Public Plan Facts

Dr. Goldberg: Time for Second Chances

This week the President proclaimed when it comes to implementing the new health care law we can’t go back.

Yes we can.

Contrary to President Obama, turning back doesn’t mean denying people with cancer or Alzheimer’s or eating disorders access to reasonably affordable coverage or allowing children who graduate college to stay on their parents health plan until they find a job. And it doesn’t mean prohibiting people from choosing to purchase insurance without lifetime limits.

It does mean putting a stop to the cuts to hospice that are already taking place in Medicare. It means stopping Medicare from issuing guidelines that deny cancer patients radiation therapy because – and this captures the spirit of Obamacare – since advances in detection and staging prostate cancer permit individualized treatment, Medicare claims there is not enough evidence to know if radiation benefits the average Medicare patient. Got it? This is an example of what President Obama was referring to when he talked about eliminating waste and unnecessary treatments from Medicare.

It means putting a stop to the government forcing 120 million people out of the healthcare plans they have and doctors they use if premiums go up to add benefits or alternately an employer uses HSAs (which requires higher deductibles and co-payments) to lower premiums. The President said: “When I say if you have your plan and you like it, or you have a doctor and you like your doctor, that you don’t have to change plans, what I’m saying is the government is not going to make you change plans under health reform. It means putting a stop to forcing companies to choose between increasing coverage and cutting jobs since providing limited insurance benefits for employees will be prohibited.

And it means putting a stop to not only to the biggest tax increase in history (which doesn’t include the higher premiums and out of pocket costs that 93 million Americas will be required to pay under Obamacare) but because we are still on the hook for $59 billion in additional state Medicaid spending, the $250 billion Medicare physician pay increases. $115 billion in operating expenses for Obamacare – 15 percent of total spending! – and a $50 billion shortfall in the temporary program for high-risk insurance policies is paid – the $118 billion in “savings” turns into $303 billion deficit. If we are lucky. That’s assuming the long term care fund doesn’t go bankrupt as the Medicare actuary is predicting.

We must stop where we are. The president says with a straight face that only government can impose the fiscal discipline required to reign in health care spending. This past week in chewing out insurance companies he seemed to imply that premium increases – and by extension health care costs — were tied to profits. Yet other health systems are seeing costs go up faster than we are and are going broke to boot. Britain’s National Health Service, Germany’s system of subsidized insurance plans, and the French health system have seen deficits double in less then two years. The same goes for Japan and Canada where cuts in healthcare spending have already taken place. And despite this government run spending spree, the international outcomes in treating heart failure, diabetes, mental illness, Alzheimer’s and cancer are nowhere close to ours. The British government is proposing cutting the NHS budget by 20 percent. Do we need to increase government spending in order to cut it? This appears to be the path the President is taking.

The President insults millions of decent and caring Americans by suggesting those who don’t agree with him we are abandoning the sick and something less than moral. There is in fact, a better way. We can preserve hospice care and cancer treatment for seniors, allow millions to keep the coverage they have, cut taxes and make coverage affordable for millions more, without saddling America with even more debt and deficit spending.

This is not about turning back. This is about taking stock and moving forward. In politics as in medicine, there is nothing wrong with a second opinion.


  1. Amelia Ward says:

    Everywhere I go, people are talking about the injustice and burden of this spoon-fed healthcare on the middle class; yet no one is listening! Our Congressmen/woman, respond with the same old political ’speak.’
    We ARE ALREADY feeling the increases being imposed by the insurance companies - in anticipation of Obamacare mandates! But still the politicians respond with PC talk. The frustration is at an all time high! The majority of Americans DO NOT want a government-appointed board making our medical decisions for us! We resent this government intrusion into our lives.
    By way of example: My 90 year old father, was issued a ‘penalty fee’ for letting his coverage ‘lapse’ for 30 days! The truth is that he changed insurance companies when the former one informed him that he only had $1,000 in medical coverage left for the year; they sold!
    A friend of ours was told that Medicare would not cover her urgently needed cancer treatment - after originally being told that they would. Reason: she had too much saved for her retirement and didn’t qualify now under the new health-care mandates! Since when is under $100,000 TOO MUCH for retirement when you’re 65 years old!
    The amount that we pay per month for our medical coverage increased 15% in anticipation of the new health care mandates!
    I could go on and on! HOW CAN WE STOP /OVER TURN, this government health care program - HOW?

  2. W. P. Koch says:


    Congress and the White House should stop squandering the people’s money first and use savings to improve quality of basic invested entitlements. No new taxes. Congress should stop vote bribery and refurbish health care. Vote opponents to this “out”. Citizens come first.
    It is time the U.S. limits its human rites and military policeman for the World by lobbying the United Nations and NATO to “take on more”. 800 bases across the world should be reduced. Starting with Iraq, remove most troops in 2010 and continue consulting for self reliance. After a surge in Afghanistan repeat, remove corruption and substitute minerals mining and food crops for drugs. Reduce forces in selected areas such as Germany, Bosnia and Okinawa.
    Cut bureaucracy. Combine CDC, EPA and FDA. Combine the FAA, NHTSA and Transportation Department. No CZARS Mr. president.
    Contribute to only one of: The World Bank or International Monetary Fund or U.S. Agency for International Development.
    Reduce foreign aid. For example, no aid to oil rich -Iraq.
    Reduce the “stimulus” by halting non relevant and non critical earmarks.
    Please- no private or military jets for congress including Pelosi’s family at taxpayer expense. Elected officials should set commercial travel standards and control expenses.
    Charge bailed out losing companies that have provided huge executive bonuses at taxpayer expense.
    Reduce medical costs by; obtaining insurance anywhere in U.S., “tort reform”, and limiting “red tape”.
    Enforce immigration laws. Entitlements or benefits are for citizens. Complete the entire fence. Deport criminal “illegals”. Workers with visas should receive only needed medical benefits.
    Improve medical expense tax deduction for citizens reaching age 65. Provide corporations tax reduction incentives for implementing healthcare.
    The savings will provide adequate funding for:” Medicare”, “Medicaid, and “Veteran’s Affairs”.
    Healthcare quality should be at least that for Congress or the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program (FEHBP). A result: no drug “donut hole”, dental coverage, improved visual coverage and no co-pays except for extended skilled level nursing.
    These actions will also aid unemployment compensation, and restore Social Security cost of living increases.

  3. Pat Rawlings says:

    People need to get very active in the Primary Elections in their counties, cities and states and throw the bums out, that is where you get to fire your incumbent elected official who is not listing to you. Sarah Palin is the only voice I hear about helping good conservative men and women in the primaries get rid of the incumbents. The media is not going to want the American people to realize that the Primary Elections are the ones to focus on. So lets get the word out, there should be 50% turn out in the Primaries this summer. The country needs to follow the lead of South Carolina and Kentucky to vote a real change in Washington DC.

  4. W. P. Koch says:

    Kudos to you Pat.. Amelia, Pat has the right idea. Vote the bums out!!

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