Formerly the Thinking Catholic Strategic Center
The National Health Care “need”: I submit that doing or directing the medical treatment of citizens exceeds the authorized scope and delimited authority and reach of the United States government. Doing or directing any medical practice within our borders is not in accordance with the limitations and duties of our government, as explicitly spelled out in our Constitution, which defines the organization of and limitation upon the government of our Republic. Medical Practice is not what we instituted and Constituted our government to do. Taking command of any part of medical practice in the name of “National Health Care” or “Socialized Medicine” or any other name is far beyond the Constitutionally authorized scope of our government, and attempts to do so represent gross political over-reaching, government intrusions into the private sector and direct government interference within the strictly private sphere of the free market.
In a free market economy, the consumer “votes” for goods and services available by taking dollars out of his pocket to pay the most competitive provider. When anything – such as an insurance agent or a government official – comes between the consumer and the provider, the net effect, at the very least, is that the product or service will have an unnaturally higher price than the laws of supply and demand dictate, or, the consumer will have fewer dollars in his pocket with which to vote for his choice of the best available goods and services. Either way, the cost always goes up. Most usually, the quality and/or availability also goes down.
Bottom line: insurance companies and government bureaus add nothing whatsoever to medical treatment process other than added cost, restriction and complexity. There is nothing medical and nothing pharmaceutical that insurance agents and government bureaucrats do; yet, they too must be paid, and their pay comes straight out of the patient-doctor transaction.
A Medical Billing Business was one of the several businesses we tried after I temporarily left the Programmer/Analyst job market to try to become an independent entrepreneur. Obviously, it didn’t succeed, or I wouldn’t be driving a truck today. (We never signed our first client doctor.) Nevertheless, the experience was very educational, in more ways than one. In the training involved in becoming certified to do Medical Billing I learned a great deal about current and past law regarding medical practice, and, even more interesting, law regarding medical insurance. Most interesting of all is the relationship between our government and the medical insurance industry.
We spent thousands of dollars on the latest and greatest medical billing computer software, a major upgrade of our computer hardware capacity and speed, a giant external hard-drive to back-up the multi-client database and multiple massive history files, an ability to regularly burn client billing history records onto CDs and/or DVDs (depending on file size) for client doctor’s files in order to eliminate their need for paper files, and more; too much to list here. Perhaps the greatest single investment was in time and effort. Some day I’ll do a separate page on our attempts to start a business of our own; I’ll probably call it Home Businesses that have Had Us, or some such title.
One of the things we did was to build a really snazzy medical billing website, which was proved helpful in getting a lot of attention to our new business, but not, in the long run, in getting any potential client doctors to sign up with us. Like a couple of others, we wound up dropping that particular website. This website, of course, was and remains a sort of hobby website; it gives me an outlet for the things I feel a need to publicly talk about. At this particular moment, what I need to talk about is the relationship of government and “private” insurance to American health cares costs, effectiveness, availability, and their detrimental effects on Medical Practice as a private business.
Besides the issues regarding such things as the valid scope of government, and simple real world practicality, there is a vitally important moral question at play here. When government mandates consumption of a product – a good or a service – then the government simultaneously mandates the production of a product – the same good or service that is mandated to be consumed. Consumption and production of products by the population are within the private sphere of non-government activity; they are most efficiently and practically done in a free and open market unhindered by any government interference. Our government is not mandated by us produce goods or services, other than the normal services of government, such as defense, etc. The American government does not possess the means of production, and it does not produce the goods and services needed by the population on a day to day basis. Government is only consumptive of taxes it receives; it produces nothing “for sale” or for profit. Government consumes; people produce.
This is turned on its head when government begins to mandate what goods and services are to be produced and what goods and services are to be consumed. We are a private property culture, and we are a contract oriented culture. We depend on our government to enforce contract law and laws that keep the free market place open and fair, and nothing else.
How it works with auto insurance.
Long ago I saw the unholy matrimony between government and insurance in the seemingly unrelated area of government mandated automobile insurance. It was a boon, of course, to the auto insurance companies; however, what did it do to the rest of the free market, and to the overall economy, and to us, the consumers?
Q: Is the relationship between the insured auto owners and the auto repair shop simplified, or made more complex?
