Friday, May 1, 2009

Health Care Reform that Will Kill the U.S. Economy

U.S. Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK, and a practicing physician) and Regina E. Herzlinger (Harvard Business School Professor) have written the following OpEd on the perils of Congressional proposals to impose a Massachusetts-style health care system on the entire US. Here are a few excerpts:
Health Care Reform that Will Kill the U.S. Economy

...Massachusetts, which operates a U.S. analogue to a national government-run health-insurance market, is, in fact, a case study illustrating why health insurance run by Washington would collapse on itself. By March 2009, the state's uninsured rate fell to 2.8 percent from about 6 percent. The market, stocked with private-sector insurance policies, had insured 169,000 people in two new programs, one of which directly subsidizes uninsured individuals.

Good news, right? Wrong.
Their piece then describes the rising costs and long waits.

The next step:
By 2009, Massachusetts enacted almost $800 million in new taxes to fund, among other things, the third year of health care reform. Now, the state government, desperate for revenue, is considering setting the prices of health insurance and essentially taking control over all health-care costs, other than Medicare and out-of-pocket spending. If this sounds like a march into a single-payer Soviet-style system, that's because it is.
And the end result:
...In the end, the Democrats' health care reform will require drastic rationing of health care for the sick to control its costs. Consider Canadian patients, who may wait a year or longer to get radiation therapy. Or ask one of the nearly 1.8 million Britons who are waiting to get into a hospital or have an outpatient procedure. Or talk to the German breast cancer patients who are 52 percent more likely to die from the disease than Americans.
We have been warned.