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June 15th, 2009
09:30 AM ET

Ron Paul: 'Socialized medicine' will not work

Rep. Ron Paul says 'socialized medicine' will not solve the nation's high health care costs.

Rep. Ron Paul says 'socialized medicine' will not solve the nation's high health care costs.

President Obama heads to Chicago today, but he will not be greeted by a hometown crowd. Instead, he'll be trying to sell his plan for a public, government-sponsored health insurance plan to the American Medical Association. Skeptical doctors who don't like what they see in his health care reforms are going to be in the audience.

Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX) has a unique perspective on the issue. He is a member of the House of Representatives, but also a doctor. He spoke to Kiran Chetry on CNN’s “American Morning” Monday.

Kiran Chetry: The American Medical Association does have some serious concerns about a government-sponsored, public health care program. You share some of those same concerns. In a nutshell, what troubles you the most?

Ron Paul: Well, I don't like socialized medicine. We've had corporate medicine now for about 30 years, which is managed medicine by the government and it's been a total disaster. And it didn't do much more than push the cost up. And it didn't work. So now we only have one other choice, it seems, and that is going towards total government medicine. I would like to see that medicine be delivered in the marketplace like other goods and services. There's no reason we can't do this. Everybody complains about one thing. The cost of medicine is too high. And it is. But they never talk about exactly why.

There's an inflation factor involved too. We create inflation, but it goes into certain areas of the economy more so than others. The more the government is involved in an industry or a service, the higher the prices go. So in education, cost goes up way beyond the cost of living and the cost of medicine goes way up. So you can't solve the problem of medical care by…ignoring this. Now, Obama says, what we're going to do is we're going to tremendously increase the services and we're going to cut all of the payments to the doctors and the hospitals. Where is he coming from? This can't possibly work.

Related: Obama to face tough crowd for health care talk

Chetry: There are some physicians groups who do support this. One is the Physicians for a National Health Program. They argue that a singer payer, government-run approach is the only real solution to control costs, remove unnecessary overhead in the current system. Do they have a point?

Paul: No, I don't think so. There's no proof that single payer, socialized medicine has ever been beneficial. That's why in Canada we find many people leave and come here because we do have more freedom here than they have in Canada and you don't have to wait in lines. We just have the problem of cost. And that is the problem. The other thing we have messed up is the concept of insurance. We're talking that what is assumed is that insurance is prepaid services. Insurances are supposed to measure risk. But now, when you talk about health insurance, that means pay for everything.

But we need some market factors. We need control by the patient. We need an incentive not to waste our services. We need some tax incentives, and we need to put control back in the hands of the patient. I started medicine when there was no Medicare and no Medicaid. And let me tell you, I don't remember one time where I saw people out in the streets begging for medical care. Now we do. With managed care and now with socialized medicine coming, believe me, quality will go down, costs will go up. There will be shortages, there will be lines, and nobody's going to be happy.

Chetry: Do you agree that doctors deserve some of the blame for driving up the cost of health care?

Paul: I do and it's very aggravating. And part of the reason is because the money is out there. Instead of getting better quality and more people served, you have higher cost and people do take advantage of this. But another reason why we as physicians frequently order way too many tests is because of the litigation, the fear of lawsuits.

I did OB/GYN, and believe me, I was never sued but I never forgot the idea, “My God, if I don't do this C-section right now, what's the attorney going to say tomorrow?” So you end up doing a lot more C-sections. If you come to the emergency room, you get a $10,000 bill because it's a third party payment. Third party payment, per se, is really the biggest problem that we have. And the direction we're going in now is going to make it absolutely much worse.


Filed under: Health • Politics
soundoff (86 Responses)
  1. Daniel

    If it is so bad, why does Ron Paul use socialized medicine? Every senator gets it, every federal employee, every veteran...... And every country that has better statistics then us uses socialized medicine.

    Sounds like Ron is protecting the healthcare industry corporations. Sad the RonPaulBots messiah has turned out to be a false prophet.

    Maybe he should go out and buy a private healthcare plan and stop being a hypocrite.

    Flame on RonPaulBots.

    July 29, 2009 at 10:10 am |
  2. RonPaulRevolution

    Ron Paul is a Doctor

    Ron Paul has been around in D.C. way longer than Obama -FACT and will OWN him on any issue if it ever came down to debate. Especially this one. Again – Ron Paul is a Doctor.

    SO all of you bashing this GREAT MAN. All of you bashing the Thomas Jefferson of today are just blatantly ignorant -especially of the USA. We're founded on FREEDOM and LIBERTY. SOcialism is NOT what this country was founded on. If you like socialism .. Then pack your stuff and move.. THis country is not about Socialism .. Nor is it about Corporatism and "Cronie Capitalism" which is the medicince we've had that ROn Paul is talkin about.

    STop being so ignorant.. Bein ignorant to great people like Ron Paul and not respecting the Constitution is why this country and world is so messed up.

    By the way .. Rand Paul and Adam Kokesh in 2010 Baby!

    July 9, 2009 at 1:38 pm |
  3. charles

    Democrats need to open their eyes and study economics a little and give up their romantic utopian fairytales. Repulicans/Neocons need to give up their corporate greed. Ron has a solution. Tax deferred medical savings accounts. Income and payroll tax credits for medical service(would help low income). Reform ERISA laws that created the HMOs and PPOs and corporate healthcare. Allow people more freedom of choice in medical service and destroy the corporate/ government created healthcare system we have today. Before Medicare and Medicaid were around the same percentage of low income and elderly were still receiving quality care at no cost. Free service was the norm for doctors. Costs have increased and will continue to do so with government run healthcare. Freedom of choice and alternative medicine will not be an option. Government to the rescue is a fairy tale that the weak minded to buy into. Transfer your worries to someone else and just forget about it. Daddy government will take care of you.

    June 18, 2009 at 11:41 pm |
  4. Michael

    so·cial·ism
    Pronunciation: \ˈsō-shə-ˌli-zəm\
    Function: noun
    Date: 1837
    1: any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods
    2 a: a system of society or group living in which there is no private property b: a system or condition of society in which the means of production are owned and controlled by the state
    3: a stage of society in Marxist theory transitional between capitalism and communism and distinguished by unequal distribution of goods and pay according to work done.

    Merriam Websters Dictionary

    Now I'm am scared. I already know what the reply will be. "That was taken out of a right-winged dictionary. Or excuse me a "wingnut" dictionary.

    June 18, 2009 at 12:33 pm |
  5. Steve Nelson

    I love it when people say stupid things. Socialism never works? Canada, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Belgium, England, France Italy...........

    Quit being afraid and look at facts. Socialism is a word that the right wingnuts use to try and scare people. Remember that there is no such thing as a Compassionate Conservative. Bush said he wanted to change that perception but was never able to do that. d'uh

    June 17, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  6. Lamar from Lakeland, FL

    What do Reps want to do about health care costs and the uninsured? (Nothing but attack Obama’s efforts to fix their mess created over the last 8 years!) CNN must ask all guests what would they do to fix the problems Obama is trying to fix!!!

    June 16, 2009 at 3:36 pm |
  7. Istvan

    M.J.: One of the core features of a socialist society IS the health care system. Don't you see? Socialized healthcare = socialism. That is center.

