More government run health care

From Bruce Kesler, formerly of the Democracy Project, who now writes on Maggie’s Farm:


No New Medicaid Patients Accepted

If Medicaid in Washington state has been reimbursing pharmacies at 86% — and now 84% — of the drugs average wholesale price, of course pharmacies are going to have to stop accepting Medicaid. Not only do the pharmacies lose money on the drug itself, but the pharmacies also lose out on the profits made from selling prescription medications, meaning that they are working for free — no salaries covered, no overhead paid — even when you exclude the loss on the drugs themselves.

ObamaCare is a great unknown: the proponents make claims concerning how well it will perform, while the opponents don’t believe that the claims are valid.

But if past performance is any indicator of future results, we can look at how government run health care has done in the past, and the results in looking at Medicare — which seriously underpays for the treatment of Medicare patients — and Medicaid are instructive.

President Obama has come up with a plan which continues to rely on the for-profit health insurance industry and the for-profit health care industry. At least, in that regard, he recognizes what has worked so well for most Americans.

But the President has also come up with proposals which would make earning a profit far more difficult for those industries, and if they can’t make a profit, they go out of business. When I look at how the existing socialized health care coverage systems of Medicare and Medicaid perform, I see more evidence of a government which may say it appreciates private enterprise, but has absolutely no notion of what it takes to keep private enterprises running.

26 Comments

  1. You’re perfectly right. Getting rid of Medicare and Medicaid entirely should be explicit Republican policy at the next elections.

  2. “… if they can’t make a profit, they go out of business.”

    That would be horrible! A crippling blow to the Free Market system!

  3. “Medicine is the keystone in the arch of socialism” – Vladimir Ilyich Lenin

    ObamaCare in the first step down the road to subservience to the State. Under the heel of ObamaCare, individual Americans will no longer be sovereign in their own country. The State’s bureaucrats will control access to medicine and thus will control the means to health and the well being of its subjects.

    Washington DC bureaucrats will employ their usual methods to ration scarce resources: political correctness, quotas, diversity, and affirmative action to decide who gets vital care and lives, and who must put their name on a waiting list.

    Freedom, at the most basic level is freedom of the self, which is freedom from government control. Our nation was founded on that simple but powerful principle.

    Government medicine will result in a complete reversal of the fundamental relationship of our people to the government. We will no longer have a government of, for, and by the people, protected by a constitution which limits government’s power and stipulates our rights.

    ObamaCare will transform us from a free people with inalienable rights into a subject people who function to serve the interests of the State, with only those limited rights the State’s bureaucrats are willing to allow.

    When Obama said he would “fundamentally transform” America, this is exactly what he envisioned: Socialized medicine, the keystone in the arch of socialism.

  4. Nangleator wrote:

    “… if they can’t make a profit, they go out of business.”

    That would be horrible! A crippling blow to the Free Market system!

    Given that President Obama and his minions are trying to create a universal health care system based on the existing private health insurance and care providers, putting them out of business does have some rather negative effects for the system.

  5. No Nang, Marxism is a scary place. Do you want the government deciding when and who gets treatment? You and those like you are the problem with America. You all want “something” and are willing to make it a law that someone else provides it for you. Pinko puke. You sound more and more like Pho every day. But he (?) has an excuse, he’s a blithering New Zealander not an American. What’s your excuse? Show me where in the Constitution the government can run health care. Show me also where it has the power to make me buy anything. Doofus. It’s not about health care it’s about the bulwark of the Republic itself. It’s about Liberty and self reliance, you ass. You need to stand in front of a mirror and do a testicle check. If you find some, grab them and repeat to yourself…I am A free American man. Now go get your fucking shoe shine box. (Billy Batts in Goodfellas)

  6. The CBO estimate came out on HCR for $940B. HOWEVER, it is PRELIMINARY and does not cover the unwritten and unposted Reconciliation Bill. So, the $940Bn is a useless number because it does not tell the complete story.

    I need how Congress believes they can spend nearly a Trillion Dollars, but magically save $100Bn?

