Conservative Health Care Myths Rebutted

Saturday, July 4, 2009


As I was reviewing the analytics for this blog and I realized that a good number of page hits came from people searching “conservative health care myths” on google. The hits were going to a recent post I wrote debunking some Obama promises on health care. However, I felt as though that post was not exactly what the liberals were looking for with regards to their search, so here is a post just for them. Below are the top 6 immutable truths regarding Obamacare.

A note on Obamacare before I begin: Obama and congress have been cryptic about exactly what will be in their bill. As a result, it’s very difficult to debate his plan since no one knows what his plan is. This makes it easier to deny any accusations. My prediction is that the public will not get the details until the morning congress is going to vote on it. This is in accordance with Pelosi and Obama’s promise for transparency and debate. The bill will be 2,000 pages and buried within the language will be a number of large earmarks to convince those on the fringe to vote. I will therefore one up Obama and congress and be open about how likely I believe each scenario to be. Those on the left may not feel confident in my assessment, but it’s not my fault that Obama won’t let us vet his bill in its entirety.

1. You may lose access to your doctor
I believe the odds of this occurring are 50/50. Unless Obama mandates that all PCPs accept Obamacare, it is not out of the realm of belief that your doctor may take your company’s insurance but not Obamacare. There are already doctors that do not take medicare/medicaide and that is a trend likely to extend to Obamacare. Obama likes to dictate, so a mandate thrown into the final bill is not out of the realm of possibility either.

2. You may lose your current health insurance

I’m sorry, but this is a reality and no number of Obama speeches will change the fact. The CBO estimates that 15 million people who had been paying into their employer assisted health insurance will lose that insurance as employers cease offering plans to their employees. Sadly, the number will be drastically higher if Obama decides to tax employer health plans as imputed income.

3. Government cannot control costs

It is highly likely that healthcare costs will spiral out of the government’s control. This is the case in MA, where Obamacare has already been tried. The simple fact is that Obamacare has a fairytale promise. Provide more health care, to everyone, at the same or less cost. This is against the laws of economics and has never occurred anywhere in the world. In reality you have a choice, lower everyone’s cost by restricting everyone’s access to health care, pay exponentially higher costs for each additional person added to the healthcare rolls, or a little of both. In MA, we see a little of both.

4. The government will restrict access to healthcare

This is likely although the government may choose to have out-of-control healthcare costs instead. See my previous point. Costs and access to health care go hand-in-hand.

5. The government will create a healthcare monopoly

Yes, it will. Any of you who believe Obama when he says that the government will be promoting competition in the health care market has never had to work in an industry where the government is involved. Simply put, the government can do what they want because they make the laws. Here is an example. I cannot just start my own health insurance company. I would need to qualify, jump through bureaucratic hoops, and get approval from…the government. If the government wants to get involved with healthcare, they just vote themselves in.

I work in the liquor business. If I have a problem with a company I do business with in the private sector, I simply find a different customer or threaten to go to a different customer. For that reason, I’m able to work out any disputes. If I have a problem with a government agency then I’m out of luck. I either do business with them or I don’t do business in the entire state. Likewise, in medicare/medicaide you must fill out the billing correctly or you don’t get paid. If you don’t like it then you have no course of redress, because they are the government and you are not. Sure there is competition with the government, but it is not reciprocal. The government does not compete with the private sector, they mandate.

6. This is a backdoor to socialize medicine

Not in the short-run, but yes, I think it’s possible. I find the most compelling argument comes from Obama himself. Five months ago Obama said, “Let me be clear; I don’t want to run the banks.” He is running banks. Four months ago Obama said, “Let me be clear; I don’t want to run the auto industry.” He is running the auto industry. One month ago Obama said, “Let me be clear; I don’t want to run health care.” I think what he says speaks for itself.

It takes a little reading between the lines here, but Obama’s administration has been arguing that a government plan is good because it provides competition with private insurance. Could someone tell me what your goal is when you compete? Could it be to put the other guys out of business?

How quickly we are led to single payer health care will be determined by how restrictive the legislation is. If there are mandates requiring everyone to have health insurance or taxes on employer provided health plans, we will get to single payer much faster.

Does health care need reform? You bet! However, Obama should be looking at reforms within the private sector to keep costs down and make health care affordable and available. Instead, he argues that government will magically make health care costs disappear. I'm still waiting for an example where this has ever occurred anywhere but on paper.

13 comments

Great job Shaun, you just cut to the chaste, is it o.k. if I use parts of this next week? I'm going to once again put up a socialized med piece. I like how you covered the myths!

July 4, 2009 at 12:23 PM

Thanks.

Well, since you twisted my arm ;) Absolutely you can use whatever you what!

July 4, 2009 at 12:35 PM
Andrew33 said...

I think of Government health care as playing poker with somebody who has unlimited chips. Would anybody else really have a chance at a poker table if one player had unlimited chips and the rest of the players did not? How could the other health care providers compete with a healthcare provider that also has the power to print money? Would you call that a "level playing field"?

