How could a bloated government bureaucracy achieve such low-cost success? As we found out recently, it’s by quietly sticking veterans on a waiting list and putting off their treatment for months-sometimes until the patients are far too dead to need much in the way of expensive care. Which is to say, calling it a “success” is stretching the meaning of the word beyond recognition. And, while the White House insists it learned from press reports about the secret waiting lists, Press Secretary Jay Carney acknowledges that the administration long knew about “the backlog and disability claims” that have accumulated in the VHA.
The article begins:
Just a couple of years ago, Paul Krugman pointed to the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) as a “huge policy success story, which offers important lessons for future health reform.” He gloated, “yes, this is ‘socialized medicine.'”
Read more: The Veterans Health Administration Really Does Offer ‘Lessons’ in ‘Socialized Medicine’ – Hit & Run : Reason.com.
Scott Atlas, MD writes:
The unspoken reality is that President Obama and the Democrats’ fallback plan for ObamaCare’s failure is fully nationalized, single payer health care.
As the evidence rolls in after ObamaCare takes hold, proving its failure to reduce health care expenditures, combined with the predictable decrease in access to care for those with government insurance and the non-viability of private insurance, Americans will understandably voice an increasing dislike of the reformed system. So, specifically, what might we expect during the next phase of this transformative presidency, either from this administration or more likely the next Democrat to profess expertise about health care reform? …
Congressional Democrats unmistakably anticipate the failure of ObamaCare, given they had already asked the CBO to price a formal public option for 2014. …
Second, or perhaps in advance of single payer legislation, watch for the federal government to restrict doctors from practicing, or possibly even criminalize them, unless they accept all patients with insurance paying government-defined rates for medical tests and treatments.
via The Democrats’ Fallback Plan For When Obamacare Inevitably Fails – Forbes.
Sally Pipes of the Pacific Research Institute writes in the Washington Examiner:
Upon examination, Vermont’s new law is not actually the start of single-payer health care, but rather the continuation of failed state government attempts to socialize the state’s health care system. …
Its big accomplishment is the Vermont Health Benefit Exchange, essentially a website already required by Obamacare to sell government-approved private insurance by 2014, and the Green Mountain Care Board, a sort of executive committee that will introduce price controls on health care in Vermont and design the details of the future single-payer plan.
Backers are aiming for a single-payer plan by 2014, but this requires permission from multiple federal agencies, some of which aren’t in operation until 2017. Most important, state legislators punted on financing the undertaking. …
Vermont’s new bill will move the state to a government-run health care system, but it’s not the utopian one advertised by today’s politicians. It’s called Medicaid, a near-perfect embodiment of government in action.
It’s a federal-state program that overpromises and underdelivers, a program in which everything is free at the point of consumption but nothing much of value is available — at least not without a long, hard wait.
Read the whole article: It’s déja vu all over again in Vermont | The Examiner.
The Telegraph (UK) reminds us that single-payer “universal” health care is really universal misery:
A senior doctors’ leader has warned that the NHS is “creaking at the seams” as official figures showed almost a third more patients are waiting too long to be treated in hospital.
Read the whole article: NHS ‘creaking at the seams’ as waiting lists rise – Telegraph.
Maine moves toward more free-market health care with two measures:
- The “new Maine law allows insurers to charge older customers up to five times more than younger ones. But beginning in 2014, the federal healthcare law will cap that ratio at three to one,” reports The Hill. For why allowing insurers to more accurately price their premiums according to risk, see my Pajamas Media article “How to Insure Americans with Pre-Existing Conditions.”This law is in response to a 1993 law establishing community rating in Maine, which restricted how much insurers could vary rates. For a summary of its damaging results, see “Maine Shows Path to Reform,” by Joseph Allumbaugh of the Heartland Institute.
- In the same article, The Hill reports: “The Maine law … lets out-of-state insurers sell policies in Maine without getting a license there. But beginning in 2014, the federal law will require insurers to be licensed in every state where they want to sell coverage through a newly created insurance exchange.” This allows for more competition and gives customers more freedom to by a plan not bloated with mandated benefits they do not need.
Meanwhile, Vermont’s legislature and governor have signed a bill intended to create a government-run monopoly health plan in the state, a.k.a., “single payer.” The Denver Post’s headline reveals its own, and the AP’s bias by referring to Maine’s plan as “universal health care.” But remember having a government-run health plan does not guarantee that you get the medical care you need. The care is by far universal. Health coverage is not health care.
For a critique of Vermont’s plan, see Vermont Takes the Single-Payer Plunge by Pete Suderman at Reason.
In February, the Telegraph (U.K.) reported on yet more horrors resulting from government-run health care:
The National Health Service is today condemned over its inhumane treatment of elderly patients in an official report that finds hospitals are failing to meet “even the most basic standards of care” for the over-65s. …
In several cases considered by the Health Service Ombudsman, patients died without loved ones by their sides because of the “casual indifference” of staff and their “bewildering disregard” for people’s needs. …
The “harrowing” cases in the report disclose:
- An 82 year-old died alone because staff did not realise her husband had been waiting to see her for three hours
- A woman was not washed during 13 weeks in hospital, did not have her wound dressings changed and was denied food and drink
- A woman was discharged from hospital covered in bruises, soaked in urine and wearing someone else’s clothes
- The life-support system of a heart attack victim was switched off despite his wife asking to leave it on while she contacted the rest of the family
via Elder Abuse – Daily Brickbats : Reason Magazine.
… when Social Security was passed, it applied to widows and orphans, and it was a very restricted program … But the point was that we had created a framework that allowed us then to continue to make progress. That’s what we’ve done over the last 18 months. That’s what I expect we’re gonna keep on doing.
See David Catron’s post & video link: Video: President Admits Obamacare Bill Is A Trojan Horse For Single-Payer.
ObamaCare [HR 3590] was the Trojan Horse we always believed it was. As I tried to remind everyone with this series of videos showing Obama and his accomplices praising single-payer, the goal has always been government-run health care.