The Spectacle Blog

Insurance Is Not Access

By on 7.1.11 | 11:53AM

In my article for the American Spectator yesterday, I mentioned two New York Times articles, one which exposed the Obama administration's "mystery shopper" scheme regarding doctor's appointments and another when the administration deep-sixed the plan following outcry by doctors and others.

In the second article, the Times stumbled upon another fact -- one which I doubt they actually understand the implications of -- when they reported that "Having coverage is not the same as having ready access to care." This is true in the sense in which they meant it, namely that just because you have insurance (or medical welfare like Medicaid) doesn't mean you can easily get to see a doctor.

But it's also true in the converse: Not having coverage is not the same as not having ready access to care. Indeed, self-insured Americans (probably a majority of the "uninsured", though such data is all but impossible to find) who simply pay their medical bills directly have excellent access to health care. Have you ever heard of a doctor turning down a patient whom they knew would not only pay, but likely pay quickly? Having insurance can easily be a hindrance to getting quick access to health care these days.

No matter which way you approach it, Obamacare's claimed benefit of increasing health care access by putting the nation on a health care form of welfare is belied by what's happening in the real world.

President Obama, like Ted Kennedy and Jimmy Carter, basically wants "Medicare for all." But the actions of private doctors make plain that the closer we get to that progressive utopia, the more people we will have without access to decent health care. Canada, England, and even Massachusetts are proving that to us every day, yet liberals seem intent on driving our nation's health care system into the brick wall of socialism.

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