Health Care “Reform” predictions
Robert A. Hall
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Now that it looks like President Obama will get to sign something labeled “Health Care Reform,” what does that means for the United States? Here are my predictions for what happens after the bill goes into effect.
The budget deficit will go up, not down as they claim, because there will not be the political will to cut Medicare. This will hasten the coming economic insolvency in the United States, with the resulting economic and political chaos.
More states will find themselves in California’s position, facing default, as Medicaid bills are pushed through the roof. There will be widespread anger that the Democrats exempted some states from the pain, in order to buy votes for passage.
As the taxes kick in, and the details leak out, the Democrats will take a beating in the 2010 elections. But HCR will stay in place, as it’s harder to repeal something when you have to over ride the President’s veto, even if Republicans won control of Congress. And entitlement programs build their own political constituency of recipients and bureaucrats, making repeal difficult. Plus Republicans are unlikely to win control as Democrats buy people’s votes with their own money through earmarks and delayed spending of the economic “stimulus” funds to impact the elections. Stimulus funds will continue to be spent in Democrat districts to keep them Democrat. Because of this, there will be a large increase in tax avoidance and cheating, as people increasingly lose faith in the fairness of the system.
The Lawsuit Industry, already one of the largest in the country, will explode. Trial Lawyers will get a huge payoff on the many millions they have spent to put Obama and Democrats in power. This will continue to drive up the cost of health care through doctors’ liability premiums, the needless expense of defensive medicine, and the astronomical costs of bringing new drugs and medical devices to market.
The quality of healthcare will decline. As profits disappear into taxes, lawsuits, and restrictions on charges, far fewer new drugs and medical devices will be developed, because they will become money losers. Thousands will die prematurely because of this, not knowing it was Barack Obama and the Democrats who killed them. Many of them will be trial lawyers and Democrat voters, so there will be some rough justice.
There will be an acute doctor shortage, like Canada has now. Declining incomes for doctors mean that the best and brightest will go into business (or, God forbid, into law!) or other fields, rather than medicine. Already, some specialties, like hip and knee surgeons, are finding many fellowships going unfilled due to declining reimbursement rates, even though the need for these services is exploding. Before Government-run healthcare, Canada had a very high ratio of doctors to patients. Now it has a very low ratio. There will be attempts to fill the gap by importing lesser-trained doctors from the third world, as Britain has had to do under government health care. This will results in worse care in both the United States and the third world, which Democrats pretend to care about. The addition of the uninsured and of “undocumented” parasites to the system, without any way to add more doctors or facilities, will make access to care much more difficult for everyone.
When you adjust for car accidents and homicide (about which HCR does nothing), Americans currently live longer than any people in the world. The lack of innovation, declining number of doctors and inefficiencies in a government system will decrease life expectancy in the US. Our kids won’t live as long as we will. Cancer death rates will go to the levels they are in Britain under government-run healthcare.
All diseases will be political. Coverage will depend on lobbying groups. Already, expansion of services and mandates drive up the cost of insurance, which is why you can’t buy a policy in NY from a company in AL where it’s cheaper due to fewer mandates. We currently have a lot of political diseases, like AIDS, the putative effects of Agent Orange (see: http://tartanmarine.blogspot.com/2009/12/agent-orange.html) and breast cancer. Currently we spend six times as much on research per breast cancer death as we do on research per lung cancer death. Are people who die of breast cancer six times more valuable than those who die of lung cancer (including about 40% who don’t smoke but get it anyway?). Don’t believe me? When have you seen a “run for the cure” for pulmonary fibrosis, which kills as many people each year as lung cancer, but is little known? How about a lapel ribbon for prostrate cancer? Oh, that kills men, never mind. How about a postage stamp to raise funds for colon cancer research? The politicization of all diseases is perhaps the worse part of the whole mess, because governments make choices based on politics, not consumer needs. If the lobby for lung disease is stronger than the lobby heart disease, lung disease will get better coverage. Will we deny expensive life saving drugs to elderly cancer patients, as they do in Britain, because the cost isn’t worth the few good years they might have left to live?
And as things get bad, the statists’ answer will be more government planning, more government control, more government programs, and more government taxes to pay for it all—and more unionized Democrat-voting bureaucrats to run it all.
Europe is on the way to economic collapse . They have aging populations, a birth-rate below replacement levels, a huge social welfare systems that depends on a growing population of young workers to support the old folks, huge immigration of “guest workers” from Muslim countries, who are not assimilating to democracy, freedom and the culture and who bring large numbers of non-working parasites with them to make the system even more unsustainable. Barack Obama, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi have put the US on the same path.
Buy ammo and canned food for your retirement plan. It’s going to get ugly.
Robert A. Hall of Des Plaines, IL is a Marine Vietnam Veteran who served five terms in the Massachusetts state senate.