Democrats’ Healthcare Plan

Yes, we have the finest healthcare in the world but there is plenty of work to do to make it fair and affordable.

Start with Medicare for example:

  • Medicare is fixated on price instead of cost.  Don’t underestimate the damage caused by this insidious short sightedness.
  • Competition is not just discouraged it is outlawed!
  • The best and worst, the most efficient and the biggest wasters all get paid the same.

Pressing needs include:

  • Insurance reform
  • Tort reform
  • Universal Electronic Medical Record
  • Fair treatment for the working poor who are not eligible for Medicaid but cant afford private insurance.

Please consider our diagnosis and prescription for preserving the good in our system and fixing only that which is broken:

Patient Centered, Free Enterprise Health Care Reform

The video below illustrates some of the lunacy of our present healthcare system and has a little fun doing so.  What if air travel (that paragon of efficiency) worked like our health care system?  Hmmmmm…

I am having a very difficult time understanding many of my “fellow Americans”.

I look around me and see the “American Way” quickly becoming something I am less than proud of.   I see that corruption in our federal government has risen to extreme levels that I never thought possible.

Radicals, socialists, communists, crooks, thugs and automatons pervade the highest levels of our government.

I see a huge power shift from the people to our corrupt government.

I see Black Panther bullies given a pass for outlandish intimidation of voters at a polling place.  By the way, my concern has NOTHING to do with race, it has only to do with America and our law.  I wonder how Mr. Holder would have handled guys in white sheets intimidating black voters in Mississippi?  (I would hope he would stow them under the jail as he should have done with the Panthers. Now I have insulted both the panthers and the clan.)

I see a health care law enacted that creates many more problems than it solves and a US Army unit training in Georgia to handle “domestic unrest” with in our own borders.

I see terrorists being called ill instead of hateful and Americans who cherish traditional American values being ridiculed and mocked.

I see presidential promises broken with a wink instead of an apology (and America winks back).

Speaking of apologies, I see POTUS apologizing to the world for everything that is good in America.

I see our government trashing our relationships with our closest allies and sucking up to those who hate us.

I see our economy being trashed and our children’s future being squandered.

I see what has been a worthless media, rising up and becoming a malignant force that seems to be bent on our destruction.

And our congress! when did it become the enemy of America?

I feel like Rip Van Winkle!

It seems that bad has become the new good and good has become outdated, uncool, and stupid. (Props to Isaiah the Hebrew prophet for warning us this would happen)

The point is, I see these things and think: Germany, circa 1936, Argentina, circa 1955 (or North Korea, circa today).  Whereas, millions of my fellow citizens, see a great new hero who is leading America to its glorious destiny.

And, when I try to talk to one of these citizens who refer to themselves by the euphemism “progressives”,  I begin to see how much trouble we are really in.  Trying to talk to these “progressives” about our founders and the constitution or freedom and its price, is worse than trying to talk to a fence post.  At least the fence post can generally be counted upon to be free from body odor and refrain from spitting on you or clubbing you to death with nonsensical sound bites and mantras.

It is more like trying to teach a pig to fly.  It is a complete waste of time and it annoys the pig.

In reading this, you may conclude that I hate Mr. Obama, but that is not the case.  I hate what he is doing to the America i grew up in.  The one that was created and preserved by the blood and sacrifice of my ancestors.  The one that I have served and struggled to pass on to my posterity.

But I do not hate Barack Obama.

I believe he is simply being himself and doing what he sincerely thinks is best for himself and those he cares about.  There are no surprises with Mr. Obama.  He is exactly what he seemed to be before he was elected and he is behaving exactly as he told us he would (for example: why should he prove he is ineligible for this great job when he can get a pass and keep feeding at the trough?).

When he reminded Republican law-makers that “Elections have consequences” shortly after his inauguration, he was simply setting the tone for his presidency.  He brought his friends and associates with him to Washington just as Jimmy Carter (the last president whose stupidity we almost didn’t survive) did.  It just so happens that rather than being a bunch of “crackers” (and I mean that in the kindest possible way.  Some of my best friends are from Georgia) Obama’s cronies are a bunch of thugs, crooks and radicals (ooops, now I have insulted Chicago).

I don’t hate Barak, I just want the USA to survive him and get back on track.

And I should say this:

Our country has been off track since long before Mr. Obama bounded onto our stage.  In fact, we have been the proverbial “frogs in a pot” for decades.

