Existing Government Health Care Programs
While some call health care reform a government take over, the truth is that without theexisting government health care programs the broken U.S. health care system would bein much worse shape and millions more would lack health care.The VA Medical Center alone is the second largest employer in the Federal governmentwith only the Defense Department employing more people. Imagine if Veterans did nothave this health care program.Add to this the health care costs related to Medicare, Medicaid, TRICARE, SocialSecurity disability payments, the Children
s Health Insurance Program (CHIPS), healthinsurance for federal employees, and members of Congress and you get an idea of theextent that the federal government has already taken over much of the health care inthe nation. Add to this the health care provided by state and local governments and thegovernment control of health care is even stronger.The U.S. spends more per capita on the public portion of its health care than Francespends on its entire health care program. France covers all of its citizens and is rankedthe number #1 health care system in the world by the World Health Organization. TheU.S. by contrast is ranked only #37.See:http://www.photius.com/rankings/healthranks.htmlLet that fact sink in for a minute. The cost of just the government portion of health carein the U.S. before the recently passed health care reform legislation, exceeds the percapita cost of France which covers every citizen and is rated #1 health care system inthe world.Government health care is not new in the U.S., it is a primary component of the totalU.S. health care system with about 46% of health care expenditures paid by thegovernment. Imagine what would happen if we were to run away from this 46% healthcare expenditure to “gain more freedom”.
Quality of Government Health Care Programs
With the notable exception of the VA Medical Centers, the government does not actuallyrun health care programs but rather primarily reimburses people in the private sector atthe rates the private sector can demand.In other words people using medicare, medicaid, CHIPS, etc. are using the sameprivate health care system as anyone else in the private sector. They are just paying forit with government funds rather than private insurance.