Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Half a Glass or Half Empty?

After President Obama's prime-time-televised press conference last night, I'm wondering how many more he will want to subject us to. Frankly, I agree with Bill O'Reilly. It was boring. And I thought he sounded a lot like an Economics 101 or 102 student making a class room presentation.

But I may be wrong. Most of the conservative talking heads disagreed with Bill and thought Obama had stayed on message and made his point well: We are in "dire" straits," the worst straits since the Great Depression, so we have to do something as quickly as possible. How do you rate the logic of such an assertion?

The stimulus bill has grown in the Senate. Many of the social reprogramming contained in the House bill is still there. I'm thinking about health care especially. Although government health care is sold as a benefit, what would the result be? Would you believe possibly lowering the age expectancy...and definitely the "quality" of life of the elderly? Read what Hudson fellow Betsy McCaughey has to say on Bloomberg.com: http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601039&refer=columnist_mccaughey&sid=aLzfDxfbwhzs#

And here's how government care is working in Canada:

One Canadian responded to the Journal, writing "I'm in Newfoundland, Canada, 74 years old and in need of a hip replacement as it's bone on bone. I have an appointment to see a doctor on October 20th of this year. Meanwhile I carry on the best I can. I would be better off if I was a dog in need of a vet” (Robert McCrindle).

I realize it is also true that many in the U.S. can't get hip replacement surgery because they can't afford it and don't have good health insurance coverage, but shouldn't the answer be to expand coverage rather than to limit proceedures and apply the rule of equal discomfort for all?

McCaughey reports, "the health-care industry is the largest employer in the U.S. It produces almost 17 percent of the nation's gross domestic product. Yet the bill treats health care the way European governments do: as a cost problem instead of a growth industry." She tries to imagine limiting "growth and innovation" in the electronics industry during this downturn. Moving this back a few years, try to imagine life without the IPOD, smart phones, Kindle etc., to say nothing about the amazing expanding internet.

President Obama claimed he is "a perennial optimist" toward the end of his designed-to-alarm press conference. Before his administration tackles the best health care in the world, I hope his spirits rise, and he sees more good outcomes to increase than hardships to impose.


  1. AS far as tracking patients in the Bloomberg article.
    The most efficient provider of healthcare is offered by a private insurance company in Switzerland. Every insured patient carries a card which every doctor throughout Switzerland slides thru their computer and receives medical history in a flash.
    Competing insurance companies in Germany operate on that system (apparently not a efficiently as Switzerland) and the Company who can make processing more efficient and affordable either for private or for a work place insurance wins the contract. Unlike Canada one can have PRIVATE insurance in European countries.
    I am insured by the US government thru TRICARE which is a private company contracted by the military. It took several phone calls subscription/referrals by mail for me to see a specialist. TRICARE HAS DONATED hundreds of thousands of dollars to Congressman Dicks WA campaign and also Dicks favorite foundations. HELLO!
    Insurance could be done electronically with a swipe of a card or a click on the computer thereby saving time and big bucks.
    We are tracked everywhere already and decisions are made all the time by outside forces for the care of patients and not necessarily by patients themselves
    The danger is always someone has a good Idea, convinces politicians who the think it is a good idea they implement law and hand out grants, Private Corporation pick it up and then government and corporations collude with washing each others hands and everything goes to hell in a hand basket.
    Example banking and bad loans and fuel made from a food crops. Politicians get donations and the corporations take advantage of the law. It’s a dance of collusion which includes the press who are invited to the party and plied with cocktails and food and access. This collusion between politicians, obliging corporation and the press brings us to failure of democracy.

  2. Hats off to the Swiss! I'm not against efficiency; that's terrific as long as doctor and patient decide on the care.