Joe Biden's Utopia is a World with Free Colonscopies

Via the Washington Examiner comes a report that helps explain why the country is already broke and going broker. The vice-president 

“Everyone knows, everyone in this room knows that President Obama has increased the benefits available to people on Medicare by the action he took,” Biden said. “You are now able to go get a wellness exam, and guys, if you conclude you need a colonoscopy because of the feeling you had or you need a breast health examination, you don’t have to pay a co-pay for that.”

More here.

You got that? Feelings first when it comes to medical procedures. And regardless of your ability to pay, taxpayers will cover the procedure.

I think people should be able to order up whatever medical procedures they want to, as long as they're willing to pay for them. I think that we should reduce barriers to entry for health care providers so that colonscopies, breast exams, blood tests, you name it are cheaper and easier to get, with or without a doctor's recommendation or prescription or whatever.

But when you start promising free tests based on a patient's "feeling," that way national bankruptcy lies.

Biden's pandering to Medicare beneficiaries and retirees is arguably his greatest asset to the Obama campaign/administration. As Veronique de Rugy and I noted in our story in the August-September issue of Reason, "Generational Warfare," Biden rarely misses a chance to alternately scare seniors that Republicans will spike their retirement benefits and offer them even more free or reduced-price money.

Hat Tip: Commenter Fish.

Make no mistake about it: Medicare is one of the very biggest reasons why the government is broke and getting broker. Between 1975 and 2011, the number of Medicare enrolles doubled and the cost per enrolled quintupled in real dollars, to over $11,000. The scariest part? We ain't seen nothing yet, as the chart to the right suggests.

Bonus video: Joe Biden, Real Man of Political Genius.

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  • wareagle||

    anytime "you don't have a co-pay for that", the system gets a little more messed up. Socialized medicine works, to the extent it does, by necessarily saying no. No to certain meds, to certain treatments, to certain surgeries. Seniors are not getting hip replacements and 80-year olds who get cancer are not put on chemo. Even those places know that money is not endless.

  • ||

    Even in totally socialist systems, they expect people to pay a nominal fee.

    Some seniors will go to the doctor to get a colonoscopy just to get the fuck out of the house and have someone to talk to.

    My aging mother would go to the hospital to take the free CAT scan tour over and over.
    (In canada, they have those. It's a big deal when the local hospital gets a cat scan machine).

  • The Craig||

    YES! And we all know plenty of old people who only talk about their list of ailments and the weather. Letting them go for free only encourages them to have their prostate checked on a weekly basis.

  • Brandybuck||

    Even a tiny nominal co-pay (like the $15 my HMO charges) is enough to cut back on abuse of the system. The $15 encourages me to get more checkups but discourages me form wasting my physician's time every time I have a "feeling".

  • The Late P Brooks||

    But when you start promising free tests based on a patient's "feeling," that way national bankruptcy lies.

    That's crazy talk! Everybody knows an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

    The more you spend, the more you save!

  • Rich||

    "you don’t have to pay a co-pay for that.”

    That co-pay -- you didn't pay that.

  • ||

    “You are now able to go get a wellness exam, and guys, if you conclude you need a colonoscopy because of the feeling you had or you need a breast health examination, you don’t have to pay a co-pay for that.”

    OMG, YEs! They have freed us all from the horror of having to pay $20 to get a colonoscopy or a breast exam! THANK YOU OBAMA, I was in hell suffering and starving because of thsoe $20 co-pays.

  • Rich||

    Hazel, you obviously have *no idea* what having one's nails done costs these days!

  • mad libertarian guy||

    It was the great colonoscopy or cat food dilemma.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Biden's pandering to Medicare beneficiaries and retirees is arguably his greatest asset to the Obama

    "Mister President, we cannot allow a pander gap!"

  • ||

    +1

    That's more like what Romney's pollsters are telling him, though.

  • The Craig||

    Are we sure Tony isn't Joe Biden?

    Tony afterall, cannot see the difference between letting seniors pay for the own colonoscopy and shooting them in the head.

  • Zombie Jimbo||

    Difference between a government medicine colonoscopy and getting shot in the head is about 2 1/2 to 3 ft.

  • ||

    Or the difference between asking senior to pay a $20 co-pay for a colonoscopy and shooting them in the head.

    Or the difference between expecting women to pay $10/month out of pocket for bith control pills and outlawing birth control.

  • Scooby||

    Government has always been trying to get up our asses- now they'll do it for free!

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    BABY BOOMERS MUST LIVE FOREVER!!!! ENSLAVE ALL DOCTORS! GIVE US ALL MONEY!

  • ||

    Medicare Costs Expected to Double Quadruple by 2040

    Fixed that ideographic for you.

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