Sunday, November 29, 2009

121 Reasons to Reject Obama-Reid-PelosiCare


Obama-Reid-PelosiCare is a bad, old idea that must be defeated.

[In Summary...]

  • 1. It’s unnecessary.
    • 1.1) The American system, for all its warts, is still the best the world.
    • 1.2) A supermajority of US citizens have coverage they are satisfied with, and the un-insured do not lack services.
    • 1.3) There are options for improvement available which would cost NOTHING.
  • 2. It’s destructive.
    • 2.1) It crowds out voluntary cooperation and the private health insurance market.
    • 2.2) It raises costs and risks to business, aggravating unemployment and inflation.
    • 2.3) It creates the mother of all budget deficits and social conflict as far as the eye can see and beyond.
  • 3. It won’t work.
    • 3.1) It takes private medical decisions out of the hands of patients, families and doctors, and assigns them to Washington bureacrats and committees. The latter are neither wiser nor more caring.
    • 3.2) Wage and price controls aggravate shortages, raise costs and stifle innovation.
    • 3.3) It’s Socialism by definition (no matter how much the anti-capitalist sponsors try to deny it): a government takeover. Socialism has been demonstrated over and over again to be a failure. It won't work because it can't.




[In Detail...]

Obama-Reid-PelosiCare is a bad, old idea that must be defeated

  • 1. First, because it’s unnecessary.
    • 1.1) The American system, for all its warts, is still the best the world.
      • 1.1.1) No other system provides as high quality care to so many of all socio-economic levels as ours.
        • 1.1.1.1) The Breast cancer survival rate in the USA is 90%. In Europe, it’s below 80%[5] (National Bureau of Economic Research).
        • 1.1.1.2) Life expectancy in the USA is is 73 (men) and 79 (women) years (up 50+% in 100 years), compared with 59 and 72 in Russia (down 15+%). Yet Russia has had socialized health care for 90 years.
        • 1.1.1.3) Infant mortality rates appear high in the United States because we actually count them, including premature births. Most countries fudge their numbers.
      • 1.1.2) No other system produces more or better innovations, advances and science prizes as ours. Why kill the golden goose?
        • 1.1.2.1) In 37 of the last 50 years, 68 Americans have won the Nobel Prize in ‘Physiology or Medicine’.
        • 1.1.2.2) Who in 2009 wants to be treated with 1999 state of the art? But if innovation stops, the best we’ll have in 2019, or 2029 or 2039 is only what we already have today.
        • 1.1.2.3) The UK already killed one of its golden geese: kidney dialysis. Pioneered the technology, but has one of the lowest rates of usage in the world.
      • 1.1.3) No other national system – the UK, France, Canada, Germany, or Russia – has produced results better than the US.
        • 1.1.3.1) 800,000 Britons are on surgery waiting lists. 15% report having to wait[6] for more than 6 months for elective treatment.[7]
        • 1.1.3.2) Patients diagnosed with cancer in the U.S. have a better chance of surviving the disease than anywhere else. The World Health Organization also rates the U.S. No. 1 out of 191 countries for responsiveness to the needs and choices of the individual patient.
        • 1.1.3.3) The British Audit Commission notes that accidental death due to hospital errors in the UK have increased 500% in the last 20 years.[10]

    • 1.2) A supermajority of US citizens have coverage they are satisfied with, and the un-insured do not lack services.
      • 1.2.1) A survey conducted jointly by the Kaiser Family Foundation, ABC News and USA Today, released in October 2006, found that 89 percent of Americans were satisfied with their own personal medical care.[2]
        • 1.2.1.1) 93% of insured Americans who had recently suffered a serious illness were satisfied with their health care. So were 95% of those who suffered from chronic illness.
        • 1.2.1.2) 70 percent of the uninsured who indicated their level of satisfaction said they were either "satisfied" or "very satisfied" with their health care, and only 17.5 percent said they were "very dissatisfied."
        • 1.2.1.3) 60% of women voted for Obama, but 74% are happy with their own health care. 64% would rather have a private than government plan.
      • 1.2.2) There are not and have never been 50 million Americans without access to healthcare.
        • 1.2.2.1) 10 million of the uninsured live in households that earn at least $75,000, according to the Census Bureau[8].
        • 1.2.2.2) 18 million uninsured are between the ages of 18 and 34. Being young and healthy and excercising free choice, they choose not to purchase insureance.
        • 1.2.2.3) 5% of the ‘uninsured’ are illegal aliens who should not be entitled to welfare at the expense of citizen taxpayers.
      • 1.2.3) The critical long-term uninsured are less than 5% (12 million, NOT 50 million) of the population. Even these get treated in emergency rooms that are the envy of the world.
        • 1.2.3.1)It isn’t necessary to overhaul (destroy) the system that works for 96% of the population for the sake of helping 4%.
        • 1.2.3.2) Even if you regard 12 million uninsured as a crisis, it does not follow that a plan crafted by Obama, Reid and Pelosi and enforced by a massive new bureacracy is the solution.
        • 1.2.3.3) How about giving 5 minutes of ‘equal’ consideration to the Republican plan?[11] Naah! Of course not!

