Universal Coverage, OK - Obamacare, Not OK

For the record, I am against Obamacare.  I just want to make that clear.

I am the guy who wrote A Conservative Case for Universal Health Coverage, in which I said, "I could live with universal health coverage in the US."

More recently, in The Real State of the Union, I said, "If there is just one priority in government finance, it must be health care."

Given these statements, one might think I would support Obamacare.  The answer is not only "no", but "hell no".

My original, tepid, support for universal coverage was based on four ideas, each supported by the facts:

  • Our current health care system is already a socialized system; we do not have a free market in health care right now.
  • Our government is already spending more than enough to provide universal health coverage, but we're not getting it.
  • Health care costs, in fact, are hurting everyone from individuals, to companies, corporations and government at all levels.  Health costs are thwarting continued economic growth and threatening government fiscal stability.
  • Politically, we cannot simply eliminate the big government programs like Medicare and Medicaid, so we conservatives could use universal coverage as a major bargaining chip to get meaningful reform in our byzantine, socialized health care system.

I recently summed up the problem this way:  "We have a health care problem.  But it is not a ‘coverage' problem.  It is a cost problem."

The American public understands this. Even CNN understands this.  CNN's polling director said,

"[CNN's polling] suggests a prescription for health care reform that Americans can swallow -- start by addressing health care costs while allowing Americans to keep their current coverage and their current health care providers."

When I said I could accept universal coverage, that came with severe caveats.  First, I noted that universal coverage is not the same as a national health care system, and it is certainly not the same as a single-payer system.  I explicitly rejected the Canadian and UK models.

I also said any plan should be constrained in the following ways.

  • Public health spending in the U.S. not to exceed current costs as a fraction of GDP (currently 6.6% of GDP).
  • Coverage of all U.S. citizens.  The definition of "coverage" could be debated, but should include catastrophic type coverage as a minimum.
  • Consolidation and integration of all aspects of public health programs should be on the table, including Medicare, Medicaid, veterans' hospitals, research and all federal health programs and policies.  That is, Medicare reform should be part of the deal.
  • Preservation of private choices in health care.
  • Medical tort reform.
  • Reduced mandates on individuals, insurers, health providers and states regarding health care policies and practices.
Obamacare, meaning the 1018-page plan currently being pushed by Democrats in Congress and supported by President Obama, fails on not just one or two of these points, but on all of them.  It is literally worse than doing nothing.  It is much worse than doing nothing.

The biggest problem with Obamacare is apparent not only to the US public; it is obvious even to an Obama sycophant like David Gregory of Meet the Press.  That problem is this: a program whose intent is to cut health care costs, will increase health care costs.  The Congressional Budget Office makes that plain.

Beyond the costs, Obamacare has a multitude of other problems buried in its 1018 pages.  Problems like racial preferences, restricted choice, loss of private coverage and  transfer of tens of millions to a public plan.  Obamacare is the exact opposite of what even CNN says the American public wants.

Ask yourself, why are President Obama and his Democrat counterparts in Congress so insistent that the "public option" be part of any health care legislation?  Let me provide you two relevant quotes.

"In this legislative session, we can envision winning a Medicare-like public option and then going further in the years ahead."

"The core of this struggle, whether we like it or not, turns on the inclusion of a public option in a health care bill."

First note the phrase, "public option and then going further."  Now note who said these things: Sam Webb, National Chair of the Communist Party USA.
 
If you have any doubt that the very purpose of the public option is to eliminate private insurance and bring about a single-payer system, which Barack Obama has admitted to favoring, see this video.  (Hat tip to Chicks on the Right.)  "It's not a Trojan horse; it's right there."

Obamacare is a communist plan.  Don't accuse me of "McCarthyism" for saying that.  That is the Communist Party saying that.  The "public option" is critical to keeping it a communist plan.  A defeat of the public option would be a setback for the Communist Party.

President Obama has employed his usual non-logic: the status quo is lousy, I have a plan that is not the status quo, therefore my plan is the best plan possible, and any who oppose it are naysayers in favor of the status quo.

There are other, non-communist, options.  Senator Jim DeMint, RINEE of South Carolina (Republican In Name and Everything Else), for example, offers The Health Care Freedom Plan, which would "allow every American access to health insurance and according to a study by the Heritage Foundation, would cover 22.4 million currently uninsured Americans."

There are ways to provide universal or near-universal coverage without transferring ownership of health care production to the government.  When we wanted no American to go hungry, the government did not take over the entire food production industry; it provided vouchers, food stamps.  Why then, when it comes to health coverage, would we think the answer lies in transferring control of all health care production to the government?

In December of 2007, I said the following:

"Someday, some sort of universal coverage is going to happen in the US.  What plan would you prefer -- one consistent with the above [my six bullet points], or one dictated by Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama or John Edwards?  When Iraq becomes yesterday's news, Republicans need to be ready with this issue."

Republicans were not ready with this issue.

But if it's not too late, Republicans should get behind DeMint's Freedom Plan or something like it, and fight against a "public option" as hard as the Communist Party and the Democrats fight for it.

