Tuesday, July 6, 2010

COMING TO AMERICA: ANOTHER EUROPEAN HEALTH FAILURE

It has been said so wisely that those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. Similarly, those who cannot learn from others' mistakes are condemned to repeat those mistakes. In the case of health reform it is painfully obvious that the Obama administration and its Democrat followers in Congress have not learned anything from Europe's long history of socialized health care mistakes. Germany provides the latest example. The country still has private insurance providers, but their premiums are set almost entirely by the government, much like they will be under Obamacare:

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition backed higher health-insurance premiums, a move some critics from her own party said will fail to curb rising health-care costs and might undermine the German economic recovery. Coalition leaders meeting in Berlin today agreed to raise health premiums to 15.5 percent of gross pay from 14.9 percent, Health Minister Philipp Roesler said. Employers will contribute 7.3 percent with 8.2 percent paid by employees. “We’re including everybody, workers, employers and taxpayers,” Roesler said in a statement distributed to reporters in Berlin. The measure is part of an overhaul of health care intended to plug an 11-billion euro ($13.8 billion) deficit in the public health-insurance system in 2011. It follows Cabinet agreement on June 29 to cuts in spending on drugs to reduce soaring costs to public health-insurance funds. Only 3.5 billion euros of the total shortfall next year will be covered by savings in administrative costs at hospitals, dental practices, through vaccinations and drug prescriptions, a Health Ministry document shows.

In other words, under the heavy regulatory hand of the government, Germans will be paying more for less health care. If America does not reverse course on health reform, the German mistake will be ours to repeat.

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