    • 1.3) There are options for improvement available which would cost NOTHING[1].
      • 1.3.1) Liberate the national health insurance market. Allow citizens to purchase insurance across state lines. Don’t New Yorkers buy produce from California?
        • 1.3.1.1) Allow employees to use their employer’s contribution and shop for themselves.
        • 1.3.1.2) Lift mandates on insurance policies that limit offerings and choices. One size does NOT fit all.
        • 1.3.1.3) The Commerce Clause of the US Constitution was intended as a free-trade agreement among all the states. Open the market!
      • 1.3.2) Permit and promote free-market and consumer-choice options like Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs)[3].[4]
        • 1.3.2.1) Health care and insurance costs should be tax deductible for everyone, not just employees of large corporations and the government.
        • 1.3.2.2) Stop telling doctors and hospitals who and how they must and must not treat. Let them make their own decisions about charity vs. bankruptcy.
        • 1.3.2.3) Charities, religious organizations and non-profits have a role to play. Get out of their way.
      • 1.3.3) Enact tort reform. Frivolous lawsuits, runaway malpractice litigation and the corrupt legal casino drives up costs for everyone.
        • 1.3.3.1) Health ‘reformers’ complain of overuse of unnecessary medical tests. But these tests are defenses against frivolous lawsuits.[9]
        • 1.3.3.2) In the 4,000+ pages of the bills, there is no tort reform. They don’t dare limit attorneys' fees or impose caps on damages. The Democrats are in bed with the trial lawyers to the tune of millions in campaign contributions.
        • 1.3.3.3) If you think it’s important to preserve the right to sue, and think you’ll have that right under a single-payer, government system, think again, and carefully.

  • 2. Second, because it’s destructive.
    • 2.1) It crowds out voluntary cooperation and the private health insurance market.
      • 2.1.1) The ‘public (government) option’ makes it a losing proposition to offer any private (voluntary, free-market) option.
        • 2.1.1.1) Section 202 of H.R..3962 REQUIRES you to enroll in a ‘qualified plan’ without defining what that means.[14]
        • 2.1.1.2) Section 59b of H.R..3962 indicates that the IRS will enforce your qualified health insurance enrollment with fines
        • 2.1.1.3) Sections. 1158-1160 reduce payments for patient care to what it costs in the lowest cost regions of the country. Good luck if you’re in New York or Florida.
      • 2.1.2) Private companies compete with each other for market share based on satisfying customers at the lowest cost. How can they compete with government entities whose cost overruns are covered by taxpayers?
        • 2.1.2.1) Private practices and firms can’t rationally compete with rivals (the government) that they are obliged to subsidize with their taxes. Do we tax Pepsi to support Coke?
        • 2.1.2.2) State agencies, with their inflexible bureacracies and insulation from the need to satisfy customers in order to earn a profit, can’t rationally compete with private firms.
        • 2.1.2.3) Something will have to give. That something will be private practices and firms… and quality of service, cost, efficiency and innovation. Hello stagnation.
      • 2.1.3) Instead of a free market where people compete and cooperate to help each other, we’ll have a multi-trillion-dollar political battlefield where special interest groups, lawyers and lobbyists jockey for advantage.
        • 2.1.3.1) The bills themselves are Frankenstein monster products of political jockeying, not unified, coherent proposals. Their mandates and penalties are arbitrary inventions.
        • 2.1.3.2) Forcing drastic change on a divided public maximizes conflict, stirs angry protests and increases political polarization[17].
        • 2.1.3.3) It’s the politics, stupid! So-called responsible ‘moderates’ like Mary Landrieu fret about the cost of the program until they get their share of the pork[18].

