Thursday, July 23, 2009

Healthcare Reform or Overhaul...Still No Plan

After listening to B-Rock Opompus on last night I had the sinking feeling that we have been here before. It all sounded too familiar. It all sounded like the pressure that B-Rock put on Congress and the American public for his stimulus plan.

Take these words from an op-ed piece that the president wrote on February 5, 2009:

"Because each day we wait to begin the work of turning our economy around, more people lose their jobs, their savings and their homes. And if nothing is done, this recession might linger for years. Our economy will lose 5 million more jobs. Unemployment will approach double digits. Our nation will sink deeper into a crisis that, at some point, we may not be able to reverse."

Now compare those words to these words uttered last night:

"So let me be clear: If we do not control these costs, we will not be able to control our deficit. If we do not reform health care, your premiums and out-of-pocket costs will continue to skyrocket. If we don't act, 14,000 Americans will continue to lose their health insurance every single day. These are the consequences of inaction. These are the stakes of the debate that we're having right now."

If any of you really listened to the president you all would have heard what I have been hearing from him since last August. Plenty of ideas and no true plan to get these ideas working. If you recall he once thought about taxing the benefits of the those wage earners who make over $350k annually but now has support for creating a surtax for those Americans who earn $1M annually.

When asked if he and Congress would abide by the same plan that he is proposing, Opompus made the mistake of telling Americans that he wanted them to have the same plan that Congress currently has. O.K. They pay about 25% of the premiums and the taxpayers pick up the rest of the tab. In short, the taxpayers will pay for the plan. The other problem with this is that members of Congress have no waiting period to enroll and they are offered a myriad of plans to choose from which are through private carriers and provide for no pre-existing conditions clauses. Plus Congress has its own doctors, nurses and technicians standing by. They don't even have to leave work to get a physical exam or x-rays. Unless we work in healthcare field we gotta go to the doctor's office.

What is wrong with this idea? First, the government subsidizing 75% of premiums already indicates that companies will choose to drop coverage for their employees and turn them over to the government plan because not many companies choose to pay 75% of their employee premiums without tax incentives. Secondly, no private insurer can compete with the government when it comes to the ability to impose taxes and penalities on the populace to keep their premiums low thus eliminating competition.

To further bolster the presidents take over of healtcare was hidden in his response to a question posed by Steve Koff, of the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

"But having a public plan out there that also shows that maybe if you take some of the profit motive out, maybe if you are reducing some of the administrative costs, that you can get an even better deal, that's going to incentivize the private sector to do even better."

He seeks to remove the profit motive from private health insurers. Then there will be no private health insurers if they cannot make a profit. No one will be in the business of assuming risk without rewards. I know that health care costs have continued to rise but so have the cost associated with the advancements in treatment. Companies and researchers that come up with new and innovative ways to fix our ailments have to be compensated for their research and development. I really don't think we can wait on Pakistan to come up with a new treatment for any new malady that exists. Most money is recouped in the early stages of use.

I don't hear an outcry about how much money Microsoft makes off of its suites of Office 2007 or Windows Vista software. They are still charging the same rate that they did when the products launched 3 years ago and by now I am sure that they have recouped all of their research and development costs for that product launch( and you can bet that Windows 7 will be launched with the same pricing structure). And take a look at the Apple iPod. The prices never really go down. You get some new features, first color, then video, then smaller size, then touch and wi-fi capabilities but the prices remains constant within a few dollars. But I digress.

As I mentioned earlier, the president is full of ideas and no plans. His ideas are disguised as plans but if you examine closely you will see that there is no substance to grab hold to. Contrary to what he says, B-Rock wants to nationalize healthcare. He wants a complete overhaul of our healthcare system without looking to see what is broken and needs fixing. If my car were to run out of gas while driving; I would not rebuild the engine to fix the problem. I would call the motor club to bring me gasoline or tow me to a gas station. Let's remind our elected knuckleheads in Congress that overhaul means tearing down to rebuild. Do we need to rebuild or just fix what is broken and remove what is not working?

These are my words! Please post yours!


theblackcommenter said...

I 100% agree except I don't think he's full of ideas so much as full of hot air. A nationalized (read socialized) health care plan is a huge intrusion of the federal into our private lives and yet it seems there is little to no critique or concern because Obama continues to distract

Marvin said...

