Claude Castonguay, the father of the Canadian Health Care system, and a model adopted by the NHS in Britain, has said his model is failing:
Just yesterday, I wrote about how unpopular the British healthcare system has become. Today comes news that the man largely responsible for Canada’s conversion to a single-payer health care system has admitted the system’s failure:
“Back in the 1960s, (Claude) Castonguay chaired a Canadian government committee studying health reform and recommended that his home province of Quebec — then the largest and most affluent in the country — adopt government-administered health care, covering all citizens through tax levies.
The government followed his advice, leading to his modern-day moniker: “the father of Quebec medicare.” Even this title seems modest; Castonguay’s work triggered a domino effect across the country, until eventually his ideas were implemented from coast to coast.”
Four decades later, as the chairman of a government committee reviewing Quebec health care this year, Castonguay concluded that the system is in “crisis.”
“We thought we could resolve the system’s problems by rationing services or injecting massive amounts of new money into it,” says Castonguay. But now he prescribes a radical overhaul: “We are proposing to give a greater role to the private sector so that people can exercise freedom of choice.”
As more and more nations throughout the world seek to infuse more private, market-based solutions into their government-controlled healthcare systems, for some reason lefties in this country want to make the same mistake that countries like Canada made decades ago…
One person eventually wrote a book about their experience, noting in a CITY JOURNAL article:
…I was once a believer in socialized medicine. I don’t want to overstate my case: growing up in Canada, I didn’t spend much time contemplating the nuances of health economics. I wanted to get into medical school—my mind brimmed with statistics on MCAT scores and admissions rates, not health spending. But as a Canadian, I had soaked up three things from my environment: a love of ice hockey; an ability to convert Celsius into Fahrenheit in my head; and the belief that government-run health care was truly compassionate. What I knew about American health care was unappealing: high expenses and lots of uninsured people. When HillaryCare shook Washington, I remember thinking that the Clintonistas were right.
My health-care prejudices crumbled not in the classroom but on the way to one. On a subzero Winnipeg morning in 1997, I cut across the hospital emergency room to shave a few minutes off my frigid commute. Swinging open the door, I stepped into a nightmare: the ER overflowed with elderly people on stretchers, waiting for admission. Some, it turned out, had waited five days. The air stank with sweat and urine. Right then, I began to reconsider everything that I thought I knew about Canadian health care. I soon discovered that the problems went well beyond overcrowded ERs. Patients had to wait for practically any diagnostic test or procedure, such as the man with persistent pain from a hernia operation whom we referred to a pain clinic—with a three-year wait list; or the woman needing a sleep study to diagnose what seemed like sleep apnea, who faced a two-year delay; or the woman with breast cancer who needed to wait four months for radiation therapy, when the standard of care was four weeks….
One of David Gratzer’s books opened my eyes to what was going on up in Canada and gave me ammunition to respond to silly liberal emotive arguments. The book is “Code Blue: Reviving Canada’s Health Care System.” But, many people believe the Michael Moore’s of the World:
Massachusetts Institute of Technology Professor and architect of ObamaCare Jonathan Gruber told CNN’s Carol Costello on Wednesday that ObamaCare, which is set to see a sharp increase in premium prices next year, is going just as planned.
When asked what could be done to the Affordable Care Act in order to drive the prices of premiums down, Gruber responded by saying “the law is working as designed.”
Working as designed?
YES, as designed:
I have pointed this out before… single-payer is the goal:
An after thought. Since the DNC leadership has said — recently — the goal is single-payer… the question becomes this then: “what other area of life would a person want single payer in?” The airlines? Fast-food? Grocery stores? Car dealers? Education? Gyms?
In other words, why would someone reject a single airline, a single grocery-store (sorry weekend BBQ’ers, no more carne-asada from Vallerta), one gym, etc. — competition drives prices down and offers the best way (supply and demand) to get to the consumer what they want… but reject all that for a system that is failing in Canada, Britain, and the like?
It seems counter-intuitive that the left likes to break up large companies/corporations that get too big, and speak about/to the “evils” large companies inflict on the consumer, but then want single-payer. Odd indeed.
