Formerly the Thinking Catholic Strategic Center
Those of us who can still read, discern and apply critical thinking know all about the clearly and obviously un-Constitutional nature of Obamacare, as legislated, signed and adjudicated into law by our current House, Senate, Presidency and Supreme Court. All of whom, in their oaths of office, swore - falsely, as it turns out - to protect and defend the Constitution. As betrayers of their own oaths, their own Constitution (and therefore their own nation) and the trust of the Constitutionally liberated citizenry to whom they are all ultimately answerable, they (the majority) all need to be impeached from office, at the very least; but that is for another day. So long as cases of impeachment are tried only in the Senate, and so long as the Senate is controlled by the Anti-Constitution Democrat Party, no one is going to impeach anyone.
Elections have consequences.
But the Obamunist Obamanation of Obamacare has less to do with health care than with political and economic power and control. It is the beginning of government herding of an ever-growing, dumbed-down and mentally numbed moron vote, who have been preconditioned to just go along, cooperate with the petty bureaucrats and do as they are directed, with trust. While keeping up with the Kardashians, dancing with the stars, American Idol and Celebrity News, which are deemed to be more important than politics. Since they only access "mainstream" news, if they access any news at all, they aren't even aware of any political problems or scandals.
But the ground had been prepared for all of this nonsense long before Obamunism came to power. It had been going on for years and years, and no one (or too damned few) was paying appropriate attention to "Third Parties" being inserted between the patient and the doctor. No economic transaction is ever simplified or improved or made more efficient by the inclusion of a Third Party.
All any economic transaction needs is a buyer and a seller. In the instance of a health care transaction, a Third Party would be either:
At this point in any health care discussion - the mention of health insurance and/or health regulation - Obamunists and other varieties of Marxists will begin the Chicken-Egg subterfuge, in which it is argued that doctor and medicine fees became so high that insurance came into being. And the counter argument is that doctor and medicine fees got high because insurance companies got into the picture for the purpose of profit, profit which came exclusively out of the patient-doctor transaction. Here we will not quibble about which came first. The important thing is this:
We have long argued that the supposedly disinterested insurance providers and government agencies were not only radically increasing medical costs, but greatly complexifying the practice of medicine and the production of medicines, as private enterprise businesses. The falsely claimed disinterested parties were taking over the businesses, from the top. They were directing doctors in how to run their business, and directing manufacturers in how to produce medicines.
Neither insurance agents nor government bureaucrats are trained to practice medicine, nor are they trained to produce medicines and drugs. The only part they can possibly play in the health care transaction is to make it more costly and more complicated. The bottom line profit of the health insurance company, and the pay and benefits of the bureaucrat, all, come out of your pocket, in the form of radically increased medical costs and medicine costs.
The patient pays the bill, one way or another. The patient pays all of it. He pays for all or part of his health insurance plan. Whatever any employer pays for employee health plans is deducted from what would have been employee payrolls, just like any other employment benefit. That means that the employer part of the health care plan payment reduces employee pay.
The payrolls, benefits and expenses of the giant government bureaucracies regulating health care come straight out of tax revenues. Even if the patient doesn't pay much, or any, income taxes, employers do, and where employers get the money to pay their taxes is from increased prices of whatever product or service they provide. So all their customers (who are patients) pay higher prices for everything they ever buy, in order to pay the ever increasing cost of the ever growing government health care bureaucracy.
Thus, there is a direct relationship between the size of government and the cost of everything you buy.
Plus, the patient has a co-pay obligation on most health insurance plans.
Crony Capitalism enters the picture in the growing incestuous relationship between the health insurance industry and the government. When private business got into bed with the government in pre-war Italy they called it Fascism. When it happened in pre-war Germany they called it National Socialism, but the more popular name became Naziism. When less than moral businessmen see growing government power that is trending Marxist, they seek to merge with it and guide it into the more Fascistic brand of Marxism than the pure Communist brand, which might do them in completely. As Fascistic Marxists, they hope to share in government power while continuing to hold the reigns of their businesses. To that end, they curry favor with the dictator in hopes of joining the emerging new ruling class and thereby maintaining a high place in the changing society.
