Universal Healthcare: Would it really work for the U.S.?

By
Services for Real Estate Pros with HealthInsuranceMentors.com 2180742

Since there are so many ideas on the table as to how to reform our Nations Health Care System, it is difficult to know  what the right course of action is. Most especially when you are on the outside looking in. Recently ABC's 20/20 program  did an in depth study of this issue. The result of which clearly outlined the problems with the U.S. Health Care System  and what needs to be done on a National scale  in order to truly reform our Health Care System. If you have not seen the  20/20 episode entitled "Sick in America"  with John Stossel. Please take the time to watch all 6 videos and the short but  insightful documentary films below. It will take about 45 minutes of your time but it is well  worth it to know what's  really going on and what can be done right now to truly reform the U.S. Health Care system.  Most importantly it can all  be done without spending Trillions of U.S. Tax Payer Dollars. In fact, it will SAVE us money!

Sick in America" (Part 1 of 6)

"Sick in America" (Part 2 of 6)

"Sick in America" (Part 3 of 6)

"Sick in America" (Part 4 of 6)

"Sick in America" (Part 5 of 6)

"Sick in America" (Part 6 of 6)



A common example used to further the cause of adopting a Single Payer system in the United States is to point out how well it is working in countries such as France and Canada. 20/20 touches on this in the above episode. However, very few have done a more in depth study of Canada's Single Payer system than documentary film maker Stuart Browning. For even more about what is really going on with the Canadian  health care system please watch his short but very informative documentary videos below. Again, well worth your time.
 



What's it like JUST TO SEE A DOCTOR with Canada's Single Payer System? Watch Steven Crowder's hidden camera video:

Health Broker - Rick Baker (featured in the above film) asks you to help stop Congress from adopting Canada's system by signing the petition at www.freeourhealthcarenow.com Please help secure your rights to your own health care choices.

Why is Rick so passionate about his plea for your help in stopping the adoption of a Government Run Health Care System for all Americans? Because certain "progressive" states have already adopted such State Run Health Care Systems. Take a look at what happened to Barbara Wagner who was a victim of the "Oregon Public Health Insurance Plan". When Government runs ANYTHING it's all about price containment and not the Health & Welfare of the Patient.

Medical care in the United States is derided as miserable compared to health care systems in the rest of the developed world.  Economists, government officials, insurers and academics alike are beating the drum for a far larger government role in health care.  Much of the public assumes their arguments are sound because the calls for change are so ubiquitous and the topic so complex.  However, before turning to government as the solution, some unheralded facts about America's health care system should be considered, says Scott W. Atlas, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and a professor at the Stanford University Medical Center. 

Americans have better survival rates than Europeans for common cancers:

  • Breast cancer mortality is 52 percent higher in Germany than in the United States, and 88 percent higher in the United Kingdom.
  • Prostate cancer mortality is 604 percent higher in the United Kingdom and 457 percent higher in Norway.
  • The mortality rate for colorectal cancer among British men and women is about 40 percent higher.

Americans have better access to treatment for chronic diseases than patients in other developed countries:

  • Some 56 percent of Americans who could benefit are taking statins, which reduce cholesterol and protect against heart disease.
  • By comparison, of those patients who could benefit from these drugs, only 36 percent of the Dutch, 29 percent of the Swiss, 26 percent of Germans, 23 percent of Britons and 17 percent of Italians receive them.

Lower income Americans are in better health than comparable Canadians:

  • Twice as many American seniors with below-median incomes self-report "excellent" health compared to Canadian seniors (11.7 percent versus 5.8 percent).
  • Conversely, white Canadian young adults with below-median incomes are 20 percent more likely than lower income Americans to describe their health as "fair or poor."

Americans spend less time waiting for care than patients in Canada and the United Kingdom:

  • Canadian and British patients wait about twice as long -- sometimes more than a year -- to see a specialist, to have elective surgery like hip replacements or to get radiation treatment for cancer.
  • All told, 827,429 people are waiting for some type of procedure in Canada.
  • In England, nearly 1.8 million people are waiting for a hospital admission or outpatient treatment.

Source: Scott W. Atlas, "10 Surprising Facts About American Health Care," National Center for Policy Analysis, Brief Analysis No. 649, 3/24/09 http://www.ncpa.org/sub/dpd/index.php?Article_ID=17770


 
Because of how the Single Payer System is designed, citizens of England & Canada have NO WHERE NEAR the choices that we as American citizens do. As a matter of fact, until very recently (2005) it was simply not possible for a Canadian citizen to pay for their own health care or to purchase private medical insurance that would "bump them up the long waiting list" for medical treatments. The reason Canadian citizens now have the right to do so (and it is still limited) is a direct result of long hard battles (many that are still being fought) that have been waged by brave Canadian citizens like Dr. Jacques Chaoulli who took his clients case all the way to the Canadian supreme court and won! Dr. Chaoulli (http://www.healthcoalition.ca/chaoulli.html) and his patient, George Zeliotis, launched their legal challenge to the Canadian government's monopolized healthcare system after waiting more than a year for hip-replacement surgery.
 
Canada's high court found for the plaintiffs and in doing so issued the following statement: "The evidence in this case shows that delays in the public healthcare system are widespread, and that, in some serious cases, patients die as a result of waiting lists for public healthcare. The evidence also demonstrates that the prohibition against private health insurance and its consequence of denying people vital healthcare result in physical and psychological suffering that meets a threshold test of seriousness." Furthermore, Justice Marie Deschamps said, "Many patients on non-urgent waiting lists are in pain and cannot fully enjoy any real quality of life. The right to life and to personal inviolability is therefore affected by the waiting times."

