- The Foundry: Conservative Policy News from The Heritage Foundation - http://blog.heritage.org -

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

Posted By Rory Cooper On May 21, 2009 @ 11:37 am In Obamacare | Comments Disabled

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 [1] to make up the difference.
  • Quality Care? One only needs to look at current government health plans. Medicare has huge gaps [2] 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 [3] 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 [4]. 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 [5]—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 [5] will tell you, the end goal is definitely a single-payer system. That’s why many supporters of a single-payer system [6], 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 [7] use descriptive language like “competition,” “choice,” and “level playing field” to give a false impression [8] that their policies are consistent with market principles. In reality, these policies are the very opposite [9] 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 [10] by the health care community, savings from a new global warming tax, or “sin” taxes on soda and potato chips. What next? [11]

An Alternative Prescription

Article printed from The Foundry: Conservative Policy News from The Heritage Foundation: http://blog.heritage.org

URL to article: http://blog.heritage.org/2009/05/21/the-public-health-care-plan-what-seems-to-be-the-problem/

URLs in this post:

[1] huge cost-shift to private payers: http://www.heritage.org/Research/HealthCare/bg2267.cfm

[2] Medicare has huge gaps: http://www.heritage.org/Research/HealthCare/wm2441.cfm

[3] persistent quality deficiencies: http://www.heritage.org/Research/HealthCare/bg2264.cfm

[4] a neutral umpire in the game: http://www.heritage.org/Press/Commentary/ed032709c.cfm

[5] could resist setting rules: http://www.foundry.org/2009/05/08/the-video-single-payer-health-care-activists-dont-want-you-to-see/

[6] single-payer system: http://www.heritage.org/Research/HealthCare/wm2381.cfm

[7] public health care plan: http://www.heritage.org/Research/HealthCare/bg2263.cfm

[8] give a false impression: http://www.foundry.org/2009/05/14/this-is-a-big-government-plan/

[9] very opposite: http://www.foundry.org/2009/04/23/the-public-health-plan-%e2%80%9ctrojan-horse%e2%80%9d/

[10] voluntary cost-saving: http://www.foundry.org/2009/05/21/the-obama-administrations-2-trillion-health-care-fantasy/

[11] What next?: http://www.foundry.org/2009/05/12/morning-bell-obama-trek-the-search-for-more-money/

[12] allow states to develop solutions: http://www.heritage.org/Research/HealthCare/wm2445.cfm

[13] back to individuals and families: http://www.heritage.org/Research/HealthCare/wm2448.cfm

[14] Give Americans a true consumer-choice system: http://www.foundry.org/2009/05/19/what-real-bipartisan-health-care-reform-looks-like/

Copyright © 2011 The Heritage Foundation. All rights reserved.