Monday, July 19, 2010
Twelve Politically Correct (and Twelve Politically Incorrect) Health Care Ideas and Beliefs. Obamacare in Perspective
“Politically correct (or incorrect) the use (or avoidance) of expressions or actions the might be perceived to marginalize or insult groups who are socially disadvantaged or discriminated against.”
Political correctness is about telling people what you think they want to hear in an ideal world. Political incorrectness is about telling people what they are reluctant to believe in the real world.
• It is politically correct to believe that everyone, no matter what their class or income or health status, deserves and should receive government guaranteed health coverage.
• It is politically incorrect to say that this is difficult in America because it superimposes a cumbersome, politically unpopular reform upon a complex, fragmented system without controlling costs.
• It is politically correct to say that the U.S. health system compares unfavorably to health systems of other developed nations.
• It is politically incorrect to say that the U.S. health system is a creature of our culture that reflects America’s values.
• It is politically correct to blame high health costs and discriminatory policies of profiteering health plans that exclude those with pre-existing illnesses, children, and disadvantaged individuals and social groups.
• It is politically incorrect to point out that profits are necessary to run a health plan and satisfy stockholders, the new law with its taxes and rules will raise premiums, and government plans could not function without health plan administrative help.
• It is politically correct to say 30% of American health care is “wasteful” and “unnecessary” because of regional variations and provider greed.
• It is politically incorrect to say regional variations largely result from poverty and cultural conditions that combine to produce high costs for treating neglected or advanced diseases.
• It is politically correct to say that centralized government programs and regulations will save the health system money.
• It is politically incorrect to observe that never in the history of the Republic have government entitlement programs saved money.
• It is politically correct to believe health outcomes, e.g., obesity and diabetes, are due to physician inattention, failure to advise patients properly, or misguided treatments.
• It is politically incorrect to say adverse outcomes may more often stem from lack of patient compliance, bad personal habits, poor nutrition, and sedentary life styles.
• It is politically correct to say we can solve our health care cost problems by broadening the primary care base and coordinating care.
• It is politically incorrect to say only 2% of medical students select primary care careers, most Americans prefer to go directly to specialists, and concepts like medical homes are untested.
• It is politically correct to say that doctors are responsible for high care costs and if we could only herd them into cost-accountable groups costs would drop.
• It is politically incorrect other factors contribute to high costs, many doctors prefer to practice independently outside of managed groups, and dominant larger groups negotiate favorable contracts not intended to lower costs.
• It is politically correct to assert that the health system is so complex consumers lack the intelligence, information, and knowledge to select the right doctors or right hospitals.
• It is politically incorrect to say health savings accounts, now owned by 10 million Americans, cut premiums by 20% or more without producing negative outcomes.
• It is politically correct to say with ubiquitous, interoperable electronic health records, we can standardize and homogenize physician, hospital, and consumer health practices and behaviors.
• It is politically incorrect to say in America, freedom of choice of doctors, open selection of hospitals, latitude to live as one wishes, and personal privacy are considered God-given constitutional rights .
• It is politically correct to insist a wise and benevolent government can fine-tune, direct, and coordinate care in all economic sectors, including health care.
• It is politically incorrect to point out centralized governments more often produce economic stagnation, unemployment, long health care queues, than dynamic economies reflecting the individualistic , entrepreneurial, pragmatic, adaptable, and innovative nature of its most enterprising citizens.
• It is politically correct to say that within the next ten years (the time frame for implementation of Obamacare) we will know and appreciate government overhaul of health care.
• It is politically incorrect to note Obamacare is patterned after Massachusetts’ four year old universal coverage plan, which has raised premiums to the highest level in the country, produced the longest waiting lines in the land, overcrowded ERs, caused many physicians to close practices to new patients, and doubled state budget costs.