Friday, April 03, 2009

Obama’s Ultimate Objectives Include Socialized Medicine

Excerpts from Charles Krauthammer’s WaPo column today with my comment below the star line.

Krauthammers says - - -

…. By sacking GM's CEO, packing the new board, and giving direction as to which brands to drop and what kind of cars to make, Obama takes ownership of General Motors. He may soon come to regret it. He has now gotten himself so entangled in the car business that he is personally guaranteeing your muffler. (Upon reflection, a job best left to the congenitally unmuffled Joe Biden.)

Some find in this descent into large-scale industrial policy a whiff of 1930s-style fascist corporatism. I have my doubts. These interventions are rather targeted. They involve global financial institutions that even the Bush administration decided had to be nationalized, and auto companies that themselves came begging to the government for money.

Bizarre and constitutionally suspect as these interventions may be, the transformation of the American system will come from elsewhere. The credit crisis will pass and the auto overcapacity will sort itself out one way or the other.

The reordering of the American system will come not from these temporary interventions, into which Obama has reluctantly waded. It will come from Obama's real agenda: his holy trinity of health care, education and energy.

Out of these will come a radical extension of the welfare state, social and economic leveling in the name of fairness, and a massive increase in the size, scope and reach of government.

If Obama has his way, the change that is coming is a new America: "fair," leveled and social democratic. Obama didn't get elected to warranty your muffler. He's here to warranty your life.

Krauthammer’s entire column’s here.


My comments:

President Obama hasn’t set out to reform health care. “Health care reform” is just a term to hide what Obama really wants to do: give us government controlled health care, which used to be called socialized medicine.

The model for what Obama wants for Americas is Britain’s National Health Service, which covers all Britons and is free at the point of service, but tax supported and hugely inefficient.

Established in 1945, the NHS is in such a sorry mess today that public dissatisfaction with it is regularly cited as one of the principal reasons for the incumbent Labour Party’s very low public approval ratings.

Herb Denenberg, a former Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner, and now professor at the Wharton School and member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of the Sciences, wrote today in the Philadelphia Bulletin (excerpts)- - -

… The less you know, the more appealing are such things as Hillary-care, Obama-care and the national health insurance systems of Europe. ...

When I was a high school debater, knowing almost nothing about the subject, I most enthusiastically advocated national health insurance or some variation thereof.

When I spent many years teaching courses related to the subject at the Wharton School and over three years as Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner knee-deep in health insurance proposals and their implementation, I started understanding the system better.

I saw that armchair theoreticians could solve every health care problem, while really understanding none of them.

I’ve noticed one other thing. There are countless academic advocates of national health insurance, most of whom are mesmerized by their own voices.

But every time I’ve talked to anyone who actually used a national health insurance system, I found they were overwhelmingly in numbers and strongly in sentiment dead-set against national health insurance.

I’ve also noticed another striking phenomenon. People are swarming into the United States for medical care. But the traffic the other way is definitely on the lighter side.(emphasis added) …

This all came crashing home to me again when I picked up a new book titled, Welcome to Obamaland: I Have Seen Your Future and It Doesn’t Work. It is by James Delingpole, a British political commentator who has had a full dose of the British system.

The book covers a broad range of subjects, but one of the first things he takes up is the British national health insurance system and there’s good reason for that emphasis. He starts out by telling us he has so much envy for Americans:

“You have the best doctors, the best hospitals, the best medical research in the world. You’re free, more or less, to choose what doctors you want; you have private, efficient ‘urgent care’ doctors’ offices dotted around your cities and towns; you don’t have to wait five years to see a surgeon; and your dentists seem to be rather better than ours.”