A: More complex, of course.First, the relationship between the insurance agent and the consumer has changed, and the relationship of the insurance claims rep and the beneficiary has changed, and none of these changes benefits the consumer, who pays the premium, or the beneficiary, who receives the insurance payout.
As soon as your insurance becomes mandated by the state, the insurer begins to take on the authoritarian aura more typical of the Marxist bureaucrat. You are required by law to buy insurance, which infringes on the free-market aspect of the insurance product. In most, if not all, American states, if you do not have mandated insurance, you may not legally drive; your privilege of driving is dependent upon not only your valid state licensure but also upon your being currently insured. Insurance companies that sell auto insurance are therefore somewhat less free enterprises operating in a free and open market, and somewhat restricted from their own free market choices by government mandate for them to provide a product.
Consumer-customers whose driving record falls into a very bad risk group are thrown into a high risk pool of consumers that no insurance company wants to deal with. However, by government edict, insurance companies draw consumers from this pool as by lottery and offer them insurance at exorbitant rates, against their own business judgment. If the consumer cannot afford the product, he goes without, and either does not drive or drives illegally. The cost of all insurance goes up radically just to cover the expenses of covering all the bad risk consumers.
Insurance estimators have ever increasing authority to approve, change or deny the expenses of auto repairs. The most frequent occurrence involves underpayment of repairs because some parts used or some method of repair was judged by the insurer to be of lower cost or perhaps even unneeded, despite the expert opinion of the shop actually doing the work. The difference must be billed to the insured consumer.
In the seemingly normal course of events, the consumer gets insured; he has an accident; the claim is settled as above, whether to the consumer’s satisfaction or not; and then the insurance is canceled because the consumer just became a bad risk because of his accident. Or, the cost (premium) is ratcheted up. In the worst case, the consumer may enter the “risk pool” mentioned above, and the premiums charged may be so high the consumer cannot afford to pay them.
I submit that insurance, in and of itself, has caused radical increases in the cost of auto repairs over time. In a radical conflict of interest, the insurance industry dictates the details of auto repair. Insurance is supposed to make its profit from premiums; however, government intervention has caused high-risk policies to issue, the cost of insurance itself to go up, and left the industry with one other method to maintain and/pr increase profit, that being, denial of claims. The consumer must buy auto insurance. Insurance companies both set the premium rates for the mandated “customers” and dictate repairs to “beneficiaries”, and, whenever they can get away with it, they deny claims.
The “free market” no longer has much to do with auto insurance in America.
How it works with medical insurance.
Government mandated and union mandated medical insurance has produced the same or worse free market results as government mandated auto insurance. Employers are required to provide medical coverage for employees. Which means that carriers and underwriters are required to provide medical coverage for employees. Employers either split the cost, deducting some fraction of premium requirements from employee paychecks, or they pay the whole thing. Either way, it represents another cost of doing business, which must be passed along to the consumer in the form of higher prices for the goods or services that the company is in business to provide to its customers. Which, in the grand, national scheme of things, is virtually everything needed by and available to the free market consumer.
The real difference between the two is that, where the auto-insurance government mandate smacks the individual citizen with the cost of auto-insurance in a less than competitive market, the medical insurance government mandate smacks everybody with dramatically increased costs of everything. But the biggest cost increase, by far, involves the cost of medicine, meaning both treatment and prescription pharmaceuticals.
I submit the argument that medical insurance, in and of itself, is the single largest factor in the increased and increasing cost of medical care in America today. Every time a bill for medical care or a medical prescription for medicine is created, a major factor in that bill involves covering the entire payroll, benefit plans, fixed and variable expenses, and the profit of an insurance company. And I further submit that the portion of your medical bill that goes to the support of your insurance company has nothing whatsoever to do with your health care.
In other nations such as the United Kingdom, the only difference is that these extraneous, non-medical health care costs are actually government costs, involving the expenses, pay and benefits of bureaucrats, other government employees and politicians, rather than insurance companies. That is why all foreign Social Democracy taxes are so much higher than ours. If you think you have problems dealing with an insurance rep, wait until his unique interference with the medical process is replaced by the even greater interference of a petty bureaucrat. Just as in the insurance industry, government bureaucracy adds nothing whatsoever to health care other than radically higher cost and radically increased complexity of the medical process and the patient-doctor relationship.