  7. Dana, Obama has been against single payer from the beginning. Even many of the Democrats that spoke quite fondly of the idea backed off when it started to look feasible. Yes, they were putting on an act for political purposes. We’re shocked… shocked! Single payer is where progressives want this to end, but there aren’t many progressives in the House or Senate, despite the wide-eyed ravings of some.

    Hoagie, I don’t think the slopes are as slippery as you think. Let’s take this argument back 75 years. You would have fought Social Security in exactly the same way, with exactly the same arguments you’re making now. I’d like to know if you’ll refuse Social Security checks later on, out of principle.

    “Show me where in the Constitution…” I could, but you’d just dismiss it. (Hint: General welfare.)

    Your arguments about health care reform are a little too disturbingly revealing. I realize you probably spend a lot of time thinking about my genitals, but try to stay focused on the subject at hand.

  8. “With respect to the two words ‘general welfare,’ I have always regarded them as qualified by the detail of powers connected with them. To take them in a literal and unlimited sense would be a metamorphosis of the Constitution into a character which there is a host of proofs was not contemplated by its creators.” – James Madison in letter to James Robertson

    “Congress has not unlimited powers to provide for the general welfare, but only those specifically enumerated.” – Thomas Jefferson, 1798

    Social Security is a pyramid scheme that is out of money.

    Hello? Anyone on the left listening?

  9. “Anyone on the left listening?”

    We listened. We voted him in. Then he changed his tune. That’s politicians for you.

    In his defense, things probably look different to a senator in a good economy than to a president in a recession.

  10. Nang, I was being a wise guy. I’m sure you realize that. We could go on about the General Welfare clause but we won’t because, like other clauses in the Constitution (Interstate Commerce) people who want to change the meaning of the Constitution but cannot get the backing to ammend it find ways around it. That’s sneaky at best, subversive at worst. By your interpretation food, clothing, shelter and energy is also the “general welfare”. Do you really believe our nation was founded on Marxist theory? I don’t. We have a Republic but only as long as we are prepared to work within its confines and rely on ourselves for those things which fall outside those confines. You need to stop looking toward government to fix every little thing in society and begin to look at yourself. We are our greatest resourse but only if we accept that duty and demand our Freedom. Do you really think we’d be better off like France, Spain or Greece? Those people are pawns not Americans. They are like Pho. They live to suck at the teet of their benefactors in government. We are Americans, proud, individualistic and sometimes unrealistic. But Americans nonetheless.

    And yes, I would have fought against Social Security the same way. If the government wanted to establish retirement they would have passed a mandatory savings law. That would have required each person to set aside a percetage of their earnings for retirement and unable to touch it before say, 65. It would be YOUR money. When you die it would go to YOUR beneficiaries. SS doesn’t work that way does it? That’s because SS is a Ponzi scheme to allow government to spend more money “off budget”. We’ve all been lied to. And you’re buying into the newest lie. Don’t do it. BTW I have considered the idea of refusing my SS when the time comes. I really don’t need it anyway. However, my lovely wife decided that she wants to give our SS to the Lighthouse For The Blind. Who am I to argue with such a beautiful lady with a broken wing? But I’m 59 so I still have a few years to decide exactly what I’ll do. And I must admit part of me says “it’s my money and I’ve paid in and maxed out most of my adult life”. But another part says “I’ve never taken a govmint check (save tax refunds) and I ain’t startin’ now”. It’s hard to refuse “free money” when it’s dangled in front of your face isin’t it? That’s why they do it, to entice us to be beholen to the state. Thank you Nang. After reading that last line I typed I now know I won’t take and keep a check. Looks like my wife wins (she always does anyway).

  11. Naggy said “Obama has been against single payer from the beginning.”

    I posted a video proving that statement false and asked if anyone on the left was listening.

    Naggy said “We listened. We voted him in. Then he changed his tune.”

    So, which is it, Naggy? Are you still going to try to say “Obama has been against single payer from the beginning?”

    Like I said, ignorant, historical revisionist, or both. And goalpost-shifter in the process.