    And for the record, we've nationalized G.M. (+50% plus ownership by the U.S. government = nationalized), and a slew of banks. Tax payer dollars are now paying for once private organization.

    "From each according to his ability, to each according to his need." That's Karl Marx in 1875. What do consider our current society? Tax the rich and give to the poor. The idea of a free society is to encourage people to learn, work, and provide for themselves. What we're doing is enabling freeloaders. We are legislating charity; making it law for those able to give of their means. Should that be right? How does this differ than the circus and bread of Rome? Provide everything for the people to make them happy. Is that what we need?

    June 16, 2009 at 2:34 pm |
  8. Michael

    To all the people that think Canadian health care is so great, move then. Look online at the health care benefits in Canada and really talk to someone that lives there that has had to use it. Not some joker in a bar that spent 2 months there snowboarding.

    If its so great why are there cities offering "private" health care as a hiring incentive. Full or partial payements paid by the employer. Why do people who don't have any money have to fill out forms so they can get health care? Even still with the understanding that they may have to cover some of the costs themselves.

    Dental coverage? A cleaning ONCE EVERY 2 YEARS. Fillings are covered and if a patient is in pain thats covered. How, by extraction. Oh, yea. crowns are not covered. Good luck with that one. If you can't pay for a root canal how are you going to pay for a crown?

    Govt health care is nothing more then welfair. You get what they give you because there is no other choice.

    June 16, 2009 at 1:02 pm |
  9. Rick

    So the Repubs like McConnell (et al) are afraid of government control and telling people what they will be treated for and by whom!?! Well guess what, that is here already and it's called your Medical Insurance Company. How many claims are denied or reversed and people who pay don't get treated? Many of these people die and that's here in AMERICA,

    We have been geting screwed since Nixon and his repub buddies came up wiyh HMOs!!!! They minimize treatments or down right deny them all for the sake of Maximizing PROFITS.

    I'll say it again.....There are only two types of people that vote for Republicans – The very RICH and the very STUPID

    June 16, 2009 at 12:30 pm |
  10. Istvan

    We're having socialism pushed on us – make no mistake, that's exactly what this is. Socialism. In disguise.

    For those who think socialized health care will give them "freedom" to see whomever they will, think again. Does anyone really think they'll have the option to see whichever doctor whenever they choose? No. You'll have an assigned doctor; you'll have one opinion to choose from. Why should the government waste money on letting you get second opinions?

    I have lived in a country with socialized medicine. I KNOW this is a horrible option. Socialized medicine, let alone socialism itself, has NEVER worked. Never. Are there any cases of it working? No. What makes us think "We'll do it different?" This is socialism. Only ignorant and blind refuse to acknowledge this.

    Better option: Stay out of medicine. Let a free economy run it's course. That IS an option; despite the fact we're being fear-mongered into believing that only one option – socialized health care – exists.

    Seriously. We're practically already a socialist country.

    June 16, 2009 at 12:19 pm |
  11. David

    I just recently came off of Social Security Disability where I received Medicare. When I returned to work, my Medicare ended. I willingly admit that Medicare did limit the number of choices I had in health care. However, now I am facing the monthly choice of taking care of something serious, which would have been covered under Medicare, or pay my rent and buy food. Yes, Medicare is a mess, but in many ways I was much better off with it than I am now. If we took what works with both and combined them, something good can come out of it. Tossing out the baby with bath water will only cause more problems.

    June 16, 2009 at 12:02 pm |
  12. CHUCKDIESEL

    Ron paul u continue to impress me with your views .If the founding fathers could only see you they would be applauding .

    June 16, 2009 at 11:26 am |
  13. Tim

    Tony said:
    Get a job, get insurance. What ever happened to hard work in this country? I am opposed to all the handouts the Dems are jamming down my throat. Tax my health benefit payments so I can pay for someone else? We all might as well quit and live the high life while Obama pays for every need of every do nothing in the country.

    How about taking the 9 Billion from the Harry Rid train and splitting that up in a lottery for some non-inusred. The losers of the lottery are giving jobs cleaning up the streets or digging ditches. Then they can pay for their own health insurance.

    This country is seriously screwed with this bunch of loser lunatics running the show.

    Who is the loser lunatic here, moron? Let's see, I guess you live in this dream world where everyone who gets a job gets affordable health insurance. Why don't you just come out in Dickensonian speech, "They should get on with it (die) and decrease the surplus population."

    June 16, 2009 at 11:25 am |
  14. Pat O

    I think that Paul got to the heart of the matter by trying to point out that the system we have now is not a free market system, but a highly regulated system that encouraged the creation of third-party payers in the form of insurance and HMOs. The current system is the result of a series of government programs, so the "we can't do nothing crowd" just doesn't want to get it: We did do something and it made things worse.

    I think there is an important role for government here. We need to make sure that emergency care is free and available to people. If the firefighters and police are their to rescue people, then the doctors should be able to at least repair their injuries or stabilize them. Extra ordinary care and prolonged treatment should be extra and should be paid for however people want. But the cost of emergency care should be paid for through a broad based tax, and not through taxing health insurance itself which is partially the case now.

    Go ahead and expand medicare to include the costs of emergency primary care, but go no further to cover so called "preventative care" or continued treatment of long term illnesses which is far more costly.

    June 16, 2009 at 11:08 am |
  15. Cleveland

    What is wrong with you people?? These are two of the most ridiculous statements I have ever read:

    "NOT! Without government intervention we will continue to have the corruption that ensues with treating health like a commodity."

    "We are gradually becoming a joke for the rest of the world. THe only thing that is “socialized” about our nation is its support of big business."

    What is a country without big business? Who provides your jobs? I will never understand why Americans want to insult the reasons why this country is great. Also, do you actually think the goverment is not corrupt?? I really cannot understand why you believe that big government is the solution to all. It is absolutely ridiculous. Why don't you think about how poorly public goverment agencies are run? All of these agencies are slow, poorly manged, and there is little quality of service.

    – IRS
    – DMV
    – e-check (inconvenience to all of us)
    – Court system
    – Post office (Private businesses such as FedEx and UPS have provided the quality of service)

    This country is a democracy and based on peoples choice. I am sick and tired of the government and ignorant people trying to take that away from everyone. How do you know that our country is a joke to the rest of the world? Frankly, your the reason people think that our country is a joke due to your constant complaining about how the government does not do more. Can't you be content. Here is an idea, why don't you move somewhere else for a while (third would country) and then move back and tell us how awful America is.

    LESS GOVERNMENT IS BETTER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I want to live my life and not have them telling me what to do!!!

    "NOT! Without government intervention we will continue to have the corruption that ensues with treating health like a commodity."

    "We are gradually becoming a joke for the rest of the world. THe only thing that is “socialized” about our nation is its support of big business."

    June 16, 2009 at 10:05 am |
  16. D. Tree

    This man has no idea what he's talking about – he actually claims we have government run health care right now! What kind of kool aide is he drinking??? Oh yeah, he's a libertarian – which is basically nothing more than a Free Market Anarchist!

