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U.S. News and Commentary



Thursday
Aug202009

Why the GOP should let the Dems own HR 3200 and other healthcare bills

As he travels the townhall circuit in an attempt to sell a pig in a poke to American taxpayers, President Barack Obama has made it clear he wants action on healthcare “reform.” Unfortunately HR 3200 isn’t reform—it’s a bureaucratic entanglement that will continue to push private premiums through the roof.

HR 3200, the bill closest to actual passage, is a complete disaster. READ THE BILL if you don’t believe me. The Democratic Congress, led by elderly entrenched insiders, has let the president down. Dems should own up to that as well.

What Obama and his colleagues do not disclose: if you have private health insurance instead of two disastrous public programs known as Medicare and Medicaid, you will pay more because you subsidize those government programs. Both entitlement programs are bound for fiscal disaster and administrations past and present know it. When the baby boomers hit eldercare, quality will suffer because the system is somewhat strained at present in some geographic areas.

Government never should have intruded into healthcare as a provider in the first place—and if you don’t think the feds are a provider you are buying rhetoric rather than reality. The only people government should give welfare to are those who are truly unable to care for themselves.

Specific regulations to address issues like non-availability of coverage for existing conditions and specific tax credits for those of us who pay our own way are options for real reform that would benefit most Americans. Congress and the president are pitching a plan aimed at a small demographic group, unless you count those in the country without legal documentation. We talked about this in a previous column, ‘Meet some of the 45 million without health insurance.” Yet the bill in question will likely not address this group. How exactly do you get an undocumented non-citizen to sign up for health insurance? Will ACORN start a campaign to sign up gang members?

The state of healthcare is a result of trending socialism over a number of years. Government has consistently reduced consumer numbers in the marketplace. And the trend has in fact damaged healthcare because doctors often forget to listen to the patient. After all, a doctor’s time with each patient is usually allocated, with a set number of minutes designated. It’s called rationing.

There are symptoms and there are standards. Never mind the standards are based on percentages and you might not fit the bean counter model. One example—the myth that an appendix cannot “grumble.” Personal experience and observation taught me an appendix can grumble but the physician will often ignore the warning. And if the appendix blows, you have a much more complicated presentation that starts with the emergency room.

As government began to manage healthcare entitlement programs, patients became the secondary consumers. Last summer my father-in-law suffered a mild stroke. After he was hospitalized, he seemed to mend quickly but there was a great deal of trouble in establishing an optimal dosage of Coumadin. Heparin and Coumadin are standards for treating stroke. Early one morning the doctor came by my father-in-law’s room and shortly thereafter, the patient went into respiratory arrest. The doctor simply walked away. We never saw him again to my knowledge. Between adjusting the medication and dealing with the blood clot that caused the respiratory episode, the nurses had their hands full. And those nurses demonstrated the only real compassion I saw during weeks of hospitalization.

That isn’t to say all doctors are cold hearted. That is to say the supply of docs doesn’t meet the demand and that will worsen as boomers enter the system.

Healthcare does need reform, but HR 3200 hasn’t a shred of real reform in more than 1,000 pages of “bureaucratese.” The bill is an insult to common sense.

And those boomers, if Democrats have their way, will be secondary because the government will be the payer.

The Party of Yes to Socialism can push a healthcare bill through with no problem—they have the numbers. The GOP should let them own it because no party with a shred of integrity left in the cesspool Washington has become should be party to a bill that in the end will damage healthcare and penalize those who contribute to the economy.

Dems already own the climate change legislation and when consumers feel the pinch of Waxman-Markey, they’ll get a good idea about the party dominated by labor unions, media, energy financiers like Al Gore, globalists like the Clintons and identity politics groups.

The GOP stands only to gain and the party should prepare for what could be a wipeout of Dems in 2010 if only legal votes are counted. Let the Dems own their socialist programs.

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