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President Obama’s Healthcare Reform Plan Is Failing

Stanley Feld M.D.,FACP,MACE

There are many reasons President Obama’s plan for healthcare reform is failing. The public is not dumb enough to believe the public option will work and save money at the same time.

The public does not believe that the creation of a new entitlement program with a massive bureaucracy can save money without rationing care. President Obama has not directly denied there will not be rationing of care.

The public does not believe President Obama’s promises anymore. He has been responsible for the mess created by the economic stimulus package, the bank bailouts, and the automobile bailout while increasing the deficit and devaluing the dollar. When is he going to bailout the people? He is increasing government control over our freedoms and limiting corporate ability to compete for consumer business.

The American public does not believe President Obama when he says he has saved a million jobs. Each month the unemployment rate increases as companies lay off workers. He said unemployment would not surpass 8.5% with his economic stimulus package. Unemployment is greater than 10% as Fed chairman Ben Bernanke declares the recession is over. President Obama said the bailouts would increase lending and yet small businesses cannot obtain loans.

President Obama also promised that people making under $250,000 dollars a year would not be taxed yet it is obvious that taxes are going to increase for everyone if the healthcare bill is passed.

President Obama has made many false promises and created much false hope. I believe President Obama does not understand the core problems with his healthcare plan. He wants to change the healthcare system but not eliminate its major defects. He is trying to impose a government takeover of the healthcare system. The winners will be special interests with increased government power over our lives. Patients will not be the winners.

There are no incentives for patients or physicians in his healthcare plan. There is only punishment and restrictions on access to care.

Americans deserve more credit than President Obama is giving them. America’s opinion is showing up in the polls. The problem is neither the President nor the Democratic congress is listening. The net result is going to be an increase in public anger.

“According to the Gallup polling organization, the percentage of Americans who believe the cost of health care for their families will "get worse" under the proposed reforms rose to 49% from 42% in just the past month. The percentage saying it would "get better" stayed at 22%.”

The public has no great love for the healthcare insurance industry either. The healthcare industry has abused its responsibility to consumers for the sake of profit. Consumers want a free market system in which the government makes rules to level the playing field for them. The public option will not do that because the healthcare insurance industry remains the administrative service provider.

President Obama is ignoring what Americans’ core beliefs in a free enterprise culture, namely the importance of individual choice, personal accountability, and rewards for ambition.

He cannot say “trust me” to take care of America. There are too many contradictions. Harry Reid says there is not going to be a public option one week and the next week he says there is going to be a public option. The public is weary of this double talk

“First, Americans recoil at policies that strip choices from citizens and pass them to bureaucrats. ObamaCare systematically does so. The current proposals in Congress would effectively limit choice across the entire spectrum of health care: “

“ The government will determine what kind of health insurance citizens can buy, what kind of doctors they can see, what kind of procedures their doctors will perform, what kind of drugs they can take, and what treatment options they may have.”

These limitations on choice are directly opposed to main stream America’s beliefs. Most Americans’ believe they should be responsible for the consequences of their actions.

President Obama’s healthcare plan removes individual responsibility. The government will take care of all of us at great cost to the taxpayers. The $1.5 trillion dollar cost estimate has historically been incorrect for other entitlement programs

“ ObamaCare discourages personal ambition. The proposed reforms will institute a set of government mandates, price controls and other strictures that will make highly trained specialists, drug researchers and medical device makers less valued now and in the future.”

Americans understand that when you take away the economic incentives new therapies and medical innovations of tomorrow may never be discovered.

A survey of the follow propositions were tested for public sentiment.

" (a)Government policies should promote fairness by narrowing the gap between rich and poor, spreading the wealth, and making sure that economic outcomes are more equal";

“or (b) Government policies should promote opportunity by fostering job growth, encouraging entrepreneurs, and allowing people to keep more of what they earn."

“Sixty-three percent chose the second option; just 31% chose the first.”

I have no doubt that President Obama wants to help people in need. However, he is proposing government control over a population that is extremely uncomfortable with increasing government control of institutions and businesses. The public is suspicious of government restrictions and proven inefficiency. They do not want to put their healthcare needs in the hand of the government.

I believe he missed his opportunity for effective Repair of the Healthcare system by not leveraging that repair congruent with America’s culture.


The opinions expressed in the blog “Repairing The Healthcare System” are, mine and mine alone.

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