Health Care Legislation: The Future of Health Care in America

March 28, 2010

(This is a reprint of an article I posted at http://www.DumpDC.com)

You didn’t really think that I could resist weighing in on this health care debacle, did you? With my 35-plus year background in the insurance business, I think I can bring some unique perspective to the table.

I don’t know for sure what is in the bill. But from what I read all over the Internet, there are a few features that need early discussion.

First, this bill has a name already. But, on the day that President Obama signed the bill, Vice President Joe Biden whispered in Obama’s ear that this was a “Big F**king Deal,” which was picked up by microphones and broadcast around the world. So, from now on, I will refer to this bill as the BFD.

One bound copy of the BFD

The agenda hidden in plain sight

The BFD is not about providing health insurance coverage for the 32-40 million ESTIMATED Americans without health insurance. It’s about a government takeover of a giant portion of this nation’s economy, and fascism.

How do I know for sure?

Well, let’s use the low end of the estimates, 32 million. I’m only using that because the government always lies, and the true number is probably a lot lower. And let’s say that the annual premium for the best health insurance policy you can buy is $5,000 per year per person regardless of age. Then do the math. 32 million uninsured people times a $5,000 annual premium per person is only $160 Billion.

Congress and President Obama could have bought every uninsured person in America a deluxe insurance plan for only $160 Billion. But that’s not what they did.

This bill is estimated to cost over 900 Billion dollars…and they ALWAYS underestimate on the low side.

So, as I said, this ain’t about insuring the uninsured.

But it IS about demographics.

Demographics and Two Major Players

The health care providers didn’t fight this bill. That’s because right now there are a lot of uninsured people that use the hospital Emergency Room as a free clinic. But under the BFD, all of those people will either pay for coverage, or the Federal Government will pay for their coverage. The days of hospitals providing free health care to the poor and indigent will be gone. The health care providers see the tidal wave of health care benefit money that will hit their shores. All they have to do is soak it up.

The health insurance industry didn’t fight this bill, either. That’s because they see 32 million people (questionable estimate) that aren’t paying premiums that will begin buying insurance. And many of those people will get the DC crowd to pay their premiums for them through “low income” subsidies. In addition, the health insurance companies already have the trained staff to help DC roll out this health care law and administer it for the DC bureaucrats. More money for the insurers.

What pact did the big insurance companies make with the devil?

The insurance industry has not fought this BFD. They have not used their club in the closet. So, the logical conclusion is that the insurance industry has made a yet-to-be-discovered pact with the DC Devils to enrich themselves at the public’s expense.

All of the insurance companies domiciled in the USA have investment portfolios. Part of their money is always invested in government securities. That means bonds and other debt instruments. These can be Federal, State or even municipal bonds. But they all hold a large percentage of US securities.

Their bond holdings are sufficiently large that if they suddenly sold even a small portion of the bonds, it would collapse the entire bond market. And with the volatility of the dollar, and the mind-boggling Federal debt that is constantly growing, the value of all government bonds is dropping like a stone.

The insurance companies know this. They already know that they could cause the bond market to meltdown any day that they began selling off government securities. The US Federal government would finally be proven to be bankrupt. So, in essence, they have created a government interference insurance policy for themselves that protects them from Washington’s meddling in their business. It’s the equivalent of the old “club in the closet”…the weapon you bring out when it’s needed. And NOTHING prevents them from threatening DC with that club.

One of the features of the BFD is that pre-existing conditions will no longer be considered in underwriting a health insurance policy. In practice, this will mean that I could wait until my doctor diagnoses me with terminal cancer before I buy an insurance policy. Then, I pay my copays and stick it to the insurance company.

Another feature is that there will be no lifetime cap on benefits. Underwriting and actuarial considerations are worthless when an insurance company cannot calculate the limits of their loss exposures. Insurance ceases to be insurance…a transfer of risk…when there ceases to be any risk. Under the BFD, health insurance becomes a healthcare welfare system.

No insurance company would ever agree to this…unless underwriting and actuarial decisions don’t matter anymore. That would only occur if there was some entity above the insurance company that was going to pay all the benefits. Guess who?