We talked about the forced use of medical Boiler PLate Language being imposed on doctors by the health insurance industry and government Medicare and Medicaid bureaucracies. The "Little Dictators" of the growing insurance industry "bureaucracy" and the government Medicare and Medicaid bureaucracies are actually directing the very language a doctor may use in his own practice and in his own records. Once the insurance industry and Medicare became in charge of 90% or more of how, when and how much the doctor gets paid for his services, the dictatorial tone increased. Today, the private insurance industry bureaucracy and the actual government bureaucracy are indistinguishable from each other. They may as well be one and the same thing. They are, both, regulating the actual practice of medicine.
And, we talked about health insurance companies grading doctors, and setting medical practice standards, in Who's driving the Health Care Bus? Health insurance experts, who never went to medical school, who are considerably less educated than medical professionals and completely unqualified to practice medicine, are actually setting medical standards, creating hoops for practitioners to jump through and maintaining lists of "qualified" versus "unqualified" medical practitioners.
Of course, we talked about Obamacare in It isn't really health care, and how it needs to be totally repealed - not replaced, not improved, but completely repealed. We also recommended getting government completely out of health care before it morphed into a destructive monster, in our Argument Against National Health Care.
How do we cut Medicare and Medicaid without harming current beneficiaries? Exactly the same way we recommended cutting Social Security without harming current beneficiaries. Go to the Cut Social Security page and page down to the four-step plan for eliminating Social Security. Use the same four step plan. First, in the four step plan, replace the words Social Security with the word Medicare, and execute the plan. Then, do it again, replacing the words Social Security with the word Medicaid, and do it again. Poof. No more government intrusion into the medical private sector.
Why do we need to cut these things? Because the federal government was Constituted to govern, not to practice medicine, and not to practice medical insurance. Just to govern. To legislate, execute and adjudicate law, in subservience to the Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land. The authority and powers of the government are limited and enumerated, in Article 1 Section 8. If it isn't in there, the government has no Constitutional authority to address it in law. There is no mention of medicine, and there is no mention of insurance, in Article 1 Section 8, or anywhere else in the Constitution.
And, Congress has the sole authority to originate and legislate new law.
Note that the first word quoted above is All. No exceptions. The Constitution nowhere grants Congress the legal ability to delegate any of its legislative authority to any person, group or body other than itself. That means that a bureaucracy, such as Medicare, Medicaid and any and all other bureaucracies that have any power to pass "regulations" with force of law behind them are un-Constitutional entities. Worse, they are anti-Constitutional entities, because they exist and operate in direct violation of Article I Section 1.
Provided that we ever get a Constitutionalist majority in both Houses of Congress and the Presidency - no small order - it would be easy enough to shut down these Marxist-dominated, super-expensive and private sector strangling bureaucracies. But, at this point, that would not be enough. The private health insurance industry has grown into a dominating force in health care. Huge PPOs, HMOs and "networks" now actually employ doctors and health care professionals, as paid employees, in a glaringly obvious conflict of interest.
Killing the "Medical Code" program is key to killing the undue and unconscionable false authority the health insurance industry exercises over the medical profession. We wrote about the incredibly complex Medical Billing Coding system practitioners are forced to comply with in order to be paid for their services in the Insurance Companies Grading Doctors page. Basically, medical practitioners are forced to "code" every procedure, prescription, device, or action of any kind affecting the patient in a certain way and in a certain sequence, in order to eventually be paid via any insurance claim, be it a government claim or a private enterprise claim. It is so complex, and it is so subject to continuous change, that highly paid coding specialists must be employed by practitioners just to handle the coding on medical billing. These codes are not taught in medical school; they have nothing to do with medicine, and everything to do with medical insurance claims. Which is almost 100% of how doctors are paid these days.