I wrote about Forced Medical Language on our old medical billing website, describing how the insurance industry, of all things, was forcing medical doctors to use specific and very wordy language in their own private office records in order to please, not the patients, and certainly not the doctors, but the insurance industry.
I also wrote about Insurance Companies “Grading” Doctors, describing the dramatic conflict of interest presented by health care insurance providers publicly ranking and grading medical professionals based not on medical performance, but on insurance claim performance and insurance company profitability.
The tail is wagging the dog here.
Again, just as in the auto-insurance example above, medical insurance seeks to deny insurance to high-risk consumers, to consumers with “pre-existing” medical conditions, and to consumers outside of group plans such as those imposed by law, meaning employer-employee relationship plans. These have proven overall to be so lucrative that companies don’t even want to sell individual plans to citizens, unless at truly exorbitant premium rates. They get away with giant rates in employer plans because the employer pays part or all of the premium; individuals probably couldn’t afford the premiums; but if they seek insurance on their own, outside the employer plan, it will cost them even more than the employer plan total combined premium for the employee. Go figure.
Don’t just listen, but hear what the health insurance industry is publicly saying to us, and parse their words carefully. When you read an ad, or hear one on the radio or TV, and the voice intones something like “We’re doing our part to keep health care costs down” what is really meant is that they are going to deny your claim. When they deny your claim, they eliminate an expense to themselves, and cut health care costs to themselves, but who do you think is going to pay that denied claim? Either YOU are going to pay it, or your doctor is eventually going to write it off as bad debt, drop you as a patient, and slightly raise everybody’s future bills to cover his increasing bad debt expenses.
Now, some of that give-and-take activity takes place normally anyway. But when another entity such as a union or an insurer steps into the middle of a private commercial transaction, and proactively seeks to start driving the bus, the price of poker just went up. Big unions and big health care insurance companies are identical in that they have no legitimate interest in the product or service that is produced. Their only financial interest is in deriving profit from someone else’s private commercial transaction, growing themselves and increasing the scope of their power. Just like government.
And then there is litigation insurance to consider. A typical medical doctor in America pays something like $50,000 in malpractice insurance premiums per year. He has done nothing wrong, there have been no lawsuits, yet he stands to be sued for millions of dollars every time he treats a patient or prescribes a medicine, let alone does a surgery. We are becoming a litigious society, ready to sue someone every time we detect the slightest impropriety, whether real or imagined. Doctors, as high earners, are ever increasingly becoming targets of opportunity for frivolous “let’s take a chance” medical lawsuits in which lawyers, who profit from them, encourage clients to sue the bastards and perhaps retire.
What do you think that $50,000 annual insurance premium your doctor pays does to your typical medical treatment bill?
There are a whole lot of people in America who don’t even make $50,000 per year, yet that’s just a typical annual cost, and part of the normal cost of doing business for an American surgeon. These kind of costs, and the non-medical forced regimentation of stilted language in records, and practice changes to favor insurance company profits, tend to encourage a lot of doctors to seek another form of business, or go out of business and become an employee.
Today in America insurance providers – not doctors – direct and insist upon certain methods of diagnosis and treatment, and deny claims for un-favored diagnostic procedures and treatments. This is a fairly dramatic intrusion of non-medical expertise inserting demands into the patient-doctor relationship and attempting to direct and/or override the medical doctor’s judgment and decisions regarding the diagnosis and treatment of his own patient. Up to this point, the insurer intrusions into medical practice have been an uncalled for, costly and impractical interference with the process; but at this point, these intrusions enter into the realm of being just plain stupid.
The Provider – Insurer Wars. Some doctors formed associations with each other, whether loose or by contract, to band together and resist some of the more egregious demands of insurers. They would then agree to drop a particularly odious insurance company and not accept patients insured by that company. Some insurance companies did the same sort of thing, banding together to corner some chunk of the market, and banned uncooperative doctors from their combined coverage.
HMOs and PPOs entered the picture and became large and powerful. On the other side, various corporate entities came into being as variously named “Health Care Partners” formed by groups of doctors, and eventually by groups of hospitals; eventually, they, too, became large and powerful. Giant corporate battles ensued. In our neighborhood, within memory, there was one fought between local health-care giant Premier Health Partners and the insurance giant Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield. All the “Premier” hospitals and doctor’s groups dropped all Anthem coverage, and so informed all their patients. I’m sure you’ve seen similar health-care wars in your neighborhood.
