Socialized Medicine, Giant Red Sucker Redux

I haven’t done this on the blog before, but I’m running my central points again on why I believe socialized medicine to be a certain disaster – the worst idea amongst many bad ideas being floated by the Left right now. Yes, it’s even worse than the Tax-The-Air-You-Breathe scheme,(cap and trade), in that when they botch this one, actual individual American lives will be wasted.

Today’s theme will be on the details of the so-called Kennedy-Dodd plan. It seems that even though he is ill, Ted Kennedy has been hard at work writing up a scheme, an outline, to push through in detail the plan that the Democrats will essentially put in place. He’s been given the green-light by the Obamanation for this affair. The socialized health care takeover is his life-work, his pride and joy. Whoopee, that makes me feel great. Kennedy knows that the time is right, the public is ripe, the Chief Executive Silver Tongue is his enabler. Joy. Remember after all, it’s the Obamanation’s now or never moment here.

A draft of the Kennedy proposal was leaked a few days ago here. I’m reading highlighted points at KeithHennessey.com on what the draft entails. Hat tip to him for doing the tough legwork to put these points out. From what I am reading, I see bad, really bad, and horrendous details. I’ll list the worst.
  • The bill forces every individual citizen to buy a “qualified” health plan. The Feds set the rules on what qualifies. If you don’t buy one, you are forced to pay a tax set by Health and Human Services. Listen to this – to avoid the tax, you would have to report your health insurance info to HHS each month, along with an ambiguous requirement to provide ”any such other information as the Secretary may prescribe”. This sounds like a USSR scheme. Report your health insurance info? Are you kidding me?

  • Plan would mandate that employers offer insurance to their employees. Employers would also have to pay a tax representing a portion of the insurance. Again, the amount and structure of the tax is left to the discretion of the Secretaries of Treasury and HHS. USSR again here, a little Cuba thrown in for good measure. New bureaucracy powers, reporting to higher duty – preposterous and scary.

  • The government defined “qualified” plan would have to among many things – have a modified community rating (not even sure what that means), no exclusions for pre-existing conditions, no lifetime limit on benefits, children would defined as such up to the age 26. Also, plans would be required, (now listen to this), to cover a Fed-approved list of preventive services. Yikes, in other words, the Feds will mandate all sorts of things that will drive for-profit enterprises out of business, thus monopolizing and taking over 100%.

  • “Qualified” plans would also have to cover “essential health benefits” as defined by a Medical Advisor Council, or MAC (read bureaucrats), MAC would require things covered as they see fit. Shocking, once again, number crunchers in charge of life and death decisions.

  • And the worse thing that I see here – Health insurance plans could not charge higher premiums for risky behaviors: “Such rate shall not vary by health status-related factors, … or any other factor not described in paragraph (1).” Smokers, drinkers, drug users, and those in terrible physical shape would all have their premiums subsidized by the healthy. This is literally in this bill. You dear reader would be subsidizing bad behaviour of your fellow citizen, just as you are paying his mortgage and bailing him out right now as well. The naked face of socialism.

  • I retract the above, the worst thing that I see here – People from 150% of poverty up to 500% (!!) would get their health insurance subsidized (on a sliding scale). If this were in effect in 2009, a family of four with income of $110,000 would get a small subsidy. The bill does not indicate the source of funds to finance these subsidies. Showing their cards here, this scheme is not meant to ‘fix’ health care, it’s meant to socialize it, to put the State in charge of life and death decisions.

I’m going to stop here for the moment. As is patently obvious to anyone that is paying attention, this push for federal control, either in totality or partiality is a massive abridgement of our freedoms. Just read the details above, this is scary stuff. I didn’t even list half of the points here on KeithHennesy.com. It is no wonder that the Obamanation is pushing so hard for this, the ‘now or never’ attitude explained by just a few details that I have here. This is insanity and we must stop any chance of this becoming law. These people are not to be trusted in any way, shape or form. And they certainly are not to be trusted when it comes to our health and the treatment of such. After all, we are talking life and death issues for Americans, would you want the DMV in charge of such? The more details I read, the angrier I get over this obamanation. It typifies the things that I have always despised the most about Leftists – that they hate individual initiative; every solution to every problem is always a freedom-smashing government-enabling monstrosity. I’d rather take a cheese grader to the hind side than see this thing go through.