  12. That was a great clip John Hitchcock. You always seem to come up with something that shoves it right back at’em.

    So let’s see. The left wants a documented liar to decide their health care. The left believes a documented liar about the cost of said health care. The left believes a documented liar when he says he’ll cover an additional 40 million (bull shit) people and reduce, no, save money. Ponzi is alive and living in the White House.

  13. Heh, I was actually looking for the video that showed Obama saying time and time again that he’s a single-payer proponent. I believe that video for which I was looking (grammatically correct instead of the ease-of-flow language to comfort Perry) also contained Obama’s voice saying incrementalism was the way to go. And this monstrosity of a package would lead to that very incrementalism.

  14. When I said ‘beginning’ I meant the beginning of Obama’s HCR debate, not the beginning of his career. I should have been more specific.

    “I’ve never taken a govmint check”

    So proud of that! Did you ever benefit from tax dollars? How did you get to work today? Did you shower with tap water and not get poisoned by it? Or by breathing the air? Did your wiring burn down your house and kill you last night? Are there any gun battles near you? How many private tolls were extracted from you at gunpoint during your commute? Do you trust your bank to hold your money? Do you expect business to honor the currency you use?

    I ask these questions to point out that you benefit from government programs all day every day. You think in the absence of all government regulations and programs, you’d be exactly the same, but with more money in your pocket?

    Government is a subset of us. It’s a tool we use to make our lives better, safer and more productive. If it’s evil and wrong, that’s our fault. So we vote and fix it. This time, you lost. That doesn’t mean the world is ending. Democracy means you have to trust the opposition to work in your favor, even if his methods are different.

    HCR is just another small step in the process of making you safer and more productive. But to you, it’s now the source of all evil. How come you wouldn’t mind calling 911? How come you don’t mind trusting your plumbing? How come you trust all the vehicles around you on the interstate that they won’t blow up or swerve into you? Do any of these things turn the United States into Soviet Russia, complete with May Day parades and bushy eyebrow guys up on the balcony?

  15. A friend of mine who is 82 and currently undergoing radiation and kemo for rectal cancer just sent me this e-mail. He always signs off with “You old fart” and I thought I’d share this with you guys so you can see how positive he still remains.

    I would never trade my amazing friends, my wonderful life, my loving family for less gray hair or a flatter belly. As I’ve aged, I’ve become kinder to myself, and less critical of myself. I’ve become my own friend. I don’t chide myself for eating that extra cookie, or for not making my bed, or for buying that silly cement gecko that I didn’t need, but looks so avante garde on my patio. I am entitled to a treat, to be messy, to be extravagant.

    I have seen too many dear friends leave this world too soon; before they understood the great freedom that comes with aging.

    Whose business is it if I choose to read or play on the computer until 4 AM and sleep until noon? I will dance with myself to those wonderful tunes of the 60 &70′s, and if I, at the same time, wish to weep over a lost love …. I will.

    I will walk the beach in a swim suit that is stretched over a bulging body, and will dive into the waves with abandon if I choose to, despite the pitying glances from the jet set. They, too, will get old.

    I know I am sometimes forgetful. But there again, some of life is just as well forgotten. And I eventually remember the important things.

    Sure, over the years my heart has been broken. How can your heart not break when you lose a loved one, or when a child suffers, or even when somebody’s beloved pet gets hit by a car? But broken hearts are what give us strength and understanding and compassion. A heart never broken is pristine and sterile and will never know the joy of being imperfect.

    I am so blessed to have lived long enough to have my hair turning gray, and to have my youthful laughs be forever etched into deep grooves on my face.

    So many have never laughed, and so many have died before their hair could turn silver.

    As you get older, it is easier to be positive.. You care less about what other people think. I don’t question myself anymore. I’ve even earned the right to be wrong.

    So, to answer your question, I like being old. It has set me free. I like the person I have become. I am not going to live forever, but while I am still here, I will not waste time lamenting what could have been, or worrying about what will be. And I shall eat dessert every single day (if I feel like it). I’ll be sitting at the Club tonight, smoking my cigar and drinking my beer(s) and laughing at your lame jokes, Hoagie. It will always be in my heart how you guys, my friends, stayed with me and helped me throught this thing. You are all a bunch of old farts.

