The Sociology of Socialized Medicine
Before we complete the deal, elect Obama, and turn heath care, lock, stock and barrel, to the government consider this. Socialized medicine is the ultimate government give away. And, the ultimate lie because it isn’t free.
Our GDP is about 13.8 trillion dollars for 2007. Medical care accounts for about 14 percent of the GDP. Or, about 1.9 trillion dollars. Medicare accounts for about 5 percent of the GDP; about 700 billion dollars. That means we have to account for about the 1.2 trillion dollar difference between what comes from the government, primarily in the form of Medicare, with what comes from the private sector. These are rough figures that don’t account for other public medical programs.
But, these figures are here to make a point. And, the point is not to quibble over exact numbers. Rather, the proposed government takeover of medical care is going to cost, in 2007 dollars, on the order of one trillion dollars. Moreover, because the biggest deadbeat in the medical care system is the government, the legally mandated steeply discounted care that is Medicare is covered by cost shifting from the private sector. This is particularly acute in primary care where there is little in the way of procedures to bolster the poor reimbursements of Medicare.
You will not be able to place the entire health care system a Medicare-like system and think that you can extend the current payment system over the rest of the medical care system that will be nationalized. Any nationalized medical system is going to have to cough up something on the order of a trillion dollars above and beyond is spent in the public sector.
But, this is not a transfer of money from one account to another. It’s not the issue of waking up one morning and finding you’re working for the government whereas you worked for yourself the day before. This is not limited to physicians. This will sweep in every health care worker; nurses, respiratory therapists and on and on. Even the folks in the hospital kitchen. It may be easy, in the court of public opinion, to stiff the physician. But, physician fees only account for twenty percent of the total health bill. You need that trillion dollars unless you think its okay to stiff our nurses and paramedics too. And, again, since the private sector is propping up the public sector you will need that entire trillion dollars.
Now, wither that trillion bucks? Is it simply an even exchange? Less personal expenditures in exchange for a higher tax bill? Of course! Remember, this is supposed to be free. Magically health care will appear and someone else is going to foot the bill. A trillion dollar honey pot. A trillion dollars to be wisely doled out by dispassionate government experts who will insure every dollar is now spent for the best possible care possible. Expenditures can now be rationally applied so that all of the shortcomings of our impossibly broken system can be corrected. And, ACORN hand in hand Freddie and Fannie was going to give everyone a free house.
Of course not. Expenditures will become hopelessly politicized. Every dollar of this trillion dollar transfer will be doled out for maximal political effect. A single payer Health Care System will devolve into a trillion dollar vote buying fraud. This doesn’t begin to start into the issues of funding abortion.
So, in addition to shouldering the taxes that this trillion dollar transfer will represent, those who want real medical care will be forced to develop a new parallel private system. Just like in England. Canada hasn’t developed such a parallel system since it had the US just to the south to prop up their faltering system.
The simple fact is that there will be employees that will have the bargaining power to negotiate better health benefits than the lowest common denominator health system that Obamacare will become. And, Obamacare, al la the Chicago political machine, will fulfill its role as primarily a distributor of graft and favors. Medical care was never the priority. If you want to see the future of medical care for lumpenproletariat just visit Cook County Hospital.
Now we get to the subject of small business; which includes many medical practices. Obama’s tax proposal to give everyone a tax break under the $250,000 level of course more than implies that those taxes will be borne by those above that level. As has been noted elsewhere, those $250,000 plus kulaks are small business who file 1040’s as s-corporations or sole proprietors. Before we even deal with the nationalization of medical care, were going to, as small businesses, start shelling out a lot more in tax dollars. Physicians have to deal with the business of medicine. Good intentions and the Hippocratic oath don’t pay the rent, electricity and nurses salaries. Recovery out of this latest mess from the sub-prime mortgage mess will be in the hands of job creation of small businesses; including your local doc.
But, going further, at the stroke Obama’s pen, a whole class of small businesses will be wiped out. Just at a time we’re going to need every penny of economic growth to get out of this economic downturn, we’re going to nationalize the other ten percent of the fourteen percent of the GDP spent on medical care. We can kiss all that entrepreneurial drive good by. And, we’re going to get the New Deal II with all the bells and whistles we could ever want; including the Great Depression.