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  • The Public Health Care Plan: What Seems to Be the Problem?

    Debunking the Myths

    • Lower Costs? It’s a shell game. A government plan always looks cheaper, but the reality is that the true costs are hidden. Costs are passed on to providers in administrative costs and lower reimbursements, resulting in a huge cost-shift to private payers to make up the difference.
    • Quality Care? One only needs to look at current government health plans. Medicare has huge gaps in coverage. And Medicaid’s quality is notoriously bad. The record is clear: They offer substandard care compared to private health insurance, especially in the areas of cancer and cardiac care. These persistent quality deficiencies are routinely overlooked in discussions of a government health plan.
    • Increased Competition? With a public plan, the federal government would create the rules for the “game” in which it plans to compete. But the government would not just be a neutral umpire in the game. It would also own one of the competing teams, namely the public plan.
    • The Public Plan Won’t Crowd Out Private Insurance? It’s impossible to believe that Congress and the Administration could resist setting rules—and interpreting those rules—in favor of their own public plan. Independent estimates show that as many as 119 million Americans would no longer be in private coverage.
    • The End Goal Is Not Single-Payer? As Congresswoman Schakowsky will tell you, the end goal is definitely a single-payer system. That’s why many supporters of a single-payer system, where the government runs the whole health system, are suddenly converts to choice and private competition as long as there is a public plan.

    Don’t Drink the Complimentary Kool-Aid

    • Using Free Market Language Doesn’t Make It a Free Market: Proponents of a public health care plan use descriptive language like “competition,” “choice,” and “level playing field” to give a false impression that their policies are consistent with market principles. In reality, these policies are the very opposite of a free market.
    • The President Will Never Have Enough to Pay for It: President Obama would like the American public to believe that he can pay for his plan. These promises are more hopeful than real, whether it’s voluntary cost-saving by the health care community, savings from a new global warming tax, or “sin” taxes on soda and potato chips. What next?

    An Alternative Prescription

    Posted in Obamacare [slideshow_deploy]

    14 Responses to The Public Health Care Plan: What Seems to Be the Problem?

    1. Zack says:

      you have only created myths, you have not dispelled them… your logic is not sound and i suggest real research. this is a talking point report from the for-profit insurance companies. i don't know about anyone else, but if you listen to doctors (the people who help you when you are sick) they fully support single payer health insureance

    2. Jack Lohman says:

      Zack, it is those "for-profit insurance companies" that help fund the Heritage Institute. Cut them some slack.

    3. Steve, Ohio says:

      Zack lives in "fantasy land" and I suspect is looking for more "free" handouts from the government (i.e. your wallet and mine). I work as a broker in the health insruance field. If you had experience with healthcare payments, you would understand that to go to a government based system will reduce care for many individuals. To give you an example, if you're willing to take a shot at finding out your socialist views of life and your blind love of government is a farce, you need to take a look at what medicare excludes from coverage. For instance, a man with severe backpain that could only be controlled with one medication, but he could not get it approved by medicare. Why? The drug was approved by the FDA for "pain during cancer treatments". Therefore medicare would not allow (fascism) paymeny for the drug for back pain and because the drug is extremely expensive. That's your government. I had another man in the exact same situation using an employer based insruance plan (for which I am the broker, i.e. private insurance) and we were able to explain it to the private insurer and they agreed to pay for the medication. That evil insurance company paid out over a two year period more than $26,000 for that one medication (that the other man could not get through medicare).

      You think your government is compassionate, so do the people of the UK, Canada and France. They have lived under single payer for years and are now turning back to private insurance because they cannot access the care they need through the government. Open your eyes and ears and try to turn your brain on.

    4. Jack Lohman says:

      Steve, that is absolute garbage. I am ON a government-based system, Medicare, and I go to the same doctor and hospital as before. And if the Medicare system doesn't cover something I can buy it the old-fashioned free-market way. With cash. How's that for capitalism?

      But Medicare bypasses your commissions and the other insurance bureaucracy costs which drain 31% of heathcare dollars. And if you think "private insurers" are compassionate put yourself in place of the 17-year-old girl that just died in California because her private insurer refused to pay for a transplant, all because it ate into their profits.

      See http://moneyedpoliticians.net/2009/05/22/business

    5. adrienne giuffre, md says:

      Zack – Don't know what kind of doctors you see but I am a general surgeon and I know of NO docs who are looking forward to this looming disaster. We have seen how Medicare/Medicaid has slowly, inevitably, become useless as we predicted in the 60's. And now we suffer under increasing gov't regs

      on how to run our offices, what treatments we can give, and how to turn over to them every tiny bit of information on patients despite HIPAA all in the name of keeping costs down and increasing quality care. And all this without a protective parachute for malpractice which is only one, but a hugh,reason for increasing costs. Personally, we are disgusted and leaving medicine in droves. Need your gallbladder out? Call Obama's team.

