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President Clinton says health care in America costs too much-that it’s a national disgrace that 37 million Americans have no health insurance and that tens of millions of others have inadequate coverage. Clinton’s “solution”: a total government takeover of all medical care in the U.S.–1/7 of the entire U.S. economy. As you will see, what Clinton is really talking about is a government takeover of your life .
Under Clinton’s plan, you will automatically be enrolled in a government-run “health alliance.” Clinton’s plan states:
“It is the obligation of every eligible individual to enroll in a health plan. Anyone who does not meet the established deadline for enrollment automatically is enrolled in a health plan when he or she seeks medical care. Regional alliances assign patients who do not seek enrollment to a health plan; they automatically assign any newborn infant who is not enrolled through his or her parents to a plan.”
Once you are enrolled, “health-providing institutions . . . would send all patients through medical ‘gatekeepers,’ who would decide what care people really need.” If they decide you are too old, too sick, or too politically incorrect to be treated, they will have the power to deny you treatment, no matter what the consequences.
But regardless of how little treatment you get or how bad it is, you will still be required to pay Clinton’s new health-care taxes-forever. And there’s no limit on how high those taxes can be .
If the states don’t obey the federal government’s mandate to impose the health-care taxes Clinton wants, then, without Congressional approval :
“The Secretary of the Treasury will impose a payroll tax on all employers in the state. The payroll tax shall be sufficient to allow the federal government to provide health coverage to all individuals in the state and to reimburse the federal government for the costs of monitoring and operating the state system.”
Clinton’s health-care plan will be financed by a new payroll tax of 3.5% to 7.6% on all businesses and workers in America (including part-time workers). And there will be new taxes on cigarettes and alcohol and higher taxes on “the wealthy” for Medicare. This will increase payroll-withholding taxes taken from the average person’s paycheck to over 42%. Over 50% in high-tax states, like California. And that doesn’t count your property tax, sales taxes, etc.
What effect will these taxes have? They could destroy up to 16.3 million jobs . One out of every eight of us could be put out of work. That’s the conclusion of a May 1993 study (“The Employment Impact of Proposed Health Care Reform on Small Business”) conducted by Consad Research Corporation of Pittsburgh, PA.
Why such a high potential job loss? Because, thanks to existing taxes and regulations, many small businesses are just hanging on by their fingernails. Clinton’s health-care taxes are more than enough to bankrupt them.
So say good-bye to many of your neighborhood restaurants, delis, dry cleaners, and health- food stores. And say good-bye to what’s left of many entry-level jobs in America. Since 80% of new jobs are created by small businesses, and since most big businesses are currently “downsizing,” when Clinton’s plan really kicks in, there won’t be any new jobs to speak of in America-except in new governmental bureaucracies.
Forget choosing your doctor
All doctors will eventually be forced to join governmental “health networks,” in which bureaucrats will dictate what procedures they will be allowed to use-under penalty of fines, asset confiscation, and imprisonment. Doctors who refuse to join will be out of business. And the same holds true for alternative practitioners-chiropractors, vitamin therapists, homeopaths, etc.-since most won’t be allowed to receive any insurance monies.
You can also forget about the freedom to choose your own doctor. You will only be allowed to select doctors from Clinton’s approved list. And plans in which you can choose your own doctor are designed to be prohibitively expensive for most people.
The specialties doctors will be allowed to practice will also be determined by the state-further limiting your freedom of choice. Clinton’s plan calls for “shifting the balance in the graduate training of physicians from specialties to primary care.” And, “after a five year phase-in period, at least 50 percent of new physicians are trained in primary care rather than in the specific specialty fields.”
The funding of medical school-who gets admitted to medical schools and what they are allowed to teach-will be controlled by the states. The plan says:
“Regional [governmental] councils receive applications from training institutions in each area for residency positions in each specialty. Positions are allocated to accredited residency programs based on such factors as . . . ‘relevance of the training program curricula to the future practice of physicians’ and ‘participation of under-represented minority groups.'”
Present and future doctors will be under direct control of a new National Health Board. Those who don’t obey orders can be fined, have their assets forfeited, and be imprisoned. Clinton’s plan says that “current federal authority is amended to allow forfeitures of proceeds derived from health care fraud” and “the law provides for prejudgment interest or penalties and assessments imposed by an administrative law judge .”
An administrative law judge is a judge with neither independence nor impartiality, totally controlled by the same executive department that files a complaint. In other words, both prosecutor and judge work for the same boss, so you can forget about being innocent until proven guilty or getting a jury trial.
What constitutes fraud under Clinton’s new order? Here’s part of the answer:
o “Engaging in inappropriate medical practices.”
o “Failing to report information or reporting inaccurate information that is required to be submitted to a data bank.”
o “Employing or contracting with any individual or entity excluded from participation in the health care system for the provision of services.”
o “Failure to cooperate with quality program or utilization review.”
