The Purpose of This Bl;og

By and large, liberals are very decent, kind, and compassionate people who genuinely want what is best. This should be kept in mind as we explore the Law of Unintended Negative Consequences near invariably resulting from Leftist big-hearted solutions to societal problems.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Obamacare - More Choices, Better Quality, No Rationing?

When the issue of socialized medicine makes the usual round, it often incites legitimate concerns about restricted options, long lines and waiting periods, as well as substandard and limited medical services. It seems as though people want the very best when it comes to the health care for their loved one's, and as a general rule they are skeptical about getting the best from government-run medical insurance and/or health programs. (See HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE)

So, in an effort to surmount these concern, Obama and his supporters have claimed that his health care plan would provide more choices (see HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE), impose "a set of cost-saving measures that will actually improve quality at the same time that they lower costs" (see HERE, and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE), and that there would be no rationing (see HERE and HERE and HERE and  HERE).

Now, I have already demonstrated the disinformation in claiming that Obamacare will lower costs (see HERE), so lets look at each of the other claims to see if they fare any better.

More Choices?

Early indications suggest that, regarding state insurance exchanges, in some states Obamacare will provide more insurance options than before, but not so in other states--in part because not all states have opted to set up insurance exchanges. (See HERE)

Be that as it may, here is documentation that, in general, there will be fewer choices in terms of affordable and quality insurance, doctors, treatment, and hospitals. (See HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE)

Even in the states where there may be more insurance choices, it is of little or no value if the increased number of choices are less desirable than the fewer previous choices.  As indicated in a previous posts, the Obamacare insurance options are generally unappealing because on average they cost more in premiums and out-of-pocket expense (see HERE) and often offer less coverage (see HERE), and this because Obamacare increases the cost of health care as a whole. (See HERE) To an extent the costs are so high as to be somewhat prohibitive, and the coverage so inadequate as to make the Obamacare choices not real choices at all.

In the sections to follow, I will go on to demonstrate that the costly Obamacare choices are made all the more unappealing because they provide inferior and more rationed healthcare services than before. What good is greater selection of insurance plans if there are fewer doctors and hospitals included under the plans?

And, if that weren't enough, in the next article I will show that, contrary to what was repeatedly and emphatically promised, millions of people will not be able to keep the insurance plans and doctors they have previously chosen. (See HERE)

Even more important to some people, Obamacare denies people the freedom to chose not to be insured.

So, the Leftist LUNCs here are that while Obamacare may in some respects provide more insurance choices in some states, it takes away the preferred choices that people currently have, and foists upon them choices that they would rather not make.

Improved Quality?

Here is what America thinks: "Polls showed that Obama's signature bill remained stunningly unpopular.... 44% expected the quality of their health care to decline, while only 8% expected it to improve." (See HERE as quoted HERE) "By a two-to-one margin, more Americans believe the Affordable Care Act will make the quality of their health care worse than better." (See HERE)

Here is evidence suggesting that Obamacare may diminish the quality of care. (See HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE)

The Leftist LUNC here is that while Obamacare was pitched as providing higher quality care, it inadvertently accomplishes the opposite.

No Rationing?

Wikipedia provides this useful definition: "healthcare rationing is simply limiting health care goods and services." (See HERE)

Does Obamacare ration or limit health care goods and services? Contrary to what was promised, the answer is, "yes."

As already intimated, here are a number of ways in which Obamacare, in general,  rations health care.
  1. It pushes up the cost of insurance premiums and health care goods and services (see HERE and HERE), thereby pricing some people out of the health care market or limiting goods and services to what people can be afforded.
  2. It rations insurance coverage (see HERE)
  3. It rations the choices of insurance plans, doctors, hospitals, and treatments. (See Above)
  4. And, it rations the quality of health care. (See Above)
(See additional documentation below)

While the list above may consist of inadvertent rationing, Obamacare also includes a provision that could result in intentional rationing, and this at the hands of the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB--see HERE), or "death panel" as some Conservatives and Liberals have come to call it (see HERE and HERE and HERE).

The Hill reported: "The IPAB is designed to kick in when Medicare cost growth grows above a specified rate. It is charged with making recommendations on how to reduce Medicare spending, and its proposals are required to be fast-tracked through Congress. The Affordable Care Act prevents the IPAB from making recommendations that would directly ration care. But critics say reducing provider reimbursements would have the same result by making it difficult for healthcare professionals to make money in Medicare." (See HERE)

According to the Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, Dave Camp, "Buried in Section 3403 of ObamaCare is a powerful board of unelected bureaucrats, the so-called “Independent Payment Advisory Board” (IPAB), whose sole job will be to save money by restricting access to health care for Medicare beneficiaries.  IPAB is required to achieve specified savings in years where Medicare spending is deemed “too high,” according to the Democrats’ health care overhaul."

Because of the risk of rationing by the IPAB, it has become increasingly more controversial and opposed by members of both major political parties. (See HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE)


The leftist LUNCs here are that, contrary to what was promised, Obamacare will generally lead to less choices, lower quality, and rationed health care. And, unfortunately, this will hurt most the poor and elderly and sick for whom Obamacare was supposed to protect.

For an explanation as to why these Leftist LUNCs occur, please see: Gov: Wrong Tool for the Right Job - Introduction and Cold Nanny as well as The Politics of Compassion, Emotions, Ignorance, Denial, Blame-Shifting, and Victimization

Additional Documentation

Here is a list of article that give specific as well as general examples of how Obamacare rations health care and how it will likely drive some insurance companies, doctors, and hospitals out of business or cause them to restrict the goods and services they provide::

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