Monday, January 8, 2018

January, 2018, Part 1, The Unfolding Disaster That Is Obama Care - The Disaster Of Single Payer Systems

Every month for years now we have had to discuss how bad Obama Care is turning out to be under the continuing theme, “the unfolding disaster that is Obama Care.” This month is no different. As the legislation continues to march through America, driving up health care and health insurance prices as it serves as dead weight on economic growth, it cements its rightful place as the worst piece of legislation Washington has ever produced.

It never had a chance to be successful since it really never addressed the underlying root causes of our ever increasing health costs in the country:
  • Americans eat too much of the wrong kind of food, resulting in obscenely high obesity rates for the country.
  • Our food chain is infested with overdoses of high fructose corn syrup, salt, sugar, and other unhealthy additives.
  • Americans smoke too much.
  • Americans do not exercise enough.
  • The country is in serious need of health care tort reform.
  • Barriers to insurance company competition across state lines need to come down.
  • Obama Care never “followed the money” to find out who is actually profiting from the ever escalating healthcare costs in this country and how to get those factors under control.
  • Obama Care never got the immense amount of fraud and abuse in current government healthcare programs, Medicare and Medicaid, under control in order to save money to efficiently fund other government health care initiatives.
  • Obama Care never put serious research money towards curing the major diseases that drive high healthcare costs such as high frequency cancers and dementia type diseases.
You cannot resolve any problem unless you understand and address the underlying root causes. No difference here: Obama Care legislation never addressed these listed root causes and thus, has no chance of ever being successful.

But it is not just missing the root causes of our healthcare costs that makes Obama Care so horrible. It resulted in millions of Americans losing access to their favored doctors, hospitals, and insurance policies. It has caused insurance premiums, deductibles and copays to escalate substantially. It will likely add trillions of dollars to the national debt. It has exposed millions of Americans to higher than necessary identity theft chances. It has created government bureaucracies that are wastefully spending taxpayer wealth and being exploited by criminal elements. It has stifled economic growth and job creation.

These are just a sample of the types of idiocy that we have been reviewing for the past several years in this blog relative to Obama Care. To read those past posts, just enter the phrase, “the unfolding disaster,” in the search box above.

1) For years we have been covering the many, many failures of Obama Care:
  • Insurance premiums have gone up dramatically.
  • Insurance deductibles have gone up dramatically.
  • Competition has decreased.
  • Policy selection has shrunk.
  • Enrollment targets have not come close to being met.
  • Millions of Americans lost access to their preferred doctors.
  • Millions of Americans lost access to their preferred insurance plans.
  • Millions of American lost access to their preferred hospitals.
  • Medicaid budgets in some states have skyrocketed as a result of Obama Care.
  • Over a trillion dollars more than expected will be added to the national debt.
But these disasters are not surprising since whenever Washington politicians get involved in an issue or topic they usually make the problem or issue worse and they usually make it worse in grand style. This is exactly what happened with Obama Care and the government intervention in our lives that it caused. 

But some people think that Obama Care failed because Washington and the politicians they did not have enough government intervention in our lives and the healthcare marketplace. They yearn for the so-called single payer insurance system where government bureaucrats control ALL aspects of our personal health care.

But we have previously shown how bad and inefficient these so called single payer plans are around the world. And today we have another example of failure:
  • In the face of a flu epidemic in England, that country’s single payer insurance system is being overwhelmed.
  • People are waiting up to twelve hours just to see a doctor for a flu examination.
  • The British Health Service, their single payer system, is so desperate that they have cancelled over 50,000 non-urgent surgeries so that the limited and overworked doctors and other medical professionals can have their attention diverted to treating flu victims.
  • Things are so bad that even the Prime Minister, Theresa May, had to come out with a public apology of how bad the healthcare situation is in England today: “I know it’s difficult, I know it’s frustrating, I know it’s disappointing for people and I apologize.”
But this latest fiasco of a single payer health care system should not surprise since back in 2015, the Independent newspaper in England wrote: “The UK has one of the worst healthcare systems in the developed world according to a damning new report which said the nation has an “outstandingly poor” record of preventing ill health.

Hospitals are now so short-staffed and under equipped that people are also dying needlessly because of a chronic lack of investment. The verdict, from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), will make embarrassing reading for (then-Prime Minister) David Cameron who denied the cash-strapped NHS is heading for its worst winter crisis.

Britain was placed on a par with Chile and Poland as countries still lagging behind the best performers in survival following diagnosis for different types of cancer. The UK came 21st out of 23 countries on cervical cancer survival, 20th out of 23 countries on breast and bowel cancer survival and 19th out of 31 countries on stroke.”

“Outstandingly poor, one of the worst healthcare systems, chronic lack of investment, lagging behind the best performers in survival,” etc. Still think Obama Care did not go far enough? Still think that far away faceless politicians and government bureaucrats know what is best for your healthcare? No way either Obama Care or a single payer system is efficient or effective, reality is the proof.

2) But England’s single payer system is not the only failure in the world. We have previously reported on the failure of Canada’s single payer system to deliver efficient, timely and effective health care. For example, we have already reported on how tens of thousands of Canadians come to the United States every year because it is far easier to get timely health care in the States than it is back home under Canada’s single payer system. 

The February issue of Reason magazine provided a real life example of the single payer failure history in Canada:
  • Joy Hataley, a doctor up in Ontario, Canada, recently had to refer a patient to a neurologist at Kingston General Hospital.
  • Obviously a referral to a neurologist likely represents a potentially grave and dangerous situation.
  • When the patient went to make the appointment on the doctor’s referral he was told it would be four and half YEARS before he could even get an appointment, never mind whatever treatment might be necessary.
  • The doctor was told that if this inane four and a half year waiting period was not acceptable they would try to get their patient in to see a neurologist in another city altogether.
  • But if the wait time was four and half years Kingston General Hospital, what are the odds that the wait time in a different city would be much shorter?
Single payer systems always result in the rationing and the delaying of receiving medical attention. If someone needs to see a neurologist, it is doubtful that a four and a half year wait is an acceptable time frame to wait from a life and death perspective. The more government intervenes in the healthcare industry, be it Obama Care or a single payer system, the worst the health care that will be provided becomes.

3) One last single payer bashing today. I have a friend whose brother moved to England decades ago, ended up marrying a British subject and living under England’s single payer system. In the fall of 2016, he became ill and was told he had cancer that was working its way through his body.

One year later, in October of 2017 he was finally scheduled for and received surgery in which the doctors removed more than one bodily organ and the parts of another organ. Fortunately, he has so far survived. But as always with a single payer system, it rations and delays treatment way out into the future. How much easier, how much less suffering, how much less expensive, and how much higher would his survival rate had been if he had not had to wait over a year to get treatment for cancer?

It is no secret that survival rates from cancer and other treatments in England is much lower than elsewhere in the world. This example shows why. More failures from Obama Care, and single payer insurance schemes, to follow.

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