Saturday, October 17, 2009

Health Care Costs - The Real Numbers

Cards talk and numbers don't lie, but many politicians do lie. President Obama and the Democrat Socialists that control Congress have created a "crisis" to cram HealthScare down the throats of the American people and grow government. The 46 million people who are uninsured actually breaks down to about 12 million illegal aliens, millions of people who can afford to buy health insurance, but choose not to, millions between jobs who choose not to buy insurance through their Cobra plans and finally the poor who have no private insurance, but are on Medicaid. We all have to be careful when dealing with Democrat Socialists because they are not too good when it comes to numbers, or they lie and they certainly don't understand Economics 101.

But, it gets even worse. There was a recent magazine article on the real numbers related to Health Care Costs in Forbes on September 7, 2009, written by Alan Reynold, a senior fellow with the Cato Institute and author of Income and Wealth. As it turns out once again, government is the problem not the solution. Remember, it was Democrat Socialists like Congressman Barney Frank and Senator Chris Dodd (a friend of Angelo at Countrywide Mortgage) and Senator Chuck Schumer (that now wants to punish the insurance companies for simply pointing out the real numbers about HealthScare) that demanded that people who could not afford mortgages be given them and then these same Democrat Socialists refused to regulate Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac (because of huge campaign contributions), which led to the mortgage meltdown and financial "crisis" in the United States. Now President Obama and the Democrat Socialists that control Congress are playing fast and loose with health care numbers to fabricate another "crisis" to grow government again.

The HealthScare bills before Congress are smoke and mirrors. All the tax increases start immediately; but the "benefits" don't begin for several years. This is playing games with the numbers as the Democrat Socialists say the cost is about $900 Billion when the cost is actually $1.8 Trillion. And, if you believe these cost projections anyway I have some real estate in a swamp to sell you. Medicare has cost 9 times the original projections in 1965. Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, Amtrac and the Post Office are all bankrupt. So, if the government is true to form, HealthScare will cost Trillions and Trillions of dollars not what is being projected today by the Congressional Budget Office.

In any case, Mr. Reynolds points out that the reason the cost of health care has gone up is primarily because of government outlays not money spent on private medical insurance. He demonstrates his thesis with real numbers not loose lips or pie in the sky. Mr. Reynolds makes the point that the only way to reduce total spend on health care, if the government expands the spend by $1.8 Trillion, is for there to be a cuts of the same amount or more in private medical spend and that is not going to happen any time soon. It is interesting that the bloating influence of government is obvious when looking at the medical goods and services that are almost never financed by "free" government money: dental care, over the counter drugs, hearing aids and eye glasses. As such, there has not been run away inflation related to these items.

Hospital fees are another matter, having risen nearly twice as fast as overall medical care. Government agencies pay nearly 60% of hospital bills, while private insurance (with more incentive to be careful) pays 36% and consumers pay 3% out of pocket. Either President Obama does not know what he is talking about, which is feasible given his experience, or he is LYING because it is government spending that is driving up the cost of medical care not those "evil" insurance companies. By the way, money going to "evil" doctors rose 3.1% a year from 1996 to 2008 roughly equal to the Consumer Price Index during those years. Clearly, Obama's contention that the government can spend trillions of dollars in deficit spending on health care, which will bankrupt our country and have the over all cost go down is ridiculous. If we spend more, it will cost more. I think 2 plus 2 still equals 4 the last time I did the new math; though Democrat Socialists contend that 2 plus 2 equals 3. Democrat Socialist must have gone to public schools in the last 20 years where close in math is good enough if you feel good about your answer.

And, the Consumer Price Index has kept track of Premiums since 2005 and the index has risen an average of 2.8% since then; though as a small business owner, I must say our increases have been higher probably because small businesses cannot negotiate the better fees charged large corporations. As such, what we have coming out of President Obama and the Democrat Socialists that control Congress is the Big Lie. Again these elected officials have created the "crisis" to grow government not reform health care. Obama's HealthScare Plan is all about POWER and big union campaign contributions not real health care reform. Any one who believes the health care numbers coming out of Washington are real is suffering from delusional Democrat Socialist thinking. Have some chicken soup and then take a bottle of Tylenol PM and hope the nightmare goes away when you wake up in 2012.

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