We have been steadily pursuing a slide down the slippery slope we started in 1962 when prayer was first banned in schools.  This slide was certainly accelerated in the decade beginning in 1965 during which we sacrificed 50,000 American lives in a futile war in Vietnam for which we had no clearly defined objective and no commitment to “win” (whatever that meant to the politicians), then again in 1973 when Roe v. Wade paved the way for the legal slaughter of over 50,000,000 unborn babies so far.

I thought the slide was over when Ronald Reagan was Elected in 1980.  Unfortunately, that merely just a pleasant delay, but it made me feel optimistic about our country again after the Carter fiasco…er… administration.

When you think about it, If the Obama regime serves as a wake up call to a sleeping American populace (who have been enjoying the warming water in the pot for at least five decades) before we actually boil to death, Mr. Obama could be the best thing that has happened to America in fifty years!

An unbiased analysis of the problems within our current health care system will confirm that they are largely the result of the influence that the federal government has exercised within the system.

The problems that need to be addressed are complex and large, and would only be further complicated and magnified by resorting to the failed doctrine of central planning. A partial list of these problems includes:

  • Nearly five decades of extraordinary inflation in the health care segment. This is not due to a failure of capitalism but is the result of a lack of capitalism in health care. Its beginning can be traced to the advent and explosive growth of the third-party payer system beginning with Blue Cross in the 1940s. This is not rocket science. When a third party picks up the tab, buyers and sellers do not function in their traditional free market roles. Government involvement through Medicare and Medicaid as well as various unfunded mandates and increased red tape and reporting requirements compounded the problem.
  • Tremendous waste built into the system, for example:
    • “Defensive medicine” tests, images, therapies and procedures not necessary or even helpful for diagnosis and treatment of a condition, but help to document physician “diligence” in the event of a law suit.
    • Duplicate tests, images and therapies ordered by various providers for the same patients. This occurs because the providers have no way to coordinate information and care.
    • Higher cost “first visits” each time a patient sees a new provider for the first time. This is to cover the cost of the initial patient physical history that is many times incorrect or incomplete.
    • Harmful treatments and therapies that are ordered due to lack of information which generate additional expense and suffering.
    • Care that is rendered solely because a third party is paying for it.
    • Lack of competitive pressures on providers to deliver efficient, cost effective care.
    • Government rules and regulations that require extra steps, red tape and waste of manpower and materiel.
    • Out of control regulatory processes that generate great expense for providers without corresponding benefit to patients.
  • The incentives in our present systems are misaligned and confused. They reward behavior on the part of providers, payers and patients that are counter to maintaining a high quality, cost effective health care system.
    • Providers are generally rewarded to sell more services and skimp on quality and service.
    • Insurers and other payers are incented to limit coverage and challenge claims. Some insurance companies stoop to automatically denying all claims the first time they are submitted and asking the patient to provide more information. They know that a significant percentage of these patients will be confused and docilely accept the denial and never resubmitted the claim.
    • Patients are rewarded by postponing care until it is critical and thus expensive.
    • Providers with low prices are chosen by payers and patients rather than efficient providers who are able to deliver an entire episode of care for the lowest “global” cost. Global cost includes all costs associated with an episode of care. For example, in the case of surgery, the surgeon’s fee is only a small part of the global cost, which considers all pre-operative exams, tests, images, treatments, prescriptions, etc as well as the cost of the hospital room and board and ancillary services, radiologist, anesthesiologist, etc., plus post-operative follow-up exams tests, images and treatments.
    • Studies have shown that that there is often an inverse correlation between global costs and the quality of the provider. In other words, the best surgeon gets the diagnosis and treatment right the first time and performs in a highly efficient manner. The global cost of the entire surgery is very competitive even though the surgeon’s fee may be higher than average.
  • Medicare and Medicaid programs that cover the poor and the elderly are highly inefficient government run programs. There is NO COMPETITION ALLOWED! These programs rely on price fixing instead of competition to control costs. Price fixing is not only a shallow and ineffective approach to cost management; but is also highly susceptible to political influences, often to the point of being “pork”.
  • The cost of administration for the government plans is high when one considers that administrative costs are largely shifted to providers and patients and thus are not fully reflected in the costs reported by the government.

    Government plans depend primarily on the simplistic strategy of setting the fees they will pay for services rendered in order to control costs. This strategy fails to recognize the differences in quality and efficiency between providers and gives no incentives or even opportunity for providers to compete. Yes, that is correct. They pay the same fee to all similar providers in an area, regardless of quality, experience, reputation or efficiency. In considering only fees, the true global costs are ignored.

    Many top quality and highly efficient providers refuse to take patients covered by these plans because of fee limitations and administrative costs. The result is lower quality care at a higher cost.

