27 July 2009

The Health Care Plan Will Cost You Freedoms

I've been having a debate here, and in some email exchanges elsewhere, with those who simply can't accept the truth about what's going on in Washington. These individuals are so invested - emotionally, psychologically, and philosophically - into President Obama's agenda that they just cannot bring themselves to face what is so obvious to anyone who looks at that agenda with an objective eye - this is especially the case regarding the health care debate. But some are beginning to wake up - even CNN. Here's a recent headline on their website:

"5 freedoms you'd lose in health care reform: If you read the fine print in the Congressional plans, you'll find that a lot of cherished aspects of the current system would disappear."

Read the complete story here. And Obama's plan will not save any money, as he keeps claiming. And that assertion comes from the objective review of the Congressional Budget Office. Darn those facts.

Future historians will marvel at what we're seeing unfold right before our eyes.


Jacksonian Lawyer said...

Where oh where would we be without the protection of Obama? Save us from the Swine Flu and save us from our own fat-ness.

This is just yet one more huge step towards outright socialism (if not dictatorship) that Obama is seeking to, so rapidly, thrust upon us. It is absolutely mind-boggling, particularly with the respect to the rush that not only Obama is seeking, but that his devout followers are seeking as well. Further the fact more are not aware that this so-called "health plan" is an absolute tyrannical disaster in the making is even more puzzling. Absolutely unreal.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...


It is quite astonishing to watch Obama's supporters contort and morph into whatever shape it takes to defend what's going on. It is almost cult-like. The intellectual dishonesty is mind-boggling.

James F. Epperson said...

First, a minor correction: That is not from CNN, but from Fortune magazine; CNN occasionally publishes stuff from Fortune and Money on their website.

As for the details: I consider our health plan (through my employer, the American Mathematical Society) to be very good, and we have never had the first three items which Fortune claims will be lost. So, on those points, I won't be losing anything. The last two points are, certainly, more significant. I've not read the legislation myself, of course, but I am confidant that the final product will not impose these two restrictions, if only because to do so would result in post-hoc repeal so fast you wouldn't be able to see the debate. (Just for the record, there are theoretical restrictions on the doctors I can choose right now, but they have no practical effect, since every doctor in Ann Arbor "participates" in the BC/BS plan we use.)

Frankly, I would like to see a serious look at a single-payer system like Canada uses. It has its flaws, but by eliminating the insurance companies it would easily result in massive savings. But it would never fly here, alas.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

"CNN occasionally publishes stuff . . ." Like I said, "some are beginning to wake up - even CNN."

"I've not read the legislation myself, of course, but I am confidant that the final product will not impose these two restrictions,"

Extremely naive.

"by eliminating the insurance companies it would easily result in massive savings."

Right James. Medicare and Social Security are going bankrupt, so maybe they'll get this one right. You have great faith in our benevolent government, don't you?

While were at it, why don't we eliminate the legal profession and let government bureaucrats handle it? It would certainly result in massive savings, wouldn't it?

James F. Epperson said...

"While were at it, why don't we eliminate the legal profession and let government bureaucrats handle it? It would certainly result in massive savings, wouldn't it?" --- Well, there is the old joke about 40 lawyers on the bottom of the ocean being "a good start." And, yes, I do have a lot of faith in our government within certain spheres. (And Social Security can be easily fixed.)

BorderRuffian said...

What happens if I can't pay (or refuse to pay) that $2500 fine?

Jail time?

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

James - at least we can agree on the lawyer comment. ;o)

SS can be fixed, I agree. Means testing, increase the age of eligibility, and quit giving the money to drunks and drug addicts.

The problem is, like with all government giveaways, it is now seen as a "right." There is not the political will to fix it which is why it will eventually collapse under its own weight; which is the same thing that will happen to socialized medicine if it becomes law.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

BR - its an IRS fine, so they'll get their money one way or the other. As my father in law's bumper sticker says, "Dont' Steal. The Government Hates Competition."