    This man has more money than brains, he’s a Pitcarin. But his generosity and pure love of life makes the world a better place to live.

  16. Given that President Obama and his minions are trying to create a universal health care system based on the existing private health insurance and care providers, putting them out of business does have some rather negative effects for the system.

    Which would be what, exactly?

    The truth is that we could do just fine without them: an insurance system with community rating and universal access has no need of private insurers. In fact, the U.S. already has such a system: it’s known as Medicare. In most areas, it’s true, private companies do a better job of managing costs and providing services than the government does. But not when it comes to health care: over the past decade, Medicare’s spending has risen more slowly than that of private insurers. A single-payer system also has the advantage of spreading risk across the biggest patient pool possible. So if you want to make health insurance available to everyone, regardless of risk, the most sensible solution would be to expand Medicare to everyone. That’s not going to happen. The fear of government-run health care, the power of vested interests, and the difficulty of completely overhauling the system have made the single-payer solution a bridge too far for Washington, and for much of the public as well. (Support for a single-payer system hovers around fifty per cent.) That’s why the current reform plans rely instead on a mishmash of regulations, national exchanges, and subsidies. Instead of replacing private insurance companies, the proposed reforms would, in theory, turn them into something like public utilities. That’s how it works in the Netherlands and Switzerland, with reasonably good results.

    That figure again, Dana – 131% increase in premiums over the last decade.

  17. Nangleator, your post of 18 March 1:17 PM is the very essence of liberal “all or nothing” think. I have never suggested we don’t need government. Quite the contrary, we need government to administer all of those things you mentioned and more. My point is at what point do WE as free people draw the line and take responsibilty for ourselvess. If your own health care is not your own responsibility then what is? Your food? Home? Heat? I don’t want the government telling me what doctor or proceedure I can have. No more than I want them to tell me what to eat or where to live.

    Why do you believe that any government is able to provide the type of health care you want? Would you rely on a government bureaucrat to tell you what to eat? This is important shit. It could mean the difference between life and death for yourself or a loved one. Do you really think the government cares about you more than you do? I don’t.

    And your “so proud of that” comment is demeaning and dismissive. It’s not a matter of proud, it’s a matter of need and I don’t need it. Give aide to someone who does need it. Do you have a problem with that?

  18. When I said ‘beginning’ I meant the beginning of Obama’s HCR debate, not the beginning of his career. I should have been more specific.

    “I’ve never taken a govmint check”

    So proud of that! Did you ever benefit from tax dollars? How did you get to work today? Did you shower with tap water and not get poisoned by it? Or by breathing the air? Did your wiring burn down your house and kill you last night? Are there any gun battles near you? How many private tolls were extracted from you at gunpoint during your commute? Do you trust your bank to hold your money? Do you expect business to honor the currency you use?

    Hoagie is right. Your questions represent an example of highly confused thinking, extreme assumptions, and circular reasoning, wherein you unjustifiably assume your conclusions before you pose your question.

    Let’s take a couple of your specific instances.

    You ask if Hoagie showered with tap water; assuming apparently, that if the answer is yes, it implies that he has showered with municipally provided water funded through general tax revenues.

    In addition you seem to insinuate that this water service is provided “free” via these taxes to the municipal user.

    Is this how it works where you live? You pay taxes, and the government gives you free water?

    I cannot say where you live, but I can say that where I live, public supply water users receive bills for the water and sewerage services they use from the county. This use is kept track of by an exotic instrument known as a “water meter”.

    Furthermore they pay special local assessments for infrastructure expansion bonds, repair projects, and such.

    In addition, using figures from about ten years ago, “40 million Americans independently receive their water from private wells.” With approximately 30 percent of the population in this particular highly industrialized state using private wells for their water.

    So while you imply that Americans rely on general taxes, for it has been taxes not itemized bills of which you have been speaking, for their drinking water, (blessed be the bureaucracy and hallowed be its name) the facts do not support your claim even in the case of even municipal water supplies.