    • 2.2) It raises costs and risks to business, aggravating unemployment and inflation.
      • 2.2.1) Forcing employers to offer coverage that satisfies Washington is a manifest strain on those firm’s financial health. That can’t make it easier to hire more workers. 2.2.2) Unemployment is the crisis the government should be focussed on relieving as the priority before health care.
        • 2.2.1.1) Consumers will pay higher prices (and taxes) for the products of businesses who were compelled not by their customers but by the government to act ‘correctly’.
        • 2.2.1.2) When a business is faced with rising costs, it must become more efficient, raise prices or get out of part or all of its markets.
        • 2.2.1.3) How much sense does it make to beat up ‘greedy’ businesses that succeed and earn profits, then turn aroung to bail out the poor ones that are ‘too big to fail’?
      • 2.2.2) Unemployment is the crisis the government should be focussed on relieving as the priority before health care.
        • 2.2.2.1) With 10+% unemployment nationally and 12+% in California, you would think the federal government would be able to figure out its priorities better.
        • 2.2.2.2) Nothing makes it harder to obtain health insurance than the loss of one’s job. Fix unemployment and you solve the problem of the uninsured population.
        • 2.2.2.3) Labor is an economic good with a price. Right now the price (and risk) is too high. Government must focus on policies that make it easier, cheaper and less risky to hire.
      • 2.2.3) Monetary and fiscal fiddling and meddling have resulted in the worst economic recession in 50 years. Don’t give us more of the same in health care!
        • 2.2.3.1) Manipulating interest rates and guaranteeing unsound risk gave us the credit crisis. Manipulating actuarial calculations will destroy health insurance just as surely.
        • 2.2.3.2) Read The Housing Boom and Bust by Thomas Sowell, then tell us that we need the federal government to run health care.
        • 2.2.3.3) Cutting income and capital-gains tax rates permanently would be more stimulative to employment and the economy overall than any government spending plan.

    • 2.3) It creates the mother of all budget deficits and social conflict as far as the eye can see and beyond.
      • 2.3.1) Honest supporters of the bill admit that it’s a huge open-ended commitment that will NOT be self-financing work out exactly as planned. John Cassidy, The New Yorker, November 4, 2009[12][13]
        • 2.3.1.1) “There are no provisions to substantively control the growth of costs or raise the quality of care” – Jeffrey S. Flier, Dean of Harvard Medical School[15]
        • 2.3.1.2) Sections 2521 and 2533 of H.R. 3962 establish racial and ethnic preferences in awarding grants for training nurses and other vocational programs.
        • 2.3.1.3) It would actually HELP Obama’s chances of re-election in 2012 if the health care bill fails.[19] Political failure that spares the worst economic damage is better than the alternative.
      • 2.3.2) How many failed stimulus packages does it take to discredit an economic theory or an administration’s competence?
        • 2.3.2.1) This program hasn’t even yet passed, yet the Obama administration’s MONTHLY budget deficit is already greater than G.W. Bush’s for an entire YEAR.
        • 2.3.2.2) As practiced by Congress, Keynesianism claims that money spent by government multiplies economic benefit. Yeah, right!
        • 2.3.2.3) What isn’t seen is what gets destroyed by separating capital from its original producers. How many jobs were lost to create the ‘stimulus’ job?[20]
      • 2.3.3) The illegal immigration problem will explode, with fraud, abuse, and social unrest. If you want responsible immigration reform and domestic peace, this isn’t the way to achieve it.
        • 2.3.3.1) European countries[1][16] that have large numbers of immigrants on the public dole have social problems MUCH worse than we have YET seen in America.
        • 2.3.3.2) The unemployment rate among immigrant youth in Paris is 40%. Every year, rioters burn 500 cars.
        • 2.3.3.3) Open borders have to be conditioned on capitalist principles, not invitations to suckle benefits from the host society.