Minnesota will let the health insurers in its Obamacare market raise rates by at least 50 percent next year, after the individual market there came to the brink of collapse, the state’s commerce commissioner said Friday.
The increases range from 50 percent to 67 percent, Commissioner Mike Rothman’s office said in a statement. Rothman, who regulates the state’s insurers, is an appointee under Governor Mark Dayton, a Democrat. The rate hike follows increases for this year of 14 percent to 49 percent.
….So a loss of $70 million after less than a year in operation in just a few markets. Harken’s plan was to reduce costs for expensive treatments down the line by allowing all of its enrollees unlimited primary care visits with no co-pays and no deductibles. However those visits could only be with doctors at Harken’s own health clinics. One health broker told Modern Healthcare her clients didn’t like the idea of giving up their regular doctors:
Susan Morris, an independent broker in Atlanta, said Harken “did a poor job of marketing the plan to agents and brokers.” In addition, she said her individual customers didn’t like the idea of giving up their regular primary care doctors and instead using Harken’s staff providers. And Harken didn’t have enough clinic locations to serve the large Atlanta market….
Seems that Washington DC isn’t the only place that’s learned the art of the Friday afternoon news dump. Minnesota Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman announced yesterday afternoon that the state had approved health insurance premium increases that will average 60% in MNsure, the state’s ObamaCare exchange. The statement blamed big losses by insurers in the state, and bad predictions about utilization rates, for the decision:
Rothman said that Minnesota’s rate increases are part of a national trend in the individual health insurance market, with nearly all states looking at double-digit rate increases as insurers seek to align premium revenues with expected claims costs. States’ rate increases are also exacerbated by cuts to critical federal programs that were intended to stabilize the market and rates for consumers.
However, Minnesota’s individual market also faces unique challenges because of a disproportionate concentration of individuals with serious medical conditions whose high claims costs must be absorbed by a relatively small risk pool, pushing up rates for everyone in the individual market.
Citing ongoing financial losses, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota announced in late June that it is leaving the individual market, except for its Blue Plus HMO affiliate. The company’s decision affects approximately 103,000 Minnesotans, or about 40 percent of the state’s total individual market…..
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee announced Monday it would no longer offer plans in three of the state’s most heavily populated regions. The insurer posted an explanation on its website (along with a map):
We’re trying hard to make the Affordable Care Act (ACA) work in Tennessee and are offering plans in most of the state for 2017.
Because of many challenges, we have made the difficult but necessary decision to end coverage in three regions for 2017 – the Memphis, Nashville and Knoxville regions (shaded in orange below)…..
Count Minnesotans among the consumers who will get a big rate shock in November when open enrollment begins for ObamaCare. Insurers have applied for massive increases in the state MNsure exchange, with premiums escalating between 36% to 67%, and possibly more. And they’ll get it, because the alternative for insurers is to pack up and leave:
Minnesota health insurers are seeking big premium increases next year for people who buy coverage on their own, with proposed jumps for thousands of people averaging anywhere from 36 percent to 67 percent.
About 270,000 people buy coverage through Minnesota’s individual market, where shoppers buy through insurers, brokers or the state’s MNsure health insurance exchange…..
Double-digit Obamacare premium hikes projected in 2017 may bode in Donald Trump’s favor, as several swing states are being impacted by double-digit increases under the law and consumers are expected to see the hikes around Nov. 1 — one week before heading to the polls.
Trump has promised to repeal and replace Obamacare, but Hillary Clinton has vowed to make the Obamacare exchanges work. Some say the way she would do that is through raising taxes.
“Any reports of premium increases will immediately become talking points on the campaign trail,” stated Larry Levitt of the Kaiser Family Foundation. “We’re in an election where the very future of the law will be debated.”
The Heritage Foundation found dramatic increases on premiums in Wisconsin and Florida as well as Michigan, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina under the law in comparison to before Obamacare went into effect. Currently, insurers in the Obamacare marketplace in North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Illinois are wanting double-digit hikes on premiums.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina is reportedly requesting to increase rates by more than 18 percent, while in Ohio, the average requested hike is around 10 percent. In Pennsylvania, companies want hikes averaging 23.6 percent, according to the Pennsylvania Insurance Department.
