A Timely Special Report on Healthcare

This 20/20 report by John Stossel “Sick in America: Whose Body is it Anyway” came just days before Hillary Clinton unveiled her government healthcare plan. However you feel about the healthcare issue, if you missed this episode, I urge you to watch the six part YouTube version (part 1 below). Stossel asks and answers many questions such as: “Is Canada’s healthcare system really better?”, “Who should pay for healthcare?”, and finds possible free market solutions to our own healthcare woes.

After watching this ask yourself: Do I really want to be financially responsible for everyone else’s healthcare, regardless of poor personal choices and at the expense of my own?

Hillary Clinton wants an “individual mandate” that each and every American has health insurance.

This means that individuals who make responsible lifestyle choices will also be responsible for paying for healthcare for individuals who make very poor lifestyle choices (obesity, drug abuse, unsafe sexual practices, etc.).

This means more government in our private lives.

This means that every one of us will be required to carry health insurance whether we want to or not.

This means that while healthcare might be “free,” it will be nearly impossible to access in a timely manner.

This means that the American taxpayer will pay, by her estimates, $110 billion per year to fund another wasteful and inefficient government program (and we know damn well the program will cost many times her figure).

This is absolutely unacceptable.

Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6

  • TerryP

    Stossel hits a homerun again!

    If everyone (including the poor and elderly) had a high-deductible plan instead of our current much lower deductible plans health insurance as well as health care costs in general would shrink substantially. If you were using your own money you would be a far more effficient user of health care and you would likely lead a more healthy lifestyle. This would lead to most of the people who cannot afford health insurance now being able to afford it. The problem is many people just do not want to be responsible for themselves anymore. They want someone else, normally the gov’t, to take care them. It is just so much easier to never have to be accountable for your actions or be responsible.

    Did you notice the two people they had who were denied coverage what they had just recently done. They changed jobs. Nearly every politician who has a plan for so-called “universal” health insurance uses employers to get employees insurance. The self-employed individual would still not have insurance. It is ridiculous to have our employers as a middle-man for our health insurance. Their incentives are completely different than the employees who actually need the coverage. Another way to bring down the costs of health insurance so that more people could afford it would be to either make all health benefits taxable (preferable) or eliminate taxation (both income and S.S.) for all health care costs so that everyone is treated equally through an avenue such as Bush has proposed. This would in effect get rid of the employer as the middle man over time.

    Clintons and Edwards cost estimates are a joke. It will be much higher as it always is. Every single prediction by politicians in the past when they are advocating more gov’t control has been wrong (way to low). Why would these be any different. There way of paying for it will also not work. Do they not know that rich people actually paid more in taxes after Bush’s tax cuts not less. If you raise taxes on the rich they will find ways around it and actually will likely end up paying less than they are now. Tax revenues have rarely met expectations when we have raised taxes on the rich in the past. Why would this be any different.

  • http://www.unitednationsundersecretarygeneralfornutrition.org Stephen Fox

    In the real international economic and politcal realm, there is a much larger scale confrontation with Bush from the candidates regarding the Iraq War and the problems it is continuing to cause. Only one candidate, it seems to me, is really slamming the truth and providing the logistics and rationale for ending this disastrous war: Bill Richardson. This article was printed in the Washington Post about 9 days ago, and please take the time to read it:

    Why We Should Exit Iraq Now

    By Bill Richardson
    Saturday, September 8, 2007; A15

    Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards have suggested that there islittle difference among us on Iraq. This is not true: I am the only leading Democratic candidate committed to getting all our troops out and doing so quickly.

    In the most recent debate, I asked the other candidates how many troops theywould leave in Iraq and for what purposes. I got no answers. The American people need answers. If we elect a president who thinks that troops should stay in Iraq for years, they will stay for years — a tragic mistake.

    Clinton, Obama and Edwards reflect the inside-the-Beltway thinking that acomplete withdrawal of all American forces somehow would be “irresponsible.” On the contrary, the facts suggest that a rapid, complete withdrawal — not a drawn-out, Vietnam-like process —would be the most responsible and
    effective course of action.

    Those who think we need to keep troops in Iraq misunderstand the MiddleEast. I have met and negotiated successfully with many regional leaders,including Saddam Hussein. I am convinced that only a complete withdrawal can sufficiently shift the politics of Iraq and its neighbors to break the deadlock that has been killing so many people for so long.

    Our troops have done everything they were asked to do with courage and professionalism, but they cannot win someone else’s civil war. So long as American troops are in Iraq, reconciliation among Iraqi factions is postponed. Leaving forces there enables the Iraqis to delay taking the steps to end the violence. And it prevents us from using diplomacy to bring in other nations to help stabilize and rebuild the country.

    The presence of American forces in Iraq weakens us in the war against al-Qaeda. It endows the anti-American propaganda of those who portray us as occupiers plundering Iraq’s oil and repressing Muslims. The day we leave, this myth collapses, and the Iraqis will drive foreign jihadists out of their country. Our departure would also enable us to focus on defeating the terrorists who attacked us on Sept. 11, those headquartered along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border — not in Iraq.

    Logistically, it would be possible to withdraw in six to eight months. We moved as many as 240,000 troops into and out of Iraq through Kuwait in as
    little as a three-month period during major troop rotations. After the Persian Gulf War, we redeployed nearly a half-million troops in a few months. We could redeploy even faster if we negotiated with the Turks to open a route out through Turkey.