What all of this is doing is slowly but relentlessly shutting down private medical practice in America. New doctors are less likely to go into private practice than to become another paid employee of (believe it or not) one of the HMO groups, one of the Health Partner groups, or just the local hospital, which sooner or later will be gobbled up by some larger corporate entity.
(How does the image of a medical insurance group employing medical doctors strike the conflict of interest gong in your head?)
The affect on patients of these trends has been to anesthetize us into seeing our medical insurance as an entitlement. So many generations of us have had employer insurance that it is now expected and normal to have it. We have grown accustomed to paying some small co-pay each time we see the doctor, and some small (or no) co-pay when we get our prescriptions filled. We have lost all track of what procedures and drugs actually cost in the real world, and we are terrified of the thought of loosing our coverage.
In other words, we are already primed for Socialized Medicine.
Democrat and reach-across-the-aisle Republican politicos ratchet up the fear with rabble-rousing populist speeches emphasizing the horror of horrors that X number of millions of citizens do not have health insurance, and they intend to put an end to that abominable situation, if elected. And they are elected, sometimes only on that one point. They don’t mention how many of the uninsured number are rich, how many are temporarily unemployed, how many are indigent, etc. Nor do they mention the fact that no one in America is denied access to medical attention. What they do do is to shine the public spotlight on one or a few of the most pitiful cases that probably should have been handled by charity or another non-government entity as described in the Rule of Subsidiarity page.
Government knows best. Government needs more control. The ends justify the means. What they strive for is absolute perfection, and they know that government and only government can produce absolute perfection.
The affect on providers of these trends has been to discourage private practice and encourage employment in some larger entity that takes care of medical and malpractice insurance problems, billing, staff, equipment and all the problems attendant to being in business. So a doctor winds up making one or two hundred thousand in salary while taking his orders from some MBA with about one third of his education and none of his medical expertise. If that sounds like a lot of pay, consider the fact that today’s practitioner needs to generate an average of $15,000 per month just to cover his fixed expenses. Medical doctors should justifiably make a whole lot more than the salary they get as an employee, for the simple reason that they generate a whole lot more income.
The affect on America is that the whole health care system, on the insurance side and on the provider side, is gradually being concentrated into entities that will make it easier for them all to eventually be nationalized.
With Marxists (I mean Democrats) in charge of the White House and both houses of Congress, the writing is on the wall. They have already snuck in elements of Socialized Medicine hidden in among the Pork Barrel Earmarks of Bills that were supposed to have something to do with stimulating the economy. Have you seen any stimulation lately? That’s funny, neither have I.
Insurance providers are prime candidates for nationalization, having already morphed into bureaucracies and behaving as petty bureaucrats are normally expected to behave. Giant health care provider organizations are also primed for nationalization, with medical doctors gradually morphing into employees and growing accustomed to just showing up for work and taking orders from non-medical, MBA-type bureaucrats.
We can look around and see what’s coming for us. Canadians will no longer be crossing the border just to actually see a real doctor, instead of waiting in line for years. Just as predictable as sunrise in the morning, various drugs and various diagnostic procedures and various treatments will be rationed as they are virtually everywhere outside our own borders. The ends justify the means. Older patients will be denied certain life-saving drugs in favor of giving them to younger patients who will be working tax-payers for more years. After all, you can’t make an omelet without breaking some eggs.Naïve, starry-eyed utopian idealists who actually believe that Cuba has a wonderful public health care system have been duped by the Marxist rhetoric and propaganda from the likes of Michael Moore, Jiminy Carter, the UN and the SLIMC1 . Just like its so-called Tourist industry, Cuba has a not-identical twin set of socialized medicine operations: one for the upper class Communist Party officials, foreign big-shots and propaganda film crews, and another one for the Cuban people. Even at that, probably all the very best Cuban doctors are practicing in America. All the Cuban doctors that are officially sent to other countries must leave some family members behind, just to ensure that the good doctors will actually return to Cuba again. You don’t see many doctors, or anyone else, breaking into Cuba these days.
Bottom line, we have the best performing health care system in the world today. No one who goes to an American hospital is denied treatment, by law. Everyone in America can get actual medical attention in a timely manner. That cannot be said in Canada, or in the United Kingdom. But, like I said, Marxists are now occupying the seats of power in America, and things are about to change for the worse.