Bullet points again from my previous post on why any liberty-minded American must oppose –

  • Sky-rocketing medical costs in our current system are largely explained by the fact that insurance coverage insulates recipients from the cost of health care and does not limit care provided. Socialized systems of medicine correct this equation by limiting supply – rationing. It’s a simple fact in any socialized medicine system. Click here for a list of stories of rationed care in Great Britain.
  • Having a federal medicine Leviathan in charge of even a large portion of the medical industry would skew the supply/demand curve. Government under-pricing of services would force for-profit corporations to exit the business, thus the government would fill the vacuum, creating excess, largess and eventual dominance. Ring the death-bell for the taxpayer and medical quality.

  • Administrative Waste – remember that pennies on the dollar of each tax dollar that you you pay actually ends up at the prescribed destination. A government system would be massively wasteful based on history, common sense and the socialized model in place in other countries.

  • Socialized systems of medicine inhibit widespread access to advanced medical technology. Click here for stories from Canada where Canadian citizens have fled their homeland in search of treatments, therapies, and surgeries either not allowed by their socialist system or in other cases long waiting lines for procedures that are allowed but difficult to get. Canadians come to the US to flee there system. Where is that story in our media and the Socialist Democrat party?

  • Overarching loss of liberty and freedom with such an instrumental government takeover. Ostensibly the industry is suffering, cost are skyrocket ting, precisely because of government intrusion and bureaucracy. In typical statist fashion the solution is more government control. Click here for stories on this topic.

Read here a list of GOP senators that are urging the Obamanation to say ‘no’ to socialized medicine. Please support them.

Read here a detailed discussion on the downside of state-run health, from Time Magazine no less.

Read here a great article in the Wall Street Journal on the illusion of reform that the Obamanation is pushing for, the dangers of such.

Read here, an op-ed in Investor’s Business Daily by Phyllis Scaffly, she nails several themes and uncovers things that I haven’t listed yet.


conservative generation said…


This new bill is an terrible piece of legislation. It puts burdens on companies and as a result it will cost jobs (this is a fact). With the rules they've outlined, it'll have huge costs to implement.

It still doesn't address how people are going to get equal access. Everyone may have insurance, but not everyone will be able to get access to health care.

Left Coast Rebel said…

Conservative Gen – The more that I read, the more disgusting it is, and I just scratched the surface. How in God's name can we stop this thing? This truly is probably the worst piece of legislation that I have ever seen.

conservative generation said…

I wish I knew. I don't understand why people are so surprised that health care costs so much. Hospitals have surgeons sitting around reading magazines on the chance someone needs emergency surgery. It is absolutely inefficient, but this is what people want. I'd rather pay higher prices to have him sit there just in case I need him.

People need to stop thinking that they can have it both ways. You either get amazing health care for a lot of money or mediocre health care for a more affordable price. Or mediocre government health care for a more expensive price.

blackandgoldfan said…

Con Gen: Most people don't realize that everyone DOES have access to healthcare. Just ask any illegal who just strolled through the Rio Grande and into an American ER. The only debate is really about who pays for it.

LCR: Stopping this leviathan of a government is going to take a true civil war. Pray things get straightened out before that happens. If not, it's time to lock and load.

Left Coast Rebel said…

Conservative Gen – brilliant points sir, mediocre government health care for a more expensive price. That truly sums it up.

blackandgold – You are so correct, this issue has NOTHING to do with coverage or the quality of care. It's about control. I am afraid that you are correct on what you say, but I think there are some signs of hope – the post on the poll yesterday!

