Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Health Care Reform ... Truth or Consequences

(hmmm ... who should we kill today?)

As you may have noticed, health care reform is my 'hot button' issue. I'm not really a worrier, but for most of my adult life I have worried about my health insurance.

- When I have health insurance, I worry about losing it.

- If I am paying my own premiums, I worry about the ridiculous price increases every year.

- Right now I am worried about my husband losing his job - mostly because it would mean we would lose our health insurance.

Even when I'm worried about a health issue such as, say, hypothetically, high blood pressure, my REAL worry is "Will my health insurance company find out?" This is why my primary care physician at the moment is the self-serve blood pressure machine at WalMart.

I have been trying to follow the health care debate in Congress. I have even been trying to be impartial. It's not easy to uncover the facts.

Of course, Congress is trying to be helpful. Just recently:
  • The Democrats in the Senate released a proposed bill. It is 615 pages long.
  • Fortunately, they also provided a summary.
  • Ditto for the House.
  • The Republicans came out with an outline of their own.

I will give you a few minutes to peruse these links. I'll just be over here, eating some potato chips - er, I mean low-sodium Triscuits.

All done?

Ok. Now here's what has me ranting today:

John Boehner, the House Republican Leader, published a list on his website entitled Top 10 Facts About House Democrats' Health Care "Reform" Legislation. Most of his Top 10 Facts are highly debatable. Let's look at the first three. My ranting will follow each point, in red.


1. A Government Takeover of Health Care. The House Democrats’ plan will create a new government-run program, will make health care more expensive, limit treatments and ration care, and put bureaucrats in charge of medical decisions rather than patients and doctors. Translation: higher costs, lower quality, and fewer choices for patients.

The boogey-man is here! Government participation is bad, bad, bad. Let's keep the control in the hands of the insurance companies, where it belongs.

2. Forcing More than 100 Million Out of their Health Care. The House Democrats’ plan will force more than 100 million Americans out of their current health care plan and onto the government rolls. A Lewin Group study confirms that under a new government-run health plan millions will lose their current health care coverage.

The link does not take you to the study. It takes you to another Boehner page. If you follow the bouncing links long enough, you will find that the study says that millions of Americans will lose their coverage because the government plan will put the insurance companies out of business.

Now, think about this -
1. The Republicans say the government is big and clumsy and cannot be trusted to set up a workable program.
2. But on the other hand, the government's program will be so attractive and wonderful, millions will flock to it and the poor little insurance companies will be unable to compete.
3. Hmm

3. Rationing Health Care Treatments. The House Democrats’ plan establishes an “advisory committee” that will put bureaucrats and politicians in charge of deciding patient treatments and cures. Translation: The government will make health care treatment decisions rather than doctors and patients.

Ok, this is the one that really made me mad. I searched all bazillion pages of proposals for information on this "advisory committee" that supposedly will tell your dying grandmother she is too old for dialysis and the kidney transplant is going to a young Democrat instead.

Feel free to correct me if I am wrong, but the way I read it, the advisory committee will simply establish a baseline of essential services that every health insurance policy will be required to cover.

A board of government-appointed evil scientists (or, even worse, bureaucrats!) eager to ration our health care and make life or death decisions ... it's a frightening thought. It's a great scare tactic. The only problem is - it's simply not true.



  1. John Boehner is like Chicken Little "the sky is falling, the sky is falling" Too bad it doesn't hit him in the head.