    June 16, 2009 at 10:00 am |
  17. Allen

    As usual, Ron Paul is wrong (my apologies to his supporters), but Medicare/Medicade has been one of our most successful government programs. Just because a program is run by the government does not mean that it will be a failure. The idea that that government is the problem is simply wrong. Greed is the problem. Although I do not particularly like the idea, of all the proposals so far, I believe a single payer method would be the most efficient and effective way to address the problem of healthcare cost. And we must reduce the cost of healthcare soon; my elderly mother already spends 70% of retirement money on health insurance (she is not eligible for Medicare/Medicade)! If something does not happen soon, she will go under (and lose her home).

    June 16, 2009 at 9:06 am |
  18. James Edwards

    Ron Paul is just parroting what the GOP has said for years by making comparison to just Canada or UK. There are other countries that uses the single payer system and it has worked out to point that a person does not have bankruptcy due to medical problem. For example in Switzerland they had similar system that we are experiencing in 1994 so they decided to adopt a system that takes out the profit aspect of the plan and the insurance companies compete by offering more to differiente themselves from the competition and no medical bankruptcy- ("it would be a scandal if it happens") and the conservatives are a great supporter of their approach. It is the same in Tiawan. Plus the benefit is you get to chose your primary doctor.

    CNN: You should do an investigative report on the various approaches to healthcare in different countries like I saw on PBS last year.

    June 16, 2009 at 9:01 am |
  19. MJ

    "We are the only 1st world country that doesn’t have a national plan. "

    We are also not a socialist country like many of those that have a national health plan. there is nothing in the Constitution that says the Government is responsible for providing a healthcare plan.

    June 16, 2009 at 8:40 am |
  20. MJ

    How many of the quted over 40 million uninsured are one of the following: illegal alien, making enough $$$ but choose not to purchase insurance, are eligible for another government health program??? Just wondering how accurate that 40 million + number are legimate, cond=sidering this administration's track record on quoting accurate number. (ie, taxes, unemployed, etc.)

    June 16, 2009 at 8:36 am |
  21. Dan VA

    If Ron Paul was President he would eliminate my spouses job. I would still vote for him. My spouse can find another job.

    June 16, 2009 at 8:30 am |
  22. Bob in Florida

    I think the opponents of Obama's health care reform ideas, are simply of the mind that if people cannot afford to pay for health insurance, we needs to just let them die off. Afterall, they are not contributing much to the economy anyway.

    June 16, 2009 at 8:28 am |
  23. Bernice

    Melissa, this ones for you ...and for all of you actually. You are only half correct here! What is funny is actually right there in our head government offices claiming to be Christian (Violent and anti- American) could care less about anyone else but himself, his vacations, his huge spending practices, and growing a BIG GOVERNMENT to rule over the American People. We the People "should be" a little smarter than this! BIG GOVERNMENT should NOT be in this picture at all! Soon, we will not have our country, nor our constitutional rights and YOU THE PEOPLE, have only yourselves to blame for this! This administration is setting out to take this country to a "progressive government" run country! PEOPLE!!!! WAKE UP! That is a person who has NO respect for the constitution of the United States!! How he took office amazes me! All of the bloodshed by our forefathers to fight for RIGHTS! This is all going to go to BIG GOVT BUSINESS! This president has done nothing here for our country, but to give away our (China) money by the billions! And, we owe all of this money back? I want him in charge of NOTHING! I am seriously concerned about him making decisions for the people! We will all suffer in the end! Be careful what you side for. You just may get it! Have mercy on us all.

    June 16, 2009 at 7:35 am |
  24. sam

    I read a woman on here saying an HMO killed her Mother then bemoaning socialized medicine. Has she taken a moment to think about that? HMOs are the perfect example of a business running the care in a profit mode. Your mother was not treated because the cost was more important to the insurance company than her life was. Turn off hate radio and think for yourself folks.
    The socalled liberal media of CNN is beholdin to these medical and pharmeceutical clients who buy ad time. They owe you nothing. Think about that before you listen to the whores of the industry, ie Ron Paul.

    June 16, 2009 at 6:42 am |
  25. Max

    Hi,
    we in Europe also struggle with increased costs, BUT every European is covered for all basic medical treatments including preexisting illness. i am a diabetic and i can switch to any private insurance company and THEY must take me. We have governement run insurance companies providing basic coverage, ie you spend the nite in a hospital with 3 other patients, and we have private insurance companies who offer their patients a single room and better food and a private nurse.

    our system is paid for with a dual system. the government basic coverage is part of a deduction from your pay check by law, the private portion everyone can pay for themselves if the want to.

    we also have laws that generica must be subsribed if available and cheaper thus limiting the influence of the BASF and BAYER and Pfizers. These are also not allowed to give gifts to doctors or to invite them to a holiday to hawaii to influence their subscription methods.

    we are struggling not with the cost of healthcare per se but with the fast increasing overaging of our population and thus the increase in health care needed...

    as a diabetic all my doctors visits, my insulin, and everthing else costing about 5000 dollars per year is covered with my yearly fee not exceeding 1000 euro. and i get this info every year from my insurer so that i can see what service i get... this helps me appreciate my insurance company...

    June 16, 2009 at 3:43 am |
  26. kilobeast

    Why do our citizens continue to regurgitate this drivel about how the "uninsured" in America are being too lazy or are somehow unwilling to pay for their own health care? Im in Florida and I can testify in a court of law that the only lines out the door anywhere are at the unemployment agencies and at the shelters and soup kitchens. Do these people understand that there are millions of people (home-grown U.S. born Americn citizens) ALREADY out of work and that they have NO, repeat NO health care insurance for their wife or kids or immediate family members? Not to mention that they have no money.

    Let the Republicans keep scaring you into thinking that the Canadians are running across our border for health care treatment. Are there any U. S. citizens in the northern border states that see a heavy influx of Canadians in your doctor's waiting room? How many Canadians do you hear about who are screaming to convert their system to match our health care system? Or who run across the border to pay for what they would receive for free there? Get a brain, my grown kids are in Toronto and I've never seen such a great health care system in my life as what they have up there.

    Maybe there is somebody out there whose weekly paycheck tax monies would pay their weekly health care insurance premiums and that is certainly fine with me. Now we can just kick NASA and the U.S. military in the butt for all the money that they waste since they won't be using our tax dollars to buy $700 hammers and $500 toilet seats and $2 billion dollar planes with. They can just bring home all of our soldiers overseas and then we can just let bin Laden rot in the caves in Pakistan or Afghanistan. Go ahead with these Republican thoughts. Trash the tax laws and keep all of your tax money and teabags. If we had any kind of sense at all, we'd realize that the health insurance companies are whipsawing us back and forth like a squad of lumberjacks.

    June 16, 2009 at 2:37 am |
  27. Frank

    We as a nation are at the mercy of big business. The will of the people is a fantasy. The insurance companies will not allow this to happen because all of our so called representatives are bought and paid for. Healthcare is a basic requirement for all people. No one can escape this need. It should be a basic right we all commonly share for the common good. Our police, fire, streets and infrastructure all come of the public pocket. If we truly want this, the fight will not necessarily be with each other but with our corrupted government who cares not for the common man but for the corporation who sends them that check. Just remember a corporation has never been sick one day.

