Video: Imagine government-run health care

posted at 10:11 am on June 26, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

Reason TV has another brief, humorous spot about what Americans can expect from ObamaCare, once it transitions the nation to a single-payer system.  The humor masks the DMV reality already provided by other government-run health-care systems:

I linked this yesterday, but it’s worth linking again, as it proves that Reason may be underselling the point here:

Amid growing controversy over procedures that exposed 10,000 veterans to the AIDS and hepatitis viruses, the Department of Veterans Affairs is now bracing against news that one of its facilities in Pennsylvania gave botched radiation treatments to nearly 100 cancer patients.

Veterans groups and lawmakers say VA hospitals have permitted these violations because federal regulations allow doctors to work with little outside scrutiny. They say the VA health system, with its under-funded hospitals and overworked doctors, is showing signs of an “institutional breakdown,” in the words of one congressman.

An official with the American Legion who visits and inspects VA health centers said complacency, poor funding and little oversight led to the violations that failed the cancer patients in Philadelphia and possibly infected 53 veterans with hepatitis and HIV from unsterilized equipment at three VA health centers in Florida, Tennessee and Georgia.

“Lack of inspections, lack of transparency” were likely to blame, said Joe Wilson, deputy director of the Veterans Affairs and Rehabilitation Commission for the American Legion, who testified before Congress this month on transparency problems in a budgeting arm of the VA.

We have plenty of examples of what happens when government offers public plans (Medicare) and what happens in a single-payer system (VA). Opacity in budgeting, rationing of care, substandard environments, and massive delays in treatment make people less healthy. We need to fix these existing government programs before anyone considers forcing the rest of America into them.


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It’s a bad bad bad idea. And I know from bad ideas about health care: I’m Canadian after all.

But it’s what people want. Too bad the morons I work with haven’t figured out that if this whole thing passes, we’ll be losing our jobs in the next three to four years….

mjk on June 26, 2009 at 10:12 AM

You cannot fix something that WILL NEVER WORK!!!

bbz123 on June 26, 2009 at 10:13 AM

We need to fix these existing government programs before anyone considers forcing the rest of America into them.

This seems so obvious. If the government cannot do this on a “small” scale, there is no way the government can do this for the whole nation. Another “Hello, McFly!” moment for our government.

Anybody getting through to their reps on the phones RE cap and tax? Keep getting busy signals.

WashJeff on June 26, 2009 at 10:19 AM

Government Health Care…

Because the have done such a good job with the VA, Medicare. Welfare, and Social Security.

Wolftech on June 26, 2009 at 10:20 AM

In some people “Liberalism” results from ignorance, in some it’s an emotional problem. In some, it’s both.

Akzed on June 26, 2009 at 10:20 AM

I work in the health care industry…this government plan will not make things better, it will make things much much worse….rationing of care, less competent medical professionals, much less R&D into new techniques and drugs…I just don’t understand how people can be so damn stupid…

ladyingray on June 26, 2009 at 10:21 AM

Regardless of what they do for health care, the VA system needs to be upgraded. Our military soldiers should be taken care of in the best facilities in the world for their entire lives.

I say use the money to make VA centers better. Increase capacity by increasing the number of ‘fee’ clinics (not ‘free’ clinics) in the VA staffed by military doctors. Offer services there to the public for a fee.

There is no excuse with as much money as we spend on our military for the medical facilities to be subpar.

ThackerAgency on June 26, 2009 at 10:22 AM

You are so negative…

Think of Health Care as an adventure!

Mr. Joe on June 26, 2009 at 10:22 AM

that is one scary scenerio .

hey wolftech. don’t forget the Postal service, Amtrack as failure of government run

hawkman on June 26, 2009 at 10:24 AM

the end….with Tubby sailing on his ship….EPIC

alexraye on June 26, 2009 at 10:25 AM

WashJeff on June 26, 2009 at 10:19 AM

They plan to lose on each individual transaction, but make up for it in bulk…

JadeNYU on June 26, 2009 at 10:26 AM

In some people “Liberalism” results from ignorance, in some it’s an emotional problem. In some, it’s both.