July 4, 2009 at 2:57 PM
Andrew33 said...

By the way, how many views did our climate post get? By the way anytime you wan to do more on climate, I will be happy to join you again. Meteorology/Climatology has bee an interest of mine for many years. If you want to do more climate debate, I suggest you go to Bret Anderson's climate change blog at Accuweather.com. He gives out good info and would be as good a blog as any to "cut your teeth" blogging on climate.

July 4, 2009 at 3:05 PM

Andrew,

I was actually hoping to find a youtube video of the scene in Guys and Dolls where Big Jole forces Nathan Detroit to lose at craps against him. Very much like your point. If you haven't seen the musical Guys and Dolls, Big Jole pulls out a gun and forces everyone to bet against him at craps. The catch is they have to use Big Jole's dice, which has no numbers. Not to worry, Big Jole assures everyone that he remembers where the dots were. That's exactly like the government in the private sector. Gun and everything.

The climate post got 118 pageviews and 87 of those were entirely unique views. Not bad for my blog, usually don't get more than 50. I probably won't post on global warming for a while, but when I do, I'll certainly let you know! I'll check out the blog you mentioned as well.

July 4, 2009 at 10:33 PM
blackandgoldfan said...

Great post!!! What the left doesn't realize is that everyone already has access to healthcare. The issue is just who pays for it. Take care!! :-D

July 4, 2009 at 10:38 PM
robert verdi said...

great list, Obama will socialize health mind you.

July 5, 2009 at 8:48 AM
Andrew33 said...

I'm really glad that I could help you with it. I will be happy to do so again anytime. As I said, Bret Abnderson's climate blog on Accuweather is a fair site where the host supports global warming ad most of the bloggers do not. My simple experiments with the candles and CO2 beaker which is something I first saw on the Military channel to demonsrate how a massive fire was extinguished below the top deck by using CO2s properties to sink infinitely in air, and my question about why if CO2 levels are going up why are going up why isnt the average Barometric pressure like on venus where runaway greenhouse effect is happening, why is the paromentic pressure strong enough to cush a Soda can into a piece of paper, yet similar events are happening here with no barometric pressure increase in the last 150 years?

July 6, 2009 at 11:03 AM
Andrew33 said...

The point of that was that those questions totally stumped everyone there.

July 6, 2009 at 11:05 AM
Miss T.C. Shore said...

You didn't give the odds to all of your predictions (as promised), so let me help out.
1. You may lose access to your doctor. I think your odds of 50/50 is too high. Yes, some doctors do not take medicare/medicaid. That number is increasing. Still more than 95% of doctors do take these programs. I'd say the odds of losing your doctor are less than 10%, particularly given that many more patients may end up in Obamacare than in Medicare.
2. You may lose your current health insurance. I'd day the odds of this are high. 75% or higher. The government will offer an alternative program, if not initially, then eventually. It will be cheaper (initially) than private carriers. Your employer is going to find that paying a tax may be cheaper than paying your premiums.
3. Government cannot control costs. 100% true, unless they significantly cut services and quality of care. The numbers just don't add up.
4.The government will restrict access to health care. 100% true. It will be disguised, but it will happen. Your doctor will no longer recommend certain tests and procedures if he knows he will not get paid for them.
5. The government will create a health care monopoly: 80% likely. Private insurers will have a hard time competing. However, there may be supplemental options just like are available now for medicare.
6.This is a backdoor to socialized medicine. 100% if Democrats stay in power. 50/50 if not. I'm not even sure you could say this is a back door. This may be a front door. If the Dems have their way, they will eventually have the government own the clinics and employ the doctors.

July 6, 2009 at 12:44 PM

B and G,

Thanks. Everyone does have access. Either it's already provided to them and they haven't signed up, or they can pay for it out of their own pockets. No one's stopping them.

Andrew,

I've reconsidered. I think I'm going to post a response to Nameless Cynic because I didn't have time to reply to him. It'll be a while though. I let you in on the post when I get a chance to get to it. There's always so much to post on.

Miss Shore,

You caught me. I was going to give a number for each but I realized that every single one of those concerns is likely to happen to at least one person out there so I had trouble quantifying. Would it happen to most people? Some of them? A large portion? Instead I gave vague references like "likely and probably". I think your assessments are more than fair. I love your blog, thanks for stopping by.

July 6, 2009 at 4:26 PM
Andrew33 said...

I am going to give NC a single post on our blog to make a case for GW. Save your response for his post. He has been respectable in his comments and despite losing every day, he has been tenacious in his arguments so I gave him a post. My one rule is that he cant use that post to simply go after every argument I have made. He gets to put up his best and well see what happens. I believe in being fair so I am giving a voice to the other side while preparing to take it apart.

July 7, 2009 at 1:52 AM

Sounds good Joel. I'll be there.

July 7, 2009 at 8:29 AM

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