    June 16, 2009 at 2:33 am |
  28. Steve

    look what happened to hawaii, they were broke in six months. these people in the house and senate got us in this mess. i don't think i will trust them with anything. joke,joke,joke!!!!!!!!!!!

    June 16, 2009 at 12:54 am |
  29. Joe

    OMG! The HMO system came to play under Nixon. Does anyone watch documentaries? The HMO system was favored by Nixon because it was a money maker for corporations and would encourage greater profits for less service. It was engineered for greed! The fundamental truth is that some things do not play well in the free market and healthcare is one of them. The sole purpose of insurance is to share a high cost risk across a large group... but what if the actuarian risk is very high. Well... ironically with better health care it is higher as people live longer to face more health issues. Socialized medicine IS the answer and a lot of societies demonstrate that quite well. And it is true that with socialized medicine comes the need to create liability controls for those that practice. We Americans are so foolishly afraid of socialized systems.. and for what? Greed NOT freedom.

    June 16, 2009 at 12:52 am |
  30. Ken Keeton

    With all due respect to Mr. Paul, I get so tired of the argument that Canadians don't like their health care system. This is not true. Every Canadian and previous Canadian citizens I have talked to say they like their health care system. It's not perfect but tell me what is. Their system is better in every way than ours. Most importantly, it is more humane. We should eliminate medicare and all this private insurance malarkey and just adopt the Canadian or even English model of health care. It works and the facts are out their for any person interested to know it.

    June 16, 2009 at 12:00 am |
  31. Benfatto

    You Americans greatly over-estimate the benefits of socialized healthcare. Everybody who has lived in a country with socialized healthcare can tell you some horror stories about it. Believe me, it's not 'the Answer'.

    Most of you should read a little bit better what Mr. Paul is saying here. He has been a practicing docter as well as a member of congres:

    "We’ve had corporate medicine now for about 30 years, which is managed medicine by the government and it’s been a total disaster."

    "I started medicine when there was no Medicare and no Medicaid. And let me tell you, I don’t remember one time where I saw people out in the streets begging for medical care. Now we do."

    These two quotes sum it up: you've had a government regulated market for healthcare for over 30 years and it only made matters worse. If 50% involvement doesn't work, do you really think a 100% will?

    Some countries with socialized health care are performing better than others. The scale of the bureaucracies plays an important part in it: as a rule of thumb it is safe to say 'the smaller the bureaucracies, the more efficient'. Do you really think Canada is comparable to the US? Better compare it with the UK, their National Healthcare System (NHS) has become real nightmare. Given the size of the US and your governments record it will be ten times worse.

    Should you wish to guaranty health care, here's a better idea: stop all government involvement in healthcare, and I really mean all involvement. This will open up the market and make healthcare as efficient and cheap as wall-mart.

    At the same time you form charitable hospitals in every city for those who can't afford healthcare. This hospital can be state funded but I don't think it will be necessary as Americans already donate a lot to charity.

    You will also have to work on your culture of suing everybody and everything for their mistakes. If I'm not mistaking starting a lawsuit is free right now for all parties? Put a price tag on it and let the looser pay for it. That will stop the opportunists from making false claims.

    Alternatively you could device a separate court system for medical cases, with judges who all have a medical background.

    But I guess this was all wishfull thinking, as Obama will just go ahead and bankrupt your beautiful country until there's nothing left of it.

    June 15, 2009 at 11:37 pm |
  32. Patricia

    Take a course in comparative government and then learn what the true meaning of socialized medicine is. Why is it that the Republicans did not have an issue with Bush's zillion dollar war, but you have a problem with health care for everyone? Fellow Christians, what would Jesus do?

    June 15, 2009 at 11:34 pm |
  33. Thomas

    One thing that the liberal media will never say is that of the almost 50 Million un-insured in this country, roughly about 18 million of those are Illegal Aliens that Obama's plan will cover. I certainly don't want my tax money going towards healthcare for Illegals.

    June 15, 2009 at 11:11 pm |
  34. Panacea

    What President Obama is proposing is not socialized medicine. If we socialized medicine, then the government would provide the facilities, the providers, and pay for all costs. That's what Canada and the UK have.

    What is being proposed here is merely that the government pays for healthcare with a public option designed similar to Medicare. Physicians and hospitals would still be free agents.

    The problem with Medicare reimbursement is it focuses on specialists and not primary care providers. That is a key factor in uncontrolled costs. If Medpac (a panel of medical experts that advises Congress) is allowed to set Medicare rates, then costs could be brought under control. As it is Congress usually does the opposite of what Medpac recommends.

    If Mr. Paul needs an example of successful single payer healthcare, he need only look at the VA. While the VA had problems in the past, it reinvented itself and currently provides excellent health care at reasonable costs. The VA can negotiate for the best rates on drugs, and the physicians actually have the time to talk to their patients.

    June 15, 2009 at 10:07 pm |
  35. Brian

    You wait in line at a bank, at a restaurant, at a retail store. Why shouldn't people wait in line for healthcare? Yes yes, the time is much shorter, waiting months. But time is not an independent variable and is dependent on the complexity of the work being performed; open heart surgery is not a plastic toy.

    The only way to avoid lines at all, have 0 wait times as certain people seem to want, is a chronic oversupply. But not just an oversupply, a glut. Do you know the friend who complains about every single disease under the earth, who says he has this or that or this wrong, and needs a MRI immediately? Everyone has that friend, the hypochrondriac. That is what a purely private system defends, that kind of overuse, the ability to choose. Obviously a public system would ration care (no duh) but doctors being trained can and do pick, and if the patients don't like it they can always pay cash since an American public health system would not ban private healthcare. People should use common sense; if *you* were an insurance company, would you want to take someone with preexisting conditions or even people likely to be sick? Of course not. If you were an insurance company, you would want to *get rid* of all the people who will cost you the most money, all the people with the highest risk. It's called *making money*. You would want to *make money* and get rid of all the potentially unhealthy people and keep the young healthy ones.

    If private advocates were honest they would come out and say that they want to scr*w over sick people, because that is how you make money. Some people seem to think that private automatically means reasonable costs; that works for Wal-Mart but not for certain serious problems whose costs run into the hundreds of thousands. No amount of "personal responsibility" can make up for what is basically the cost of a house or retirement savings.

    As far as I'm concerned being a former physician lowers credibility when talking about who pays for health, because physicians want to make money. I am not saying this is a bad thing, and Mr. Paul is entitled to his opinion, but strip away the bull and what you have is a pure question of who will pay for this or that or this. And if everyone is to pay for their own healthcare, then the burden of proof is on conservatives to show the average American can afford even the most basic care (unless they think the average American doesn't deserve basic care, another issue). If basic care is too expensive, then people who are not sick will have to pay for people who are sick, and there's no way around it. If only conservatives were honest and said they didn't want people who were not sick to pay for people who are sick I would have respect for them, but right now they're just obscuring the issue with name calling (socialism) and deflection.

    The issue is plain; those who oppose public healthcare don't want people who are healthy to pay for people who are sick. They should be honest about it and just say it.

