Arlen Specter was on the receiving end of a townhall again today. This video shows some of the action; it’s becoming a familiar scene. As Specter ruefully notes, hardly anyone at the event appears to be on board with the Democrats’ health care plans:
Some of the Obamacare protesters don’t make a lot of sense or aren’t able to articulate specific concerns or grievances, but they think they’re being lied to, and they are right. President Obama was asked in New Hampshire today how the $100 billion a year tab for his program will be paid for. He answered, in part:
But for some reason in health care, we continue to put up with getting a bad deal. We’re paying $6,000 more than any other advanced country and we’re not healthier for it — $6,000 per person more per year. That doesn’t make any sense.
So there’s got to be a lot of waste in the system, and the idea is to have doctors, nurses, medical experts look for it.
So Obama will pay for his program by “eliminating waste,” the hoariest of Washington cliches. Actually, it is private health care providers who have an incentive to eliminate waste, not the government, since they are in competition. And whether we’re “not healthier” for our expenditure on health care is a big topic we’ll save for another day.
A knowledgeable reader explains what is really going on:
At the end of the day there is STILL no way to have all three simultaneously of: (1) universal guaranteed coverage; (2) comprehensive quality and choice; (3) cost control….cannot be done…you get two out of three at most. Clearly the Obamacrats intend on sacrificing (2) since they are massively constrained by deficits and the basic premise of the middle class entitlement state is that it will never cost (you) anything…only “them”…”villains” or the “rich”….so the only choice is limiting choice and quality….and that in turn requires a de facto single payer accomplished through the subterfuge of dictating the terms of “private” insurance, turning them into all but public utilities, engineering the transfer to the “public option” over a relatively short period of time, and then dictating payment terms to providers through rate setting, service bundling and, most important in this context, the MedPAC council which will determine “quality-adjusted effective” treatment protocols. The net effect is that an elderly person won’t get a hip replacement or a coronary bypass….and will have nowhere — in the US — to turn.
The disingenuousness of the left on this point is breathtaking. Perhaps some are just too stupid to get the point….but the issue is NOT euthanasia, living wills etc….that’s a pure straw man however insidious the proposal is and however dishonest they have been in covering it up or describing it. The real issue is the MedPAC council….there won’t be any actual “death panel” adjudicating case-by-case….there won’;t need to be!….the MedPac council will set up criteria and rules, more or less in secrecy….rules determined by “experts” and by design removed from Congress to prevent pressure to approve expensive protocols at the end of life….or for “life unworthy of life”….a faceless bureaucracy with a maze of rules will simply be built into the system….diffused responsibility, nobody accountable, just the way it will be, no one can do anything about it.
That’s why they MUST control all provision through a de facto single payer…and effectively outlaw private provision….otherwise it will be seen that treatments are available and that some are “unfairly” grabbing medical “resources”…and they will not be able to control cost with a global budget.
That’s the basic issue with Medicare…it’s single payer, universal for those over 65, permits unlimited demand and choice….and has no cost controls…and is bankrupting the government while simultaneously;y through cost-shifting wrecking the private market. Politically, it’s the only way to control Medicare costs: fold it into a universal single payer plan with effective global budgeting and cost controls.
Most people can see this or intuit it…and Obama and his minions have been effectively exposed as lying weasels….and liars who mistakenly assume that people are too dumb to figure out what’s going on and what their real intentions and plans are.
It’s another post but it is truly glorious to see them all hoist on their own petard of Medicare and demonizing the elderly after demagoging SS and Medicare for decades.
It occurs to me, finally, that the title of this post may be mysterious. I meant that it’s not too late for Arlen Specter to decide not to run for re-election after all. I don’t think he’s going to win.
UPDATE: Byron York walks down memory lane and suggests that by saying he can finance his health care plan largely by cutting Medicare spending, President Obama is “is getting away with the rhetorical equivalent of murder.” But then, maybe cutting Medicare is only bad if Republicans do it.