Health Care Rationing is Inevitable

Here’s the way for Washington to screw up any economic activity:

1. Tax it
2. regulate supply and demand
3. impose price controls
4. impose wage controls
5. impose limits on profits, or “windfall profits” taxes

The DC bunch is going to do this with health care. The health care industry will naturally shrink in size as many people realize that it makes no economic sense for them to continue in this path.

As the BFD unfolds, and the regulations start to affect doctors, the number of doctors will diminish. Some will retire early, some will switch to other careers, premed students will switch majors, and most doctors will just sing “Nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen.”

Some doctors will opt out of the government benefits system and stop treating anyone covered by the BFD. But that brings up another possible scenario. If the number of participating doctors drops, and rationing inevitably begins, I can see Washington stepping in and forcing doctors to treat BFD patients. Think about it. Doctors are licensed in every state. Congress could easily pass a new law that mandates all licensed doctors to accept BFD patients and BFD benefits…or no license for the doctor. What’s to stop Congress from doing this? Nothing.

But some medical professionals will adapt and prosper.

Doctors are going to watch as their incomes shrink. But some will think of ways to escape the American healthcare system while still practicing medicine.

That means an escape from America.

Canadians have been coming to American doctors and hospitals for decades to escape the rationing in Canada. Now it’s America’s turn to run for the border.

Over the next ten years, thousand of doctors, nurses and other medical professionals will set up shop outside the USA. They will establish clinics and surgical practices “just across the border” with the most modern and advanced medical treatment facilities possible…free from Washington’s crushing burden of regulation.

Expect the offshore medical industry, or commonly called “Medical Tourism” to explode in Mexico, the Caribbean (and Cuba, once Castro dies) and Latin America, in places like Panama and Costa Rica. Read more about Medical Tourism HERE.

For example, the prestigious Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Global Health opened the Hospital Punta Pacifica in Panama City, Panama in 2006. It is the most advanced hospital in Panama and rivals any great American hospital. Medical tourism will be a huge cash cow for this facility as health care falls apart in America.

Big Pharma is Smiling

The pharmaceutical industry has entered in the Promised Land. They will negotiate their pricing with the government, and the government health care will promote and buy their products. All Big Pharma has to do is continue paying bribe money to Congress.

The Swami Predicts…

1. Health care rationing nationwide
2. Price controls on everything related to medical treatment
3. Hundreds of hospitals close their doors
4. Dozens of health insurance companies close their doors
5. Thousands of doctors stop practicing medicine in the US
6. Thousands of doctors and nurses become Federal employees
7. Pharmaceutical companies’ stock value soars
8. Mortality rates in America creep upward due to rationing
9. Hyperinflation must occur as DC monetizes debt with paper money
10. The US economy collapses and America enters a Dark Age

OR…

11. Courageous states of the United States secede and the United States dissolves into the ashbin of history.

Which will YOU choose?

Secession is the Hope for Mankind. Who will be first…and wisest?

DumpDC. Six Letters That Can Change History.

© Copyright 2010, Russell D. Longcore. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit is given.

Advertisements

State Secession: Trying To Beat the World’s Worst Record

November 12, 2009

If you can’t think of reasons that state secession is a better solution for liberty than working within “the system,” consider the record of the Federal Government of the United States.

Sure, you can ultimately lay the blame on all of us, since we are the ones who allow the atrocities of Washington to continue. But for now, let’s look at Washington’s record of achievement over the last 150 years.

War of Northern Aggression – 1860s. The North wages war on a confederation of seceding states who left lawfully. Over 600,000 men died on both sides.

Reconstruction: 1860s-1870s. The North plunders the South.

Fractional reserve banking: counterfeiting by another name. Born in the 1800s, perfected by the Federal Reserve and central banking system of the USA.

Spanish-American War – 1898. “Remember the Maine?” A complete lie told by newspaperman WR Hearst, bought by the public and Washington to go to war.

Federal Reserve: established in 1913. For 96 years, it has mismanaged the economy and counterfeited currency.