Akzed on June 26, 2009 at 10:20 AM

++++

LibTired on June 26, 2009 at 10:26 AM

Fcking rat bastards

I’m sick of looking at these filthy lying sacks of Shiite. These disgusting demonic destroyers of decency and democracy democrats

blatantblue on June 26, 2009 at 10:28 AM

Apparently nobody cares about the Constitutional illegality of such schemes….

LimeyGeek on June 26, 2009 at 10:35 AM

They plan to lose on each individual transaction, but make up for it in bulk…

JadeNYU on June 26, 2009 at 10:26 AM

I though you said this

They plan to lose one individual in each transaction, …

the first time I read it. Scary! That would be Nazi efficient.

WashJeff on June 26, 2009 at 10:36 AM

the first time I read it. Scary! That would be Nazi efficient.

WashJeff on June 26, 2009 at 10:36 AM

Nah. They had it down to a fine art. They got rid of people by the shower-load.

Give the libs a few years to play catch-up.

LimeyGeek on June 26, 2009 at 10:38 AM

It will be even worse than that video clip…
Get ready for Gov’t Happy Pills!

mjbrooks3 on June 26, 2009 at 10:39 AM

These disgusting demonic destroyers of decency and democracy democrats

blatantblue on June 26, 2009 at 10:28 AM

Duh.

Daggett on June 26, 2009 at 10:41 AM

lulz…

/cry

spmat on June 26, 2009 at 10:48 AM

I know several people that participate in their employer’s plan and they have medicare or VA coverage. I wonder why that is…..

bazil9 on June 26, 2009 at 10:50 AM

Speaking of trustworthy government officials,..Monica Conyers pled guilty to taking bribes.
http://www.wral.com/news/national_world/national/story/5443618/

a capella on June 26, 2009 at 10:50 AM

We’ll spend $2,000,000,000,000 to save X. Nobody can tell us how much X is.

Quick rule for your local legislator. If a cost reduction plan requires long-term increases in revenue, vote no.

hawksruleva on June 26, 2009 at 10:52 AM

They plan to lose on each individual transaction, but make up for it in bulk…

JadeNYU on June 26, 2009 at 10:26 AM

You mean like the Change Bank?

hawksruleva on June 26, 2009 at 10:54 AM

We need to fix these existing government programs before anyone considers forcing the rest of America into them.

But if we do that everyone won’t be EQUAL. Except of course, Congress. They’re DIFFERENT. Just ask Barry.

GarandFan on June 26, 2009 at 10:57 AM

The exciting news is that, at the least computation, it will cost a family of four making the US median income from 2008 about $2500 a year to implement Obamacare.

That counts only the additional taxes on a portion of your employer-provided health benefits, and a 2% VAT. It doesn’t count new, additional, taxes on beer, wine, soda, liquor, and cigarettes, if you happen to purchase any of those.

And, of course, this computation doesn’t include the average $1234 a year cap-and-trade will impose on household budgets.

I know you’ve all got an extra $3700+ just lyiing around every year. No way you’ll need to cut back drastically on things in your lifestyle when you’re presented with this bill.

J.E. Dyer on June 26, 2009 at 11:00 AM

I’ve been saying for years that anyone who advocates government-supplied health care should spend time at the VA. So far, I’ve seen nothing that makes me consider changing that belief.

Vic on June 26, 2009 at 11:02 AM

Government Health Care -

Option 1 highest level of care, no fee prescriptions and life time availability – free for Congresstitutes and Obamanauts
Option 2 Highest level of care, low cost prescriptions and life time eligibility – low or no cost for Union Workers
Option 3 VA grade care, 70% co-pay, 90% patient pay and eligibility limited to those 30 years old and younger for the Congresstitutes’ Johns

Selecting Option 3 means the Johns get to fund Option 1, 2 and 3.

When does the Revolution start?

