The Championship: Obamacare Madness vs. Healthcare Freedom

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Tonight in Dallas, two basketball teams will duke it out as they vie for the championship. As sports enthusiasts gather to see who wins, there is another battle taking place off the court. It’s the current healthcare debate between our newly government-mandated system and a free-market approach.

Policy intentions have muddied the argument with catchphrases like compassion, choice and affordability. They all sound good, but government-controlled healthcare has nothing in common with those buzzwords. America has seen it’s easy to promise affordable care where you can keep your doctor and your plan, but that doesn’t mean it will actually happen. Maybe, the better approach to measuring success is to understand which system actually works?

Looking at England’s National Health Service (NHS), we can see how healthcare is fundamentally transformed when placed into the hands of bureaucrats. NHS’ 65-year-old system is proving to be unsustainable as leaders try to determine how to salvage it.

“The NHS cannot survive in its current form and problems could escalate to the point where anyone who can afford it will choose to go private, the chief executive of NHS England has warned.

Sir David Nicholson said the health service needed to undergo a major programme of centralisation of services, including having no more than 70 major accident-and-emergency departments and reducing the number of cardiac care and transplant organisations from 300 to between 15 and 30.

This transformation would require a major investment of cash by the next Government, but if it did not take place Sir David warned the NHS would face a “managed decline” with rationing of treatment, longer waiting times, fewer nurses and poorer care.

He predicted the ‘huge’ and ‘unprecedented’ changes would be ‘painful for staff’ and difficult for the public to accept, but were necessary to ensure the survival of the system.

‘The NHS in its current form is unsustainable,’ Sir David said in an interview with The Guardian.

‘I don’t think the wheels are going to fall off tomorrow. But we’ll see a position where people have to reduce the number of nurses on the wards and have to reduce the drugs that we give to people.’” [1]

This is unwelcomed news for NHS’ already bruised reputation. A scathing report in 2013 revealed how 13,000 patients over years’ time needlessly died due to failed care. [2] With leaders facing this new challenge of finding additional funds or undergoing “significant cuts to services that will harm care,” you have to wonder: is government involvement really the solution?

Even in the United States, we face problems with our current government-based programs like Medicare. Last year, trustees for the program reported that it could be insolvent by 2026. [3] But that didn’t stop Washington from marching forward with a bigger, money-siphoning monstrosity – Obamacare, which is already creating financial woes for some states like Hawaii.

“And while Hawaii Health Connector is supposed to be financially self-sustaining by 2015, it is instead a fiscal “black hole,” in the words of Hawaii senate president Donna Mercado Kim.” [4]

The ironic part is prior to the recession – pre-Obamacare – a majority of those within the state were covered without the federal government’s assistance or added financial strain.

“Obamacare has disrupted a health-coverage system that had seen 98% of the population insured before the recession. Now lawmakers are scrambling to fix the state’s health-insurance exchange, which is fast on its way to insolvency.” [4]

Now, we know why President Ronald Reagan said, “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help,’” especially when it comes to healthcare.