Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Absurdity of US Healthcare and OMG, the Hysteria over SCOTUS upholding the Obamacare Tax! Under What Circumstances Would This Government Hating Libertarian Reluctantly Support a Single Payer Healthcare System?


With 60% of the American people already on some form of taxpayer subsidized healthcare, the mass hysteria over SCOTUS upholding Obamacare is most interesting. America is already a socialist nation and most Americans absolutely do demand government provided healthcare and support for Medicare, Medicaid and other government programs remains quite strong. Americans are just like everybody else – they want something for free (translation: at the expense of somebody else) but there is no such thing as a free anything and anything the government does is very costly, inefficient and life threatening. The left is angry because it wanted a single payer healthcare system (some Dems really wanted Obamacare declared unconstitutional). The right is angry because a piece of Democrat legislation was declared constitutional.

The healthcare mandate was hatched by the conservative Heritage Foundation back in the late 1980’s. Republicans made several attempts to pass it but the Democrats opposed it because they were holding out for a single payer system. Well, the Republicans got their dream mandate – it’s named Obamacare. Even neocon bat shit crazy Fox News acknowledged today that the individual mandate was a Republican idea.
The mandate, requiring every American to purchase health insurance, appeared in a 1989 published proposal by Stuart M. Butler of the conservative Heritage Foundation called "Assuring Affordable Health Care for All Americans," which included a provision to "mandate all households to obtain adequate insurance."
The Heritage Foundation "substantially revised" its proposal four years later, according to a 1994 analysis by the Congressional Budget Office. But the idea of an individual health insurance mandate later appeared in two bills introduced by Republican lawmakers in 1993, according to the non-partisan research group ProCon.org. Among the supporters of the bills were senators Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, and Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, who today oppose the mandate under current law….
In 2007, a bi-partisan Senate bill authored by Senators Bob Bennett, R-Utah, and Ron Wyden, D-Oregon, contained a mandate….
In 2010, Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that put into place an individual mandate.
Read the rest here
Fox News 
Let’s start with heathcare costs. America spends more on healthcare than any industrialized nation on the planet and by a very wide margin.



Paul Craig Roberts, an ex Reagan Administration Treasury official, supports a single payer healthcare system because he rightfully points out that a single payer system couldn't be worst that the fascist corporatist nightmare we currently endure, here.
It is extraordinary that “liberals,” “progressives,” “Democrats,” whatever they are, are defending a “health program” that uses public monies to pay private insurance companies and that raises the cost of health care.
Americans have been brainwashed that “a single-payer system is unaffordable” because it is “socialized medicine.” Despite this propaganda, accepted by many Americans, European countries manage to afford single-payer systems. Health care is not a stress, a trauma, an unaffordable expense for European populations. Among the Western Civilized Nations, only the richest, the US, has no universal health care.
The American health care system is the most expensive of all on earth. The reason for the extraordinary expense is the multiple of entities that must make profits. The private doctors must make profits. The private testing centers must make profits.The private specialists who receive the referrals from general practitioners must make profits. The private hospitals must make profits. The private insurance companies must make profits. The profits are a huge cost of health care….
The beauty of a single-payer system is that it takes the profits out of the system. No one has to make profits. Wall Street cannot threaten insurance companies and private health care companies with being taken over because their profits are too low. No health-provider in a single-payer system has to worry about being displaced in a takeover organized by Wall Street because the profits are too low.
Because a single-payer system eliminates the profits that drive up the costs, Wall Street, Insurance companies, and “free market economists” hate a “socialized” medical care system. They prefer a socialized “private” health care system in which public monies flow into private insurance companies.
To make the costs as high as possible, conservatives and the private insurance companies devised ObamaCare. The bill was written by conservative think tanks and the private insurance companies. What the “socialistic” ObamaCare bill does is to take income taxes paid by citizens and use the taxes to subsidize the private medical premiums charges by private health care providers in order to provide “private” health care to US citizens who cannot afford it.
The extremely high costs of ObamaCare is not “socialistic medicine.” ObamaCare is high-cost privatized medicine that guarantees billions of dollars in profits to private insurance companies.  
It remains to be seen whether such a ridiculous health care scheme, nowhere extant on earth except in Romney’s Massachusetts, will provide health care or just private profits.
Paul Craig Robert is arguing that other industrialized nations provide low cost universal single payer healthcare and that folks are reasonably happy with it because it relieves them of a major financial burden if they are stricken with a catastrophic illness or suffer an accident. But the US healthcare system is a disaster for reasons that are far more extensive than corporate profits.