  • The working poor. This is perhaps the most unfair situation of all. This group generally receives very limited primary care and almost no preventative care. Primary care is generally limited to that which is received only after hours of waiting in a government or charity hospital emergency room. Generally, the care they receive is extremely inefficient and of spotty effectiveness.
  • These people are generally hard working, “contributing citizens” who are not able to afford their share of the cost of employer sponsored health plans but who earn too much to be eligible for government plans such as Medicaid.

    They are thrown into a nightmarish hodge podge of overlapping systems (with wide gaps) to obtain their care. This entire system is generally demeaning, inconvenient, and unreliable.

    Funding sources include various not-for-profit providers who provide services on a charity basis (sometimes only after trying and failing to collect full balances); as well as various private and public charities, and various government sponsored programs such as state and local government health care facilities, VA Hospitals and clinics, etc. The cost of this ineffective care is virtually incalculable but possibly the most expensive, least effective care per-capita being provided in the USA.

The Prescription?

Block Opposing Voices

by on September 2, 2009

in Health Care

Recorded on August 31, 2009 outside Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) town hall meeting in Skokie, IL.

Let’s not discuss issues. Let’s just block out opposing voices.

The 20th century’s great experiments with central planning have either abandoned the concept and injected large doses of capitalism into their economies, collapsed under the weight of their own inefficiency or maintained control of their oppressed citizens with strict totalitarian governments with reputations for brutality.  The evidence is there for all to see.  It is barely history, more like current events.

Why then, do those who now control our government turn to central planning to solve the admittedly serious problems within our health care system which represents 18% of our nation’s GDP?  An unbiased analysis of the root causes of the problems within our current health care system will confirm that they are largely caused by the influence that the government has exercised within the system.

The problems that need to be addressed are complex and large, and would only be further complicated and magnified by resorting to the failed doctrine of central planning.  A partial list of these problems includes:

  • Nearly five decades of extraordinary inflation in the health care segment.  This is not due to a failure of capitalism but is the result of a lack of capitalism in health care.  Its beginning can be traced to the advent and explosive growth of the third-party payer system beginning with Blue Cross in the 1940s.  This is not rocket science.  When a third party picks up the tab, buyers and sellers do not function in their traditional free market roles.  Government involvement through Medicare and Medicaid as well as various unfunded mandates and increased red tape and reporting requirements compounded the problem.
  • Tremendous waste built into the system, for example:
    • “Defensive medicine” tests, images, therapies and procedures not necessary or even helpful for diagnosis and treatment of a condition, but help to document physician “diligence” in the event of a law suit.
    • Duplicate tests, images and therapies ordered by various providers for the same patients.  This occurs because the providers have no way to coordinate information and care.
    • Higher cost “first visits” each time a patient sees a new provider for the first time.  This is to cover the cost of the initial patient physical history that is many times incorrect or incomplete.
    • Harmful treatments and therapies that are ordered due to lack of information which generate additional expense and suffering.
    • Care that is rendered solely because a third party is paying for it.
    • Lack of competitive pressures on providers to deliver efficient, cost effective care.
    • Government rules and regulations that require extra steps, red tape and waste of manpower and materiel.
    • Out of control regulatory processes that generate great expense for providers without corresponding benefit to patients.
  • The incentives in our present systems are misaligned and confused.  They reward behavior on the part of providers, payers and patients that are counter to maintaining a high quality, cost effective health care system.
    • Providers are generally rewarded to sell more services and skimp on quality and service.
    • Insurers and other payers are incented to limit coverage and challenge claims.  Some insurance companies stoop to automatically denying all claims the first time they are submitted and asking the patient to provide more information.  They know that a significant percentage of these patients will be confused and docilely accept the denial and never resubmitted the claim.
    • Patients are rewarded by postponing care until it is critical and thus expensive.
    • Providers with low prices are chosen by payers and patients rather than efficient providers who are able to deliver an entire episode of care for the lowest “global” cost.  Global cost includes all costs associated with an episode of care.  For example, in the case of surgery, the surgeon’s fee is only a small part of the global cost, which considers all pre-operative exams, tests, images, treatments, prescriptions, etc as well as the cost of the hospital room and board and ancillary services, radiologist, anesthesiologist, etc., plus post-operative follow-up exams tests, images and treatments.
    • Studies have shown that that there is often an inverse correlation between global costs and the quality of the provider.  In other words, the best surgeon gets the diagnosis and treatment right the first time and performs in a highly efficient manner. The global cost of the entire surgery is very competitive even though the surgeon’s fee may be higher than average.
  • Medicare and Medicaid programs that cover the poor and the elderly are highly inefficient government run programs.  There is NO COMPETITION ALLOWED! These programs rely on price fixing instead of competition to control costs.  Price fixing is not only a shallow and ineffective approach to cost management; but is also highly susceptible to political influences, often to the point of being “pork”.
  • The cost of administration for the government plans is high when one considers that administrative costs are largely shifted to providers and patients and thus are not fully reflected in the costs reported by the government.