IRS and the Income Tax (16th Amendment): 1913. What starts out as a small tax becomes a leviathan. What starts out as a small division of the Treasury becomes the most feared weapon of Washington.

World War 1: 1914 -1918. 117,000 dead Americans, 205,000 wounded. The US had no business in a European family war but President Wilson had other ideas.

Depression I: 1929 – 1940s. The Federal Reserve caused it.

New Deal: 1933-1936 FDR’s massive government jobs program, plundering the wealth of the USA. Fascism by another name.

World War II: 1941-1945. Another European war, we had no dog in this fight. FDR baited the Japs into attacking Pearl Harbor, giving him political cover.

Cold War: The US and the USSR escalate preparations for war to new heights, spending hundreds of billions of dollars on weapons.

Korean War: 1950 -1953. 36,000 Americans dead, 96,000 wounded.

Viet Nam: 1950-1975. 58,000 dead Americans, 303,000 wounded.

Creation of three letter agencies: HEW, HHS, CIA, FDA, FCC, DOA, DOD, EPA, and the list goes on…

New Cabinet bureaucracies: Energy, Education, Homeland Security, etc.

Grenada invasion, 1983. 19 Americans dead, 116 wounded.

Panamanian invasion 1989: 23 Americans dead, maybe 3,000 civilians killed.

Bosnian War: 1992-1995. US sends troops under UN flag, millions of civilians made refugees.

Gulf War 1999: President George HW Bush commits a massive force to Kuwait. 379 Americans die, 776 wounded in a 100-hour war.

Iraq: 2003-present. About 5,000 Americans dead, over 35,000 wounded (that they’ll admit to). That doesn’t count casualties of our mercenaries…I mean contractors.

Afhganistan/Pakistan: 2001-present. About 1,000 Americans dead, over 4,500 wounded. That doesn’t count casualties of our mercenaries…I mean contractors.

TSA: 2001-present: Domestic airline travel done “the government way.”

Let’s not forget…

• Counterfeiting, bailouts, nationalization and massive inflation: Just another way that Washington says “you belong to me.”

• Regulation of every facet of human life: Try to think of a second of your life that is not regulated in some way by Washington. Quick answer: that second does not exist.

• Two party political system: two sides of the same coin, both Washington cheerleaders and sycophants. Both want to spend unconstitutional money.

• Out of control military, bases in 130 nations.

Here is the point to this litany of tyranny. The government of the United States of America has screwed up the entire planet through their actions over the last 150 years. The events of currency collapse and inflation in our not-too-distant future will reverberate throughout every nation on earth.

States of the United States that choose to secede will certainly be affected by the implosion of the Washington government. But, could any new nation ever match the “Hall of Shame” listed above?

New American nations, formed from the seceding United States, would be little pinpoints of light and liberty. If their only guiding principle was to not make the same mistakes that the US government made over the last 150 years, they would be destined for success.

How could they fail?

Copyright © 2009, Russell D. Longcore. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit is given.


Secession and The Berlin Wall

November 9, 2009

I’m writing this article on November 9, 2009, which is the 20th anniversary of the “fall” of the Berlin Wall. What actually happened on this date twenty years ago was that the East German government announced that East Germans and West Germans would be allowed to visit each other freely. Throngs of East Germans climbed onto and crossed the wall. Over the next few weeks, people on both sides of the wall used sledge hammers to knock holes in the wall and topple large sections. Later, demolition crews removed most of the rest of the wall. German reunification was completed on October 2, 1990.

This event was a mind-blowing visual and emotional event worldwide, as we saw TV images of euphoric crowds celebrating, dancing and weeping at the Berlin Wall. Few really believed that the Soviet Union would collapse after only 69 years of existence. The Soviets rivaled the USA in military might, and they were as imperialistic as the Americans, exporting Communism around the globe.

But their Union unraveled, beginning in 1989 with the “glasnost” political reforms of Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev. In 1990, newly-elected Russian President Boris Yeltsin led the Russian Congress to formally declare Russia’s sovereignty over its own territory, and began passing laws to supersede Soviet law. Russia was the largest republic in both territory and population in the Soviet Bloc.

