for me to do my work & pay my bills without addressing my injury.

    19. David, Memphis TN says:

      Devi, your experience is unfortunate. And it is reflective of the current problems in our health care system. Namely the dependence on either employer supplied insurance, government supplied insurance, or cash. The low reimbursement of government plans is part of why charges are high and private insurance reimbursements must be higher.

      But if the current push toward socialized medicine continues, it is very questionable if your outcome would have been any different. Just look at the experiences above of foreign health care systems where wait times are prolonged. There is no telling how long you would have had to wait to see someone for your ankle injury. And then assuming you could have had the appropriate diagnostic study approved and performed in a timely fashion, there is no telling when you would have been able to have surgery, if at all.

      Real reform has to include an increase in utilization of health savings accounts. Health care consumers have to have a more vested interest in how their dollars are being spent for the system to continue to provide quality care.

      Daschle (who knows nothing about the delivery of health care and never should have been approved to run HHS) and his like have the ultimate goal of total elimination of private health care. They want to get rid of even the option of providers seeing private pay patients because they say they need every American in the system to balance the spending. If that happens, the number of health care providers will contract very, very quickly.

    20. Rhonda, Texas says:

      My daughter is expecting in June and her husband is in the Army so she has free health care!!!Haha. When she found out she was expecting she called to make an appointment. It took a month just to see a nurse to confirm the preganacy. A month later she at her next appointment she was again seen by a different nurse. They actually asked her why she had come in. She finally got fed up and decided to pay to see a real doctor. She was treated wonderfully by the Doctor and she got her first ultrasound that day. That what we are all going to end up with. Going to clinics see who ever is on duty that day. Most likely not even a doctor. If you think we have a shortage of doctors today. Just wait. And for those people think that having government run health care means better care you are sadly mistaken. You will still die because you didn't get the care when you needed it.

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    22. a., Pennsylvania says:

      Let's use entrepreneurial ingenuity to create a private system that gives each employee control over his/her health benefits. Create a payroll service that explicitly shows to each employee how much money that employee receives in health benefits. That same service spends that employee's "health-benefit dollars" per his/her direction. Unspent health-benefit dollars can accumulate or can be withdrawn (after taxes). Could not such a system operate under existing law?

    23. Samuel af Ugglas NYH says:

      Please, study the Scandinaivian helthcare systems

      and in particular the Swedish. Sometimes I wish I wasn´t born especially now when we are discussing "who" is going to decide, when and how to die.

    24. Adam, Phoenix Arizona says:

      Having been raised on the Conservative end of the spectrum I understand what you guys are thinking. How privatizing everything from Social Security to Health Care is good. But “socialized medicine?” That’s a bogus term altogether. I won’t sit for it. I’m with you if that’s what we’re going to have. I don’t want socialized medicine, however I do want a better health care system than the one we have here.
      If you think privatizing the system will work for both you and I then let me have it. I’m willing to pay for health care, but please be gentle, I’m not made of money. I don’t think I qualify for state run “socialized” medicare. I’ve never looked for a handout, and I don’t intend to. With that, I am looking forward to a change. It can’t get any worse for me, since I don’t even have health insurance at the moment. I’ve been living without health insurance for almost year now. I have a pre-existing condition no HMO will cover. If I lived in France I’ve been told I’d be covered by private insurance carriers without hesitation. If not, by their government. The same in Canada. But not here in the US. They have the right to refuse me insurance, even if I don’t smoke, don’t use drugs, or alcohol. Refuse me insurance if I’m intentionally trying to kill myself, not the other way around. Doesn’t sound like the sort of country that works for me/everyone? I’ve been told we have some of the best health care in the world, that is if its available to you. If I get my health insurance through the government so be it, I’ll be looking for a bill. I’ll gladly pay it. Maybe I’ll be to live past 40. That’d be something.

