President Obama’s Healthcare Plan

 
 

In an interview with New York Times writer, David Leonardt, published on May 3, 2009, President Obama said the following:


“I mean, the chronically ill and those toward the end of their lives are accounting for potentially 80 percent of the total health care bill out here.


So how do you -- how do we deal with it?


Well, I think there is going to have to be a conversation that is guided by doctors, scientists, ethicists. And then there is going to have to be a very difficult democratic conversation that takes place. It is very difficult to imagine the country making those decisions just through the normal political channels. And that’s part of why you have to have some independent group that can give you guidance. It’s not determinative, but I think has to be able to give you some guidance. And that’s part of what I suspect you’ll see emerging out of the various health care conversations that are taking place on the Hill right now.”


Read the above statement carefully, and pay attention to the bolded words. Notice the President is basically acknowledging the need for rationed healthcare and knows that it won’t fly with the American people so a board that is appointed, not elected, will make the life and death decisions.


In his speech to the American Medical Association on June 15, 2009, President Obama laid out some points regarding his national healthcare plan that would hurt people like Gunner with chronic diseases.


President Obama says that individuals will be able to keep their current doctors and choice of healthcare plans.


The newest proposed legislation by the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee has come under criticism from the Congressional Budget Office. The Office estimates that 15 million people with employer-sponsored insurance and 18 million people on Medicaid or the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) would lose their current coverage and be forced to find a new policy or join the government insurance plan which would provide cookie cutter coverage to all its consumers.


President Obama wants to invest in preventative care including office place incentives for health accomplishments, required health screenings, school lunch changes, and increased taxes on fast, salty, and junk foods.


Office place incentives disadvantage employees with chronic conditions that keep their healthcare costs high. They would not be able to compete with their relatively healthy co-workers for the monetary bonuses, promotions, prizes, and extra vacation time. Healthcare decisions would be taken out of the consumers’ hands and placed into the hands of the government. In addition, people with CF need to have high-fat and high-salt diets to help fight problems with malabsorption. Taxing food Gunner needs on a daily basis to keep his weight at normal levels would be unfair.


President Obama wants to invest $1 billion for “comparative effectiveness research.”


President Obama says that this research will be done and overseen by physicians and those in the medical field, but his new Federal Coordinating Council for Comparative Effectiveness Research has no practicing physicians, no patient advocates, and no nongovernmental healthcare economists on it. The President says the research would not lead to rationing or cookie cutter treatment, but the proposed government plan would most likely not cover treatments the committee believes to be less effective. Those additional treatments would have to be covered out of pocket. That means the wealthy would have greater access to more healthcare options. This same type of research has lead to rationing in other countries, most notably the United Kingdom. President Obama has even said, “The chronically ill and those toward the end of their lives are accounting for potentially 80 percent of the total health care bill out here . . . There is going to have to be a very difficult democratic conversation that takes place.” Matthew Continetti from the Weekly Standard wrote that he believes the President is beginning to see that rationing is the only way to avoid bankruptcy in a universal health insurance policy. This is scary to a CF family as there will come a time when Gunner’s health starts to fail and expensive medical treatments and lung transplants will be required.


President Obama says he wants to his nationalized healthcare plan to be comprehensive.


The President has yet to reveal what “comprehensive” coverage means.



President Obama wants to cut doctors’ incomes.


President Obama has proposed packaging healthcare treatments and basing doctor pay on results instead of treatments. This sounds ideal, but what about those doctors who treat patients with harder or impossible recoveries? Obama has not provided a solid plan for doctor payments, and he has so far based plans on Medicare and Medicaid which pay 20-30% less than private and public insurance companies. Less money means less advanced medical technologies available in private practices and hospitals and fewer doctors.



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