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The healthcare issue, Part 2

August 26, 2009

I promised a Part 2 and my loyal readers—both of them—have been wondering where it is.

In Part 1, I used personal stories to introduce a paradigm that is different from the paradigm President Obama and the Democrat Party are selling. My contention is that American healthcare works extremely well and I hope my experiences illustrated that.

Now it’s time to look at the nitty gritty facts and figures which prove that a huge new government intrusion into healthcare is a mistake. We’ll start with some common sense stuff. Liberals, if you’re allergic, skip to the numbers part where you have natural immunity.

Number one, we’re talking about health insurance, not healthcare. There’s a difference. It irritates the living piss out of me to hear the president or one of his designated minions droning on and on about “healthcare” when they are clearly talking about health insurance. The Democrats want to set up a government health insurance program, without doing a damn thing to improve healthcare.

How could they possibly improve healthcare? They’re politicians, not scientists or doctors. Healthcare is improved by costly pharmaceutical discoveries, painstaking research into how the human body works, and new procedures pioneered by doctors. It isn’t affected one iota by dumbass politicians.

The difference between insurance and healthcare is important because increasing insurance without improving healthcare or increasing healthcare capacity will lead to shortages. This is simple common sense. We’ve watched it happen in Massachusetts, we’ve watched it happen in Hawaii, and we’ve seen the long term result of socialized healthcare in places like Canada and Britain, where people wait months for procedures or equipment for which Americans get same-day access.

Think about it: if you tell twenty five million illegal aliens that they can now visit a general practitioner for preventive healthcare because they suddenly have government health insurance, where are they going to go? Wal-Mart? No, they’re going to swarm your doctor’s office and fill up the appointment slots, unless somebody can wave a magic wand and poof a bunch of new doctors into existence.

And hey, as long as we’re on the topic of preventive care, let’s use a little common sense on that. YOU DO NOT SAVE MONEY WITH PREVENTIVE HEALTHCARE. I swear, if I hear the president repeat that lie one more time I really will have a heart attack.

Once again this is simple common sense, but if you don’t trust your own mental faculties, read this from the CBO. Their analysis concludes that preventive care adds to rather than subtracts from healthcare costs.

We are all going to live until we get sick and die, whether the government pays for preventive care or not. Chances are, ignoring your health issues will result in a quicker and cheaper death than nursing you along for twenty or thirty more years with expensive medical care, or running a bunch of tests trying to figure out whether you're sick.

Simple—Common—Sense!

It’s a shame we need the Congressional Budget Office to verify something any kindergartner could reason out during naptime. Whatever the moral arguments for preventive care, it will not save money and it won’t pay for a significant portion of government health insurance costs as Obama loves to claim. That is an outright lie.

Finally, the next time a Democrat claims that the people showing up at town hall meetings to voice their anger about Obamacare are hired shills for big business, ask yourself what big business they could possibly be working for when the American Medical Association, the BlueCross BlueShield Association, Aetna, Humana, the American Health Insurance Plans, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, the American Hospital Association, etc., etc., etc., have all been bribed, cajoled, or threatened into announcing their support for Obamacare.

Who’s left to hire shills for town hall meetings? The acupuncturists?

Clearly, it’s big business against regular average Americans and the regular average Americans don’t want Obamacare.

Now, let’s look at some numbers and we’ll start with the issue of whether there is even a problem that needs a solution.

Obama, along with every other two-bit hack in the Democrat party, claims that 45 million Americans do not have health insurance. That number has been deconstructed by various sources to something closer to 8 million. (Read this.) It’s been deconstructed so many times, by so many people, on so many radio & TV shows, and in so many newspapers, that it’s almost the eighth wonder of the world that Obama is still trotting out in front of audiences and repeating this dumb-ass number.

Don’t they have an eraser for that teleprompter?

(What does “deconstructed” mean? It’s rude to keep calling the president a liar, that’s what it means.)

Democrats are talking about imposing government control over 15% to 20% of our economy and involving themselves in the most personal and intimate decisions of our lives because a measly 8 million people—between 2% and 3% of the population—don’t have health insurance, and they’ve written legislation which will cost $160 billion dollars a year to enforce this imposition.

For about 15% of that cost we could walk into the nearest insurance agency and buy each of those 8 million people health insurance. (And make some insurance agent very very happy at the same time.) This giant glaring cost discrepancy is why they have to keep lying about the number of uninsured.

(By the way, $160 billion per year is the estimate from the Congressional Budget Office. Given their past record estimating Medicare and Medicaid costs, and the experiences of Massachusetts and Hawaii, we can realistically count on the actual cost being about ten times higher.)

As you can already see, the Democrat proposals are insane.

It gets worse when we look at some of the other things they say. Obama wants a single-source system like they have in Canada, but the fact is Canada has a higher percentage of uninsured citizens than the United States, in spite of government-run free healthcare for everybody. Ever heard one of those lousy socialists mention that? Even once?

Forget about the fantastic wait periods for medical procedures which draw tens of thousands of Canadians across the border every year to buy healthcare in a free market, or the deteriorating bureaucratic structure which led the president of the Canadian Medical Association to announce that Canadian healthcare is “sick” and “imploding.” Forget all that. They can’t even get as many people covered as we can!

Another misleading statistic the Democrats keep trotting out… oh hell, it’s too late to be polite now. Another lie they keep trotting out it that Americans are being driven into bankruptcy by medical bills. In 2006 the journal Health Affairs showed that uninsured medical expenses were cited in only 17% of bankruptcy filings and that medical expenses were only one of many reasons cited in that 17%.

This is important, so write it down: in the 17% of bankruptcies where medical expenses were listed among the unpaid unsecured debts, they amounted to less than 13% of those debts.

In other words, it’s not medical debts which are causing bankruptcies. Facts are stubborn things.

According to a survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation, 89% of Americans are satisfied with the healthcare they receive, but Democrats want to rip the system apart, plunk a behemoth-sized government bureaucracy on top to control and stifle it, and eventually build a system like the ones that make Canadian and British citizens miserable.

Ya gotta love the sheer brazen stupidity of it.

The most damnable lie of all is that the American healthcare system is the most expensive in the world while also being one of the worst. To support this claim the Democrats point to infant mortality statistics and life expectancy numbers.

This is like claiming that horses can fly and then pointing at a bird as proof.

To measure the effectiveness of healthcare, you would naturally expect that situations where healthcare is utilized would give the best measurement of that effectiveness. Right? Is this really complicated?

Infant mortality is not only subjective in how it’s measured—for example, many nations don’t count premature babies as infant mortalities, whereas we do—it also doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with medical care. If Wendy Slutface smokes crack for nine months and then her baby dies, what the hell does that have to do with the quality of healthcare?

The same goes for life expectancy. Your doctor has less to do with your life expectancy at birth than your lifestyle does, than your inherited genetic makeup does, than your profession does, than the dangers of your habitat do. The United States has many cultural and historical differences which affect our life expectancy at birth, and none of them have anything to do with healthcare.

So why do the Democrats keep talking about infant mortality and life expectancy? It’s simple: because the real statistics show that American healthcare is the best.

There are a couple of simple ways to prove this. Number one, we can compare what happens when healthcare is involved in specific situations. For instance, the United Kingdom may have a higher life expectancy at birth than the United States but when a woman gets breast cancer she is almost twice as likely to die from that cancer in the United Kingdom and when a man gets prostate cancer he is almost three times more likely to die in the United Kingdom.

So which country do you think has the better healthcare now?

Number two, we can watch what happens as people age and healthcare significantly affects their lives. Life expectancy at birth may be low for Americans, but the older they get the better their life expectancy looks compared to other nations. In our old age, when medical care really starts to be critical to whether people live or die, the life expectancy of Americans surpasses every other nationality.

So which country do you think has the better healthcare now?

Finally, look at where medical innovation happens. Almost all new drugs, almost all new surgical techniques, and almost all new medical breakthroughs are discovered in the United States of America and flow outward to the world. The flow is very seldom in the other direction.

(Multiple choice question: who perfected heart bypass surgery, then perfected double bypass surgery, then triple bypass surgery, and then quadruple bypass surgery—a, the United States or b, Mongolia?)

If we don’t have the best healthcare system in the world, how can this amazing outward flow of innovation be explained? Do we really want imbeciles like Barney Frank and Nancy Pelosi telling doctors what to do and generally mucking up the process?



From Seattle, Washington, USA

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