*******If you’re returning, See addendum at end.********
I write this just in case I’m still wrong that America is toast, that the Fat Lady is warming up backstage, and that the cliff toward which we rush at warp speed in now in sight. The subject last time was government pre-k-through-12 schools. This time it is America’s “healthcare system”.
The first thing that must be accomplished is repeal of the Healthcare Affordability and Patient Protection Act of 2010, aka “Obamacare”. It is disaster that, even if the cliff weren’t already in sight, and even if Kate Smith weren’t waiting in the wings stage right, would sink this the greatest nation and economic powerhouse in the history of Planet Earth. The second thing that must be accomplished is repeal of Medicare Part D, the largest entitlement program in human history, unfunded and unsustainable.
Next, Medicare and Medicaid, along with SCHIP must be sunsetted. Medicaid should be sunsetted to accommodate work-in-progress, though not to exceed sixty days. Ditto SCHIP. Medicare Parts A and B should be remade into a cash prebate from the U.S. Treasury to those currently subscribed at equal value. Recipients of said prebate would have 100% control of those monies with freedom to spend or not spend any way wished. Those aged fifty and above should have the same arrangement less five percent per year or part year less than age sixty-five.
Next, there should be no federal tax consequences for any expenditures on medical care, pharmaceuticals, or related insurances. All must be repealed. Also, any state or national requirements of what must or must not be included in insurance policies, or where insurers may or may not do business should be challenged in federal courts, based on the “necessary and proper clause” strict test for proscribing the unalienable right to liberty. And finally, neither a state nor the U.S. Government may be allowed to license any person as condition of practice. Nor may any state nor the U.S. Government interfere with the free sale or purchase of human tissues or organs.
When all of the above have been accomplished, boys and girls, what we will have is a free market. Each human being — whether doctor, pharmacist, dentist, ophthamologist, prospective patient, biological scientist, engineer, entrepreneur, insurance executive, employer, or whatever else — will be able to act in his own self-interest. The answer to fixing the “healthcare system” is to eliminate the “healthcare system”.
The practice of companies providing “benefits” started to get around something government did to interfere with liberty between employers and employees. FDR froze wage rates. Then to compete for a depressed workforce, that because so many left to fight in Europe and Asia with the U.S. Military, companies offered to pay for medical expenses to offset that they could not offer more money.
When folks suffer some calamity and face hunger, they should go to a food pantry, a charitable establishment. There are people from sea to shining sea who set up such and people who contribute to them. If folks suffer some calamity and face a catastrophic and unaffordable medical emergency, they should go to a charitable medical clinic.
If someone faces a life-threatening injury or condition or disease, and if they have not budgeted for and purchased high-deductible major-medical insurance, and if overwhelming financial largesse isn’t forthcoming from anywhere, the truism that life isn’t fair will be personally experienced. As retiring-radio-talkmaster Neal Boortz has said, “Sucks to be you.”
Fact is that many people cannot now and will never be able to afford 2012 medical, dental, ophthamological, and pharmaceutical state-of-the-science care. They won’t be able to afford big yachts and private jets either. Some folks will have to settle for, say, 197os state-of-the-science care . . . and a rowboat and a used clunker. Oh wait, those aren’t available any more.
Wanna see where we’re headed? Look through the yellow pages of a metropolitan telephone directory from Canada. Look first under “physicians” and second under “veterinarians”. The former is about system, the latter about unsystem. The former is government, the latter free-market. The former is tiny, the latter huge.
So, if we follow my prescription for changing paradigms, with what will we end up? Only the individual choices and behaviors of 300+ million Americans acting in their individual best-perceived-interests will tell. Just havin’ fun here, boys’n'girls, while watchin’ that there cliff. It be approachin’, dontcha know?
A survey of 700 physicians found:
- 90% say the medical system is on the WRONG TRACK
- 83% say they are thinking about QUITTING
- 61% say the system challenges their ETHICS
- 85% say the patient-physician relationship is in a TAILSPIN
- 65% say GOVERNMENT INVOLVEMENT is most to blame for current problems
- 72% say individual insurance mandate will NOT result in improved access care
- 49% say they will STOP accepting Medicaid patients
- 74% say they will STOP ACCEPTING Medicare patients, or leave Medicare completely
- 52% say they would rather treat some Medicaid/Medicare patient for FREE
- 57% give the AMA a FAILING GRADE representing them
- 1 out of 3 doctors is HESITANT to voice their opinion
- 2 out of 3 say they are JUST SQUEAKING BY OR IN THE RED financially
- 95% say private practice is losing out to CORPORATE MEDICINE
- 80% say DOCTORS/MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS are most likely to help solve things
- 70% say REDUCING GOVERNMENT would be single best fix.