One of the more important battles of the next few years is going to be health care reform. I’ve mentioned before I’m opposed to any kind of government run socialized health care system. I have relatives in Canada so my perspective on socialized medicine is a little more direct than most… Suffices to say be careful what you wish for, you might get it.
The Wall Street Journal and American Thinker have both published must read essays on health care recently, if haven’t read them you should.
First is Carol Peracchio’s January 7th essay at American Thinker.com:
Take Two Aspirin and Call Your Congressman in the Morning
When President-Elect Obama nominated Tom Daschle to be his Secretary of Health and Human Services, he proclaimed the former Senate Majority Leader: “one of America’s foremost health care experts.” Obama stated Daschle will be the “lead architect” of the administration’s health care plan. As a nurse, I am always concerned when the government announces it has plans for our health care, so I decided to investigate Mr. Daschle’s ideas. I read his book Critical: What We Can Do about the Health-Care Crisis.
Senator Daschle wrote his book with 2 other experts, Scott S. Greenberger and Jeanne M. Lambrew. According to the flyleaf, Greenberger is a reporter and consultant. Lambrew is a senior fellow. Tom Daschle, of course, is a former US Senator and now a visiting professor and Distinguished Senior Fellow. The back cover of the book has advance praise from 3 senators, a former White House chief of staff, yet another senior fellow, and a professor/dean at a public policy institute.
To paraphrase a famous quote by Sam Rayburn, “They may be just as intelligent as you say. But I’d feel a helluva lot better if just one of them had ever emptied a bedpan.” Read the rest…
Second is Congressman Tom Price’s Op Ed in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal:
The GOP Should Fight Health-Care Rationing
Obama’s HMO deserves principled opposition.
By Tom Price, Wall Street Journal, January 7, 2009
Perhaps the greatest missed opportunity of the past eight years was the chance for Republicans to fundamentally reform the terribly broken American health-care system. Access to quality health care has long been a professed priority, yet Republicans have been reluctant to tackle the issue.
As a physician, this is deeply disappointing to me because patient-centered health care is, at its core, conservative. Health care is fundamentally a personal relationship between patients and doctors. To honor this relationship — consistent with Republican ideals — our goal should be to provide a system that allows access to affordable, quality health care for all Americans, in a way that ensures medical decisions are made in doctors’ offices, not Washington.
Republican unwillingness to address the issue, however, has left us facing an emboldened Democratic Party well equipped to push a government-centered health-care agenda. While Democrats are still dangerously misguided in their policies, this time they are prepared to avoid the political mistakes of the Clinton administration. Read the rest…
And finally Scott Gottlieb’s Op Ed from today’s Wall Street Journal:
What Medicaid Tells Us About Government Health Care
Why would Obama want to build on a system with poor outcomes?
By Scott Gottlieb, Wall Street Journal, January 8, 2009
Medicaid provides coverage to poor and disabled Americans, many of whom face the highest burden of chronic disease owing to cultural and socioeconomic challenges. The program beats being uninsured, but it often relegates the poor to inferior care.
Reimbursement rates are so low, and billing the program so complicated, that it is hard for internists like me to get beneficiaries access to specialized care or timely interventions. For my patients as well, many of whom are uneducated or don’t speak English, Medicaid is replete with paperwork, regulations and rejections that make the program hard to navigate.
Now Medicaid is to receive a bolus of federal money, probably as part of the fiscal stimulus plan — the figure whispered in Washington is $100 billion — with no obligation that the program does anything to reverse its decline. Read the rest…
From my perspective one of the problems we face in the health care debate is that a great many people have an unrealistic expectation of what their health insurance should cover. I have private health care insurance and I’m happy with it. It’s not cheap, it costs me roughly $600.00 a quarter and I have to pay $5000.00 deductible in a calendar year.
That’s fine I don’t mind paying out pocket for routine office visits or prescription drugs. All I want from my health insurance is protection from catastrophic expenses and that’s exactly what it provides.