Furthermore, the Vancouver, British Columbia-based Fraser Institute which keeps track of Canadian waiting times for various medical procedures. According to the Fraser Institute's 14th annual edition of "Waiting Your Turn: Hospital Waiting Lists in Canada (2006)," total waiting time between referral from a general practitioner and treatment, averaged across all 12 specialties and 10 provinces surveyed, rose from 17.7 weeks in 2003 to 17.9 weeks in 2006. Depending on which Canadian province you live in, a simple MRI requires a wait between 7 and 33 weeks! Orthopedic surgery could require a wait of 14 weeks for a referral from a general practitioner to the specialist and then another 24 weeks from the specialist to treatment! For even more real life horror stories about Canadian citizens left in the lurch by the Canadian healthcare system read the well researched and fact based Wall Street Journal article entitled "Too Old For Hip Surgery" here: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123413701032661445.html?mod=article-outset-box This is what happens when you put government in control of your health care decisions. Doing so in this country, would be nothing short of a train wreck. Anyone who thinks otherwise is simply uninformed or "willfully ignorant".

What has our government done, to convince people to hand over our very health freedoms for it to govern over?
Katrina……..?
Fannie Mae – bailout? (this is a government entity who's employee's receive bonuses!) What other government employee receives bonuses for doing their jobs?
Social security – bankrupt ? (robbed for other expenditures)
Medicaid – ? (robbed for other expenditures)
$2 trillion Porkulus bill - ? (and growing)
AIG – bail out, yet nobody knows where's the money gone? No committee of oversight in place (was promised by our representatives to be in place immediately)
Gas prices - ? (50% of every dollar at the pump goes to Washington) But who did you point your finger at as the problem?

Since our government "cannot" be sued, how will one be able to be recompensed for its malfeasance or neglect? How will the government, once it tells 300 million people "go see the doctor we will pay all the bills", be able to control the consequences? By overwhelming our medical profession or breaking it, will come another "grand government solution," we need more money to fix it"! You are already familiar and have accepted this excuse for too long, and know this to be their power solution. Our government has impoverished our families' financial freedom to pay our own way, by immoral taxation. Want to know what such a government endeavor will cost the U.S. Tax Payer? Read the April 12, 2009 Wall Street Journal article entitled: Obama Care's Real Price Tag Adopting a Single Payer Universal Health Care System or a Government Run "Public Option" is clearly NOT the way to "reform" our health care system and this is why we have seen predominantly Liberal news outlets like The New York Post, The Huffington Post, Salon.com and The Washington Post vehemently condemn President Obama's "Health Care"....er...."Health Insurance" reform plans. Michigan Congressman Mike Rogers voiced similar concerns about the current House and Senate "reform" bills during a Senate hearing this week:

Whilst both parties (and most American's) feel that something has to be done. The question is, what is the best course  of action?  There are still those who actually believe that a "Single Payer" system would be the best option. The President does not  agree, although he clearly stated his support for such a system prior to his election. Now, he is promoting the aforementioned  "Public  Option" which by all estimates will cost the U.S. Tax Payers between $1 and $2 Trillion over the next decade! Not to mention what happens AFTER the first decade!

As Investors Business Daily stated in their 07/31/09 article a Public option will most definitely not work. In fact, it's not about choices. It's about Government control of our health care decisions. This being the case, a Public Option is most definitely not the way to reform the U.S. health care system. Nevertheless, we still definitely need health care reform on many levels and if Government must play a part, there are intelligent things they can do. Here’s where they can actually help:

  •  Eliminate the ridiculous State imposed Mandates that PROHIBIT Health Insurers from offering coverage in EVERY SINGLE STATE! For example, Small Businesses in California have roughly 6 (yes that's six) options for Health Insurance. Yet there are 1,300 Health Insurance companies in America! States like Colorado FORCE carriers to cover "substance abuse" which DOUBLES the Health Insurance premiums in Colorado (you can now waive "substance abuse" coverage and your premium is subsequently reduced BY HALF!). This kind of State Mandate (and so many more) is what prevent the majority of Health Insurance carriers from offering their products in every State.

    Basic economics 101 teaches us that NOTHING increases quality and drives down prices LIKE COMPETITION! How can we increase quality and competition when we stifle it by imposing ridiculous mandates that inhibit competition from the get go? All 1,300 Health Insurance carriers should be able to offer ALL of their products in EVERY SINGLE STATE. This way if you do not like your current coverage you have 1, 299 OTHER OPTIONS. With that many options available, carriers are NATURALLY FORCED BY THE RULES OF COMPETITION AND FREE MARKET ENTERPRISE to IMPROVE not only the quality of their products but to also improve their customer service OR THE CONSUMER WILL PURCHASE their Health Insurance from 1,299 other carriers! It's as simple as that! Also, actuarial tables teach us that the more lives that are in the pool, the lower the premiums for all. How much lower could premiums be if everyone in EVERY state had 1300 carriers to choose from? Things that make you go HMMMMMM???
     

  •  I would say weed out the 12 million Illegals (that we know about) who are sucking our Medicaid system dry...but as Congressman Joe Wilson so aptly stated, Obama CLEARLY wants to "provide a PATH TO CITIZENSHIP for the 10 to 12 million Illegals in our country" (direct quote from his speech in Texas). Once they're legal, he can then cover them ALL on our tax dollar! So YES his plan IS to cover Illegals, he'll just make em legal first! Think they're not sucking our Medicaid system dry? Just visit California or Illinois. Good old “Blago” enrolled thousands of Illegals in to our Medicaid system, thereby running the program in the ground & leaving our Illinois Medicaid system approx. $1.5 BILLION behind in payment of claims to physicians who have been providing “free” care to all illegals who were lucky enough to flock to the State of Illinois to insure themselves for “free”. In fact, according to the U.S. Census Bureau 10 to 12 Million of the Uninsured in America are illegal aliens. Who comprise the rest? Find out here.

  •  Instead of bailing out GM with Billions of our blood sweat and tears and then letting them file bankruptcy 3 months later. Why not fund a NATIONAL High Risk Pool for those who are rendered uninsurable? We already have such State run High Risk Health Insurance pools in the majority of States. These Risk Pools will cover anyone regardless of their medical history. The problem is they are under funded so the premiums are extremely high. Instead of spending $1.6 Trillion to insure only 11 Million of the 45 Million uninsured. LEAVE the bulk of the nation's risk where the money is, namely with the insurance companies. Then provide a National Federal & State funded Risk Pool for those who are rendered uninsurable. Since the uninsured far outweigh the uninsurable, this would cost far less than the currently proposed $1.6 Trillion over the next 10 years.

