Yeah, I’m not really feeling it Mr. President

Our dear President recently delivered an important speech on health care. Sample excerpts are provided below (in italics) with select commentary by yours truly – a busy working physician with no real expertise in health care policy. I do, however, have a keen sense of  ‘so, this is probably gonna hurt, and hurt bad, right?’

There are those on the left who believe that the only way to fix the system is through a single-payer system like Canada’s, where we would severely restrict the private insurance market and have the government provide coverage for everyone. On the right, there are those who argue that we should end the employer-based system and leave individuals to buy health insurance on their own.

That’s a nice summary of the issues, Mr. President. So, what do you think?

While there remain some significant details to be ironed out, I believe a broad consensus exists for the aspects of the plan I just outlined: consumer protections for those with insurance, an exchange that allows individuals and small businesses to purchase affordable coverage, and a requirement that people who can afford insurance get insurance.

I’m keenly interested in those significant ‘details to be ironed out,’ sir. Is it okay if I remain skeptical about your plan until you, and related House and Senate committees, are done with the ironing? Although, I may not be too pleased with the cuffs-and-collars once that crew is through…..

And to my Republican friends, I say that rather than making wild claims about a government takeover of health care, we should work together to address any legitimate concerns you may have.

Hey, it’s nice to call me a friend (although, I’m not really feeling it for the GOP these days, either), but I sense a problem with your logic. If someone is making a wild claim, what legitimate concerns would that person have?

Second, we’ve estimated that most of this plan can be paid for by finding savings within the existing health care system – a system that is currently full of waste and abuse.

Oh, so that’s where we’ll find my legitimate concerns. Most of the plan will be payed for by savings within the existing health care system, you say? I’m sure that will happen. Also, I might be Angelina Jolie. That’s about as likely, sir.

So, to review: the left and the right disagree, the plan ain’t all worked out, quit complaining about it anyway, Republicans, and pixie dust will pay for everything. Got it! Not making wild claims, sir, just kidding around. Because, this is gonna hurt, and hurt bad, isn’t it?

The following may be related. Or not.

It’s your call.

1. But the democratic legislature will long hesitate to relinquish the decisions on really vital issues, and so long as it does so it makes it impossible for anyone else to provide the comprehensive plan. Yet agreement that planning is necessary, together with the inability of democratic assemblies to produce a plan, will evoke stronger and stronger demands that the government or some single individual should be given powers to act on their own responsibility. The belief is becoming more and more widespread that, if things are to get done, the responsible authorities must be freed from the fetters of democratic procedure. F.A. Hayek, The Road to Serfdom.

2. List of President Obama’s “czars” from Politico (I count 32, but I might be wrong because my eyes started glazing over after the “Great Lakes Czar”…….).

UPDATE: Okay, I know many of these ‘czars’ are simply governmental department heads, and the like, but I still think the above is instructive as a point of discussion.