Health Care Spending and ‘Death Panels’

by oracleofreason

Not a good piece of news for proponents of health care reform (so called). Healthcare expert Sally Pipes just reported in an op-ed for Forbes Magazine that the Government Accounting Office has concluded that total healthcare spending to comply with the cost of Obamacare will balloon when people previously under or uninsured end up signing up for Medicaid and sign up for insurance in order to comply with the law.

This altogether is not surprising since the economy went sour in 2008. During that year and instead of spending on health care, people instead directed their dollars elsewhere such as keeping money in their bank accounts. While health care spending is still high when compared to Gross Domestic Product, it’s clear that the President can not claim that his plan to socialize (not reform) our health care system will control costs.

Even if health care spending has gone up as a percentage of G.D.P., so what? It’s clear that Americans want the best quality care they can get and our partially free market system of health care gives people that opportunity. Medicare and Medicaid costs grew in 2008 by over 8%. If politicians are looking to control the growth of these two programs, they should scale them back or, better yet, scrap the two programs in their entirety.

With taxpayer subsidized care, people (like Medicare and Medicaid recipients) will automatically gravitate to being treated. Because socialized medicine is perceived as being free, naturally, demand for care goes up and people go to the doctor or hospital for any minor medical condition.

This, in turn, leads to rationing and a whole host of new interventions (such as higher taxes and increased government spending) to fix the very problem the politicians created in the first place.

Critics of the President alleged that death panels were part of his health care plan. Obamacare is a death panel in and of itself. With rationing of care (which is a consequence of socialized medicine), health care workers will make life and death decisions when they triage young with old and seriously ill patients.

It will be the disabled, the seriously ill, and the elderly who will suffer the most from the President’s health care plan since costs for people in these categories will end up costing more to care for. Consequently government and insurance companies will end up refusing to pay which will result in the delay or complete denial of their treatment.