American Elephants

It Really Is An Approaching Train Wreck. Can We Stop It? by The Elephant's Child

The Obama administration lied to you from the beginning. They claimed that health care costs were spiraling out of control and by reforming health care they would bring costs down. In fact, the costs of health care were slowly coming down in response to new diagnostic tools and new medicines that saved higher hospital costs. They claimed that they were echoing Massachusetts health plan, but the president’s advisers on health care  were all great admirers of Britain’s National Health Service.

The advisers looked at the cost of health care and determined that most of the cost for any person came in the final years of their lives. If they could get rid of that cost, then American health care would cost lots less. So if someone was in their 80s or 90s, they shouldn’t be allowed to rack up big costs for operations or expensive treatments.

A new report on Britain’s National Health Service notes that as many as 13,000 needless deaths have occurred in 14 NHS hospital trusts since 2005. This is no fluke. It’s the result of socialized medicine, done by experts.

In ObamaCare, the government panel that controls what procedures one may receive (cost effectiveness) is the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) or as Sarah Palin called it — the Death Panel. It would decide when you could get dialysis and when they pulled the cord.

Then there was the “Liverpool Care Pathway” — an Orwellian death panel operation, where nurses shouted to visitors to not give their dying relatives sips of water for fear it would interfere with the hospital’s death target. “No one was doing anything ‘wrong’ since everything was done by the book,” wrote Jenkins.

Keogh found that as many as 13,000 “needless” deaths were the result, about 3 per day in each hospital district.

The U.K. has seen reform after reform of its health care system, but none has made much difference.

The administration granted a one-year delay in the employer mandate, something that he cannot legally do. The House just passed a one-year delay for the individual mandate, which Obama says he will veto. Obama’s goal is to get as many people signed up or ObamaCare subsidies as he can, as quickly as he can, so that any repeal of the law becomes politically impossible. That’s why the administration is paying people to sign individuals up. Delaying the employer mandate guarantees that hundreds of thousands of people will end up at an ObamaCare exchange after their employers use the delay to drop coverage.

He is even allowing states to take the applicants’ word for it that they don’t have coverage available  to them at work and that their income is as low as they claim it is. It opens the door to fraud, but lax enforcement means more will sign up.

Unions are turning against ObamaCare in a big way, they are learning about the downside. The law will drive up insurance costs, massively increase government spending, create huge shortages of doctors with no way to solve that problem except for long waits to see a doctor, $1 trillion in new taxes, continue to destroy full-time jobs, and do nothing whatsoever to control health care costs.

It is a train wreck. Even Democrats are wanting to repeal and replace.  But they are obsessed with “public” rather than “private”,  “non-profit” rather than “for profit” that they become oblivious to simple basic facts.  Some Democrats see the solution as moving everyone into Medicare, but that would not solve a single problem in ObamaCare.

A warning shot was fired a few months ago when one hospital, Mid-Staffordshire, was found to be a veritable death trap of neglect, misspent funds and starved investment. Now a new report on 14 NHS trusts, released by government-appointed Prof. Sir Bruce Keogh this week, finds that neglect and “needless” deaths are pretty much a characteristic of the entire system.

Socialized medicine simply doesn’t work. The state can cover up big problems, state priorities trump those of the consumer, bureaucracies resist change. Is that really what we need— a system to provide needless death?

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