The biggest issue that lies before America is Barack Hussein Obama's version of national health care. Obama claims that increasing demands on the health care system, which his plan surely will do, is somehow going to lower costs while increasing quality.
Based on the experiences of other countries, including Canada and European nations, Obama-care eventually may lower unit costs modestly (mainly through rationing). On the minus side, it will decimate the quality of care. It will make the world's gold standard in health care -- the U.S. -- start to resemble your local Department of Motor Vehicles ("take a number please").
I'll be writing on this subject for the next week to 10 days, and I hope you'll follow along.
One way Obama wants to control health costs is by increasing the number of abortions, both in the U.S. and worldwide. The basic concept is that dead embryos don't incur any additional health costs. I'll write more about that later.
For now, however, I want to focus on the severely infirm and/or "terminally ill" elderly. Here's what Obama recently said about them. He admitted he wants the government to decide what health care Americans receive.
"There's always going to be an asymmetry of information between patient and provider," he said. "And part of what I think government can do effectively is to be an honest broker in assessing and evaluating treatment options." In other words, the federal government would be a middle-man, basically usurping a doctor's determination what treatment is appropriate.
In addition, Obama stated that "the chronically ill and those toward the end of their lives are accounting for potentially 80 percent of the total health care bill out here." (Note: it should not come as a surprise that people who are sick are big consumers of health care. People who are well don't need it.)
For such patients, he said, "I think that there is going to have to be a conversation that is guided by doctors, scientists, ethicists. And then there is going to have to be a very difficult democratic conversation that takes place. It is very It is very difficult to imagine the country making those decisions just through the normal political channels." http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/may/01/obamas-health-care-rationing/
In other words, if you're "chronically ill" -- say, you have diabetes or high blood pressure or multiple sclerosis or rheumatoid arthritis -- society (in the form of a government employee) may decide your presence on earth is no longer needed! Perhaps Obama "misspoke," as he has a chronic habit of doing, but his words as stated are extremely ominous. Frankly, those words may be the most chilling ever uttered by a U.S. President.
What about that "democratic conversation" Obama mentions? Basically, it may be a show of hands (by bureaucrats mainly) on how best to get grandma out of her expensive hospital bed and into a pine box.
His initial choice for his Health and Human Services Secretary, Tom Daschle, wrote a book emphasizing the need to keep the terminally ill from staying around as long they do. If HHS Secretary Kathleen Sibelius differs with Daschle (and Obama), she's yet to make that clear.
One thing Obama will not tell you is that dead people -- who famously tell no tales -- also incur no additional health costs. The more rapidly people die, the more the Obama Plan will save (if that's any consolation to grieving relatives). Perhaps Joe Biden will tell us it's "patriotic" for people to die with neither fanfare nor care.
Obama and other liberal Democrats regularly hold up the Canadian and European national health care systems as superior to our in the U.S. They are dead wrong at that. By nearly any measure, health care in the U.S. is much better at curing sick people than our counterparts overseas.
National health care systems save money in some bizarre ways. Consider how one business and economics writer (Phillippe Maniere) describes the situation in his native France:
"The majority of France's state-owned hospitals are managed in a way that is reminiscent of the old U.S.S.R. For example, in the average French public hospital, is is not uncommon for every window to be open, even in winter, because the heating system for the building cannot be regulated. With the only options being no heat or unbearably high heat, everyone opts for the latter. Predictably, this is not very cheap." Ah, the wonderful cost savings of Euro-care.
Oh, and French hospitals generally lack air conditioning, which can be a problem. In the summer of 2003 the lack of cool air, coupled with the fact most French doctors were on vacation, resulted in the death from dehydration of 15,000 elderly people.
By the way, the French health system, even with its obvious limitations, is far superior to those in Great Britain and Germany. Their mantra seems to be, "First, provide no care."
Of course, the excess costs on heat in such hospitals presumably are balanced by the number of patients who pass away prematurely. Perhaps some enterprising journalist (if there are any in DC) will ask Barack Obama if one of his health care models for America is France. If so, patients can prepared to be very hot -- and not just under the collar.
Am I really saying in this piece that a mainstay of Obama-care will be helping to terminate old people who are too stubborn to die quickly? To steal Gov. Palin's favorite saying, "You betcha."