iOS app Android app More

Deane Waldman

Deane Waldman

Posted: July 21, 2009 06:51 PM

"Anything" Is Not Necessarily Better Than the Health Care We Have Now


2009-07-21-LongLines240.jpg

Health care is considered so sick in the USA that many believe anything is better than what we have now, so let's pass ObamaCare. At least, it is a step forward. NOT! Wrong! Dangerous!

Our leaders in Washington are taking full advantage of our frustrations by pushing a health care plan that will be another fix-that-fails-or-backfires, heaped on a pile of prior fixes-that-(obviously)-failed.

Let's ignore for the moment that things are not quite so bad here as some say and not quite as rosy elsewhere as advertised. See the comparative analysis by Scott Atlas. Also ignore the fact that while everyone agrees the system is broken, they are not even trying to fix the system. Just consider what ObamaCare will do and won't do.


ObamaCare will not:
• Improve access to health care: having insurance does not automatically mean having care, especially when the providers and hospitals are all gone.
Reduce health care costs: ObamaCare has over $1.5 trillion in new expenditures.
• Reduce errors or adverse outcomes
• Improve cost effectiveness (tightening security reduces information exchange and further prevents learning)

The Administration promises to pay for all this additional insurance by: a) taxing the rich; and b) paying less to the providers ($500 billion less). I promise that this will: a) encourage the rich to spend less or invest less, which translates to fewer jobs; and b) there will be fewer and fewer doctors and nurses to care for us.

ObamaCare will:
• Will drive providers and institutions into bankruptcy and thus out of health care.
• Will make health care services less available
• Will increase the costs of healthcare
• Will dramatically increase our national deficit (even the Late Senator Dirksen would consider $1.5 trillion "some real money.")
Suppress recovery from our current economic recession

The public is constantly bombarded with details of political maneuvering; claims and counter-claims regarding costs; and character assassinations. What the public does not get is substantive, unspun evidence-based analysis.

Where is the evidence that ObamaCare will make things better for us, other than personal assurances from the President and Nancy Pelosi? Pundits, politicians and planners, PLEASE: stop the vitriol, hyperbole, and fear-mongering. Prove to us that ObamaCare will improve our health care, or withdraw it.

Accepting anything is better than what we have now will get us into an even worse fix than where we are. Yes, there are things that are worse than U.S. health care. Like:
• Quebec spending 43% of its entire Provincial budget on health care.
• Being denied kidney dialysis simply because of your age (as in Great Britain)
• Dying of breast cancer because the Government did not approve the latest treatment (Australia).
• What kind of a doctor can you get for $9 per hour (Taiwan)?
• Having a 457% greater chance of dying from prostate cancer (Norway vs. USA)
• Being one of the more than 70% of the population that is dissatisfied with their health care (Australia, Canada, Germany, Great Britain, and New Zealand.)

The opposition to ObamaCare described here should not be interpreted as support for the status quo. Quite the opposite! We need a whole new system, not a political solution for a medical problem and certainly not more snake oil. We have a critically ill health care system and need to practice good medicine on it rather than grasping at straws crying, Please - just give us anything different from what we have now.

ObamaCare is not even an answer for healthcare much less the answer.

Follow Deane Waldman on Twitter: www.twitter.com/dwaldman@thesys