Transcript via Independent Journal Review:
Mr. President, we at Fox News are not the problem. I hate to break it to you, sir. You are. Your words are. Your promises are. We didn’t sell this healthcare law. Sir, you did. Remember this?
President Barack Obama: If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor. Period.
Mr. President, tell that to tens of thousands of retirees at IBM and Time Warner and dozens of others, who’ve been dumped from their coverage and told to find their own coverage. Fox News didn’t break that news to them, Mr. President. Their companies did.
Fox News didn’t push more of those firms to hire part-time workers. Your healthcare law did. Fox News didn’t incentivize fast food restaurants to scale back their benefits. Your healthcare law did. Fox News didn’t make doctors want to opt out. Your healthcare law did. Fox News didn’t make insurance premiums sky rocket. Your healthcare law did. Just like Fox News didn’t grant hundreds of exemptions to companies that needed them. You did. And Fox News didn’t delay one key provision after another, including online enrollment for those small business exchanges. You did.
Just like it wasn’t Fox News that said we had to pass this to see what was in this. You did. Or was that Nancy Pelosi? Sometimes I’m confused. But of this I am not. Fox News didn’t re-do basic math. Sir, you did. Fox News didn’t say you can cover 30 million more Americans and not see a hit in premiums. You did. Fox News didn’t say you could throw in those with pre-existing conditions and not have to pay for it. You did. Fox News didn’t all but say you could get something for nothing. You did. Fox News didn’t come back years later and say, oh yea, we did raise some taxes. You did.
Here’s where you are right about Fox News, however, Mr. President. We can do math. And did. You cannot. And did not. We said it, and proved it. You didn’t. And we’re all suffering for it. Take it from the numbers guy at Fox. Numbers don’t lie. The number of Americans working part-time and nervous. The number of retirees days away from being dumped on exchanges and anxious. The number of company bosses with any news to pass along on those exchanges, but still clueless. The number of doctors who want out. The number of congressmen now opting out. No, Mr. President, none of those numbers lie.
But with all due respect sir, I can only conclude you do; I know, I know you hate us at Fox. But please take a look in a mirror, and fast. You think we’re the skunk at your picnic. But that doesn’t mean we’re the ones that stink. Because that smell isn’t coming from the folks reporting on your law. Mr. President, that smell is your law.
Here is some cold, hard truth about Obamacare:
1. OBAMACARE DOES NOT PROVIDE HEALTH CARE! It “provides” healthcare insurance to some people who didn’t have it before. Very expensive health insurance that does not even guarantee they will be able to get actual healthcare.
2. Obamacare does nothing to make healthcare less expensive. The real problem with healthcare in this country is the cost. We pay more, a lot more, for comparable healthcare that is available in other industrialized nations. The reason for that is a topic for a separate, lengthy post.
3. Right now there is a finite amount of healthcare available. There are only so many doctors, nurses and medical facilities in this country. We can fix that problem, but it will not happen overnight.
4. Obamacare does nothing to increase the total amount of healthcare available. If anything, it makes the problem worse.
5. Increasing the demand for healthcare without a commensurate increase (or with a decrease) in the amount of healthcare available will cause both an increase in cost and a decrease in quality. That’s just the basic economics of scarcity.
6. There is no such thing as “free” healthcare. Somebody will always have to pay. Anything “free” ends up costing twice as much in the long run.
We need major healthcare reform in this country but the existing institutions (public and private) that control how we do healthcare will resist any change. Resistance to change is part of the nature of all institutions. We developed a system that worked for many years but it’s not working anymore. There are vested interests that want to keep the current system.
Imagine if healthcare was a new invention. Imagine if all the medical knowledge of the past 150 years was suddenly discovered. Our goal is to provide quality healthcare to everyone, in the necessary quantity, and keep it affordable. That is what a real healthcare reform should look like. But how do we get there from here?
Here are a few ideas:
1. Separate healthcare from employment. It makes no sense to connect the two the way we do.
2. Eliminate for-profit healthcare insurance companies. They are parasites that drain off up to 30% of our healthcare dollars.
3. Expand the number of doctors and nurses our schools produce every year. We can’t provide more healthcare without more doctors and nurses. But we have to do this without cutting quality.
4. Make becoming a doctor or nurse less expensive. One of the reasons that healthcare is so expensive is the crushing load of student loan debt that medical professionals start with.
5. Make being a doctor less expensive. I’m talking about malpractice reform. Again, we have to do this without harming quality.
6. Be creative. Let’s study how things are done in other countries and try new innovations.
What do you think we should do?
Filed under: Health care reform, Obamacare | Tagged: Health care reform, Obamacare | 67 Comments »