Thursday, July 23, 2009

Viva Health Care Reform, from Minyanville must have been one of those bloggers (they are not exactly blogs, but..) who were invited by President Obama the other day to receive his directive on how to sell his health care reform to the Internet mass.

Here's an extremely simplistic, black and white argument for the so-called "reform", from Ryan Goldberg at

Health Care Reform Opponents Argue, "Go Broke, Don't Fix It"
(Ryan Goldberg, 7/23/09

Here's a snippet of the rosy future that the U.S. health care would have, under the president's plan, according to the author:

"So what does that experiment include? Well, let’s compare “what these countries do” -- as the Arizona Senator says -- to the US.

"First off, everybody has insurance. It's a guaranteed right. How silly is that: Who would want health care they get for free?

"There are shorter lines in emergency rooms and it's easier to see a primary-care doctor. There's little paperwork -- for both patients and physicians -- and those physicians say they feel free to practice medicine the way they want.

"The newspapers in those countries don't include stories of people going bankrupt or skipping medical care because it costs too much. And overall, they pay substantially less than we do. For instance, the French spend around 11% of their gross domestic product on health care, the Dutch around 10%. In the US, we spend around 16%."

Oh what a paradise. But...

Is health care a right? If it is a right, why is there a price tag at all? Free? Then why are they proposing to impose surtax? Free for who? Nothing that the government does is for free. Taxpayers have to foot the bill.

And where is the hard data to back his assertion about shorter lines and little paperwork, and all? In Great Britain, you have to wait 9 months for the treatment of arthritis.

The French and the Dutch may spend less of their GDP on health care, but they also have higher income tax than the U.S. France's top rate for individual income tax is 40%. For the Dutch, it's 52%. The U.S. top rate is 35%.

On page 2 of the article, he goes on to say:

"The mainstream press covers the issue, as it does most policies, in terms of a political fight or horse race. Then there's the fear-mongering that deploys visions of Soviet-style rationing from rich politicians who have never heard from a person who lives without insurance. "

Haha, that's funny. More Republicans oppose the bill than Democrats, but there are significant Democratic opposition, too. Somehow if they oppose, they are "rich" politicians? Nancy Pelosi's net worth is $19 million. President Obama's net worth is $7 million. The richest in Congress is John Kerry (D) at $231 million, with Jane Harman (D) closing in at $226 million. Are they opposing the bill? The author also fails to mention that Congress would be EXEMPT from the bill. The bill is only for us commoners.

"Our plan might make us like France or the Netherlands, where private insurers have a role but the government offers a secure backstop. Everybody gets covered somehow. In both countries, people spend significantly less time in emergency rooms and get same-day appointments far more frequently."

Might. Indeed. Might not. Here in the U.S., the government wants to run the show, not a backstop. Besides, France is no health care paradise ("French health care is badly run" by BBC, and "French Health Care Expert: France's System Broken, Should Copy US; Media Yawn" by Newsbusters).

Just like President Obama, the author reduces the issue to a choice between doing nothing at all and handing over the medical decision to Washington and closing our eyes and hope for the best.

The critics are not saying "Let's do nothing and go broke", as the author kindly simplifies for us. They are questioning the wisdom of foisting a trillion dollars on the taxpayers and employers in a severe recession in which the unemployment rate is likely to climb to a double digit; of the government bureaucrats dictating the private decisions with cumbersome rules and regulations.

I have a sinking feeling though that this monstrosity of a health care "reform" will pass, just like another monstrosity (climate bill) will somehow pass (already passed the House). And that will be partly thanks to the people like this article's author who talks like the president - all fluff and no substance just to make you feel good. Other part will be the gullible mass who swallow anything in front of them without checking the label.

Where is the red pill?


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