    25. Kristina, Gloucester says:

      My heart goes out to Adam in Phoenix. Some people will always have bigger burdens to carry than others. He can look at his predicament as a problem – and wait until others have a solution. Or maybe, taking a page from the American Experience, finding the unique solution in himself. Taking the bull by the horns and instead of whining that no one will help him with his medical bills – find a way to do it himself. Research foundations. Find out about free clinics in the area. Create a support network of others that have similar struggles with "pre-existant" conditions. Work with pharmaceutical companies that are maybe willing to offset the cost of drugs. Be creative, do lots of research – and I'm sure that the bloggers at Heritage would have lots of advise. And in about five years, he will become the ultimate expert in where the best health care is to be had at the best price – and will not only live past 40 – will be able to retire on the millions he has made from his entrepreneural adventure. After all, necesity is the mother of all invention. We are the makers of our own life and we are ones who have ultimate control. Once we fall prey to the myth that anyone else can better pull the strings of our own life – that is when we die.

    26. common cents, washin says:

      I just want to remind readers that Obama is not looking to care for the poor or ill.He is looking for power in what-ever form it takes. He and his henchmen/women are seeking to be the sole rulers of these United States. It matters little that this healthcare program succceeds in caring for the sick. It matters greatly who is controling the funds and thus has the power to affect your lives. The end result is that 305 million Americans will be beholden to the the savor that is Obama. God Bless and keep you all!

    27. Bruce Buffalo, NY says:

      To those of you who use Canada and France as examples of government health care systems please read this: There is an advertisement on a billboard on the NYS Thruway just before the bridge to Canada advertising for doctors needed in Canada! That is just the tip of the iceberg with socialized medicine. In a US hospital they do around 8 hip replacements per day. In Canada you wait approximately 2 years to get a hip replaced! Think about it. If you were a doctor where would you want to work?

    28. Patrick, Canada says:

      A Socialist Healthcare system is a failure waiting to happen. I live in the Socialist country right above you and I know that America does not want socialized medicine. http://rescuereality.blogspot.com/2009/01/why-can

    29. ERIK, MONTANA says:

      It seems to me that the ones championing socialized healthcare are often the ones furthest from the actualities of healthcare abuses. The examples that Obama, Reid, Baucus, etc. use to defend sharing health resources are of well intentioned, yet underprivileged patients experiencing a stroke of bad luck. They are either naive or chose to ignore the millions who abuse their bodies, abuse the established system, and abuse the people trying to care for them. It's easy to call healthcare a right (rather than a privilege) when only referencing responsible patients.

      On the other side of the issue, we find voices like Sen. Tom Coburn, who, as a physician sees first hand the damaging effects of socialized medicine. He knows that it takes away both incentive and choice. Patients lose the incentive to stay healthy and seek affordable treatment, doctors lose their choice of who to treat and how to practice, and taxpayers lose their choice of controlling where their money is spent.

      Anyone subscribing to the pleasant stories of idealized social healthcare should spend time seeing what Tom Coburn sees. They should experience the "frequent fliers" and narcotic seekers who present to the emergency room, the families who can afford lots of toys but chose not to purchase insurance, and the amount of money spent on patients who disregard doctor's orders and refuse to take care of their health situation.

      In a way, I would be happy to help support responsible people who care about their health, genuinely intend to return the favor, and work toward establishing an HSA or insurance policy. I can already do this, however, by giving to private health assistance groups, missionary doctors, or community clinics. What social programs do is take away my freedom to chose.

    30. Kurt, Holland says:

      To those of you who keep stating “we need the same health care Obama has” (per his own words), do you honestly believe this? There is no possible way this can happen for 1) they have the best doctors available; 2) If they work through this idiotic socialized care, they will pay out of pocket for “the best”.

      BTW, Someone hit on this above, there is a reason why Canada is short on doctors….you don’t go to MD school for 8, 12, 14 years to get a job making as much as a trash man. Doesn’t matter if your college is free, or even paying you to go, that is a hell of a lot of work to have some politician cap you salary at x amount.

