Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Comment on the Belmont Club:
"Now You See It, Now You Don't"

There are two parts to the Obama plan;
1. rationing services available under Medicare,
2. restricting access to alternative medical services.

The problem is not just that the Obama plan will deny some services to cut cost. Doing so through a more market and less third party based system would probably reduce costs dramatically, divert more resource to private charity, increase research and result in a very small number of people not receiving care they cannot afford. Sometimes it turns out that it is cheaper to provide some preventive services that might get cut under an Obama plan. For example I use the VA. Unless you have service connected disability the VA does not include dental services. Any physician will tell you that good dental care prevents a host of medical problems that will be far more expensive to treat in the future. Another example is routine treatment by an otolaryngoligist to prevent infections. These services are not routinely available at the VA and will I am sure not be available under the Obama plan, with a resulting increased cost over time.

The second part of the problem is what makes the first part indefensible. The Obama plan is not intended to be a plan for universal emergency coverage, analogous to the way that Social Security was intended to be a plan to prevent destitution among the elderly, but is a plan for comprehensive universal care, analogous to how Social Security is now viewed as a general retirement plan. The plan is designed to eliminate all private competition. That will ensure that not only will people not have access to some services under the plan but that they will have no way, unless they are part of a small wealthy elite, of gaining access through alternative or supplementary plans.

As a side note I am currently in the clutches of the Census, which I will blog about, while preserving confidentiality, on some other occasion. It is as you might expect of fear. My regrets for my inability to participate more fully in the discussion.

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wretchard
“Why is there this compulsion to tell anything but the truth?”

"You want answers? ... You can't handle the truth."

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