    June 15, 2009 at 9:39 pm |
  36. Denise

    I do have employer sponsored insurance (I pay half the premiums) and a $5,000.00 yearly deductible (families are $15,000.00), so needless to say, I don't go to the doctor. I've tried changing employers in the past in order to get better insurance, but within a short time the new employer's insurance is the same or worse than what I left behind. I, too, have never heard of a Canadian coming to the United States for health care. I think that is the exception. Some fear that we would need to wait in long lines if we were to go with government run health care, but frankly, waiting in line is preferable to no care at all.

    June 15, 2009 at 7:53 pm |
  37. Manfred

    I greatly respect Ron Paul, but for him to state that Canadians : "That’s why in Canada we find many people leave and come here because we do have more freedom " is totally baseless. Does anyone really believe that Canadian's are crossing the border to pay thousands of dollars when they can get the same care from their own system that their taxes pay for?
    We are foolish to believe that we have a health care system that is envied by the rest of the world, rather I have found most Europeans and Canadians pity our system.

    June 15, 2009 at 7:37 pm |
  38. Keith

    As a physician who has practiced in both the Canadian and American systems, I can tell you one thing for certain – I'd much rather work in the Canadian system! I never had to worry about getting paid, I only had to deal with one payor, I made a good living... But the most important thing is that the patients did better! Sure, there were some downsides – a patient might have to wait for a non-urgent test for example – but not one of my patients went broke paying medical bills, everyone who came thru the door was covered, people who needed emergent care got it, and their outcomes were better. I only wished that the Canadian government had nationalized dental care as well!

    June 15, 2009 at 6:40 pm |
  39. Shawn Martin

    I am not certian that I completely agree with Socialiized medicine~ However, If not that~ then what?~ The cost is greater and greater year after year1~ Doctors are richer-pharmacutical company's along health insurance and the insurance industry as a whole are profiting~ The working class trying to move to Mid class~ the Mid class trying to move up to Upper mid- and the Upper class is a thing of the past~ and it all is connected to health care!~ So having said this what is the answer~ I think we should dismiss our suppicions replace with trust~ klet the people decide what we feel will work best and be open that NO one politician person industry has the answers for the indivduals that are GREATLY affected by NOT having health insurance in a time of need!~ TRUST me I know a bit about this jsut finishing 698 hour of chemo~ So I ask Ron Paul and others what is the answer as I resepect thier view and imput~ I would like to ask them a question: When did they last live without health insurance? and what did they do to get through that time?~ also how many member of there family live below the poverty line without health care?~ I feel these are ligitimate questions that need to asked Just click on to this and take a look at my journey and tell me I don't understand! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tP2AJycuZyE

    June 15, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  40. Daniel

    everyone gives advice, everyone has an opinion, and everyone thinks they are right. Why don't "you" people who do not agree with President Obama's plan read more about it then post questions/comments on the White house web site. There is so much fear and so little education. "You" want a system that works for "you," why don't "you" help out a little.

    June 15, 2009 at 6:05 pm |
  41. Chad

    I do not think a lot of people know what it is like trying to get insurance yourself and pay for it, the people that is doing all the complaining is the people that more than likely have Employer sponsored insurance, they do not have to fill out a long questionairre and worry about being denied for pre-existing conditions, if the government jump into the game, it will drive the high prices of insurance down, and also have the other insurance company denying people and denying claims based on pre-existing conditions....

    June 15, 2009 at 5:34 pm |
  42. Jim Jones

    @WB – Your post (second from the top) is great. You believe that the corporate systems are best and blast the idea of a government health care option by comparing it to an HMO. You do know that HMO's are corporate plan's?

    To all those who fear a politician between you and your doctor – have no fear. You have an insurance bean counter dictating your coverage right now.

    June 15, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  43. Bongo

    I think maybe you have to "try" something before you condemn it. All my years as a Canadian, no one I know has had to go to the U.S. for treatment, quite the opposite.

    All this talk of lines ? Sometimes in life you have to wait a bit. I live here and the media just says what it wants. You guys don't wait in line at shopping malls either ?, c'mon. It's way overblown.

    People do not get kicked out into the street, come and visit and see before you judge.

    Something gotta change, what will it be?

    Good Luck neigbours, I really hope some solutions start working and you can all come together. Truly.

    Cheers, a Proud Canadian.

    June 15, 2009 at 4:59 pm |
  44. Harold

    We need to stop talking about "insurance" and "coverage" and simply need to say that we all need healthcare. Right now, we don't have that. Employed or unemployed, retired or working, adult or child, we all need to see a doctor when something's wrong, have regular physical exams as a precaution, have our teeth and eyes checked, and medications.

    So, instead of talking about what we can or cannot afford, we need to turn the conversation to getting what's needed in exchange for what we, the people, the whole of the people, can afford. For care, let's give the money to the doctors, nurses, and healthcare workers and not the insurance companies, cut out the premiums, the profits and the admin overhead. At the same time, it would cut the collection and admin needs out of hospitals.

    While we're at it, let's treat the pharma companies like every other western country does and buy meds at globally accepted prices instead of being the only suckers paying extortionate rates. This is the last line for them, if we do it, they have nowhere else to go. Maybe they can cut costs by not having TV ads and bribing doctors?

    For good measure, let's make sure that mental, dental and vision are handled as medical costs. It's all about health. Keep it that way and stop talking about the money, the market, and the corporations.

    BTW – if it wasn't for insurance companies capitalizing on risk, do you think there would be motivation for malpractice insurance and suits? Let's face it, it's in their interest to keep collecting premiums.

    June 15, 2009 at 4:59 pm |
  45. Byran

    What’s wrong with Canadian health care system? Nothing! Its firing on all 8 cylinder and quest what, we don’t have to pay a cent when visit the hospital

    America Com-on its about time you care about the little people too

    June 15, 2009 at 4:49 pm |
  46. Bill - Vancouver, BC

    I was very disappointed with the interview with Ron Paul. He, like many other American politicians demonstrated no knowledge or understnading of other helath care systesm like ours in Canada. He was allowed to present these misrepresentations unchallenged.

    In Canada we have much more freedom to choose our doctors than you in the US have under HMOs. Virtually the only restriction is that in most instances we need a referral from a GP to see a specialist. The choice of our family doctor is totally up to us, and the choice of specialist is up to our GP and us.

    Wait times may be longer (this was a significant problem 10 years ago), but the waiting is based on medical urgency rather than patient impatience.

    Most doctors run private practices, though some (primarily in teaching hospitals).

    Medical coverage and services are administered by each province – the federal government, in consultation with the provinces and the doctors decide on the essential coverage, and supplemental coverage is provided by private health insurance ( cosmetic surgery, private beds, etc.).

    You shouldn't let your program serve as the vehicle for spreading misinformation.

    June 15, 2009 at 4:48 pm |
  47. heartlight3, Maui, HI

    It sounds to me as if Dr. Paul has not researched this very well. He is repeating the same disproven talking points that all the critics use. There are always some who are dissatisfied with any system. If you only listen to the dissatisfied views and disregard the views of those who are satisfied, they you assume the system is unsatisfactory. From the research that I have done, I have observed most Canadians say the the main difference between our system and Canada's is who pays the bill. Choice is not an issue for them. They can see any doctor they want.

