A strange health care debate

Tom Jackson
Oct 4, 2012

 

In general, the Wednesday night debate seemed more interesting and more substantial than presidential debates I've sat through in the past. But the portion of the debate that discussed health care neglected an important topic.
 
President Obama spent much of the debate attacking the Republican proposal to convert Medicare into a voucher system. He argued that government health care is more cost-effective than private health care.
 
But if he believes that, why is ObamaCare built around making everyone buy for-profit health insurance? Why did he take extending Medicare off the table early in the discussions?
 
Obama's health care reform program essentially is a Republican program. Back in 1993, when President Bill Clinton was pushing his health reform plan, and Republicans believed for political reasons that they had to offer a plan of their own, they suggested a plan drafted by the conservative Heritage Foundation. It included an individual mandate for everyone to buy health insurance and subsidies to help people who couldn't afford to buy insurance.
 
After Clinton's health reform package failed, and Republicans no longer felt the need to feign interest in health care, the GOP plan was shelved. You'll notice that Republicans did nothing to extend health care coverage when they controlled the White House, the Congress and the Supreme Court. But when Mitt Romney helped install a health reform package as governor of Massachusetts, Romneycare essentially followed the outlines of the old Heritage Foundation plan. And Obamacare closely resembles RomneyCare.
 
Speaking of Romney, he did little last night to answer the question that has dogged him all through the campaign. If Romneycare worked in Massachusetts, what's wrong with extending it to the other 49 states?
 
About that individual mandate: During the 2008 campaign, Obama's main Democratic primary opponent, Hillary Clinton, leveled with voters and told them that any serious reform plan would have to include a mandate requiring everyone to buy health insurance. Obama opposed a mandate during the primary and said it would not be necessary. Of course, he changed his position after he won the election. Clinton was the candidate who was being honest with the voters, but the news media, then as now firm Obama supporters, tactfully declined to make an issue of the matter.
 
Even after Obama's "reform," the U.S. does not make sure that everyone has health insurance coverage. And even after reform, our system is a hopelessly confusing patchwork of various government and private programs. We can't be bothered to simply make sure everyone is covered, but we have special programs to cover veterans, the elderly, American Indians, poor people who happen to live in an urban area with a federal-sponsored clinic, and on and on and on, with each program featuring a different set of rules and regulations.
 
Every other advanced country has a health care system that controls costs and covers everyone. Perhaps after the election is over, we can have a discussion about why everybody else's health care system is better than ours.

Comments

The Big Dog's back

willard wants to kill Big Bird. Enough said. Every mother and father of young children should be furious.

SamAdams

Oh, for pity's sake, Rover. NOBODY wants to kill Big Bird. Romney simply suggests that PBS is one of many government-supported projects that ought not be government supported. Are you telling me that Sesame Street is such a piece of crap that it wouldn't sell in syndication? That advertisers wouldn't consider commercial time on it?

If Sesame Street is worth anything, it'll be around without government funding. And if it's NOT worth anything what are we arguing about?

Randy_Marsh

Koch brothers donate millons to nova so they will not die arent you for the Koch brothers Dog?

Factitious

TJ sez:

"He argued that government health care is more cost-effective than private health care. But if he believes that, why is ObamaCare built around making everyone buy for-profit health insurance? Why did he take extending Medicare off the table early in the discussions?"

Umm...because he needed Republican votes. Basically, it was that or nothing.

Medicare For Everyone would be better. Despite assertions to the Contrary, Medicare is pretty efficient and delivers much more actual health care per $ that private insurance. Complaints about billing fraud overlook the fact that it happens with private insurance, too, and it even happens when there's no insurance at all.

wiredmama222

Agreed. He said very CLEARLY he would stop funding PBS. I was stunned by that one. That makes PBS the funded solely by funds collected by the people. He could not have been more clear about it. I about fell off my chair. He even apologized for it. WOW.

Contango

Medicare and Medicaid lose an estimated $60 billion annually due to waste, fraud and abuse.

A voucher program will put some market principles into a corrupt and increasingly bankrupt system.

If a private company lost 10-20% of it's budget annually through corruption, it would soon go out of business.