  • TORT REFORM! This is one area of reform that is rarely spoken of by the Liberal left. Medical malpractice liability forces providers into practicing defensive medicine. In other words, it causes medical practitioners to order multiple expensive (and often times unnecessary) tests and procedures "in defense of" potential lawsuits, JUST IN CASE they miss something in a patient's case. All for fear of being sued for ridiculous amounts in a malpractice lawsuit. Limiting liability lawsuit awards to reasonable amounts will deter those who seek the "big pay day" by filing frivolous lawsuits against medical practitioner.
     

  •  Establish a Federal oversight committee to regulate and hold accountable physicians who make medical mistakes. What’s one of the biggest reasons why health care is so expensive? Hint: It’s not “rich CEO’s” and “outdated medical records transfer processes.” It’s Medical Mistakes! Here’s the real facts you won’t find in the media outlets:

1994: Five years after a groundbreaking Institute of Medicine report focused attention on medical errors in hospitals, Americans say that they do not believe that the nation’s quality of care has improved. In fact, 1 out of 3 patients states that they have experienced a serious medical error http://content.healthaffairs.org/cgi/content/abstract/hlthaff.w4.534

1995: A Study published in the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) found that only two percent of medication errors that occurred during the medication administration process were intercepted.
a. More people die from medication errors than from work place injuries
b. Medication errors account for approximately one out of 131 outpatient deaths and one out of 854 inpatient deaths.

1999: Institute of Medicine (IOM) releases its first report on healthcare quality and medical errors. http://www.iom.edu/?id=12735 The Study finds in part that:

    a. Medical errors are responsible for injury in as many as 1 out of every 25 hospital patients.
    b. Between 44,000 and 98,000 Americans die each year from preventable medical errors in hospitals alone.
    c. The deaths from preventable medical mistakes are equivalent to the number of people who would die if a jumbo     jet crashed EACH AND EVERY DAY OF THE YEAR, and all its passengers died!
    d. Medical errors cause more deaths than motor vehicle accidents, breast cancer or AIDS…..and this study is TEN     YEARS OLD and STILL no Federal oversight committee! Oh wait! It gets worse!

2002: A Study issued by the United States Pharmacopeia (USP) concluded that more than 200,000 medication errors occurred during 2002

2004: CDC reports that 90,000 patient deaths occur each year due to patients contracting hospital acquired infections.  http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dhqp/pdf/nnis/2004NNISreport.pdf
    a. Many hospital acquired infections are caused by health care workers who fail to wash their hands in between patients.

2006: Studies assessing the state of hospital patient safety conclude that current progress is slow, results in general are at best modest, and the gap between the best possible care and actual care remains large.  http://www.healthgrades.com/media/dms/pdf/PatientSafetyInAmericanHospitalsStudy2006.pdf

More Facts:

Preventable medical errors result in extended hospital stays, expensive treatment for chronic medical conditions and astronomical medical costs that are associated with treating debilitating life-long illnesses. Some experts state that these costs may be in the range of $150-200 Billion dollars per year. Gee, where else could we spend that money??? Quick reminder:

ALL of the aforementioned happened under the nose of our Federal Government. And we want them to regulate Health Care?? Let’s not save ALL of our anger for the “greedy” insurance companies and “over paid” doctors and CEO’s. Let’s focus our Anger on our GOVERNMENT who has allowed this systemic problem to continue over three administrations!

Ask yourself, why does the health care industry basically regulate and report on itself? Why is certification and accreditation voluntary? Why don’t we have a Federal agency that acts like the FAA and investigate medical mistakes, just like airline accidents or near misses? Why do only some states have mandatory reporting requirements of medical errors? All Good Questions that need to be answered before we hand over our very health freedoms to the same Government to “regulate”.

In summary REAL health insurance reform can be accomplished through consumer education, weeding out abuse of existing Federal entitlement programs (via a legitimate needs assessment) and increased funding of State sponsored Risk Pools so that people who are declined for insurance have an affordable option to continue coverage if declined on the individual major medical market. Following these few simple steps will go a long way towards not only maintaining our current health care system, but also towards keeping the bulk of our nations risk where it belongs, namely with the private health insurance industry. In light of the recent multi Trillion Dollar "Bail Outs" and many other failing corporations coming to the table with their hats in their hands (and their private jets on the tarmac) the last thing our government should do is start cutting more blind "bail out" checks in an effort to "reform" the U.S. health care system.

But hey what do I know? The video below sure makes Government sound wonderful! Just look at their track record!

To see a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's) relating to Health Insurance, click here.

About the author: C. Steven Tucker, is the President of Small Business Insurance Services, Inc. He is a multi-state licensed insurance broker who has been serving the Small Business community and Self-Employed for 15 years. C. Steven has served as a Subject matter expert for the Wall Street Journal and Fortune Small Business Magazine and hosts his own internet radio show, entitled, "Health Insurance 101." He is also touted for being a consumer watchdog against greedy insurance companies, insurance scams and unscrupulous agents on Twitter.

Comments (8)

Anonymous
steve

Everyone in Canada and other countries where health care reform IS working, are using a "Single Payer" program.  The big insurance companies, the "Middle Man" has been cut out completely!  This is what President Obama originally wanted when he began his quest for the White House, before the Insurance lobbyists got to him .... http://www.pnhp.org/facts/what_is_single_payer.php

May 23, 2009 01:13 AM
#1
C. Steven Tucker
HealthInsuranceMentors.com - Bolingbrook, IL

Wow! Ok, did you actually watch ANY of the videos or read any of the empirical data? How you can possibly state that healthcare IS working in Canada? This is beyond all comprehension. In fact it is NOT working in Canada. Maybe this is why you incredibly uninformed "Single Payer" advocates don't even have a chair at the "Health care reform" table. Facts trump emotions every time & "Single Payer" advocates are Governed, Ruled & Enslaved by emotions. So much so that they are blind to all empirical data.