SeniorD on June 26, 2009 at 11:04 AM

Time to move to Arizona:

State Lawmakers Considering Move to Opt Out of Federal Health Care
Lawmakers in six states are considering legislation to “protect” citizens from a federal health care plan by creating statewide initiatives to vote on whether to opt out of the national program — even before Congress has created the program
Under Arizona’s Health Care Freedom Act, which was passed by the state legislature this week, a voting initiative will be placed on the 2010 ballot that, if passed, will allow the state to opt out of any federal health care plan. Five other states — Indiana, Minnesota, New Mexico, North Dakota and Wyoming — are considering similar initiatives for their 2010 ballots.

petefrt on June 26, 2009 at 11:05 AM

petefrt on June 26, 2009 at 11:05 AM

Nice symbolism….but how do these ‘opt out’ plans intend to shield the citizens of their States from paying that portion of the federal tax to fund the gubmint plan?

LimeyGeek on June 26, 2009 at 11:08 AM

meh.

ive resigned myself to the fact that theres nothing inherent in the american experience that requires the health of the nation to be managed by a market based system. so long as an american citizen can get bankrupted by cancer the system is broken.

ernesto on June 26, 2009 at 11:14 AM

They got the attitude right, but every gov. “counter helper” I see now has piercings, and tats…

right2bright on June 26, 2009 at 11:19 AM

petefrt on June 26, 2009 at 11:05 AM

That’s what really gets me about all this. Health care is the domain of each state. Each state determines its own laws and practices. Each state licenses insurance companies, plans, certifies rates every year, and has a department of insurance that is elected by the people of the state.

Why does the federal government even believe they have jurisdiction over this is beyond me.

Fix the VA system. They have jurisdiction over that.

The ‘health care reform’ issue is nothing more than a power grab by the federal government that they don’t rightfully have.

ThackerAgency on June 26, 2009 at 11:23 AM

With this new plan you may not be able to get the kind of medical care that you have now, but everyone will get a free virtual Colonoscopy from the Government as they plunge deeply into your wallet.

Uniblogger on June 26, 2009 at 11:27 AM

Why does the federal government even believe they have jurisdiction over this is beyond me.

ThackerAgency on June 26, 2009 at 11:23 AM

Ask Alexander Hamilton. The whole idea that there are some cases where a central government needs to initiate policy or infrastructure improvements comes from his Federalist party.

ernesto on June 26, 2009 at 11:30 AM

Ernesto, Hamilton would never have argued, neigh pondered, the notion that the federal government is responsible for the health of the American citizenry. To even claim this reveals an ignorance of Hamilton of mythical proportion.

cyclown on June 26, 2009 at 11:40 AM

cyclown on June 26, 2009 at 11:40 AM

Surely i didn’t mean that Hamilton’s positions implied an acceptance of federal health care. Notice i said initiate policy and improvements. In hamilton’s time this would not have included health care…but his strain of thinking, in opposition to democratic republicans like jefferson, is alive today in justifications for government health care.

ernesto on June 26, 2009 at 11:44 AM

Nice symbolism….but how do these ‘opt out’ plans intend to shield the citizens of their States from paying that portion of the federal tax to fund the gubmint plan?

LimeyGeek on June 26, 2009 at 11:08 AM

Dunno, but my concern is that gubmit won’t permit us to use our own money to buy our own healthcare, as I understand is the case in Canada, even while we know there’ll be rationing under the gubmit plan (especially after immigration amnesty). Even if I have to pay the into the federal health care plan, I want to have the option of buying my own care/insurance also. It would be kinda like paying for public schools while homeschooling or sending your kids to private school. Sucks, but better than losing everything.

petefrt on June 26, 2009 at 11:44 AM

The ‘health care reform’ issue is nothing more than a power grab by the federal government that they don’t rightfully have.

ThackerAgency on June 26, 2009 at 11:23 AM

How long before Obama dictates the price of our sausages?

Vladimir Putin humiliates Russian supermarket chiefs over expensive sausages
Vladimir Putin, the Russian prime minister, has burnished his populist credentials by storming into a Moscow supermarket and ordering staff to cut the price of their sausages.

petefrt on June 26, 2009 at 11:49 AM

so long as an american citizen can get bankrupted by cancer the system is broken.

ernesto on June 26, 2009 at 11:14 AM

Lamenting that there are aspects of our economy so expensive they can bankrupt you is childish.

