Against President Obama's Health Care Reform Proposal
The President’s health care reform program is onerous not only for what it does, but what it does not do. The new innovation, that of a government bureaucracy that will regulate premium prices, may prove to be the most disastrous.
I am a male in his mid fifties with controlled hypertension, blind in his left eye due to a child birth trauma, and overweight. I have had occasional joint pain.
My primary physician is quite aggressive in sending me to specialists for checkups in certain areas. My last colonoscopy and my last cardiac exam yielded good results.
Nevertheless I have a family history of deaths from strokes and heart attacks. Therefore my cardiovascular system will need special attention to delay the inevitable day as well as maintain a certain quality of life in my declining years.
The health care reform proposals have already been a matter of concern, due to the increased costs and the decreased availability of health care that most analysts suggest will transpire should it become law. The president’s proposal doubles down on those disadvantages by imposing price controls on insurance premiums.
At casual glance, restraining the big, bad insurance companies from jacking up premiums is a beguiling idea. Unfortunately price controls inevitably lead to scarcity, as price controls on petroleum in the 1970s proved.
That means that the health insurance policy my family gets through my wife’s job might either not be available under the Obama plan or will take a hit in the quality of care, either by the procedures and drugs covered, or a higher deductable, or a combination of the two.
If the intent is to degrade the quality and/or eliminate private health insurance, then the Obama plan seems to fit the bit nicely. Mandating that health insurance must cover anyone regardless of preexisting conditions is also beguiling, but it will increase costs.
The Obama health care proposal does not pursue market oriented ways to reduce the cost of health care. There are no provisions for tort reform or for buying health care plans across state lines.
The inexorable result of the Obama health care proposal may well be to drive private health insurance out of business, paving the way for a government single payer health care system on the model of Canada or Great Britain.
The experience of those two countries, as detailed in the site Big Gov Health, shows what would be in store for people like me. Almost a year ago, my father was diagnosed with severe artery blockage that could, at any time, have led to a massive coronary. Such had killed his older brother, my uncle, decades ago. Since my father has a private medi-gap insurance plan to supplement Medicare, he was under the knife within two weeks and out of the hospital in another two weeks. He has made a full recovery.
Under a government health care program, as related by Canada’s Fraser Institute, there will be a long wait time for procedures like coronary bypass. By the time I am my father’s age, under a single payer government health care program, the wait time might be months instead of week, and my chances of dying will be significantly greater.
What is more, under government health care systems, research and development into new drugs and new procedures will be curtailed as the first cost cutting measure. Potential advances in such areas as stem cell research and nanotechnology that could cure many diseases will not materialize as quickly or not at all.
The president’s health care proposal should be rejected out of hand just like a pack of cigarettes. Both are hazardous to ones health.
Sources: Putting Americans in Control of their Health Care, The White House
Big Gov Health
The Fraser Institute