    As our withdrawal begins, we will gain diplomatic leverage. Iraqis will start seeing us as brokers, not occupiers. Iraq’s neighbors will face the reality that if they don’t help with stabilization, they will face the consequences of Iraq’s collapse — including even greater refugee flows over their borders and possible war.

    The United States can facilitate Iraqi reconciliation and regional cooperation by holding a conference similar to that which brought peace to Bosnia. We will need regional security negotiations among all of Iraq’s neighbors and discussions of donations from wealthy nations — including oil-rich Muslim countries — to help rebuild Iraq. None of this can happen until we remove the biggest obstacle to diplomacy: the presence of U.S. forces in Iraq.

    My plan is realistic because:

    It is less risky. Leaving forces behind leaves them vulnerable. Would we need another surge to protect them?

    It gets our troops out of the quagmire and strengthens us for our real challenges. It is foolish to think that 20,000 to 75,000 troops could bring peace to Iraq when 160,000 have not. We need to get our troops out of the crossfire in Iraq so that we can defeat the terrorists who attacked us on Sept. 11.

    By hastening the peace process, the likelihood of prolonged bloodshed is reduced. President Richard Nixon withdrew U.S. forces slowly from Vietnam —with disastrous consequences. Over the seven years it took to get our troops out, 21,000 more Americans and perhaps a million Vietnamese, most of them civilians, died. All this death and destruction accomplished nothing — the communists took over as soon as we left.

    My position has been clear since I entered this race: Remove all the troopsand launch energetic diplomatic efforts in Iraq and internationally to bring stability. If Congress fails to end this war, I will remove all troops without delay, and without hesitation, beginning on my first day in office.

    Let’s stop pretending that all Democratic plans are similar. The American people deserve precise answers from anyone who would be commander in chief. How many troops would you leave in Iraq? For how long? To do what, exactly? And the media should be asking these questions of the candidates, rather than allowing them to continue saying, “We are against the war . . . but please don’t read the small print.”

    The writer is governor of New Mexico and a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination.

  • Quincy

    Clinton’s plan shows she is plainly (and probably willfully) ignorant of the problems in the American health care system. From MSNBC:

    Clinton’s plan builds on the existing employer-based system of coverage. People who receive insurance through the workplace could continue to do so; businesses, in turn, would be required to offer insurance to employees, or contribute to a government-run pool that would help pay for those not covered. Clinton would also offer a tax subsidy to small businesses to help them afford the cost of providing coverage to their workers.

    Take a terrible system, born as a historical accident, nurtured as a curiosity, and now kept out of inertia, despite the fact that it disenfranchises consumers. They pay for insurance and care, yet either their employer or the government gets the final say. In terms of ensuring that all people get care, quality or not, this system is universally (and rightly) regarded as a failure.

    Only a truly monumental idiot could seriously be proposing adding an “individual mandate” on top of this foundation. Whether Clinton is a monumental idiot or crazy like a fox is for the future to tell. My suspicion is that she is the latter, knowingly taking a bad system, putting pressure on its flaws and hoping it will fail, so she, or the next Democrat president (Chelsea, anyone?) can come along and hold up true socialized medicine, a la Canada and Cuba, as a significant improvement.

    Get employers out of the way, get government out of the way, and give us back the power to control our own health care. That would be a solution!

  • Brad R

    I think the high dectuctible plans are a great idea. For one, the idea of health insurance as people currently imagine it is unstable. Can you even really call it insurance? The idea of insurance is that everyone pools money together, so that if one of them happens upon disaster (their house burns down, they get in an automobile accident, etc. etc.) that unlucky individual can draw upon the money pooled together to handle said crisis. If everyone is constantly reaching into that money supply, it just simply doesn’t work.

    So how can you expect health INSURANCE to work if it used to pay for every little doctor visit every time you get the sniffles, and for your high dollar Nexium when you can easily be getting omeprazole (generic Prilosec, works just as well as Nexium), and so on, so forth. Where the high deductible plans work so well is that the insurance only kicks in if you’re spending a whole bunch of money on health care. So regardless of whether or not you have a medical emergency or if you have a really unlucky year and are constantly getting sick and the doctor visits happen to add up to so much that it meets the deductible requirements, you’re covered. This keeps the system from being burdened, thus reducing the amount of instances where people are denied coverage for important procedures.

    One thing I do agree with the liberals on, however, is that in a civilized society it is unacceptable that people cannot receive appropriate health care. But that certainly does not mean that anyone has a *right* to health insurance, anymore than one has a right to fire insurance or automobile insurance.

  • Quincy

    Brad R –

    Right on the money. Personally, if I had my choice as to how I would manage my health care, I much prefer a savings account into which I could put some of my earnings each paycheck, coupled with a high deductible ($10,000), low premium insurance plan. Of course, I don’t have my choice because of people like Hillary, Bush, and the rest of the autocrats who inhabit Washington.

  • http://www.lunchworks.net Jeff Molby

    Quincy, I have such a plan. They’re not popular, but they’re available.

  • Richard

    All things being said about the Health Care/Insurance Issue, were does the Federal Government get the Authorization for such a Law – whether it is Congress or the President. I can find nothing under Article 1 Section 8 of the Constitution for Congress or under the Executive Branch. So even if such a law were passed, how/who would enforce it? Me, I would say I have my own and pay for my own and no one elses. Just because someone doesn’t have Health Insurance doesn’t mean that they can’t get Medical Treatment. That is what the ER is for. I don’t see the streets filling up with dead bodies of those who have no Health Insurance.