Entitlement programs in general spend tomorrow’s money on payments today — in essence, picking the pockets of our children and grandchildren for our own benefit. Here in Minnesota, the state takes that more literally. The NBC affiliate in the Twin Cities reports that families who qualified for MNsure’s Medicaid program are finding out that they’re getting coverage for free now, but leaving their children with tax liens that run into the tens of thousands of dollars:
let’s not pretend that ObamaCare, Medicaid, and Medicare don’t already do exactly what we see here from KARE11. Those programs promise coverage that we cannot possibly fund in real time, which is one reason why our national debt has skyrocketed above 100% of GDP in the past several years. We are placing liens on the backs of our children, grandchildren, and even more distant generations in order to make ourselves feel good about our own generosity to ourselves. The only difference between that and what MNsure has done to its Medical Assistance customers is that it’s easier to pretend with the rest of the entitlements.
Obama had said during his State of the Union speech on January 20, that a small business owner should be able to file taxes “based on her actual bank statement instead of the number of accountants she can afford.”
However, Cramer, co-anchor of CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street,” said on January 21, that Obama’s very own health insurance initiative had already increased, rather than decreased, the complexity of tax accounting for small businesses.
Cramer said that the president’s statement was “a little out of sync with what’s really happening,” because Obamacare had actually increased small businesses’ dependence on accountants.
“You have to hire accountants to deal with ACA, the Affordable Care Act. You can’t figure it out without them,” Cramer said….
The brief lays out three main complaints about the procedure. The first? Since the form “designates, authorizes, incentivizes, and obligates third parties to provide or arrange contraceptive coverage in connection with the plan,” the brief contends that “once the Little Sisters execute and deliver the Form, the Mandate purports to make it irrevocably part of the plan by forbidding the Little Sisters to even talk to the outside companies that administer their health plan, ‘directly or indirectly,’ to ask them not to provide the coverage.”
In addition, the brief allows that “regardless of whether the government sincerely believes EBSA Form 700 is morally meaningful, the relevant legal question is whether the Little Sisters do. And on that point, there is no dispute: the Little Sisters cannot execute and deliver the contraceptive coverage form without violating their religious conscience. The government may think the Little Sisters should reason differently about law and morality, but their actual religious beliefs — the beliefs that matter in this case — have led them to conclude that they cannot sign or send the government’s Form.”
Finally, the government’s so-called “scheme” is said to violate the First Amendment, because it has “exempted a large class of religious organizations based on unfounded guesswork about the likely religious characteristics of different religious organizations. The government has no power to discriminate in this fashion, allowing some religious organizations to survive while crushing others with fines for the identical religious exercise. This violation of the Free Exercise and Establishment Clauses is compounded by a clear violation of the Free Speech Clause: the Mandate both compels the Little Sisters to engage in government-required speech against their will, and prohibits them from engaging in speech they wish to make.”
Another short commentary on what took place just a couple days ago via The Daily Signal:
Some organizations are fighting back against the accommodation because it simply shifts responsibility for purchasing coverage away from the employers, and it is still the employer’s action that triggers the objectionable coverage. This bureaucratic tweak to the accommodation, issued this past August, still does not adequately protect the religious freedom of many charities, schools and other religious organizations.
Essentially the court determined that the accommodation is fine because it doesn’t directly force the groups to violate their conscience.
Yet a regulation can still be a substantial religious burden even if the effect is only indirect.
The U.S. Supreme Court said as much in Thomas v. Review Board over 30 years ago. In this case, a Jehovah’s Witness steelworker was denied unemployment benefits after quitting his job because he was transferred to a part of his company that made weapons. Because of his belief in non-violence, Thomas could not participate in the manufacture of weapons. In siding with Thomas, the Supreme Court noted that “[I]t is not within the judicial function and judicial competence to inquire whether [Thomas] correctly perceived the commands of [his] faith. Courts are not arbiters of scriptural interpretation.” Instead, the Court would defer to a religious believer’s interpretation unless the claim was so bizarre or had a non-religious motivation, elements even the government concedes do not apply to Priests for Life or the Little Sisters of the Poor.