A national referendum was held on March 17, 1991, with the majority of the USSR’s population voting for preservation of the Union in nine out of fifteen republics. But it didn’t matter. After the attempted coup d’etat against Gorbachev in 1991, Yeltsin emerged as the strongman, and Latvia and Estonia declared their independence.

By December of 1991, The Soviet Union had dissolved.

I was in Berlin in December 2003, performing with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Chorus and the Berlin Philharmonic. The Hilton Hotel where we stayed was only a couple blocks away from Checkpoint Charlie, one of the most prominent and widely-known points of passage between East and West Berlin. We walked to Checkpoint Charlie and were surprised to find that, even fourteen years after the Fall, East German buildings still looked gaunt and forbidding.

This little bit of history should give secessionists all over America a boost in morale.

Consider these six points:

1. The largest of the republics regained its sanity and seceded. That should give the Texas Nationalist Movement additional hope and perspective in their quest for a New Texas nation.

2. The bigger they are, the harder they fall. Prior to collapse, the USSR had the second largest economy in the world after the USA. The Soviet economy was a centrally-planned economy based on state ownership of industry and management of every facet of commerce. Washington is repeating the same central planning errors the Soviets could not make work. If the second largest world power in human history can dissolve, so can Number One.

3. Most of the people in the Soviet Union voted to maintain the Union, even though it had been the source of oppression and death for 69 years. That shows you how much suffering people will endure willingly like sheep. That also shows you that the suffering masses desperately need moral leadership.

4. Small republics like Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania and the rest of the 15 republics eventually became sovereign nations once more. They have thrived since. Small American states will also thrive when they become nations once again.

5. The USSR dissolved because the republics rejected national laws that conflicted with local laws. The republics also refused to pay tax revenue to the Moscow government. This caused havoc in Moscow. In the US, 39 American states have enacted sovereignty resolutions that assert their 10th Amendment rights. The American states are on the right path. Now will they do the right thing? (see Cowardice In State Government

6. The greatest complication for the American Federal Government, far greater than any complication that befell the Soviet Union, is that the US Dollar is the world’s reserve currency…the Ruble wasn’t. The nations of the world are forsaking the dollar because of Washington’s criminal counterfeiting ways over the years. Just as creditors can force a corporation into bankruptcy, the nations of the world will force Washington into bankruptcy and eventually the USA will dissolve.

So the fall of the Berlin Wall was much more significant to your future than you ever realized. Don’t miss the valuable lessons here. Just because America doesn’t have a big concrete wall doesn’t mean that we don’t have barriers to liberty. Oppressive government must be summarily rejected, and free people have a duty to either alter or abolish it.

DumpDC. Six Letters That Can Change History.

Copyright © 2009, Russell D. Longcore. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit is given.


The Stockholm Syndrome For States

September 10, 2009

According to Wikipedia, the “Stockholm Syndrome” is a psychological response sometimes seen in abducted hostages, in which the hostage shows signs of loyalty to the hostage-taker, regardless of the danger or risk in which they have been placed. The syndrome is named after a 1973 bank robbery in which the bank robbers held bank employees hostage for six days. In this case, the victims became emotionally attached to their captors, and even defended them after they were freed from their six-day ordeal.

This time, the captor is the Federal Government in Washington, and the 50 states are its captives.

The powers-that-be in Washington are accelerating the destruction of the United States of America. And the state governments stand by idly.

President Obama is proving to be “the new Boss, same as the old Boss.”

• He has not removed troops from Iraq to end our military presence there. Most troops that were removed from Iraq were redeployed to Afghanistan. The war in Afghanistan has been escalated. From that war, the American military has expanded that war into Pakistan. The fighting in Pakistan has a very real possibility of destabilizing the Pakistan/India relationship, which has been a decades-long powder keg.

• The operation of the American Embassy in Iraq, the largest embassy in the history of the world, continues unimpeded. America’s not leaving, folks.

• The American military is presently building new US military bases in Colombia, South America.

• Washington is still working behind the scenes to cause unrest in Iran, and an air strike is still an option. Covert military ops have been happening inside Iran for years.

