This week, I saw the DFL’s 21st Century health care plan when I went to Tarryl Clark’s health care forum. After the meeting, I talked with an employee of the Greater Minnesota Health Care Coalition. I’ve discovered that they’re part of a bigger socialist coalition. Another organization in that coalition is Minnesotans for Universal Health Care Coalition. That’s a name I remembered from this fall. They sponsored a health care forum last September. Let’s start, though, by reviewing what the GMHCC sees as the future of health care:

Although there are some advantages and some disadvantages to each system, universal health care confers the greatest number of advantages. They include:

  1. Every individual would receive necessary medical coverage, regardless of age, health, employment, or socio-economic status.
  2. Health care spending would decline because centralized billing procedures would reduce administrative overhead. Consequently, a larger percentage of the cost of health care would actually be spent on patient treatment.
  3. Increased access to preventive care and the ability of government to purchase prescription medications in bulk would also help drive down health care costs. However, the corresponding drop in revenue for pharmaceutical companies could lead to a reduction in overall research and development, slowing down technological advancement.
  4. Patients can choose their physician and physicians can choose the most appropriate treatment for their patients.
  5. There would be a removal of profit-motive in health care. The driving force behind the health industry would be patient care and not profit maximization.

Now let’s compare that with what was said at the St. Cloud Forum:

“The doctors are wonderful. You get good care. And it just makes me mad when they talk about how they have to come over here to get good care & that’s not true.”

After rambling a bit, Ms. Linus continued, saying this:

“Now they say that Canadians have to come over here for good treatment. Well don’t you believe it. Don’t you believe it one bit. That government is so good to all its people. I don’t care if you’re rich or poor. They take care of you. And so many of the people come & they talk crap about how awful their system is. Well, don’t you believe it. Single payer is wonderful if it’s run right.”

Now let’s compare that with what was said at MUHCC’s September health care forum:

Conyers’ legislative aide, Joel Segal, broke down the national health insurance plan for the audience, a packed theater of union members, legislators, members of the Minnesota State Nurses Association, health care advocacy groups and many people for whom the current health care system had failed.

“The main barrier to care in this country is that you don’t have a right to be a patient in the wealthiest country in the world,” explained Segal. “You have to either get a job which has insurance, which is a big problem because a lot of people don’t have jobs, and even if you do have a job you may not be able to afford the insurance, and even if you do get that insurance it’s probably not going to be that good because you’re going to have excessive copays, deductibles and bills at the end,” he said. “What [House File] 676 seeks to do is to eliminate all barriers to care between the patient and the physician. ”

The plan outlined in the bill is not incredibly complicated and simply makes the government the sole health insurer. Insurance premiums would be paid in the form of taxes.

When someone is born, he or she is automatically issued a national health insurance card. That person, throughout a lifetime, can visit any hospital, doctor, mental health provider, or treatment center of the individual’s choosing. Physicians and other health care staff are reimbursed within 30 days of services rendered, and that reimbursement is mandated to be at current pay grade which, according to Segal, would result in a raise after the 25 percent cost of working with multiple health plans, formularies and payment systems is eliminated. Hospitals would also receive “global budgets” each year based on previous year’s costs.

“Nothing is going to change except there will be no more stock market, investor-owned doctors’ offices or hospitals,” said Segal.

If that isn’t government-run healthcare, then I don’t know what is. That’s what’s heading our direction if conservatives sit on their hands. That’s unacceptable. It’s time that we started telling our co-workers, friends and neighbors what’s happening.

The House GOP caucus has a saying that’s appropriate in this discussion:

If you think that health care is expensive now, wait until it’s free.

The notion that CanadaCare is “wonderful” and that the Canadian government “takes care such wonderful care” of their people “whether they’re rich or poor” is absurd. What Monday’s advocates don’t talk about is how much they had to raise taxes to pay for their universal health care or that they have to still buy supplemental insurance to cover the things ‘universal health care’ won’t cover.

Let’s get serious about something here. When’s the last time the federal government proved that it did things better than the private sector, especially in terms of customer service? The answer is pretty similar to the old joke about how many Frenchmen it takes to defend Paris? Nobody knows. It’s never been done.

It’s important that we understand another important point. Just because these fanatics are advocating wrong-headed policies doesn’t mean that their votes count less than conservatives’ votes. If we don’t work as hard at winning people over as they do, they’ll win. If you don’t want to live with a single-payer health care system, then you’d better become a intelligent advocate for the free market health care system.

By the way, the Daily Planet article mentions that the audience was packed with “union members” & “legislators…” At the time, I wondered which legislators were there. This afternoon, I found out that one of those legislators was Tarryl’s guest John Marty.

Coincidental? I’d bet otherwise.

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3 Responses to “Socialized Health Care Machine”

  • Shimmy says:

    The U.S. health care system is the best in the world except when your death can be prevented by access
    to timely and effective health care.

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