"If at age 20 you are a conservative then you have no heart. If at age 30 you are a liberal then you have no brains."
Sir Winston Churchill

Obama obviously knows very little about economics, specifically that "Society stagnates when independent productive achievers begin to be socially demonized and even punished for their accomplishments." This dilemma fogs Obama's reality. To him, accepting this truth is a "false choice", his answer to things he doesn't understand. And by the way... where is John Galt?

Saturday, January 16, 2010

ObamaCare Doubts...

ObamaCare... I have some reservations about it since Obama has stated he will cut medicare by $500 billion and payments to hospitals by $200 billion. I've paid my share, in fact double my share since I am self-employed. I believe the healthcare industry should be regulated somewhat, but not taken over. I'm speaking as a member and user of healthcare. Look at what happened when the airlines were deregulated (a few large companies bought the smaller ones, prices went up and services went down); when the cable industry was deregulated large suppliers bought up smaller ones, and the prices went up...not at all what we were assured.

The gov't. (democrats, by the way) promised us that deregulation would cause more competition and lower prices, by increasing efficiencies and eliminating waste. The healthcare industry is pseudo-deregulated, and look at what has happened? Obama's plan will work exactly like the failed deregulations mentioned, except it will happen in a totally different way.

Just as the larger companies in a deregulated industry will buy up the competition while raising prices and cutting services (in order to pay for the companies they buy), Obama's gov't plan will also eliminate the competition. Obama believers want desperately to believe that what he says will really happen, so they move blindly into the same trap that Carter and Kennedy set for them by deregulating the airlines. The believers think that since Obamacare appears to be "regulation", adopting it will lower prices and increase services because the gov't. will set the prices and approve all necessary services. The believers expect to see different results from those that Carter caused in the name of deregulation. Doesn't history teach us anything? Total regulation doesn't work nor does total deregulation. Obama's gov't. "option" will certainly eliminate the competition, rather quickly at that. If I own a business that pays for healthcare for my employees, I will rehire them all as "contractors" and will not have to pay Obama's "employer tax". My contract employee's will then buy the "gov't. option" healthcare insurance. Ex-employee's of those destroyed insurance companies will then be supported with our taxes... just another way to transfer resources from the private to the government sector. The "lucky" ones will get jobs working for the gov't. option while the vast majority will end up in unemployment lines. There can be no doubt that Obamacare will fail, either now or shortly after passing.... by the way, liberals have all the votes they need to pass it... what are they waiting for? It's a smoke screen while they figure out how to appease the independents. No more than that.

Now what can the gov't. do to the help with our healthcare "crisis". For one thing, they could take over the Cobra benefit which allows employees who lose their jobs to buy "Cobra insurance" for up to 18 months. Firstly, the gov't. is primarily responsible for job loss in this country... they should step up and pay 90% of the cost of cobra. How can you expect the unemployed person, with no money coming in, to pay the extremely high cost of Cobra? It also is a failed plan. After the 18 months, employees should be transferred to the medicaid program, without insisting that they dispose of all their assets first. Secondly, gov't. can force insurance companies to take any and all legal applicants... that's what insurance is supposed to be about, isn't it.? And no pre-existing conditions. The gov't. could also recommend a range of fees, like they do for medicare based on the regional cost of living. Insurer's would step all over themselves trying to outdo each other with more reasonable fee schedules. As far as hospitals, they should utilize one fee schedule instead of their pie-in-the-sky fees that no one with insurance even comes close to paying. Let them eliminate those phony fee schedules, and stick to one, like the medicare fee schedule. As for doctors, the easiest way to control costs is to ban together in larger groups and be paid a salary by those groups based on results. Nurse practitioners could be the initial contact for patients, as much of what is done in doctor's offices is routine... well exams, colds, flu, minor injuries. Moreover, since no one could be denied insurance, there would be no need to hide a patient's records on a local computer... a national site set up by a contractor like IBM, could store all types of data which would be instantly accessible to hospitals and other practitioners. We already have laws controlling how this can be done. As far as the uninsured, they are not all alike. Many younger people forgo insurance for more income because they are healthy. They don't want to pay for it, but Obamacare will force them to buy it. Illegals could be covered by a reimbursement plan negotiated with affected countries... we do the work, they reimburse us for it. Not hard to do on a national level. It could be modeled after the trip insurance travelers sometimes purchase. It might be more acceptable for some uninsured to be provided with a "pay as needed option", which only charges their account when they actually use services, not every month like your electric bill.

How about medicine, drugs? Many drugs are now sold for $4 or less. Rather than forcing the pharmaceutical industry to stop expensive research developing new and better drugs, the gov't could use the medicare part D drug benefit as a template to control the cost to patients. A fee could be negotiated for a drug (as is done with medicaid now), and to keep the patient cost reasonable the gov't. could underwrite part of the cost for the more expensive medicines, which would then expire for a drug within 5-7 yrs., not the 12 yrs. that the Obama administration recently "negotiated" (so that the pharma industry would support Obamacare)... isn't that bribery? Another thing the gov't. could do to help pharma recover costs would be to ban all media advertising that is aimed at "educating" patients to ask for expensive drugs. Doctors don't need that kind of pressure from pharma or patients.

These thoughts are some ideas to keep the government from starting their own "insurance company". It's ok if the gov't. would like to return some of our taxes to us, helping to pay our medical expenses.... but, that's not right with liberals... transfering the government's money (gee, I thought it was our money) to private entities is backward to them. Oh, and if you can't tell the liberals from the conservatives; liberals read science fiction novels and pretend to know what "green" means while conservatives read historical novels and have always lived in a green world.

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