Monday, September 17, 2007

HillaryCare 2008

Let us today bask in the glow of affordable universal health care, as proposed by the esteemed Senator from "New York"... (for a copy of the plan, feel free to visit the "Fables and Bedtime Stories" section of your local library)

“Today as we strive for a new beginning to the 21st century, I believe that everyone — every man, woman and child — should have quality, affordable health care in America,” Mrs. Clinton said. “We can no longer tolerate the injustice of a system that shuts out nearly one in six Americans.”
Well, I do agree that the health care system in this country is broken. Too much paperwork, high costs, too much power out of the hands of the people who seek healthcare... so let's start out by saying "We're with you so far, Hillary! Don't let us down!"

In a speech at a hospital here, as she campaigned for the Democratic presidential nomination, Mrs. Clinton said she would pay for the ($101 billion!!) plan partially by ending Republican-backed tax cuts for people earning $250,000 or more,...
You're starting to lose me, Hillary. While I don't favor granting special privileges to citizens based on their income levels, I don't really believe that the solution to any national problem is "eliminate tax cuts". And just how much of the $101 billion would you gain through higher taxes on people making the arbitrarily-chosen $250k per year or more? well as by netting billions of dollars in savings by reorganizing the health care system. ..
OK, I'm hanging by a thread, dear Senator from "New York". Reorganizing the health care system? Aside from a nebulous reference to a reorganization (What the heck does that mean? Doctors answer the phone, while lower-paid receptionists dole out medical advice?), let's look at what happens when corporations reorganize. They usually invoke additional charges (i.e., Higher Costs) when they reorganize. And "reorganization" is usually done through a series of maneuvers - when exactly will we start to see these so-called reorganization savings? In my lifetime, or my not-yet-born grandchild's lifetime?

She also said she would press insurance companies and drug companies to focus on providing lower cost care — while at the same time, she said, she would ban insurance companies from turning down people for insurance because of health status or pre-existing health conditions.
OK, you've totally lost me now, Hillary. While I'm not a healthcare expert, my understanding is that people with health issues will increase overall costs to be borne by insurance companies (akin to car insurance companies that insure accident-prone drivers). So, the challenge for the health insurance companies becomes... (1) more government intervention, most likely leading to more paperwork, additional regulation, and more administrative people to handle these requirements; (2) increased healthcare pool coverage (more people to insure, including people with existing conditions), likely to increase the costs of providing health care in total and on average; and (3) reduce your costs for providing health care.

How do the companies lower costs? I think they could either only provide coverage to people without pre-existing coverage (NOT ALLOWED -- Hillary), reduce administrative staff and costs (NOT LIKELY -- government control/intervention), or reduce doctor salaries and/or staffing.

Hmm...maybe Hillary's plan really is to replace the doctors with lower-paid receptionists...
(Source of article: The New York Times)

-- Submitted by R. Wellesley

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