ObamaCare is NOT Reform

Let’s get one thing straight. The ONLY people who are anti-reform are the mind-numbed lemmings who bark “government run health care!” when the discussion of “reform” comes up. It doesn’t seem to matter that the ObamaCare Scheme is shaping up to be a massive giveaway to Unions and Trial Lawyers. It doesn’t seem to matter that the words “government competition” are as much an oxymoron as “government intelligence”. It doesn’t seem to matter to so-called Progressives that 67% of the uninsured are wealthy, lazy or non-citizens. It doesnt seem to matter that the CBO has scored the emerging plans with 54 million uninsured by 2019. ObamaCare is not about making sure everyone is covered. There is a lot of blogging going around with ms.information about what liberal radicals are trying to pass. I have never made posting a personal vendetta and I am not about to start. She knows who she is. So, I am going to list  three REAL needs in Health Care Reform, of which there is bipartisan agreement. None of these elements requires “government competition”. In fact, none of them are in the ObamaCare Scheme.

1. Financial barriers should not stand between Americans and preventive or acute care before it turns into a serious illness.

2. Having received medical treatment, no American family should be left unable to pay routine living expenses, or lose their home.

3. The future growth in national health spending should be constrained below the 40% of GDP predicted by mid-century.

The only way you are going to accomplish ANY of those goals, is to remove government from being involved in health care completely.

Financial barriers: Today, those financial barriers don’t exist. People are not GOING WITHOUT their preventive or acute care in America. The problem is, the burden is creating an imbalance on the costs for the rest of us. But get government involved and you’ll become quite familiar with two terms: “rationing” and “cost-cutting”. There are ways to get the free market to accept more of those burdens.

Did you ever stop to think about THAT? What these ObamaCare nutters are actually proposing is cover for companies who don’t want to cover the uninsured, or know they don’t have to bother.

2. No financial destruction. Well, since 2/3 of those who lost their homes due to health costs had insurance ANYWAY, perhaps a bankruptcy protection law is needed. Something like what protected OJ in Florida? Make it nationwide.

3. Constrain future growth in spending. Its stupid that this has to even be discussed. More than that, its insulting that a Government Option is being touted as a way to make that happen. It doesn’t. All they are really proposing is putting everyone on medicare. (you can tell this by the really classy ways they insult senior citizens protesting. “hey, you’ve got medicare! you’re just being selfish! Why don’t you just shut up!”)

The aging of the population means an absolute and real fivefold increase in long-term care spending by the year 2020. Note that half of all long-term spending comes from Medicaid. Also note that one-fifth of all present state spending is for Medicaid. If you multiply 20 percent times 5, you come up with 100 percent for Medicaid for state budgets. This means that the Medicaid program and long-term spending alone could bankrupt every single state government within a generation.

Finally and again, a list of common sense HEALTH CARE REFORM proposals that do not involve MORE GOVERNMENT.

1. Make your health care individual and portable. Did you know that there is a law in EVERY STATE in the country that says a company cannot buy individual personal portable health insurance for their employees? There’s already laws mandating you have to be part of a group plan. But when you leave the group, you no longer have the health insurance. Insurance that travels with you through the labor market would make sure millions more would keep their health insurance.

2. If you get insurance through your employer, its pre-tax dollars. If you get insurance on your own, you have to pay for it with after tax dollars. That can double the price of insurance for a middle income family. People who buy their own insurance should get the same benefit. Better yet, your employer can give up its health insurance costs and pay you a higher wage, and you can go out and shop for yourself! That is another way to drive down costs. The free market works every time.

3. This is key: We pay too much in health care because everyone has perverse incentives. We’re not careful about what we buy and where we buy it. The doctors have perverse incentives to over provide and they have no incentives to cut costs either. The insurance companies have incentives to manage their costs, but the only way to do that is with something crude: like managed care (i.e. telling people what they can and cant have). So…

Wherever patients are controlling the money and spending their own money, prices are going down. Cosmetic surgery and lasik procedures? Those procedures cost less each year. There is no insurance in those areas. Over the last decade, there’s been a HUGE increase in the number of procedures done, all kinds of technological devices created, all the things we are TOLD increases cost everywhere else. But in these fields, it reduces cost.

There’s a health care proof. If you can shop for a lower price, someone will offer it.  If you dont care what it costs and you go to any doctor to get it, then you know why you’re paying more! Walk in clinics, those clinics in shopping malls, their prices are posted, they operate outside the insurance system, their prices are low, their records are electronic, their service is good. Thats because a patient walks in and is paying for the procedure themselves!

4. I want to mention the famous canard of Medicare spending 3 to 4% in operating costs, whereas your insurance company spends 25 to 30%. When anyone bounces that lie around, its because they are counting the costs of the insurer collecting premiums and selling their policies, but they arent including the costs the government spends collecting taxes. The social cost of taxation is 25 cents on the dollar, before they ever do a thing for you. Not only that but doctors spend a vastly inordinate amount of time completing and complying with complex Medicare paperwork, costs not attributed to Medicare but costs all the same. MEDICARE COSTS MORE. GOVERNMENT ALWAYS DOES.

That is not to say that operating costs arent too high. They are. We are running too many bills through third parties. Individuals should be handling the small bills on their own and then we wouldnt have nearly the administrative costs.

5. A health savings account. Go from a $500 deductible to a, say, $2000 deductible. Lower rates right there. Then you, or your employer, puts $2000 in a health savings account. When you start buying health care, the money comes out. You dont spend it, you keep it. The next $500 is out of pocket, and everything above that is covered.

You dont want people not to go the doctor because they dont have the money saved up, so we have to get on the bandwagon and start up a national responsibility movement. Everyone has to start saving money in an account. Make it a social responsibility, like recycling. Am I speaking “Progressive” now? Sorry.

6. One more thing a friend told me the other day. He has a buddy who just came back from Iraq. He’s done triage on soldiers in the battlefield. Dressed wounds, made splints, saw buddies die. This medic cant perform medicine, cant get a license, cant offer his services even if all I needed was a bandaid. They cant treat low income people who need the most help.

About Terry Crowley