  • 3. Third, because it won’t work.
    • 3.1) It takes private medical decisions out of the hands of patients, families and doctors, and assigns them to Washington bureacrats and committees. The latter are neither wiser nor more caring.
      • 3.1.1) It’s already happening. Check out the Medicare Commision with its 15 members appointed by the president, with powers to dictate what is covered and how it will be paid for.
        • 3.1.1.1) Recently the US Preventative Services Task force changed recommendations on mammograms, saying women under 50 don’t need them[23]. ‘Recommendations’ have a way of becoming rules.
        • 3.1.1.2) What would the Democrats, CNN and MSNBC have said if George W Bush had proposed that?
        • 3.1.1.3) Even if politicians were the wisest among us, there’s still too much data and too many variables for them to keep track of between campaign stops, press conferences and photo-ops.[32]
      • 3.1.2) Do you know what the Office of Management and Budget is? That’s YOUR new health insurance company.
        • 3.1.2.1) Who should get medical care? Whose life is worth saving? Who should decide? Ezekiel Emmanuel (health adviser to President Obama and brother of White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel)?[24]
        • 3.1.2.2) Which advice is better for women--a US Dept of Health and Human Services (HHS) panel of medical experts, or the Secretary of the same? Their statements contradict each other.[28]
        • 3.1.2.3) The British National Health Service is the biggest employer not just in the United Kingdom, but in the whole of Europe. Care to estimate the size and budget of a U.S. health bureaucracy?[33]
      • 3.1.3) The more government controls choices, wages and prices, the less information is available in the market to guide their wise and benevolent decisions.
        • 3.1.3.1) The government program can’t function if for-profit players are allowed to ‘poach customers’, so private practice and firms will eventually be outlawed.[25]
        • 3.1.3.2) The House bill gives the HHS task force the mandate to review "the benefits, effectiveness, appropriateness, and costs of clinical preventive services" in making its de facto insurance coverage rulings[29].
        • 3.1.3.3) The founders designed our Consititution knowing that no nation would ever be governed by angels. That’s why we have separation of powers and minimal concentration at the center.

    • 3.2) Wage and price controls aggravate shortages, raise costs and stifle innovation.
      • 3.2.1) Sneak preview: New York State. Cost of HMO plan for family with children: $39,000.
        • 3.2.1.1) The whole concept of insurance as a low-cost pooling of risk for unlikely but catastrophic events has already been completely overwhelmed and perverted by excessive regulation and mandates.
        • 3.2.1.2) Socialized medicine has not improved health or general welfare anywhere that it has been tried.
        • 3.2.1.3) They couldn’t even deliver the H1N1 vaccine on time and under budget. And we want to trust them with the whole massive, complex system? Why?
      • 3.2.2) Washington’s hostility to profit is already discouraging qualified people from entering the medical field and investors from taking risks.
        • 3.2.2.1) We are facing shortages of doctors and other medical professionals – 125,000 by 2025 according to the Association of Medical Colleges[26].
        • 3.2.2.2) But who wants to risk years of study and hundreds of thousands of debt only to become a bureacrat’s peon[30]?
        • 3.2.2.3) Price controls cause shortages. That’s Econ 101.
      • 3.2.3) If risk takers are not compensated when they lose, but punished when they succeed, they’ll stick their money into a mattress or buy gold. Forget about investing in uncertain quests for miracle drugs.
        • 3.2.3.1) It costs over a billion dollars to bring a new drug to the market. Who’s going to pony up that dough when private investors flee? You?
        • 3.2.3.2) The politicians yell ‘greed’ (and you cheer the politicians) when the pharmaceutical companies actually attempt to recoup their costs.
        • 3.2.3.3) Where are the next miracle drugs to come from, if not research and development? That requires willing investors and risk-takers.