Now, here, I might begin to sound like a (shudder!) Democrat, because I'm about to intone that old, familiar Democrat refrain, There oughta be a law! And, right above, I just said that neither health care nor health care insurance were listed in Article 1 Section 8 of the Constitution, and therefore they should not be addressed in federal law at all. I will leave it to other Constitutionalists to argue whether the laws I am recommending might be valid at the federal level to undo negative consequences of previous un-Constitutional law or regulation. What I am recommending, in stead, is State-level legislation, because the States regulate insurance.
The first state to legislate in this manner will unleash a new and radical competition in freedom of medical practice, because that state will strongly attract doctors, patients and medical facilities from other States.
Here is how I would do it, if I were Emperor.
New Health Insurance Law 1: All Group Health Insurance plans, including Medicare, Medicaid or any other government plan, whether employer plans or private plans, must re-issue as a group of individual policies, each one of which is to belong to the individual insured beneficiary as personal private property. All new group policies must issue each member of the group a personal policy. If the beneficiary leaves employment under an employer-supplied plan, the policy goes with the employee to his new employment. His new employer may or may not assume full or partial payment of the premiums; the beneficiary/owner of the policy is responsible to make up the difference.
New Health Insurance Law 2: All Health Insurance policy claims must be paid exclusively to the beneficiary/owner of the policy, and not to any other entity. Medical practitioners and medical facilities will no longer be valid recipients of health insurance claims from any government or any private insurance source. The patient, and only the patient, is to be the sole beneficiary of the policy.
New Health Insurance Law 3: If at any time during the life of the policy the beneficiary/owner of the policy contracts or develops a catastrophic illness or condition, the policy must cover the expenses of the new illness or condition for the full duration of the illness or condition, and the premiums for the policy are to be suspended and forgiven for the duration of the treatment for the catastrophic illness or condition. The policy cannot be cancelled by the insurer. This is what insurance is supposed to be for. To repeat, the insurance is to remain in force with no premiums due for the duration of required treatment. Normal premium payments, with no past-due or make-up premiums, may resume once the patient recovers.
This would spell the death of claims codes in any State that passes these laws. If any health insurers think they can convince or bully individual beneficiary/owner citizens to figure out and use the truly stupid insurance industry medical claim coding system, they would be free to try it, and see how far they get. Competitor companies, new start-ups among them, might try to compete for that business not using codes at all. Companies that fail to pay claims will soon lose customers to companies that do pay claims.
It might also sound the death knell of health insurance for everything, including even the common cold. The only thing that ever made sense in the whole field of health insurance was insurance against catastrophic illness in the first place. Citizens should not be worrying about coverage or co-pay requirements for normal ordinary check-ups and office visits, or for aspirin.
Elimination of the Third Party in the health care transaction, in so much as it can be done, is what we're talking about here. We need to try to get back to a simple business transaction between a health care provider and a patient. And when we are talking about a health care insurance provider, we may as well be talking about a government bureaucracy, because that is exactly the way they act and exactly how they do "business." They are in control of the health care transaction, and that is wrong. Health insurance companies, like government bureaucracies, are not medically qualified to be in charge of the whole health care transaction between doctor and patient.
If they were truly an insurance industry, like Life Insurance, they would only be interested in insuring against and covering catastrophic illness. I submit that they are more than an insurance industry. They are so involved in Crony-Capitalism and so tightly linked-up with Medicare that they have made themselves into a private-enterprise bureaucracy no different than any existing authoritarian, turf-jealous, power-hungry federal government agency.
Any non-catasrophic, but fair-to-middling on-going health costs, such as medium-expensive on-going prescriptions, should easily be covered by policies with health-savings accounts. I am betting that all costs, including pharmaceuticals, would come radically down if Third Parties were eliminated or nearly eliminated from the health care transaction.
That's my two cents worth on it.
