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The Perils of Socialized Medicine

Regular readers know that I am a numbers, financial, and economic guy, as betrayed by my CPA certification. As important as these issues are, we are now presented with an issue even more vital. The socialized healthcare bill being considered by the House will likely result in tens of millions of Americans dying sooner than they otherwise would have to.  

When the free-market, doctors, and patients are taken out of health care decisions, and the care is paid for by somebody else, the establishment of an organization to ration care is inevitable.  In fact, the legislation creates the National Institute of Comparative Effectiveness. As benign as it may sound, this is the bureaucracy that will be used to ration care. A similar institution exists in Britain, and has the rather ominous acronym of NICE (National Institute for Health and Clinical Experience).  Rulings on whether people live or die are made frequently in Britain and Canada, and if you have a pre-existing condition, are elderly, or for some reason deemed ‘unfit’ for a life saving procedure, then your chances of being granted that life saving procedure become even murkier. Your life will hang in the balance, subject to the whims of government and its bureaucrats. This is why the survival rates from cancer, heart disease, and many other life-threatening diseases are 30-50% lower in countries with socialized medicine than they are in countries with private medicine.

And why are we doing this? It is generally accepted that about 85% of Americans have some form of health insurance. But, 15% do not. Of the 15% that do not, about one third have plenty of income and wealth, but choose not to buy insurance because they think they are healthy and want to save the money, and if they have a problem they will just go to the emergency room. Another third are eligible for Medicaid or Medicare or other subsidized care, but have not signed up. Only that last third, or 5% of the population, are truly uninsured, want insurance, and have no realistic option to get it.

Without question, there is a problem with which we must deal. But we should not sacrifice the quality of care and the life expectancy of 95% of the population for 5% as the Obama/Pelosi plan does. Furthermore, their plan fails to cover that 5%.

The Democrats in the House are practically at war amongst themselves over this because their more moderate members see the folly in socialized medicine. As I left the Capitol earlier today, the final committee with jurisdiction on this bill, Energy and Commerce, still had not met to vote on the bill. Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (D-CA) suggested that maybe his committee should just be bypassed if the votes to pass the bill weren’t there. That, is truly desperation.

They know how powerful a message it is. Democrats, led by Nancy Pelosi are so nervous that the public might find out what is really in this health care proposal that they have taken the unprecedented step of trying to use the rules of the House to censor the minority, and restrict what we are allowed to say or send out to you. In other words, they want to limit the only real power the loyal minority has, which is the power to communicate criticisms of the majority's proposals and present alternatives. Among the items to which they have objected to is the chart shown below. They have not been able to say that this chart, which reflects the organization of the Obama/Pelosi Health Care bill, is inaccurate. They say that some of the descriptions of the agencies are "misleading." Right. If you want to see misleading, read my blog on the 10 "inaccuracies" in President Obama’s news conference last week.

The Greeneyeshade Blog - Obama Misleads us on Healthcare

Your government run health care system will look like this if this bill passes. The Speaker and her minions just don't want you to know it.

Click Here to Enlarge

John Locke must be rolling in his grave. This socialized medicine package is a leap in a direction to which the government will now view its citizens as liabilities. This is in a republic that was founded on the premise that the government derives its power from the ‘consent of the governed.’ If this bill passes, perhaps we should change that to ‘consent of the governed, unless they represent too high of a liability.’

I admit, I am little worked up about this. But darn it, it's really important.

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