American Elephants

Glimpses of the Coming Health Plan. by The Elephant's Child
November 20, 2008, 8:04 pm
Filed under: Economy, Health Care, Socialism | Tags: ,

In a survey of U.S. primary care physicians released this week by the Physicians’ Foundation, nearly half the respondents said that they would seriously consider getting out of the medical business within the next three years if they had an alternative.

The survey sought to find the reasons for an identified exodus among family doctors and internists — the backbone of the health industry. In the survey, the foundation sent questionnaires to more  than 270,000 primary care doctors and more than 50,000 specialists nationwide.

49 percent of the 12,000 respondents said they would consider leaving medicine. There is too much red tape from government agencies and insurance companies and they are overwhelmed in their practices they said.  It is not a problem of too many patients.

At the annual meeting of the American Medical Association last week, a U.S. shortage of 35,000 to 45,000 primary care doctors by 2025 was predicted.

Massachusetts’ new universal health care plan has resulted in many doctors moving out of state.  Texas, on the other hand, has had an inflow of doctors because of a reduction in governmental mandates.

A new survey of health care provision for chronically ill patients ranked Canada eighth out of eight nations surveyed.  The Commonwealth Fund, a private foundation based in New York, polled patients with chronic conditions in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States. 60% of patients waited more than 4 weeks for an appointment with a specialist.  58% waited more than 8 weeks.

British patients who need major surgery and can afford it are apparently going to India for their surgery to avoid NHS.  The problems of dirty hospitals, declining service, and failure of the system are subjects of constant reporting in UK papers.

Problems are similar in Canada and France.  I don’t know of any country with socialized medicine that has good results from their program, but I am not familiar with every country.

Ted Kennedy is working hard on a congressional plan for universal health care, and he is lining up powerful interests for support. Backers are sure to use the Senator’s declining health as a sentimental push for his last legislative effort.

Max Baucus is developing a separate plan that would be extraordinarily expensive as it grows the government’s share of health spending though a ballpark estimate is $150 billion a year, but that is probably conservative.  The idea is to fold everyone into a program like Medicare.

These people have been blathering on about 45 million “uninsured” long enough to make people think that there actually are that many people who don’t have insurance and we “must do something”.  The number is phony and a deliberate misrepresentation, in order for Democrats to do what they want.

By 2015 or perhaps sooner, more than 50 % of Americans will not pay any income taxes, and the other 50% will be expected to support not only themselves but the other half of the population as well, and to support the health care expenses of the other half.  We already have the world’s most progressive taxes, but it is not enough.  It is never, never enough.

The first thing that happens when a health care plan is created that we cannot afford is a demand to cut costs. Pay Doctors less, pay nurses less, use cheaper drugs, don’t buy those expensive machines, get along with fewer doctors, fewer nurses, less equipment.  More mandates, more rules.  Don’t do this to free people.

Be very, very careful what you wish for. And be willing to fight to stay free.

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