    June 15, 2009 at 4:43 pm |
  48. Justin

    The number of Canadians going to the US for health care pales in comparison to the number of americans coming to Canada for health care (in particular prescription drugs).

    Anyways, all these people spouting "Ask a Canadian"... please do it... ask a Canadian. You'll be incredibly hard pressed to find one who thinks the american system is superior.

    June 15, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  49. Dave

    I am 1000% behind President Obama and his efforts to reform Healthcare. I do think a lot of Democrats, liberals, Obama supporters, and others who support Healthcare Reform don't understand the complexity of the challenge of reforming the system. There are more ways to do it wrong then do it right...lots of complex problems to solve.....it isn't easy...and it couldn't pass the right plan if we only had 50% of the house/senate being DEM...it works because we have 60%....

    A lot of the past proposals like that of Hillary Clinton in 1994 and ideas thrown out since then wouldn't work...Models like Canada don't give Americans the freedom and choice they want....

    If he can't get it done the right ways, is forced to compromise to the lobbyists or whoever it isn't worth pursuing as making the system less efficient it won't fix itself later..

    June 15, 2009 at 3:21 pm |
  50. Steve Nelson

    Jim,
    To answer your quesition:
    1. The public highway system
    2. The military (see Haliburton and KBR for failures)
    3. Tennesee Valley authority

    There are probably way more unsuccessful ones but you are very wrong to say never. You lose all credibility.

    For your first part I take it that you mean it is okay for people to have no insurance even though they are the ones that die in very large proportion to everyone else. That is one of the reasons that the U.S. has one of the hiighest death rates in the industrialized word. Your point about people with insurance being counted as uninsured is baseless and sounds like it is made up. I could not find any substantiation of you claim.

    June 15, 2009 at 3:01 pm |
  51. jason, tx

    I am sick of hearing people like Ron Paul stand in the way of socialized medicine. Let's get it done now and get the insurance companies out of the way. Big drug companies, insurance companies and hospitals have all made life miserable for the majority of Americans. NO MORE!

    June 15, 2009 at 2:49 pm |
  52. Jim

    I am really tired of this "48 million uninsured Americans" soundbite. When you break down that figure, you find the number of "real" uninsured is about 8 million, or less than 3% of legal American citizens. If you are between jobs, you are considered uninsured. If you have access to health insurance but choose not to pay for it, you are considered uninsured. If you have insurance but feel it is too expensive, you are considered uninsured. Please. I am not saying we don't need a more efficient system, I am just tired of this "gloom and doom / hurry up and vote" democrat mentality. The solution to me is pretty simple. Lower taxes, let people keep more of their money, and they can buy insurance themselves. Combine that with reasonable malpractice limits and the system will be greatly improved. Anyone who thinks the solution involves Government is sadly mistaken. When is the last time Big Government stepped in and made something more streamlined and efficient, delivering better services at a lower price than the private sector? Oh yeah, never!

    June 15, 2009 at 2:37 pm |
  53. Peter

    MR. Paul, for all his genuine input- is seriously out of touch- and fails to understand that without government intervention on health care, the private sector will do nothing.

    Obama needs to shove this down the throats of the republicans, the insurance companies, the drug companies, the hospitals and many of the Doctors- when the American people realize what a good deal they have- I am sure the conservatives, the GOP, the Insurance companies, and the Doctors will do nothing to change what has begun.

    June 15, 2009 at 2:34 pm |
  54. Jan

    Did anyone at CNN LISTEN to the presentation to the AMA? Should, it was good, informative, logical, and debunked the myths.

    Ron Paul says "no one is talking about why costs are going up" – baloney. Obama laid out in great detail exactly why. Why doesnt the 'journalist' call him on his statements vs let it stand as though truth. Its NOT socialized medicine and the free market HAS NOT WORKED to date so why should we believe it ever would?

    CNNs headline is wrong too. Obama is NOT for capping limits on lawsuits.

    June 15, 2009 at 2:09 pm |
  55. Fred

    It works in 99% of the reast of the civilized world. Why can't America MAKE IT WORK? Could it be that some Americans don't want it to work?
    It should be modeled after Canada's healthcare system. Never mind all the misinformation corporate American feeds us about it.

    June 15, 2009 at 1:58 pm |
  56. Matt from NJ

    Our care is the "best"? Pundits and individuals often say this and that about how people in foreign countries complain about their system.. I am married to a european and have many friends there. Not once have I heard any of them complain about socialized medicine. We as Americans should learn to speak a little less arrogantly and assertively about things we know nothing about. Who has the temerity to make "best" claims when they have never lived in or experienced other systems? For those of you who do make such claims and embarrass yourselves by spewing belligerent nonsense, you don't know. You just think you know because others told you so. Those "others" are part of the propaganda campaign to keep you ignorant to maintain the status quo.

    June 15, 2009 at 1:50 pm |
  57. ED

    Our government is not here to take care of us. We have a government to ensure our country has an environment in which its people can take care of themselves. For those who don't have enough money for everything they need (i.e. healthcare), there is charity. Most people are MORE than willing to give to those in need, because we recognize that someday, it may be us who are in need of help. This healthcare plan (as well as unemployment, and welfare) is nothing more than government charity. The government is taking our tax money, and choosing who is the most deserving of charity. And we're letting them.

    June 15, 2009 at 1:30 pm |
  58. Anon

    Paul, you are clueless. Socialized medicine is the ONLY thing that will work. It works just fine in Europe and Canada. And considering the amount of taxes we pay, we are ENTITLED to government provided medicine if we can't afford it ourselves (due to having to pay all those taxes). Get a clue SOCIALIZE MEDICINE IN AMERICA!!!!

    June 15, 2009 at 1:20 pm |
  59. Matt

    Our cost might be up, but our healthcare is better than anyone else in the world.

    how about china were they reuse items, and air out your bed sheets outside instead of using new steralized ones..

    People over the world fly to the US to get treated here, because if they can afford it they would rather have US health care. The issue is cost, not quality.

    We need to start getting people into gyms, get better health. Stop people from smoking, it just doesn't kill them it kills those around them. If anything they should be arrested on attempted murder.

    I can not comprehend how out of shape this country has gotten. It leads to many of the health care issues we have today. The issue is that we are lazy, we think we are intitled to good health. You need to work at good health.

    June 15, 2009 at 1:05 pm |
  60. Steve Nelson

    Everyone stop being afraid. Look at the facts. We have all heard the horror stories of Canadians looking to the U.S. for care. Those are isolated incidences that are used in the context of happenieng all the time. Ask the people in Canada, Britain, France, Qatar, Dubai, Italy etc. You will find that in not one country with national health care do the people want to change. The U.S. is an example of what not to do. We are the only nation where people are not covered. We have some of the highest death rates in all categories including births. We suck so don't tell me that keeping it the same is the only thing we can do.

    June 15, 2009 at 1:04 pm |
  61. Colin Thompson

    Ron,

    You need to have a talk with your Canadian counterparts. Medicare works. It is not perfect but it is the best system I have seen so far.

    Medicare makes life easier for Doctors. They are paid without problem and they don't have the million forms to fill out or the huge lawsuits to deal with.

    If Americans want it all they have to do is take the money that would be paid for premiums out of the American tax system.