In other words, any doctor who doesn’t tell the government everything it wants to know about your medical history, buys services from a company the government hasn’t approved, or doesn’t open his offices to governmental inspection on demand is history. These new “crimes” are broad enough for the government to destroy any doctor who fails to meekly obey the orders of the government.
Given this planned governmental regimentation of doctors, it should not be surprising that, as the Washington Times (September 8, 1993) reports, “half of all the physicians in the United States say they would consider retiring if the Clinton plan is too onerous-and they have the means to do so.”
A seven-member “National Health Control Board” will dictate the prices hospitals and pharmaceutical manufacturers can charge. Initially, price controls are supposed to be “voluntary,” but with government quickly becoming the main purchaser of health care, disobedience will mean bankruptcy. And if “voluntary” restraints don’t work, Clinton says he will make them mandatory.
Cost caps and price controls should quickly cause many hospitals and manufacturers to fail. The only survivors will be institutions with political connections. When national health insurance was instituted in Canada, one minister frankly admitted he was putting private hospitals out of business so institutions controlled by the state didn’t “suffer by comparison.”
How does Clinton propose to reduce costs in our “overpriced” health-care system? By adding 37 million new people to the rolls, expanding benefits for nearly everyone, and creating huge new governmental bureaucracies. Not surprising, Clinton’s projected first-year expenditures for national health care are over $1 trillion- 17% higher than they are under the current “free market” system that Clinton says “costs too much” and is “out of control.”
In fact, we have not had a free market in health care in America for over 50 years. The government now controls over 40% of health-care expenditures. And health-care costs have been shooting up as a result of many factors that have nothing to do with the free market, including:
o Tremendous increase in demand for health- care services from government expenditures. As a study published by the Heartland Institute(“Why We Spend Too Much For Health Care”) states, “The health care industry expanded dramatically in the 1970s and 1980s to accommodate the influx of government spending [particularly Medicare]. The number of doctors rose from 151 per 100,000 of population in 1970 to 246 by 1986. The number of other hospital personnel increased from 2.53 million in 1970 to 3.46 million in 1986.”
o Over 700 governmental mandates on insurance companies, specifying what bundles of services they must offer. These mandates, according to the Heartland study, “have been estimated to increase the cost of health insurance by 30 percent.”
o Accelerating rates of AIDS, teenage pregnancy, and injuries from violent crimes-particularly in our inner cities-which are overwhelming public hospitals.
o A rapidly aging population. As Dr. Peter F. Holmes of San Antonio writes in Barron’s , October 4, 1993:
“If there were no such thing as inflation, if all hospital costs were held constant and there were no new diseases such as AIDS, no new technology or drugs, the cost of medical care would still double by the year 2010 , quadruple by 2030, and rise sixfold by 2040. The reason is numbers. There will be more elderly, and they will live longer. For every hip fracture which is necessary to fix now, two [procedures] will be done in 2010, and six in 2040. If each of the other factors adds one percentage point to the growth of medical costs, the result is 9% per year, plus inflation. Or, if the medical budget is held to inflation, services would have to be cut by 9% per year. Holding the national budget for medical care to its present size would mean only about half the medical care required today would be available in nine years.”
Clinton’s plan will do nothing to control most of these rising health-care costs. And it will inevitably regulate and regiment many physicians and hospitals out of existence. This means that the only way Clinton can control costs is by rationing-draconian rationing.
What happens when you combine fewer doctors and hospitals with 37 million new patients and skyrocketing costs? You get a health-care system that resembles that of the former Soviet Union. Endless waiting lines. Dirty, overcrowded hospitals and clinics. Overworked, hostile doctors. Cruel or indifferent support staff. Frequent shortages of even the most basic drugs and medications. Conditions so bad that you can die waiting for treatment, or be crippled, infected or killed by incompetence.
That is what has already happened in England, Canada, New Zealand and every other country that has tried socialized-medicine systems less extreme than what Clinton is proposing. In England, if you’re over 65, 45% of all state-run hospitals refuse to provide you with kidney dialysis–which means you probably die. In New Zealand, there’s a waiting list of 50,000 for surgery, out of a population of 3 million. In Canada, Heartbeat Windsor smuggles heart patients across the border to Detroit, before they die waiting for surgery.
To see the future of health care in America for you and your children under Clinton’s plan, just visit any Veterans Administration hospital. You’ll find filthy conditions, shortages of everything, and treatment bordering on barbarism. It’s something straight out of The Snake Pit or Frankenstein .
However, Clinton is not content to simply destroy quality health care in America. His plan also gives him the power to have government intrude upon every aspect of your life.
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