Saturday, April 19, 2008

Ve Have Vays to Make You Buy Insurance, Comrade

The desired outcomes of the [state health care task force] are pretty set, but plotting strategies for getting there is the big challenge. — Judi Hilman, executive director of the Utah Health Policy Project advocacy and research group

The D-News reports that John T. Nielsen, special health-care adviser to Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. has put out the call for anyone interested in the future of health care in Utah to find a way to get involved in the state health care task force. He is quoted as saying, “If you're interested in how this is going to go and you're not at the table now, you better find a way to be.”

You can listen to audio of the task force’s first meeting here (hat tip David Miller).

You can attend some of the task force sessions and maybe even get a chance to say something. But go back and read the quote at the top of this post. The “desired outcomes” referenced by Ms. Hilman boil down to universal health insurance coverage for all Utahns. The task force is essentially only dealing with how to get to that goal.

I have discussed my opposition to the health insurance ‘mandate’ in many posts. (See 4/14/08, 4/1/08, 3/21/08, and 2/14/08.)

Utah is barreling down the path of RomneyCare heedless of the massive problems this is causing in Massachusetts right now. In MA, the plan was pitched as a way to achieve both universal health care and lower costs in a ‘market based’ approach. The plan has achieved neither of these lofty goals (see AP article).

The MA plan was originally pitched as costing about $125,000 annually, but that figure rose to $372,000 by the time the ink dried on the legislation. Now that reality has set in, its real price could exceed $1 billion this fiscal year. In response, Massachusetts is raising taxes, decreasing service levels, and quadrupling the penalty for refusing to buy its mandated insurance.

Apparently RomneyCare is a faith based initiative. Because despite the plan’s obvious failings, its proponents insist on calling it a success.

If you live in Utah, you’re going to get to feel MA-like pain first hand. Read that quote at the top of this post once again. Do you people get it yet?

You are about to have Soviet style central planning applied to your health care. The smart people at the central politburo (state regulators along with insurance companies and brokers) will determine what kind of health insurance you must buy. Buying less or none will be prohibited. If you are in a low income bracket, insurance will be provided for you at the expense of everyone else.

It does not require an economist or financial expert to see who stands to gain the most from this setup. Here’s a hint. It’s not the people on either end of the transaction (i.e. patients and care providers). It’s those in the middle that not only take their cut, but also dictate to providers what care they are allowed to provide and to patients what care they are permitted to purchase.

Is there anyone in the press that is even interested in following the money trail on this one? Let’s put it bluntly. Middlemen that increase their income by making sure that patients get the least care possible are working to get politicians to use government coercion to force you and all your neighbors to purchase their wares.

I wonder what will happen when the real costs of this individual mandate balloon to engulf a huge portion of the state budget. What of the 62% of the budget that is currently consumed by public education? Do you think the education industrial complex is going to take this lying down?

Yes, there are ‘consumer advocates’ involved in the task force process. But they either agree with the universal mandate or else have no chance to overcome the task force’s predetermined outcome.

You will buy health insurance per the state’s specifications. Resistance is futile, weak and puny citizen.


Moses Gunner said...

Did you see the Bunk study stating 2/3 of doctors in America want National Health Care. The doctors who did this study also conducted one in 2002 and found that the majority of doctors did not want national health care, the problem with this is that the 2 question surveys drastically differ in there 2nd question. I found this article, 60% of Physicians Surveyed Oppose Switching to a National Health Care Plan, It's worth a read

Scott Hinrichs said...

Thanks. You did a great job of fisking a couple of pro-socialism propagandists.

Scott Hinrichs said...

Also see this article by a doctor that has freed himself from the shackles of insurance. (Hat tip: Cameron and David)

steve u. said...


I want you to get involved in this issue. You take a reasoned approach to things, and I believe the State could benefit from your involvement.

The reality is that the State already is extremely involved in health care, through CHIP and Medicaid, for example, along with licensing, regulation, etc. You and I might agree that things would be best, if the State butted out entirely, but you're sophisticated enough to know that that is not going to happen.

Two folks I admire greatly -- Sen. Killpack and Rep. Clark -- are heading up the task force. They have no agenda, other than to improve things. But, just about everyone sitting around the table does have an agenda, representing some special interest. That doesn't make them bad, but it does give them considerable bias. The thing that always leads to solutions is unbiased citizens helping to process the information and formulate outcomes. (And, at the end of the day, your sound input might be for us to repeal existing requirements rather than enact others).

I'm quite serious that the process could benefit from your involvement. If you'd like to get involved, give me a call or send me an email, and I'll make some introductions.

Scott Hinrichs said...

Steve, I sent an email to your legislative address a couple of days ago, but haven't heard back yet. I'm looking forward to hearing from you about this.