Best of Blog – Addressing Healthcare During the Presidental Campaign in 2007

Author’s Note

This is a ‘Best of’ blog posting from 2007, when the then unnamed Obamacare was being discussed on the campaign trial. The truth then, as now, is that we really only have 8-10 million people in need of further health care assistance.
Teddy Kennedy stood at the podium of the Democratic Convention and proclaimed that now was the time for socialized medicine. This from a man who has benefited from the best healthcare system in the world. So once again one of the hot button issues this election year will be government controlled medicine. But before Americans eagerly jump on the “free medicine” bandwagon that the Democratic Party and candidate Obama are promising, they should take heed of the state of socialized healthcare throughout the world, in particular England.

The Times reporter Libby Purves recently wrote about the “muddled, irrational, and inconsistent” healthcare resources that are a reality of socialized medicine in England. Ms. Purves states with a degree of abject defeat that “the truth is that there will never be enough money in the pot to meet every need with the best and latest treatment.” Is this the healthcare future we want for the United States? A healthcare system where government oversight decides who should get treatment, and when? Does this sound like a healthcare model that respects the patient – doctor relationship? Hardly!

Is there any doubt that the same government that has bankrupted Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid would do any better? Is it realistic for us to believe that a government that squandered millions of dollars on studies such as the mating habits of the “great bucked-toothed Minnesota Chipmunk,” will somehow suddenly find their fiscal conscience? It is estimated that 68 BILLION dollars was wasted within the healthcare system in the United States in 2007 due to overall fraud! It is further estimated that at least 10% of the Medicaid budget is lost to fraud; and Medicaid is the healthcare program that Democrats hold up as a model of success!

1930’s Socialist Norman Thomas once stated that – “the American people would never vote for Socialism, but under the name of Liberalism, the American people will adopt every fragment of the socialist programs.” Mr. Thomas was right. Socialism has morphed over the years, from Socialism to Liberalism to Progressivism. But no matter how you say it, what we are talking about is a “socialist dictatorship,” where the government believes that they know what is best for you. Barrak Obama wants to be our next President, and he has a “revolutionary” new 110 BILLION dollar (projected first year cost) healthcare system in store for America.

Obama and the Democrats are proposing a healthcare plan in the mold of the European and Canadian models, both of which are in crisis. In order for the plan to “work,” it would eventually require everyone to enroll. One of the more interesting elements of the Democratic plan would ultimately require the enrollment of healthy people 18 to 30 (who make up 20% of the uninsured, according to the Census Bureau – and who often forgo insurance), because you see Obama and the Democrats will argue that their premium payments are necessary to offset costs incurred by older, sicker patients.” Great… another pyramid scheme run by the government…it worked so well funding Social Security and Medicare.

What if a person chooses not to participate, what will be the repercussions? Arrest and jail time? Would we forcefully garnish their wages like we do with taxes, Social Security, and Medicare? In support of their plan, Obama and the Democrats (as do all Progressives interested in healthcare reform) continue to use the false claim that “one in six Americans (or 48 million)” do not have healthcare. Wait a minute, didn’t the Census Bureau say that many 18 to 30 year olds “forgo” insurance, but yet they are somehow included in that 48 million? Their lack of wiliness to participate should surely reduce the overall “uninsured” numbers? Gee….do you think there might be other inflated numbers regarding this “statistic?”

There’s at least 10 million that aren’t even Americans. That’s right, illegal immigrants are counted in that number. The Census Bureau claims that only 13.4 percent of native-born Americans do not have health insurance, and 17.9 percent of naturalized citizens are without health insurance. It is believed that no less than 25% of the uninsured are in fact not American, they are illegal aliens. That is not to say they are not deserving of healthcare, but lets stop lying about whom the uninsured really are.

Devon Herrick, senior fellow at the National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA), learned that on numerous occasions, Census Bureau officials have acknowledged the uninsured number is inflated because the Bureau reports as “uninsured” those adults and children who are eligible for an existing government health services, such as Medicaid and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), but are not enrolled. Herrick observed, “Being uninsured in America is often a matter of choice. Most uninsured people either can afford health insurance or qualify for government-sponsored health care programs; they just choose not to enroll.”

But there are additional statistical issues as to the way we report some as “uninsured.” The Census Bureau reports:

  • There are as many as 15 million “uninsured” individuals in households with less than $25,000 of income. Many of these individuals meet the income test for Medicaid or SCHIP eligibility, but they are not technically enrolled and are therefore considered by the Census Bureau to be uninsured.
  • However, as soon as a person who is eligible for Medicaid, but not enrolled, enters the healthcare system through a hospital or clinic, he or she is automatically enrolled into the Medicaid plan. Therefore, counting this population as “uninsured” distorts the data significantly, since these individuals can enroll at any time and have their medical expenses paid whenever they require health care.

But those are not the only factors that lead to the false figure of 45, 48, or 50 million people (the Democrats keep changing the number) without health insurance:

  • According to the U.S. Census Bureau, thirty-seven percent of that group lives in households making more than $50,000 a year, says the U.S. Census Bureau
  • Nineteen percent are in households making more than $75,000 a year
  • 25 percent are not citizens
  • 33 percent are eligible for existing government programs but are not enrolled

After you do the entire math correctly, in the end you get to around 8 million people who may not have had health insurance in the prior year (which represents less than .02 of the population of the United States!).

It is important to understand the true number of people in need before we embark on another disastrous government run program. When people are uninsured, how long they remain uninsured, and why they are uninsured are factors that need to be considered (Congressional Budget Office – How Many People Lack Insurance and for How Long?).

Obama would slowly move healthcare from the private sector to public control (yikes!!) Although I suspect that Obama, like many Progressives (Progressive = Liberal = Socialist), believe what they are doing this for the “greater good,” it is just another place government does not need to be. In Washington power is equated to control. The expansion of failed entitlement programs, the demonizing of capitalism, and playing Robin Hood in the form of unfair taxes, are all methods of control. Are we really prepared to add our healthcare to that list? Can we afford to put our healthcare needs in the hands of the politicians in Washington, DC?

 

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