Monday, May 16, 2011

Debunking the Enemies of Healthcare Reform

Watch and wince.

Rand Paul, a physician, and now a U.S. senator, compares universal healthcare to slavery––enslaving doctors, that is. He says patients who feel entitled to care will have the police break down down his door and haul him away to help them.

It's ludicrous. A lot more seriously ill Americans have their own doors broken down when their homes are repossessed after ruinous medical expenses.

Here's one retired insurance executive you can believe.

You won't find a policy wonk who knows his stuff better than Al Franken. Here he is questioning someone from the conservative Hudson Institute, who said that Obama's healthcare reform law would cause more bankruptcies (a ludicrous notion). Almost a million Americans declare bankruptcy every year because of healthcare costs. How many people go bankrupt in England for this reason? Zero. France? Zero. Germany? Zero. Canada? Zero.

Here's some supporting material that backs him up.

And what about the complaint of rising costs under "Obama-Care"? Whose costs? Under the healthcare reform act money will actually be saved and people will get their care. But the healthcare industry won't be able to dodge costs and lay them off on the you and me. Insurance will go back to doing what it was designed to do, help share burdens and spread risks rather than avoiding them. The facts are here.

Some practical rules for controlling healthcare costs from Ezra Klein of the Washington Post.

The spokesperson for the Republican attack on the reform of last year was Sen. Ron Johnson (R, Wisconsin). His charges are debunked point by point below. Unfortunately, even bad information gains broad acceptance when pushed by Talk Radio, FoxNews and the Wall Street Journal.

The Republican goal is to take health coverage away from the sick and the poor and the unemployed and restore enormous profits to health insurance companies. To take healthcare decisions away from patients and doctors, giving power instead to insurance company accountants. Their ultimate goal is to privatize Medicare by bankrupting that very efficient program. (If you'll notice, the savings they've already extorted from popular programs have mostly been given away to the richest Americans in the form of even more tax cuts on top of the Bush tax cuts they already got.)

Here are some other reliable sources on the subject. It isn't just the moral issues; basic practicality is on Obama's side too.


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