Sunday, August 9, 2009

Public Option=Single Payer=Socialized Medicine

The problem with a “public option” for a consolidated Health Care program is not rationing (the government never rations anything). The problem is competition. The public option in the bill before the house would pay for most medical procedures (even if they are rationed) at public expense, much like Medicare and Medicaid do now. Most insurance companies could not compete with the “bottomless pit” of the government’s wallet. That would leave only Walmart-sized regional centers like the Mayo Clinic as private options, forcing most Americans in rural areas to depend on the government public option. The Progressive Caucus, led by Southern Arizona’s own Raul Grijalva, has forced the public option on Congress as a form of Trojan Horse that will lead to “single payer” healthcare (ie. government run, see Barney Frank’s comments on Youtube)This is what has people who recognize what it means in an uproar. Eventually, the majority of health care in this country will be in the hands of the government if there is a public option. In Europe this is called “Socialized Medicine.”
Why is Socialized Medicine a problem? Costs. When has the government ever run a program with any kind of efficiency? (Check out Medicare, Medicaid, the Obama stimulus package, Cash for Klunkers, etc.). The Congressional Budget Office estimates the cost of the proposed HR3200 plan at $10 trillion over the next ten years IF the majority of health care remains in the private sector. The estimates beyond ten years are astronomical. Furthermore, these estimates do not include the ballooning costs that go with every government program. The public option is simply a bad idea, rationing aside.
Why isn’t District 7’s Raul Grijalva coming to Yuma this month to hear our voices on the proposed plan? Because he doesn’t need to hear our opinions. Our opinions do not matter to him on this issue. As the leader of the Progressive Caucus, his only concern is ‘getting to’ a single payer system, no matter what the cost to taxpayers. Government-funded healthcare is “progressive” and that is all that matters.
The problem for the Progressives’ plan for healthcare is that there are better researched, more cost effective programs out there, notable, those proposed by the Heritage Foundation. Rather than involving the government as payer, they emphasize competition and standardization, leading to reduced cost, not more and more choices, not fewer by putting responsibility in the hands of Americans and not Progressives in Washington. They would strengthen our health care system, keep the choices you have, and avoid the problems already encountered with Medicare and Medicaid. Rationing would be your choice, not the governments.

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