As is typical of most liberals, the Dead Fish Wrapper thinks that more and more government is always the solution to all of society's problems. They have been demonstrating this lately on more than one occasion. The first is an editorial touting a new "framework" for a universal health care system in Oregon as reported by the Fish Wrapper. And, as usual, the editors gloss over important facts while pushing the hype:
Nobody, of course, is ready to endorse a final version of the plan. There is no final version. Virtually all of the details have yet to be worked out, and that's going to mean a long, painful process.
The commission's draft bill lacks crucial details, such as costs, but it does outline a broad proposal for dramatically changing how Oregonians would buy and receive health care.
Yup, that sounds like a well thought out plan with lots of detail; definitely something worth promoting.
After reading the article, it's pretty obvious where the Fish Wrapper stands on this issue. The entire article explains the plan, but glosses over any issues that might pose problems for it. In the entire 10 paragraph section of the article entitled Obstacles and positioning, there were two whole sentences that mentioned any possible obstacles:
Wyden's 166-page bill faces political obstacles, and Wyden doesn't expect it to pass easily or without amendment. He has no co-sponsors yet.
Then there's the obstacle like the fact that universal health care has failed miserably in places like Canada and Great Britain, but, like I always say, don't let the facts get in the way...
So how does all this work?
The Wyden measure would change the rules for all Americans except those covered by Medicare or through the military. State-by-state Medicaid programs would continue only for poor children and disabled people.
The law would require employers to end health insurance benefits and put the money into employee salaries. Workers would use that money -- protected by a new tax deduction -- to buy health insurance. They would pay premiums through income taxes.
So let me get this straight; I get a tax deduction for my insurance premiums which I then turn around and pay in income taxes? Nothing confusing there...
People in households with incomes of less than $40,000 would pay less out of pocket than they do now for medical and dental coverage comparable to what members of Congress and other federal employees get. On average, households with incomes between $50,000 and $150,000 would pay about $300 more a year, but many would have more health plans to choose from and get fuller coverage in return.
Here is a chart published with the article that shows how much more or less a family would have to pay with this new plan.
But here's where the savings are:
The projected savings under Wyden's proposal, he said, would come from administrative simplification, a stronger emphasis on preventive care and cost control resulting from individuals taking more responsibility for choosing their health plan.
All this sounds great, but the reality is that it is all pie in the sky. Can anyone point out a time where government has ever been more efficient than private industry? Ever?? I doubt it. It's one reason the Soviet system failed; they tried to plan the economy instead of letting supply and demand determine it. When has the government ever demonstrated "administrative simplification"? The terms "government" and "administrative simplification" together form an oxymoron.
But what's assumed is that there would be no problems with government making health care choices for us. This is a very dangerous assumption, as exemplified by Canada and Great Britain.
- Patients being denied appointments with consultants in a systematic attempt to ration care and save the government money.
- A woman (a former man who had a sex change operation) gets a tattoo removed, but a woman with cancer is denied a cancer treatment drug because it costs too much, even though it cost the same as the tattoo removal
- People are denied surgeries not because they have no benefit, but because they cost too much.
- A recent study in Canada found that "12 percent of physicians and 4 percent of nurses believe they have had patients die specifically because of long waits for needed care."
And Deroy Murdock points out even more examples of why universal health care is dangerous for the patient.
So after all this, I have one question: why is only one side of this story told by Mr. Graves and Mr. Colburn? It seems the answer is that when you're a liberal, you know your side is the only one worth telling.