America spends more on health care than any nation on earth and by a wide margin, and heath care costs continue to soar in America. Yet, our longevity rates are not commensurate with our healthcare expenditures. Besides government mandates that drive up healthcare costs and the insatiable trial lawyer lobby, Americans themselves are a huge part of the problem because Americans have more lifestyle diseases than any nation on earth. Furthermore, Americans do not want to be responsible for their health and demand that somebody else pay for their disastrous lifestyle choices. Therefore, there is no amount of healthcare intervention that can save folks from themselves or extend their longevity. Longevity is far more related to lifestyle choices that are by far the most significant factor in living a long life.  An MSNBC article titled U.S. ranks just 42nd in life expectancy lays out some startling facts about Americans.  The article is dated 2007 and our condition is much worse now.
Americans are living longer than ever, but not as long as people in 41 other countries. For decades, the United States has been slipping in international rankings oflife expectancy, as other countries improve health care, nutrition and lifestyles...
Among the other factors:
Adults in the United States have one of the highest obesity rates in the world. Nearly a third of U.S. adults 20 years and older are obese, while about two-thirds are overweight, according to the National Center for Health Statistics.
•“The U.S. has the resources that allow people to get fat and lazy,” said Paul Terry, an assistant professor of epidemiology at Emory University in Atlanta. “We have the luxury of choosing a bad lifestyle as opposed to having one imposed on us by hard times.”
Kids are eating high calorie, low nutrition diets that primarily consist of simple carbohydrates, sugar, corn syrup, fats and sodium. Much of what kids eat in the schools is taxpayer funded garbage. Even more horrifying is that Migration Information reported that schools actually sell advertising to junk food purveyors by signing “"pouring rights" contracts that permit snack and soft drink companies to advertise to children on school vending machines, scoreboards, book covers, t-shirts, and news programs shown on televisions in the classroom., here.

Only in America do we kill our kids for profit and do it with our tax dollars!! 


A group called Healthyamericans.org reported in June 2009 that "Today, we spend nearly $800 billion on health problems that are directly linked to lifestyle and poor health habits each year-about one third of our total health care spending…” and that article was quoting a congress critter, here.  

So how can America rationally and intelligently address our healthcare problems when we are a nation of morons?

Meanwhile, America remains the laughing stock of the world for spending the biggest percentage of our GDP on healthcare than any nation on earth and the only thing we have to show for it is a nation of fat people with chronic obesity, lifestyle related diseases and diminishing longevity relative to other nations, including 3rd world nations.

If a doctor in America told a patient that they were sick because they were fat or they smoked or they drink too much or they ate bad food, the doctor would, in all probability, have his medical license suspended, be hauled before a tribunal for committing a crime against humanity, be sued for a gazillion bucks for telling a bitter truth that offends someone’s self esteem, be forced into bankruptcy and/or be prosecuted for violating somebody’s Civil Rights.

What the American healthcare system desperate needs is a heavy dose of tough love.

Various interventions at the state and federal level have only made the health situation worse and more expensive. Fixing healthcare is a simple but painful process that will in the long run produce healthier citizens and much lower healthcare costs. It’s only painful because Americans are spoiled and they don’t want to pay for anything – after all Abbey Hoffman says “America is the land of the free, free means you don’t have to pay”.

According to the testimony of David Gratzer, M.D., Senior Fellow, Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, before the United States House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health, here:
Consider: a non-employer-based family policy for four in Kansas City, Mo., costs about $170 per month while similar coverage in Boston tops more than $750 a month.
Why the price difference? Many states dictate the type of services and providers. New York, for instance, requires that the services of a podiatrist be covered. It’s a commonly quoted statistic that the average person walks about 150,000 miles in a lifetime. Let’s hope the majority of this journey is on healthy, bunion-free feet. But should every insurance policy in the Empire State really be required to include podiatric services? Acupuncturists are mandated in 11 states, massage therapists in 4, osteopaths in 24, and chiropractors in 47, driving up the price of even the most basic insurance plans.
The federal McCarran-Ferguson Act of 1945 empowers states to regulate “the business of insurance.” Nothing prevents Congress, however, from allowing interstate sales. The foundation of such a bill would be the Constitution’s Commerce Clause. Individuals would then be able to shop around and find a low-cost policy - an affirmation of free-market principles since interstate restrictions now leave many Americans at the mercy of a small number of local health insurance carriers.
Healthcare costs are a noose around the necks of businesses because it’s morphed into a mouse built to government specifications – an elephant. The impact of state mandates is crippling. Take Texas. Texas has the highest percentage of uninsured in America – at a whopping 24-27% of the population depending on whose study you read. As the second most populous state with over 23 million folks, that’s over 6 million uninsured folks. So why does Texas lead the nation in having the most uninsured? The Texas Public Policy Foundation (TPPF) reported in April 2008 that “With 55 mandated benefits, Texas is one of the five most heavily regulated health insurance markets in the country.” TPPF really drives home the point with:
Presently, a 25-year-old male in Texas would pay $248.79 for a health insurance plan that he could get in Alabama for only $77.65 a month. Perhaps these price differences are responsible for the stark contrasts in the uninsured rates in these states. According to the U.S. Census Bureau Survey,in 2006, 23.9 percent of Texans were uninsured compared with only 13.5 percent in Alabama. Not coincidentally Alabama only imposes 19 mandates compared to Texas’ 55...
So now that we know why Texas has such high health insurance costs and so many uninsured, why doesn’t the state of Texas fix it? It’s a valid question. Congress isn’t the only body of legislators owned by lobbyists. Health insurers in Texas fill campaign coffers of state legislators to get those lucrative mandates. It’s that simple. The Texas Legislature refuses to fix the problem because it’s corrupt to the core.