The very nature of the United States of America is being changed. We are all being prepared for obedience, subservience and herding.
What to do: There is no reason, and never was, for insurance coverage for all medical treatment. For catastrophic illness, maybe; for the common cold, no. Employers should not be required to provide medical insurance to employees. If that one thing were changed, the cost of insurance would plummet immediately. Nobody would be buying medical insurance at today’s prices if the total bill fell to the actual consumer, meaning the patient. Eliminating the employer’s mandate would, I believe, bring all health care costs down, reducing final bills.
No one – neither an insurance representative nor a petty bureaucrat – should be standing between the doctor and the patient. The transaction is between the doctor and the patient and no one else. As I said at the beginning, medical practice is out of scope for government. It is also out of scope for insurance. Insurance needs to be mostly, if not totally, removed from the whole process to make the market more free.
Perhaps costs would stop rocketing and doctor bills would become manageable again.
Pray for America.
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The Brilliantly Conceived Organization of the USA; Vic Biorseth
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Date: Fri Aug 14 10:01:31 2009
I find it so interesting that Obama and the Dems systematically deny that items that are in the House bill are not in the bill, when we can clearly see that they are in the bill. Now, Sarah Palin publicly refers to the end-of-life counceling provision as a “death panel” and, first, they go ballistic and call her a liar, and second, remove it from the bill.
So how could they remove something that didn’t exist?
Love your site,
Date: Sat Aug 15 06:17:01 2009
From: Vic Biorseth
It isn’t so hard to understand when you recognize the fact that Obama, the current Democrat Party and the SLIMC1 are all MEJTML14 , and as such, they are confirmed pathological liars. The truth is not in them. They will say anything at all to win the political contest of the moment. The whole history of the progress of this bill so far is a history of lie after lie, and serial liars masquerading as representatives.
My prediction is that they will strip the bill, or the most favored version of it at the moment, of all of the odious provisions we’ve all read so far. They have to depend on us to point these items out, because none of the politicians have read it, or are capable of reading it, despite the fact that that’s supposed to be their job.
Then, once they have a “bare bones” socialized medicine bill with no main item for us to bitch about, they will win the argument with the so-called Blue Dogs and ram it through whether we like it or not. Then, over time, they will add back in all the items they stripped out, and more, taking over every aspect of our lives. That’s what Marxists do. This bill has nothing to do with health care, or health insurance. It’s about power.
I too wondered about that particular provision. I happen to be over 65. I may be a pensioner, but I’m still working full-time, and there’s nothing wrong with me. Why should I have to start this counseling just because I happen to be over 65?
Many similar provisions are really immoral and bad, but the one that really gets my attention the most is the one granting government access to every bank account of every citizen, and the ability of the government to take money out of your bank account any time they choose to do so.
Don’t take your eye off the ball. This bill is horrible, yes. But ask yourself why. Our current sitting government is aiming to eliminate our Constitution and turn America into a typical Socialist dictatorship. It is our current sitting government that is horrible.
Date: Thu Aug 20 08:29:23 2009
How will they add these items back in, particularly if we succeed in reversing the majorities in both houses of Congress in 2010? It seems unlikely that they could get away with it.
Date: Fri Aug 21 06:18:33 2009
From: Vic Biorseth
See our argument against earmarks for examples of how Marxocrats and other closet Marxists get things established into law as obscure line-items that nobody ever reads in totally unrelated bills. This very bill, at least the House version, is even a case in point. It has nothing to do with our tax code, yet it contains three (3) tax increases. And it contains wording declaring that these completely new taxes are not to be considered “taxes” in this bill. How’s that for Marxian double-speak?
Any bill offered on any topic may have a line item putting abortion, for instance, back into national health care, in among the thousands of other unrelated earmarks attached to it. We’ve already seen that Congressmen and Senators do not, or pretend that they do not, even read bills before they vote on them. They will always be able to claim innocence when something odious is discovered after the fact.
Date: Fri Aug 21 11:57:49 2009
From: Get a clue
If you think the US is a free enterprise, it is time to wake up. The public has been taken on the costs and risk for large corporations for many years. Meanwhile corporations control the media and have been delivering free enterprise, anti-union, and anti-government propaganda. Unfortunately, people buy into it and we live in a business run society rather than a true democracy.