The Ponzi schemes of Medicare and Medicaid are no different - they are headed for bankruptcy without serious changes.

Not-to-worry, the Dems won't cut spending and the Repubs don't have the political will.

Nothing will change until this country faces a new Great Depression - coming soon.

deertracker

Where do you think that 60 billion goes? Right in the pockets of white collar criminals.

Contango

@ deertracker:

Don't worry little blog buddy.

As a youth; in order to keep the bureaucratic corruption goin', they will eventually need 85% or more of your income in order to help suppport the Ponzi schemes of ObamaCare, Medicare, Medicaid and Soc. Security until fiscal collapse.

Work hard - the pigs in DC need your money to help re-distribute the wealth.

deertracker
44846GWP

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Personal attacks (including: name calling, presumption of guilt or guilt by association, insensitivity, or picking fights).

Contango

@ Zippy:

The 'question' is: Do you know what it means?

luvblues2

Tom Jackson. Sandusky Register's very own Rush Limbaugh/Ann Colter.

SamAdams

Really? Every other advanced country? Maybe. And it might even control costs. What it ISN'T is better than ours, and what it DOESN'T do is:

1. Keep healthcare good, or make it better. Why do you think so many travel here to get our "terrible" and "unfair" and "just plain evil" treatment?

2. Ensure everyone gets treated. People are denied all the time. Just ask the folks in England who see treatment denied on a regular basis, or the citizens of Canada who have to travel here for such tests as an MRI if they don't want to wait months on end to get a test at home.

3. Treat people fairly. Gosh, is THAT why they need "death panels?" Love her or hate her, turns out Sarah Palin was right about THAT much! In fact, even the Obama administration itself now admits that there WILL be rationing, lots of it age-based. That's all fine and wonderful until it's YOUR mother denied a hip replacement, or YOUR husband who a non-medically educated bureaucrat determines doesn't get life-saving heart surgery because he's juuuuuuust over the age limit!

I don't like Romneycare. I like Obamacare even less. Our system, imperfect as it is, is still the best in the world. But it's not going to be for long if Obamacare ends up taking full effect! (Heard the stats on doctors who are quitting? Or students who WON'T be becoming doctors?) Meanwhile, our taxes are going to skyrocket. We're frankly better off now even when hospitals DO have to write off some expenses for the poor and/or uninsured!

Wanna save REAL money? Work far harder to eliminate fraud (big news today with the Medicare bust, and that's good!). Stop treating people (other than in emergencies) who are in the country illegally (several years ago, Colorado determined illegals cost over a BILLION DOLLARS annually to the state, and Colorado isn't even a border state!). Allow insurance sales over state lines.

But no, apparently it makes more sense to spend even more money, to put 1/6 of the economy effectively in the hands of the same idiots who put us $6 trillion debt and who can't figure out whether or not an ambassador who BEGS for added security ought to get it, at least not 'til after he's dead.

We are so screwed...

There you go again

Mr. Jackson, I am very surprised that you asked why Romney didn't explain that his state-run health care was good for Mass. but not for the entire USA. He repeated his answer several times in the debate! He felt that his Mass. plan worked well for his state and that all states should be in charge of their own. What works for 1 state may not work for another. Romney made it very clear to me that he felt government does not need to be in charge of America's health care-a statement I fully support.

eriemom

Federal Government/State Government
One state has tackled the problem. One. How many centuries would it take for Mississippi to try to solve the problem?

"good for Mass. but not for the entire USA"
True. He has repeated this statement several times, but never explained WHY it is not good for the entire USA.

My father uses VA health services--a federal health care program. He likes it. He also tells me that his Social Security check has never been late. Also a federally run program.

It seems to me that the public sector has hade plenty of time to get health care right and have not. It is time to do something else.

There you go again

Tell me, Eriemom, what do you like about the new health care program? Is it the increase in taxes, the billions of $$$ taken from Medicare providers, the inevitable decrease in doctors provided services to Medicare patients, the "tax" on those choosing to not participate, or any of the pork snuck into the unread Afforadable Health Care Bill (the one that is 2,500 pages long)?

