Archive for April 2009

The Unintended Consequences of Obama’s Medical Plan

I think if you look at the plan, you will soon realize that the whole point of it is to seriously reduce inefficiencies / costs in the system, as the current state is a non-competitive, out-of-control, inefficient system.

If anything, it will be yet another competitor to the marketplace. I was surprised to see facts like non-profit companies designed to administer Medicare were 20% more expensive than the government doing it directly. And the government isn’t exactly known for efficiency. But let’s take a step back and compare some of the facts of similar existing systems.

Do you send mail via the post office? Do you pay for taxes to subsidize it? Did they kill FedEx and UPS? Actually, those two came later on, and do very well. The post office may replace some competitors like DHL, but they are a basic service. UPS and FedEx are premium. I wouldn’t trust my life with the USPS, even though they tend to be a little cheaper.

Does this mean government doctors will be paid less, and therefore lower quality? Perhaps, but we don’t see firefighters, police, and military doctors to be motivated by money, but all do a good job on the whole. Maybe a neurosurgeon working for the government will only make $500,000 per year instead of $750,000 in a commercially run hospital. But then again, when was the last time you saw a gung-ho, excited-about-his-job postal worker?

With more and fair competition, bloat and waste will be forced to be cut out, making insurance affordable for the rest of us. I don’t know if the government plans to sell their healthcare, but I suspect it will be the case, unless you are poor. But at that point, we still call that system Medicare / Medicaid, so its not like our taxes do not already for that group of people. I am sure they would not simply give it away to middle income Americans for free. And for those that cant afford insurance nor medical bills, and go to the hospital, guess who pays their bills… That’s right, the insured people.

Either way, whether it’s taxes or via the insurance premiums of those can afford them, the medical bills of the uninsured are already being paid by those with money. The difference is now, healthcare agencies need to work harder to earn a hard day’s work.

I do have one huge dissatisfaction with the report. Like everything else I have read, it doesn’t address the economic motivators, and “where is the money really ending up.” Sure, hospital administrators get paid millions of dollars a year, but when hospitals hire, and try offering hundreds of thousands instead, those administrators will go elsewhere because they know they can get paid more. Supply and demand.

There have been several studies into health care waste, and it needs to stop. I just worry that the government may try to force health care on everyone; much like we’re all forced to accept police/firefighter help. On a final note, too much government intervention is usually a bad thing, like various reports of euthanasia in England and other similar research. Reports of rampant involuntary euthanasia (a.k.a. murder?) in England to free up hospital beds from the old and dying, have circulated in recent years.

Obama’s Medical Plan Unveiled

As many of you may have heard, Obama is in the works for a national health insurance program. You can read the Obama medical plan here. It aims to offer a cheaper government insurance plan that will cause the big insurance companies to lower their premiums. This definitely sounds like a move in the right direction for some, but is it really?

With more and more of the population becoming uninsured (40% of America), the burden to cover the bills of the uninsured is paid by those with insurance. At this rate, the system could collapse when no one is able to afford insurance anymore. My initial thought is that the Obama plan will cause taxes to be raised in order to subsidize costs.

Just because the insurance is cheaper doesn’t mean doctors will suddenly charge less right? Who wants doctors that work for beans, or, are those doctors perhaps inclined to be more ethical because they are not motivated by money? What are your thoughts on this?

In the next post, I will further detail some of the pro’s and cons.