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Posts Tagged ‘Healthcare’

This bit of humor is somewhat similar to the Texas police exam joke from yesterday.

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So you’re a sick senior citizen and the government says there is no nursing home available for you, what do you do?

Our plan gives anyone 65 years or older a gun and 4 bullets. You are allowed to shoot four Congressmen.

Of course, this means you will be sent to prison where you will get three meals a day, a roof over your head, central heating, air conditioning and all the health care you need!

Need new teeth? No problem. Need glasses? That’s great. Need a new hip, knees, kidney, lungs or heart? They’re all covered.

And, as an added bonus, your kids can come and visit you as often as they do now.

And who will be paying for all of this? It’s the same government that just told you that you they cannot afford for you to go into a home.

Plus, because you are a prisoner, you don’t have to pay any income taxes anymore.

Is this a great country or what?

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This new video from the Center for Freedom and Prosperity discusses a proposal to solve Medicare’s bankrupt finances by replacing an unsustainable entitlement with a “premium-support” system for private insurance, also known as vouchers.

This topic is very hot right now, in part because Medicare reform is included in the bold budget approved by House Republicans, but also because Newt Gingrich inexplicably has decided to echo White House talking points by attacking Congressman Ryan’s voucher plan.

Narrated by yours truly, the video has two sections. The first part reviews Congressman Ryan’s proposal and notes that it is based on a plan put together with Alice Rivlin, who served as Director of the Office of Management and Budget under Bill Clinton. Among serious budget people (as opposed to the hacks on Capitol Hill), this is an important sign of bipartisan support.

The video also notes that the “voucher” proposal is actually very similar to the plan that is used by Members of Congress and their staff. This is a selling point that proponents should emphasize since most Americans realize that lawmakers would never subject themselves to something that didn’t work.

The second part discusses the economics of the health care sector, and explains the critical need to address the third-party payer crisis. More specifically, 88 percent of every health care dollar in America is paid for by someone other than the consumer. People do pay huge amounts for health care, to be sure, but not at the point of delivery. Instead, they pay high tax burdens and have huge shares of their compensation diverted to pay for insurance policies.

I’ve explained before that this inefficient system causes spiraling costs and bureaucratic inefficiency because it erodes any incentive to be a smart shopper when buying health care services (much as it’s difficult to maintain a good diet by pre-paying for a year of dining at all-you-can-eat restaurants).  In other words, government intervention has largely eroded market forces in health care. And this was true even before Obamacare was enacted.

Medicare reform, by itself, won’t solve the third-party payer problem, but it could be part of the solution – especially if seniors used their vouchers to purchase real insurance (i.e., for large, unexpected expenses) rather than the inefficient pre-paid health plans that are so prevalent today.

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Eline van den Broek probably is not happy today since she was in South Africa watching her team lose a high-scoring battle with Spain, but she should be very proud of the new video she narrated that urges the repeal of Obamacare – and also points out some of the other reforms that are needed to restore markets to the US healthcare system.

Her comments on how the American healthcare system was a mess even before Obamacare are particularly important.

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I don’t get to talk for the first three minutes, but I then kick the you-know-what out of Obama’s statist healthcare scheme.

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I had to laugh when I saw this article linked on the Drudge Report. Does Obama really think that Democrats in the House will be intimidated by a threat not to campaign for them? Look what wonders Obama did campaigning for Corzine in New Jersey and Coakley in Massachusetts. If he can’t boost Democrats in very blue states, I doubt he would be helpful for Blue Dog Democrats from red states. Here’s the laugh line from the article:

Barack Obama has said he will not campaign for any Democratic congressmen who fails to support health care reform.

Jay Leno was much more accurate when he joked the other night that, “President Obama turned the heat up on Congress to pass healthcare reform. He’s telling Democrats if they don’t vote for this bill, he will campaign for them in November.”

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As usual, Tom Sowell uses basic economics to explain a confusing topic. His core insight is that government has undermined market forces, which is leading to rising costs. Obama and the other statists somehow think more government will make things better:

…policies based on political hype over the years are what have gotten us into what is most wrong with medical care today– namely, the way it is paid for. Insurance companies or the government pay directly for most of the costs of most medical treatment in the United States. That is virtually a guarantee that more people will demand more medical treatment than they would if they were paying directly out of their own pockets, instead of paying indirectly in premiums and taxes. Since people who staff either insurance company bureaucracies or government bureaucracies have to be paid, this is not bringing down the cost of medical care, but adding to it. What also adds to the costs are politicians at both state and federal levels who mandate additional benefits to be paid for by insurance companies, thereby driving up the cost of insurance. If medical insurance simply covered risks– which is what insurance is all about– that would be far less expensive than covering completely predictable things like annual checkups. Far more people could afford medical insurance, thereby reducing the ranks of the uninsured.

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Click on the box and the image will appear.

And if any wordpress experts want to give me advice on getting pictuers to show up without this extra step, let me know. I am completely baffled (my collectivist friends will say that’s a common occurence) why pictures embed properly only 50 percent of the time.

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