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Friday, December 11, 2009

Dems Need to Come Out of the Single Payer Closet

How often have we heard the left-wing blogs blather about the greatness of Medicare. How often do we hear how happy people are with Medicare, and how that proves that government run health plans should be extended to everyone.

But there is a big, ugly lie underneath those arguments. Medicare underpays doctors and hospitals, who make up the difference from private insurers and private insurance patients. That's why hospitals are apoplectic over the emerging "compromise" to extend Medicare to people below age 65. And even with those underpayments, Medicare is not sustainable in its present form.

The big lie underneath the current "compromise" proposal is that extending Medicare is not an option. Rationing, the elixir of choice for the "one nation, one plan" crowd, is not politically acceptable -- which is why Democrats run from the word "rationing" like it were the plague.

And lost in the shuffle is the expansion of Medicaid already built into the bill. As one left-wing blogger correctly notes, adding 15 million people to Medicaid is the reason "progressives" are not fighting Harry Reid's Senate bill harder.

The expansions of Medicaid and Medicare are designed to put us on a clear path to a single payer system, without Democrats having to own up to it.

If Democrats really want Medicaid or Medicare for everyone, then let's put that issue front and center. Democrats can man- and woman-up and defend their goal of a single payer system. And the public can decide if low reimbursement rates, with the inevitable hospital bankruptcies, doctor shortages, and rationing, are a "feature not a bug."

Enough of the stealth attempts, the nods and the winks, and the "get it done by Christmas or the world will end" nonsense. Democrats should come out for single-payer, and then deal with the reaction.

Hearkening back to an earlier day, "What's the doughboy afraid of?"

Related Posts:
Taxing Your Mere Existence, Part 2
Holiday Rush Towards Single Payer
Liberal Doughboys Afraid of Tea Parties

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  1. Not sure where I heard this (Krauthammer?), but supposedly 65% of Americans are currently covered by some kind of government health care (Medicare, Medicaid, SChip, VA, federal employees health plan, etc.). This proposal to expand Medicare and Medicaid would bring the number up to 75%. So we are essentially already at a level of 2/3 socialized medicine (i.e., take a random person in the U.S. and there's a 2/3 chance I'm paying for his health care), with that number possibly jumping up to 3/4. Naturally, I have no control over what kind of care and services these strangers receive on my dime. That's the awesome beauty of socialism.

    (Unfortunately, nobody is paying for MY family's health care except us.)

    The Dems evidently want to get to the point where 100% of the country is receiving health care paid for through a combination of taxpayer dollars and borrowing from the Chinese. I can only discern two reasons why such a fully socialized scheme would represent an "improvement" over the current system:

    1. Because it would tie all funding of the health care sector directly to the the tax code, making it easier to load the costs onto the "rich"; and

    2. Because the federal government would then have the ability to dictate both supply and demand. IOW, we will have complete centralized planning for medical care. The government will dictate who gets what specific care and how much the providers will get paid for delivering those services the government, in its infinite wisdom, deems us worthy to receive.

    For the life of me, I can't understand how it benefits the Dems politically to recreate Soviet-style centralized planning over 1/6 of the economy. As noted above, we are already at a point where MOST Americans are on some kind of government health plan. In addition, polls show that most Americans are satisfied with their current health care. Are there really that many additional voters to be won over by trying to set up a single-payer system?

    And if they're not doing it in a misguided effort to win votes, are we left to conclude that these Dem leaders are actual communists who were only waiting to get 60 votes in the Senate to reveal their true revolutionary ambitions? I'm at a loss to understand how their plans for centralized planning of the health care sector differs in any substantive way from what the Soviets did.

  2. Mandated insurance is still in this new effort...a lynch pin it seems. Heritage makes a good case that the mandate is unconstitutional.

  3. If it isn't unconstitutional, it's literally difficult to imagine any kind of government mandate that wouldn't be constitutional. Why couldn't the government order everyone to do 50 pushups a day on the theory that getting everyone in shape would hold down health care costs?

    Thing is, I'd RATHER do 50 pushups a day than devote a quarter of my labors to paying for what the government considers to be suitable health insurance for me and my neighbors. This is no mere inconvenience, what the Dems have in store for us. We're talking about forcing people to buy something that's going to cost north of $10,000/year. That represents a great deal of forced labor, something that was supposed to be barred by the 13th Amendment.

  4. Does it bother anyone that as a country, we have to have huge free clinics and major telethons to pay for some folks health care? We socialize our safety forces, armed forces etc.. I don't remember a telethon for my local ambulance service, nor a free day of polic service. Health care is a shambles and most people do not like their health care, like one poster stated. Ask the 30 million plus who do not have health care, and any polling that indicates folks like their health care is full of fraud.

  5. Mr. Johnson,

    I believe that you are missing the point of the article. If what you say is what you believe, don't hide from it. Demand that your elected officials speak "Truth to Power" and demand a single payer (government run) health system. Are you going to write to your senators and demand honesty?

  6. Mayo Clinic alone lost $840 million last year under Medicare: http://3.ly/SfNE