(This commentary includes information from a recent nikitas3.com editorial.)
The Supreme Court has upheld the constitutionality of ObamaCare. This is a step in the wrong direction. Republicans now must seek to repeal the entire law.
Nationalized health insurance will only make the problems of health-care affordability worse because millions more people are now going to go to the doctor more often, many of them who are not paying anything for health care.
The Democrat left has always maintained that there are too many uninsured people in America and that we thus need a government health plan.
The other argument from the Democrat left is that government health care will offer better access to those “working poor” without insurance right now. And certainly they deserve some help and already have it under various government programs, primarily Medicaid.
Yet uninsured people already get extensive amounts of health care for free. Hospitals are required by law to treat them. This is what the Democrats don’t want you to know.
But the fact is that we do not need a government takeover of the system to fix the system. Quite the opposite. Because every government program always has had the exact same outcome – after a certain point every person benefitting means that one, two or three other people will be disadvantaged.
Now look at health-care costs nationally. They are out of control. And if you look at the system you easily understand why.
And the solution is to go in the opposite direction from government care – toward eliminating health insurance entirely, which will bring down costs dramatically and permanently.
*Health insurance is a third-party payment system. This is the main source of the problem that will be exacerbated by a government takeover. When people do not pay their own bills directly they do not care what the charges are. How many people who have health insurance check the bill after a medical treatment and question every charge?
Virtually none. And the stories are legend about the $50 aspirin and the $600 nurse’s visit. These are not anecdotal stories. They happen every single day.
And by the way insurance companies do not set the medical rates. They just pay the bills and add on their profit. So liberals should stop blaming the insurance companies for the cost of health care.
In fact insurance companies sought to contain costs in the 1990s and it worked immediately and effectively and brought costs down. They started limiting care and said instead that everyone could not get every treatment, that they were going to restrict people from getting “too much” treatment.
This was an excellent idea because many Americans clearly are being over-treated.
*One of the main reasons for over-treatment is that doctors seeing a patient with a health-insurance plan often use that plan as a guaranteed income source. So they order more procedures, tests and treatments. This brings more money into the doctor’s office or into the nurse’s income stream. This is yet another disadvantage of the current system.
And who screamed loudest about the private-sector cost containments and eventually killed the 1990s reforms?
The same liberals who now want national health insurance.
If we did not have a health insurance system but instead paid for our own care, costs would drop dramatically and quickly. And in turn the basic cost of health care would be more affordable for all.
And this is how the system should be reformed – through elimination of most of the insurance system and its replacement with private medical accounts, with insurance available for catastrophic costs.
If you are charged $600 for a nurse’s visit as happens every day with insurance (I, Nikitas, know from personal knowledge), you would never pay that if you were paying out of your own pocket. You would challenge it.
Imagine an oil change for your car was $300 at several stations. Those stations would go out of business because motorists would find another place to get their oil changed. And costs would come down. Because people would be comparing prices in an open capitalist system.
For instance computers that once would have cost $50,000 now cost $500. Because the market made them available through competition. There was no third-party payment and no government intervention.
This price comparison and competition does not happen with health insurance or government insurance, but indeed would happen with direct payment for health costs.
*Very old people are getting way too much care. This is such a significant factor that you can write a book about it. If a 90-year old man gets an expensive treatment, it may only add a short period to his life. And the facts show that the increasingly elderly population in America is drawing in astronomical amounts of health-care costs for less and less benefit, i.e., short periods of added life, i.e., for diminishing returns.
Meanwhile younger and healthier people who are paying for their health insurance are subsidizing this growing expense, along with younger taxpayers.
But if grandpa cannot get that expensive treatment, the liberals go ballistic. This is all part of an emotional propaganda campaign to undermine the private system with more and more costs and make it ripe for government takeover.
*The entire medical community is ripping off the system because there is so little accountability in third-party payment. There are so many hands in the pie that it is out of control. And the biggest rip-off artists are liberals (many doctors are extremely vocal liberals as are many nurses and their unions, along with unionized health-care workers like SEIU).
They simply bill the system and are never challenged. The insurance companies don’t investigate every claim; they just pay the bills. And thus these liberal doctors and nurses and union workers are living high on the hog while the system has collapsed. Meanwhile other liberals claim that the system is not working.
*Medical practitioners often prescribe too much treatment because of their fear of lawsuits. So they double up and triple up on treatments and tests to cover themselves from potential lawsuits. A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association said that an astounding 76% of doctors said that concerns about possible malpractice suits were the main reason why they gave patients more aggressive – and thus more expensive – treatment.
And remember who these trial lawyers are – they are all hard-left Democrats who are protected by the Democrat party and who give their campaign contributions exclusively to Democrats.
In Texas, where legal/medical reforms were instituted, the health care system is thriving as doctors move away from Democrat-heavy states and into places like Texas where they can practice in peace without a lawyer looking over their shoulder every minute.
Reported abclocal.go.com/ktrk on April 30, 2010:
‘HOUSTON (KTRK) — There's a doctor shortage in Texas. It's not as bad in Houston as it is in rural areas. Experts predict health care reform will make the problem worse, when millions of people get medical coverage.
But Houston is getting some help from a surprising source — other states.
Kelsey-Seybold Cardiologist Rupa Puttappa moved here from the northeast.
"My malpractice insurance would drop down tremendously, weather is great, less hurricanes, no state tax, good school system, and Texas Heart Institute is right here," she said.
She's one of thousands of doctors leaving other states for Texas.
"In our recent recruitment in the past few weeks, I don't think I've seen a local doctor," said Dr. John Burruss, Baylor associate dean. "But I've seen a bunch of people coming in from out of state."
In 2005, just less than 3,000 doctors applied to the Texas medical board for a license. Most were graduates of Texas medical schools. But in 2006, applications jumped by 1,000 and have stayed at 4,000 plus every year since.’
*Tens of millions of low-income people pay zero for health care and still get extensive care. This care is paid for through much higher costs for those who do pay for insurance and through higher taxes. Thus government health care is not going to bring down costs at all. In fact the costs for these uninsured people are going to spike significantly under a government plan to cover even more care for more people who pay zero. And this is going to strangle the system even more.
*When the unaccountable government starts paying the bills, the overcharges and rip-offs are going to multiply astronomically. Just look at all the fraud in government spending in every field today. And imagine trillions more going through the same corrupt system.
This is why reform has to go the other way – in order to bring down costs for all.
*Exorbitant wage demands by unionized health-care workers (mostly Democrats and backed politically 100% by the Democrat party) are pushing up health costs astronomically. We all know the stories about unions driving private companies and whole industries, like railroads and steel, out of business for decades. Now they are bankrupting entire states through public-employee unions and throttling our national health-care system.
How many nurses’ strikes have you heard about recently? They are everywhere as the health system collapses under existing costs, never mind the higher wages that unionized nurses are demanding.
*There are other causes for the incessant rise in health costs. For instance widespread sexual diseases like gonorrhea, chlamydia, herpes, hepatitis, syphilis, AIDS etc. are costing the system huge amounts of money. Yet the Media Left and the liberal medical community are silent on these diseases because they are a result of sexual promiscuity that is promoted by the Democrat left.
The whole health-care system has turned into a disaster primarily because the Democrats have done everything they can to sabotage it. And turning it over to the government is going to make it much worse. We should take the current system and reform it instead.
(Please bookmark this website. Thank you, Nikitas)