The debate should have ended right there. But Larry had two more guests…
First, there was President Obama’s former physician, Dr. David Scheiner, who loves Medicare and continues to lose patients due to private insurance companies interfering with health choices. Unfortunately, he draws the wrong conclusions; instead of calling for the free market to dissolve government-mandated healthcare monopolies and giving patients true freedom of choice, he pushes for a single payer system where everything is run by the government.
Next came Dr. Nancy H. Nielsen, the president of the American Medical Association, an organization that works to keep healthcare prices artificially high by limiting and restricting non-physician competition. Dr. Nielsen says that she wants Americans to “share the risk”; in other words, she is in favor of forcing a large number of individuals to hand over their hard earned money for the benefit of people they don’t even know.
Why don’t these two doctors go out there and personally help unfortunate individuals who are “suffering in this country” through no fault of their own? Instead of limiting healthcare competition and trying to influence what happens with other people’s money, couldn’t Dr. Nielsen start a private charity that raises funds from willing contributors and helps the poor obtain the medical care they need? And couldn’t Dr. Scheiner volunteer his services to treat uninsured patients at no cost in his spare time, and motivate other doctors to do the same?
Wouldn’t such individualized efforts, which we can all engage in if we so choose out of our own volition, have a much more positive effect on the country than trying to push incremental socialism and forced redistribution of wealth on the rest of us?
Show: Larry King Live
Larry King: Congressman Paul, did the president change your mind in anyway tonight?
Ron Paul: No, not quite. He firmed up my belief that there is no way this will be paid for. At the end of his speech he said, “We’re not going to have one dollar of debt coming from this.” But there has never been a medical program by government that wasn’t 2 or 3 times more expensive than they claimed it would be. So he said it was a little under a trillion. I predict when this is all over it will cost 2 or 3 trillion dollars, and believe me – he said of course he wasn’t going to take any money out of Medicare. Well he couldn’t, it’s practically broke itself. I mean all these government programs are essentially bankrupt. So I don’t see any practical outcome from all these proposals. This is just going to move the bankruptcy of this country rapidly along.
Larry King: Dr. Scheiner, you’re a strong proponent of a national health program involving the government. Do you think you’re going to get it?
David Scheiner: I think it’s still possible, but I think physicians are going to have to organize to get it. 400 billion dollars a year spent on private health insurance administration. Under his program this will probably increase. It is going to be a third of every dollar spent in healthcare. The other thing he dismissed single payer very quickly saying “If we shifted to single payer this will disrupt healthcare.” When a patient who’s 64 and is on private health insurance turns 65, there is no disruption in healthcare. Private healthcare interferes with the practice of medicine constantly. I had an example in my office today which was a disaster. Medicare never interferes. The health lobby has spent a quarter of a billion dollars in lobbying over the past 6 months. And I think they’re getting their money’s worth if you watch the Republicans tonight. I’m just ashamed.
Larry King: Dr. Nielsen, where do you stand in all of this?
Nancy H. Nielsen: Well, we think he set the stage for significant healthcare reform and we think it’s time to seize the opportunity. People are suffering in this country. It would be fine if people didn’t need insurance and we went back to the old way where patients just paid their doctor. But that doesn’t work when your daughter gets leukemia. We really have to share the risk and so he set the stage. We’re hoping that people of good will on both sides of the aisle will really get down to work and recognize that we need to get something done. Come together, compromise, and get some meaningful reform.
Larry King: Are you saying that the AMA generally approves basically of his ideas?
Nancy H. Nielsen: Well, if you think about it, Larry, what he did is he set out 3 major goals. One of them was to stabilize those who have insurance right now. That’s a laudable goal. He said the second goal was to provide affordable healthcare, health insurance for those who don’t have it. There aren’t many people who would disagree with that. And the third was to stem the rising healthcare cost. Again, as a country we have to do that. But if you remember the one area where he got this laughter in the […] that got a reaction.
Larry King: Thank you all very much, we’re out of time but we’ll have lot more on this tomorrow. We’ll hope to have all of them back.