Gambling can bankrupt you, should the gubmint intervene there to ensure a ‘fair’ return to all participants? You would soon see the closure of casinos nationwide……much like we will see the closure of hospitals under socialist healthcare.

You always have the option of not seeking care, and not going bankrupt. Perhaps, after consultation with your doctor, it is smarter to simply manage the discomfort with cheap drugs, die with comfort and dignity, and leave wealth to your survivors – rather than eviscerating a family’s future for a hopeless cause.

Only the individual can make such choices. Mandating such coverage for everyone is a stupid waste of valuable resources.

And it’s unconstitutional, hence illegal.

LimeyGeek on June 26, 2009 at 11:58 AM

his strain of thinking, in opposition to democratic republicans like jefferson, is alive today in justifications for government health care.

ernesto on June 26, 2009 at 11:44 AM

If only ‘his strain of thinking’ had actually been incorporated into the Constitution, your comment would be meaningful.

Since ‘his strain of thinking’ actually stands in opposition to Constitutional principles, you’re actually making the point that our government is fundamentally corrupt.

LimeyGeek on June 26, 2009 at 12:05 PM

LimeyGeek on June 26, 2009 at 12:05 PM

It was not a foregone conclusion, upon the ratification of the constitution, that it was to be applied strictly…in a manner where silence implied forbidden ground for the federal government. thats my whole point. the idea that the strict letter of the constitution corralled the government entirely was nor is by any means the “true” or “only” interpretation.

and whats unconstitutional about a federal healthcare system?

ernesto on June 26, 2009 at 12:17 PM

It was not a foregone conclusion, upon the ratification of the constitution, that it was to be applied strictly…in a manner where silence implied forbidden ground for the federal government

It was explicitly so concluded. 10th Amendment.

and whats unconstitutional about a federal healthcare system?

ernesto on June 26, 2009 at 12:17 PM

I repeat – 10th Amendment.

LimeyGeek on June 26, 2009 at 12:21 PM

LimeyGeek on June 26, 2009 at 12:21 PM

and the balance between the elastic clause, interstate commerce, and the 10th amendment has been a bone of contention ever since. and even if what you say is true, the lamentable status quo is the reality…and the reality is that a) our system of health is flawed and b) the 10th amendment hasn’t been applied in ages.

ernesto on June 26, 2009 at 12:44 PM

ernesto on June 26, 2009 at 12:44 PM

Despite anti-federalist concern, the ‘elastic’ clause was specifically included by federalists to enforce the concept eventually ratified in the 10th – namely, that Congress can only create all ‘necessary and proper’ laws to fulfill its constitutionally defined role, nothing more.

Interstate commerce clause is not relevant to the discussion of a federal healthcare system. It is perhaps relevant to the debate over federal prohibition of trade in health insurance across state lines – a debate the fedgov would lose.

I have never denied the status quo. I seek to change it, because it is horrifically flawed.

The reality is that our ‘system’ of healthcare is only flawed by gubmint intervention.

The fact that “the 10th Amendment hasn’t been applied in ages” is a damning indictment of the gubmint and the people – and forms part of the heart of my desire to destroy the ‘status quo’.

LimeyGeek on June 26, 2009 at 12:59 PM

I think we’ve lost sight of what the purpose of insurance is supposed to be. I have car insurance. The state mandates that I have it in order to drive. I pay for it out of my pocket and because I drive a newer car, a popular car, I pay more than the owner of a 10-year-old beater does. My choice, and I’m fine with that. I also have regular maintenance done on the vehicle, and when something happens like I get a flat and need to have it repaired, or a truck kicks up a rock that hits my windshield and cracks it, I PAY FOR IT. Insurance doesn’t cover these ordinary headaches of car ownership and nor do I expect it to. I have a plan that covers me if I TOTAL my car. It’s the same deal with my homeowner’s insurance. I have it to protect me if a tornado comes along and levels the place; I don’t expect it to cover ordinary problems inherent in the aging of a home.

