In an interview in April, President Obama said a hip replacement for his grandma in the final weeks of her life made him wonder whether expensive procedures for those near the end of their life would be a “sustainable model” for health care.
“I don’t know how much that hip replacement cost,” Obama said in the interview. “I would have paid out of pocket for that hip replacement just because she’s my grandmother.”
Well that’s reassuring. But what happens in single-payer systems when the government needs to cut costs? Obama himself in the interview admits, “The chronically ill and those toward the end of their lives are accounting for potentially 80 percent of the total health- care bill out here.”
Obama said “you just get into some very difficult moral issues” when considering whether “to give my grandmother, or everybody else’s aging grandparents or parents, a hip replacement when they’re terminally ill. ”
Yes, a moral issue indeed. Except that right now people choose whether or not to get procedures, but what happens when the government does it?
And do you really believe health-care costs won’t skyrocket? As the Wall St. Journal points out today, only five states have a type of universal health care: Maine, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey and Vermont.
And guess what?
New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts have both community rating and guaranteed issue. And, no surprise, they have the three most expensive individual insurance markets among all 50 states, with premiums roughly two to three times higher than the rest of the country. In 2007, the average annual premium in New Jersey was $5,326 for singles and in New York $12,254 for a family, versus the national average of $2,613 and $5,799, respectively. ObamaCare would impose New York-type rates nationwide.
So when it comes down to it, who do you want picking your insurance?