Nick said…

To be fair, you have to acknowledge that this is at least entirely consistent with the agenda of the Obamanation, comprehensive and straightforward. This is a socialized medicine conversion, 100%, no room for misinterpretation or private industry competition whatsoever. It's not like the auto industry takeover, where the government keeps insisting like a retarded five-year-old that they have no interest in controlling the industry, when it's blindingly obvious that that's exactly what they are trying to do. It's also not nearly as obtuse as the backdoor socialism the Obamanation is imposing on the banking industry through regulations on TARP banks, after forcing the banks to take TARP money.

At least this is a straightforward and direct adoption of socialism, with no pretense of being anything else. There's always a chance that this will finally be the abuse which is atrocious enough to push the people over the edge, and galvanize the resistance to the tyranny of the Obamanation (here's hoping).

Left Coast Rebel said…

Nick – Great points. I agree that this is naked, real-deal socialism. No room for obfuscation on the details that I list here, I assume that they will just shut down discussion on the downside of this thing and try to ram it through congress – they wont's even read it. Schaffley in IBD today points this out, read it, I linked it at the end of my piece. Great points again Nick, I'm going to put these in an update, along with Conservative Generation's…..

bluepitbull said…

Thank you for compiling this information in one easy to read article.

blackandgoldfan said…

LCR: Loved the cheese grater t.p.! We'll feel better after using that than after Barry gets done with us!

Left Coast Rebel said…

Blue – pass it on, email it, send it to as many folks as possible, these things need to be known, that's why I'm here!

Blackangold – haha, can you believe that picture?

blackandgoldfan said…

Btw LCR, I really enjoyed your comment over at my blog concerning Barry dissing Israel. That was hysterical!

Left Coast Rebel said…

blackandgold – If we don't find humor in all of this, we just might go isane…glad you liked it!

Ananda girl said…

I am always against the government being involved in my life in any way. I learned the hard way. I have unfortunately used government programs in the past and decided that I was far better off with no insurance than the hoops and red tape involved with Oregon's health plan. I gave up.
They did stupid things… such as assign my kids to a dentist who lived 65 miles away from us. Not one, but two towns over. That dentist then forced us to sign a paper saying that we understood that we were not allowed to make compliant against shoddy care or to sue if a mistake was made. This I was told by the OHP folk was perfectly acceptable! They refused to allow me to switch dentists.

I pay for everything myself now. it is worth it to me to avoid the headache involved when dealing with the government. I should also mention that we had to re-do the red tape paper work every 3 months and it would take them a good month and a half to decide if we were going to be accepted. So half of the time we could have been using it was wasted. It was in short a nightmare mess! The Fed. will not do any better. I guarantee it.

Left Coast Rebel said…

Ananda – I appreciate your first hand accounts, many of us here know for different reasons just why the empty promises of socialized medicine are so wrong, everything comes with a price. As you say, this one comes with the price of freedom. Better for each of us to be in charge of our own destiny than some planner or government worker. Thanks so much for your story!

Ky Long Rider said…

It has always been my belief that government is responsible for 3 things; A strong national defense, a strong currency and protecting interstate commerce. Anything beyond those 3 is meddling and intruding into the lives of citizens.

Left Coast Rebel said…

Ky – I agree with your belief system 100%. Just look at the specific details that I outlined on the Kennedy plan – no respect for the sanctity of the individual, I swear I could have read these guidelines and had I not known, I would have thought they were out of a communist textbook for some 3rd tier nation…..

Red said…

The other night at a church family member's get together there was a lady who is actively working on behalf of unions to push for this sort of 'reform' and a doctor who was all too sympathetic and went on the offensive after my Husband finally said that everybody can get health care citing the illegal alien and impoverished person(s) example. I worked as a nurse and know that no hospital can turn you away regardless of your ability to pay. Period. That is a fact. I ate my hamburger while watching my Husband's blood boil while biting his tongue. What is with this embrace of socialist policy by the American left? Where is this coming from? It has to be miseducation and disinformation. I like my choices. I work for my choices. And guess what? Right bout of the gate everybody has options. Everyone has choices and has made them. It's what the individual does with the choices the individual makes that matters. I'm sorry if some folks have made bad choices and find themselves up a creek when it comes to health care but don't expect me to a) pay for yours and b) acquiesce to further tax penalties if my employer and I aren't on a "federally approved" (read: not worth the paper it's printed on) health care plan. We recently switched providers because our current plan went up 29%!! We are in for a fight people.