The facts are that Medicare will be bankrupt in 7 years and social security in 15 (most likely much faster as the "Porkulus Maximus" Bail Out continues to grow). So how is it possible to adopt Canada's system here? The Canadian health care system is failing, and it is failing a population that is 1/3rd the size of ours. It is simply an actuarial fact that the our Government simply CAN NOT provide health care for 300 Million residents! To even attempt such a ridiculous ideology would further cripple those of us who actually pay Federal Income tax (the lucky 56% of us that actually do).

Reagan said it best. “Government is not the solution, it is the problem”. But way before him, our forefathers warned of INSIDIOUS government involvement in our daily lives. Look at their wisdom hundreds of years before our present situation:

Regarding adopting failed Single Payer health care options like other foreign governments have. What did Washington say? “Against the insidious wiles of foreign influence, (I conjure you to believe me fellow citizens) the jealousy of a free people ought to be constantly awake; since HISTORY AND EXPERIENCE prove that foreign influence is one of the most baneful foes of Republican Government.

Washington again at his Farewell Address, September 19, 1796. Regarding using others blood sweat and tears to pay for those who have not earned: What did Jefferson say? “ To take from one, because it is thought that his own industry and that of his fathers has acquired too much in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers have NOT exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association, “the guarantee to every one of a free exercise of his industry, and the fruits acquired by it.

How does this apply today?

46% of American’s pay absolutely no INCOME taxes! That means the rest of us have the privilege of paying for all entitlements (which are ever expanding). Most recent case in point:

Last year, SCHIP covered about 7 million low-income children and Medicaid covered an additional 23 million. This year, 2009, the U.S House of Representatives passed the H.R.2 SCHIP Expansion Bill which adds another 6.5 million children to Medicaid. In fact, according to U.S. Census Bureau data, 42 million children will now be eligible. The bill also allows States to receive federal reimbursement for adding more immigrant children and pregnant immigrant mothers, and removes the 5 year waiting period now required for legal immigrants to be eligible. This would enable immigrants to become eligible for health benefits the moment they get here!

Currently, the present income eligibility cap is $44,000 for a family of 4. The new bill raised the Medicaid limit to $66,000. New York will even include families who earn $88,000 and other states allow families to subtract from their income calculation what they spend on rent or mortgage or heating or food or transportation. This means that children in some families who have incomes well over $100,000 will now be eligible. With the median U.S. household income around $50,000, 60% of U.S. households still earning less than $62,000. This means that 3 out of 5 American households will now qualify for free health care for their children. It also means that the other 2 out of 5 households will have the burden of paying for all of this!

Back to our forefathers: Jefferson’s Letter to Joseph Milligan, April 6, 1816: ” There lies the distinction of “charity” or coercion. Here stands Jefferson who feared that if citizens became lazy, apathetic, and IRRESPONSIBLE, government would gain ground and become tyrannical and corrupt, plundering taxpayers for special interests and violating even property rights and other freedoms.”

How does this apply today?
With the help of the U.S. Census Bureau, let’s break down the real empirical data behind the “45 million uninsured” in America.
Who exactly are they? FACTS:
1.) 17 Million live in households earning more than $50,000
(38% of American uninsured)
2.) 9 Million live in households earning more than $75,000
(20% of American uninsured)
3.) 18 Million of the “young invincibles” (ages 18-34) who spend more money on “cigarettes, entertainment & cell phone (40% of uninsured)
4.) 14 Million are eligible for Medicaid and SCHIP due to low income and do not enroll. (31% of uninsured
5.) Let's not forget the more than 11 Million Illegal Aliens sucking on the Federal Teet daily.

Back to our Forefathers: Jefferson again: “We must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt ($3 Trillion Dollar “Porkulus Maximus” Bill) We must make our election between economy and liberty, or Profusion and servitude. If we run into such debts, as that we must be taxed in our meat and in our drink, in our necessaries and our comforts, in our labors and our amusements, for our callings and our creeds, as the people of England are, our people, like them, must come to labor sixteen hours in the twenty-four, give the earnings of fifteen of these to the government for their debts and daily expenses; and the sixteenth being insufficient to afford us bread, we must live, as they now do, on OATMEAL and potatoes; have no time to think, no means of calling the mismanagers to account; (government) but be glad to obtain subsistence by hiring ourselves to rivet their CHAINS on the necks of our fellow-sufferers…private fortunes are destroyed by public (government) as well private extravagance. Till the bulk of the society is reduced to be mere automations of misery……than begins, indeed, the bellum omnium in omnia (War of all against all) …..and the fore horse of this frightful team is public debt. Taxation follows that, and in its train wretchedness and oppression.” (Letter to Samuel Kerchival, July 12, 181

How does this apply today?

Where is the outrage that our children already, BEFORE BEING BORN are now in debt to the government by $35,000 ! Nice immoral profit I say by our government and we haven’t even begun down the slippery slope to “Universal Health Care.” Even before we begin, the $3 Trillion “Porkulus Maximus”Bail Out continues to grow as more and more corporations come to the capital with their hat in their hands and their private jets on the tarmac.

Back to our Forefathers: Jefferson again: “To compel a man to SUBSIDIZE WITH HIS TAXES THE PROPAGATION OF IDEAS WHICH HE DISBELIEVES AND ABHORS IS SINFUL AND TYRANNICAL" - Thomas Jefferson

John Adams (Vice President US for 2 terms 1788-1796, and in 1796 became our Second President) On taxation : “Property is surely a right of mankind as real as liberty. Perhaps, at first, prejudice, habit, shame or fear, principle or religion would restrain the poor from attacking the rich, and the idle from usurping on the industrious; but the time would not be long before courage and enterprise (political opportunists) would come and pretexts be invented (socialist agenda) by degrees to countenance the majority in dividing all the property among them, or at least in sharing it equally with its present possessors. Debts would be abolished first; taxes laid HEAVY on the rich, and not at all on the others; (44% of American’s pay NO income tax) and at last a downright equal division of everything be demanded, and voted. What would be the consequence of this? The idle, the vicious, the intemperate would rush into the utmost extravagance of debauchery, sell and spend all their share, and than demand a NEW division of those who PURCHASED from them.’

