Aug 15 2009

President Obama Demonstrating A Frightening Lack Of Understanding On Health Care

Published by at 10:30 am under All General Discussions,Obamacare

I have to agree with Scott Gottleib over at the Wall Street Journal – the health care debacle (can we call this mess a debate?) has exposed our young President’s disturbing naiveté about health care, government and America in general. It’s like his entire life experience base is was formed from watching network TV shows and nothing else.

One theme the president has focused on is doctors’ motives. During a prime-time press conference on July 22, the president referred to a doctor who muses that she makes “a lot more money if I take this kid’s tonsils out”—even if the child might not need surgery.

Does this made for TV view of doctors bear any resemblance to the millions of doctors and health care providers across this nation who sacrifice long hours and brutal conditions to help their fellow human beings? A career in medicine is not a cake walk. It is filled with dealing with people in all dire straights, scared, worried and needing assistance. I dabbled with it as a career choice when I was young and realized, while I had the math and science skills in spades, I did not have the bottomless emotional fortitude it took to face decades have dealing with people in serious need of help – day in and day out.

The fact that anyone, let alone our President, takes away from this army of well intentioned, highly skilled and dedicated people fellow American some made up story caricature of greed like he did is a not only an affront to these good people, but an insult to our general intelligence. And it doesn’t stop there:

Responding to a woman whose spry 100-year-old mother was given a needed pacemaker despite her age, the president said a few weeks earlier (at an ABC News town-hall event at the White House) that doctors should let patients know that sometimes “you’re better off not having the surgery, but taking the painkiller.”

By trying to play doctor in this exchange, he clearly shows why he could never be a doctor. His flippant answers reflect a lack of gravitas and understanding that is just stunning. Does he really think there are pills that can do what a pacemaker can do? Is he that scientifically illiterate? It seems so:

Instead of addressing the distorted financial incentives that influence these kinds of routine tests and treatments, Mr. Obama’s policies seek to directly regulate doctors and their decisions.

Well sadly for him and all of us, he has yet to show even a basic knowledge of health care and medicine to be smart enough to regulate doctors’ decisions. In fact, I don’t think he has demonstrated sufficient grasp of the topic to even recommend how to deal with a low grade fever in a child.

Furthermore, President Obama’s ignorance is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to government intervention in the health care arena:

For doctors whom Medicare pays per intervention, the problem isn’t the fee-for-service model, but the way that the government program sets the fees. Fees are set according to a fixed price schedule with no tie to the physician’s quality, experience level, or the outcome of the service.

A more rational system would pay doctors for entire “episodes of care,” rather than individual procedures. Private health systems like the Geisinger Clinic and some Blue Cross plans have adopted this model and pay doctors for taking care of an entire illness.

Medicare doesn’t have the ability to track episodes of care. It has struggled to adopt even modest payment reforms such as restricted panels of providers, value-based insurance, and account-based coverage, where consumers control their own spending—all techniques used by private insurers to improve efficiency.

Medicare’s size demands that it keep payment systems simple. Thus it relies on fixed prices for checklists of services tied to discrete billing codes. These uniform payment rules reward low and high quality care the same. What’s troubling is that the heart of the president’s plan—a government-run “public” insurance program—is modeled directly on Medicare.

When President Obama let slip is very silly comparison of private industry leaders FedEx/UPS to the government run US Post Office, he very nicely summarized the entire problem with Obamacare and government run plans. Why should Americans cough up more taxes, sink our economy further and lose more jobs to expand a completely broken down system like Medicare? My guess is Medicare would love to work as well as the Post Office does – but it clearly does not.

President Obama and the DC liberals pushing government care are not our best and brightest – not by a long shot. They speak in 3rd grade level sound bites (we need ‘cheap’ healthcare), they see themselves as smarter than the masses of health care professionals and their patients. What we see in DC is the most egregious display of hubris and ego the nation as probably ever seen.

And it is destroying the credibility of the democrat leaders – America is losing faith and trust in these people. Sadly, rightfully so.

9 responses so far

9 Responses to “President Obama Demonstrating A Frightening Lack Of Understanding On Health Care”

  1. It is an article of “religious faith” with people in favor of government run health care that the USA is behind the rest of the world.

    They even site figures on infant mortality saying Cuba has better infant care than the USA:

    They are practicing “Magical Thinking” for the sake of their political identity issue.

    This article in Pajama’s Media from August 2008 shows why:

    Short form: It is easier to get better infant mortality statistics than the USA, if you use lower medical care standards to count them.

    Unlike the USA, the Europeans and Canadians don’t
    1) Count babies smaller than 500 grams as “alive” if they die, or
    2) Count premature babies delivered before 26 weeks as “alive” if they die.

    Japan and Hong Kong don’t count live births if they die in the first 24 hours.

    The Swiss don’t bother to count babies as “being born” who are less than 30 centimeters long at birth.

    An apples to apples birth weight comparison shows the USA has the same infant mortality statistics as Norway, the best in the world.

    This is after taking into account things like the truly awful affects of inner city urban diet on African American babies and the extreme youth of Hispanic illegal alien mothers (yery young mothers = more medically risky births).

    That means the infant care for Americans as a whole has to be far, far higher than Norway’s in order to get that same level of infant mortality to birth weight, apple to apples comparison, medical performance.

    Since I saw a college friend of wife’s delivery by C-Section at 25 weeks due to complications from eclampsia (sp?) in early 2008 — and her little girl is right now three months older than my daughter — I know that reality as a cold hard fact.

    I was with the father of this little girl in the level 3 neo-natal intensive care unit at Texas Children’s Hospital and saw what they were doing to keep her alive.

    In Canada or Europe or Cuba, this 19 month old girl would have been medical waste.

  2. crosspatch says:

    “It’s like his entire life experience base is was formed from watching network TV shows and nothing else.”

    To me it is more like someone who has read a lot of books and spoken to a lot of academics but has no practical experience. Sort of like someone who has spent all their life as a student in engineering suddenly getting their first job and they are given responsibility for building the world’s largest bridge but first they must tear down the old one.

    The man has never had executive responsibility for ANYTHING as far as I can tell and that is what is showing. His work has all been in theory and he has never had to put those theories into practice.

    The most dangerous thing in the world is a person right out of college with a Masters degree in some field of engineering and no real world experience. It is akin to the “lieutenant with a screwdriver” problem. On here we are giving that lieutenant command of the entire military. It is asking for trouble.

  3. Frogg1 says:

    From my favorite Canadian blogger:

    (NOW UPDATED) JUST NOW: Obama blithely misinforms Americans at townhall re Canadian “health” system


    The Fraser Health Authority confirmed Thursday it intends to cut surgeries, seniors’ programs and services for the mentally ill to help deal with a budget shortfall of up to $160 million…

  4. Frogg1 says:

    Has anyone done more to torpedo ObamaCare than President Obama himself?

    I guess if you are armed with a teleprompter instead of a real plan you can’t help but step in it from time to time.

  5. crosspatch says:

    And where is all that debate on CSPAN we were supposed to be able to watch as this bill was being created?

  6. Neo says:

    Robert Reich explains all …

    Mainly because there’s still no healthcare plan. All we have are some initial markups from several congressional committees, which differ from one another in significant ways. The White House’s is waiting to see what emerges from the House and Senate before insisting on what it wants, maybe in conference committee.

    Obamas tactics are an attempt “to bamboozle you, to hoodwink you”

  7. owl says:

    I hit it from lucienne. It’s not in the bill because it already exists. If you don’t read anything else, this is the one. Somebody send it to Sarah, please. This kind of crap is why I vote NO to any compromise on any health reform at this point. I don’t trust this bunch to vote for a new traffic signal.

    Why haven’t I seen or heard my elected Pugs on this?

    From what I have been picking up from The Won’s ads lately, I expect to see all the young Acorns and unemployed wannabe union workers to be tapped on the shoulder to ‘volunteer’ to ‘serve’ America. Should be able to hire your own army with that kind of money. Can you imagine if he forms his own civil army to ‘help’ us with say……………chaos in elections, townhalls, swine flu? hmmmm…

  8. BarbaraS says:

    That woman with a 100 year old mother is a plant. I have seen her in the background of of Obama’s campaigns. Patients with arrythmia are the candidates for pacemakers or defribrillators. Doctors don’t arbitrarily say they will or will not insert a pacemaker into an arrythmia patient because of age. When a patient is in arrythmia the doctor first tries to get their heart steady with medicine. If this does not work he has to use the paddles. This kind of patient can go into arrythmia again at any time. Their very lies are in danger. This is why some have these devices and other don’t. But doctors don’t try to bilk medicare by inserting these devices without cause.

    I had to have a defribrillater/pacemaker several years ago. I went into arrythmia. The doctors gave me this medicine three times and it did not work. They had to use the paddles on me to steady my heart. They only insert these devices as a last resort. I talked to many patients in the doctors office who had an arrythmia attack and not all by any means had a pacemaker. If the medicine works they leave it alone. If it doesn’t it is life or death. And really no;t so cost effective when a patient has to come to the emergency room over and over to have the defribillator used on them.

    You are right. Obama’s ignorance is appalling. I read on Ace that Obama admitted that his managers had him elected so that he could pass this health care bill. That was their number one issue. He actually admitted there were people behind his election with ulterior motives. Does that now make him a manchurian candidate?

    I have said all along even during his campaign that he does not understand the American way. He does not have the childhood background the American boys have. His formative years were spent in another country. I don’t know if he was born in Hawaii but I do know he has had multiple citizenships in other countries. I feel that our president should not be a dual or triple citizen of other countries. He should only be a citizen of this country and be loyal to this country. Obama is neither a real American nor loyal to this country.

  9. theBuckWheat says:

    I think it is more like his entire life experience base came from listening to leftist academics who hated America, telling him what the real America was like, which of course is full of nothing but greed, oppression, and lots of things that would just be so easy to fix if only a person could make the little people do the right thing.