Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Hurrying to Wait?

I should not be surprised, but I am. Stella Zawistowski from ReasonPharm reports:

Here's something I didn't know about HR 3200 until today: that the massive expansion in health insurance coverage sought by Democrats would not actually take effect until 2013 -- after the next presidential election.

Given all the calls that we need medical care reform quickly, the democrats seem to be overly patient in actually implementing their plan. Why, exactly, do we need to pass HR 3200 in such a hurry if it is not going into effect for almost four years? Because the bill is without rational justification. It is neither moral nor practical. If this legislation saw the light of day for too long people would see that in the future it can only lead to long waits for medical treatment/appointments, doctors and nurses leaving their profession, bureaucrats deciding who gets treatment, if any at all; innovative medicines and technologies abandoned at the blueprint stage, and more. In short, suffering for all without even an anthill's worth of the moral high ground. If anything could be chosen as the symbol of the logical consequence of socialized medical care, I would choose this case.

This legislation needs to be opposed absolutely. If passed, we face the possibility of it never being repealed within our lifetime. If people ever come to view medical care rationing, chronic suffering, and little to no innovation in the market as "things as they just have to be" then we may very well have lost. Someone once wrote: Raise a kid in a swamp and he will not know that the air does not have to stink.

But there is still time. The vote is not coming until next month or so, and the opposition is great already. We can better our understanding and ability to oppose even more by actually reading the bill. However, I realize that 1017 pages of complicated, nearly incomprehensible legal language is far too daunting a task for most people; even I would not spend my time like that. That is why I would like to point you to an analysis written by John David Lewis, which may be the best analysis of the concrete bill itself. The purpose of his article is to answer nine questions:

  1. Will the plan ration medical care?,

  2. will the plan punish Americans who try to opt out?,

  3. what constitutes “acceptable” coverage?,

  4. will the plan destroy private health insurance?,

  5. does the plan tax successful Americans more than others?,

  6. does the plan allow the government to set fees for services?,

  7. will the plan increase the power of government officials to scrutinize our private affairs?,

  8. does the plan automatically enroll Americans in the government plan?, and

  9. does the plan exempt federal officials from court review?

It is structured into nine sections with two subsections in each. The subsections are ordered that the question is posed at the heading, the relevant passage from the bill quoted second, and an evaluation of the passage third. I would go so far as to say this is "required reading".

Spread it where you can.

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