Thomas Pain (1737–1809) “If, from the more wretched parts of the old world, we look at those which are in an advanced stage of improvement, we still find the greedy hand of government thrusting itself into every corner and crevice of industry, and grasping the spoil of the multitude. Invention is continually exercised, to furnish new pretenses for revenues and taxation. It watches prosperity as its prey and permits none to escape without tribute.”

Daniel Webster (1782-1852) “An unlimited power to tax involves, necessarily, the power to DESTROY.”

How do these comments apply today?

If taxation strengthens a government, while relieving it’s citizens of the freedoms above forewarned from our Forefathers, how can anyone believe taxing Americans at 60%, 70% 80% or more to further fund such ridiculous ideologies is the solution? What else could stifle personal drive and achievement more than even more taxation?

I also have to address the Lie behind the other "optoin" that the Left is pushing forward. Regarding a “Public Option.” There are several reasons why a "Public Option" will not work. Firstly, the private sector can not compete with a Public Option. So the lie that it will just create “healthy competition” is just that. An INSIDIOUS Lie perpetrated by a Government with an unholy lust for even more power. Why is it a lie?

Because unlike the Federal Government who can tap in to the U.S. Treasury (as they have been doing feverishly lately) when claims surpass revenue. The private sector is held to a higher standard. Namely, fiscal responsibility. If claims supercede revenue, an insurance company must be held to the ramifications that happen to any company that does not balance it’s portfolio correctly. Namely, FAILURE (except, of course if that company is AIG who gets bailed out over AND OVER again by our precious BLOOD SWEAT and TEARS)!

SIDE BAR: Quick Translation of the term “Blood Sweat & Tears” for the aforementioned 42%. “Blood Sweat & Tears” means income taxes.

SIDE BAR: Further clarification of the term “income tax”. This is a percentage of income that is forcibly taken from roughly half of the American population when they produce an income.

Once the insurance companies fail (shortly after the “Public Option” starts promoting “Healthy Competition”) we will be left with “Medicare” for all! But wait! How’s Medicaid & Medicare working now? Let’s see. At the current rate of Medicare expenditures, by the time I am 65 there will be no Medicare for me according to ALL economist (on both sides of the isle). Why? Because they have been robbed for other expenditures by a fiscally irresponsible, over burdensome Federal Government. Who’s answer to EVERYTHING is to throw money at it! Easy to throw when it’s not yours.

The private sector does not have the luxury to play with America’s BLOOD SWEAT & TEARS. We must balance our portfolios responsibly and consistently or we will not have the the funds to pay the big claims when they arise (and they do arise, and they do so often). This being the case, it comes down to who the American Tax Payers (again, I stress the 50% that actually pay income taxes) want to handle their medical care. And overwhelming, those tax payers want choice and fiscal responsibility. They will receive neither through a government run “Public Option.”

Ok, well then we’ll just lean on Medicaid. Really? Will that be before or after the recent Medicaid Expansion of $87 Billion is used up or after the 78.2 MILLION Baby Boomers suck it dry to care for their long term care expenses? I’m just wondering. Want even more reasons why a “Public Option” will not work? Read: http://www.heritage.org/Research/HealthCare/bg2267.cfm

Even though a Single Payer or Public option won’t work. We still definitely need health care reform on many levels and the federal government can play an integral part in this reform. Here’s what needs to be done.

1.) Weed out all of the illegals who are sucking on the Federal “teet” through the Medicaid system such as in Illinois. Good old “Blago” enrolled millions of Illegals in to our Medicaid system, thereby running the program in the ground & leaving our Illinois Medicaid system approx. $1.5 BILLION behind in payment of claims to physicians who have been providing “free” care to all illegals who were lucky enough to flock to the State of Illinois to insure themselves for “free”. By the way, this is the reason he was impeached so quickly. The Illinois Senate didn’t need the Federal Wire Taps to get that done.

2.) Establish a Federal oversight committee to regulate and hold accountable physicians who make medical mistakes. What’s one of the biggest reasons why health care is so expensive? Hint: It’s not “rich CEO’s” and “outdated medical records transfer processes.” It’s Medical Mistakes! Here’s the real facts you won’t find in the main stream media:

d. Medical errors cause more deaths than motor vehicle accidents, breast cancer or AIDS…..and this study is TEN YEARS OLD and STILL no Federal oversight committee! Oh wait! It gets worse!

1994: Five years after a groundbreaking Institute of Medicine report focused attention on medical errors in hospitals, Americans say that they do not believe that the nation’s quality of care has improved. http://content.healthaffairs.org/cgi/content/abstract/hlthaff.w4.534
a. One out of three patients state that they have experienced a serious medical error.

c. The deaths from preventable medical mistakes are equivalent to the number of people who would die if a jumbo jet crashed each and every day of the year, and all its passengers died.

1995: A Study published in the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) found that only two percent of medication errors that occurred during the medication administration process were intercepted.
a. More people die from medication errors than from work place injuries
b. Medication errors account for approximately one out of 131 outpatient deaths and one out of 854 inpatient deaths.

b. Between 44,000 and 98,000 Americans die each year from preventable medical errors in hospitals alone.

2002: A Study issued by the United States Pharmacopeia (USP) concluded that more than 200,000 medication errors occurred during 2002

a. Medical errors are responsible for injury in as many as 1 out of every 25 hospital patients.

2004: CDC reports that 90,000 patient deaths occur each year due to patients contracting hospital acquired infections.  http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dhqp/pdf/nnis/2004NNISreport.pdf
a. Many hospital acquired infections are caused by health care workers who fail to wash their hands in between patients.

1999: Institute of Medicine (IOM) releases its first report on healthcare quality and medical errors. http://www.iom.edu/?id=12735

2006: Studies assessing the state of hospital patient safety conclude that current progress is slow, results in general are at best modest, and the gap between the best possible care and actual care remains large.  http://www.healthgrades.com/media/dms/pdf/PatientSafetyInAmericanHospitalsStudy2006.pdf

More Facts:

Preventable medical errors result in extended hospital stays, expensive treatment for chronic medical conditions and astronomical medical costs that are associated with treating debilitating life-long illnesses. Some experts state that these costs may be in the range of $150-200 Billion dollars per year. Gee, where else could we spend that money??? Quick reminder:

ALL of the aforementioned happened under the nose of our Federal Government. And we want them to regulate Health Care?? Let’s not save ALL of our anger for the “greedy” insurance companies and “over paid” doctors and CEO’s. Let’s focus our Anger on our GOVERNMENT who has allowed this systemic problem to continue over three administrations!