    6. Jack Lohman says:

      Adrienne, if you check with Physicians for a National Health Plan at http://tinyurl.com/onuspm you'll see that 59% of physicians prefer a Medicare-for-all system. Obviously you have not experienced private insurers that have denied care via their nurse gatekeepers, but if you think government is bad wait until the CEOs whose salaries and bonuses are affected start controlling your decisions on patient care.

      Though malpractice costs have remained at less than 1/2 of 1% of the total for five years now, we nonetheless should convert from a 12-man jury to a 3-person judge system, and fine attorneys that bring frivolous cases.

      Though not the only reason, costs increase when physicians who own their own expensive lab equipment order tests unnecessarily, all to pay for the equipment. Yea, I’d just as soon see these guys leave the system. Plumbing would be a good option.

    7. Jack Lohman says:

      Please let me add, because I didn't address your each and every "myth" above:

      Lower Costs? Compare privatized Medicare (Advantage) plans which cost taxpayers 17% more than traditional Medicare. So much for private being cheaper than public.

      Quality Care? Government health plans??? I'm on Medicare and I see the same doctor and go to the hospital as everybody else. Medicare is private care but public funding.

      Medicare has huge gaps in coverage??? So do private plans. There should be just one level of care: Whatever is needed.

      Increased Competition? The rules for the “game?” How about no game and just one rule: You get sick and you get care! And if private really is more efficient they should love the Big Behemoth competitor.

      The Public Plan Won’t Crowd Out Private Insurance? Let's hope it does. The 31% waste in the private middleman system is killing us.

      The End Goal Is Not Single-Payer? I would hope it is. It is the one of the best ways to make our corporations competitive with those in other countries.

      The President Will Never Have Enough to Pay for It? We are already paying for single payer, we just are getting it. And the insurance industry is so afraid that we "might" get it they have contributed $46 million to politicians to block it. There are massive profits at stake here, and they are preying both on our corporations and the public.

      Give States the Power? The states don't want the power. We tried. They do not want people coming from other states and benefiting from their health care system. (Now, if you passed a law that said every state must provide 100% care, that could work.)

      Give Consumers a Real Choice: I don't want a choice on "who" handles the paperwork, I want a choice of doctors and hospitals. And under Medicare (my government-run system) I have 100% choice.

      Congress should reform existing health care spending? Yea, by eliminating the 31% of waste created by the insurance middlemen.

      Jack Lohman …

    8. Becky says:

      I am not a physician, but self employed and pay for insurance. I don't want national health care. I believe that government programs are financed by private people like myself, and that innovations come from the private sector. I haven't found the statistics yet, but about 40 million are covered by Medicare right now. My mother pays for medigap insurance as well as medicare part D for drugs (and Medicare is still underfunded). She's been on a drug that works very well for depression for a couple of years, and was denied a refill until she tries another drug. So last month, she paid cash for it ($100.00).

      I would like to know how many people are currently covered by Medicare, Medicaid and the SCHIP programs and at what cost.

      Why only doctors? They don't provide all the health care. I'm guessing more than 59% have or do participate in one of the government programs right now, and if you can't beat them, join them. And what is the breakdown of doctors for singlepayer care? Young or old, specialty by specialty, etc.

      Like the previous comment that everything has stayed the same in the jump from private to public care, it is because private money is still there and someone has to make this service profitable. It is not a dirty word, that someone who works to develop skills should not be able to profit from it. When a singlepayer system is instituted, and the sector of health care that is currently private is taken over by government, where does that money come from? Look at your paystub where med deduction is 1.45% (and your employer matches), supposedly that's where medicare is currently funded from, and it just moved up a year in becoming exhausted from 2017 to 2016.

      I find the current administration's arguments that health care costs are wrecking the economy (just look at Great Britian, for example, they've had single payer for decades and their economy is a wreck), bogus.

    9. Steve, Ohio says:

      Jack, So you think I'm just a "middle-man". Why would intelligent business owners pay me directly for much of my work as a consultant for which I take no other form of payment or commissions. I make $250/hour to consult for school districts and government entities. Maybe they just enjoy throwing money away to a middle man. Why don't you spend your time soliciting for Universal Food. It is far more expensive and necessary to the average family than health insurance. The typical family will spend between $600-$800 per month on food. Because the employers fund most of the healthcare premiums in this country, the average family pays only about $350/month out of their pocket. Food is obviously more critical than insurance and more costly to the average family. Let's have "universal food"!!!

      Jack, why are people like you looking for handouts all the time? What makes you think the government will do healthcare more efficiently and effectively than they do anything else? $9 trillion dollar deficits and medicare and social security (the great lie) going broke! Move to Canada or the UK. Get your "free heatlhcare" and stop trying to turn our great country into a socialist utopia where we all suffer.