    The same substantially goes for roads here. Roads in this state are largely built and maintained not from general revenues but from fuel taxes and vehicle registration fees. These are in addition to “use-sales” taxes, which could be used for roads, but which have been earmarked for general fund use. In the case of Federal funds received: “The source of these federal funds is the Federal Highway Trust Fund, funded exclusively by user taxes on highway automobile and truck users”

    You ask if there are gun battles near us.

    If one lives in any number of the most purely Democrat controlled and liberal cities in the United States, where the largest portion of the population shares in your collectivist welfare-state outlook, then the answer is absolutely yes.

    <<>>

    Unfortunately for your argument, your co-ideologues admit that some people will be worse off when they are forced to participate in your system.

    In fact it is an essential element of your social insurance tending scheme that this be so: that the unwilling, the young, and the healthy be dragooned into a system as resources to be exploited, the product of which, may be then redistributed to your advantage. They start off with burdens you never had to bear, so that your present burden may be lighter.

    In fact, your associates here admit that the result will be rationing if they ever get all that they want with a single payer system. It’s just that the rationing will likely be of a centrally and bureaucratically managed kind they approve.

    As we have seen in the case of your road building example and contrary to your implication, those who will and do use the roads for vehicular transportation, pay.

    Young people are not rounded up and set to work in corvee gangs under the supervision of the IRS, in order to provide free transportation for the middle-aged and elderly.

    Why pretend that you are doing anything other than voting in a legal entitlement to rob the healthy and transfer the benefits to yourself?

    Oh I know why: the young are stronger than you, and it might not go so well if you admitted what it is that you are actually doing.

    Regards,

  19. Well, while wrapping it up here at the office, I see that Phoenician in a time of Romans, has, after consulting with his cat’s ass and beloved fetish “Spike”, decided on taking a stab at message board retaliation.

    Bad choice Phoenician. Better get yourself another oracle.

    The New Zealand Troll writes,

    “Shorter DNW: A compulsory charge extracted by the State under force of law is not a “tax” if the voices in my head tell me it isn’t.”

    Now, Phoenician-in-the-line-of-Trolls, your very limited reasoning abilities mean of course that you are incapable of understanding or appreciating the distinctions I earlier drew.

    But, the stupidity of your reply does give me an opening to further illustrate the differences Nangleator chose to ignore in floating his defective examples.

    Let those more intelligent than you – and less programmed from birth than you as system parasites – ask themselves the following questions based on my previous remarks concerning all-inclusive general revenue taxation and use-assessments, relative to Nangleator’s examples of water and roads.

    1. Are persons using private water wells and septic (self-coverage), sent water and sewerage bills by the county, or other governments?

    2. Are those who do not buy cars, or cars for use on highways, forced to pay auto registration fees for the maintenance of the highway improvements? “Cause after all everyone travels

    3. Are citizens who choose not to buy automobiles, fined by the state if they fail to buy a car and pay the registration fee?

    4. Are young people, who may not need a motor vehicle, forced by law to enter into gasoline buying pools with older people in order to help them pay the tax on it?

    I don’t know how it works in that termite heap you call home, and I don’t care; but the answer here, where we originally sent your mincing breed packing a long time ago, is No.

    -If you do not buy a car to drive on the public highway, you need not pay registration.

    -If you do not buy gasoline for highway use, you do not – or need not – pay the road tax on it. Farmers know this quite well.

    - If you travel some other way than private vehicle on the public highway – walk or bike along for instance – you are not forced by the state to pay the gasoline road tax regardless.

    - If you have private sources of water, the municipality does not bill you for the water they provide.

    -If you do buy it from them, you pay for what you use and for system functioning by cubic ft and through surcharges.

    Nangleator’s examples, implying that his coercive collectivist assumption underlay the basis of civilization, was therefore as inadequate your backbone.

    But, speaking of spine, and self-direction, and the like, it does seem that your lamprey kind are creeping back here and infesting the polity once again.

    The question is, how best to deal with it, eh?

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