    June 15, 2009 at 1:03 pm |
  62. Andrew DoD

    Ron Paul mentioned schools.

    "So in education, cost goes up way beyond the cost of living and the cost of medicine goes way up. So you can’t solve the problem of medical care by…ignoring this."

    Since when did Government funded ("State") Universities go up beyond the cost of living? My rent was higher than my tuition. Look at the New York State Univeristy system.

    Geneseo, University of Buffalo, Albany, these are all excellent schools, cheaper than dirt, and they hire into some of the best jobs in the country. I'm now working as a scientist for the DoD having paid $2k/semester tuition & fees.

    Where is he getting this "price goes up" when the government gets involved from? Price goes DOWN.

    June 15, 2009 at 12:58 pm |
  63. Fred Robinson

    Cinderella;

    Currently, there are over 40 milliion US citizens who have no health care insurance whatsoever. Medical costs are rising, and the main reason for individual bankruptcies is the health care system itself. How is the current health care system working? This guy is all wet behind the ears.

    Where was Christine today?

    Cheers,
    Fred

    June 15, 2009 at 12:48 pm |
  64. destine1

    One of the root causes of this health care crisis, then, is the greedy insurance companies. The only reason they exist is to maximize their profits, not to protect the consumers in any way. Perhaps if the government would "socialize" this sector with a hybrid structure like a Fannie Mae or Freddy Mac (with much tighter oversight of course), that may help fix the problem. This along with legal reforms to curb frivolous law suits.

    June 15, 2009 at 12:36 pm |
  65. Tony

    Get a job, get insurance. What ever happened to hard work in this country? I am opposed to all the handouts the Dems are jamming down my throat. Tax my health benefit payments so I can pay for someone else? We all might as well quit and live the high life while Obama pays for every need of every do nothing in the country.

    How about taking the 9 Billion from the Harry Rid train and splitting that up in a lottery for some non-inusred. The losers of the lottery are giving jobs cleaning up the streets or digging ditches. Then they can pay for their own health insurance.

    This country is seriously screwed with this bunch of loser lunatics running the show.

    June 15, 2009 at 12:25 pm |
  66. Marty, Grand Rapids Mi

    Single payer government controlled health care works in all other industrialized nations. None of these countries wish they had private health insurance. You can't get any more proof then this. They pay less then we do and get better results. The 'choice' that I have is the same 'choice' I have when buying a cell phone. Hmm, do I want AT&T or Verizon. Two sides of the same coin. The US is the black sheep and we are the ones with a health care crisis. Do the math. Instead of rationing our health care based on money and wealth we should do so based on need and resources.

    June 15, 2009 at 12:20 pm |
  67. REFIBLICANS NEVER HAD A HEALTH PLAN.....

    Adding one public option among the list options that have already existed for years is not socialism. Socialism BEGINS; when an open market has LESSER TO NO options mandated by the Government than BEFORE. Mr. Obama's plan is clearly not socialism. Socialsim is a Refiblican "catch" word meant for fear effect. We must remember, Refiblicans want to scare America with lies into believing the present health care plan is best becuse it MOST BENEFITS INSURANCE COMPANIES. If all Refiblicans can offer in the debate on health care are catch words, than President Obama's plan on health care will pass......because it isn't a socialism based health care plan....as people are offered a "choice". In socialism... there are no choices.

    June 15, 2009 at 12:01 pm |
  68. Melissa

    Funny how those that claim to be so Christian couldn't care less about anyone else but big business, don't you think?

    June 15, 2009 at 11:59 am |
  69. Melissa

    Yet another fundamentalist Republican who doesn't help with anything at all. How useful. Not. Sick of the complaining. Either help or shut up. We can't continue how things are right now.

    June 15, 2009 at 11:54 am |
  70. Matt from NJ

    We are the only 1st world country that doesn't have a national plan. That says a lot. The debate over this is so ridiculous and simple to dissect: national plans mean no more multi-million dollar bonuses to health care execs. That is the wellspring of the resistance and they are the ones who buy senators and convolute the debate through media propaganda.
    Every dollar paid in these bonuses is blood money that came from denying patients coverage over policy technicalities. For those who use the argument that they don't want the government controlling healthcare, they totally sidestep the reality that insurance companies control healthcare. Doctors don't control it in either scenario. If I had to choose between insurance companies who maximize profits from scamming their customers and the government, I choose the government.

    June 15, 2009 at 11:51 am |
  71. not buying it

    I was healthy and strong most of my life. Lucky I guess. But now I am getting older and I have many health issues. The doctors I encounter are mostly ARROGANT GREEDY little pussies that probably got quite a few A$$ Whoopins in high school. I am not referring to all doctors–OK But my experience has been better with the PA's in the office. These doctors think they are Gods gift for the most part. I have seen quite a few of my friends and immediate family die because of some of the crap that these arrogant jerks missed or just don't seem to care if you don't have lots and lots of $$$ And these insurance companies are the biggest crooks and greed mongers in the world. I don't know what the answer is but we had better do something and I guess that is what Obama is getting at.

    June 15, 2009 at 11:51 am |
  72. Candy Wilson

    I supported Pres. Obama But Mr. Paul is my 2nd choice.. I think he is one smart guy....So I am inclined to be towards Universal Coverage.. We have many HMO's right now... I am a 57 yr old disabled nurse having been in the business over 30 yrs.. I am presently on Medicare.. which would be fine Except I only have 17% lung function. I am in an excellent rehab program have been approved for tranplant BUT I can not afford the post op drugs, copays, and donut hole each yr.. so the operation is out of the question right now....I have at present 5 different hosp/doc bills going....I am around $6,000.00 in Med dept for past hosp. and or procedures....I see waste in the duplication of "things".. I live in a small town on the Ohio river and in our area we have 3 mid size and 3 small hosp.. And they ALL have CT scanners alone .. We need to bring together programs and they are working on that....Preventive medicine is big that will help in the future....I think the president is on the right track but it will be a while before the programs will show this... In our area we are already doing some of his proposals now... The biggest key is to providing care to all which will enhance preventive care.. As to why a person who is deemed disabled and placed on SSD has to wait 2 yrs to get Medicare is Beyond me.. this is where I incurred a lot of trouble.... Thankyou for your time.. Good Luck to you, Mr. Paul

    June 15, 2009 at 11:33 am |
  73. RPUENTE

    Mr. Ron Paul – Honestly, you are about as transparent as a three dollar bill.

    Sir, please consider the country as a whole(not a bottomless hole) not just Texas. The spirit of the people of Texas is bigger than your granular outlook on this matter. We have grown weary of your ill and no solution viewpoints and rhetoric.

    Take a break... Go hunting with Cheney...

    June 15, 2009 at 11:32 am |
  74. jens gessner

    The Canadian system is blended, with 30% of our health care delivery supplied by the private sector (i.e. dentistry), and 70% by the public sector.

    As percentage of GDP, our health care costs are about 70% of the US costs. Costs have risen faster than inflation, in part due to demographics (since aging baby boomers require increased care). But statistics published by Stats Canada also show that the PRIVATE health care delivery costs rose FASTER than the government portion.

    By increasing the public portion of your health care delivery, your taxes will go up, but your OVERALL costs for getting health care will likely go down, judging by the experience of many other countries, as well.

