William Hamilton " ObamaCare: Canadians aren’t for it
April 28, 2009
OK, let’s review. Our national debt is already over $11 trillion dollars. The TARP bail-out for troubled lending institutions was $700 billion. The pork-laden stimulus package was $787 billion. The president just signed a pork-filled budget package of $410 billion. On top of that, we taxpayers will soon be hit with ObamaCare, AKA socialized medicine.
As they say in show business and politics, timing is everything. ObamaCare will be pushed when U.S. Senator Edward Kennedy’s health is in extremis. Bank on it.
Unfortunately, government-run medical care hasn’t worked very well in Canada and Great Britain. It is no joke that the waiting period to have a baby delivered in a Canadian hospital is 10 months. American hospitals bordering Canada are chock full of Canadians paying twice for medical-care: for American care they can get now, and for Canadian care available after they are dead. In Great Britain, so many people needing what we think of as relatively routine heart surgery have died waiting for it that their untimely demise rarely makes the news anymore.
Stanford University Professor Thomas Sowell makes a distinction between health care and medical care: Health care includes what we as individuals can do to improve our health and our longevity. For example, eat a healthy diet and exercise. Medical care, according to Sowell, consists of what happens when you go see a physician and/or when you need hospitalization. While, for example, Swedes on socialized medicine live slightly longer, they are more into exercise and diet than the average American.
Historically, the way that adults “insured” against the infirmities of old age was to have lots of children to care for them. But, when fewer children were produced, adults began to buy medical insurance from private insurance companies organized for that purpose. It made a great deal of sense for families to pool their money via relatively small monthly insurance payments and then hope that they would not be the family that had need of the pool.
But now we are in an age when some people, often the indigent or the improvident either cannot or will not put a portion of their earnings into private medical insurance pools. They want government, to be the “insurance” pool. But since government has no ability to create actual wealth, the money for the insurance pool must come from taxpayers.
The number of taxpayers able to foot the bill for government-run, medical-care systems is shrinking. According to John C. Goodman, the CEO of the National Center for Policy Analysis, the first wave of the baby boomers just started to qualify for Social Security. In two years, they will qualify for Medicare. At that point, 78 million people will have stopped working. This will cause an enormous shock to the Social Security and Medicare systems.
Wait a minute. Millions of Americans have been paying into the Social Security and Medicare Trust Funds. Where’s the money? Mostly, gone. Congress spent the money on various government projects and left behind a stack of I.O.Us. In effect, it is a government-sponsored Ponzi scheme.
According to Goodman, the mid-point of the baby boomer generation retirements will occur in 2030. At that time, it will require one dollar of every two dollars earned by the work force that remains to meet the obligations of Social Security and Medicare.
So, if Social Security and Medicare are going broke and you add $1,897 billion in bail-outs, stimulus packages and a pork-laden budget bill on top of an already $11 trillion dollar debt, does it make sense to force taxpayers to pay more trillions to convert from the world’s best medical-care system to a system that has proven inferior?
Most of the 40 million uninsured are younger people who, at present, choose not to buy health insurance. If seriously injured or ill, they will still receive first-class medical-care treatment. Besides, if we convert, where will Canadians find timely medical care?
” William Hamilton, a syndicated columnist and a featured commentator for USA Today, studied at Harvard’s JFK School of Government. Dr. Hamilton is a former assistant professor of political science and history at Nebraska Wesleyan University.
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