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‘Bailout Boogie’ mentality & health care

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POSTED August 3, 2009 12:00 a.m.

Congress – which has never been big on the details – is ramming full-speed ahead with national health care.


This should scare you as these are the same folks who doled out over $150 billion in tax dollars that your great grandkids will still be paying off in the form of federal bailouts for mega-corporations and then were shocked at what the money was being spent on.


The big difference with heath care is that the bill will keep on coming. And since this is all so well thought out don’t be surprised if this costs a large number of people – healthcare workers – their jobs. The cars for clunkers program, as an example, has completely devastated used car lots for the benefit of  government protected autoworkers and the majority of the remaining American auto manufactures that are propped up with tax dollars.

We are told time is of the essence because there is a crisis. There is always a crisis in Washington, D.C., Remember the fact millions were starving and almost as many were homeless during the LBJ Administration. This was justification for the Great Society and the multi-billion dollar programs it produced. Funny, but after 40 years and spending enough money that it would require the defoliation of half the Brazilian rain forest to print, we still have a crisis.


When politicians and special interest advocate start tossing around numbers, you’d better watch out. Remember the milk cartoon missing children campaign of a few years back when we were told 1 million children go missing a year and we had a major crisis on our hands.  Think about it.

That’s one million children a year. In 20 years that meant 20 million kids went missing or almost one 15th of the entire United States population. No one challenged the numbers for years because we were told we had a crisis and that it was horrible that kids were missing.


Now we are being told we have a crisis in health care implying that millions aren’t getting needed medical attention and therefore are in ill health or dying. Show me an emergency room that has turned down patients in large enough numbers to justify nationalizing about an 11th of the United States economy.


There are those who think the government program being crafted will give them access to specialized surgery to save a dying child that an insurance provider has denied. Guess again. Read the fine print. The government – and not health care providers and insurers – will decide who gets what. If you’re 75 and need heart surgery you may be out of luck. If your child is born with extensive life threatening conditions don’t count in Uncle Sam giving the green light for treatment. The horror stories you hear now aren’t universal. Once the federal government is in charge they will be.


Isn’t the real problem more pedestrian?


The RTI Institute whose health care economists conducted a study with government scientists released findings last week that conditions related to obesity now account for almost 10 percent of all medical care dollars spent. On average, the study found health bills for a normal-weight person runs about $3,400 a year and increases to $4,800 for an obese person. Medicare, as an example, spends $600 more annually for obese beneficiaries when it comes to medication.


How obesity figures into health care costs is frightening. Diabetes costs this country $190 billion a year to treat. Obesity is the biggest risk factor. There is a connection.


Yet all congress is promising to do as they go full speed ahead is to take over the system and shift the cost ultimately onto the back of all taxpayers. That’s not a cure. It simply switches one malady for something that has a strong potential of being even worse.


Since everyone is doing the “Bailout Boogie” in Washington, maybe they should distribute free gym memberships or gift cards to dine at places that actually have healthy dining choices.


It’s a pretty absurd proposal but no more absurd than Uncle Sam simply taking over everything and making everyone pay for bad choices of irresponsible individuals.


By the time Washington gets through with creating a cradle-to-grave welfare state they will have assured that no one will suffer from repeated bad decisions and that those who are responsible will pick up the tab.


Of course, we will need a super bureaucracy to administer Uncle Sam Health Care Inc.


Try to find a federal spending program involving entitlements that are not rife with bloated budgets year-after-year, inefficiencies, and processing backlogs. The federal government’s track record is impeccably bad.


Federalized health care will be no different.

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