Myth 10. If you like your health plan and your doctor, you can keep them.

The reason that the President needs to promise that he won’t take away your health plan or your doctor is that he believes that he could. After all, there is no right to choose a doctor or form of payment enshrined in the Constitution. And as to the right to contract privately—that has been whittled away by statute and precedent to almost nothing.

The President and other advocates of radical health “reform” do say they believe that health care should be a right—that can “never be taken away.” However, since this “right” is to be conferred by government, it is by definition an entitlement—a privilege. And even if it couldn’t actually be “taken away”—unless the political situation changes, of course—it can and certainly will be limited, subject to the societal goal of improving the overall health of the collective. How will we reduce the number of tests or procedures, or the amount of GDP spent on medical care, without taking something away?

Even if he doesn’t force you to change, the President cannot promise that the health plan or doctor of your choice will still be available under new rules.

And if the “reform” leads inexorably to single payer, that means no choice of plan.

The President denies that he is aiming to end up where he thinks the system should have begun: single (government) payer. “When you hear the naysayers claim that I’m trying to bring about government-run health care,” he said in one speech, “know this: They’re not telling the truth.” He said it is “illegitimate” to argue that his program is a Trojan horse for single payer.

“It’s not a Trojan horse,” said Professor Jacob Hacker of the University of California at Berkeley, who developed the intellectual architecture for the public option in the 1990s. “It’s just right there.”

Economist Paul Krugman notes that single payer may not be feasible to accomplish politically, but once people have the option of a public plan, it can evolve into single payer.

In other words, the public option is single payer by stealth, writes Conn Carrell.

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9 thoughts on “Myth 10. If you like your health plan and your doctor, you can keep them.

  1. The right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, as stated in the Declaration of Independence, acknowledges that one owns his life and has a claim on his own actions to pursue the values necessary to sustain and advance his life.

    Ownership means one’s right to the use and disposal of property. Owning one’s life means that he owns himself as property, and as owner, he alone is responsible to pursue the goals necessary to sustain and advance his life according to his values; it poses no obligations on others except for the contractual obligations made by voluntary agreement.

    Many argue, incorrectly, especially many of our current politicians, that the “right to life” means one must be given the products and labor of others using the government as the intermediary. Note the contradiction, however, when such a “right” is taken seriously and applied consistently. For one to receive the products and labor of others, those others now have their authentic rights infringed because their products and labor are taken from them without their consent. The producers are effectively right-less, meaning that their authentic rights are infringed by the government. It is no different, in principle, from the example of Black Slavery that lead to the Civil War; yet, today’s form of slavery is that of placing chains around productive people as such, physicians in this particular case.

    This is the fundamental problem with medical care today. The principle of individual rights has been inverted so that a “right” has been manipulated to mean that one’s “right” is a claim on the actions and products of others, which must be implemented by governmental force.

    This incorrect view of rights must be fought to the very core if the problems of medical care are to be resolved satisfactorily and permanently. Everyone’s authentic individual rights must be respected, and the purpose of a proper government is to enshrine the protection of authentic rights, not to infringe them.

    With this background, I believe it is perfectly legitimate to propose a 28th Amendment to the US Constitution, reading as follows:

    “Congress shall make no law prohibiting an individual, or group of individuals in voluntary association, or private business, from contracting with any physician, group of physicians, or other provider of goods or services in the medical professions. The Congress is expressly prohibited, for any reason whatsoever, from funding or regulating any form of medical care, including any institutions for research or development of technology (or both) in or related to the practice of medicine.”

    Mark A. Hurt, MD
    Creve Coeur, MO, USA

  2. The purpose of the “you can keep your ins” campaign is to deflect attention from two important details of overall reform.

    The first is that the success of BO’s plan DEMANDS and DEPENDS on single payor, plain and simple. The very notion of competition in the marketplace undermines that long-term objective.

    The second is closely related…it’s necessary to keep segments of the populace from organizing to fight the reform effort. By “assuring” those who have ins that they can keep it, BO deludes a large contingent voters into excusing themselves from the debate, such as it is…I’ve got ins I like–this reform thing does not involve me. At the same time, he further incites the uninsured to even more radical action…I want ins and I’ll vote for anyone who will give it to me. The LAST thing the reform effort can tolerate is well-organized grassroots opposition and tough scrutiny.

    Once the “public option” is in place, the demise of private insurance will quickly follow–exactly as has been predicted by everyone who’s looked at the landscape. No one and nothing has ever been allowed to compete with the government, and commercial ins will be no exception.

    BO KNOWS he absolutely cannot get single payor initially…but he’s very comfortable with pieces/parts, as are all Dems…many of the onerous items from the “Health Security Act” have been trickled down since its defeat: SChip; NPI; HIPAA, etc. When commercial ins is destroyed, BO will ride in to “save the day” with the public option/single payer, and there won’t be a whimper of opposition, because THEN there will not be a “choice…”

    It is disingenuous in the extreme to tell us we can keep our ins and then set up a system that will by design destroy that very commodity. BO will be laughing as we beg for what we once rejected.

    Debi Carey

  3. I agree with Dr. Hurt. I think there is much more work to be done in changing the culture for the better. When that happens some time in the future a new constitution will be required to more precisely define the proper purpose of government and make perfectly clear that the government is permitted only those actions that protect indivddual rights and that all actions are permitted to the citizens with the exception of violating the rights of another individual.

  4. If this was such a good idea, such a benign idea with no likelhood of mission creep, why don’t they repeal the mandatory imposition (or in their terms, acceptance) of Medicare by anyone who decides to take Social Security? A little disingenuous are we?

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