Health Care Facts
Unless otherwise noted, this fact sheet is derived primarily from a book called Your Health Care Matters:
What You Need to Know about US Health Care. All of the book’s documented sources can be found at http://www.freemarkethealthcare.com/ .
Fact: Government has a history of fiscal incompetence.
National debt of $12.5 trillion dollars and growing. Annual budget deficits of $1.5 trillion dollars and growing. Social Security trust fund robbed necessitating reductions in benefits. Medicare; $37 trillion in unfunded liabilities. Medicaid broke. Amtrak broke. US Postal service broke. Do you believe more government is the answer?
Fact: Insurance company industry profits are neither excessive nor arbitrary.
Insurance companies price their products slightly above the cost of medical care averaging net profits of 4%. This is 50% below the average net profits for the 500 largest companies in the US. The total net profit of insurance companies in 2009 amounted to less than 1% of total health care costs (Source: ABC Nightly News Report 3/12/10).
Fact: Insurance companies administer health care costs more efficiently than government agencies.
According to Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) the total administrative cost of private health insurance is 12.7%, with 5.2% of the cost a result of government mandated taxes and assessments. In fact, the federal government keeps Medicare administrative costs low by bidding out these services to private insurers and third party administrators (free market competition). Conversely, health care administrative cost of government agencies (Medicaid, CHIP, Veterans Administration, military) is 26%. In other words, health care administrative costs are 50% less expensive when provided by private companies versus government.
Fact: Medicare does not provide lower cost health care; it shifts costs to others.
Medicare “price fixes” the amount paid to Doctors and Hospitals for providing care. When Medicare only pays a provider $500 for a procedure that costs the provider $1,000, the $500 loss is shifted to those with private insurance plans. Just because Medicare only pays $500, doesn’t mean the procedure costs $500. Medicare isn’t a lower cost program…it’s a cost shifting program.
Fact: Medicare is a $37 trillion unfunded liability.
Essentially, this means that the government system held by health reformers as a model for everyone is an empty promise to future generations of Americans.
Fact: Obamacare will affect YOU and every aspect of our health care system.
Obamacare WILL impact the 85% of Americans that have health insurance. This will affect every American.Government bureaucrats will decide who wins and who loses.
Fact: President Obama and Democrat leaders are resorting to a backdoor process called “reconciliation” to pass their massive government health care takeover.
Reconciliation is a congressional procedure designed to allow budget items to be passed with less than 60 senate votes. It has historically been used by Republicans (14 times) and Democrats (11 times), but has always been used with bi-partisan support. Our founding fathers wrote our constitution to limit government power. It was written to ensure change would occur slowly, and only through majority in both the house and senate. The use of reconciliation to pass sweeping social legislation is an appalling abuse of power.
Fact: The World Health Organization (WHO) rankings are misleading.
For example, the US is ranked as 22nd in life expectancy. There are many reasons the US does not rank at the top of life expectancy, none of them having anything to do with our health care system.
First, the WHO studies compare the US, a nation of 350 million people, to nations such as Switzerland and Iceland, countries with populations smaller than of many of our states.
Second, the US is a nation of immigrants. Many people come to this nation with critical health issues from countries with poor health care systems, and we do everything we can to extend their lives.
Third, the WHO study compares us to nations with homogenous populations. For example, 99% of Japan’s citizens are Japanese. The Japanese diet is much healthier than the average American. Crime rates and other lifestyle choices also contribute to lower US life expectancy.
Fact: The US spends twice the dollars per person on health care than other developed countries.
We spend more on health care per person in part because of cultural attitudes. For example, in the US we spend whatever it takes to preserve the life of our sickest infants. In countries with government-run health care systems government bureaucrats determine how much money will be spent to achieve a “tolerable” level of infant mortality. In the US we save 75% of premature infants, compared to 2% in Canada. (Source: University of Iowa School Neonatology, 2006). Do you want to reduce life to some economic equation determined by government bureaucrats?
Fact: Uninsured people who lack health care insurance have many options.
