31 January 2009

Nationalized Health Care Part of Stimulus Package

Health Services to Become Super Efficient Overnight!

The influential economist Paul Krugman writes today that we need nationalized health care...now! So it's a pretty sure thing that the Democratic Party has issued their marching orders and is going to dump the big turd that is socialized health care on the taxpayers. Ideological opposition to health care isn't a difficult case to make. It's way outside the Constitutional responsibilities of the federal government, breeds a culture of sloth and reliance on federal aid, and socialized health care allows the government to interfere more with citizens private affairs. Practically speaking, it's too damn expensive and the government isn't even capable of providing effective health services to disabled vets via the VA. But that didn't stop some opportunistic Dems from slipping in free health care as part of the stimulus plan. From Hot Air:
Rahm Emanuel once advised that crisis means opportunity, and the Democrats have taken that message to heart. They’ve exploited the sense of economic crisis in order to build a Trojan Horse stimulus bill that encompasses all of their legislative goals — and they’re trying to stampede people into supporting it out of panic. Hope and Change? More like Fear and Loathing.

What this does has nothing to do with stimulating the economy. Worse, it exponentially increases the difficulty in reforming entitlements, and Medicare already was the one program most in need of reform. It’s heading into insolvency even without the additional load of ten million new and unplanned subscribers in three weeks. Now, we will have even more subscribers to throw into the reform grinder, making it more painful than ever to effect the necessary changes to bring the program back into solvency.
Powerline has the details of how Medicaid is going to be made available to damn near everyone if the stimulus package becomes law. Also, CATO took out a full page ad in the NYT to warn America that the stimulus was going to be a bust. Some might say the Cloward-Piven strategy of orchestrating mass chaos in society to usher in a new regime is a bit conspiratorial. But it certainly seems to be going that way.


LT said...

Your post is not baseless but you're mixing terms, duder-- these are the preferred nomenclature(s)

-Universal healthcare: Everyone has some kind of insurance... could be 100% private

-Single-payor system: One health insurance company nationally... doesn't have to be a public system or even publicly funded... not everyone has to take part

-Socialized healthcare: Government pays for healthcare... doesn't have to be one insurer, necessarily

-Nationalized healthcare: ??? This term is a media invention and I think most people use it to mean a socialized, single-payor system; not a particularly standardized or descriptive term.

And the current bailout bill expands public healthcare programs two ways: it covers first-time unemployment entitlement filers (doesn't say through public insurance or private, subsidized) and it expands covered of SCHIP-eligible children (SCHIP is a state program). You don't have to agree with either of them, but you definitely can't say it's surprising considering Obama's positions during the entire campaign process-- I think he actually specifically talked about both of these while campaigning but can't remember.

DaveC said...

Public healthcare would be a disaster if it pays for expensive things that have cheap alternatives like Ibuprofen (generic "Walprofen" for me), birth control pills (generic $10 a month at Walmart), etc, with the latest big ticket prescription pain killers (Vioxx which you could get free, then sue the pharmaceutical company!) or the Jas or Jiz B.C. pills for $720+ a year.

I think this is what happened in Tennessee with the TennCare plan, which was abandoned. The money was used for stuff that people would normally just buy, and funds for real medical emergencies were starved out. I would be in favor of some sort of universal catastrophic health insurance, but as with many with govt prograns, everybody wants to game the system. You can see it in Medicare (It's Free! they tell my mother in law.), and it can happen with Medicaid, which I believe is funded (or not) by the states; Illinois has not been very diligent about paying Medicare claims.

At some point this, and the likelihood of malpractice lawsuits, is a disincentive for would-be doctors. I think that this has already happened by the way.

Nixon said...


Not surprising with all the promises made during the campaign. But it's silly that they package it up in the stimulus. This thing is just a big Democrat wish list.

LT said...

Oh yeah, that bill is definitely a pinata of liberal government spending, no doubt about that.

It's actually surprising that there's $200B+ in tax cuts though... since it was such a bad year economically last year it seems like lots of companies wouldn't owe income tax anyways (because they probably had a loss, or earned very little income). Does anyone know how that would work? Would the tax cuts only be for the next 2 years?