There is something really dreadful happening as a result of ObamaCare. Corporate CEOs and business owners are being criticized, harassed and threatened on the internet because they are concerned about the costs of ObamaCare and are making business decisions that displease liberals.
Friends, this is the socialist left at work. After businesses provide a product and employ people just by doing what they set out to do, the government comes along and imposes a health-insurance system that businesses cannot figure out and which is very costly. The legislation itself is 2,700 pages long.
Then the companies finally figure out how much ObamaCare is going to cost and they decide how to offset the costs financially. This is why one Florida Denny’s restaurant franchisee decided to cut back worker hours – because under a certain number of hours, employees do not have to be covered.
In other words the workers lose out because of a federal program designed to “help” them. This is classic socialism.
‘Papa John’ Schnatter is another example. He runs the pizza chain bearing that name and he says that ObamaCare is going to force him to raise prices and cut worker hours and benefits.
Schnatter then came under withering assault from liberals on the internet. They pointed out that Schnatter is a very wealthy man who – in their imaginations – can afford to give all of his employees health insurance out of his own pocket. They proposed a boycott of his stores.
This is how unproductive socialists worm their way into our lives and control so much of our economy. Because this criticism comes from doctrinaire, nonproductive leftists mouthing off all over the internet about something that they don’t know anything about – running a business and making a payroll.
Schnatter said that his chain will have to raise the cost of each pizza to cover the costs of ObamaCare.
So what is the big deal? say the liberals. Raise the prices!
This is always their response – raise prices, raise taxes… anything to comply with the socialist agenda that has the neat side effect of giving liberals more power and enriching them through creation of more and more government jobs.
But like all of these government mandates the consumer always pays the cost because such costs like mandated insurance are always passed on by business in the form of higher prices, just as consumers always pay the cost of artificially high union wages through higher prices. Those “better wages” do not come out of thin air.
So ObamaCare is not going to be paid for by “the government” or by “business”. Its costs will be borne not only by consumers paying higher prices, but by workers who lose their jobs or see their hours cut, or by job seekers who never get hired because many businesses will have to shrink under ObamaCare, not grow.
One Georgia business owner laid off employees due to ObamaCare and specifically targeted those who he thought had voted for Obama.
Good for him, for making the Democrat puritans pay for their precious belief system.
This all represents the type of uncertainty, bickering, chaos and financial strain that we conservatives always have warned about regarding these government interventions.
But Democrats care not. In fact they have intentionally sabotaged our private health care system and health insurance system in the first place so that a government takeover would seem like a good idea.
If our health insurance system had not become so expensive and unwieldy there would have been much less basis to argue for an ObamaCare type of takeover. But the first thing the Democrats needed to do was to make the private system unaffordable, which required a coordinated assault on the system over many decades.
This has been made easier because health insurance has a fatal flaw – it is a third-party payment system. In other words if you get sick and you have insurance you don’t pay the actual bill; the insurance company does. So you don’t care how much your care costs, particularly if someone else is paying for your policy like your employer.
With insurance most people never even look over their bill and question the surgeon’s charge, the nurses’ charges, the other charges. They usually don’t even look at the bill because it is so complex.
This is what has allowed Democrats to incrementally undermine the system in many ways like this:
*For decades liberals have worked in the health care system as doctors, nurses, physical therapists, nurse assistants etc. And they knew that they could harm the private health insurance system by billing it excessively – with the double benefit of enriching themselves. And so liberals have been charging the system without conscience for decades, profiteering off of private insurance and making it more and more expensive, leading to the call for a government takeover.
*All people working within the health-care system have needed more and more money because costs are out of control from taxes, from regulations, from malpractice suits etc., all of which come from the Democrat left. And since private insurance plans offer a guaranteed payment, those plans have been taken advantage of. This has pushed up costs dramatically.
*Powerful nurses’ unions and health-care worker unions like SEIU, both allied closely with the Democrat party, have pushed insistently for artificially higher and higher wages, costing the health-care system more and more. You see nurses’ strikes everywhere.
