Tag Archives: Health Care

Do As I Say, Not As I Do

Congressman Anthony Weiner of New York was perhaps the most aggressive and vitriolic supporter of Obamacare during the months-long debate on the bill. So, imagine my surprise when he announced that now, as a candidate for Mayor of New York City (Heaven help them!), he believes the city should seek a waiver from the legislation.

Ok, so liberal hypocrisy knows no bounds; that is not exactly news. But to scream and rant on the house floor in defense of the legislation and then 12 months later seek to take America’s largest city off the plan you just crammed down the throats of the American people who were adamantly against it; that’s a new low even for Rep. Weiner.

For those keeping track, there are now more than 1,250 organizations who have received exemptions from some or all of the legislations requirements (a complete list can be found here). Apparently Rep. Weiner has finally caught on to what all these organizations already knew; this one’s so bad, you’ve got to get out of it any way you can.

 

*A special note for those wondering where I’ve been for these past many months. In my first attempt to blog about these issues, I became too focused on writing style – trying to emmulate op-ed pieces and write lengthy entries. You probably don’t want to read something that long, and writing it became too much of a chore. My goal going forward will be to just speak my mind. Sometimes that will be short and sweet or even just a link and a comment; sometimes it will be more. I look forward to hearing what you think as it develops.

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Will There Be a Doctor In the House?

Today the Wall Street Journal reports that the U.S. will likely face a doctor shortage in coming years. Now who could have ever predicted that this would happen? Oh, that’s right, I DID! And frankly, I believe this article vastly underestimates the problem. The heaviest users of medical services are not those with their own insurance – no, having paid handsomely for it, they know better than to abuse it. Instead it’s those who have been granted “free” health care by the state, and we’ve just added 17 million people to that category, and if the administration gets its way with amnesty in the coming months another 12-17 million.

On top of that, there is a high probability of many current doctors leaving the profession due to dissatisfaction with the new system. My primary care doctor tells me he’s closed to new patients for the specific reason that he refuses to take on more medicare patients and the mountains of paperwork and pitiful compensation they bring with them. If you don’t believe the system underpays, just ask Walgreens who recently announced they will no longer fill medicaid prescriptions in the state of Washington because it’s a “money losing proposition”! At the behest of the corporately owned hospitals who don’t like competition, the bill also bans doctor-owned hospitals which will result in the immediate cancellation of 60 planned new hospitals across the country and what would have been hundreds more in the future.

But, allow me to go a step further and make a new prediction, one which will take years to unfortunately come to fruition and then decades (if ever) to reverse. I shouldn’t really call it a prediction as it’s simple supply and demand logic; Adam Smith could have predicted this 250 years ago. What happens when there is a shortage of a product – in this case, doctors? The price goes up. But, what happens when an all-knowing (at least they think they’re all-knowing) government holds prices down while the demand is going up? Quality goes down, way down!

In the coming decade, medical schools will be under immense pressure to fill this void of doctors. Students who would not have been admitted in the past will likely get in, and those who would have washed out may very well be passed on. Once in the field, these sub-standard doctors will be without the free-market incentive of do the best work, make the most money. They will be seeing too many patients, too infrequently while being pressured by the government to keep costs down. That should work out well…

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Isn’t It Ironic?

Oh the irony! In the same week that Democrats cram through their Health Care takeover legislation, yet another government entity admits it is losing money hand-over-fist and has no idea how to stem the tide of red ink. Postmaster General John Potter admitted to the Senate committee responsible for oversight of the Post Office that they are expecting to lose $238 billion over the next ten years.

Mr. Potter wants to eliminate Saturday delivery to save $3 billion a year, but the Senators don’t like that idea. He discussed the need to cut some of the 36,500 post offices around the country (more locations than McDonald’s or Starbucks), many of which see far too little traffic to be financially justified. The Senators weren’t crazy about that idea  either. He pointed out that his organization is heavily burdened by far too many employees with benefits that are far too generous including retirement plans that exist nowhere other than in government jobs. Shockingly the Senators weren’t keen on the idea of reducing the bloated USPS workforce either. In other words, Mr. Potter was arguing that the Post Office needs to be allowed to run like a private company – as a matter of fact, he said exactly that.

If the Postal Service were provided with the flexibilities used by businesses in the marketplace to streamline their operations and reduce costs, we would become a more efficient and effective organization. Such a change would also allow us to more quickly adapt to meet the evolving needs, demands, and activities of our customers, now and in the future.

So, in the same week that Democrats took a giant step towards their end-goal of a government run U.S. health care industry, the Postmaster General went to the Senate and admitted that the government can’t even manage to effectively run the Post Office. What do you think, is it harder to deliver the mail or heal the sick?

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Why Trifle Over a Measly $2 Trillion

On February 26, 2009, the Obama Administration released it’s first budget projecting a net deficit over the next 10 years of $7.1 trillion. The Congressional Budget Office scored the budget and said, no, the deficit would be $9.1 trillion over that 10 year period. The administration didn’t like that number and insisted it was wrong. Forget that the CBO is a non-partisan organization whose entire reason for existing is to answer such questions, that number was just too high and the administration didn’t want to admit to saddling the country with that kind of debt. chart_budget3

I’m not sure why they were worried about that, their friends and non-journalists in the main stream media published this chart without so much as mentioning that not one single year was projected to be in the black. Nor did they mention that this preposterous level of spending didn’t even include the additional $1 trillion that Obama’s team projects universal health care will cost (again, the real economists say that number is more likely to be $2 trillion).

This week, in a shocking development that absolutely everyone saw coming, the administration admitted that yes, the real deficit number will be exactly what the CBO said it would be – $9.1 trillion! And this number still doesn’t include the costs of a universal health care program. Nobody seemed to care very much, certainly not Obama’s campaign publicists, aka the main stream media.

Some may ask why I would trifle over a measly $2 trillion. After all, what’s another couple trillion dollars at this point. We are drowning in these mind-boggling large numbers that are beyond comprehension for most Americans. And that’s exactly what the policy makers count on. And that is why it should matter to all Americans. It should matter that our government is spending like a group of drunken sailors on shore leave and expecting you and I to pick up the tab. Actually, that’s not true, were we able to give the politicians a truth serum, they would tell us they have absolutely no idea how to pay for this. Yet, they keep spending, and America keeps letting them.

$9.1 trillion over the next 10 years will mean a federal debt of more than TWENTY TRILLION DOLLARS by 2019 and that’s if the politicians are able to control themselves and stick to a budget – a laughably unlikely proposition if ever there were one. Maybe it is time to trifle.

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