Monday, June 15, 2009

Fix Existing Government Health Programs Before Expanding It

Medicare is a financial disaster.

The Veterans Administration has repeatedly been found to provide substandard care, and most recently has come under scrutiny for mistakes that exposed veterans to HIV.
The VA since February has been warning about 10,000 former patients, some who had colonoscopies as long ago as 2003, to get blood tests for HIV and hepatitis.

The VA's chief patient safety officer, Dr. Jim Bagian, has said no one will ever know if the patients with HIV and hepatitis were infected because of improperly operated or cleaned endoscopic equipment used in colonoscopies at Murfreesboro and Miami — and to treat patients at the VA's ear, nose and throat clinic in Augusta. Bagian has also said all the mistakes were human error.

As of Friday, the VA reported that six veterans taking the follow-up blood checks tested positive for HIV, 34 tested positive for hepatitis C and 13 tested positive for hepatitis B. All but 724 affected patients have been notified of test results.

VA spokeswoman Katie Roberts did not respond to repeated requests for comment Thursday and Friday.

The initial discovery of an equipment mistake at Murfreesboro led to a nationwide safety "step-up" by the VA at its 153 medical centers. Since then, the VA says the problems have been discussed with staff at all VA hospitals and with representatives of the equipment manufacturer, Olympus American.

Roe said he believes the VA has been open and trying to keep former patients and the public informed since discovering the mistakes in December. "These people did not intentionally do anything wrong," he said.
Instead of trying to fix the existing health care already under government control, the Administration is looking for ways to expand government health care, and that means finding ways to tax millions of Americans. It's simply impossible to pay for the health care plan being suggested by Democrats without massively taxing all Americans. You can't tax just the rich - even if you define rich down to those making $100,000 or $125,000 annually. The costs are so staggering that it's impossible to do so.

Obama is hoping to cut $300 million from Medicare and Medicaid, and impose $600 million in new taxes to make his plans work, but the money simply doesn't add up, and the costs will be far higher (they always are - just look at the burgeoning costs for the prescription drug health benefit enacted under the Bush Administration to see just how expensive these programs are.

Henry Covington emails the following YouTube clip showing that President Obama said something quite different on the campaign trail about taxing health care benefits and trimming Medicare and Medicaid to effectuate health care reform.

He was opposed to those kinds of cuts and changes as dangerous when John McCain proposed them.

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