Randall Hoven can be contacted at randall.hoven@gmail.com or  via his web site, kulak.worldbreak.com.
For the record, I am against Obamacare.  I just want to make that clear.

I am the guy who wrote A Conservative Case for Universal Health Coverage, in which I said, "I could live with universal health coverage in the US."

More recently, in The Real State of the Union, I said, "If there is just one priority in government finance, it must be health care."

Given these statements, one might think I would support Obamacare.  The answer is not only "no", but "hell no".

My original, tepid, support for universal coverage was based on four ideas, each supported by the facts:

  • Our current health care system is already a socialized system; we do not have a free market in health care right now.
  • Our government is already spending more than enough to provide universal health coverage, but we're not getting it.
  • Health care costs, in fact, are hurting everyone from individuals, to companies, corporations and government at all levels.  Health costs are thwarting continued economic growth and threatening government fiscal stability.
  • Politically, we cannot simply eliminate the big government programs like Medicare and Medicaid, so we conservatives could use universal coverage as a major bargaining chip to get meaningful reform in our byzantine, socialized health care system.

I recently summed up the problem this way:  "We have a health care problem.  But it is not a ‘coverage' problem.  It is a cost problem."

The American public understands this. Even CNN understands this.  CNN's polling director said,

"[CNN's polling] suggests a prescription for health care reform that Americans can swallow -- start by addressing health care costs while allowing Americans to keep their current coverage and their current health care providers."

When I said I could accept universal coverage, that came with severe caveats.  First, I noted that universal coverage is not the same as a national health care system, and it is certainly not the same as a single-payer system.  I explicitly rejected the Canadian and UK models.

I also said any plan should be constrained in the following ways.

  • Public health spending in the U.S. not to exceed current costs as a fraction of GDP (currently 6.6% of GDP).
  • Coverage of all U.S. citizens.  The definition of "coverage" could be debated, but should include catastrophic type coverage as a minimum.
  • Consolidation and integration of all aspects of public health programs should be on the table, including Medicare, Medicaid, veterans' hospitals, research and all federal health programs and policies.  That is, Medicare reform should be part of the deal.
  • Preservation of private choices in health care.
  • Medical tort reform.
  • Reduced mandates on individuals, insurers, health providers and states regarding health care policies and practices.
Obamacare, meaning the 1018-page plan currently being pushed by Democrats in Congress and supported by President Obama, fails on not just one or two of these points, but on all of them.  It is literally worse than doing nothing.  It is much worse than doing nothing.

The biggest problem with Obamacare is apparent not only to the US public; it is obvious even to an Obama sycophant like David Gregory of Meet the Press.  That problem is this: a program whose intent is to cut health care costs, will increase health care costs.  The Congressional Budget Office makes that plain.

Beyond the costs, Obamacare has a multitude of other problems buried in its 1018 pages.  Problems like racial preferences, restricted choice, loss of private coverage and  transfer of tens of millions to a public plan.  Obamacare is the exact opposite of what even CNN says the American public wants.

Ask yourself, why are President Obama and his Democrat counterparts in Congress so insistent that the "public option" be part of any health care legislation?  Let me provide you two relevant quotes.

"In this legislative session, we can envision winning a Medicare-like public option and then going further in the years ahead."

"The core of this struggle, whether we like it or not, turns on the inclusion of a public option in a health care bill."

First note the phrase, "public option and then going further."  Now note who said these things: Sam Webb, National Chair of the Communist Party USA.
 
If you have any doubt that the very purpose of the public option is to eliminate private insurance and bring about a single-payer system, which Barack Obama has admitted to favoring, see this video.  (Hat tip to Chicks on the Right.)  "It's not a Trojan horse; it's right there."

Obamacare is a communist plan.  Don't accuse me of "McCarthyism" for saying that.  That is the Communist Party saying that.  The "public option" is critical to keeping it a communist plan.  A defeat of the public option would be a setback for the Communist Party.

President Obama has employed his usual non-logic: the status quo is lousy, I have a plan that is not the status quo, therefore my plan is the best plan possible, and any who oppose it are naysayers in favor of the status quo.

There are other, non-communist, options.  Senator Jim DeMint, RINEE of South Carolina (Republican In Name and Everything Else), for example, offers The Health Care Freedom Plan, which would "allow every American access to health insurance and according to a study by the Heritage Foundation, would cover 22.4 million currently uninsured Americans."

There are ways to provide universal or near-universal coverage without transferring ownership of health care production to the government.  When we wanted no American to go hungry, the government did not take over the entire food production industry; it provided vouchers, food stamps.  Why then, when it comes to health coverage, would we think the answer lies in transferring control of all health care production to the government?

In December of 2007, I said the following:

"Someday, some sort of universal coverage is going to happen in the US.  What plan would you prefer -- one consistent with the above [my six bullet points], or one dictated by Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama or John Edwards?  When Iraq becomes yesterday's news, Republicans need to be ready with this issue."

Republicans were not ready with this issue.

But if it's not too late, Republicans should get behind DeMint's Freedom Plan or something like it, and fight against a "public option" as hard as the Communist Party and the Democrats fight for it.

Randall Hoven can be contacted at randall.hoven@gmail.com or  via his web site, kulak.worldbreak.com.