Debunking Healthcare Myth Debunkers
by Larry Perrault on August 29, 2009 at 1:24 PM
First of all, it’s hardly certain that anything like The House of Representatives’ health care reform bill will pass: in fact it’s darned unlikely. However, it’s at least as unlikely that Democrats will let this Congress pass without doing anything; and what I fear is they will pass something ostensibly minimal- which contains a seed that will eventually grow into what they want.
Anyways, we have just seen how government dabbling in the private sector eventuated in a “crisis” that government said demanded unprecedented intrusion? That said, look at the “myths” this LifeScience article reports that too many Americans believe. The fact is, however you want to describe them, every one of them would in effect be true if government gets a foot in the door of health care provision, including the ones this article claims that a majority of Americans do not believe. Let’s go through and look at how these “myths” would actually become facts if the healthcare bill us passed.
More than 50 percent of Americans believe a public insurance option will increase health care costs, according to a new survey on assertions the White House has called myths.
Health care costs will increase even in the relatively short term for private insurance because government will pay a low price for services and products to providers that will have to be recovered in higher costs to private insurers, which will necessarily increase private policy premiums. This process is why in relatively short fashion, the cost will be prohibitive for employers to carry private insurance rather than the government plan: private insurance would go away.
The national survey, conducted from Aug. 14 – 18, involved a random sample of 600 Americans aged 18 and older living in the 48 contiguous states and Washington, D.C. Respondents indicated whether or not they believed 19 claims about health care reform, each of which is considered a myth by the White House.
The results could speak to the current partisan debate on a proposed health care overhaul. While overall the majority of Americans said they believe many of the assertions, more Republicans and Independents than Democrats stood by the claims.
"It's perhaps not surprising that more Republicans believe these things than Democrats," said study scientist Dr. Aaron Carroll, director of Indiana University's Center for Health Policy and Professionalism Research. "What is surprising is just how many Republicans – and Independents – believe them. If the White House hopes to convince the majority of Americans that they are misinformed about health care reform, there is much work to be done."
Among the results on items the White House considers myths:
- 67 percent of respondents believe that wait times for health care services, such as surgery, will increase (91 percent of Republicans, 37 percent of Democrats, 72 percent of Independents).
It’s hard to believe they even pretend that this wouldn’t be the case. Just adding the universal coverage without adding more doctors and nurses (in fact likely decreasing them among native Americans) makes this a no-brainer. Never mind that the system will apply no monetary pressure, which is usually the most effective kind, for prompt, courteous, and efficient service delivery. And, such has been unexceptionally the case for government health care system across time and place. Like I said, all of these supposed myths are true, but explaining this one was marginally more challenging than falling off a log.
- About five out of 10 believe the federal government will become directly involved in making personal health care decisions (80 percent of Republicans, 25 percent of Democrats, 56 percent of Independents).
No, they won’t call a government agent for advice on your treatment. Much more simply than that, they will reduce or rule out payment for certain products or services. It’s the same as far as the patient is concerned.
- Roughly six out of 10 Americans believe taxpayers will be required to pay for abortions (78 percent of Republicans, 30 percent of Democrats, 58 percent of Independents).
They’ll say that there’s no provision for abortion in any bill. And…? OK, someone wants abortion services and a government plan is going to deny this “constitutional right?” This is a joke, right? By the way, there’s no mention of abortion in The Constitution either.
- 46 percent believe reform will result in health care coverage for all illegal immigrants (66 percent of Republicans, 29 percent of Democrats, 43 percent of Independents).
Why in claiming the urgency of health care reform, do they cite 45 to 50 million uninsured Americans that includes illegal aliens? Are they lying about the number or lying if they say they won’t be covered?
- 54 percent believe the public option will increase premiums for Americans with private health insurance (78 percent of Republicans, 28 percent of Democrats, 58 percent of Independents).
I answered this one at the top: privately insured people will pick up the costs of underpaid government patients.
- Five out of 10 think cuts will be made to Medicare in order to cover more Americans (66 percent of Republicans, 37 percent of Democrats, 44 percent of Independents).
There were exceptions.
Fewer participants believe "myths" regarding the impact of proposed changes on current health insurance coverage. For instance, less than 30 percent think private insurance coverage will be eliminated.
I also dealt with this one: Government underpayment will increase private insurance costs and make private insurers uncompetitive.
And just 36 percent think a public insurance option will put private insurance companies out of business.
“Out of business” and “eliminated” are the same thing.
In addition, only 3 out of 10 respondents believe the government will require the elderly to make decisions about how and when they will die.
No, they won’t require the elderly to make such decisions: they’ll just deny payment for care. Maybe a doctor or hospital will take them on as a charity case.
In conclusion, I want to say this: I sort of think the calamity won’t actually take this form.
1) I think such an effort would be a manifest disaster pretty quickly. These people trying to do this are unrealistic idealists who really don’t know what they are doing. And, we are already in financial trouble. I don’t think the system could survive the financial mess.
2) At or before the point of financial disaster, the American people might take drastic action, simply refusing to cooperate with these intrusions. Frankly, I’ve already wondered why it has taken so long. For instance if as many people who say they are, were truly pro-life to the point of action, they would look at an outrageous judicial fabrication and proclamation like Roe v. Wade that presumes to force all states to countenance abortion, and say, “No,we won’t. That’s unconstitutional and you have no such power over sovereign states. What are you going to do about it?” The fact is, people won’t go out on a limb without severe provocation. And, this might do it.