Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Obama and health insurance

According to Dick Morris:
Obama has said, proudly and often, "I am going to give health insurance to 47 million Americans who are now without coverage." But are they "Americans?" That 47 million statistic includes illegal immigrants, who virtually all lack insurance. In fact, about one in four of those lacking insurance is here illegally. And they are, by far, the group most in need of health insurance.
I'd like to give them health insurance too. In fact, I'd like to give everyone in the world health insurance. The problem is that we'd go bankrupt doing it.

I don't know much about economics but it seems reasonably clear to me that when we can't even fund our own social security and medicaid programs, and not even all American citizens have health insurance, a program to give health insurance to everyone in the world who can manage to get into this country illegally, is a recipe for economic disaster.

It seems to me that Barack Obama will promise anything to anyone in order to get elected.

10 comments:

jazzycat said...

Since in his imagination he is on the Senate Banking committee, perhaps he is going to use play money to pay for it...........

Dennis said...

Jazzycat,

LOL! I wish it was play money. What he will really use is your money and mine!

I posted on Obama's Banking quote just before I read your post.

Steve said...

Apparently you don't know much about economics. The U.S. spends more on health care as a percentage of GDP than any country in the world and has the worst health care of virtually every industrialized nation in the world, ranking 37, which puts us below such countries as Costa Rica and Morocco. In infant mortality we rate behind 42 countries including Cuba.

Why don't you do a little research before mouthing off?

jazzycat said...

Steve,
statistics galore... Do you rate abortion deaths in your infant mortality stats?

Dennis said...

Steve, your statics come from the World Health Organization (WHO). According to their explanation of their ratings:

One of WHO’s top five indicators used to rate various countries was overall quality of a country’s health.

But the fact that Americans have more money and constantly eat unhealthy food at fast food restaurants says absolutely nothing about the quality of our country’s health care.

According to WHO’s explanation, “In designing the framework for health system performance, WHO broke new methodological ground, employing a technique not previously used for health systems. It compares each country’s system to what the experts estimate to be the upper limit of what can be done with the level of resources available in that country.”

So WHO “experts” estimate how much they think is the upper limit of what the U.S. could spend on health care as compared to what we actually spend? Who does these estimates and comparisons? What are their qualifications and biases? What makes them qualified to judge how we should balance our national budget?

Apart from being incredibly subjective, this WHO criteria has nothing whatsoever to do with the quality of health care.

The fact is that the WHO report is strongly biased in favor of socialized medicine and it says very little about the quality of health care.

For example, the WHO report said that Columbia received a high ranking “because someone with a low income might pay the equivalent of one dollar per year for health care, while a high- income individual pays 7.6 dollars.” Of course that says nothing about the quality of health care in Columbia.

In Canada they can wait up to two years for an operation and some Canadians actually come to the United States for medical care, and yet the WHO rates Canada higher than the U.S. because Canada has socialized medicine!

The WHO report actually admitted that Oman’s health care was not good, and yet Oman was rated in the top ten!

The quality of health care in the United States is among the best, if not the best in the world. Perhaps you're the one who should do a little research before "mouthing off."

Dennis said...

Oops, forgot the link

http://www.photius.com/rankings/who_world_health_ranks.html

Steve said...

"The quality of health care in the United States is among the best, if not the best in the world."

What do you base this statement on. What evidence do you have to support this. In virtually every indicator of health care (such as infant mortality, maternal mortality, etc.) the U.S. is behind countries with so-called "socialized" medicine.

How many people in Canada have to wait 2 years for operations? For what kind of operations. Do you have any evidence to back this statement up or is this just something you heard on right-wing radio?

Have you ever been to Colombia? I have. The medical care is quite good there and much less expensive and statistics bear that out.

Instead of just aping what you hear on Fox News why don't you actually do some investigating on your own.

jazzycat said...

Steve,
Do you have any statistics that indicate the super wealthy in the USA go elsewhere in the world to obtain the superior health care that you claim is avaliable?

When one gets their facts from Michael Moore and the Daily Kos, I guess Fox News does look biased....

Dennis said...

Steve, I think JazzyCat makes an excellent point. Over the years I've heard news stories of numerous people who have come from around the world to the United States for medical care. I've never heard of anyone who went from the United States to some other country because they thought the quality of medical care would be better there.

An article in the Boston Globe says, "America has the best medical care in the world. People come here from around the world to take advantage of our path-breaking medicine and state-of-the-art treatments."

But the fact is that "quality of health care" is often in the eye of the beholder. It depends on how you are judging health care.

I'm sure that countries like Canada, for example, have great doctors, hosptitals and medical technology, but if you have to wait two years for an operation, does that qualify as good medical care?

Similarly in the United States, we have outstanding doctors, hostpitals and medical technology, but all of that may not be available to people who live 300 miles from the Johns Hopkins Hospital or Mayo Clinic, for example or who do not have insurance and have to settle for whatever they get at their local emergency room. Sounds a little like comparing apples to oranges to me.

Most Republicans would like to do something to make our quality health care more available to everyone--but considering how the government handles such things as VA hospitals or social security, we do not want socialized medicine.

But all this really misses the point of my original post which was simply that that when we can't even fund our own social security and medicaid programs, and not even all American citizens have health insurance, a program to give health insurance to everyone in the world who can manage to get into this country illegally, is a recipe for economic disaster.

Dennis said...

Ooops. Forgot the citation again:
http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2007/08/03/a_free_market_cure_for_us_healthcare_system/