Left Coast Rebel said…

Red – thanks for the story, I have been caught in the middle of conversation like that as well, I just don't get it. Americans today are ready to just fork over their liberties to the Great One, the Silver Tongued Messiah.

Andrew33 said…

How many of us feel like the country is headed in the wrong direction. Poll numbers seem to indicate that most folks do. We are abandoning the Constitution which guarantees us rights as Americans. Our government is printing money that does not exist for “frisbee golf” parks and “leashless” dog walks. Meanwhile homes are being foreclosed on daily. Do you realize that in the President’s so called stimulus bill spent $18,000 per taxpayer without giving 1$ to the taxpayer? While I work for myself and have not paid taxes this year, I will next month and it will be a hard thing to do given the gross mismanagement at the local, sate and federal levels when it comes to our tax money. I don’t mind paying taxes when I know the money is being used to do the things government should do. My problem is with government inventing new numbers (like trillion) just to spend on nonsense. Okay, ten billion dollars out of the 800 billion dollars to help study the mating rituals of the North Dakotan Shaved Weasel is needed to stimulate the economy. Somebody will still have to pay for that and all the rest of the insane Washington D.C. spending and the top 5 percent of Americans don’t make 800 billion dollars in 5 years much less two. For our politicians to try and tell you that raising taxes on the rich or smokers will pay off their spending spree amounts to nothing more than selling you snake oil. Think back to the Roman Empire. What caused the ultimate downfall of the Romans? They got too comfortable, stopped conquering lands so they had to soak the rich or got to war. Then they lost the will to fight. History conveniently leaves out that Rome had access to huge amounts of opium which mellows people out. Is it possible we are on the same path? The plan to soak up the rich is great. They will be happy to pay for all sorts of new social programs so the North Dakotan Shaved Weasel can have free health care and upgrades to digital T.V. so they can watch frisbee golf 24 hours a day. Until the rich either run out of money or leave to go somewhere cheaper. Ask the state of California what happens to the population when it is over-taxed. So if the rich leave, who gets the tax then? The not as rich of course. So we just keep knocking out rungs off the social ladder until eventually we get to your rung and naturally it will magically stop there right? This is a case where we should remember the “Golden rule”: do to others as you would have them do to you. Instead we have the “American golden rule”: If someone has more gold than me, they should pay for my health care!!!! (Note No North Dakotan Shaved Weasels were harmed in the making of this post)

Left Coast Rebel said…

That's a great post Andrew, I think that is your best that I have read so far!

Andrew33 said…

That was an old post of my first blog called God & Country. It was a politics meets religion type of blog. KOOK found it and started reposting everything I was doing (with permission). Since I had just started writing and had no readers yet, I asked why he doesn't let me write for his blog and that would save him the trouble of reposting. I had to move slightly away from the religious side as KOOK is keeping his blog secular. That is o.k. because his blog is still focused on the moral center of the country. That is how I became a part of KOOKs blog. I have lots more of those and every once in a while I will stick one on here (when it is pertinent).

Left Coast Rebel said…

Andrew – Sounds like the recipe for sucess, I understand KOOK's take – my blog is secular as well, I'm impressed with how things are progressing over at your guy's site!

The Keeper Of Odd Knowledge (KOOK) said…

You know buddy, the more I read on your blog the more I like it. I think all us are preaching from the same book, but I think you and I and Joel and BNGfan are reading the same page most of the time.

The Keeper Of Odd Knowledge (KOOK) said…

to add to above : and Clay at BBCW

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