A Glance at British, Canadian Healthcare

No one knows the future if Obama-care is forced on Americans, but we can look at countries where socialized medicine is used today.

These health care systems are in chaos or are being increasingly draconian to cut costs!  For example:

  • Terminally ill elderly are being forced to die prematurely in the United Kingdom. LINK

  • Thirsty patients drink water from flower vases in the United Kingdom.  LINK

  • U.K. mums give birth in toilets, corridors, elevators, and offices because there are no rooms.  LINK

  • System-wide, the U.K. National Healthcare System (NHS) is short of qualified midwives.  There are almost no OB-GYN births in the U.K.  British mums get midwives, many from third-world countries.

  • Some 1,000 deaths one year alone in NHS were caused by the superbug MRSA.  LINK

  • Ants, cockroaches, rats cause infections in U.K. NHS hospitals and clinics.  LINK

  • Filthy U.K. hospitals threatened with closure. LINK

  • Patients become angry and frustrated overappallingly filthy hospitals.  One lady patient was so appalled that she cleaned up her own ward while plugged into an IV. LINK

  • Disillusioned nurses are sometimes cruel to patients.  LINK

  • U.K. hospitals still have wards and open bays.  Space problems causes men and women to be put in the same wards!  This has been reported in the British press.  LINK

  • Patient care is deplorable in some cases. LINK LINK

  • The Canadian HC system is about to implode.  This was reported on the Fox News Channel.  Canadians are crossing over the U.S. border to get HC. LINK LINK LINK

The list goes on.

Unchecked Power to “Health Care Czar”



September 1, 2009 | House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-OH) | Permalink

One of the most potentially frightening – and little understood – concerns about House Democrats’ government takeover of health care is the unprecedented power given to a new federal bureaucrat, the “Health Choices Commissioner.”  As the name implies, rather than giving more choices to the American people, the Democrats’ bill lets a government employee make choices that should be made by families and doctors.  House Republican Leader John Boehner made the following comment:

“The American people want two things from health care reform:  lower costs and more choices.  Yet Democrats have done exactly the opposite, coming up with a bill that actually raises costs – increasing the deficit by $240 billion – and letting a new federal bureaucrat make health care decisions that should be left to patients and their doctors.  President Obama should make it clear he doesn’t support this ill-conceived legislation, and work with Republicans to craft a bipartisan bill that accomplishes the American peoples’ goals.” 

The House Democrats’ bill gives unchecked power to a new “Health Choices Com-missioner” who will be so powerful that his or her title is referenced 182 times in the House Democrats bill.  This bureaucrat would have the power to:

  • Pages 84-87; Section 203 – Decide which treatments patients could receive and at what cost.
  • Page 42; Section 142(a)(1) – Decide which private plans would be allowed to participate in the Exchange.
  • Page 40; Section 134 – Regulate all insurance plans, both in and out of the Exchange.
  • Page 80; Section 202(e) – Determine which employers would be allowed to participate in the Exchange.
  • Page 82; Section 202(f) – Determine how many and which Americans will be allowed to choose health coverage through the Exchange.
  • Page 90; Section 204(b) – Decide which physicians and hospitals participate in the government-run plan and in private plan provider networks.
  • Page 111-115; Section 208 – Deter-mine which states are allowed to operate their own Exchange and to terminate a previously-approved State Exchange at any time.
  • Page 87; Section 203(d) – Override state laws regarding covered health benefits.
  • Page 42; Section 142(a)(2) – Deter-mine how trillions of taxpayer and employer dollars would be spent within the Exchange.
  • Page 42; Section 142(a)(3) – Deter-mine who qualifies for premium assistance.
  • Page 97-99; Section 205 – Auto-matically enroll Americans into the Exchange if they don’t have coverage, including potentially forcing these individuals into the government-run plan.

Democrats should stop ignoring the will of the American people.  They need to scrap this government takeover and work on common sense reforms to lower health care costs and increase access.  Let’s hope after a long, hot summer back in their Congressional Districts, Democrats will be willing to do just that.

