Adding Forty Million New Insured Can’t Work

September/14/2009 19:11PM
4 interesting comments, join the discussion
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It defies logic. The local ABC news station ran a special on the time line on getting a mammogram at Northwestern Memorial Women’s Hospital> Right now it’s one year. Did the story address what might happen to that time line if we add 40 million more uninsured? No.

A doctor wrote a blog article on how many kids might go blind if we add more to the insurance rolls. He reminded us that only 18% of the doctors in the US belong to the AMA. An endorsement to the AMA means little. He is a pediatric opthamologist. He specified the kids he had treated with various eye issues who needed immediate attention. He addressed the amount of private donations received that funded essential surgeries for kids without insurance or even those coming in from foreign countries where the kind of care they needed wasn’t available. He sincerely believes there will be rationing. He knows from his practice kids will go blind that need not because of delays.

A 3% increase in world demand for oil drove up crude oil prices to $140 a barrel. A decrease drove it back down to $60. We are talking about a 15% increase in demand for newly insured seeking health care that will be paid. At some point logic must kick in and people need to realize it isn’t workable.

We know it doesn’t work in countries and state that have adopted similar plans. Set aside the cost issue. It will be far more than the $1.2 trillion that the Congressional Budget Office estimates. We know the savings promised from efficiency won’t happen. We know from Medicare that somewhere down the line long after Obama is gone a huge financial problem will be hanging over the heads of our kids and grand kids. We have lived long enough to know there is no free lunch. We know baby boomers will be stressing Medicare more in the months and years to come.

Yes, we don’t want people to go broke or die for want of health care in America. We know insurance should not be cancelled for preexisting conditions or be denied for the same reason.

But, we need to plan carefully to fix these problems. Not rush to judgment that the government can fix them.

If we are going to reduce fraud in Medicare and Medicaid, let’s do it. It’s the government’s problem to fix it, demand the fix it. If we are going to add more people with insurance, let’s get the doctors and nurses to handle them. If there is not enough competition within the insurance agencies, let’s make them more competitive by letting people buy across state lines. Let’s fix tort reform. One step at a time, let’s address each of these problems.

Businesses deal with issues like these all the time. Politicians don’t. Let’s deal with problems like businesses would, not like government does.

Our health care situation can be improved. But, the plans being put forward will make the problems worse. This isn’t an issue that should be politicized by making it an Obama issue or a Ted Kennedy resolution. It should be solved by working together to make it better. Growing government is not the end we are trying to fix. Shrinking government should be the end. The end product should be a better health care system in America.

The plans we are being offer defy logic and common sense. We need a better plan.

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