Date: Fri Aug 21 20:33:11 2009
From: Vic Biorseth
Get a clue:
I think you might need to go somewhere you can get a little better education than you have had so far, and start over.
First, you don’t seem to know the difference between the US and a free enterprise. For the record, the US is a country, and your local baker is a free enterprise, or has been up until now.
Second, the public has taken on the costs and risks of large corporations only and solely to the degree that the public has bought stock or otherwise contributed, at risk, to the capital of the large corporations.
Third, regarding the relationship between big business and the media, you’ve got it very nearly backward. The SLIMC1 , as an overwhelmingly Marxist entity, absolutely despises big business and seeks to destroy it.
Fourth, we live in a Republic, not a true Democracy, and that means that we are a nation of laws and not just of men. If you want a true Democracy try a lynch mob. The majority always rules, even when it is wrong, and even when it is illegal.
The big business you demonize does not provide most of the jobs in America – small and medium businesses do that, believe it or not. Small and medium private enterprises almost always fall into the conservative camp. Not so with big business. The largest corporations see what’s coming and they are becoming government lap dogs, just as they did in Mussolini’s Italy, and in pre-war Hitler’s Germany. Whatever the Fuehrer demands, the corporations simply roll over and comply.
Latest case in point is the completely unconstitutional recent administration demands for pay, bonus and expense information from the largest, newly-demonized insurance companies. Not one of them asked “By what authority do you make this demand?” Not one of them asked “Who the hell do you think you are?” They will all roll over and comply, and smile.
The sitting government is not there to serve us; quite the contrary.
Obama intends to rule us. He intends to be the sole Ruler of America.
Date: Sat Aug 22 05:59:01 2009
OK, Vic, now I’m a little confused. In other places in your site you have stridently defended “Big Oil” and the auto industry, ergo, big business. Now you see them less as victims than as cooperators in the process of loosing their own independence?
Date: Sat Aug 22 08:37:59 2009
From: Vic Biorseth
Bigness brings with it increasing possibilities of corruption. Just as representative government can get too big for its britches and no longer represent its own voters, big business can get too big for its britches and no longer represent its own voting stock holders. Sometimes the bigger an entity gets, the more out-of-touch its leaders become with the original purpose of the entity.What I have defended big business from is the constant, relentless attacks on it from the SLIMC1 , show-biz and the Marxocrat Party. Hollywood has been particularly good at demonizing big business in general and Big Oil in particular.
Look back over the last umpteen movies you’ve seen. How many times did it turn out, towards the end of the movie, that, yeah, Big Oil was the grand conspirator behind all the terrible shenanigans in the movie. So that’s who was behind all the black helicopters, and all the Nazi-looking mercenaries, and the destabilization or overthrow of banana republics, and the murder of the good guys. Hollywood, the SLIMC1 and the Marxocrats can never show Big Oil or any big business in a positive light. The image they paint for us of Big Oil and big business is a false image.
Just as there must be a divorce between ecclesial government and civil government, for individual liberty to remain intact, there must also be a divorce – an uncross-able abyss – between representative government and free enterprise. When the two become one, individual liberty ends. As government increases in size and power, it becomes less concerned with the citizen and more concerned with growing itself and increasing its scope and power. And the precise same thing sometimes happens with the leadership of giant corporations. They become less focused on the interests of their own shareholders than with growing themselves and increasing their own power.
In current day America, as in pre-war Germany, it appears that the best way for some CEOs to protect their lofty positions is to say to hell with the shareholders, and get in bed with the government.
What about the Constitution, you might ask. And the Marxocrat answer?
Constitution? What Constitution? We don’t need no stinking Constituion!
Date: Wed Aug 26 00:48:18 2009
In lieu of the fact that every other advanced nation on earth provides free health care for all of their citizens, do you not feel that something has to be done for health care in America?
Date: Thu Aug 27 05:46:27 2009
From: Vic Biorseth
There is also another fact to consider, that America has the best health care system in the world, and there is the ancient, wise advice that says if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. What we have can be improved, because everything can be improved. But there is no emergency here that says it must be improved right now at the cost of untold trillions of dollars that we have not yet generated and that do not yet exist.