    Government plans depend primarily on the simplistic strategy of setting the fees they will pay for services rendered in order to control costs.  This strategy fails to recognize the differences in quality and efficiency between providers and gives no incentives or even opportunity for providers to compete. Yes, that is correct. They pay the same fee to all similar providers in an area, regardless of quality, experience, reputation or efficiency.  In considering only fees, the true global costs are ignored.

    Many top quality and highly efficient providers refuse to take patients covered by these plans because of fee limitations and administrative costs.  The result is lower quality care at a higher cost.

  • The working poor.  This is perhaps the most unfair situation of all. This group generally receives very limited primary care and almost no preventative care.  Primary care is generally limited to that which is received only after hours of waiting in a government or charity hospital emergency room.  Generally, the care they receive is extremely inefficient and of spotty effectiveness.
  • These people are generally hard working, “contributing citizens” who are not able to afford their share of the cost of employer sponsored health plans but who earn too much to be eligible for government plans such as Medicaid.

    They are thrown into a nightmarish hodge podge of overlapping systems (with wide gaps) to obtain their care.  This entire system is generally demeaning, inconvenient, and unreliable.

    Funding sources include various not-for-profit providers who provide services on a charity basis (sometimes only after trying and failing to collect full balances); as well as various private and public charities, and various government sponsored programs such as state and local government health care facilities, VA Hospitals and clinics, etc.  The cost of this ineffective care is virtually incalculable but possibly the most expensive, least effective care per-capita being provided in the USA.

Coming soon: Prescription for health care reform.

www.JewishWorldReview.com Published this article entitled “What lies beneath” By Cal Thomas. It explores the deeper issues that divide the left and right concerning health care reform:

The debate — OK, the shouting match — we are having over “health-care reform” is about many things, including cost, who gets help and who does not and who, or what, gets to make that determination. Underlying it all is a larger question: Is human life something special? Is it to be valued more highly than, say, plants and pets? When someone is in a “persistent vegetative state” do we mean to say that person is equal in value to a carrot?

Are we now assigning worth to human life, or does it arrive with its own pre-determined value, irrespective of race, class, IQ, or disability?

The bottom line is not the bottom line. It is something far more profound. Our decisions regarding who will get help and who won’t are about more than bean-counting bureaucrats deciding if your drugs or operation will cost more than you are contributing to the U.S. Treasury.

The secular left claims we are evolutionary accidents who managed to crawl out of the slime and by “natural selection” stand erect and over millions of years outsmart our ancestors, the apes. If that is your belief, then you probably think health care should be rationed. Why spend lots of money to improve — or save — the life of someone who evolved from slime and has no special significance other than the “accident” of becoming human? Policies flow from such a philosophy, though the average secularist probably wouldn’t put it in such stark terms. Stark, or not, isn’t this the inevitable progression of seeing humanity as maybe complex, but nothing special?

The opposing view sees human beings as unique creations. Even Thomas Jefferson, identified by historians as a Deist who doubted the existence of a personal G-d, understood that if certain rights (life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness) do not come from a source beyond the reach of the state, then the state could take those rights away. Those who believe that G-d made us and also makes the rules about our existence and our behavior will have a completely different understanding of life’s value and our approach to affirming it until natural death.

It is between these two distinctly different worldview goalposts that the battle is taking place. Few from the “endowed rights” side are saying that a 100-year-old with an inoperable brain tumor should be given extraordinary and expensive care to keep the heart pumping, even after brain waves have gone flat. But there is a big difference between “letting go” and “snuffing out.” The unnatural progression for many on the secular left is to see such a person as a “burden.” In an age when we think we should be free of burdens — a notion that contributes to our superficiality and makes us morally obtuse — getting rid of granny might seem perfectly rational, even defensible. But by doing so, we assume an even greater burden: the role of G-d in deciding who gets to live and who must die. Anyone who has seen the film “Bruce Almighty” senses how difficult it is to play G-d.

We are now witnessing some of the consequences of attempting to ban people with a G-d perspective from the public square. If there are no rules and no one to whom one might appeal when those rules are violated, we are on our own to set whatever rules we wish and to change them in a moment in response to opinion polls. Any appeals to a higher authority stop at the Supreme Court.