    June 15, 2009 at 11:24 am |
  75. L Bartels

    As a doctor, I am worried that the government will cram us with a Medicare equivalent with its same price smash-downs. While the Medicare and other insurance care costs have gone up a great deal, the costs of providing services in a doctor's office have risen much faster than Medicare payments to providers in the last 8 years. Medicare reimbursement upgrades have been way, way below our rate of base cost increases for office overhead. We have lost at least 25% of doctors' take home that used to come from Medicare. We are so close to a zero profit margin on Medicare payments right now, I am not sure we wouldn't be better off to ditch Medicare, downsize, and serve only private patients.
    The claims that fraud, abuse, and optimized care can pay for a major portion of this seem greatly exaggerated. Taxes will have to be raised. The effort to lower costs needs to involve a highly complex, interactive, artificial-intelligience, real time, highly standardized nationwide computer system. Smart/artificial intelligence data sharing is critical. Tort reform will help a little.

    June 15, 2009 at 11:24 am |
  76. destine1

    Socialized goods and services in a capitalist society will not work because of the very foundation of capitalism: the unsatiable thirst for money (greed). We like to sugarcoat it and call it competition, motivation, drive, etc., but the end goal is to make more money. By constrast, socialism (socialized goods and services) seeks an idealistic goal: to better serve society without consideration for personal gain (greed). If we force socialism on capitalism, what we end up with is mediocrity (goods and services that meet the bare minimum requirements), which actually costs more in the long run. If ever humans can find a balance between self-gratification and societal well being, this world would truly be a better place.

    June 15, 2009 at 11:16 am |
  77. Dave

    Healthcare is a limited resource. You can't go in to a BMW dealership and buy a car expecting to pay Kia prices. If you ration healthcare then the quality of healthcare decreases. Look at Canada guys!!! If their system is so great why do a lot of them come to the US for care. Also look at other public vs private entities like the USPS vs FedEx; private school vs public school; and the best one the Dept of Motor Vehicles.

    June 15, 2009 at 11:12 am |
  78. CSchoot

    The only people who I see talking about "Socialized medicine" don't seem to know anything about the plan. Including Mr. Ron Paul.

    Socialized medicine, would leave no choices for health care, and would keep Dr. s on Government payroll. That is how these other countries that everyone gives as examples work. I see nothing like that in the plan, so there is no comparison. It will still be a fee market system, just with an added options for those who can not afford anything. Better to have to maybe wait a day or two for treatment, rather than receive none at all.

    Nope nothing like HMO, try reading about it. Personally, with all the fear of socialized medicine, I am glad that it is not part of the plan, to bad no one appears to have gotten that part yet.

    June 15, 2009 at 11:12 am |
  79. Bob

    I think a form of "socialized" medicine is going to be mandatory. It certainly will not be "all things to all people". But the shear increase in population and those needing some form of treatment will mandate the change.

    Some areas of current coverage (esp any "non-routine" procedure) will probably suffer, but the "normal/routine" procedures that would benefit the larger group of Americans would improve ( or at least be made available). Doctors/hospitals could still charge independently for those people who can afford it NOW and fell compelled to avoid any mandatory "wait".

    There are many who can not afford the current costs for even relatively "mundane" ailments, so they simply don't get the care that is "possible" and available. That eventually leads to a loss in the quality of life, and in certain cases, premature death ( heart issues esp related to untreated HBP come to mind as a prime example).

    June 15, 2009 at 11:08 am |
  80. Pete

    Another politician in the pocket of big business. Funny, socialized medicine doesn't work. For whom does it not work? THe insurance companies that are racking in billions overcharging us and our companies that provide health care as a benefit? Or perhaps the bean counter that is making health care decisions for us and our doctors?

    Is the United States a third world nation now? I mean, have we fallen so far behind the rest of the world that they can all provide health care for their citizens but we can't?

    Funny, %25 of our national budget goes to Defense of our nation. So, just in case someone tries to invade us, are people are protected. Yet, if a hurricane, or Cancer threatens our people, we are S.O.L. Wow, to be honest, I would prefer that the %25 of my pay check I pay to defense go to Health care.

    We are gradually becoming a joke for the rest of the world. THe only thing that is "socialized" about our nation is its support of big business. Military contracts are okay but the healt of our nation is not. Who are we protecting? Whatever happened to the good of the commons?

    June 15, 2009 at 11:05 am |
  81. Steve

    Please! How can we continue saying that running health care like we do a business is going to drive down costs? And what about the health insurance companies? Do they just simply lower rates and keep people with health problems covered – NOT! Without government intervention we will continue to have the corruption that ensues with treating health like a commodity. People's lives are at stake. This isn't an automobile.

    June 15, 2009 at 10:57 am |
  82. Chris

    Ron should go to Florida, hold a big campaign rally, and shout out loud, "I'm a Republican and I want to cut this horrible evil in our economy called medicare." Please do that for us Ron. Please?

    June 15, 2009 at 10:57 am |
  83. Pat

    Paul is absolutely correct, especially regarding the outrageous costs associated with litigation. It absolutely amazing to me that Obama has NOT mentioned this when he talks about his healthcare "reform."

    When Paul says we’ve had corporate medicine now for about 30 years, which is managed medicine by the government and it’s been a total disaster - he's also correct.

    He's talking about Medicare, because patient care is already based on Medicare fee schedules for virtually ALL procedures, hospital stays, and physician office visits - whether the patient is on Medicare or not.

    The HMOs apply these fee schedules to "capitate" health care providers by paying them a base amount for each diagnosis, regardless of whether the patient requires less or more care within that diagnosis.

    In addition, providers must absorb the cost for the uninsured, a large segment of whom are here illegally, who receive care through emergency rooms (because it's against the law to deny care to anyone who comes to the emergency room, whether they can pay or not). I don't see that Obama addresses that issue, either.

    I agree that we need basic health care coverage for all, especially good prenatal care. But there MUST be an incentive for the public to utilize these services responsibly, which will never happen if it's "free" - which it will NEVER be, anyway, not even under a "public" plan!

    A lot more open discussion is required on revamping our health care system - NOT an arbitrary date set by a president, by which moment he wants a health care plan on his desk!

    June 15, 2009 at 10:53 am |
  84. WB

    Save us all if the gov't decides to get involved. My mother had an HMO for years, and the cost dictated what treatement she would get and when she could see a doctor. Sometimes, she would have to wait six months or longer to see a specialist.

    When she retired, she wound up on a different insurance plan and her new doctor discovered that she'd been diagnosed with Congestive Heart Failure almost ten years earlier, but never treated because of the other problems she had.

    I've heard that the president thinks we use too much health care. That sounds an awful lot like how an HMO thinks – and that HMO killed my mother.

    No health care is better than health care that "appears" to take care of you, which is all that socializing medicine will do.

    June 15, 2009 at 10:21 am |
  85. Tony Deland

    Despite our corporate health care system we spend more on health care than any other 'developed' nation, and have no superiority of care quality. We need to provide equal care quality to all people, perhaps if you want extra you could then pay for it; just to cling to some of the market value of health.

    June 15, 2009 at 10:00 am |