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Title: Blog by Novelist William S. Frankl, MD

Archive for July, 2010

A Road to the Social Welfare System. Can We Stop It?

Monday, July 12th, 2010

It’s clear that the Obama regime wishes to transform the United States into a copy of the European social-welfare system, while faced  with the failure of their welfare states.

The United States is well on  the road toward a European level of government spending and debt. The U.S. national debt tops $72,000 per household.  By 2020, The Congressional Budget Office projects the debt will be greater than 90 % of our gross domestic product (GDP).

That could ultimately be higher than:

1. France:

a.France has a national debt of $1.9 trillion, or about 77 % of its GDP; that does not count the unfunded liabilities of the country’s state pension system, which might exceed 200 % of GDP!.
b. These facts have forced the French government to propose an increase in the retirement age; the selling off of government-owned land and other property; and the French health care system is  increasing copayments and other forms of consumer cost sharing.

2. Germany:

a.The German government plans to cut over $98 billion in government spending, about 3% of GDP, over the next four years.
b. There will be $3.7 billion in cuts in this year’s budget, which includes a reduction in unemployment benefits.
c.The retirement age will be raised from 65 to 67-years by 2029.
d. Government universities, previously free, have begun charging tuition.

3. United Kingdom:

a. England’s national debt is a mind-boggling $133,000 per household. And so,  the new government of Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron has proclaimed more than $9 billion in budget cuts.
b.There are plans to raise the retirement age under its social security system and abolish payments to parents of newborn children.
c.The government also has announced plans to implement welfare reform, including a work requirement for those receiving benefits.

The world is upside down. How did we get here, and how do we extricate ourselves before we become like them?

A Deluge in ObamaCare’s Emergency Rooms

Monday, July 12th, 2010

More people are probably going to turn to emergency rooms for their health care more frequently under ObamaCare, despite an often repeated argument for insuring the uninsured –––– that it will allow people to seek less costly and more accessible care elsewhere,  according to John C. Goodman, President, CEO and Kellye Wright Fellow with the National Center for Policy Analysis, No. 709, June 18, 2010.

Emergency room costs will likely increase for several reasons:

1. By 2014, unless repealed or significantly modified, ObamaCare will eventually have 32 million uninsured people obtaining health insurance they otherwise would not have had before.

2. About half of the newly insured will enroll in Medicaid and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program. And half will obtain insurance in the to-be-created health insurance exchanges. And Medicaid patients utilize emergency rooms for their medical care more often than the uninsured.

3. Many of the newly insured will try to increase their consumption of care, but the lack of any increased number of providers will force patients to emergency rooms as an outlet for their increased demands.

What the insurance plans will look like in the exchanges created under ObamaCare is unknown at this time. But, in Massachusetts, people who obtained insurance through an exchange are in plans that pay doctors fees about equal to Medicaid rates plus 10 %.  Were this to happen under Federal law, the effects would be even worse ––– many doctors would refuse to see both Medicaid and exchange insurance patients. And in the practices of those doctors accepting such patients, the waiting time to see a doctor would be ever and ever longer, exponentially worsening the burden on emergency rooms.

Perhaps we we’ll need to change ObamaCare to ChaosCare.

The National Debt Nightmare

Monday, July 12th, 2010

Foreign governments and investors continue to increase their holdings of U.S. debt. They are lending the United States money to finance its excess of imports over exports. But with these  excessive deficits, U.S. trading partners might refuse to continue the process in the future.  Reluctance to buy or efforts to sell dollar holdings by foreign investors would result in a decline in U.S. equities, a rise in interest rates and a marked decline in the value of the dollar.

There are multiple ways to reduce the nation’s vulnerability sooner rather than later:

1. Permanent tax incentives to encourage domestic saving, which would most likely lower both the budget deficit and trade deficit.

2. Cuts in marginal tax rates along with a real slowdown in government spending  would reduce the budget deficit, increase the domestic capital stock, and increase exports.

3. A reduction in the budget deficit would decrease the vulnerability of the U.S. economy to foreign creditors.

4. Entitlement programs must be reformed to partially prefund health care and retirement spending.  This would also increase job growth and domestic investment, allowing    the U.S. economy to be more productive and competitive with the rest of the world.

Despite these moves that are obvious, necessary to prevent national bankruptcy ala Greece, and all doable, the Obama regime continues to spend, and spend, and spend, with a projected national debt of more than 20 TRILLION by the end of this decade

William S. Frankl, MD, All Rights Reserved