Ask yourself, why does the health care industry basically regulate and report on itself? Why is certification and accreditation voluntary? Why don’t we have a Federal agency that acts like the FAA and investigate medical mistakes, just like airline accidents or near misses? Why do only some states have mandatory reporting requirements of medical errors? All Good Questions that need to be answered before we hand over our very health freedoms to the Government to “regulate”.

Speaking of Government. This brings me to the third thing we need to do to truly “reform” health care. And this is another positive role that the Government could play (plus they love to mandate stuff so this should be easy to get done).

3.) Pass a mandatory law that states that all American’s, who can afford to purchase Health Insurance (remember the 35 Million?) actually do so! Pass a law that states that they must purchase some basic level of Health Insurance coverage for themselves and their dependents. Why would this work?

Remember car insurance? It used to be that you could drive around like a moron without it. Congress then mandated (and rightfully) so that ALL drivers purchase some basic level of Car insurance to protect themselves and those who they may injure. This accomplished wonders for the car insurance industry and it would do the EXACT same thing for the Health Insurance industry. Adding to the national risk pool 35 Million more American’s (remember them from earlier?) This would drive down Health Insurance premiums for all American’s. It’s just an actuarial fact. By the way, ever wonder why those 35 Million don’t purchase Health Insurance? Because it’s FREE!!! There are 217 “Free” Hospitals and Clinics around the United States: http://www.healthcentral.com/diabetes/c/17/66884/affordable-medical

Add to that the “compassionate care” that any one can get at every Emergency Room in the U.S. and is there any wonder why so many chose not to insure themselves? But that’s the point here. NOTHING is “free”! It’s all on the backs of the 56% of American’s who actually pay income taxes and this already MASSIVE burden will increase exponentially once Health Care is “FREE” for everyone!

But wait! Isn't this selfish? Isn't this unfair? Is it not a right for all to have health care? Shouldn't we help those who need help? YES! Providing for those who are TRULY in need is one of the things that makes America great. We not only provide for those in our own country but we spill our precious blood on foreign soil around the globe defending the rights of our allies and protecting Liberty. We will continue to do so.

My point is that what used to be entitlements for those who legitimately need them has now become entitlements for those who can MOST CERTAINLY provide for themselves.

What our forefathers envisioned was a “Just Society”. A Society that grows great upon the efforts of each citizens and yet remembers that there are those amongst us WHO CAN NOT (due to infirmity, age, mental disability, disenfranchisement etc.) And we have always provided for those who are truly in need. And we will continue to do so.

The primary difference between Liberals & Conservatives is that, Conservatives believe wholeheartedly in helping those that are truly in need. But those that are NOT truly in need should PROVIDE FOR THEMSELVES!

And MOST IMPORTANTLY. The decision to help those in need should be made by the hearts and minds of the individual citizen, not forcibly taken by an ever encroaching government.

Bill & Melinda Gates have contributed Billions of dollars to humanitarian efforts inside and out of this country. Oprah Winfrey has done the same, to name just a few. But no one told them they HAD to. No one forcibly took that money (other than the Millions in taxes they already forfeit to the government).

Instead, their hearts were motivated to do so and this is the crux of the matter. Free citizens do not need the government to tell them how to spend their money. Free citizens do not need the government encroaching on their very lively hoods.

And MOST IMPORTANTLY Free Citizens can certainly spend their money better than the Federal Government. Why? Because they have a vested interest in where that money goes due to the fact that they have EARNED it!

By the way, those that believe that we have a moral obligation to provide everyone with free health care, and feel compelled to do make sure that happens, should VOLUNTARILY pay more taxes for such programs. Those that do not, should not be forced to do so. This is the definition of a free society.

SIDE BAR: Anyone seen George Soros’s charitable contribution amounts lately? Enough said.

 

May 23, 2009 03:27 AM
Elaine Giamona
McCoy Real Estate and Property Management, Lincoln, CA - Lincoln, CA
Broker

 

"Is Britain's Health-Care System Really That Bad?"  Time Magazine August 18, 2009 article:

http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1916570,00.html?xid=rss-top-aol

 

Sep 21, 2009 03:24 AM
Elaine Giamona
McCoy Real Estate and Property Management, Lincoln, CA - Lincoln, CA
Broker

From above posted Time Magazine article:  

"Like most developed countries, Britain ranks above the U.S. in most health measurements. Its citizens have a longer life expectancy and lower infant mortality, and the country has more acute-care hospital beds per capita and fewer deaths related to surgical or medical mishaps. Britain achieves these results while spending proportionally less on health care than the U.S. - about $2,500 per person in Britain, compared with $6,000 in the U.S. For these reasons, the World Health Organization (WHO) ranked Britain 18th in a global league table of health-care systems (the U.S. was ranked 37th). However, there are measures by which the U.S. outperforms Britain: for instance, the U.S. has lower cancer mortality rates."

