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Tuesday, August 11, 2009



From President Obama's town hall today:
"This is not about putting the government in charge of your health insurance. I don't believe anyone should be in charge of your health insurance decisions but you and your doctor."
As for me, I want my doctor and myself making decisions about my health care, not about my health insurance. A slip of the tongue on the part of the President? Maybe, but it's telling that the name of the town hall was the "Health Insurance Reform Town Hall." That's the whole focus of what's going on. Not improving health care. Improving health insurance. Which is not what is needed.

Obama did mention the money question:

"By definition, if we're helping people who currently don't have health insurance, that's going to cost some money. It's been estimated to cost somewhere between, let's say, $800 billion and a trillion dollars over 10 years."
To which I take the opportunity to point out once again that the U.S. spends one trillion dollars every year on its military. Which means that a mere 10% cut in military spending would fund the entire increase in health care costs. And actually, according to Obama, most of that $800 billion to a trillion is going to be achieved by "savings," and only "$30 billion to $40 billion a year" is needed to fill the funding gap, for which he's proposing some tax increases. But $30 to $40 billion is only 3% of military spending. It's less than the U.S. will be spending on waging war in Afghanistan during the next 12 months, an expense about which there was exactly zero debate in the Congress (or in the media or anywhere). Just sayin'.

Update: For a sad picture of the current state of health care in the United States, note that an organization called "Remote Area Medical," which normally performs services in third-world countries, has recently conducted health fairs in Virginia, Tennessee, and Los Angeles, providing free health care to thousands of Americans with no other access to health care.

And for an interesting analysis about why the "public option" is not remotely comparable to a single-payer system in terms of savings, read the second letter on this page.

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