Hogan's Alley

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Tread Carefully Into The Morass Of Medical Insurance Reform

One thing I know for a fact about medical reform efforts in America and the world is that they invariably cost more than advertised, produce less benefits than advertised and generate numerous unintended consequences.

Via Memorandum, comes a very well written and documented inquiry into the ten main reasons provided by the Obama administration and other advocates for the necessity of radical reform of our health care system, and the savings and benefits expected. The author is Bruce Kessler at a site called Maggie's Farm.

Key quote:

George Bernard Shaw warned “Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.” The major overhaul of American health care pursued by President Obama and his supporters is based on many false premises and is excessive and likely to do more harm than good. Tuning up and improvements already always dynamically occurs. Instead, ObamaCare is aimed at dramatically changing one-sixth of the US economy in ways that are untested or tested and found wanting, primarily involving huge increases in government direction of health care.

The details of ObamaCare are largely being left to Congress, the same body that stuffs the federal budget with earmarks, waste, and other programs that are not requested. ObamaCare is premised on claims for drastic changes in health care and major increases in government programs being necessary. Those claims are largely specious.

Below, the top ten specious premises for ObamaCare are discussed:

1. Comparing US Health Care To Other Developed Countries
2. US Health Care Spending Is More Than We Can Afford
3. Reform Overhaul Will Yield Major Savings
4. Increased Evidence-Based Medicine And Health Information Technology Will Significantly Improve Care and Reduce Costs
5. Present Administrative Costs And Insurer Profits Are Too High
6. US Consumer Dissatisfaction Requires Drastic Health Care Changes
7. Health Care Costs Are So High They Are A Major Cause Of Personal Bankruptcy
8. The Number Of Uninsured Is So Large That Drastic Health Care Changes Are Necessary
9. More Preventive Care Will Better Serve Consumers And Save Costs
10. Health Care Consumers Are Being Served By Drastic Health Care Changes

(More could be added, such as that government restraints on prescription drug prices will not impede incentives for innovations, but they are so transparently false that the list below dwells on other ObamaCare premises more misleading.)

Kessler then proceeds to provide chapter and verse about why each of these sacred given truths just ain't necessarily so. Important reading for the time when the President finally succeeds in appointing Gov. Sibelius as a Secretary of H.H.S. and this effort really gets under way. Let us not go blindly into this massive rescrambling without careful questioning.

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