Sep 21, 2009 03:27 AM
Anonymous
Steve
Many in the USA are already using their "Public Option"; Veterans opt to use VA clinics rather than purchasing insurance through a typical health care provider, ex: Blue Cross & Blue Shield, Aetna, etc. US Congressman & Senators opt to use their form of a "Public Option" rather than purchasing insurance through a typical health care provider, ex: Blue Cross & Blue Shield, Aetna, etc. State & Federal Employees opt to use their form of a "Public Option" rather than purchasing insurance through a typical health care provider, ex: Blue Cross & Blue Shield, Aetna, etc. The truth is out! The big "Smoke & Mirrors" multi-million Dollar advertising campaigns & propaganda being put out by the Insurance industry, and unfortunately being taken as truth by many gullible people such as the one here, is loosing all credibility.... And yes, the most admired person in Canada is not a past president or hero, it is the person who brought about Health Reform to Canada! Get your facts from a creditable source, not "Lie-Tube-You" videos ...
Oct 25, 2009 11:16 PM
#6
Anonymous
C. Steven Tucker
Have you been to a VA hospital Steve? I have. In fact, I invite you to ask any Veteran what he or she thinks of the care they receive at a VA hospital. Senators are PRIVATELY insured by Aenta and Blue Shield (paid by our tax dollars). Put down the Kool Aid Steve and look past the baseless, factless, rhetoric from the left! Government has set NO HISTORICAL precedent that would deem it worthy of running 1/6th of our U.S. economy (e.g. our health care system). Medicare is bankrupt Sir. Medicaid is bankrupt sir. Social Security is bankrupt sir (remember FDR's "LOCK BOX" promise?) Post Office is bankrupt Sir...need I continue? Any reasonable person, if given a choice would choose the private sector over the Federal Government for ANYTHING. Most especially their very health care rights! Just look at their track record: http://www.sbisvcs.com/Brochures/resistnetgovernmentprograms.pdf
Oct 25, 2009 11:47 PM
#7
Anonymous
Steve
As a matter of fact, I am a Vetern and use the VA facility in Fayetteville, AR. I have never had to wait more than 15 minutes to see my doctor. I get all my prescriptions for $7 a month. If I have anything I want the Doc to check out, other than the normal physical and blood work they do on me everytime, I tell him and he does it. They do a complete physical and blood work each time. Even with all of this, it has never taken more than an hour and 30 minutes, in and out, and cost me $7. My friends who use the local, non-VA medical clinic, have a norml wait time of 1 - 3 hours just to get in to see the doctor. They can't belive it when I tell them about the VA clinic. I don't know where you are geting your "mis-information" from, but I assume it is from the Insurance companie's website.
Oct 26, 2009 01:38 AM
#8
Anonymous
C. Steven Tucker
Here's a simple fact that you're missing Steve. We can not AFFORD to insure 50 Million people on the U.S. Tax Payers dime. PERIOD! Secondly, even if we COULD afford to, we can not POSSIBLY handle the medical requests of 50 million more (newly insured's) using our current Medical infrastructure. When you don't have enough doctor's to handle the needs of everyone, waiting lists begin and grow exponentially (as is happening in Massachusetts, New York and other "progressive" states that have enacted such ridiculous legislation to "insure" everyone on the tax payers dime). It simply does not work sir. Moreover, our National Debt has DOUBLED in the short time that Obama has been in office. The LAST thing we need to do is add another $1.6 TRILLION dollars (to begin with) on to our budget deficit in an effort to "insure" 50 million more people! Enough is enough! Doing so would NOT be "deficit neutral" and our President PROMISED "I will NOT sign a piece of legislation that adds ONE PENNY to our deficit". If he plans on keeping this promise then he needs to scrap EVERYTHING in the current proposed bills (I have actually read them, I encourage you to do the same). Intead of writing legislation on a STRICTLY partisan basis BEHIND CLOSED DOORS. He should instead listen to those of use who have actually worked in the Health Insurance field for many years. We have the answers (not 150 Doctors in borrowed lab coats). There are 7 "deficit neutral" ways to TRULY reform our nation's Health Insurance system. None of which you will here from the current administration. They are as follows: Eliminate the ridiculous State imposed Mandates that PROHIBIT Health Insurers from offering coverage in EVERY SINGLE STATE! For example, Small Businesses in California have roughly 6 (yes that's six) options for Health Insurance. Yet there are 1,300 Health Insurance companies in America! States like Colorado FORCE carriers to cover "substance abuse" which DOUBLES the Health Insurance premiums in Colorado (you can now waive "substance abuse" coverage and your premium is subsequently reduced BY HALF!). This kind of State Mandate (and so many more) is what prevent the majority of Health Insurance carriers from offering their products in every State. Basic economics 101 teaches us that NOTHING increases quality and drives down prices LIKE COMPETITION! How can we increase quality and competition when we stifle it by imposing ridiculous mandates that inhibit competition from the get go? All 1,300 Health Insurance carriers should be able to offer ALL of their products in EVERY SINGLE STATE. This way if you do not like your current coverage you have 1, 299 OTHER OPTIONS. With that many options available, carriers are NATURALLY FORCED BY THE RULES OF COMPETITION AND FREE MARKET ENTERPRISE to IMPROVE not only the quality of their products but to also improve their customer service OR THE CONSUMER WILL PURCHASE their Health Insurance from 1,299 other carriers! It's as simple as that! Also, actuarial tables teach us that the more lives that are in the pool, the lower the premiums for all. How much lower could premiums be if everyone in EVERY state had 1300 carriers to choose from? Things that make you go HMMMMMM??? Instead of bailing out GM with Billions of our blood sweat and tears and then letting them file bankruptcy 3 months later. Why not fund a NATIONAL High Risk Pool for those who are rendered uninsurable? We already have such State run High Risk Health Insurance pools in the majority of States. These Risk Pools will cover anyone regardless of their medical history. The problem is they are under funded so the premiums are extremely high. Instead of spending $1.6 Trillion to insure only 11 Million of the 45 Million uninsured. LEAVE the bulk of the nation's risk where the money is, namely with the insurance companies. Then provide a National Federal & State funded Risk Pool for those who are rendered uninsurable. Since the uninsured far outweigh the uninsurable, this would cost far less than the currently proposed $1.6 Trillion over the next 10 years. Educate the American consumer about the primary reason for the high cost of health insurance! Namely, LOW DEDUCTIBLE, LOW CO PAY (a.k.a. Traditional) Health Insurance. NOTHING drives up the cost of Health Insurance like maintaining a low deductible, low co pay plan. Instead, offer new more intelligent option to the American Consumer like "Consumer Driven Tax Qualified Health Insurance". There simply is no more intelligent or cost effective way to insure anyone. The sad part is, these Consumer Driven Tax Qualified concepts have been around for more