The explosive town hall meetings are indications that Americans are trusting government less and less. So where should we go? The answer is in your wallet or purse. It’s on the money. Right now it is little more than a slogan, but what if it became true: in G-d We Trust.

Health care is NOT just a economic  issue, it is a moral issue. The chasm that divides us is as deep as it gets. Let there be no “Roe Vs Wade” type edict that prevents any US citizen from pursuing life, liberty and happiness.  All human beings deserve the “right to choose” whether or not to receive treatment.  The government proposes to approach this as an economic decision.  It is so much more!  There must be no government involvement in that important choice.

Read the article here:
What lies beneath


You can track the healthcare bill here: H.R.3200: America’s Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009

More Health care Coverage on Liberty’s Army

Contact Your U.S. Representative

Contact Your U.S. Senators

In a time of universal deceit telling the truth is a revolutionary act. George Orwell

We agree that anyone who works for a living should be able to afford health care. There are about 8,000,000 working poor who are not eligible for formal government programs such as Medicare or Medicaid, but cannot afford the huge expense that decent health insurance has become. We are concerned about these folks. That number is a far cry from the 47,000,000 number that has been used to scare and manipulate us, however.

While we want health care, we DON’T want:

  • Lies and half truths used to manipulate us into accepting stupid government programs that do more harm than good.
  • ANYONE connected in ANYWAY with ANY government deciding who is worth treating and who is not.
  • The federal government to play any role whatsoever in the health care system other than funding the infrastructure that is necessary to establish Electronic Medical Records that will reduce waste and duplications as well as improve the quality of health care decisions and advance the effectiveness of treatment protocols through use of data mining.
  • The Electronic Medical Record to be owned by anyone except the patient who will be able to control access to the information contained in it.
  • The Electronic Medical Record to be a huge expense for health care providers.  It should reside in “the cloud” and should require no proprietary software be installed on a provider’s system in order to access it.  A reasonable computer with a quality browser should be enough if the infrastructure is fully and properly developed.
  • The government to negotiate or fix prices in anyway.  Medicare has proven that government price fixing does NOTHING to reduce costs.  Costs will only be reduced when the incentives for the providers, patients, payers, and regulators are all aligned to reward elimination of waste, increased quality of care and outcomes, cost effectiveness and efficiency of care.
  • Increased bureaucracy and red tape and complicated rules and regulations.  We want the giving and receiving of and payment for care to be simple and elegant.
  • A slowing of Medical research and the resulting advances in medical science that have fueled a doubling of life expectancy in the past 150 years.
  • The aged or infirm to be written off as non-productive citizens and thus not worthy of continued investment in treatment.
  • To be forced to choose a particular provider or insurer.
  • To be forced to receive or to forgo a particular treatment or therapy.
  • Any further inhibition of competition in the health care field.  We want free competition with a level playing field between insurers and providers solidly based on open and reliable information regarding costs, outcomes and quality and efficiency markers being available to consumers.
  • Individuals excluded from coverage for any reason unless they are trying to enroll in a plan after having refused it when originally eligible. Coverage should be open to all regardless of health condition.
  • Bureaucrats, either government or private, second guessing our physicians on their recommended treatments. The physicians should only be accountable to their patients and peer groups.
  • Bureaucrats, either government or private judging whether or not an illness is brought on by a person’s behavior or lifestyle and assessing penalties of any kind based on those judgments.
  • The government throwing our money at our health care system until its incentives are properly aligned and waste has been virtually eliminated.  Such behavior will just compound our current problems.
  • To pay for care for those who are here illegally and are not otherwise paying their own way.
  • Huge deficits.  We especially don’t want huge deficits that are attributed to paying for any of the “don’t wants” listed above.

Yes, we do want affordable health care.  We realize however that the reason health care is not affordable for all presently is past and present government interference.  We are not idiots.  We do not buy the B.S. that you have been pedaling in trying to sell your socialized agenda for health care.  We don’t appreciate the street thug tactics and name calling and accusations that have been employed against those of us who do not agree with your horrific plan.  “We the people” still own this country and its government. The government does not own it or us.  We will cooperate with any program that truly benefits the people but we will not be bullied.  We don’t have to tolerate being bullied, we are Americans!


You can track the healthcare bill here: H.R.3200: America’s Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009

More Health care Coverage on Liberty’s Army

Contact Your U.S. Representative

Contact Your U.S. Senators

In a time of universal deceit telling the truth is a revolutionary act. George Orwell