One last thought:
Sarcastic Acronym Hover-Link Footnotes: For the convenience of those readers using devices that lack a mouse, these footnotes are provided for all webpages, in case any webpage contains any hover-links. (If you don't have a mouse, you can't "hover" it over a link without clicking just to see the simple acronym interpretation. Click a footnote link to see the gory details.)SLIMC1 Secularist Liberal Intellectual Media Complex
Culture=Religion+Politics; Who Are We? Vic Biorseth
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Respond to This Article Below The Last Comment
Date: Sat Jun 08 10:48:55 2013
I am a retired dentist. At one time I offered health insurance to my employees, and I actually had "group" rates for my little group. In one year, my premiums went up 43%. When I contacted the insurer, they told me that the cost of medicine, just seeing a doctor, for example, had gone up that much. I called my colleagues, and the biggest fee increase was in one specialists office of 6%. Everybody else I called had much lower fee increases for that year. Then I noticed that the insurance company (here in my town) had just completed construction of a parkade with multi-level parking for their employees, which included a generous athletic facility in the top floor. They describe themselves as a "non-profit" health insurance provider, but their CEO and other officers make huge salaries. In addition, they offer our trained employees, our chairside and front office assistants, jobs at salaries with which we cannot compete.
There are other problems dealing with the payment structure of these companies, but you are right on about the ownership of insurance policies -- as doctors, we are not employees of insurance companies, unless we sign participatory contracts with those companies. I must say that most patients are confused on this subject. They know only that they want the doctor's office to fill out their insurance claim forms. They really don't care who is the actual "owner" of their policy.
Your reform ideas make perfect sense. Unfortunately, the insurance companies are so thoroughly in bed with government that we now have given them total control to regulate our behavior in the world of health care.
Date: Sat Jun 08 14:04:13 2013
From: Vic Biorseth
You have pointed out some of the most egregious examples of this whole Third Party mess. They add nothing to patient care, and all they do is radically increase cost, and in multiple ways, they harm the actual business of medical/dental practice. They make it more and more difficult for the practitioner to operate as an independent, private, small business. The worst thing about it is how professional medical practitioners are being reduced to employee status in gigantic corporations, instead of business men. Here's what we said about it in the National Health Care article:
Perhaps the long-term effect of all of this is worse on the patients than on the practitioners. Over multiple generations now, we have been conditioned to fear the fee of the doctor or the dentist to such a degree that being without health coverage is more terrifying, to many, than being without a job. It should not take more than a moment's thought to recognize the fact that neither lack of health coverage nor lack of a job should be particularly terrifying to anyone.
Both the private insurance bureaucrats and the actual government bureaucrats are not so slowly turning us all into sheep.
Question: In your expert opinion, by what percentage might current health care costs drop, across the board, if there had never been any such thing as health care insurance?
Date: Sun Jun 09 09:56:30 2013
Vic, My guess is that fees could be reduced drastically in most offices. The percentage would relate to the overhead experienced in each office. There are offices that have a veritable army of staff people, and therein lies some of the biggest expenses that professional offices have. Some of those staff people fill their day working with insurance companies to align their claims with the codes and terminology acceptable to insurance claims departments.
In my own office, and I have been retired for the last 11 years, I had a very low overhead. My best year I got my overhead down to 50%, and you have to know that the national average for overhead in a general dental office (not specializing and without a hygienist) is about 67%. With a 50% overhead, we unsigned all participatory contracts with insurance companies. We filled out our patient's insurance claim forms as a convenience. Our office would not have realized much of a reduction in operating costs. In addition, we were able to control our fees -- we were not the most expensive office in town, and my patients knew that.
There are a few medical practitioners who do not accept payments directly from insurance companies that I read about. They are busy, productive, and some even make house calls for really sick patients. BTW, they are not caught up in the greed and ego that some of the doctors in larger offices find themselves.
We see a trend of doctors becoming "hospitalists." They have all their bills sent to patients by the hospitals in their communities. Some of these people even close their private office doors and use the facilities at the hospitals. They keep irregular hours, so when you go to see them, you may not see the doctor you hoped to see. And they accept a salary from the hospital, so the incentive to see a certain number of patients in a given day is not there. They receive their salary whether they see patients or not.