Well said and well written. Thanks for being so concise and clear.

Ron B said...

Thanks theblackcommenter for chiming in. Distractive ideas!

Ron B said...

Marvin, I thought that I was a little long winded. Thanks for your comments.

Julie said...

Great post and spot on. I work at a large hospital and already see the fall out from the proposed plan in effect. They are cutting staff and closing floors in preparation of the possible socialized medical plan coming. And the scariest thing! End of Like counseling. If your in poor health or elderly that had better scare you.

Conservativelikenoother said...

Hey Ron,

Long time no hear. Your article is right on. I have been around just have not been writing on the blog, but I have been writing. I see this as a front for the continued practice that Michelle Obama started in Chicago with the patient dumping. These people are elitist to a tee and will stop at nothing to rid the world of groups of people they view as undesirables. Keep it up.

Ron B said...

Thanks for commenting. With this proposal we will have a death march of the elderly like the Bataan Death March in WWII. Old people and seriously sick will be told to line up and take this pain pill and here is your prescription for counseling.

Ron B said...

CLNO, Welcome back. I too have been busy but will always find time to point out government stupidity. I read where Michelle had been a part of this kind of action while employed as some type of hospital administrator. I only wish the old were not so bound to Democrats over their SS benefits. Thanks for commenting.

Smile said...

Sen Chris Dodd 7-31-09
"Third, as a Member of Congress, I have good health insurance. I was able to seek the opinions of highly skilled doctors, consider all the available options, and choose the treatment that’s right for me.

United States Government Accountability Office (GAO) August 2005 Our Government is in the know. They are not innocently giving us a raw deal. Congressman Paul Ryan et al have been getting information from the GAO as far back as 1992-93 during the Clinton Care debacle, and tried to warn of the discrepancies and problems. The federal unions and powerful politicians have no interest in the facts of what is in the public's best interests. Just as with the rest of their perks, vip treatment, retirement plans, business plans, savings...they make sure that they get to play by different rules then the rest of us.

In 2005 the GAO did a study of private health insurance (notably FEHBP, the largest private health insurance program in the country) and found that increasing competition would lower insurance costs. Can you say free trade?

If there was even a remote effort to be sincere our politicians would recomend the quickest and best fix: They would include citizens in the FEHBP.
Instead we see a continued exclusion of themselves from plans they propose for 'we' the people.

Would you rather drink tea or kool aid?

Smile said...

Rebecca Bell, an OPM representative wrote back to a reader (at with the following:
"Many Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) retirees have not worked enough to qualify or have never worked in the social security covered employment and consequently are ineligible for this payment. As a result of this inequity, NARFE's legislative department worked with key members of the Senate and succeeded in the securing a newly-created $250 per person refundable tax credit for federal, state and local government retirees who are ineligible to receive social security". {{{Where does she come off using a word like "inequity?}}}

Ralph Smith referencing H.R.2990 at says "Sometimes, a bill moves fast. This is one of them. This bill was approved 404-0 the day after it was introduced." {{{Isn't that amazing? And quick! We'll see if the Senate leaves the FERS, CSRS, credit for unused sick leave and authority to redeposit refunds in the bill. This, along with guaranteed pension for life of up to 80% of "high 3" salary, plus a COLA on the entire amount. These people get to choose and shop as well, unlike us regular civilians.

You can get on some of these sites, read the comments and see that not any of them are concerned with men, women, and children who are paying for these benefits. Quite oblivious to all of us, and have never paid into S.S. but think it an inequity if they don't get it. Are we impressed with what they've been indoctrinated to believe?

ablur said...

I am a little late to the post but I would love to offer you a list of problems that would cheapen healthcare without destroying it. The congress does have a place in this solution.
How To Make Healthcare Cheaper

Understanding The Healthcare Debate

I have written extensively on this bill and believe you will find these of interest.

Ron B said...

Not that late. I read your with interest your ideas. I am squarely with you on Personal Responsibility with regards to health care. Illegal immigration and the use of emergency rooms as a doctors waiting room and the soaring cost associated with treating those who will never pay.
Tort reform to loser pays will stop ambulance chasing and the idea that doctors will settle to make annoying cases go away.