than a DECADE! Yet, only a small minority of the American population has even explored these intelligent (& much lower priced) Health Insurance alternatives. Those that have, are WAY AHEAD of the rest of population when it comes to managing medical risk. Update the outdated Health Insurance Portability laws (regarding credit for pre-existing conditions) to INCLUDE Individual Health Insurance Policies. As it stands now, HIPPA law allows an insured to move from one "Employer Sponsored Group Health Insurance Plan" to another "Employer Sponsored Group Health Insurance Plan" and receive FULL coverage for "pre-existing" conditions so long as they can prove to the new carrier that they have had 18 months of prior coverage with no lapse of more than 63 days. Millions of Americans Entrepreneurs have chosen to leave Corporate America and strike out on their own since these archaic laws were written in the 1980's. As the face of our work force changes so too should the laws that protect it. Most especially since these entrepreneurs shoulder the BULK of the nation's risk and PAY the bulk of the nation's tax load! Throw them a legal bone! I would say weed out the 12 million Illegals (that we know about) who are sucking our Medicaid system dry...but as Congressman Joe Wilson so aptly stated, Obama CLEARLY wants to "provide a PATH TO CITIZENSHIP for the 10 to 12 million Illegals in our country". Once they're legal, he can then cover them ALL on our tax dollar! So YES his plan IS to cover Illegals, he'll just make em legal first! Think they're not sucking our Medicaid system dry? Just visit California or Illinois. Good old “Blago” enrolled thousands of Illegals in to our Medicaid system, thereby running the program in the ground & leaving our Illinois Medicaid system approx. $1.5 BILLION behind in payment of claims to physicians who have been providing “free” care to all illegals who were lucky enough to flock to the State of Illinois to insure themselves for “free”. In fact, according to the U.S. Census Bureau 10 to 12 Million of the Uninsured in America are illegal aliens. Who comprise the rest? Find out here. TORT REFORM! This is one area of reform that is rarely spoken of by the Liberal left. Medical malpractice liability forces providers into practicing defensive medicine. In other words, it causes medical practitioners to order multiple expensive (and often times unnecessary) tests and procedures "in defense of" potential lawsuits, JUST IN CASE they miss something in a patient's case. All for fear of being sued for ridiculous amounts in a malpractice lawsuit. Limiting liability lawsuit awards to reasonable amounts will deter those who seek the "big pay day" by filing frivolous lawsuits against medical practitioner. Establish a Federal oversight committee to regulate and hold accountable physicians who make medical mistakes. What’s one of the biggest reasons why health care is so expensive? Hint: It’s not “rich CEO’s” and “outdated medical records transfer processes.” It’s Medical Mistakes! Here’s the real facts you won’t find in the media outlets: 1994: Five years after a groundbreaking Institute of Medicine report focused attention on medical errors in hospitals, Americans say that they do not believe that the nation’s quality of care has improved. In fact, 1 out of 3 patients states that they have experienced a serious medical error http://content.healthaffairs.org/cgi/content/abstract/hlthaff.w4.534 1995: A Study published in the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) found that only two percent of medication errors that occurred during the medication administration process were intercepted. a. More people die from medication errors than from work place injuries b. Medication errors account for approximately one out of 131 outpatient deaths and one out of 854 inpatient deaths. 1999: Institute of Medicine (IOM) releases its first report on healthcare quality and medical errors. http://www.iom.edu/?id=12735 The Study finds in part that: a. Medical errors are responsible for injury in as many as 1 out of every 25 hospital patients. b. Between 44,000 and 98,000 Americans die each year from preventable medical errors in hospitals alone. c. The deaths from preventable medical mistakes are equivalent to the number of people who would die if a jumbo jet crashed EACH AND EVERY DAY OF THE YEAR, and all its passengers died! d. Medical errors cause more deaths than motor vehicle accidents, breast cancer or AIDS…..and this study is TEN YEARS OLD and STILL no Federal oversight committee! Oh wait! It gets worse! 2002: A Study issued by the United States Pharmacopeia (USP) concluded that more than 200,000 medication errors occurred during 2002 2004: CDC reports that 90,000 patient deaths occur each year due to patients contracting hospital acquired infections. http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dhqp/pdf/nnis/2004NNISreport.pdf a. Many hospital acquired infections are caused by health care workers who fail to wash their hands in between patients. 2006: Studies assessing the state of hospital patient safety conclude that current progress is slow, results in general are at best modest, and the gap between the best possible care and actual care remains large. http://www.healthgrades.com/media/dms/pdf/PatientSafetyInAmericanHospitalsStudy2006.pdf More Facts: Preventable medical errors result in extended hospital stays, expensive treatment for chronic medical conditions and astronomical medical costs that are associated with treating debilitating life-long illnesses. Some experts state that these costs may be in the range of $150-200 Billion dollars per year. Gee, where else could we spend that money??? Quick reminder: ALL of the aforementioned happened under the nose of our Federal Government. And we want them to regulate Health Care?? Let’s not save ALL of our anger for the “greedy” insurance companies and “over paid” doctors and CEO’s. Let’s focus our Anger on our GOVERNMENT who has allowed this systemic problem to continue over three administrations! Ask yourself, why does the health care industry basically regulate and report on itself? Why is certification and accreditation voluntary? Why don’t we have a Federal agency that acts like the FAA and investigate medical mistakes, just like airline accidents or near misses? Why do only some states have mandatory reporting requirements of medical errors? All Good Questions that need to be answered before we hand over our very health freedoms to the same Government to “regulate”. In summary, REAL healthcare reform can be accomplished through consumer education, weeding out abuse of existing Federal entitlement programs (via a legitimate needs assessment) and increased funding and expansion of existing State sponsored Risk Pools so that people who are declined for insurance have an affordable option to continue coverage if declined on the individual major medical market. Following these few simple steps will go a long way towards not only maintaining our current health care system, but also towards keeping the bulk of our nations risk where it belongs, namely with the private health insurance industry. In light of the recent multi Trillion Dollar "Bail Outs" and many other failing corporations coming to the table with their hats in their hands (and their private jets on the tarmac) the last thing our government should do is start cutting more blind "bail out" checks in an effort to "reform" the U.S. health care system.
Oct 26, 2009 02:43 AM
#9