Washington politicians are rushing to dramatically change America’s entire health care system in the few weeks remaining between now and Congress’s traditional August recess. They intend to create a vast, new government-run plan for hundreds of millions of Americans. This government takeover of private medicine will have devastating consequences. Here are some of the worst:1. Your benefits will be taxed. We’ve heard the promise time and again, “Your taxes won’t go up one cent,”…unless you have health insurance. Now, Congressional Democrats are proposing to tax the employer-provided benefits most Americans rely on for their medical care. Health insurance already costs too much. Taxing the health care benefits of hardworking Americans will increase its cost even more and drive additional Americans onto a government health care program.
2. If you like what you have, you will lose it. A new government-run plan will destroy your private health care coverage. While proponents of such a plan claim they will allow people to keep what they have, a government-run program will destroy private care, making it uncompetitive and more and more expensive. Millions of Americans who currently have private insurance will be forced onto a government plan.
Rep. Jan Schakowsky, a member of the House Democrat leadership, in a moment of unguarded candor, recently acknowledged their goal: “[N]ext to me was a guy from the insurance company who then argued against the public health insurance option saying: it wouldn’t let private insurance compete, that a public option would put the private insurance industry out of business and lead to single-payer … he was right!” [emphasis added].
3. Your care and drugs will be rationed. In every country with government-run health care, government health boards decide who is allowed to have what drugs, procedures, and treatments. For instance, Medicare patients were recently informed they would be denied virtual colonoscopies.
Resources will be stretched thinner than ever before, and patients will be denied care to keep costs down. In anticipation of this, the stimulus package included a $1.1 billion research provision so that, “those items, procedures, and interventions… that are found to be less effective and in some cases, more expensive, will no longer be prescribed” [emphasis added].
4. You will be placed on wait lists. Government care not only means rationing, it means bureaucracy and delays. In Massachusetts, the model state for universal coverage, one clinic has a wait list of at least 1,600 people—about four months—for an initial appointment. As one Canadian judge wrote, “Access to a waiting list is not access to health care.” What good is government coverage if all it gets you is a spot on a waiting list?
5. The quality of your care will plummet. Government insurance comes with strings attached for patients and doctors—and the incentives are all wrong. Already, Medicare rewards doctors for the volume of care provided, not for outcomes. If you get well, the doctor sees you less and his income decreases. This government model gives incentive to cram more patients and appointments into every day because quantity, not quality, are what counts. Just imagine: your doctor’s office or hospital will become more and more like the DMV.
6. You will have less choice and freedom. Government has expanded to an unprecedented size. It has taken over banks and car companies and sunk our nation into unthinkable debt. Every day, we see Washington creeping into our bank accounts, our minivans, and now even our doctors’ offices. Obamacare will mean losing one of our most intimate freedoms—the freedom to choose our medical care.