Although every other advanced nation on earth took a flying leap, off of a cliff, straight at a wrong conclusion, that fact in and of itself is insufficient reason for us to follow suite. None of them have as good a health care system as we have. All of them ration health care to their citizens; we do not. Citizens from all of these lands come here for major or catastrophic care, we do not go there.
The mistake a lot of people make is that, in America, health insurance coverage is rationed; but there is a major difference between insurance coverage and actual health care, which is not rationed here. Yet. The worst of our coverage rationing insurance plans are the government ones, Medicare and Medicaid. Besides the fact that they are and have been bankrupt, they restrict or deny more coverage for treatments and diagnostic procedures and deny more claims than any other insurance plans in America. Because they are such an unprofitable monstrous bureaucratic headache to deal with, they have been dropped by more health care practitioners than any other form of American health care insurance.
In the foreign lands you speak of health insurance, government provided, is not rationed, but actual health care services are rationed. Just the opposite. Many people simply cannot get medical treatment, period. That’s why so many of them come here for treatment.
But I think the larger issue, Jesse, is that this current American political brouhaha has nothing to do with actual health care, and everything to do with the transfer of power from the people to Obama, and the systematic destruction of America as founded and as we all know it. When he gets control of your life sustaining health care, he gets total control of you.
So the real problem is that we have our first President who hates America and all that she stands for, and is out to destroy her. He stands, bored, with his hands at his sides through the pledge of allegiance or the national anthem. He might as well be twiddling his thumbs or playing with a yoyo. He will never be seen with an American flag pin or any other symbol of national pride. He despises the flag and the Republic for which it stands, and he hates our national anthem. He hates America and he hates her Constitution.
He is a flat out Marxist out to make himself absolute dictator. It remains to be seen if he will succeed.
Date: Thu Nov 05 21:31:42 2009
Still, there are lots of people who cannot afford coverage and many who go broke or worse just because of illness. You cannot say that nothing has to be done. Something has to be done and quickly.
Date: Fri Nov 06 06:08:48 2009
From: Vic Biorseth
Yes I can. I might agree that something should be done, but not by government. The only thing government can do to help the situation is to get itself the hell out of the way. Remove existing government restrictions; repeal existing related laws; pursue tort reform. Government has no business whatsoever involving itself in the health care industry or in the insurance industry. There is no screaming emergency here.
Everything Obama has done so far was preceded by the announcement of a screaming emergency that did not exist. Every one of them was a flagrant lie.
Each bail out; each TARP; each stimulus; cap and tax; health care; everything is touted to be a bloody screaming emergency, that if we don’t act now, all the polar bears will drown, the whole banking system will collapse, we’ll never be able to produce anything again, famine and plague will strike and New York will be under water in a week or so. It is a dire, dire emergency, from which mankind may never recover, unless we act right now.
The “emergency,” in each case, is nothing but a flagrant categorical lie.
Something should be done, yes. But not by government, except to undo what government has done so far, and free the market place.
All of this is way the hell out of scope.
As much as I hate to pop anyone’s happy little bubble, what Obama is trying to do here has nothing whatsoever to do with health care or with health insurance. If it did, this is exactly the wrong thing to do, for it will only make things far worse than they already are. What this is really about is the migration of all political power from the people upward. It is about concentrating all political power under the Presidency. It is about the elimination of your liberty. It is about reinforcing the already established and repeatedly reinforced precedent of ignoring our Constitution and getting away with it. It is about the dictatorship of Obama.
Constitution? What Constitution? We don’t need no stinking Constitution.
Date: Tue Dec 08 03:35:19 2009
From: Roaring Fish
The figures contradict everything you say.
The US spends more per capita on healthcare that any other nation, and more as a percentage of GDP. In figures, the US spends USD7,290 per capita/per annum against USD2,992 in the UK. That kind of sinks the 'social healthcare increases costs' argument.But what do you get for spending 2.5 times as much money? Lower life expectancy (78 years in the US, 79 in the UK) higher infant mortality (4.8% in the UK, 6.7% in the US), less doctors per patient - and you don't even cover the entire population!
Looking at the big picture, life expectancy in the US is lower than any other G5 nation, and according to the CIA Factbook is 50th for life expectancy and a disgraceful 180th for infant mortality - just one ahead of Cuba. That kind of sinks the 'best healthcare in the world' argument.
