Just over 15 years ago, come to think of it during another Democrat administration, the federal government tried to “do something” about rising healthcare costs. The smart thing to do would have been to get the dead hand of government out of healthcare and let the market work the problems out.
As usual, Democrats opted for more regulation and began pushing citizens into “managed care” (another word for HMOs) in an effort to cut cost. Results were predictable: Unsatisfactory care for patients and healthcare prices still went up.
That time period was notorious for the “drive-through delivery” where expectant mothers were rushed through the hospital’s front door to give birth and then given the bum’s rush out the backdoor to cut costs. In addition, 24-hour hospital stays for new mothers became the rule with only the rich or the elected being the exception.
This didn’t last long as new mothers made their outrage known to doctors and bureaucrats alike.
Fast forward to today. Once again the public is faced with a federal attempt to make healthcare “affordable,” this time using Obamacare. Except there is one big difference: Instead of the bill making healthcare affordable for the public, Obamacare has cuts designed to make the bill affordable for politicians.
Part of the posturing involved in passing Obamacare was the risible claim that it would not be a budget buster. To make the numbers (or at least the PowerPoint) work, Senate legislative mechanics cut hundreds of millions from Medicare.
Now the bill is coming due. According to a report on KBPS.org, California hospitals are responding to “performance-based reimbursement” with job cuts. An unnamed medical group in the San Francisco Bay area is expected to cut more than 200 jobs in response to financial pressure.
Obamacare is designed to bring millions of patients into the system on one hand and on the other the financial incentives cause providers to fire employees. The outcome should be obvious even to a politician: reduced quality of care and overburdened medical professionals.
And what’s really infuriating is this government-mandated health insurance is more expensive than the “unaffordable coverage” consumers relied upon before. The Manhattan Institute estimates the average increase in health insurance premiums will be 99 percent for men and 62 percent for women. So much for affordability.
I defy you to find any area where government competes with the private sector and the government provides an equivalent product at a lower price. You’ll find a unicorn first.
No wonder congressmen and senators have asked the executive branch to exempt them from Obamacare rules. Now if we could only find someone to exempt us from Congress.
Michael Reagan is the son of President Ronald Reagan. He is president of The Reagan Legacy Foundation and Chairman of the League of American Voters. Mike is an in-demand speaker with Premiere. Read more reports from Michael Reagan — Click Here Now.
© Mike Reagan