ConfederateColonel said...

We really need to be referring to this as the Health Control Plan rather than the Health "Care" Plan. It also saddens me to see so much of the debate centering on the details and cost rather than on the philosophical question of "Do we really want to become Socialist nation?". When you're debating details, it comes down to who you believe. When you're debating the question of "Socialism", it is a very clear discussion of whether or not we want to turn our backs on the system that made America great.

Jacksonian Lawyer said...

Hey now, easy going with the lawyer jokes. Not all of us are that bad. ;)

Confederate Colonel - extremely well stated. As I indicated in my initial post above, this proposal is yet another step along the road of Socialism, down which Obama is dedicated to taking our nation.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Hey JL - I thought about you when that was posted. So, let me add . . . present company excepted. I know a few good attorneys. They're all dead.

Sorry, I couldn't resist. ;o) Actually, I'm thankful there are still lawyers fighting the good fight for our liberties. I'm sure you're one of them.


Toronto realtor said...

A note from an observer from Canada.

Does it just seem to me or is this legislative being rushed so much? Its such an important interference into the life of every single US citizen. Why isn't there a broader debate about all the aspects of this reform, including both the principal changes and the details, such as the abortion fundings or euthanasia counselling? Such a thing cannot be rushed.


Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

TR - thank you for taking the time to comment. It is indeed being rushed (even though it wouldn't become effective until 2013), because the supporters don't want the details debated. That would (will) kill it - hopefully.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

So, James, you like Canada's version of healthcare? You are, once again, woefully misinformed:

A January 16, 2000, New York Times article entitled "Full Hospitals Make Canadians Wait and Look South," by James Brooke, provided some good examples of how Canadian price controls have created serious shortage problems.

* A 58-year-old grandmother awaited open-heart surgery in a Montreal hospital hallway with 66 other patients as electric doors opened and closed all night long, bringing in drafts from sub-zero weather. She was on a five-year waiting list for her heart surgery.
* In Toronto, 23 of the city's 25 hospitals turned away ambulances in a single day because of a shortage of doctors.
* In Vancouver, ambulances have been "stacked up" for hours while heart attack victims wait in them before being properly taken care of.
* At least 1,000 Canadian doctors and many thousands of Canadian nurses have migrated to the United States to avoid price controls on their salaries.

Wrote Mr. Brooke, "Few Canadians would recommend their system as a model for export."

James F. Epperson said...

"So, James, you like Canada's version of healthcare? You are, once again, woefully misinformed:" --- Actually, many of these stories, when looked at closely, don't hold up. (Some do---nothing is perfect.) There was an interview with a Canadian on one of the news shows, oh, a week or so ago, and he was adamant that most of these alleged horror stories do not hold up. The Saskatchewan provincial official who initiated the move to the present system is considered one of "the greatest Canadians of the 20th Century."

I'm not surprised docs would move south, given the income differences. That is one reason their system would never fly here.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Actually, there are more stories even worse. Your childlike faith in a cold, detached, power-hungry, control-freak federal government is a wonder to behold James.

Pam Walter said...

What angers me most is the provision for madated coverage for abortions, unless the employer wants to pay a 3% - 8% penalty. I can't begin to process all the implications of this. www.satisfiedsole.com

James F. Epperson said...

This discussion seems to have slowed down, but let me toss out a couple of links for people to consider:

An argument for a "single-payer" (Canadian) system:


A 1963 paper from The American Economic Review by a Nobel-winning economist arguing that the health care economy is *not* a free market (loads slowly):


Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

James - once again, your child-like faith in the Nanny-state is quite amazing. 1963!? A little dated, wouldn't you say? That was before it was obvious that Medicare and Social Security were bankrupt.

Of course, there is a reason its "not" a free market. BECAUSE THE GOVERNMENT HAS SCREWED IT UP!!

"This vicious cycle is blinding people to the fact that the fundamental cause of the problem is the government interventions, which have caused the distortions."

Hat tip to Ted Savas. See complete piece here: