By Alan Caruba
The utter insanity of our leaders in Washington, D.C. is exemplified in Vice President Joe Biden’s statement to a recent meeting of the AARP. “We have to go spend money to keep from going bankrupt.”
Just how does one do that? If, as Biden says, the nation is “going to go bankrupt”, how does spending more money achieve solvency? I am not an economist, but I thought one avoided bankruptcy by spending less. It would be more accurate to say that the Obama administration and the Democrat-controlled Congress is bent on bankrupting the nation by taxing more and spending more.
The current so-called healthcare reform is a perfect example of how crazed these people are. While on one hand denouncing “torture”, the healthcare bill would institutionalize it.
As Dr. Elizabeth Lee Vliet, M.D., an author of several consumer advocacy books, points out, “Water boarding, holding someone’s head underwater until he thinks he’s drowning, is called torture when done to terrorists, but $400 billion in Medicare cuts as part of the new government healthcare ‘reform’ may end up causing a horrible and frightening death for our sickest senior citizens.”
One stated method by which Congress proposes to save money is to deny hospital readmission within 30 days to someone suffering congestive heart failure (CHF). “If not treated rapidly, CHF causes a person to die by drowning in his or her own body fluids. Not okay for terrorists, but okay for our own citizens?”
Dr. Vliet warns that the proposed Medicare cuts will ration surgeries, antibiotics, MRI’s and CAT scans. Canada’s healthcare system already does this and the result is that “patients die because they cannot get treatment.”
Can’t happen here? In the June edition of Health Care News, published by The Heartland Institute, there’s a report that “The Oregon Health Services Commission has drawn up a formal procedure for rationing health care services available to recipients of taxpayer-subsidized coverage.” The commission listed 680 common medical procedures and treatments and ranked them in order of priority. Only the top 503 of the treatments would reimburse physicians.
A June briefing paper from the Cato Institute provides ample warning of what a national healthcare system, based on mandatory health insurance, will hold. Michael Tanner took a look at the Massachusetts reforms passed in 2006. “Health care costs continued to rise much faster than the national average. Since 2006, total state health care spending has increased by 28 percent. Insurance premiums have increased by 8-10 percent per year, nearly double the national average.”
“Program costs,” noted Tanner, “have skyrocketed. Despite tax increases, the program faces huge deficits.” One of the solutions under consideration in Massachusetts is “rationing.” And, of course, “a shortage of providers, combined with increased demand, is increasing waiting times to see a physician.”
Rationing and waiting times are a polite way of saying torture and death.
A July 15 editorial in Investor’s Business Daily, “It’s Not an Option”, revealed that the healthcare reform bill the House passed contains “a provision making individual private medical insurance illegal.”
It is on page 16 of a 1,018-page document. “Under the Orwellian header of “Protecting The Choice to Keep Current Coverage”, the “Limitation on New Enrollment” section states, “Except as provided in this paragraph, the individual health insurance issuer offering such coverage does not enroll any individual in such coverage if the first effective date of coverage is on or after the first day” of the year the legislation becomes law.
Investors Business Daily points out that, “From the beginning, opponents of the public option have warned that if the government gets into the business of offering subsidized health insurance coverage, the private insurance market will wither. Drawn by a public opinion that will be 30% to 40% cheaper than their current premiums because taxpayers will be funding it, employers will gladly scrap their private plans and go with Washington coverage.”
The so-called healthcare reform will not only torture and kill Americans by rationing medical procedures; it will destroy the insurance industry providing coverage to an estimated 120 million Americans.
When my Mother broke her hip, the local rescue squad was there in minutes, transported her to a nearby hospital, and within a day or two, she received a hip replacement. Back home, she recovered from the surgery and was soon mobile again. She was in her 90s at the time and, under the so-called “reforms” Congress is trying to impose on Americans, she would have had to wait…and wait…and wait.
Torture and death. That’s how Congress and President Obama defines “reform.”