Thus, what Judge Pillard calls “a bit of paperwork” is exactly what Priests for Life find morally wrong.
What may seem trivial to one person may give rise to a serious religious dilemma for another. For example, Orthodox Jews may not flip light switches or press buttons on the Sabbath.
In short, courts should not be in the business of line-drawing when it comes to theological questions. Though the Obama administration won the round in the battle over the abortion-inducing drug mandate before the D.C. Circuit, the fight continues with the Little Sisters of the Poor.
Obama shouldn’t want his “son” to play football because he may die under Obama-Care!
In the vast majority of states, the number of insurers competing in the state’s exchange is actually less than the number of carriers that previously sold individual market policies in the state.
At the local level, in over half of the 3,135 counties in the U.S., consumers will face an exchange market that is either a duopoly or monopoly. In 78 percent of U.S. counties, exchange enrollees will have a choice of coverage from three or fewer carriers.
The exchange market in over 94 percent of U.S. counties will feature competition among five or fewer companies. In Alabama, about 96 percent of that state’s counties will have only one insurer offering coverage in the exchange.
(NYTs) …Of the roughly 2,500 counties served by the federal exchanges, more than half, or 58 percent, have plans offered by just one or two insurance carriers, according to an analysis by The Times of county-level data provided by the Department of Health and Human Services. In about 530 counties, only a single insurer is participating….
(HotAir) Last year, Politifact called “If you like your plan, you can keep your plan” the Lie of the Year for 2013, after having defended Barack Obama’s promise for two years. Perhaps in 2014, they might consider the second part of Obama’s promise a candidate in 2014. The second part, where Obama promised that “if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor,” is proving just as false….
Ken Davert has spina bifida. Melissa “Missy” Davert and their two children have a condition that makes their bones fragile and susceptible to breaking.
When the Davert family was told their insurance for their children would be cancelled, they turned to Obamacare and were denied.
Now, with a fixed income, the family is worried about being able to afford the out-of-pocket maximum for the private insurance their children need.
“… we’ve overcome many obstacles in life. And now it’s a shame that one of the obstacles we have to overcome is our own government to pay for health care,” Ken Davert said.
Every member in the Davert family has a medical condition requiring special care. But after losing their preferred insurance upon the enactment of the Affordable Care Act and being denied federal coverage, the Michigan family is now worried about high costs associated with their new private plan.
….“The Health Insurance Marketplaces provides new options for healthcare coverage that we believe our part-time members may prefer,” she wrote. “In fact, by offering them insurance, we could actually disqualify many of them from being eligible for newly available subsidies that could reduce their overall health insurance expense.”
Kozlak added that at present, fewer than 10 percent of part-time employees that are eligible have actually enrolled in the company’s healthcare plan.
“Our decision to discontinue this benefit comes after careful consideration of the impact to our stores’ part-time team members and to Target, the new options available for our part-time team, and the historically low number of team members who elected to enroll in the part-time plan,” Kozlak continued…..
The Target release talked about more choice?Please! This just isn’t true. In only a few states the choices remain about even (just more expensive on average now through the “ACA,” but many people went from 12-to-20 choices to 2, or even one! It does not increase competition, government mandates decrease competition. The exact opposite.
The two who lost their health insurance in my shop, one could afford the higher rates, the other…. who was a responsible guy who got himself covered, was penalized, and now cannot afford the new premiums. Even with a credit.
I love George Gilders comment sooo much, and it is applicable here:
♦ “A fundamental principle of information theory is that you can’t guarantee outcomes… in order for an experiment to yield knowledge, it has to be able to fail. If you have guaranteed experiments, you have zero knowledge”
No growth in what actually works… just tighter-and-tighter controls on what businesses and providers can provide. Making it more costly to do business and provide care.