Let’s talk some very basic common sense. Our health care system represents 17 percent of our national economy. It will affect the quality of the lives of every one of our citizens to some extent, and for many it will mean life or death.
We currently have the best health care system in the world. Anyone can go to an emergency room and receive treatment, no one is refused. Our outcomes for the serious stuff are the best in the world. People from all over the world come here for specialized care that they cannot get in their own countries, including heads of state, who surely could get the very best care their own countries have to offer.
The problems? Not what they are claimed to be. The biggest problem is that the vast baby-boom generation will, in a very few years, begin to turn 65 and become eligible for Medicare. The peak year of the baby-boom does not even arrive until 2024. Medicare is running out of funds. Oddly enough, the health care plans on the table in the House and the Senate do not address this problem, except to cut reimbursement for doctors and hospitals, insuring that fewer doctors will accept Medicare patients.
But the Uninsured — 47 million uninsured? According to Dr. John Dale Dunn, the cost of uninsured care in the United States is less than $50 billion, or less than 2 percent of the total cost of American health care. Emergency care is well less than 5 percent of the total cost of health care. Not a crisis.
Why would a handful of people, who for the most part have never run anything, feel themselves competent to rearrange 17 percent of the American economy and assume control over the health insurance of 300 million Americans — health insurance that they assiduously avoid using themselves?
Such a program, such a plan, involving so many lives, so deeply, surely demands long, slow careful deliberation.
It requires lengthy debate. Claims must be investigated, statistics must be checked. We must hear from doctors and nurses, from insurance providers, from pharmaceutical companies and biotech companies and from the manufacturers of medical equipment. Public and private hospitals and clinics need to offer their expertise. Is the aim to create the best health insurance and the best health care; or only to push the Democrats quickie version before anyone can find out what it prescribes.
Nobody wants any deliberation! Don’t learn about the rules and regulations in this over 1000 page stack of unfinished documents that have been passed out of committee. Nobody needs to read or question the contents. Pay no attention. Never mind. We have not a moment to waste. It must be passed quickly in just a couple of weeks.
There is a history of government efforts to control health insurance and health care. It’s not a pretty story.
President Obama had a press conference on national television last night. Both the Associated Press and the New York Times (neither known to be Obama opponents) felt it necessary to fact check Obama’s statements. That wasn’t pretty either.
Nancy Pelosi smiled at the camera and said “We will have a cap on costs. And we will have no cap on benefits.” Even the economically illiterate must recognize the absolute absurdity of that statement. And I think she actually means it.
Deliberation and caution are not partisan issues. There is no need for haste that is legitimate. Bullying, buying off opponents, demanding, forcing, lying, misstating are not the way to accomplish serious policies.
It’s time for Congress to recognize the need for slow, deliberate debate and consideration, for that is in their self-interest as well. We will hold them accountable.
Did you ever wonder what goes on in those behind-the-scenes meetings where the details of the various health care policies are determined? This clip from “Yes,Minister” is probably not too far off.