The article details the President’s reaction when “asked” about the source of misinformation allegedly being disseminated about his health care overhaul:
“A Twitter-submitted question from Phoenix, Arizona spoke of “too many lies, like death panels” and asked the President “where is it all coming from?” adding: “America deserves to know the truth.”
While the president’s demeanor and words were reasoned and measured, he didn’t shy away from addressing “those lies.” Speaking to the question of where they were coming from, Obama said, without hesitation: “We know where these lies are coming from. I don’t think it’s any secret.” He held out an imaginary remote control and continued, “If you just flick channels and stop on one,” and he paused as the crowd nodded and chuckled a bit grimly, “you’ll see who’s propagating this stuff.”
I decided to test this, and I am now here to report my findings.
I did exactly as the President asked (sort of…I restricted my search to online “channels”), and landed on the following CNN headline:
The article described “Romneycare” as being “popular”, according to unnamed “health care experts”, while equally unnamed “taxpayer watchdogs” called it “affordable”. This however, wasn’t the “one channel” The One was talking about.
Being on the Internet however, and lacking that imaginary Presidential remote control, my screen displayed multiple “channels” all at once, and another story caught my eye, this one from The Boston Globe. Being that Boston has been part of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts long enough to know what is “popular” and “affordable” in the State, I decided to give it a once over:
A state commission recommended yesterday that Massachusetts dramatically change how doctors and hospitals are paid, essentially putting providers on a budget as a way to control exploding healthcare costs and improve the quality of care.
According to thesaurus.com, “ration” is a synonym of “budget”.
The Globe went on:
Commission members stressed that failing to control medical spending – which is growing by more than 8 percent annually in Massachusetts, driven largely by the high price and heavy use of hospitals – could threaten the state’s model health insurance law and bankrupt employers and patients.
“…commission members who represent doctors and hospitals…are afraid that a new payment system could create serious financial problems for providers if the yearly fees are too low and if they are not adjusted upward for patients who are very sick or at risk of serious disease and require more care.”
Patients could find it harder to get procedures they want but are of questionable benefit if doctors are operating within a budget. And they might find it more difficult to get care wherever they want, if primary doctors push to keep patients within their accountable care organization.
OK…so under Romneycare, health care costs in Mass are “exploding”, and the quality of it needs improvement. The current system, what CNN called a “model for national health care” in its headline, is growing in excess of 8 percent a year, and threatens to “bankrupt employers and patients” in the State.
The solution appears to be rationing health care, but there are concerns that this would make it “harder to get procedures” deemed “of questionable benefit” by someone not named in the article — I can’t imagine a doctor suggesting a procedure that they think is of “questionable benefit” to a patient, but the article doesn’t speculate who would decide on whether a procedure’s value was “questionable”, so neither will I — and finally, there was concern about the costs involved with taking care of patients who are “very sick”.
One more thing:
Dreyfus, of Blue Cross and Blue Shield, said that if officials had answered every question about implementing near-universal health coverage before passing the law “we would still have a half-million people in the Commonwealth without health insurance.’’
So Romneycare isn’t affordable in spite of what those experts mentioned in the CNN article said, and if you are one of those citizens of Mass unfortunate enough to get “very sick” or need a procedure deemed of “questionable benefits” by some unknown quantity…or agency…or panel, it won’t be very popular with you.
And even after everything that is wrong with it is fixed, 8% of the State’s population will still be without health insurance.
The President is right…there’s some serious spreading of misinformation going on out there, but somehow, I don’t think our individual remotes landed us on the same channel.
Yet, in a weird turn of events, that CNN headline and the “one” channel that President Obama’s tuner landed on are both correct, Romneycare is the model of what will happen to our health care system under government control.
I don’t think that CNN will see the irony in their headline.