Thursday, September 3, 2009

Fehrenbach repeats teabagger and secessionist rants as analysis

In T.R. Fehrenbach’s Sunday article, “The core questions might make you sick”, he cites three core questions and claims to answer them. Unfortunately Mr. Fehrenbach, who claims to be a historian, seems to be using teabagger propaganda as source material.

On the question of cost he states that any extension of benefits will be enormously expensive. If we assumed that those not presently covered by insurance were also getting absolutely no unpaid care he would be correct, but that’s not the case. Hospitals and doctors frequently provide services for which they aren’t compensated and therefore charge everyone else more to make up the shortfall.

On the question of benefits Mr. Fehrenbach states “Every country with cradle to grave coverage dilutes or rations care” and then goes on to say that “In Sweden, top specialists are usually available only to the political class or famous people.” How is that different than in the U.S. except you should add “the wealthy” to those who have the luxury to seek out the finest care?

Finally like the teabaggers and secessionists I’ve met at demonstrations Mr. Fehrenbach claims “Government can’t manage Medicare now – why trust it with greater responsibility?” What other entity in the U.S. spends health care dollars more efficiently than Medicare which achieves 95% while private insurance companies do no better than 70 – 80 %?

If Mr. Fehrenbach wants to lay claim to being a historian he’d do well to choose his sources more carefully.

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