But he warns that’s all going to change: “Obama is going to bring you socialized medicine (though he’ll call it something else) — and won’t you be happy?” His answer is a definite “no.”…

[Delingpole cites a sample of] typical news items in Britain:

• “Husband found by wife lying in same filthy sheets he vomited on when admitted to hospital two days before

• “Hospital cleaners decide they find it more convenient to rinse selected drinking cups with cold water than to wash them with hot, soapy water

• “Chief Executive of hospital where 90 patients have died of infection due to dirty, blood-spattered wards gets $600,000 pay-off

• “NHS $20 billion supercomputer breaks down 110 times in four months

• “Government claims to have reduced waiting lists discovered to be result of fraudulent hospital figure fiddling

• “About 100,000 Alzheimer’s sufferers told NHS cannot afford $4 a day for drugs to alleviate their condition

• “Sixty Britons every day lose their sight to Age Related Macular Degeneration because local health authority refuses to treat them.”

Mr. Delingpole writes he could go on, but you get the idea, and you’ll get a better idea if Mr. Obama’s health plan goes into effect. He writes Mr. Obama says it will cost between $50 billion to $65 billion a year, and Mr. Delingpole is almost certain it will actually cost more than ten times that amount.

Denenberg’s entire article’s here.

I, too, could go on but, like Mr. Delingpole, I’m sure you get the idea.

Hat Tip: BN


Anonymous said...

We have 'Public Healthcare' in Australia, subsidised by the taxpayer with waiting lists galore, availabe to all.

If your not badly sick you can get the help you need, you just have to wait, a long, long time. If your badly sick, you don't want to and sometimes cannot wait, but that's too bad.

We at least have the choice of 'Private Healthcare' (well if you earn $50,000 or more you are forced to go Private or you pay more tax) to choose from if you want.

To change it would be crazy, everynow and then we get some news piece about a family going to the US for some medical reason or another as it cannot be done here.

Scott S.

Anonymous said...

Oh I almost forgot, re: “Government claims to have reduced waiting lists discovered to be result of fraudulent hospital figure fiddling"

We are in the middle of a similar scandal here with the fixing of waiting lists. Not good.

Scott S.

Anonymous said...

The primary reason for our astronomically high medical costs can be identified in one word: Malpractice Lawyers.
Fear of malpractice suits forces practicing doctors to carry malpractice insurance with outrageously high premiums (which are passed on to the patients), and when a patient is being evaluated, most doctors will run every laboratory test known to medical science. Why? In the event that something goes awry, the doctor knows he'll find himself on the witness stand with the plaintiff's attorney running down the list of tests to confirm he did them all. If he should fail to order any single test, the lawyer will use that as the hook to "prove" the doctor could and should have known that this particular test might have identified the illness. The lawyer might even channel the deceased patient to confront the nasty doctor. A certain North Carolina ambulance-chasing lawyer who later became a vice presidential candidate specialized in that scam and is now quite wealthy. Unlike the former doctors he took to the cleaners.
So if we are serious about resolving our medical care problem, the solution is simple. So simple Shakespeare called it five centuries ago: "First, we kill all the lawyers."
I'd settle for having them sent to a deserted island somewhere to see if they can live without sucking other people's blood.
Tarheel Hawkeye

Anonymous said...

My Obgyn, who was the most caring doctor in the world, quit not too long after I had my last child - the reason was the malpractice insurance that he had to carry. He was an excellent physician who was beloved by his patients because one was never rushed through an appointment; who followed up even the most minor medical complaint; and who saw his patients (mother, father and child) as all of one piece. However, he did not want to peice his services out of the reach of his patients nor did he want to have someone dictate to him how many "minutes" he could allow for a patient visit and above all he was not one to order tests for the sake of tests to cover his rear.
It is difficult to find such doctors today. If one goes in for an issue, one often finds the doctor scheduling all sorts of other tests and pushing pills that are of dubious help. (Here I refer to the various cholesterol medications that seem to be the de rigeur drug of choice for Americans). My fear is that a national health system will limit even more so my choice of physicians than does my current health plan. In doing so, I may also be forced to take those medications (like the odious cholesterol medications)because the government will determine that it will be in my best interest - a sort of one stop approach for all.
Who knows what the long term consequences of such an approach will be? There were many, many doctors who prescribed hormones for menepausal women (once one started taking these, one could not go off them) and now research has indicated that such medications should never have been prescribed - with women who became dependent upon them now being taken off with all sorts of problems. With the government running the health system, I fear that this will be the norm rather than the exception.