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Steyn On Pelosi and Dowd, Meg Whitman Part 2, and the Rush To Rationing, Cont.

Friday, May 15, 2009  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

The “100 Days of Obama Tour” takes a break for the weekend, which I am spending in Ohio grading ConLaw finals. On to Philly and Atlanta next week. Four items of interest for your weekend reading:

Mark Steyn discusses Nancy Pelosi’s pretzel position on waterboarding and Maureen Dowd’s epic inanity;

Thomas Ricks on the change of command in Afghanistan and Congressional hypocrisy on waterboarding;

part 2 of my conversation with former eBay CEO Meg Whitman on her campaign to succeed Arnold as head of the Golden State; and

this interesting set of questions from a reader in England on the rush to Obama/Pelosi/Reid rationing:

There are two aspects of Single payer as applies to the USA that have not been much discussed and I am curious as to how they will be handled:

1. No national scheme I know of has – or could permit the kind of litigation awards that exist in the USA. No physician in a national system could possibly afford the insurance premiums standard in the USA to cover malpractice suits. Trial attorneys are a big backer of the Democrat party. How is this one going to reconcile?

2. If physicians earn less as they undoubtedly will under a national health scheme, there will be fewer of them. One need only look to shortages of physicians in states with open legal invitations to sue doctors, especially in rural areas, to see the truth in this. This is clearly the case in the UK where the shortage is partially compensated by physicians from developing countries who were ex colonies.

Trial lawyers aren’t the only Democratic Party constituency that may oppose the final plan when it is unveiled. Unions too have long enjoyed the tax-free benefits of superb health care. That benefit won’t long survive the enormous costs of the new system, and employers generally will be quick to shift the costs of their employees’ health care onto the “government option,” which will leave long-time union members wondering why their party deserted them for a few headlines and the passing praise of academics and editorial writers.

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