Thursday, February 26, 2009

Health care for all? Higher taxes for all (for those who actually pay taxes)!

The debate has re-emerged across the country regarding universal health care, dividing those who have immersed themselves in history education and current events from those who continue about their lives relying on mainstream media and their government for vital information.

Warning! If you don't want more information that may sway your opinion from that of the mainstream media and your government, don't read further.

First, what is the cost of universal health care? In the '90s, the cost was estimated to start at about $30-60 billion. "The fiscal 2010 budget sets aside a "reserve fund" of $634 billion as a "down payment" on the costs of universal health care coverage over 10 years." ( Fox)

Where does this money come from? Undoubtedly, the source of the funds will be the and I. To understand this, you need to know the definition of universal health care.

"Universal health care is health care coverage that is extended to all eligible residents of a governmental region and often covers medical, dental, and mental health care.

Typically, most costs are met via single-payer health care system or national health insurance.

The common denominator for all such programs is some form of government action aimed at extending access to health care as widely as possible.

Most countries implement universal health care through legislation, regulation and taxation.

Legislation and regulation direct what care must be provided, to whom, and on what basis.

Usually some costs are borne by the patient at the time of consumption but the bulk of costs come from a combination of compulsory insurance and tax revenues.

Some programs are paid for entirely out of tax revenues.

In some cases, government involvement also includes directly managing the health care system." -- Wikipedia

We all heard the promises in Obama's campaign. Here is exactly what is on his website -- Barack Obama Campaign Site
1. Barack Obama will make health insurance affordable and accessible to all:
The Obama-Biden plan provides affordable, accessible health care for all Americans, builds on the existing health care system, and uses existing providers, doctors and plans to implement the plan.

2. Obama will lower health care costs:
The Obama plan will lower health care costs by $2,500 for a typical family by investing in health information technology, prevention and care coordination.

3. Promote public health:
Obama and Biden will require coverage of preventive services, including cancer screenings, and will increase state and local preparedness for terrorist attacks and natural disasters.

In an article published in 2007 on a website called Renew America, I found some interesting information regarding the cost of Universal Healthcare.

"While a recent New York Times/CBS News Poll finds a majority of Americans now say the federal government should provide health insurance to every American, there are strong indications that many who declare their support for government-funded universal heath care fail to understand what it would entail. The poll found "[s]ixty percent, including 62 percent of independents and 46 percent of Republicans, said they would be willing to pay more in taxes .... Half said they would be willing to pay as much as $500 a year more." But even if every person currently paying taxes were willing to pay an extra $500 a year, that wouldn't begin to cover the great costs involved in such a program.

Sven Larson, a policy analyst for the John William Pope Civitas Institute, notes all the ways these negatives would play out in a government-funded universal health care system, which is simply a form of socialized medicine.

It would outlaw private health insurance and give government bureaucrats the exclusive right to set reimbursement rates for physicians, clinics and hospitals. This would not only create supply shortages, but would also likely produce a black market health-care system.

It would transform the state into the sole purchaser of medical drugs and equipment, hampering cost containment and inviting corruption.

It would destroy professional freedom for medical professionals. The government would be the sole determiner of the number of medical professionals that could work.

It would of necessity cap health spending. According to data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis, American health providers increase medical technology by 7 percent per year. Such increases are necessary if new technology is to make its way into hospitals and clinics. If the cap for a government-funded universal health-care system like the one proposed in California had been enacted nationwide in 1960, the cumulative effect would have been to lower current technological standards in hospitals to 1982 levels."

Another component to the equation is worded really well by the L.A. Times in 2007.

"Simply saying that people have health insurance is meaningless. Many countries provide universal insurance but deny critical procedures to patients who need them. Britain's Department of Health reported in 2006 that at any given time, nearly 900,000 Britons are waiting for admission to National Health Service hospitals, and shortages force the cancellation of more than 50,000 operations each year. In Sweden, the wait for heart surgery can be as long as 25 weeks, and the average wait for hip replacement surgery is more than a year. Many of these individuals suffer chronic pain, and judging by the numbers, some will probably die awaiting treatment. In a 2005 ruling of the Canadian Supreme Court, Chief Justice Beverly McLachlin wrote that "access to a waiting list is not access to healthcare."

Essentially, universal health care is socialized medicine, or an outreaching program of socialism. While I could probably summarize the definition of socialism Wikipedia does it best.

"Socialism refers to a broad set of economic theories of social organization advocating public or state ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods, and a society characterized by equal opportunities for all individuals, with a fair or egalitarian method of compensation.[1][2] Modern socialism originated in the late 19th-century intellectual and working class political movement that criticized the effects of industrialization and private ownership on society. Karl Marx posited that socialism would be achieved via class struggle and a proletarian revolution, and would represent a transitional stage between capitalism and communism."

That definition spells out what Obama is doing with our money. He is redistributing the wealth, turning our country into a welfare state.

Do you wonder what the Socialist Party officially states regarding universal health care? I was very curious, so I looked into it and found a page on the Socialist Party USA website.

"In order to promote a vision of, and program for, free and comprehensive health care for all, the National Committee of the Socialist Party USA has initiated a national campaign for socialized health care.

The Socialist Party stands for a socialized health care system based on universal coverage, salaried doctors and health care workers, and revenue derived from a steeply graduated income tax.

A national health care program with:

Comprehensive standard and alternative medical, dental, vision, and mental health coverage for all.
Publicly funded through progressive taxation
Controlled by democratically elected assemblies of health care workers and patients.
We call for a health care system that:

Emphasizes preventive care.

Respects patients’ privacy and gives special attention to the needs of people with physical or mental disabilities.

Conducts treatment and research unimpaired by sexism, racism, or homophobia.
We call for:

Full funding for AIDS research, prevention, and treatment.

Public ownership and worker and community control of the pharmaceutical industry.

Educational programs to help prevent drug addiction and for voluntary treatment programs for addicts and alcoholics and for the availability of free, sterile needles for those still using IV drugs.

Reinstatement of funding to community mental health services so that low-cost and no-cost treatment is available on a voluntary basis, with clients’ rights respected. (We oppose involuntary incarceration for treatment without due process)."

If you are still unconvinced that socialized medicine or universal health care is unacceptable, you need to take a look at the two sides (pros and cons) on Balanced Policics.Org. If that is no persuasive, you need to talk to someone in a country who has been living with universal health care, such as Canada. Find out how long they have to wait to get something done, how much it costs, how high their taxes are.

Say NO to universal health care!

No comments: