Tales From Obamacare

Most everything that was sold to the American people as a “health care overhaul” is nothing but a snow job.  Estimates on the cost of this package are in the $1 trillion dollar range over the first 10 years.  However, if government forecasting is as it always has been, completely useless and inaccurate, then it is not unreasonable to add a zero to that $1 trillion figure.  After all, the government grossly underestimated the cost of both Medicare and Medicaid by the same relative factor.  Economics 101 and the law of supply and demand tells us that anytime you increase the demand of a good or service you must increase the supply or face price increases and shortages.  The new health care law does nothing to address the diminishing supply of people going into the medical profession, especially into general practitioning. 

“CHICAGO – Emergency rooms, the only choice for patients who can’t find care elsewhere, may grow even more crowded with longer wait times under the nation’s new health law.

That might come as a surprise to those who thought getting 32 million more people covered by health insurance would ease ER crowding. It would seem these patients would be able to get routine health care by visiting a doctor’s office, as most of the insured do.

But it’s not that simple. Consider:

There’s already a shortage of front-line family physicians in some places and experts think that will get worse.”

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100702/ap_on_bi_ge/us_med_er_crowding_8 

If anything, the new law threatens to further decrease the supply of doctors due to more overhead, more regulation and smaller payouts.  Are people more likely to stay in school and residency for over a decade if the income potential is not what it once was?  Above just the profit motive, is a doctor likely to be more or less satisfied while being overworked and underpaid when handling this new influx of patients?  Will job performance suffer for doctors as they have more people clogging up their case load?  

There are added pressures on top of the prospects of doctor shortages that Congress and White House seem to ignore as well.  Obamacare does absolutely nothing to control cost, it simply shifts the burdens of those cost elsewhere for as long as it can be handled.   Medicare and Medicaid are on the fast track to bankruptcy.  Recent stories out of Canada and the U.K. all talk about dwindling resources and spiraling debt due to their state run systems (for an excellent editorial on the Canadian system, see here).  Everywhere you look the same pattern is emerging.  You can not endlessly squeeze blood from a stone regardless of the rhetoric of politicians and well meaning do-gooders.  So not only is health care inflation diregarded with the passage of the new health care act, quality of care was diminished in the blink of an eye and stroke of the pen.  If there are not enough doctors to handle the new demand, rationing will have to occur.  Everyone inside the Administration must know this and every Democrat in Congress who voted for this bill can not be completely oblivious to the reality of rationing that is now in our future.  Do Democrats in Congress not read the New York Times or Newsweek?    Progressive everywhere in the media are openly advocating rationing and a lower quality of care for the American public while Congress keeps their Federal Employees Health Benefits Program.  The case for killing granny is just the case to decrease your level of care through rationing.

“The answer, the Dartmouth researchers found, is that in some places doctors are just more likely to order more tests and procedures. More specialists are involved. There is very little reason for them not to order more tests and treatments. By training and inclination, doctors want to do all they can to cure ailments. And since Medicare pays by procedure, test, and hospital stay—though less and less each year as the cost squeeze tightens—there is an incentive to do more and more. To make a good living, doctors must see more patients, and order more tests.” 

http://www.newsweek.com/2009/09/11/the-case-for-killing-granny.html 

Now The Hill is reporting that the new law may risk turning away the sick.  The New York Times and the big government social engineers have been pushing this for years.  A relative value of your life and heath will be determined by a bureaucrat and your care withheld.  

The Obama administration has not ruled out turning sick people away from an insurance program created by the new healthcare law to provide coverage for the uninsured.

 http://thehill.com/business-a-lobbying/106887-health-law-risks-turning-away-sick 

“You have advanced kidney cancer. It will kill you, probably in the next year or two. A drug called Sutent slows the spread of the cancer and may give you an extra six months, but at a cost of $54,000. Is a few more months worth that much?” 

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/19/magazine/19healthcare-t.html 

Are there problems in the U.S. health care system?  Absolutely.  With the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act things just got much, much worse.  But doesn’t the name of the bill just make you feel warm and happy all over?  Your paternal government is going to protect you and make things affordable.  This usually means run for cover, the government is coming to help you right out of your freedom and money.

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