Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Not Quite

This weekend’s The New York Times Magazine ran an article titled “Now Can We Talk about Health Care?” Its author was none other than one half (the better or worse?) of my Senatorial representative, HRC (Her Royalness Clinton).

Normally, I dismiss with great prejudice anything she says that does not pertain to the War on Terror. (After all, given her husband’s belief in the same intelligence the Democrats and mass media have faulted the current President for taking as true, she doesn’t want to throw stone within the glass walls of Chappaqua.)

But on healthcare, one must listen to the self-anointed policy “expert”, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton. The article is rife with hyperbole (“…the system, already buckling under the pressures…will collapse….” “The way we finance care is so seriously flawed…face fiscal disaster…”), inconsistent definitions (“…skyrocketing costs and skyrocketing numbers of uninsured…” Is “skyrocketing” the same for both costs and numbers of uninsured?) fuzzily defined terms such as “underinsured” and “many” as in “Many of us will become uninsurable,” and correlation masking as causation (Long Island cancer clusters. Also debunked.)

And no Democratic screed would not be complete without reference to the dire effects of globalization (“…payback for decades of shunning…desperate needs of the poor world”) and to racial disparity of care (“…a Hispanics child…far less likely than a non-Hispanic white child to get needed medication…African-Americans are systematically less likely…get state of the art cardiac care…” Never mind that that AA study was based on hypothetical cases presented to physicians.)

Of course, an advocate must use statistics to proof the direness of their position. “In 1993, 46% of >500 employee firms offered some type of retiree health benefit. In 2001, it declined to 29%.” No indication of what “some type of retiree health benefit” is. What the reader is to do is assume their own definition. The trickery put forth by the advocate is to allow the reader to guess and run with it.

As a politician HRC serves platitudes to the US Healthcare system as “the best healthcare system” but from the other side of her mouth she claims we improve it by copying inferior plans. Which is it? How does the best become bester by emulating the worse?

This sums up the argument for nationalized healthcare, but what we must remember is that nowhere do the advocates mention the health of the uninsured or whether they are voluntarily uninsured. However, with a discernful eye, I did grab a nugget from a NYT article on Maryland’s attempt to impel the uninsured to buy health insurance. The Administrator in charge of the state’s health department says 70% of the uninsured (@450,000) in his state elect to be so!

And here is the trap! He claims it their civic responsibility to buy health insurance they have chosen not to have! It is only by forcing more healthy people into the system to pay premiums will the State be able to afford, and I use that term very loosely, coverage to the uninsured who get sick and do not qualify for Medicaid or Medicare.

See for any insurance to work, it has to spread the risk of catastrophic costs across many people who do not use the insurance; hence Maryland’s desire to impel the uninsured to buy health insurance. It is also the true meaning behind HRC’s imploration to “…develop a new social contract premised on joint responsibility…”

So do not expect those who have not asked for help (the healthy uninsured) to present a same case that the Road Pavers (as in the road to Hell is paved with good intentions) present for them.

Remember that it is your civic duty and part of the new social contract that impels the State to force insurance upon you

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