Medicaid and Badger Care provide health care to those with low income. Community health care centers provide low or no-cost health care. Hospital emergency rooms must treat everyone, regardless of ability to pay. Pharmaceutical companies offer low-income people low or no-cost medications. In the US, we have a constitution based on individual free will…people chose if they want to utilize the services available to them…and many chose not to.
Fact: The “true” number of long-term uninsured in this country is 9-16 million (4-6% of population), not 47 million as radical reformers claim.
Truth is, about 16 million of the 47 million uninsured earn between $50,000 and $75,000/year, and chose to pay for other things instead of health insurance. Another 12.8 million of the 47 million uninsured are young people between the ages of 18 and 35 that don’t see the relevance of health insurance in their lives. And 34% of the uninsured are new immigrants, with 12 million of them in this country illegally. The “true” number of uninsured in this country is between 9-18 million (3-6% of population). If the US congress passes a mandatory universal health insurance plan, a large majority of these people will remain uninsured. No law can force them to do what they refuse to do, or require them to buy insurance with money they don’t have, especially those that are here illegally.
Fact: The health care reform congress is trying to pass is a Universal Health Insurance program.
Despite viable questions of constitutionality, a federal law that requires everyone to purchase health insurance will not likely reduce the number of uninsured. Auto insurance is mandatory in 47 states. Unlike health insurance, it is constitutional for states to require because of the risk you pose to others while driving. Yet the number of uninsured drivers has held steady at 14.6%. Federal income tax is mandatory for everyone earning income, yet 14.7% of American’s do not comply. At best, a national health insurance mandate will reduce the uninsured by just 2.5%. (Source: Congressional Budget Office). Furthermore, think about enforcement of such a mandate. How many new government agencies will we need to detect and enforce mandated insurance for our 350,000,000 US citizens?
Fact: Since the US began importing European-style health care management, we have developed a system of pre-paid medical plans, not a system of health insurance.
Insurance is intended to protect people from catastrophic financial loss, not pay for every single medical expense a person incurs. You don’t expect your automobile insurer to cover oil changes, yet you probably expect your health insurance company to cover your flu shot. Over the past fifty years, government has slowly mandated minimum coverage levels and expanded the number of medical procedures that insurers MUST cover, to the point that “health insurance” is no longer “insurance”, it’s expensive pre-paid health care.
Fact: In 1960, 48% of health care expenses were patient paid out-of-pocket expenses. By 2003, the payments had fallen to just 13%. High deductable insurance policies are very affordable. A $6,000 deductable HSA policy including preventative care for a 49 year old with a lifetime cap of $7,000,000 can be purchased for less than $4,700/year. The deductable portion (if needed), can be paid with pre-tax dollars further reducing actual costs by lowering your tax bill. (Source: Anthem Blue Cross 3/15/10)
Fact: The Fraser Institute, a Canadian-based think tank, has found that by 2050 the “free” Canadian health care system will consume 100% of total tax revenues of the country. They have four choices; raise taxes, impose co-pays and deductibles, ration services, or borrow from future generations. Sound familiar? Perhaps government run health care is like Medicare…an empty promise to future generations.
Fact: Nearly every country with a nationalized healthcare system is moving towards some form of private insurance to solve their health care rationing problems. The US is home to most of the world’s breakthrough health care technologies, processes, and systems. This has given us and the world lifesaving medicines, diagnostic machines, and the most remarkable health care in human history. Our free-market economy is what makes this all possible. Socialized medicine relies 100% on taxpayer funding, and as such is always subject to the limitations imposed by the unpopularity of raising taxes. Therefore, countries with socialized medicine are seeking to become more like the US, in which 55% of each health care dollar is paid for by individuals in a voluntary system.
Fact: Medicare will deny payment for procedures it deems unnecessary.
My father died of cancer. Medicare refused to pay for last resort treatments because they were considered experimental. If you think that government is somehow morally superior to “profit-making” health care providers, and that all of your personal medical choices will be supported by your government, you will be very disappointed.
“A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have.” – Gerald Ford
Compiled by Bob. (Thank you!)