Incoherent Support for “The Public Plan”

Shadowfax is reveling in the first 100 days of a new administration with glee, and as such would usually be allowed the customary adult ‘just ignore it’ pass, but at a certain point … an intervention is in order.

After an okay lead in we find this bit of Hope:

The other possibility is that the public plan will have some advantages due to lower overhead, executive compensation, provider networking, lack of profit motive, etc, which will lead to the public plan being cheaper, and thus patients would prefer the public plan and shun the private insurers.

The premise of this opposition is, however, based on some self-contradictory logic, and on an assumption that the public plan will have Medicare reimbursement rates.   If the goverment-run [sic] plan turns out to be an NHS-style nightmare of byzantine rules, rationing care, and bureaucratic interference in the doctor-patient relationship, wy [sic] would patients choose it?   Seems to me that the marvels of competition would ensure that patients would shun such a system and flock to the consumer-oriented private insurance plans.

This assumes a premise of a level playing field, wherein one side doesn’t a) have the ability to impose its will on the other through legislation and b) the same side that can skew the playing field can put its hand into the public wallet and extract as much money as it takes from the citizenry to outspend or bankrupt the private system, then it’s all gravy, from the progressive side of the world.  No more fat-cats, no more private payment schemes (they are schemes: I dislike Insurance Companies only a little less than Socialists) and everyone in a nice Government Hospitalization Facility, where we’re All Equal.

Attention Progressives: FREE equals MORE. Medicaid is exactly the horrible system he describes, a low paying, byzantine disaster that providers shun in droves, and for good reason.  Has this bad system driven those patients to paid insurance?  No.  It has driven them to ED’s by the family, but has not been in any way a social or medical panacea.  (Why? Because it has to be paid for, and States understand very well how Free=More and they’ve been paying for it.  For years.  States Are Aware.  They’re also very willing to shift this burden onto the US Govt. to get this spending off their balance sheets).  Expect States to be all for Universal Care, it’s self interest in action.

I’d welcome universal coverage for every American.  I would.  I also would welcome Space Aliens (with some reservations) and World Peace (with conditions).  Okay, I’m kidding, Aliens would bug me.  Socialism of 14% of the total US Economy (not the budget, the Entire Economy) bugs me, too.

GruntDoc’s Perquisites for Universal Care:

  1. Make MediCare work transparently, with understandable rules and payments on billing (and on time).
  2. Make Medicaid a fully-funded non-joke.  (It’s not funny.  It’s a tragic fraud, promising care to patients they cannot get, because the program is so awfully administered and governed).  (By the government we’re going to trust our healthcare to under this plan).
  3. Start an education program, today, with the focus on making everyone aware that We’re All Going to Die.  Spending on astonishing end of life and futile care is dragging all of us under now; imagine a future where our kids are paying for Everything for Everyone (remember: Free=More).  I won’t be surprised when our kids decide enough is enough and decide we’ve had all they’ll pay for, or worse, they’re not going to work to support this insane spending.

When people are no longer craven and Government is Efficient and Works, we’ll talk.  Until then, beware those who promise you the world.  Free=More.


  1. TheNewGuy says:

    Now, now, Grunt… we’ll have none of that hard-eyed realism here. This is the age of Obama!

  2. Steve Lucas says:

    A couple of minor points:

    Medicine is 16% of GDP and growing.

    Mass. is seeing an increase in insured patients using the ED, uninsured use is flat at 5%.

    Providing insurance is not the same as providing care. Today many doctors default the really difficult cases to the ED for a number of reasons. Patients will go to the ED in an effort to eliminate repeated doctor visits, one stop shopping.

    What we have is a mess where free = more and nobody has the guys to tell people they are going to die. You have hit the nail on the head.

    Steve Lucas

  3. Steve Lucas says:

    Typo: guys should be guts.

    Steve Lucas

  4. Oh. I thought you meant testicular fortitude or somesuch. Makes sense either way.

  5. Free=Less for everyone.

  6. Aerospace Genius says:

    Two questions for those in the know:

    Is there any reason to believe that universal health coverage wouldn’t quickly become equivalent to universal eligibility for Medicare and Medicaid?

    Are we not allowed to learn from the many obvious flaws of those glorious Medi*s?

  7. Gruntdoc-

    I love you, man…

  8. TheNewGuy says:

    You’re not getting his Bud Light, Wes…

  9. nurse 1961 says:

    We need to look at “well care” first. Make it available, afforadable, accessible, and functional (sorry couldn’t get another -able in there).

    If we take care of the front side, it would reduce the strain on the back side. Kind of like a diet, fruits and vegatables are good for you but desserts and soda taste better.

    In my utopia:

    Nutrition and physical exercise in school everyday from pre-K -to- graduation. Required immunizations (no exceptions) for all children and adults.
    Medicare and Medicaid clinics available in the hospital district where patients can be immediately referred to for care and follow-up care. Required education for patients and families with chronic illnesses like COPD, CHF, and Diabetes.

    I know, I know; keep dreaming.

  10. CrankyProf says:

    God damn it, you’re taking away my starry-eyed cult — I mean, hero worship!

    I was promised CHANGE!

    I’m sure once our free-healthcare-farting unicorns show up, we’ll all get with the Socialist program.

  11. Anne Armitage says:

    Check out this webcast link:

    Drs. Barasso and Coburn, Senate Republicans, on health care reform, three webcasts to date.

    As they say here in Red Sox land, WICKED interesting.


  1. […] right. Hey, I’ve said the same thing (though much less […]