Let's stop and recap. The mandates are indeed the root cause of our healthcare nightmare and it validates the argument of Paul Craig Roberts. The heathcare industry does indeed buy politicians and is responsible for driving up the cost of healthcare with mandates. With Obamacare, the health insurance industry only has to lobby 535 Congress Critters instead of the legislatures in all 50 states.  Obamacare merely federalized the insurance industry mandate schemes but Obamacare also includes over 20 new taxes that will further subsidize health industry corporate profits.  



The 3 things that dramatically drive up America’s gargantuan healthcare costs are.

1. Costly mandates
2. Avoidable lifestyle diseases
3. Treating people with late stage terminal illnesses.

 In nearly all advanced modern nations with single payer cost effective healthcare systems, a person diagnosed with a late stage terminal cancer or disease is simply told “you are going to die, we can’t cure you and all we can do is make you as comfortable as possible". In America, we don’t do that; in fact, we believe that everyone no matter how terminal their condition must be treated with no expense spared until the day they finally expire. Americans don’t know how to accept death. Of course, the folks die anyway and the only beneficiaries are the treatment providers.

The mandate could work but only with free market health insurance options that can be sold across state lines.  Most folks would simply opt for low cost major medical coverage and voluntarily agree to pay for everything else out of pocket, including prescriptions and doctor visits, that would probably be much lower in cost because of competition.  But the health insurance industry, Big Pharm and the American Medical Association have conspired to destroy competition by creating monopolies.   Moreover, Americans are literally addicted to Big Pharm so long as they aren't paying the bill.  America is the most medicated nation on  the planet.

At this juncture it's highly unlikely that free market medicine will ever take root in America simply because Americans have an extraordinarily high expectation of government subsidized healthcare.  That said, I could reluctantly live with a reasonably sane single payer system modeled on the most efficient and cost effective model of those run by other industrialized nations providing I could get liberals to agree to:

1.  Abolish the Federal Reserve and restore sound money 2. End the damn wars and kill the military industrial complex and 3. End all corporate welfare.

Liberals already hate the banksters, the wars and corporate welfare.

Just ending the wars, corporate welfare and restoring sound money would vastly contribute to an increase in liberty as well as a much improved economy for the American people.

Besides, taxpayers shouldn't be paying for hair transplants for bald old men or their viagra and penis pumps.  Nor should tax dollars be used to subsidize a female's sex life by providing free birth control or pay for their abortions.  Nor should taxpayers be paying for in vitro fertilization that cost tens of thousands of dollars or sex change operations.  Nobody has a right to a taxpayer subsidized sex life or even taxpayer funded parenthood.

For a single payer system to work in America would required a whole lot of tough decisions and even more tough love which is precisely what the American people need.  If folks want to eat themselves to death, let them.  If folks want to drink themselves to death, let them.  If folks want to screw themselves to death, let them.  If healthcare is furnished by the taxpayers, the taxpayers are not obligated to subsidize lifestyle choices.

Also, America absolutely needs to change its food stamp program by only allowing the purchase of meats, veggies, fruits, dairy and staples for home cooking (ban subsidizing soda, sugary cereals, packaged foods and most of what folks buy with their public assistance).  Subsidizing obesity and then subsidizing the healthcare problems created by government subsidized junk food is about as insane as it gets.

Above all, the American people need to be forced to accept that they are indeed responsible for their own health and that the government just can't save them from themselves.

2 comments:

  1. While there are a few points that I don't agree with, overall this is genius. This is why liberals and libertarians should hold a convention and form a new third party. there is a middle ground for these two groups to stand on and if they found that ground? I think it would be revolutionary.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Sane folks just need to detach from the R's and the D's. We definitely need a viable 3rd party where independents, libertarians and sane folks can come together to discuss/debate and work out solutions to big issues.

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