Short and Sweet: Obama vs. Romney on Medicare

Let’s be brief and straightforward on this, shall we? I’m getting a little bit sick of hearing the media whine about Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan wanting to rob Medicare, while praising Barack Obama for saving it even though he guts it of $716 billion.

Here’s the short of it: The Romney/Ryan plan puts citizens back in charge of their own health care, through a voucher system. The money goes from government-mandated spending on particular providers to a choice for the individual to spend that money where he or she wants.

Voucher systems work, because they put individuals back in charge of their own spending.

The Obama plan guts Medicare to pay for … wait for it … Obamacare, which is more government regulation. Because that works so well, you know. It’s not like our spending is out of control, there’s a doctor shortage, an education crisis, and of course the DMV is the epitome of efficiency.

But go ahead and keep complaining about Mitt Romney. I can’t wait to hear how Obama ends up shifting from blaming Bush to blaming Romney for his abysmal failure as a one-term president. I can hear it now … “That racist Mitt Romney stole my second term, when everything was going to be ok and everyone was going to get a puppy!”

Whatever. Go Mitt. Donate here. See you in November.

Joe Biden Redefines “Fair”

From Yahoo Finance:

Vice President Joe Biden wants all Americans to know about the roughly $300 billion in tax breaks that were part of the Recovery Act passed last year.

There’s also the issue of whether these tax cuts, in conjunction with the health care reform bill signed last week, represent a redistribution of wealth in America, as many claim.

“It’s a simple proposition to us: Everyone is entitled to adequate medical health care,” Biden says. “If you call that a ‘redistribution of income’ – well, so be it. I don’t call it that. I call it just being fair – giving the middle class taxpayers an even break that the wealthy have been getting.”(Emphasis mine)

Hey Joe, I think everyone’s entitled to a representative government. You don’t mind if we drastically slash your pay, do you? While we’re at it, I think everyone is entitled to organic meats and produce to feed their families. I would love to buy only organic, but the price is so high that I simply can’t do it. I demand a government subsidy. And why am I still getting a water bill each month? Isn’t water a necessity? Of all the things you can’t live without, I’d put water second on the list, right after air. It’s so unfair that I have to pay for water, when it should be a basic human right.

Are you getting the picture, Joe, or should I go on? Or did I just provide you with a whole new list of government programs? That’s a scary thought.

The fact is that people have rights so long as they don’t infringe upon the rights of another person. To say that one person has the right to a service provided by someone else is not fair, it’s insane.

How’s That *Free* Health Care Workin’ Out?

From Business Week:

March 26 (Bloomberg) — AT&T Inc. will book $1 billion in first-quarter costs related to the health-care law signed this week by President Barack Obama, the most of any U.S. company so far.

A change in the tax treatment of Medicare subsidies triggered the non-cash expense, and the company will consider changes to the benefits it offers current and retired workers, Dallas-based AT&T said today in a regulatory filing.

Do liberals thinks that businessmen have huge vaults of gold that they swim around in like Scrooge McDuck?  That any and all profit they make gets locked away just so that greedy executives can have the pleasure of staring at it, smelling it, touching it?

Um, no. You see, people like to be successful.  They like to make their businesses bigger and better. You know, creating those… uh… what were they called again?  Oh yeah. Jobs. Didn’t people used to like having those things? I guess it doesn’t really matter anymore, since the government is now going to take care of all of our problems.

Do you know what happens when businesses get heavily taxed, yet don’t see any benefits? They have to make up that cost somewhere. Either with layoffs or by raising the price of their products or services. Or both.

But hey, at least we have free health care now.

At least until the doctors are too taxed to work.

Government Health Care at Work

The Mayo Clinic, praised by President Barack Obama as a national model for efficient health care, will stop accepting Medicare patients as of tomorrow at one of its primary-care clinics in Arizona, saying the U.S. government pays too little.

Mayo’s hospital and four clinics in Arizona, including the Glendale facility, lost $120 million on Medicare patients last year, Yardley said. The program’s payments cover about 50 percent of the cost of treating elderly primary-care patients at the Glendale clinic, he said.

Those greedy, selfish doctors.  They only want to help themselves and those horrible insurance companies.  Except, you know, health insurance companies only made about 2.2% profit in 2008. And those doctors are just trying to succeed in their chosen careers, running businesses (offices and hospitals, or in this case the Mayo Clinic), raising families, and paying off an average of $140,000 in medical school debt.

Let’s do some basic reasoning, shall we?  It costs money to treat patients.  The medical equipment, the drugs, the cost the building, salaries for receptionists, accountants, and other administrative staff… well, the list could go on, but I don’t have all day here.  Since it costs money to treat people, medical professionals charge their patients for their services.  Just like one pays for their home, clothing, groceries, transportation, and other necessities and/or frivolities.  That’s just the way life works.  If you want something, including medical care, you pay for it or find someone willing to give it to you.

Insert the government.  The government has stepped into an arena where it has no business being, and demands that doctors not charge certain patients more than a given amount, regardless of the patient’s history or circumstances, and regardless of how much it actually costs to treat that patient.  As stated above, the Mayo Clinic was only able to charge the government for about half of the cost spent treating Medicare patients.  Well, the Mayo Clinic has bills to pay, so they have to get that money from somewhere.  Guess where?  The privately patients paying out of pocket or through their own private health insurance. Which is one of many reasons health insurance is so expensive.

The Mayo Clinic has given up trying to recoup any of the money lost to a government run health plan.  They need to pay their bills.  They need to make a profit so they can hire more doctors and researchers and scientists to discover and develop new ways to fight disease and illness.  They can’t keep bleeding money to the government, and it’s not fair to their other patients, who have to involuntarily pick up the extra expenses.

How long before other facilities close their doors to government health care plans?  How long before the government will force them to remain open?  How long before the doctors quit?  How long before the government forces them to remain doctors?  I know it sounds extreme, but let’s follow the line along the path.  The government will make it so unpleasant and unprofitable to practice medicine that no one will want to do it.  Then to “fix” the problem that it created, the government might begin assigning careers to people…like they do in Communist China.

That’s a worst case scenario, of course.  But why even take one step down that path?  Let’s turn around and run the other way.  Let’s privatize health care again.  It’s the only system proven to truly work.