So why do we expect health insurance to operate any differently? It SHOULD be for catastrophic illnesses like cancer. It should NOT be used everytime the kid has the sniffles to run to the doctor’s office. Go to the cold medicine aisle at Wal-Mart and pick up a bottle of children’s Tylenol for $7.00. Or if you’re such a hypochondriac that you MUST see a professional, skip the OTC aisle and see the nurse practitioner at the clinic that places like Wal-Mart and Target and Walgreens are offering instead. This is a perfect example of the free market stepping up to fill a need and doing so efficiently.

I can practically guarantee that if health insurance were no longer expected to be provided by employers — a tremendous burden on smaller businesses BTW — and that people HAD to fund their own plans the same way they have to fund their own car and homeowner’s insurance, the cost WOULD come down. The reason individual plans are so expensive now (although I am perfectly happy with my plan) is because the market for it is so anemic and underdeveloped due precisely to the fact that so few people are in it. If we were all in it, there would be more options available at lower prices. This is more than Economics 101; it’s common sense.

The way to drive down costs is: 1) Offer incentives for staying healthy in the first place — many plans are already doing this; 2) Encourage more “retail” community clinics for ordinary aches and pains like Wal-Mart and others are providing; 3) Give EVERYONE — not just the self-employed — the opportunity to take advantage of tax-deferred HSAs; and 4) Create risk pools among private insurers to cover the truly indigent/disabled/chronically ill/aged who are unable to pay for their own care.

Problem solved. It didn’t even take me 1,000 pages to do it either.

NoLeftTurn on June 26, 2009 at 1:15 PM

I forgot one — an important one!

5) Tort reform.

NoLeftTurn on June 26, 2009 at 1:17 PM

LimeyGeek on June 26, 2009 at 12:59 PM

Deplorable status quo indeed. Were the 10th amendment actually enforced, state governments could levy much higher taxes…leaving those states that are inclined to provide free access to care for all to do so.

ernesto on June 26, 2009 at 1:51 PM

Were the 10th amendment actually enforced, state governments could levy much higher taxes…leaving those states that are inclined to provide free access to care for all to do so.

ernesto on June 26, 2009 at 1:51 PM

Correct…and the people of those states would judge them harshly. Such ‘free’ plans wouldn’t last long.

LimeyGeek on June 26, 2009 at 1:59 PM

Another thing that has been overlooked. When it was deemed necessary that Medicare have a prescription drug benefit it literally took an act of Congress to get it done. Does anyone believe that it would take such a monumental effort for a private insurer to do something similar?

Kafir on June 26, 2009 at 1:59 PM

From TownHall.com:

Thousands of union members rallied for Obamacare on Capitol Hill today in a massive display of union outreach that threatened to deliver more votes for a controversial “public plan” option.

The rally came on the heels of Obama raising the possibility that unions would be exempt from taxing health care benefits. Obama said he was open to imposing new taxes on Americans who are not union members, which is a principle he adamantly opposed during his presidential campaign.
~~
So if you’re in a union, you get a free ride – paid for by non-union members.

Akzed on June 26, 2009 at 2:09 PM

So if you’re in a union, you get a free ride – paid for by non-union members.

Akzed on June 26, 2009 at 2:09 PM

I stopped paying taxes when Bush announced the fedgov intent to steal money to bail out the financial sector.

I guess it isn’t criminal if you’re open about it.

Goose & gander.

LimeyGeek on June 26, 2009 at 2:16 PM

I just don’t understand how people can be so damn stupid…

Just send your “thank you” notes to the national headquarters of the teacher’s union, the N.E.A. You know, “We teach the children”? Oh, and perhaps one also to Jimma Carter, you know, that talking rectum who paid off the N.E.A. by establishing a federal Department of Education. THAT’S why they are so damned stupid.

oldleprechaun on June 26, 2009 at 3:56 PM

If it ain’t broke . . . . legislate it until it is.

- The Cat

MirCat on June 26, 2009 at 5:59 PM

Why do people who complain about HMO’s think Government run healthcare will be different? HMO’s are minni governments. Red tape, delays, denial of treatments. The Government would offer more of the same, only on a much larger scale. I DO picture it like the DMV. God, shoot me now!!!!!

gina4 on June 26, 2009 at 10:29 PM