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Health Care Dilemma

Health Care Obamacare
The Time-Bomb

Posted on Saturday, August 08,2009

My email box is overflowing with viewpoints on the proposed health care plan before congress. Most of what I receive is opposed to the plan, but there are people out there who want this all-encompassing package to pass.

One conclusion that I have drawn is that all sides of the argument are genuine. The Liberals that read my column are not power-hungry mongrels as portrayed by talk radio and elsewhere. No, even though their point of view is very narrow, they feel like the system we have now, is faulty and that the government is the only thing big and tough enough to get relief to the poor and others without health care.

Political patronage and misrepresentation of this bill is what kills the current health care proposal for me. Examination of the bill reveals a real horror story. It really doesn't do anything but add to the already burgeoning deficit. But that is only the start of what is wrong with this bill.

If you really believe that we are going to provide coverage for millions of additional people and save money in the process, then you are certainly a Kool-Aid drinker.

Several of you railed against the profit motive as being the bad guy. C'mon, you people have brains. General Motors just declared bankruptcy because of 'no profits'. Do you think that by removing profitability that things would actually improve? Profits motivate progress. Progress cannot be mandated. Just look at any Socialist / Communist country. If mandates from the governments of those societies had worked, those countries would be the envy of the world, not wallowing in third world status.

There was a time in American history when unbridled Capitalism almost destroyed the underpinnings of this country. But the people fought back spawning new labor laws and just compensation. But the pendulum has moved too far left and we are again at the precipice of destruction. We have squeezed out most of our industry with over taxation. Our manufacturing base has dwindled from one job out of three, down to one job out of ten. You people do remember manufacturing don't you?

Manufacturing is where you take relatively worthless components/resources and turn them into something of value. Manufacturers set up shop because there might be a profit in doing so. But the governments (State, Federal, and Local) have literally stolen any opportunity for profits through taxation and regulation, so they just moved and took their jobs to a friendlier environment.

In a related issue closer to home, I used to enjoy going to the casinos and playing the slot machines. Most of the time it was a losing effort, but until the last few years I always thought that I had at least a small chance of winning. As you wandered through the casino, you heard 'yippee! and wahoo!' as lucky people hit good on the machines. But that has all changed now. Government squeeze on casino profits has put a damper on your ability to win playing a slot machine. You have to be extremely lucky to get a good hit anymore. Why? Because the local and state governments saw the casinos as easy pickings and started taxing the bejesus out of them. They take their slice off the top and casino operators are left to sort out how to keep the customers happy. One mechanism that casinos employ now is by way of the 'slot club'. Slot clubs allow the customers to accumulate points that can be redeemed for meals, rooms, or cash. It takes a lot of slot play to get any benefits and those benefits usually come with a very high price tag. Winning at the slots is now a rare event.

I tell you this story about the casinos to illustrate the point about profits. Casino customers are no different. The customers really don't go to the casino to see the bright lights, nor to hear the ruckus of the slot machines, no, they go there because lady luck might shine on them and they will win. So lo and behold, when that opportunity was removed and replaced with just a few very costly baubles, the customers started to stay away from the casinos. Casinos are now losing money. Greed, whether in the private or public sector spawns ruination.

The same is true for our manufacturing base, health care, or trade unions. - Something that very few of you know about me is that I am a retired union member. I even draw a retirement pittance from my union. My membership dates back to the sixties, and over time, the union has changed. We used to hear comments from our union leaders such as, "A day's work for a day's pay", and "You have to make the man money so he can afford to hire union labor". Construction locals fought hard to maintain their contractor base - but the unions got greedy. The more they demanded from those contractors, the more those contractors deserted the unions.

The world has always been like that. There is always that segment of the population that cannot and does not want to compete for standing. Instead, they make demands of those who have invested their time, effort, and money into succeeding. Demands from our governments with their tax policies hurt all of us. Heavy-handed governments always lead to ruination, always have, and always will. Ruination follows when any of life's participants get greedy. Greed at the dinner table even causes misery - either immediately after a big meal or later in life after you get fat. The piper is always there to collect his dues. There are no free lunches.

Certainly, there are issues that need addressing such as that young woman from Alvin, TX who found out she has cervical cancer. Her insurance required several thousand dollars deductible before they would approve coverage. It is indeed a sad tale. I certainly hope for this young woman's sake that she will soon raise the money. All people facing catastrophic health issues should have a way to get help whenever there are circumstances such as this young woman is going through. But, and I will repeat, the answer is not to be found with a total takeover of our health care system. We should address the bad in the system and make those corrections to the best of our ability without screwing up the world's finest health care.

I don't believe in altruism. If the government starts to regulate the pay for doctors, our medical system will take a quality hit. The government opens the door to mediocrity when they don't allow the market to dictate the cost and profits earned by doctors. Put yourself in the shoes of a young college student just entering medical school. The odds are that you will not put in all that extra time and work trying to be the best you can be. Why should you? The party hounds who don't work and learn will make the same amount of money as you and not have to expend the effort that is required to be a top notch doctor. To know that this is true, all we have to do is look at those countries where 'single-payer' systems exist. The number of doctors' drop because of the loss of profit potential. Doctor loss puts even more pressure on health care system, i.e. medical rationing becomes necessary because the system can't physically take care of the volume.

What you want to remember is that in today's medical schools, only 25% of the graduating doctors finished at the top. 75% graduated as middle of the road or worse. The top 25% worked extra hard to earn the rankings that they received. Lumping all doctors into the same income category would destroy the incentive for the extra effort that yields to the system our top-notch doctors. Eventually, the only doctors that will be available will be mediocre doctors. The profit incentive is what drives those students to make that extra effort to be the best. If you value freedom, you will reject this bill. We cannot afford a heavy handed government run health system.

Glaringly absent in this legislation is any mention of tort reform, incentives for increasing the number of doctors, or any guidelines as to the quality of the care you receive. There are no appeals to the decisions made by the boards and commissions set up by the government. Whatever they decide is it! Finito, end of story.

This bill, over time, puts the government in charge of the health care industry. If we force the private insurers into competition with a government, it will mean certain doom for the private insurance companies (and all of those jobs). This puts the insurance companies in a no win situation.- Plus, with the government's ability to just print money, and not have to make a profit assures that the playing field is not level. Private industry does not have those luxuries. Those American businesses that provide health care for their workers will gladly unload the expense of health care to the government. Who will pick up that added expense? This bill does not address how they will pay for this boondoggle.

The democrats are already proposing ideas for new taxes. The idea that just the rich will pay is patently ridiculous. All costs filters down to everybody either through higher prices, taxes on the things that you like, license fees, penalties, or other artistic and creative devices for separating you from your money. If they do not raise the income tax, you can count on stealthy means of getting your money. Politicians like collecting money through the back door; it gives them cover.

It is the same sick way local and state governments use to increase property tax collection. Property appraisals increase automatically with no accountability. The politicians can maintain their innocence by stating that they have not raised taxes. The result is the same though - it cost you more money.

Eighty percent of Americans now have insurance coverage. Sixty-eight percent of those are happy with their coverage. Some parts of our system need tweaking and I am all for fixing the bad parts. But the total takeover of one of the finest medical systems in the world is not an answer.

Have you read what's in this bill? Take a look for yourself - is this what you really want from your government? Note of admission - I checked some of these interpretations and they looked okay to me - but I am not an attorney so read the bill for yourself. The bill is posted at- The Huffington Post



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