• Washington has established an African Command for the US military, further expanding American hegemony worldwide.

• Congress is spending money like there is an infinite supply of it. They now own General Motors. They’ve bailed out carmakers, investment banking companies, lenders and brokerages with hundreds of millions of dollars that they don’t have.

• The Cap and Trade legislation, which would be the largest tax increase in the history of the USA, is still alive.

• The Congress wants to pass health care legislation which will change health care in America, and not for the good.

• The Obama Administration is surrounding itself with advisors who are avowed Communists, Socialists, and Marxists.

• The Federal Reserve continues to operate unchecked, with no oversight by anyone whatsoever.

• The Transportation Safety Administration tightly regulates all air travel within the borders of the United States. Piss them off and you don’t fly.

• The manipulation of the American economy by Washington continues. Between Federal Reserve monetary policy and a Congress that never saw a bill it would not fund, unemployment rises. Foreclosures mushroom. Bank failures increase. Bankruptcy is at an all-time high.

I could go on and on, but I think I’ve made my point.

Most Americans SEEM to be unhappy with the way our nation is being run right now. Obama’s approval numbers have slid to a place that only about 50% of those polled approve of his work. And NO ONE trusts Congress.

The tyranny of Washington continues. Washington has long forgotten that the Federal government was invented by the States to serve THEM.

The tail has wagged the dog since Lincoln lived in the White House.

The “State of the Union” means more than a propagandist’s dream on a January evening in Congress. The state of our Union is desperately bad and getting worse.

How much longer will the states allow themselves to be victims of a kidnapping?

How much longer will the states accept the devastation of our way of life that is pouring out of Washington like feces from a sewer pipe?

How much longer will states tolerate being ruled by an unconstitutional military-backed junta that has stolen our nation?

How much longer will states allow their own citizens to be taxed to death by a government no longer accountable to those very citizens?

When will states awaken from their long slumber and once again realize that they are sovereign and independent, and that they have the power to shake off the heavy burden of Federal tyranny?

Will it take hyperinflation to wake up the states? How high will the unemployment rate have to be? How high will the taxes have to get? How many unfunded Federal mandates will have to be imposed? Will a new law about firearm confiscation or regulation of ammunition be enough? What if Washington decides to once again make it illegal for citizens to own gold, and begins to confiscate gold?

Will the states continue to be the indentured servants of the Washington plantation until the day that the plantation collapses? Then, what will the states do? Will they become sovereign once again and assert their freedom, or simply look for another “Massa?”

The Boy Scouts of America have a two-word slogan: “Be Prepared.” Every ten-year-old scout in America knows that he should prepare for both good and bad. The sovereign states of the united States of America would do well to adopt the Boy Scout slogan and start preparing for an uncertain future.

My prediction is that the majority of the American states are so inured to the Federal shackles that they will stay with Washington no matter what. The states have developed a love for their own captors…the Stockholm Syndrome lives.

© Copyright 2009 by Russell D. Longcore.


Cash For Clunkers: Uncle Daddy Helps Americans Buy Cars

August 4, 2009

The Obama Administration and your Congress funded the “Cash For Clunkers” stimulus program to spur new car sales. They funded it with $1 Billion dollars. Some group of bureaucrats wrote the rules for the program such that when a person trades in a used vehicle that gets poor mileage, they will receive $4,500 credit for that car.

But, after the first four days of the program’s life, Washington announced that the program was so “successful” that it would run out of money…money that was supposed to last 90 days.

This program’s rules and fine print are enough for ten negative articles. Rules like disposal of the clunker and filing the required forms are Orwellian. But today let’s take the view from 30,000 feet instead of using just the ground-level look.

The four most salient points are:

1. This law is unconstitutional. Nowhere in the Constitution does it authorize Congress to spend money helping citizens to make purchases of anything. The law is clearly treason against the Constitution, and those that voted for it and He who signed the bill into law should be prosecuted for that treason.