The leaders of these unions knew exactly what they are doing. They have been enriching themselves and their (mostly) Democrat-voting members while pushing the whole health care system closer and closer to insolvency so that a government takeover would seem all but inevitable.
*Tens of millions of poor people who pay zero for health care have been given endless health privileges after decades of lawsuits by Democrats. They don’t even think about paying for anything. And their costs, typically paid for by government, are ultimately absorbed by taxpayers but also by anyone who pays for health insurance.
In fact many poor people are the worst abusers of the health care system because they are taught by Democrats that it is “free” and that they are “entitled to” good health care.
And of course all these poor people are endlessly defended and advocated for by the Democrat party while those who actually pay for insurance are called greedy Tea Partiers.
*The threats to doctors, nurses, physical therapists etc. from lawsuits by trial lawyers has led to massive increases in duplicative tests, treatments, procedures and office visits, increasing health-care costs significantly and harming the entire system.
Trial lawyers are all Democrats who give their campaign contributions exclusively to the Democrat party. Democrat politicians then protect these sleazy lawyers from tort reform laws.
In just one example of millions, this one known personally to Nikitas3.com, an elderly lady needed to be moved from a doctor’s office to the hospital in the next building over that was connected by an indoor walkway. She was transported by expensive ambulance, however, in a one-minute trip instead of walking or being moved in a wheelchair from the office to the hospital building.
This surely was done because the doctor did not want to take any risk of being sued if anything went wrong. After all, “the insurance would cover it”.
So as Democrat trial lawyers have gotten rich suing everyone in sight, they also have been ruining the private insurance system by forcing doctors to do far too much of everything (tests, procedures, treatments, ambulance rides etc.) while at the same time pushing up malpractice insurance costs, putting further pressure on the private system.
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 for liberals that dovetails with their desire to ruin the private health care system. Because they have stolen from it every day from every angle. Everyone knows how this works – the $600 nurse’s visit, the $50 aspirin etc. Then nobody cares because the consumer is not paying the bill. The “insurance company” is paying.
But this is nonsense. The consumer is paying that bill, as usual.
*Government payment – another third-party payment system – for much of health care for poor people, for the uninsured and for the elderly also has created an unaccountable system. And this lack of accountability has harmed the whole system, jacking up costs.
Now imagine that we went in the opposite direction from ObamaCare, that there was no health insurance and that we personally paid our health care bill directly out of our own pocket, which conservatives would like to see much more of with personal health savings accounts.
What would happen? Would we all be bankrupted for a simple hernia operation?
No, the exact opposite would happen. While catastrophic costs could continue to be covered by insurance, all other costs would be dramatically lower. Because individuals would monitor their bills and protest all of these excessive charges if they were paying themselves. This type of system would have kept costs way down if it had existed for the last few decades.
If you paid for your health care out of your own pocket, then you would check over your bill, item by item. You would challenge anything that you thought was excessive, something that you don’t do with insurance.
And you would compare prices ahead of time, just like you compare prices when shopping for anything in the private economy like cars or refrigerators or computers or even gasoline, where the price is posted publicly. That is how capitalism keeps costs down – through open competition.
That is why a computer that cost $10,000 in the 1980s now costs $400. Because computers are part of the free-market capitalist system. There is no government control over computer sales.
But if you don’t know the costs, or how much something should cost, or are not paying the bill in the first place, then there can be no competition. And the modern health insurance system assures that you don’t know anything – or even care about how much anything costs – because it is so complex with so much paperwork.
This is not the fault of the insurance companies. This system has just grown like a blob. In fact normally the insurance companies themselves would monitor the costs to keep them down, but no longer. Here’s why:
If a 90-year old man needs a heart operation, any wise insurance company would say that the expensive treatment is not worth it for the short amount of added life. After all, the man already has lived 12 years beyond the average lifespan.
But in many cases, over many years, liberals complained to the media and to the government that great-grandpa was not getting treatment, and filed lawsuits against the insurance companies. The government then threatened the insurance companies and the media maligned them.
So the insurance companies have decided just to pay every bill, no questions asked, and pass the costs along to consumers. As usual. This has pushed costs out of sight as part of the liberals’ intentional sabotage strategy while it was passed off as “compassion for great-grandpa”.
