Right Thinking From The Left Coast
We didn't lose the game; we just ran out of time. - Vince Lombardi

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Free to Choose … Socialism

I’m sure, by now, you’ve heard of this:

Jennifer Haberkorn reports that President Obama’s move to allow states flexibility in spending health care funds is the “most significant change” since the law was enacted, and a potential gesture toward critics.

But a source on a White House conference call with liberal allies this morning says the Administration is presenting it to Democrats as an opportunity to offer more expansive health care plans than the one Congress passed.

Health care advisers Nancy-Ann DeParle and Stephanie Cutter stressed on the off-record call that the rule change would allow states to implement single-payer health care plans—as Vermont seeks to—and true government-run plans, like Connecticut’s Sustinet.

The source on the call summarizes the officials’ point—which is not one the Administration has sought to make publically—as casting the new “flexibility” language as an opportunity to try more progressive, not less expansive, approaches on the state level.

The Administration is disputing the report of the call, saying they are open to any plans, citing Utah’s health exchange.  I suspect the truth is that the Administration is telling their allies that, while they’ll consider any plan, single payer and public option plans will get the fast-track to approval.  Their non-denial denial doesn’t impress me.

Let’s remember what government-run healthcare plans ential.  Two stories from this week perfectly illustrate why this call makes people nervous:

First, the GAO is reporting that Medicare wastes $48 billion a year in improper payments—that’s four times the evil profits of the evil private insurance companies.  Liberals like to talk about how “efficient” Medicare is.  But as I’ve pointed out, that efficiency comes from borrowing infrastructure, utilizing private insurers’ assets and allowing a stunning amount of fraud. To erase that fraud, Medicare would have to spend 10-20 as much on fraud investigation as they currently do.  But if they did that, the program wouldn’t seem so efficient.  (And speaking of efficiency, read this story about how it took a personal intervention by Obama to get the HHS to let Utah go electronic on its Medicaid paperwork.)

Second, Britain’s HHS is now looking, again, into cut services for fatties and smokers. Remember that because obese people and smokers die young, they tend to save the NHS money in the long run.  Moreover, smokers and fat people already are punished with sin taxes that ostensibly go to pay for said government services.  In the end, this is simply using the power of government for social engineering.  Sure, it’s fat smokers.  But keep in mind what such a precedent would mean in this country.  The Left is throwing a fit over Republican plans to defund Planned Parenthood.  Do you really want to give them the power to defund any OB-Gyn who runs afoul of their agenda?  Returning to the topic at hand—if Obama can fast-track socialize medical plans through the HHS, what’s to prevent his Republican successor from blocking said plans outright?

Last year, Politifact branded as the “Lie of the Year” the claim that Obamacare was a government take-over of healthcare.  While the might have been literally correct, the lie was figuratively true.  Obamacare has put the foot in the door.  As Jim quoted from Lee the other day, don’t worry about what this guy is going to do with his new-found power.  Worry about what the next guy and the next guy and the next guy are going to do.  Ask yourself—do you want a President—of either party—to have effective veto power over healthcare reform?

Posted by Hal_10000 on 03/03/11 at 10:31 PM in Health Care  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink
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