More on the Health Care Fiasco

From the NCPA December 7, 2010 post

“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) just announced that 59.1 million Americans went without health insurance for at least part of this year — an all-time high. The CDC estimate comes on the heels of a report from the Census Bureau that arrived at a similar conclusion. Supporters of ObamaCare have seized on these findings to make their case for the law to an increasingly skeptical American public, says Sally C. Pipes, president and CEO of the Pacific Research Institute. [See observation #1]

“The data gathered by the CDC survey more closely approximate “the number of people who were uninsured at a specific point in time during the year than the number of people uninsured for the entire year.”

“The Census and CDC figures also fail to account for the millions of uninsured who are eligible for existing government insurance programs but haven’t signed up — roughly one in four Americans without coverage qualify for government-provided care. [See observation #2]

“Many other uninsured Americans voluntarily go without insurance — some 10.6 million people with household incomes of more than $75,000 lack coverage. [see observation #3]

“Even if the uninsured problem is exaggerated, won’t ObamaCare help the country achieve universal coverage?

“Sadly, the trillion-dollar answer is no. The new law, according to the Congressional Budget Office, will still leave 23 million Americans without coverage by 2019.

“That’s because ObamaCare does nothing to address the fundamental problem with health care in the United States — our employer-based health insurance system, says Pipes. [see observation #4]

“The new law actually strengthens the link between employment and insurance. In fact, by requiring plans to offer expensive benefits that most people don’t need, ObamaCare makes it even more difficult for individuals who can’t get coverage through work to find affordable insurance. [ditto]

“‘If Americans — rather than their employers — owned their insurance policies, then they could take them from job to job and remain insured if they lost their jobs,’ says Pipes.” [ditto]

Source: Sally C. Pipes, “Reform Fails To Fix Uninsured Problem,” Investor’s Business Daily, November 24, 2010.

My emphasis added.

For text:

http://www.investors.com/NewsAndAnalysis/Article/554787/201011241823/Reform-Fails-To-Fix-Uninsured-Problem.aspx

My observations:

#1 To call the Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act “ObamaCare” might be a bit unfair. It is really the “Insurance Industry Subsidy and Protection Act of 2010” given that the mandated coverage works to the industry’s benefit. They have already stated top raiser their rates. Want to see some really huge executive bonuses? Stay tuned.

#2 Here in Dallas County, those who do not have insurance or are otherwise unable to pay, do not go without medical care. Parkland Hospital provides excellent care to Dallas County residents (even illegals!) for reduced or even no cost. This means the clinics, not just the emergency room. Of course, there can be a long wait for non urgent cases. Whaddya expect for free?

#3 Insurance is supposed to be a mechanism for sharing risk. If one has the means to deal with the risk themselves they do not need insurance. Many go that route, and they should be free to do so if they wish.

#4 The main fallacy in the system has been giving an employer a tax break for providing health insurance, and now mandating that they do. It used to be called “hospitalization” because one had to have a medical condition serious enough to require hospital care. It gradually became comprehensive third-party payment for all kinds of medical care and prescription drugs. It has come to the point that consumers of medical care of all stripes look upon it as an entitlement, rather than a choice or responsibility to secure the means to finance medical care.

Cheers!

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