2. The stimulus is artificial. It does not come from the needs of consumers, but creates a desire for a new car. I would argue that few of the buyers of new cars under the program actually “needed” a new car. They already had a car. Sure, it might have gotten somewhat poor mileage. But buyers of SUVs don’t usually consider mileage in their buying decision. Passenger safety is their number one consideration when buying an SUV. The statistics coming out of the “Cash For Clunkers” program tell us that the most traded vehicle is the SUV, and the most purchased car is the Ford Focus. So, the government is skewing the marketplace to its own desires.

3. My understanding is that the “Clunkers” must be destroyed, not resold. So, a perfectly good automobile is sent to the crusher. Can’t be resold, can’t be used for parts. Stiff fines are assessed for dealers who sell the vehicles instead of crushing them. The circle of stupidity is complete. The economic loss for the clunker is 100%. The most uneducated child in America would instinctively understand that destroying the clunker is bad for business.

4. Washington is encouraging debt…again. In the real estate bubble, federal law encouraged…even forced…lenders to lend to those of questionable ability to repay the loans. Washington is doing it again in the Automobile industry. They have created a new bubble, albeit a short term one. The very problem of taking on more debt instead of paying off debt and increasing savings is completely ignored by Washington. Did I say “ignored?” No, Washington has purposefully rejected fiscal responsibility, since it would be hypocritical for them the promote a philosophy they summarily reject.

“Cash For Clunkers” is yet another government program that harms American citizens. All the more reason to secede from the United States of America.


The Illusion Of Liberty

May 28, 2009

The illusion of liberty is the oil that makes the gears of American politics mesh. Without this grand illusion, citizens might actually wrest government control away from the political criminal class and demand Constitutional governance.

The average American citizen of the late 18th century was a person who could read and write eloquently, intelligently debate complicated issues, and took up arms against tyranny and excessive taxation. Remember that the Federalist Papers were a series of 85 newspaper articles that appeared in The Independent Journal and The New York Packet between October 1787 and August 1788. They were written to the average reader on the street, not to intellectuals in some university publication. The authors wanted to encourage ratification of the new Constitution and influence its interpretation.

Compare that 1788 citizen with today’s American. Over the last 100 or so years, the government schools have been wildly successful in omitting Constitution education and Civics from the curriculum. They also omitted competent math and science education. According to the 2006 report of the US Department of Education’s Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), the American education is ranked #21 of the top 30 nations for science, and #25 of the top 30 nations for math. Azerbaijani students had higher math scores than American kids, and Latvian kids scored higher than Americans in science. Consequently, we have a population that is largely ignorant and uneducated, and ill equipped to live as free people.

But they do very well as sheep.

In place of true education, the American students of the 20th and 21st centuries have been force-fed a pablum of political correctness, social justice and a high priority given to sports, washed down with gallons of racial divisiveness and false patriotism.

Thus undernourished on this toxic stew, and dedicated to entertainment above all, Americans make meaningless choices and think they are free.

For the most part, American are compliant and credulous, willing to believe on slight or uncertain evidence. If comes to them from radio, or TV, or in their favorite magazine or newspaper, it must be true. For over 100 years they have been taught to be good order takers, good factory workers, good followers and good soldiers.

Think about it. Here are the choices you get on a daily basis:

• Cash or Credit
• Paper or plastic
• Regular or No-lead
• Shell or Exxon
• 2-Door or 4-Door
• Domestic or Foreign
• Whole or skim milk
• Regular or decaf coffee
• Fat or low-fat
• Over-easy or scrambled
• Latte or espresso
• Dairy or non-dairy creamer
• Smoking or Non-smoking
• Window or Aisle
• AM or FM
• Pepsi or Coke
• Light beer or Regular
• Burial or Cremation

The simplest, drooling moron could make those choices successfully. However, to make some of the next choices calls for more gray matter than rests in most of the American psyche.

• Vote or Don’t Vote
• PC or Mac
• Gay or Straight
• Liberal or Conservative
• Pro-life or Pro-abortion
• Democrat or Republican
• McCain or Obama
• Adherence to or ignoring the Constitution
• Sound money or Federal Reserve notes
• Balanced budgets or Deficit spending
• Religion or Secularism
• Creationism or Evolution
• Free speech or Permitted speech

Notice a few things about the last list. First, many of these choices are also meaningless, but with more serious consequences. “Democrat” and “Republican” are the two faces on the same coin of Big Government servitude. No matter which side of the coin you choose, you still get the coin. Second, many of the terms are without definitions anchored in reality. For example, today’s “Liberal” and “Conservative” bear no resemblance to the original terms.

