WaPo: Republicans Propagating Falsehoods in Attacks on Health-Care Reform

Discussion in 'Political Zone' started by TheRat, Aug 7, 2009.

  1. TheRat

    TheRat The Silly Willy

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    [SIZE=+2]Republicans Propagating Falsehoods in Attacks on Health-Care Reform[/SIZE]
    [SIZE=-1] By Steven Pearlstein
    Friday, August 7, 2009

    As a columnist who regularly dishes out sharp criticism, I try not to question the motives of people with whom I don't agree. Today, I'm going to step over that line.

    The recent attacks by Republican leaders and their ideological fellow-travelers on the effort to reform the health-care system have been so misleading, so disingenuous, that they could only spring from a cynical effort to gain partisan political advantage. By poisoning the political well, they've given up any pretense of being the loyal opposition. They've become political terrorists, willing to say or do anything to prevent the country from reaching a consensus on one of its most serious domestic problems.

    There are lots of valid criticisms that can be made against the health reform plans moving through Congress -- I've made a few myself. But there is no credible way to look at what has been proposed by the president or any congressional committee and conclude that these will result in a government takeover of the health-care system. That is a flat-out lie whose only purpose is to scare the public and stop political conversation.

    Under any plan likely to emerge from Congress, the vast majority of Americans who are not old or poor will continue to buy health insurance from private companies, continue to get their health care from doctors in private practice and continue to be treated at privately owned hospitals.

    The centerpiece of all the plans is a new health insurance exchange set up by the government where individuals, small businesses and eventually larger businesses will be able to purchase insurance from private insurers at lower rates than are now generally available under rules that require insurers to offer coverage to anyone regardless of health condition. Low-income workers buying insurance through the exchange -- along with their employers -- would be eligible for government subsidies. While the government will take a more active role in regulating the insurance market and increase its spending for health care, that hardly amounts to the kind of government-run system that critics conjure up when they trot out that oh-so-clever line about the Department of Motor Vehicles being in charge of your colonoscopy.

    There is still a vigorous debate as to whether one of the insurance options offered through those exchanges would be a government-run insurance company of some sort. There are now less-than-even odds that such a public option will survive in the Senate, while even House leaders have agreed that the public plan won't be able to piggy-back on Medicare. So the probability that a public-run insurance plan is about to drive every private insurer out of business -- the Republican nightmare scenario -- is approximately zero.

    By now, you've probably also heard that health reform will cost taxpayers at least a trillion dollars. Another lie.

    First of all, that's not a trillion every year, as most people assume -- it's a trillion over 10 years, which is the silly way that people in Washington talk about federal budgets. On an annual basis, that translates to about $140 billion, when things are up and running.

    Even that, however, grossly overstates the net cost to the government of providing universal coverage. Other parts of the reform plan would result in offsetting savings for Medicare: reductions in unnecessary subsidies to private insurers, in annual increases in payments rates for doctors and in payments to hospitals for providing free care to the uninsured. The net increase in government spending for health care would likely be about $100 billion a year, a one-time increase equal to less than 1 percent of a national income that grows at an average rate of 2.5 percent every year.

    The Republican lies about the economics of health reform are also heavily laced with hypocrisy.

    While holding themselves out as paragons of fiscal rectitude, Republicans grandstand against just about every idea to reduce the amount of health care people consume or the prices paid to health-care providers -- the only two ways I can think of to credibly bring health spending under control.
    When Democrats, for example, propose to fund research to give doctors, patients and health plans better information on what works and what doesn't, Republicans sense a sinister plot to have the government decide what treatments you will get. By the same wacko-logic, a proposal that Medicare pay for counseling on end-of-life care is transformed into a secret plan for mass euthanasia of the elderly.

    Government negotiation on drug prices? The end of medical innovation as we know it, according to the GOP's Dr. No. Reduce Medicare payments to overpriced specialists and inefficient hospitals? The first step on the slippery slope toward rationing.

    Can there be anyone more two-faced than the Republican leaders who in one breath rail against the evils of government-run health care and in another propose a government-subsidized high-risk pool for people with chronic illness, government-subsidized community health centers for the uninsured, and opening up Medicare to people at age 55?

    Health reform is a test of whether this country can function once again as a civil society -- whether we can trust ourselves to embrace the big, important changes that require everyone to give up something in order to make everyone better off. Republican leaders are eager to see us fail that test. We need to show them that no matter how many lies they tell or how many scare tactics they concoct, Americans will come together and get this done.

    If health reform is to be anyone's Waterloo, let it be theirs.

  2. ShiningStar

    ShiningStar Well-Known Member

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    oh lords, forget facts, forget that the people dont want it and forget you get a choice. this is "do as we say because its going to happen people" compared to "is this what you want?".
  3. TheRat

    TheRat The Silly Willy

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    According to question 34a in a NBC/WSJ poll 76% want a public option.
  4. sbark

    sbark Well-Known Member

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    Lets apply some simple math to the thought process.....

    1) Taxation to pay for H-care: there are simply not enough "rich" to tax them enough to pay for this plan. You cannot tax 2% of of the population enough to pay for even 1 trillion....let alone what this will cost over time.....Tax on everyone will have to skyrocket...

    2) If the govt add's the mythical 47 million uninsured into the medical process...there simply are not enough hospitals/doctors & nurses. Especially if one cuts their income that reduces incentives for people to stay doctors & nurses......or the need for rationing (ie elderly) will need to be done.

    3) Private Ins. needs to operate at a profit.....Govt Single Payer has no need to worry about profits, they simply need to print more money...which does one think will win out. 70% of the taxpayers/voters who like their private ins. will loose it.