    31. Angela says:

      I can’t believe we are coming to this. I know I don’t want a government health board telling my doctor what he can or can’t prescribe. I want my doctor to treat me not government. I don’t trust the government having my best interest at heart; they will only have the cheapest interest at heart. I want to know why the AMA seems to promote nationalized healthcare.

    32. Ron, Illinois says:

      I have been working and paying for health insurance for 20+ years. Now granted I have not always had the best coverage out there but at least it was something to get my family through any illness that popped up. I for one think that if someone wants the government to handle our health care they have a rude awakening coming. Just look at how the government handles every thing else they are “responsible” for.

      People get horrible coverage, large deductibles and long wait times regardless were you go for treatment. Look at how long it takes the government to decide on anything right now. How do you think they can make medical judgements in a timely fashion? Most private insurance companies now have people that deal with these decisions on a daily basis and they take a while to get around to you processing your claims, the government will only be worse I think.

    33. Mike, Hickory, NC says:

      The point to start with is: "How do you boil a frog? 1-degree-at-a-time".

      In this case that means that especially ever since Hillary's failed attempt to secretly and behind closed doors force Socialist "health care" down our throats all at once while "Slick Willie" was in the White House, the "Liberal" government elitist Left have been finagling their Socialist "health care" through Congress, often using the "1-health care-issue-at-a-time" method, to the point where now not only do they have their Socialist President in the White House and more Socialist control of Congress than ever before, but they are thus also much too probable to get away with forcing their Socialist "government-run health care" down our throats "all at once", this time under their favorite guises of such as "for the poor children", etc, thereby taking over our health care system, and thus also ruining both the health and survival prospects of people.

      If anybody has any doubt about such government-run ruination, consider the timeless principle, repeatedly proven to this day, which even our founding fathers knew, including Thomas Jefferson when he said: "Was government to prescribe our medicine and diet, our bodies would be in such keeping as our souls are now" (in other words "miserably trapped in our mortal coils").

      What that means is also shown by:

      "Were we directed from Washington when to sew and when to reap, we should soon want bread" (Thomas Jefferson),

      "The course of history shows that as government grows, liberty decreases" (Thomas Jefferson), and, yes,

      "Government isn't the solution to our problem, government is the problem" (Ronald Reagan).

      Plus, as if the above isn't enough, it is all also proven to this day by how things are ruined (made miserably inefficient, etc) practically every time government takes over anything (AMTRAK, etc).

      In fact, if you do your own homework, what you will find about what caused "health care costs" to get above what the market will bear (what people can afford to pay), and caused insurance companies to get in on the act, and also caused there to be "HMO's, and PPO's, etc", is that government "got in the loop" in the first place (causing "Deep Pockets Syndrome") through granting such as "tax breaks" to employers who began offering such as misleadingly so-called "employer-paid health insurance benefits" after World War II ("misleadingly" since there are no such things as so-called "employer-paid benefits" because employees generate the income for both their own paychecks and the cost of all or any portion of such so-called "employer-paid benefits", etc).

      Note: This is comming from both myself and countless others with experience as both an employee in a number of businesses and as an entrepreneur, and from the experience of both myself and others who have paid dearly, and continue to pay dearly for the consequences of Socialist "health care", physically and otherwise, both in and through the U.S. military, and in other countries where it is already proven and continues to be proven that Socialist (i.e. “government control of”) health care is a recipe for incomparable misery and failure.

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    39. SamC., Utah says:

      well, here's a question:

      Would you want the governement to be in charge of food and medicine, even thought the purpose of the governement was to protect the people?

      my vote was for the if their meant to protect us, then shouldn't they be able to take out food and/or medicine that can harm us?

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    43. JAMES S SINCLAIR says:

      I am an unemployed, USARMY VETERN , no help from the VA. How can I pay for these outrages hospital costs/

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