Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Obamacare 2009

Just wanted to write a rundown of a few thoughts I have about the federal health plan that is in the house right now.

My first issue is with the utter lack of consideration for the constitution. Essentially, in creating a national health option, the federal government is creating a monopoly that no one will be able to compete with. I'm pretty sure this is against every single ideal of a free market system. Also, the bill states "There shall be no aministrative or judicial review of a payment rate or methodology." It's on page 124 in case you're interested in looking it up. What's great about our system of checks and balances is that nothing is above judicial review. Except of course what a team of politicians decides is an appropriate pay out for services rendered within obamacare. So the first strike is that the plan is unconstitutional.

The next issue I have is how in the world we plan to pay for this? It's been stated in many places that the U.S. spends upwards of 17% of the GDP on healthcare. Already one of the hightest rates in the world, while only providing coverage to a small portion of the population. If you add the rest of the citizens of this country it doesn't take a rocket scientist to understand you'll need more money. I think no matter what price tag you put on it you'll vastly underrate the amount really needed. When we run out of money for the program one of three things will happen. You'll see either a tax hike, or rationing of care along with decreased payouts.
The population that stands to get the most out of the bill are people with no skin in the game. The same people that get back more in a tax refund than they paid into the system. There is only so long that a dwindling work force can support the healthcare needs of the nation. We've already seen this issue at work with social security. Fewer and fewer people are paying into a system that needs to support more and more people. The numbers just don't add up. The plan is just not fiscally viable. Strike two.

The final problem I'll write about in this post has to do with the mindset of americans. I'm going write a synopsis of a story I read on another blog, I'm sorry I don't remember where I read it so I can't link to it. The story tells of a young woman with medicaid that came into an ER after a car accident. The doctor tells the man she came with that they'll need to get a head ct scan. At first he was hesitant worrying about the cost. The Dr. tells him there is no need to worry that it will all be picked up by medicaid. The man stops and says, "Oh, in that case can you just scan her whole body to make sure nothing else is wrong?" The story is an illustration of americans mentalitly when it comes to "free" stuff. There is already entirely too much waste in healthcare. Just wait untill people have no vested interest in what's happening. How in the world will the government control waste at the patient level? It can't. Creating waste is strike three, and yoooouuuuurrre out.

We have a flawed system, and there is no doubt that reform needs to be made, but not this way. Competition drives innovation and lower costs, not a government mandated monopoly with limited funds. It'd be nice to live in a utopia where people didn't abuse systems and we all went to the Dr. on an appropriate basis, but we don't live in that world. We live in a world of waste and excess This plan won't help that, it will make it worse.

Alot of people have championed this cause because they think our country has a problem with availability of healthcare. Our system has many flaws, but availability is not one. Between charity care, free clinics, medicaid/medicare and emtala laws, healthcare is available at the very least on an emergency basis to everyone. Also, please don't get too involved in the "sharing the wealth mentality." America was founded on the idea that hard work will pay off. It's against everything that america stands for to penalize someone because they make too much money. Or to penalize people that have worked hard and earned more money than most people. If it were you being taxed at a 50 or 60% clip would it be fair then? We need to wait for a better plan. This healthcare bill is no better than the flawed economic stimulus plan that overspent borrowed money. It's financially irresponsible.

I hope all of you will at the very least read the bill and understand it's merits and demerits and tell your representatives that this isn't the plan to fix healthcare. Write them, even if you'll be reported to obama. I refuse to let such a flawed plan completely sink healthcare, and potentially my job into a dark abyss.

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