    10. Sean, CT says:

      People like Zack & Jack scare me with their shortsighted, entitlement mentality. The government cannot run anything well or cost efficiently. Medicare/Medicaid has amassed $38 trillion in unfunded promises for my (the boomer) generation. Amtrack has lost $23 billion, in today's dollars, since 1990. The Postal system is bankrupt. Social Security, which will very soon be unable to pay its committments has had every last penny of surplus stolen by congress and spent on other things, and despite it's looming insolvency managed to send out about 10,000 $250 stimulus plan checks to dead people. Government health care sounds great, but you couldn't raise taxes enough to pay for all the insane expenditures of the Obama administration so far, let alone adding universal healthcare on top. What will happen – as anyone with a brain can see – is what the UAW did to the automobile industry. Govt funded uncapped benefits for people now (Zack & Jack) will destroy the system for all who follow.

      Where does it say in the Constitution that you are guaranteed health insurance, as opposed to having the freedom to earn money to pay for your own welfare? Yes, health care costs are high. But look at what we have access to now that we did not have 20 or 30 years ago that is included in that cost: hip & knee replacements, quadruple bypass surgery, life saving organ transplants, high tech artificial limbs, tremendous success at treating cancer, dental implants, every form of cosmetic improvements. These are things that people want and that provide a substantially improved quality of life. If you don't want to have these procedures you should find a plan that does not cover them and keep your costs down – why do you think you have a right to the products & services that people have worked long and hard to develop and produce? Govt controlled health care would greatly reduce the further development of new drugs and surgeries as it has in Europe – are you OK with depriving your kids and grandkids of the next wave of medical improvement?

    11. Patricia, Orlando Fl says:

      Why, oh why doesn't ANYONE bring up the fact that billions could be cut from the health care costs if the politicians cut their OWN medical plans! No, THEY pass laws for us, but not for THEMSELVES. After all, their very, very expexsive health plans cover everything, and we pay 100% of the cost. " Let them eat cake,"anyone? So much for "equality" in this country. WE WILL DIE, while Kennedy,( (Daschal and the rest) has the best, most expensive available. PUT THEM ON THE SAME PLAN, and that will straighten it up immediately.

    12. Wayne, Louisiana says:

      I feel like this new health care initiative is a step backwards. One way that we can stimulate an increase in the number of insured citizens is to give them more of their money so that they can purchase it for themselves. I am for an increase in the standard income tax deduction to reflect a premium amount for the special purpose of buying health care insurance.

      If the government can or wants to offer a credit to be used for health care coverage for the underemployed than the cost of coverage would probably be cut extensively since no extension of the current bureaucracy would be necessary. There would also be no need to create a new department.

    13. Roxie Nebraska says:

      I worked for a government hospital for over 20 years and I can tell you there is no way I want the government in charge of my health care. With government health care you can count on spending most of any day you need to be seen waiting, there is no reason for a doctor to see you within a time limit because they get paid the same no matter how many people they see in a day. Then when your finally seen if the doctor things you need to see a specialist, have and MRI or any other procedure not done at that particular facility the request will have to go through a committee which will include administration, budget and if your lucky a doctor. If this committee decides that the procedure is too expensive or that you really don't need it you will be denied you then have no choice unless you can pay for it yourself. The other problem is that government programs alway go over budget, the money alotted for a year is always gone within 4-6 months. I worked with Doctors who live and work in Canada and come to the US for a portion of each year to work becasue they are only allowed to make so much money and when they've reached the limit they can no longer work no matter how much they want or how many people have to spend more time waiting for care. This is not the type of care I want for myself and my famity. The other thing is if this care will be so good why has Congress opted out?

    14. Andy, Florida says:

      Years ago when President Clinton was trying to "fix" the healthcare system, he made a comment that was that was overlooked by the media. That is a large portion of the inflation in healthcare is caused by the government. The reimbursement given to medical providers through medicare and medicaid often do not cover the cost of providing the service, especially in high cost areas. So medical providers raise the cost of services to all payers. That is why medical costs skyrocket. hospitals set the charges for their services based on patient mix depending on who shows up with what insurance policy and what the reimbursement rates of those policies are. Add to that people with no insurance that they cannot turn away and you get a recipe for high costs.

      If Obama wants to cover the poor with medicaid then let him. My suggestion would be to give them free insurance and take away their earned income and child tax credits. Why should they get free money from the government without covering themselves or their children. Why should I have to pay more taxes to cover them? Let them pay more to cover themselves.

      Also what medicare pays for should be looked at. My Uncle has a nice motorized scooter that cost thousands of dollars paid in part by medicare. This was so he can drive the 20 feet or so from the living room to the kitchen. He has been in a nursing home for several years that did not allow him to bring the scooter, so now it sits at my Aunt's house collecting dust. What a waste of money.

      Also a word on socialized medicine. I have a coworker who is from Taiwan. He needed to pay for his father's hospital bills because his father had a lenghty illness that exceeded his reimbursement cap. On a more personal note, my grandfather died of a heart attack because the socialized healthcare system in Germany would not replace his pacemaker because he was too old. So government sponsored healthcare is not all it is made out to be.

      I agree with Zack this article should have been better researched. I could write a thesis on all that is wrong with Obama's proposal and I like the guy.

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