SamAdams

Actually, eriemom, that's not true. Other states HAVE tackled the healthcare issue. Hawaii=losing money hand over fist. Tennessee=bankrupted program. California (which, in fairness, really tackled it via increases in aid to illegals)=entire STATE bankrupt, almost entirely due to gov't. giveaways. Either Washington or Oregon tried it, too, and all heck broke loose when they wrote a list of 100 covered treatments and the 101st? Well, sorry about your luck, buddy! (As I recall, a case involving that 101st listed item involved a child. Did NOT look good for the gov't.)

There's a reason an old friend of mine from Massachusetts regularly referred to it as "The People's Republic of Taxachusetts." And even Mass's program isn't going all that well fiscally speaking. Just ask the folks in New Hampshire who are dealing with a boatload of Mass "immigrants" trying to leave "The People's Republic" for residence in "The Free State!"

Again, higher taxes, higher costs, lesser availabilty, and lower quality of care are the inevitable results of such a program whether it be state by state or federal. I agree with the previous poster: What is it about such things that you actually LIKE?

Kimo

Of course you do............. LOL

Darwin's choice

"what could possibly go wrong"........http://youtu.be/vdnY8r7_fLw

mikel

countries that offer the "best" healthcare plans have a tax of about 50% for everyone! wonder how that would go over.

also, as i have said before, there needs to be healthcare reform but our gov't is not the entity to operate it as everything the gov't touches goes belly up sooner or later.

kURTje

OR....just have the same health care as Nancy Reagan or Nancy Pelosi. OR..takes away their health careike so many others Americans have had happen to them. Most of our leaders are not worth most because we the masses carry their dead weight. Long & short of it; America needs some kind of affordable healthcare. One stay @ a facility can cost your savings account.

Contango

Factitious writes:

"Despite assertions to the Contrary, Medicare is pretty efficient and delivers much more actual health care per $ that private insurance."

Only govt. bureaucrats who are supported by the corrupt system agree.

Medicare is only a "pay-go" scheme, not a 'managed care' system and therefore is subject to billions of dollars annually in waste, fraud and abuse.

-------------------------------

Don't believe any nonsense about defunding PBS.

Name for me ONE Federal program, agency or cabinet position that has EVER been eliminated.

The Fed bureaucracy will only stop growing when there is fiscal collapse.

SamAdams

Contango, you wrote "The Fed bureaucracy will only stop growing when there is fiscal collapse." I wish like crazy I could argue with you. But I fear you are unfortunately, catastrophically right.

44846GWP

"Secretary of War", cabinet position that was eliminated. What else do you want to know Winnie?

Randy_Marsh

The secretary of war position is not a program, It is mainly the NSC in cabinet form during a time of war BUT seeing that the president does not show up to ANY cabinet meetings the point is moot.

Contango

@ Zippy:

Name change to Secy. of Defense in 1949.

Soviet "word magic."

Darkhorse

If you are on Medicare and you are admitted in the hospital, make sure you are not there under oberservation. Always ask if you an official inpatient or on oberservation. If you are on observation, Medicare will not pay and you walk out of the hospital with a big bill to pay on your own. The hospitals are playing games and can override your doctor because they don't want to get hit with a fine if you should need to be readmitted within a 30 day period so they put you on observation and let the patient pick up the tab instead. The Medicare patient is being caught inbetween a huge feud between the hospital and Medicare restrictions and rules.

deertracker

Correct. You are also charged for any medicine they give you while under observation. You can NOT bring your own PRESCRIBED meds. Healthcare is a business!

Darkhorse

The Medicare people are getting ripped off and it will only get worse if Obama Care kicks in. You think just because you are under Medicare and you have supplemental insurance that everything is paid for but not anymore. The part that is really up setting is that you don't find these things out until the bill is handed over to you. The hospital or doctor will not disclose to you that you are in the hospital under observation. That is simply unfair and crooked for someone not to disclose that information about being in the hospital under observation. It is really taking advantage of a sick patient that is not in a position to understand what is going on. Most of all, the Medicare booklet doesn't disclose the information so the patient has at least a heads up on the situation. It is a rotten deal through and through.