The answer is don’t get sick

I had a doctor friend one time who told me about how much his practice was supported by the old ladies who would fill their days by going from doctor to doctor in the area with the same non problems. A form of social work for him but very costly for the rest of us. So I see this headline, Reform Health Cover or Collapse, which remarkably is about Australian, and think of him and of how expensive health care has become everywhere.

But there is nowhere that collapse may be more just around the corner than in the US. Watching the “health care” debate from this relatively safe distance is one more example of the great disaster that socialism in all its forms brings with it. But the debate in the US is remarkable for the lack of good will, specially if I may say so, on the side of the Democrats. The president’s no-compromise-on-anything attitude has brought on a train wreck.

There is partisanship and then there is partisanship but then there is the indefensible. I don’t think you can watch the defenders of the insane Affordable Care Act in the US without really appreciating just how deep the divide is, but it’s not a divide over good policy but has been sheer Democrat stubborness in not taking on board a single Republican suggestion during the entire period since the process began. James Taranto has a go at the kinds of defence of the now indefensible we see with a discussion of the various attempts to justify – not apologise for but justify – the actual harm being caused.

Taranto has, as one example, a discussion on why men are being forced to buy maternity care from which they had been previously exempt. Not the only anomaly. People are being kicked off their previous plans because they do not include a host of mandated forms of coverage that constitute the legislated bare minimum but male maternity coverage is pretty clear cut. So Kathleen Sebelius, the Health Secretary, has been defending these mandates in Congress where she pointed out that men often have wives who need maternity coverage. Taranto goes on:

Sebelius’s point is actually a reasonable one, as far as it goes: A male policyholder can benefit from maternity coverage if his plan covers his wife as well as him. But the exchange reveals two other ObamaCare oddities.

First, it’s not only men who are forced to buy maternity coverage they are physically incapable of using. So are women in the stage of life between childbearing age and Medicare eligibility.

Second, under-30s are exempt. That’s right, the geniuses who wrote ObamaCare are forcing everyone to buy maternity care except the age cohort that includes women at peak fertility.

Geniuses every one.

Ignorance rules

Government-run anything is a disaster waiting to happen, especially government-run governments. It is just that everyone seems to have to learn it for themselves. Our generation learned from watching the Soviet Union (what’s that? say all the under-40s). Now they have to learn it from their own soviet-type leaders, as with the Affordable Care Act in the US. This is taken directly off the Instapundit page as printed. Hilarious for the rest of the world; insanity for the US.

OCTOBER 21, 2013
BYRON YORK: President leads a surreal pep rally for ailing Obamacare.

There was a lot of speculation about what President Obama would say when he made his first extended remarks about problems with the Affordable Care Act. Would he apologize? Would he crack the whip on his own administration, pledging that no more mistakes would be tolerated? Would he attempt to deflect blame to the Republicans who have long opposed Obamacare?

What few observers expected, given the ongoing failure of the Obamacare exchanges, was that Obama would hold a pep rally for the troubled system. And yet that is what he did. . . .

The president made a few more brief mentions of Obamacare’s technical deficiencies during his 28-minute speech, but in the end his Rose Garden appearance bore a great resemblance to the campaign-style speeches he made selling the health plan when Congress was considering it back in 2009 and 2010. (Minus, of course, the now-discredited promise that anyone who has coverage and likes it can keep it under the new system.)

Nothing about the event seemed to go smoothly. For example, Obama said anyone having trouble with the Obamacare website could call an 800 number to apply for coverage. “You can get your questions answered by real people, 24 hours a day, in 150 different languages,” Obama said. But a short time later, the Washington Examiner’s Philip Klein tried the system and tweeted what he learned: “Can’t make this up. Got through to 800 number, followed prompts, and got referred to”

Then there were the people Obama used as backdrops for his speech, people he said have “benefited from the Affordable Care Act already.” It turns out that was a stretch. One was a man who works in a Philadelphia restaurant, does not have health care through his employer, but has, according to a White House press handout, “recently used to process his application and is waiting for the options for potential plans.”

Another was a man just out of graduate school who has no health coverage but “is planning to enroll after he explores his coverage options on the D.C. exchange.” Yet another was a Tennessee small business owner who “was able to register through and now plans to comparison shop for the best plan that meets her budget and needs.”

As success stories go, they didn’t represent much success.

A short time after the president’s event, White House spokesman Jay Carney was either unable or unwilling to offer background on the website’s problems, on the testing that took place before the rollout, on the contractor involved, or on whether the administration will penalize Americans for not buying insurance when the website on which insurance is sold doesn’t work.

Talk about a bad day at the White House.

Even the traditional media are noticing.

And then immediately after – which means in time sequence, immediately before – we find this about the Canadian health care system.

OCTOBER 21, 2013

“There’s even more demand and they’re cutting back,” he said, adding he doesn’t blame the hospital or the surgeon, opthalmologist Dr. Barry Emara. But he believes people who’ve paid taxes to the Ontario government all their lives should get prompt access to health care now they need it. “It’s like a car insurance company saying ‘We’ve had two many accidents this year, we’re cutting everyone off.’”

The problem, according to hospital CEO David Musyj, is that the number of procedures – when it comes to cataracts, hips replacements and knee replacements – is capped by the Health Ministry. And hospital officials (up until October, cataracts were done by Hotel-Dieu Grace Hospital, which has since transferred cataracts to Windsor Regional) were scheduling surgeries based on the previous year’s cap of 5, 022. Then in September, they learned the cap for the fiscal year that started April 1 would be 4,849. In 2010, there were 5,412 procedures, he said. In a guest column published in today’s Windsor Star, Musyj said the cuts are due to the continuing rise in health care costs and governments looking for ways to cope with them.

When the government runs health care, it gets worse, but more expensive. Kind of like health care websites. A move in the free-market direction would accomplish the opposite, but presents fewer opportunities for graft.

It’s bizarre how things can be ruined so quickly. No one any longer even knows how things work, specially the President of the United States and his Democrat allies. They have no idea like their Leninist friends and mentors.The damage they cause will be incredible.