Recent graduates from medical programs are looking for "sweet deals" from communities they consider when looking for a location in which to practice. These include signing bonuses, large salaries from hospitals or medical group practices, reductions in "on call" hours that are spent seeing emergencies, and on and on. These recent graduates are only interested in the money they can generate while they are in practice. Our discussion of fees, insurance reimbursement, participatory contracts, and office overhead are not really on their agenda. My town is about 35,000 people and we have one hospital. There are several medical groups, so we have seen how they operate over time. My view of the big picture nationally is not very clear, especially in the wake of the build-up for the implementation of obamacare. I only really see what goes on here.
I hope I have answered your question.
Date: Mon Jun 10 05:50:19 2013
From: Vic Biorseth
What you have described is what I remember. I will be 70 this year, and I remember a different sort of doctor visiting our house with his huge black bag when I was a boy.
His name was Dr. Belden; he was a black MD, and he always brought his nurse with him. He was usually there because someone in the family was sick, but while he was there he checked all of us over.
That was a commonplace thing. Today it's unheard of. He had his own office, and was associated with multiple Detroit hospitals. We were poor, but we never went broke over doctor bills and Mom was never afraid to call him. Like everything else in life, it was a necessity, and people just naturally took care of it as best they could.
The terrible thing about current trends is the corporate, or "good job" mindset of young physicians. Just as the neighborhood butcher, baker, etc., have morphed into employees at Kroger, physicians are morphing into mere employees, albeit with "good jobs" in various medical consortiums.
It's the mindset I worry about. There is a huge difference between an independent businessman and a corporatist employee with a nice corner office.
There is a bit of truth in the Dilbert cartoons. The average engineer today works in a cubicle. Could that be the ultimate destiny of the health care professional?
Date: Sun Oct 05 2014
From: Vic Biorseth
Changes pursuant to changing the website URL
and name from
Thinking Catholic Strategic Center to
Catholic American Thinker.
Pulled the trigger on the 301 MOVE IT option June 1, 2014. Working my way through all the webpages. .
Date: Fri Oct
From: Vic Biorseth
Corrected a discovered error in the comment/response form.
Never be lukewarm.
Life itself demands passion.
He who is indifferent to God has already forfeited his soul.
He who is indifferent to politics has already forfeited his liberty.
In America, religion is not mere window dressing and citizenship is not a spectator sport.
Do not allow our common destiny as a whole people to just happen without your input.
Seek the Truth; find the Way; live the Life; please God, and live forever.
Catholic American Thinker
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Socialized Medicine Pages
Medicine, like education, has no Constitutional mandate and no legitimate, legal business being addressed by federal government. Medicine, and medical insurance, are private sector businesses beyond the scope of federal government.
Killing Obamacare does not require canceling all existing policies. Killing Obamacare means there is no mandate, there is no fine, so states, employers and beneficiaries are no longer forced to participate.
Argument against National Health Care, which is, in fact, Socialized Medicine. National Heath Care equals Socialized Medicine, pure and simple. Medical Practice is beyond the scope of government and not what our government is constituted to do.On the forced use of medical boiler plate language rather than simple notes
. The "little dictators" from insurance companies and government bureaucracies force MDs to use stilted, verbose, medical boiler plate language in their own documentation.
Who's driving the Health Care bus? Health insurance companies grading doctors? Health insurance companies grading doctors: a legitimized conflict of interest. A preparatory step toward the nationalization of the health insurance industry?
Fixing Health Care requires getting government out of it. Get government out of it, require all health insurance to be owned by and benefits paid solely to patient-beneficiaries, and let the free market do the rest.
It isn’t really Health Care. It’s all a giant pile of lies. No, it isn’t really Health Care. Nothing in Obamunism is what it appears to be.
It isn't just Obamacare; we need to kill controlled Health Care. Kill Controlled Health Care to get government and insurance out of the medical transaction.
The "Pre-Existing Condition" Progressive Marxist Psychological Trick. Insurance is protection against future misfortune, not past misfortune. How could anyone insure against past events?
Breaking Government "Sausage-Making" to Repeal Obamacare. Political Government Sausage Making versus plain and simple Constitutional Government is the sole problem with repealing Obamacare.
The Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Rope-A-Dope Political Trick. Getting the populace all exercised to grow the government over yet another political false premise involving yet another imaginary Constitutional "Right".
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