More to the point is that these figures put the USA *behind* socialised medicine in every case. More money, but worse results. You guys are really getting ripped off!
Date: Thu Dec 10 19:27:07 2009
From: Vic Biorseth
If you look a little closer at the per capita GDP figures, I think you might see that we Americans also happen to make just a tad bit more money than you do over there. And it may or may not be true that longevity and mortality figures here are worse than elsewhere by a statistically insignificant amount. I don’t feel particularly disgraced.
The important thing is that when your dictator, or any of his family members or any of his high ranking underlings needs open heart surgery or a hip replacement or brain surgery for an aneurism, they don’t go to Cuba, the go to America. Or if they do go to Cuba, they usually go back home in a pine box. The most important thing is that, in America, people get health care. That’s why so many Canadians and Brits are in American hospitals. A pregnant Canadian woman might see her Canadian obstetrician for the first time only after her newborn is four months old. That’s why so many Canadians vacation in America, so they can schedule surgeries and procedures regularly. Here, anyone who enters an emergency room will be treated. It’s the law.
Do a thought experiment: say you need a knee replacement, or a heart-lung transplant and a doner is available, and you have your choice of where to go to have it done. The Mayo Clinic? Johns Hopkins? Cuba? England? Where do you go?
See also the It Isn’t Really Health Care page for a clue as to what’s really going on in America on this issue.
Date: Fri Dec 11 05:50:07 2009
From: Roaring Fish
'If you look a little closer at the per capita GDP figures, I think you might see that we Americans also happen to make just a tad bit more money than you do over there'
Fine. Look at percentage of GDP then. Nationmaster tells us:
The same truth is revealed - the US is spending much more money for no better results.
'I don’t feel particularly disgraced.'
Maybe not, but you are being ripped off - the numbers prove it. I would feel particularly unhappy about that.
'That’s why so many Canadians and Brits are in American hospitals.'
Rubbish. Only about 70,000 brits go abroad for medical care - a tiny percentage of our 60,000,000 population. Of those that do it is predominantly cosmetic surgery, and the favoured destinations are:
Notice how the US isn't even on the list? That info comes from an NHS survey in 2007.
'Do a thought experiment: say you need a knee replacement, or a heart-lung transplant and a doner is available, and you have your choice of where to go to have it done. The Mayo Clinic? Johns Hopkins? Cuba? England? Where do you go?'
I would let my NHS do it. Why would I want to go anywhere else and waste money?
If I absolutely *had* to do it privately, it would be India, Malaysia or Thailand - all have booming medical tourism industries. I sure as hell wouldn't pay the astronomical fees you lot pay...
Date: Sat Dec 12 07:11:55 2009
From: Vic Biorseth
I find it curious and, really, amazing, that foreigners are so passionately interested the American health care system, to which they are not even subject.
Percentage of GDP is fairly meaningless when comparing nations; it is only of any value for a given nation from year to year, to see how progress is going in that nation. Size of nations and population variance is too great for any meaningful international comparisons. If you really want to compare nations, you need to use per capita GDP, where the total figure, not any percentage, is divided by the population. Doing that for fiscal year 2009, we see:
It is true that the US is no longer bouncing around between the first three GDP rankings in the world, year after year. And it may be expected that the more the US government interferes in private enterprise and the more Socialist we become, the farther down in the rankings we will slide, just like everybody else. That is a foregone conclusion.
I recently broke a couple of fingers pretty badly doing something stupid with a snow blower; I wrote about it in this site somewhere. Getting it taken care of and getting multiple follow-ups with an orthopedic surgeon presented no problem whatsoever. Total cost to me was about $150, not counting insurance premium deductions from my paycheck over a lifetime of work, and not counting the untold amount I’ve contributed into the American Medicare plan, and not counting all the untold dollars contributed to private plans and to Medicare by all of my employers over the years. You are quite right; that’s a horrible over-expense. But there is this blessing in it: I actually got in to see the doctor when I needed to see him, and that does not happen in a lot of other countries. In many, perhaps even most other countries, a simple broken finger, left untreated long enough, presents an opportunity for gangrene, and even eventual death. That sort of thing is simply not a concern in America.
Tuesday, January 08, 2013
Converted Page to SBI! Release 3.0 BB 2.0.
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. .
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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The Purpose of this grouping of links is to gather all government health care articles in one place.
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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