Facing Reality

Soon after the 1965 enactment of Medicare and Medicaid, it was clear that the cost-plus payment system dramatically expanded the entire scope of healthcare. Consumers of Medicare/Medicaid over-utilized the healthcare system which affected both pricing and volume of service. In response, medical insurance companies in the private sector increased premiums.

The government replaced the cost-plus system with cost-containment and cost-shifting measures. Cost containment has resulted in set prices for medical services that do not reflect inflationary burdens on the medical care facilities. Essentially, it is unlawful to charge what is not dictated by the state for medical procedures, even if it means that a facility loses money when treating patients. If a facility can’t meet its payroll, it can’t keep the doors open.

While Medicare/Medicaid pay out less, costs continue to increase which has resulted in a focus on cost shifting measures. Hospitals shift the loss associated with cost containment by charging higher prices to private payers just to stay on top of their operating costs.

Along with destroying the free market system, the government has dumped an onerous tax burden on the shoulders of Americans. To trust the government to run a socialized medical system in this country is paramount to complete avoidance of reality. If the government wasn’t actively involved in confiscating nearly half of our annual income, medical care would be a manageable necessity of life.

Presidential candidates touting socialized medicine love to describe this inefficient, gargantuan bureaucracy as ‘caring and compassionate’. The description of ‘caring and compassionate’ never comes to mind once the true nature of socialized medicine is exposed. We, the American people have always been caring and compassionate. For over one hundred years, prior to governmental interference in medicine, our citizenry organized and donated funds to take care of those among us who were unable to provide for their own care. Furthermore, the medical profession itself has always been generous in aiding the indigent.

Consider this nightmare, courtesy of the Canadian healthcare system. Canadian citizen, Lindsay McCreith suffering from seizures and headaches saw his family physician in January of 2006 and was suspected of having a brain tumor. His MRI was scheduled for 4 ½ months later. The man and his wife wanted to pay privately to have the MRI done immediately, but private payer healthcare is outlawed in Canada.

In desperation, the McCreiths contacted a private medicine broker on February 2, 2006. On February 3, they flew to Buffalo, NY and had the MRI done. It was determined the Mr. McCreith had a cancerous Grade 2 Astrocytoma. With MRI results in hand, the McCreiths returned to the Canadian family doctor and a neurosurgery appointment was scheduled for 8 months down the road.

People with cancerous brain tumors don’t have 8 months to wait. The McCreiths contacted their broker, Rick Baker and neurosurgery was scheduled in Buffalo, NY within the week. McCreith filed a re-payment claim with the government of Ontario, Canada and was turned down flat because he did not have permission to go outside of the country to save his life. Broker, Rick Baker states that they are willing to go all the way to the Canadian Supreme Court to fight this case.

Under the single payer system advocated by Hilary Clinton you will be automatically enrolled in a government-run health alliance. You would then be subject to government ‘gatekeepers’ who decide what care people really need. Rationing is an inevitable consequence of socialized medicine, which translates to a bureaucratic power to deny treatment if you are too old or too sick.

Clinton aims to finance the plan through a new payroll tax that can be raised at will. Economists have determined that the new payroll tax will result in the loss of nearly 2 million jobs. All doctors will be forced to join the newly appointed governmental health networks. Bureaucrats will dictate what procedures they will be allowed to use – under penalty of fines, asset confiscation and imprisonment.

You can also forget the freedom to choose your own doctor. The specialties doctors practice will also be dictated by the state. Clinton proposes that 50 percent of new doctors will be forced to train in primary care rather than a specific specialty field. In addition, the state will decide who gets admitted to medical school and what they are allowed to teach.

Here’s what you’ll get: endless, waiting lines, dirty, over-crowded clinics, over-worked, hostile doctors and indifferent support staff. If that’s not enough, you can also expect frequent shortages of even the most basic drugs and medications. Oh, by the way, if your government mandated health care results in chronic injury or even death, you’ll have scant legal recourse as the government will be protected from your lawsuit under sovereign immunity.

America’s medical system is the most advanced in the world. The industry’s focus on research and development has brought forth amazing, technological advances. Under the draconian, socialized medicine debacle proposed by Clinton, even research and development will be taken over by the government. Imagine the pork that legislators will slap on any medical research bill trying to make its way through Congress!

This is not a fairytale health reform; it’s a blueprint for tyranny. The best hope for reform is to elect candidates that will restrict further governmental advance into healthcare. Enacting incremental free market measures within medical care and subjecting it to the competition of the private sector makes clear, economic sense and secures America’s position in the future as the country with the most advanced medical system in the world.

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