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Two weeks ago, in The Valley Reporter, my article entitled "What Contributes to Health Care Costs" dealt with two of the many items that must be considered in this hugely expensive revision now before Congress. Further amplification may be in order here.
Thank goodness Congress went on vacation before passing a health care
program. Now we can have a month for adequate debate. Remember the
Stimulus bill, TARP? It consisted of 1,013 pages appropriated $787
million and no one read the final version before all Democrats voted
for it, in an overnight slam-bang, push-push procedure. Just part of
the operational approach that the White House is using to get all
government to continue quickly down the road to socialism before people
uncover his schemes and his popularity continues to drop.
My concern over our present health care system is not about quality because it is undoubtedly the best that can be had anywhere in the world. No, it is all about cost and the two situations that I questioned Congressman Peter Welch about were these:
1. Cost increases due to our lack of border control allowing illegal aliens to load up the system which raises our insurance premiums.
2. Cost increases due to frivolous malpractice law suits and defensive ordering of marginal tests. The insurance premiums for physicians are excessively high because of the open end nature of exorbitant pain and suffering awards by manipulated juries. I asked about limiting award amounts.
Peter Welch did respond, not like his predecessor Bernie Sanders who never responds to anything but praise. He thanked me for contacting him about "my opposition to a universal health care system." He included the usual vague platitudes about "passing legislation that makes health care affordable and accessible to everyone" but no details about how he would do it and no answers about my cost questions. I guess I shouldn't have been surprised, this is what politicians do. So much for constituent input to our representatives.
Costs are the major issue connected with any health care plan; therefore, we should look at the mistakes that have been made by the U.K., Euro-care and Canada with their government run programs.
They can't control costs. First of all, being a government program it is subject to the will of politicians. Has there ever been a program run or controlled by them that was cost conscious? AmTrak, post office, Social Security Ponzi scheme, Fanny Mae, Freddie Mac. No, governments are not set up to do this work. They should set up rules by which programs are operated, check on how well they perform to their mandates and then get out of the way for private enterprise to provide the competition necessary for acceptable costs.
If Obama thinks he can pay for a new system by cutting costs, let him try it and bank the results first, before destroying our current program.
We cannot live with a government run "single payer" system or we will be repeating the same socialist errors so plainly evident in Europe and Canada. Try your luck with Congressional non-answers!
Olin E. Potter lives in Waitsfield.