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Blitzkrieg Declared On American Medicine
Date:12/10/2008

TUCSON, Ariz., Dec. 10 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The incoming administration and Democratic Congress are determined to complete the job started around 1900 and last attempted by Clinton in 1993: the nationalization of American medicine. They plan to move fast, seize momentum, and not let go.

"We need to be on the offense," said former South Dakota Senator Tom Daschle, presumptive new Secretary of Health and Human Services.

The bill might well be S. 1, and Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA) may seek support for this as his final Act before he departs the Senate. Obama is expected to go along with it, despite some initial differences, and might sign it shortly after Inauguration.

This bill will favor the insurance industry even more than Clinton Care did, perhaps because Kennedy and Obama fear a repeat of the Harry and Louise television ads that helped sink the Clinton plan. Insurance companies are getting a gold mine this time in return for their support: everyone will be forced to buy a government-approved plan, however overpriced and undesirable it is. Subsidies to select groups will buy off opposition.

Because insurers will be forced to take all comers and charge them all the same, younger and healthier people will be greatly overcharged to subsidize those who are older and sicker. Since the charge will not be based on risk, it may be called a "premium," but it will actually be a privatized tax: a neat way to circumvent resistance to tax increases, while pouring more money into the system. Long waiting lists for seeing your doctor will develop because healthy people seeking their money's worth will crowd out those who really need the care.

From Clinton's failure in 1994, Obama has learned not to propose a 1,500-page bill, full of details that can be targeted. Instead, he wants broad principles, with details to be filled in later, possibly by Daschle's "Health Care
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SOURCE Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS)
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