Never bark at the big dog. In my book Remaking America: Welcome to the Dark Side of the Welfare State, I make the point that when government is forced to choose between cost cuts and providing entitlements, it will always choose cost cuts. This is a universal principle that applies to all welfare states, whether American, European, Canadian, Japanese or Klingon. QED:
The Obama administration Friday pulled the plug on a major program in the president’s signature health overhaul law – a long-term care insurance plan dogged from the beginning by doubts over its financial solvency. Targeted by congressional Republicans for repeal, the program became the first casualty in the political and policy wars over the health care law. It had been expected to launch in 2013. “This is a victory for the American taxpayer and future generations,” said Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., spearheading opposition in the Senate. “The administration is finally admitting (the long-term care plan) is unsustainable and cannot be implemented.” Proponents, including many groups that fought to pass the health care law, have vowed a vigorous effort to rescue the program, insisting that Congress gave the administration broad authority to make changes. Long-term care includes not only nursing homes, but such services as home health aides for disabled people.
We were lucky this time. This particular program had not yet gone into effect. But it is an eerie reminder of what will happen once Obamacare has wiped out private insurance and put us all on the public option (which is alive and kicking in the Obamacare bill). At that point, cost containment will lead to massive rationing of health care – whereupon we will have the honor to experience months of waiting time just to see a doctor; to be denied care because we are just not prioritized by the government; to die of curable conditions because of long waiting lists to specialty health care.
There is only one way to reform America’s health care system: get government out of it.