This demand by liberals for the most intensive care for the oldest and sickest people has been one of the most devastating assaults on our private health-care system out of their many, many assaults.
This Grievance Strategy, which liberals have deployed for anyone needing health care, particularly including the non-paying poor, has been very successful in destroying the health insurance system. Because it has released the brakes from health-care costs and allowed them to run out of control.
See how the liberals have sabotaged the system in so many ways? This is why there came to be more and more talk about how “the government really needs to take over health care”.
*Of course the Liberal Media were all over the case in another way. If great-grandpa died because he did not get his heart operation at age 90 they broadcast it all over. Then it would be picked up and made into speeches by Democrat politicians and other demagogues. And then repeated in the media.
*Obama’s mother is another example. Obama says that she died because she did not get health care because she was uninsured. But Obama never mentions that his mother was a communist lunatic who wandered around the country and around the globe and avoided regular work or a normal life in which she could have gotten the benefit of health insurance.
*The Liberal Media also have been promoting ‘health anxiety’ for decades. By persistently publishing endless stories about everything that can go wrong – most of it based on bogus “research” by university intellectuals – they have induced tens of millions of people to worry excessively about everything, to run to the doctor for every ache and pain and to worry themselves sick about every cup of coffee and spoonful of sugar. This has done severe damage to the private health insurance system and pushed up costs dramatically.
*Health insurance today covers everything from an office visit to a heart transplant. That would be like having a homeowner’s insurance policy that covers every clogged drain and burnt-out light bulb. No wonder insurance is so expensive. Just the paperwork for the simplest procedures has gutted the system.
Now look at this story from Associated Press. Because it shows how those same media suddenly are playing a different tune now that ObamaCare is law:
WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. health care system squanders $750 billion a year — roughly 30 cents of every medical dollar — through unneeded care, byzantine paperwork, fraud and other waste, the influential Institute of Medicine said Thursday in a report that ties directly into the presidential campaign.
President Barack Obama and Republican Mitt Romney are accusing each other of trying to slash Medicare and put seniors at risk. But the counter-intuitive finding from the report is that deep cuts are possible without rationing, and a leaner system may even produce better quality.
Notice how this report comes after ObamaCare has been voted into law. This is typical Liberal Media bias. Because the report suddenly is suggesting that deep cuts are positive things.
Unbelievable. But cuts – or any kinds of cost controls like telling great-grandpa that his heart operation is too expensive – were never positive things in the private system before ObamaCare. They were tagged as evil plots by greedy insurance companies.
Look at what Associated Press is reporting now that ObamaCare is law:
If banking worked like health care, ATM transactions would take days, the report said. If home building were like health care, carpenters, electricians and plumbers would work from different blueprints and hardly talk to each other. If shopping were like health care, prices would not be posted and could vary widely within the same store, depending on who was paying.
This is precisely what we conservatives have been saying for decades, that the system had become far too complex and needed to be reformed. We wanted reform such that at least the insurance companies themselves could monitor the system on our behalf as consumers. But nobody listened. Because liberals were too busy seeking to undermine the system and screaming about everything under the sun.
If you remember the 1990s the private insurers did the right thing. They started making decisions about health care based on a cost/benefit ratio. In other words the 90-year old man would be denied the heart operation because the benefit of a few added years was not worth the high costs of the operation and follow-up procedures. And it was very effective. It worked very well in containing costs for the overall public good.
But the liberals screamed about it. They used their usual emotionally-charged tactics. Because they knew that such reforms were improving the private system. So they started with the lawsuits so that everyone got every type of care no matter how old or how penniless they were. The insurance companies then threw in the towel.
How much is $750 billion? The one-year estimate of health care waste is equal to more than ten years of Medicare cuts in Obama's health care law. It's more than the Pentagon budget. It's more than enough to care for the uninsured.
Yes, all very conveniently reported after ObamaCare has become law. And costs now are going to go out of sight. Because the government is going to squander endless amounts of money.
Which all could have been prevented in the first place with rational reforms of the private system and ultimately with private health savings accounts.
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