What is religion? Do you practice religion or seek truth? There is sometimes a difference.

We just completed a Memorial Day celebration. Millions of people flocked to their town squares, streets, churches and cemeteries to pay homage to the war dead. Few of those celebrating Memorial Day would ever admit that none of the men and women of the 20th and 21st century wars died actually protecting America and its Constitution.

But they have the ILLUSION…the erroneous, teary-eyed viewpoint…that those soldiers died protecting our freedom. I think they would be hard pressed to actually define just how “American freedom” got protected in places like Vietnam, or Grenada, or France, or Afghanistan. No one since the British in 1812 has attacked the United States mainland. Yet the illusion of liberty persists like a smoker’s cough.

The illusion of liberty is the widely-held notion that will keep America from actually experiencing true liberty.

“The reason people call it “The America Dream” is that you have to be asleep to believe it.”
~George Carlin


Universal Health Insurance: Another Reason It Won’t Work

April 22, 2009

President Obama has a single-payer government health care system as one of his highest priorities in his administration. And with the burgeoning number of Americans without health insurance, the Obama administration will have the political cover to get universal health care enacted in America.

But there is a complication in the system that won’t go away.

In today’s world, a doctor can still refuse to accept insurance payments, and require patients to pay cash.

Thousands of doctors have dropped out of big medical insurance provider networks, like Aetna, Cigna, Blue Cross/Blue Shield and United Health. Most common among doctor complaints are diminished reimbursements and the growing delay in payments.

Doctors have seen their real incomes plummet due to the stranglehold that the HMOs, government programs, and big provider networks have on their practices. I know many physicians who have one or more employees whose job is solely dedicated to fighting with the insurance providers over coverage and payment. Doctors are finding that it’s not worth the money they have to spend to file the paperwork to get paid a substantially reduced fee for services rendered.

Doctors are also refusing to accept Medicare and Medicaid patients because of the same diminished reimbursements and the growing delay in payments. A 2005 Community Tracking Physician survey found that only 50% of physicians accept Medicaid.

The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission reported in 2008 that 28% of Medicare patients looking for a primary care physician had trouble finding one, up from 24% the year before. A 2008 survey by the Texas Medical Association, for example, found that only 38% of primary-care doctors in Texas took new Medicare patients. The statistics are similar in New York.

HMOs are problematic as well. Recent surveys from New York show a 10% yearly doctor dropout rate from the state’s largest HMO, the Health Insurance Plan of New York, and a 14% dropout rate from Health Net of New York, another big HMO. Those statistics are common across America.

None of the present-day insurance networks or government programs offer patients the care they need. Combine that with care that is ever more expensive and requires pre-qualification for most procedures that can degenerate into a fight between patient, insurer and doctor.

Naturally, Obama’s people say that in a single payer system, these problems won’t exist. But, in my opinion, they will only get worse. As more and more doctors opt out of participation, there will be fewer and fewer who remain in the system. Demand will skyrocket, as the supply of doctors in the government system shrinks. When demand outstrips supply, you can usually expect prices to rise. But Washington will place price controls on medical care. So expect long waits for medical procedures. You might die before your medical condition can get treatment.

The next question about universal health care’s dropout rate is obvious: Will the Federal Government require all doctors practicing medicine to accept patients with insurance coverage? When that happens, you will witness the largest flight from medicine ever seen, as doctors retire or change careers to escape government control of their lives. More doctors leave the profession, fewer doctors enter the profession, and the prescription is disaster.

The final question expands upon the last one: Would Washington make it illegal for a patient to seek medical treatment outside of the universal health care system?

Think about it, folks. It’s Washington. It’s the Federal government. With the naked power grabs we’ve witnessed in the last ten years, nothing is impossible.

I hope I am never a patient with a medical problem under universal health care.