Rising Costs: Obamacare Poor Substitute for a National Health Service
by Dan Ehrlich

Obama's Plan May Not Cut It--Could VA Show America the Way?
Thirteen states have filed a lawsuit to sue the federal government over the President's health care bill. The lawsuit states that the measure is unconstitutional. President Obama signed it into law Tuesday morning, and some reports claim that the suit was filed just seven minutes later.

The actions came on the heels of a new report from the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services claiming health care spending will actually accelerate. The report says spending will rise annually more than 6%-reaching more than $4.5 trillion in 2019.

By 2019 - nearly 93% of Americans should have coverage. The increase in demand means nearly double the amount of money spent on health care - meaning the costs aren't going down - they're just shifting!

“An insurance company’s dream,” is how former Democratic Party Chairman Howard Dean termed the Obama health care bill. Dean, himself a physician, claimed it further empowers private insurers at the expense of consumer choice.

"You will now be forced to buy insurance. If you don't, you'll pay a fine," said Dean. "It's an insurance company bailout."

As time moves ahead in the routine way Washington operates, the measure that was to be the keystone of the Obama Administration might wind up as the plan advocated by his election challenger John McCain, sort of an extension of Medicare designed to enrich the private sector.
America's Hysterical Fear of Socialism
The problem with health care in America is our population’s unrealistic and erroneous fear of socialism, things that already exist in the country, but since we don’t call them by that term no one knows how they operate.

Yet, it’s this fear and the endless propaganda spewed out by the greed mongers in the health industry that maintains America’s anti socialist mindset.

Our post WW2 Marshall Plan was designed to prop-up largely socialist nations in Western Europe. At home things such as Food Stamps and welfare are socialist programs.

But the biggest socialist program of all is the Veterans Administration Medical Service, one that you could argue approaches communist stature in that there is no class distinction at VA medical centers and honorably discharged vets are guaranteed either free or co pay medical treatment for life. Vets can even get buried at VA cemeteries.

Howard Dean is probably correct in his view…a medical plan run through the private sector would create a feeding frenzy in the insurance and drugs industries as is currently underway.
A State Run National Health Service
So what’s the answer? Bite the bullet and create a proper state run health care system like ones located in civilized countries, such Canada and the UK. After all, the US is bankrupt any way…we might as well go whole hog like the sub prime mob. And believe it or not, with the VA system we have a good start.

Yes, that’s right…why not expand the VA into a national health service? And, this doesn’t mean cutting back on veteran health care. But, with 280,000 employees in scores and scores of health centers, the VA offers us a template and good start for a true national health service.

Yet, the main problem with this idea is that it’s too simple and logical for politicians to grasp, such as the irrigation canal from the mouth of the Mississippi to our southwestern states. Obvious things such as these don’t register in the political mind.

So, how about this for an alternative: Medicare for all who can't afford private health plans? Giving the general population a Medicare type service would allow the private medicine to flourish off the taxpayer's dime.

In any case, a fully comprehensive system will eventually have to be provided America's growing poverty stricken population. Los Angeles County spent more than $500 million last year on health care for illegal aliens. Yet our own poor are often denied this because they're not poor enough.
A Hole in Lip, Free Stitches
If you need proof of the value of a national health service how about this? When I returned to London in August I was pitching in a Hyde Park softball game and took a line drive in my face that knocked a hole through my lower lip.

A teammate took me to a local hospital where they quickly stitched me up and saw me for a few follow up sessions to treat the small scar. The cost to me: 0. A month later I had an hour-long operation to remove a membrane from the retina in my right eye. The cost to me: 0…. No co pays, no prescription fees, nada.

This is how civilized societies act. Compare this to our free enterprise culture where medical bills ruin families or people die for lack of treatment and medicine. If it comes to choosing between a greedy, heartless HMO based free market system and socialism, I will take socialism every time

No comments:

Post a Comment

comments here: