SCHIP – Will Patients or Washington Win?

By Congressman Tom Price Posted in Comments (24) / Email this page » / Leave a comment »

I wrote a column featured in today’s The Hill newspaper discussing the upcoming reauthorization of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). This is a program that was created as part of the Balanced Budget Act of 1997 to cover children from low-income families who were neither eligible for Medicaid nor able to afford private insurance.

However, there is a debate brewing in Washington over how to solve our larger and growing health care crisis. Some have chosen this opportunity and this program as a means to move our nation’s health care toward a government-run, centralized system. Unfortunately, the majority leadership in the House of Representatives and the Senate do not seem to understand that Americans do not want bureaucrats making their health care decisions. They want affordable health care that focuses on patient-centered solutions and values choice and portability. Please take a moment to read my column by clicking here.

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What I want to know is how we as Americans living in a Global Economy are supposed to compete with the rest of the world when all our competition has socialized medicine. GM is already saying that health care costs add $1,500 to the cost of every vehicle made(1). And Toyota just recently built a plant in Canada and one of the reasons stated as to why they turned down financial incentives to build a plant in the US was Canada's socialized health care system(2).

I am currently undecided about socialized medicine, but I am starting to see an ugly trend when it comes to companies choosing to employ outside of the US as a cost cutting measure (its not just health care). Something has to be done because when a company sees they can make a car up north for $1500 less than they pay here where do you think they are going to build their plants? Tax breaks and other perks are not even enough anymore to get companies to invest in the US.


So-called “socialized medicine” putts countries at a general comparative disadvantage against other countries without it. This is why countries with so-called “socialized medicine ” have suffered through decades of negligible economic growth.

...a long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right...

---Thomas Paine---

Your article seems to argue that socialized medicine is it should only be expanded a little.

Can you give us examples of what's wrong with SCHIP and why we wouldn't want a similar program for our kids...unless we make <41K?

While I agree that having the government interfere in you medical care is not ideal, I'd rather have that then some failed doctor sitting some thousand miles away with a huge incentive to deny necessary care. That's F'ed up.

Even most Republicans now back universal health care

Fifty-one percent of the GOPers said universal healthcare coverage should be a right of every American, and 49 percent favored allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly in the military.


And there is over whelming evidence that universal health care works AND is cheaper than our system. (re: see Europe)

And before you go on a rant about how great our system is in developing new cures, I'd like to point out that HMO's have nothing to do with that. It's the teaching hospitals at universities, mostly using government grants, that do all the heavy lifting in improving medical care.

“And there is over whelming evidence that universal health care works AND is cheaper than our system. (re: see Europe)”

Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

...a long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right...

---Thomas Paine---

The US spends more per capita on health care than anyone (somewhere between 6 and $7,000) and yet only manages to rank 37th in the world. Cuba, spends $251 dollars ranks 39th. Those are facts you just can argue with.

More fun facts, France, ranked at #1, spends only 2% of its health care budget on overhead, the US spends over 30%. I point out that 30% of 2.2 trillion dollars exceeds the entire DOD budget for this year. We could switch to universal health care and double the size of the DOD and still have some money left over.

US ranked 37th and Cuba 39th whats the scale ? A silly straw ?

Lets go into a few other things about Cuba's health care system. Doctors are only paid the equivalent of 15 bucks a week there. Somehow I don't think we will be able to convince anyone to go through med school and residency for that.

Next that 39th ranked medical system, asks patients to bring lightbulbs when they have a hospital stay.

Its really not fair to use cuba, they are way too easy. You did bring them into evidence so I think I can be excused.

Lets try a harder target. Canada, has nice universal healthcare. Funny thing about Canada, your dog will be able to get a cat scan in less time than you can. Also for some reason they (the canadians) seem to come to florida and other parts of the US to get treatment. Really odd when you consider their healthcare is "FREE"
"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."
-Thomas Paine: The American Crisis, No. 4, 1777

the scale is WHO...

which has links to the original article and spreadsheet

Anyways, I repeat

US 37

Cuba 39

France... 1

And like I said, Cuba is paying 251 dollar per capita, so you are right, it isn't a fair comparison.

And yes, some rich Canadians come south for some of their optional health care. But please go find a single middle class Canadian that would trade systems. I double dog dare you.

Even they can find money to prolong their lei lives.
"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."
-Thomas Paine: The American Crisis, No. 4, 1777

Who is a UN organization. The same august body that put cuba on the human rights commission.
"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."
-Thomas Paine: The American Crisis, No. 4, 1777

Here is a link that refers to the legion of failings endemic to so-called “socialized medicine.”

...a long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right...

---Thomas Paine---

While I applaud your decision not to lie about your approval of socialized medicine this go-round, the fact remains: you've already had one go-round, and we've already determined that one go-round for you was one too many.

Now shoo.

The Fuzzy Puppy of the VRWC. I've been usurped!

Lottery winners to buy new knees

Two old age pensioners (retired people on Social Security to us Yanks) in England just won over two million pounds (about five million dollars) in a lottery.

What's the first thing they plan to do? Get the knee replacements they both need. They've been on the NHS waiting list for months. Now they can pay a private clinic to do it in the near future.

that you're making this point in a vain effort to prove that universal health care has issues. No one is denying that.

However, if these two pensioners lived in the United States, they would be fighting with Medicare (you know, American for old folks socialized medicine) for new knees... and paying for some part of their surgery. They'd probably still have to win the lottery to get new knees.

Issues, such as destroying the economies of countries with so-called “socialist medicine,” brain drain in the medical fields, insanely high taxes, death by wait list, lack of competition, etc.

...a long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right...

---Thomas Paine---

Ohh, I think lack of patient choice is another issue.

...a long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right...

---Thomas Paine---

great talking points. But they really don't reflect reality.

I'm not claiming that any country has a perfect health care system, but most of Europe has significantly better systems then we do... unless you are rich. Then it really doesn't matter where you live.

But please go find a single middle class Canadian that would trade systems. I double dog dare you.

George Zeliotis. A middle-class salesman. There. Found one. And he actually sued so that he would be able to opt out of Canada's "free" healthcare system.

According to this 02/06/2007 story;

Negative ratings of the country's health care system are beginning to eclipse positive ratings and many Canadians support a parallel private system for publicly available services.

An Ontario Chamber of Commerce survey found over 80% of respondents have some level of dissatisfaction with the current Canadian health care system, with 60% endorsing greater private-sector financing and delivery of health care services. Almost 40% of respondents would be most comfortable with a parallel private system that complements the publicly administered system.'

Further, according to a Pollara Strategic Opinion and Market Research survey, 63% of respondents would be willing to pay out of pocket for faster access to health care services, and an Ipsos-Reid and Canadian Medical Association survey found 84% of the general public and 85% of physicians overwhelmingly agree that when patients have to wait longer than is considered medically acceptable, they should be able to go elsewhere at public expense.

Sounds like a significant number of Canadians want some of what the US has got.

Pay attention "goodtimes", everyone wants healthcare to be cheaper and for it to be affordable for all. But you Lefties have to get over your continued adherrence to the belief that there is such a thing as a free lunch.

Sacrifices will have to be made in terms of overall economic growth, doctor availability, longer (possibly fatal) waiting times, the pace of research and development of new drugs and a whole lot of other issues that you are simply dismissing as just "talking points" - which is scary considering that the easily foreseen negative consequences of their policies that liberals so airily dismiss as just "talking points" 9 times out of 10 end up coming true.

PS: What were the metrics used by the WHO in this study? Does this ranking account for population? Deaths from crime? Obesity? Immigration? I know that premature babies who do not survive in some countries are not considered part of infant mortality while they are in the United States.

George W. Bush: He's A Folder ... Not A Fighter.

All good points, but the first message in this thread points out that healthcare is a burdensome cost for manufacturing in the USA. To the point that decisions of location may favor countries with a less burdensome medical system.

Unless we are going to reject the probably anecdotal evidence that companies can't manufacture transportable goods in the USA we do have to evaluate if our healthcare system is in fact more expensive than "competing" countries , and if it is, then why?

First, as has been pointed out the overall level of care is generally higher / faster in the US. Places like the UK and Canada have famous waiting lists.....this is a method to limit the overall cost, I don't think it's a function of those countries couldn't eliminate the lines...I think as a society they just choose to spend only that much on their healthcare and thus they are not willing to pay for absolutely everything imaginable on demand. In other words, if they wanted a Rolls Royce healthcare they'd just have to pay the price, but they've opted for the Pinto instead. That sucks if you need a new knee, but if you're Ford and you want to build a new car, it might not be such a bad thing.

Whereas here we are now paying close to $7,000/person per year on healthcare. Will we recognize that as a society we need to ultimately put a limit on the total level of healthcare or will get to the point where we are spending $50,000 per person per year and every transportable employer (except healthcare employees) has left?

Thus the overall level of care has to be thought about (and that gets more significant as we progressively age).

And after we determine what level of service we're willing to pay for, it has to be determined who / what entity is best suited to distribute the service. The private providers that we have now certainly have their efficiencies, but those efficiencies may be more geared to providing their shareholders with profit than to providing healthcare as, perhaps, evidenced by the very high "administrative" cost component of private healthcare systems in comparison to say, Medicaid.

“great talking points. But they really don't reflect reality.”

What??? That is one of the biggest non-answeres/reality avoidence responses I have received in a blog (or anyother format).

...a long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right...

---Thomas Paine---

If their doctors certify the replacements are medically necesary, why wouldn't their physician go ahead and schedule the surgery? Knee and hip replacements are common surgeries in an elderly population.

We don't have the shortage of doctors and hospital beds the Brits do.

Wisconsin debates universal care

We have Romneycare in MA and now WI is looking at the total cost of "univeral" health care to the taxpayer. The GOP-controlled WI House is holding out against passing a universal health care progarm that would cost the state of WI billions. It's going to be an issue in the next election. As it should be.

I wrote a blog about it here...

Bottom line, if this turkey passes in WI, it will double the tax rates in the state.
CongressCritter™: Never have so few felt like they were owed so much by so many for so little.

been part of a government provided healthcare program? I've been reading Redstate since the immigration issue and finally decided register.

I have had to use our wonderful Medicaid program for the birth of my first son. My husband had switched to a new job and we discovered I was pregnant. Insurance would only cover part of the delivery, no pre-natal care. We were broke at the time so I signed up for Medicaid. First of all, it took all day to get signed up. Even though there was a hospital in that city, it did not take Medicaid or was not on the list or something. I had to travel 60 miles for doctors visits and to give birth. Most times, it would be an all day event, spending most of the time sitting in the waiting room. Not real fun in the last months of pregnancy. My point is I had no choice of what doctor I saw or where to give birth. Luckily for my second child, we had insurance and it was a much better process.

I have read and heard people quote that roughly 50 million people do not have insurance. Since we have 300 million people in the USA, that means 250 million do have insurance. Why do we need to revamp that whole system for a small percentage? My family makes about 50 to 60 thousand a year. That is not really a lot, but I do manage to pay for health insurance. The Dems want to increase the income requirement to $82,000. That is just nonsense. There are some families that are caught in the middle, make too much too qualify but really don't make enough to afford insurance. We could increase it a little bit to cover them, but let's do the research and get an accurate number. Dems just want people to be dependent on the government. If folks making $82,000 a year can't afford health insurance, then maybe they need to re-adjust their priorities. If you have a family, then some type of healthcare insurance should be high on the list. It's you responsibility, not the government's.

Sorry so long, but this is important issue for me. Thanks

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