October 20, 2009
ObamaCare: Point and Counterpoint
This article is the third of a point / counterpoint series on Mr. Obama's healthcare plan.
- 1. ObamaCare will prevent insurance company denials.
Sorry, Mr. President. As can be seen from the data below, Medicare is the greatest offender in this regard. ObamaCare will be even worse.
- 2. The cost of medications is out of control in the United States.
Well, not exactly. Canadians pay more for medicine as a percentage of after tax dollars than we do. Additionally, our costs are reasonable compared to other OECD nations.
- 3. The rate of rise in healthcare costs is higher in the U.S. than anywhere else.
Nothing could be further from the truth. The rate of rise in healthcare costs in Canada has actually been greater than in the United States since 2007 and in the United Kingdom has been greater all along. Additionally, our healthcare cost increase has remained around the mean for OECD counties since 1990.
- 4. Our healthcare costs have been rising faster and need to be controlled.
Mr. Obama is not being completely truthful. The cost of healthcare has been rising, as it has in all developed countries. But, the rate of rise has stabilized as can be seen by the data below. Since the facts would get in the way of his agenda, Mr. Obama meticulously avoids facts.
By comparison, let's look at a graph showing Medicare spending, actual and projected.
- 5. The U.S. spends more than other countries but has a lower life expectancy.
This is a misrepresentation. Life expectancy depends on too many variables. It is not exclusively related to the healthcare system. I reviewed data showing raw life expectancy data from OECD countries with corrections made for accidental deaths and murders, both of which are unfortunately higher in the U.S. The newer data for the years 2000-2009 will not be available until 2010, but are expected to show similar results.
- 6. The healthcare process will be transparent.
HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius issued a "gag order" prohibiting insurance companies from informing Medicare-plus enrollees that the health plan would result in a discontinuation of their private secondary insurance. Additionally, the leadership in Congress has refused to post the working bill online. What are they hiding?
ObamaCare will result in higher cost, lower quality medical care. However, it will result in the greatest transfer of dependence to the federal government since the start of Medicare in 1965. Essentially every person in the United States will be dependent on the government for their very lives. Other countries, such as Switzerland and The Netherlands, have reformed their healthcare systems in the direction of greater privatization. The healthcare systems of Canada and the United Kingdom are failing. Every state healthcare system attempted in the United States has resulted in higher cost, poorer medical care and financial disaster.
Yet, in the face of these real facts, Mr. Obama and the leaders in Congress press forward. Any sane person must question their motives given the overwhelming evidence that this plan will be a disastrous failure medically and financially.