    • 3.3) It’s Socialism by definition (no matter how much the anti-capitalist sponsors try to deny it): a government takeover. Socialism has been demonstrated over and over again to be a failure. It won't work because it can't.
      • 3.3.1) There’s a reason HillaryCare failed in 1994. Americans read the bill and understood its abolition of private medical practice and takeover of 1/6 of the economy.
        • 3.3.1.1) Socialized care was ‘invented’[27] by Otto von Bismarck of Germany in the 1880’s and made a constitutional right in the Soviet Union in 1918. There’s nothing new under the sun.
        • 3.3.1.2) 78% of AIDS vicitms in Russia contracted the virus through dirty needles or HIV-tainted blood in the state-run hospitals[31]. Great track record.
        • 3.3.1.3) Socialists in America have been trying to implement it here ever since, but Germany and Russia have never been the model for US to follow.
      • 3.3.2) The most prosperous, secure, and healthy peoples of the world are those that live in liberty, with the least government intrusion, low taxes and free markets.
        • 3.3.2.1) Government is an armed agency whose proper role is the prevention and punishment of murder, assault, robbery, fraud, theft, rape, persecution and conspiracy.
        • 3.3.2.2) If government would stick to its own role, then voluntary cooperation among patients, families, private insurance companies and dedicated medical professionals will take care of the rest.
        • 3.3.2.3) Advocates of sociialized medicine in the United States use Soviet propaganda methods to achieve their goals. See Michael Moore’s ‘Sicko’. Then again, don’t.
      • 3.3.3) Pop Quiz: Socialism has been definitively debunked since:


        A: 1989?

        B: 1961?

        Correct answer is


        C: 1922.
        or maybe D: 1620
        • 3.3.3.1) There’s a reason the Berlin Wall fell in 1989. Totalitarianism could not compete with liberty. Socialized health care is a totalitarian animal. It tolerates nothing it does not control within its reach.
        • 3.3.3.2) The building of the Berlin Wall in the first place in 1961 was a manifest admission that socialism is a prison for its citizens.
        • 3.3.3.3) Ludwig von Mises explained in 1922 why the socialist ideal is impossible and MUST FAIL everywhere it is tried. Read: Socialism: An Economic and Sociological Analysis.






References, Notes and Sources


[1] http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704013004574517961189341646.html


[2] http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/06/24/obama-pushes-national-health-care-americans-happy-coverage/


[3] http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704204304574545814221561286.html


[4] http://www.hsainsider.com/


[5] http://www.defendyourhealthcare.us/images/Why_U.S._gives_hope_to_breast_cancer_patients_10-29-09_.pdf


[6] http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/244716/Study_UK_Health_Care_Flawed_Canadian_Wait_Times_Highest_and_Dutch_Care_Scores_Best


[7] http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/3749801.stm


[8] http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704335904574495131591949574.html


[9] http://townhall.com/columnists/CharlesKrauthammer/2009/11/27/kill_the_bills_do_health_reform_right?page=full&comments=true


[10] http://www.thefreelibrary.com/_/print/PrintArticle.aspx?id=86044656


[11] http://www.gop.gov/solutions/healthcare


[12] http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/johncassidy/2009/11/some-vaguely-heretical-thoughts-on-health-care-reform.html


[13] http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704795604574522680235765894.html


[14] http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704795604574519671055918380.html


[15] http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704431804574539581994054014.html


[16] The author lived 4 years in France, 3 in majority-immigrant neighborhoods.


[17] http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703932904574511263515975366.html


[18] http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704888404574550012759377786.html


[19] http://townhall.com/columnists/LarryElder/2009/11/19/senate,_help_your_president_--_deep-six_obamacare!?page=full&comments=true


[20] See That Which is Seen, and That Which is Not Seen, by Friedrich Bastiat, 1850.
http://bastiat.org/en/twisatwins.html


[21] http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703792304574504020025055040.html


[22] http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704402404574527493169603118.html
(written by a Democrat)


[23] http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704204304574543721253688720.html


[24] http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203706604574374463280098676.html


[25] http://www.thefreelibrary.com/_/print/PrintArticle.aspx?id=99491045


[26] http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703574604574499423536935290.html


[27] Much the same way that Al Gore ‘invented’ the Internet.


[28] http://townhall.com/columnists/KenBlackwell/2009/11/26/politicizing_medicine,_medicalizing_politics?page=full&comments=true


[29] http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704779704574552320222125990.html


[30] http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704402404574525903492235572.html


[31] The Lesson of Soviet Medicine, by Yuri N. Maltsev, Free Market vol 27 no. 10, Oct 2009 published by the Mises Instititute www.mises.org


[32] And voting ‘present’.


[33] http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=MWVkNTBjM2M1NzFhZmY0ZWNjODc5ZWY3YWIwYzE0ZWQ=



See: The WSJ Guide to ObamaCare

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