    4) The cost of Obama Care will easly pass 10x the 1 trillion---if the history of Medicare is used as the guideing light..
    Congress has a long history of dramatically underestimating Medicare costs. "At its start, in 1966, Medicare cost $3 billion," wrote Steven Hayward and Erik Peterson in a 1993 Reason article. "The House Ways and Means Committee estimated that Medicare would cost only about $12 billion by 1990 (a figure that included an allowance for inflation). This was supposedly a 'conservative' estimate. But in 1990 Medicare actually cost $107 billion." (10x) This fiscal year, a recent Cato Institute report notes, Medicare is expected to cost $244 billion ($172 billion in 1990 dollars). Not only are the real costs of Medicare constantly rising; the ratio between the workers who pay for the program and the retirees who benefit from it is falling. "The number of elderly will soar 116 percent by 2040," says the Cato study, "while the number of workers supporting them will grow just 22 percent."
    .....Agric. Dept has been the only govt beur. to ever hold costs that ive seen
    .....again unless severe rationing is applyed......ie the elderly.

    5) The demand for "free Health care" will be & is unlimited....just use the simple case of the 3 men in Texas that accumulated millions in emergency room costs inside 3 yrs.....mutiply that by 300 million population....rationing once again.......

    Which is the whole point. Health care cannot be a right, because rights cannot come from government. At best, they can be protected by government.

    command-and-control from Washington doesn't work. Competition, choice and individual control will produce the health system we want
  5. ajk23az

    ajk23az Through Pain Comes Clarity

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  6. ShiningStar

    ShiningStar Well-Known Member

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    Lets call in some reality to Sbark.

    Doctors are going to quit. Maybe not all, maybe not all at one time, but I can assuredly say Doctors are going to quit. IF they are going to be paid all the same wage, remember, the government says its going to dictate wages, some are going to quit over that. Others are going to quit over the pure pressure of handling so many patients and small doctor's are going to go out of business due to the cost. They will have to triple everything in their offices, hire more staff and require tons more paperwork, FOR WHAT?

    This will get scary and thats a fact.
  7. TheRat

    TheRat The Silly Willy

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    All this doom and gloom yet the rest of the civilized world has universal healthcare and do just fine according to all of the polling and economic data I have seen.
  8. zrinkill

    zrinkill Diamond surrounded by trash

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    All the negative extreme leftist news coming out today must have been to much for MilestheRat to handle he is gonna ignore all the evidence and just say its falsehoods.

    ABQCOWBOY Moderator Staff Member

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    What Polling and economic Data are you basing this on?
  10. ShiningStar

    ShiningStar Well-Known Member

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    what have you seen? Have you polled doctors and gotten a reality check of what they think of it? Have you considered the number of patients vs doctors available to handle all this? Have you talked to the doctors that have to take a pay cut and have more patients because of it? Have you talked to the doctors who are looking to go to other countries because they want our doctors there? What data has come out in lieu of that? How many nurses are going to be needed and deal with the schedules? How many hospitals are capable of handling all the new patients that come running through their doors? What happens to the organ lists when more patients are added to it?
  11. Hoofbite

    Hoofbite Well-Known Member

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    Quit? And do what? Not work?

    I don't think so.
  12. TheRat

    TheRat The Silly Willy

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  13. Bach

    Bach Benched

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  14. ShiningStar

    ShiningStar Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, you are correct, there are no good intentioned doctors out there ever. Come on, what do you think some of them are going to do? Let the government tell them how many patients to take, how many must have coverage and overload their work, their time, and no extra pay for it? Yeah they are going to sit there and enjoy it. We're not even talking all the other doctors that will be hired or lured into taking a job where the government will dictate their wage, not based off good work, or patient load, but who can afford it and where?
  15. Kangaroo

    Kangaroo Active Member

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    A lot will retire a lot of your senior Doctors have more than enough money to do it with. You also realize the Doctor pool will shrink because less people want to spend 8 years in school not to get payed.

    You realize there is a shortage of Nurses and they get paid well guess what happens when there is less pay for them. I mean we can not get qualified Nurses now even with money what going to happen they are magically going to appear.
  16. ShiningStar

    ShiningStar Well-Known Member

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    Im afriad they might, what countries and what education will be allowed will not be SHOWN thats for sure.

    Im also afraid if medical education will suffer due to this. Will future doctors want to do this? How will this affect univeristy and medical schools? What about residency? What other aspects of the medical field will suffer due to the overload that will be dropped upon it?
  17. burmafrd

    burmafrd Benched

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    Polls mean nothing. They can be manipulated so easily. I lived for 3 years in England and I can tell you that a lot of people there were not happy with their health care system.

    I spent 7 years at Ft Drum. 30 miles from Canada. Every weekend the clinics around watertown were 2/3 full of cars from Canada.

    So you can take your polls and your highly paid shills for socialized healthcare and stick them where the sun don't shine.
  18. BrAinPaiNt

    BrAinPaiNt Hunka Hunka Burning BP Staff Member

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    Both parties put forward falsehoods to further their agenda...even in this specific case. It is too hard for both parties to just tell the flat out truth with no exaggerations and let the people decide.
  19. TheRat

    TheRat The Silly Willy

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    I can give you an isolated example of someone who thinks their **** smells like flowers, but that doesn't necessarily make that the case. Scientific polling is the only fair way to determine these sorts of things. And gallup is hardly a liberal hack organization. I sincerely doubt they would be manipulating their polls.
  20. burmafrd

    burmafrd Benched

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    Oh grow up.

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