The View From 1776

News And Opinions About Obamacare, Version Two

A new fiscal policy website, The Fiscal Times, provides a balanced presentation of news and a thoughtful presentation of opinion.  Unlike mainstream liberal-progressive media such as the New York Times, news articles do not state ideological positions as settled fact.  Instead, news articles report both conservative and liberal-progressive views, identifying each as such.

The reason for this balance undoubtedly is that the website is funded by Peter G. Peterson.

With regard to Obamacare, see two opinion pieces, Bipartisan Indifference to Controlling Health Care Costs and Health Reform Preview: The Obama Plan.

For a news report, see Health Care Odds Long, but Democrats Push Ahead.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 02/27 at 09:59 PM
  1. Often, we are told "Look at country "X" and look at single payers."

    One reason other countries have lower health care costs is due to rationing, denying use of certain drugs, and a few other things and yet, their costs are rising so much they still have to make cuts.

    Doctors are calling for NHS treatment to be withheld from patients who are too old or who lead unhealthy lives. ......Smokers, heavy drinkers, the obese and the elderly should be barred from receiving some operations.......Fertility treatment and "social" abortions are also on the list.....About one in 10 hospitals already deny some surgery to obese patients and smokers, with restrictions most common in hospitals battling debt.

    What they had in the past is no longer possible. Every nation with a currency getting weaker is going to see health care costs rise as they reflect global costs and demand and the price of imports most developed nations depend on for many of their medical supplies. In the U.S., latex gloves are made in Taiwan, Malaysia and China, for example.


    Thousands of surgeries may be cut in Metro Vancouver due to government underfunding......

    ...Dix said a Vancouver Coastal Health Authority document shows it is considering chopping more than 6,000 surgeries in an effort to make up for a dramatic budgetary shortfall that could reach $200 million.;

    For much of the 20th century, Sweden had a single-payer system of health care in which the government paid almost all health care costs. Like other nations with a single-payer system, Sweden has had to deal with the problem of ever-growing health care expenses causing a strain on government budgets. It has dealt with this problem by rationing health care - instituting waiting lists for medical appointments and surgery.


    But in some respects, France comes pretty close to the ideal.....

    ....France relies on a mixture of public and private funding, as does the U.S. But unlike Americans, every French citizen has access to basic health-care coverage through national insurance funds, to which both employers and employees contribute. Some 90% of the population also buys supplementary private insurance to provide benefits that aren't covered, and the government picks up the tab for those out of work who cannot gain coverage through a family member......

    .......Despite this, rising costs and an aging population make it a struggle for France to finance its system. On May 29, the government warned that health-care inflation this year is running ahead of projections, threatening to deepen an already worrisome $5.2 billion deficit.

    There are a lot of things we could learn from the French system including the fact you can't control costs when they are tied to inflation and a weakening currency. When bread here is $1,000 a loaf, what do you think a Dr. visit will cost? And, yes, $1,000 bread will come whether it is this year or in a couple of years. Since we aren't implementing much of the health care reform, if passed, until 2013, there is a good chance we could already be paying $1,000 for a loaf of bread.

    We could be in the worst depression we have ever seen and there be virtually no demand by U.S. consumers and bread still cost $1,000 because the 2.5 billion middle class consumers around the world do demand goods, services and grains and raw materials that will rise in price as fast as the dollar falls in value to their currencies.

    Why are we focused on health care when we won't be able to even fund welfare, or unemployment or education or police and fire services adequately. Why are we focused on health care reform that won't stop the doctors from other nations practicing here from going home when this crisis really gets serious about eliminating the excesses we have. Why are we focused on health care when the devaluing of the dollar is going to drive the price of everything we import and export up to where we can't buy them?

    Just as our Government Accountants have warned Congress for years, if they don't get the U.S. fiscal policies in line with reality we will lose our ability to fund even the most basic services and face riots, looting and losses of power, water and sewer.

    We may not even have enough time for a new health care reform to be implemented because of decades of bad policies that have grown worse each decade for 70 years. Clear back in 1968 we started borrowing $1 for each $1 of GDP growth. In 1969 Dr. Day working for Rockefeller said that U.S. industry had to be broken down and sent overseas and that we would then become the investment, research and high tech nation where all our "well educated" young people would no longer have to work in factories and the "cheap labor" in 3rd world nations would do the dirty factory work.

    How's that working out, Dr. Day? I wish he was still alive to see how bad that policy has been on the middle class workers of our nation. Both parties, for decades have destroyed this nation's ability to dig out of the hole they dug. Now, we can't grow or tax out of this.

    Bernanke in response to questions to him during his recent testimony confirmed that even double digit growth for decades wouldn't get us out of this.

    He also said it would take a 60% tax hike but that would also hurt the economy. (That would end up actually increasing those needing government assistance, reduce tax revenues for income and payroll and cause our debt to rise and interest rates to rise causing housing to get worse.)

    Cutting spending would send us into a depression now as 1 in 4 jobs depend on government spending either directly or indirectly like selling asphalt, copiers, vehicles, paper, contract services, etc. to cities, counties, states and the federal government. For every six private sector jobs there is a government job and the private sector jobs are still going overseas or just being lost when the business closes its doors due to the drop in consumer spending on many discretionary items. We even have supermarkets cutting the number of brands they carry for a product to reduce costs and that will cause those brands to have to lay off, downsize or close.

    That means more people will need government assistance programs that we have to borrow money from China, Japan, OPEC and other nations for. That raises our interest payments that have to come from falling tax revenues.

    No wonder Fed. Pres Hoenig. ex-comptroller general Walker, Societe Generale Edwards, Bernanke, Congressman Ryan and others all agree our course is unsustainable.

    Yet, here we are, trying to add more to the deficit since the "pay as you go," for health care would mean cuts in other programs American's wouldn't stand for and thus, Congress, as worried about votes as they are would start borrowing to cover those cuts rather than make them. So, even if you fund health care and rising costs it will have, you still lose.

    Until people realize the U.S. is falling apart due to its fiscal policy in all departments and programs, we can't have quality care.
    Posted by JanPBurr  on  02/28  at  01:11 PM
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