(202) 225-4000 | GOPLEADER.GOV

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Upfront costs complicate Obama’s health care plan

Monday, May 11, 2009
By: Ricardo Alonso- Zaldivar

$1.5 trillion over 10 years is total cost

Costs are emerging as the biggest obstacle to President Barack Obama’s ambitious plan to provide health insurance for everybody.

The upfront tab could reach $1.2 trillion to $1.5 trillion over 10 years, while expected savings from wringing waste and inefficiency from the health care system may take longer to show.

Details of the health legislation have not been written, but the broad outlines of the overhaul are known. Economists and other experts say the $634 billion that Obama’s budget sets aside for health care will pay perhaps half the cost.

Obama is hoping the Senate comes up with a bipartisan compromise that would give him political cover for disagreeable decisions to raise more money, such as taxing some health insurance benefits. In the 2008 campaign, Obama went after his Republican presidential rival, Arizona Sen. John McCain, for proposing a large-scale version of that idea.

Concerns about costs could spill over in the coming week when the Senate Finance Committee holds a hearing on how to pay for coverage. Committee leaders hoping to have a bill before the full Senate this summer must first convince their own members that it won’t break the bank.

“You go to a town meeting and people are talking about bailout fatigue,” said Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore. “They like the president. They think he’s a straight shooter. But they are concerned about the amount of money that is heading out the door, and the debts their kids are going to have to absorb.”

Sen. Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., said cost control has to come ahead of getting more people covered. “Unless we halt skyrocketing health care costs, any attempt to expand coverage will be financially unsustainable,” he said.

Obama wants to build on the current system in which employers, government and individuals share responsibility for health care. He says his plan would make health insurance more affordable, particularly for small businesses and individuals. The government would subsidize coverage for low-income people and some in the middle class.

The U.S. spends about $2.5 trillion a year on health care, more than any other advanced country. Experts estimate that at least one-third of that spending goes for services that provide little or no benefit to patients. So theoretically, there’s enough money in the system to cover everybody, including an estimated 50 million uninsured.

But one person’s wasteful spending is someone else’s bread and butter.

The office visits, tests, procedures and medications that the experts question represent a lot of money for doctors, hospitals, drug companies and other service providers. Dialing them back won’t be easy. Providers will resist. Patients might complain their care is getting rationed.

The chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, Sen. Max Baucus, said “it’s clear that the financing of this is not going to be easy.” Baucus, D-Mont., says the basic approach to health care must become more economically efficient.

Instead of paying doctors and hospitals for the number of services they provide, as happens now, Baucus wants to tie reimbursement to the quality of care. Quality would measured by standards that doctors and hospitals have a hand in shaping.

Yet those kinds of changes take time, several years or even the better part of a decade.

The money to cover the uninsured will be needed right away, about $125 billion to $150 billion a year.

That leaves hard choices for lawmakers and Obama.

Baucus favors requiring individuals to get health insurance, which will help. But he also supports subsidies for people who can’t afford coverage _ a cost to the government.

To help close the money gap, Baucus is open to some limits on the current tax-free treatment of employer-provided health insurance.

Health benefits are considered part of an employee’s compensation, but are not taxed. If all health insurance were taxed like regular income, the government could raise an additional $250 billion a year.

In the campaign, Obama opposed tampering with tax-free employer-based health care, saying it would undermine the system that delivers coverage to most people. Other prominent Democrats agree. Asked if he would support taxing benefits, Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., the top tax-writer in the House, simply said: “No way!”

Baucus says doing away with the tax break altogether would cause harm, but some limitations might curb waste in the system. Obama’s aides say he’s still opposed, but willing to consider any serious proposals from Congress.

Obama’s opposition to taxing employer-provided health insurance isn’t the only campaign position he might have to jettison to pay for health care.

He once criticized his chief Democratic presidential rival, Hillary Rodham Clinton, for proposing that everyone in the U.S. be required to have medical insurance. Yet such a mandate probably will be in what Congress puts together because requiring individuals to pay would lower federal costs.

For Obama, there are no easy ways to pay for health care. Options include raising other taxes, cutting deeply into Medicare payments to providers, or phasing in the expansion of coverage for the uninsured _ beyond his four-year term.

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