It will cost more than predicted.
Despite 20 new taxes totaling $575 billion, the Congressional Budget Office has now projected total Obamacare costs through 2022 at $1.76 trillion, about twice the initial 10-year estimate. And that is still an optimistic figure. Medicare is instructive here: In 1965 when it was first passed, Medicare hospital insurance was projected to cost $9 billion by 1990. Actual cost? $66 billion. There’s a reason most of Europe is standing on corners with “will work for food” signs.
Care will be rationed. All nations with federalized health care have extensive delays and waiting lists.
In Canada, the average wait to see a specialist is 18.3 weeks. Some elective surgeries are delayed a year or more. In Britain, people simply die waiting for heart surgeries. In 2002, a report from Wales bragged that “no one is waiting over 12 months for heart surgery” of the type that is routinely done within 24 hours of diagnosis in America.
Cancer deaths will increase. Long waits and care rationing make it much more difficult in nations with national health care to get simple, lifesaving screening like mammograms, colonoscopies and prostate antigen tests, all of which can lead to early cures.
The result? According to the 2008 Concord Study, the first analysis of cancer survival rates worldwide, the five-year survival rate for breast cancer in the U.S. is 83.9 percent; in the United Kingdom, 69.7 percent. The survival rate for prostate cancer in the U.K. is 51.1 percent, while nearly 92 percent in the U.S. Time matters with cancer.
Research and innovation will wither.
The top five American hospitals alone conduct more clinical trials each year than all the hospitals combined in any nation with national health insurance.
Plus, Obamacare places a heavy tax on medical devices. The next MRI or CT scanner is a lot less likely, since funds that would go to research and development will now flow to Washington.
Your doctor will be a lot like the clerk at the video store. Obamacare establishes 159 new boards and other panels, some of which will dictate what drugs, treatments and procedures are federally approved, and which aren’t.
Expect doctors to have to leave the room often to check whether Uncle Sam will allow them to write you a prescription or remove a mole. Britain has panels like that. One delayed the use of Herceptin, one of the most successful breast cancer treatments, for two years. It was estimated that 15,000 women died as a result.
In 2006, Dr. Brian Day, president of the Canadian Medical Association, said, “This is a country in which dogs can get a hip replacement in under a week and in which humans can wait two to three years.”
Brake was chief writer for former Gov. Frank Keating and former U.S. Rep. Mary Fallin.