Response to Mr. Obama’s 3/8/2010 Campaign Speech

I wrote the following on my local rag’s blog space today to respond to President Obama’s persistent misrepresentations and, dare I say, falsehoods, regarding health care.  It is a quick response, but it is to the point, and so far has been well-received

“President Obama has long ago lost all credibility on the issue of health care reform – he just needs a bill – any bill – to save face. He repeatedly says things that just aren’t correct, and he repeatedly tries to give us villains to blame for his own failure to understand and manage the politics and realites of health care reform.

I remember one time Nancy Pelosi admitted “Even if everyone likes their insurance – we just can’t afford to do that.” This is the real truth – “we” –  the Government, lol –  is going broke, and needs to tap into the private insurance pools to keep afloat.  Currently they do this by shorting doctors and hospitals on Medicare and Medicaid fees. These docs and hospitals need to make up the difference by charging more for the care they provide to the privately insured. Naturally, insurance companies keep having to raise premiums to defray the extra charges placed on their customers to make up for the shortfall in Government payments.  

Contrary to Mr. Obama’s rhetoric, insurance company profits, as a percent of premiums received, have not gone up – they are still in the range of 5% – far below the profit that big PhRMA will get under its deal with the White House over the next 10 years. Additionally, State laws have traditionally required insurance companies to be only around 70% efficient and to hold large financial reserves as a safety net. The proposed bills would supersede State laws and make the insurers run at 85% efficiency – i.e. run much closer to financial disaster – just like their Wall Street cuzs. That was such a good idea wasn’t it? Hey let’s just bankrupt the insurers too! Then we can bail them out – or buy them up.

Of course, for Medicare patients there is no help in sight. As you may know, the Mayo Clinic in Glendale AZ (originally praised by Mr. Obama as a great health care example) has stopped taking Medicare patients because they are losing 50% of costs on each patient. The proposed health care bills will cut even more out of the fees paid by Medicare. In theory, everyone will have “coverage,” but actual access to health care will be rationed by the hospitals and doctors who are getting crushed. Soon, no one will even want to be a doctor.

Welcome to ObamaCare.”

The Skeptic

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