Sunday, November 10, 2013
Can ObamaCare Create the Safety Net Without Destroying the Health System?
The health care safety net is a non-contributory transfer program that seeks to prevent the poor from falling below a certain poverty level.
Definition of health care safety net
In a world where middle-class work is in transition, we need a safety net…Having a national health care safety net is both morally right and in the interest of everyone who wants a stable society
Thomas L. Friedman, “Why I (Still) Support ObamaCare,” New York Times, November 10, 2013
At the core of Obamacare resides the belief that only government is big enough to do the job of guaranteeing access to affordable health care.
But can government cover everyone without destroying the halth care safety net and breaking the national treasury?
Can it do it without?
· building an innovation-stifling bureaucracy
· slowing economic growth
· killing job creation
· Unleashing runaway entitlement programs
· adding to the national debt
· harming the middle class
· burdening the young with high premiums and deductibles
· controlling fraud and abuse
· creating a massive Medicaid system
· bankrupting state budgets
· making private practice obsolete
· dissuading people from entering the medical profession
· uninsuring the currently insured
· turning for-profit health plans into public utilities
· destroying safety net hospitals
Progressives will argue: Of course we can. Other nations have done it. So can we. Health care is a right, not a privilege. It is the right thing to do. Nobody should be bankrupt from getting sick or getting old.
Conservatives will counter: No we can’t. Just look at what it is going on.
· Government can’t even manage its own website.
· The health reform law’s perverse incentives are already causing insurers to cancel millions of health plans Americans chose and want to keep.
· Its health care law’s costs are already out of control, 50% ahead of its projection 3 ½ years out the chute, and destined for 200% to 300% increases in 10 to 15 years.
· Economic growth over the last 5 years is 2%, instead of the 3% to 4% needed to restore prosperity and lift us out of the recession.
· Centralized government has never been able to control care or patient behavior at the market level. Never has. Never will. Only free markets centered on price can do that.
· Only the incentives of free markets and freedom of choice can lead to incentives that create wealth and distribute the fruits of innovation, build the middle class, and spread the right goods to most of the people most of the time.
· When capitalism is pitted against socialism, capitalism always wins. Social welfare costs are bankrupting European economies, and they will ours too.
· The U.S. is the beacon and destination for freedom-loving, opportunity seeking, and hardworking people from around the world.
· Individualism trumps collectivism and unleashes people’s true potential.
· Disruption and exploitation of the safety net is underway (see “Con Men Prey on Confusion over Health Care Act,: New York Times, November 10, 2013; “Cuts in Hospital Subsidies Threaten Safety-Net Care, “ New York Times, November 8, 2013)
· There are easier, simpler, less confusing ways to assure affordability of care – buying health plans across state lines, implementing tort national health reform, assuring all health care expenses deductible for everyone, and making health savings accounts with low premiums available to all citizens.
Tweet: A national debate is underway focusing on the question: Does Obamacare creates a national safety-net or is in the process of destroying it?