DISMANTLING A WORLD CLASS HEALTH CARE SYSTEM
July 19, 2009
Everyone agrees that the healthcare system needs to be fixed. But patients must be the top priority in the process. The cost of healthcare rising at double digit rates is unsustainable and a threat to our economic competitiveness. However a serious divide exists on just how the healthcare problems are resolved. Do we rely on competition and private capital or do we create another government entity run by the government and paid for by the taxpayers? We see the proof of government incompetence every time we turn on our television, read the paper or hear the next proposal paid for by the taxpayer.
We can't understand how anyone can look at the efficiency of government and believe that the management of health care will be any better. America has always been a nation which has valued personal freedom and individual liberty. Our health care system needs the discipline of a true free market to reduce costs, not empty, expensive government mandates.
Our freedom is precious. It has been said "People fight for freedom, and then they begin to accumulate laws to take freedoms away from themselves." Clearly what we hear today would suggest that this quotation has some validity. This is particularly true when we hear of Administration’s “health care reform. The carefully crafted rhetoric of the leadership in Washington is smothered with high sounding platitudes, but one needs to look behind the facade of the rhetoric to discover reality. The New York Times let the cat out of the bag when it stated that what is being proposed is massive tax increases to support universal heath care and healthcare rationing. And thus, there is a serious diminution of freedoms. And when freedoms are diminished, individuals lose their identity. Point in fact, nationalized health care, as proposed by the Administration is a sampling of freedoms gradually being ebbed away from individual control. Milton Acorda once said "Without freedom, no one really has a name." In short, we all become a number.
The President has proposed a federalized health care plan. It is acknowledged that the plan will cost well beyond 1.6 trillion dollars. And it’s important to see the big picture; Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid are all expected to run huge losses in the years ahead. Our obligations to existing programs are not met, what responsible individual would propose more unfunded entitlement programs? The administration claims that part of the funding is expected to come from taxing all health insurance premiums, paid by employers, taxable to the employees. So if your income is $40,000 and your employer pays $10,000 in health insurance premiums on your behalf, your taxable income will be $50,000.
It is now becoming apparent that President Obama plans to nationalize key industries including health care. He is not overtly putting out of business private heath care. Instead, he is proposing to create a public healthcare system--called "public option" that will be open to all and much cheaper than private health insurers. This will be funded by pubic tax dollars, which will subsidize and reduce the cost of the public option. This will over time, put out of business the private health care companies who simply cannot compete with a government health care system subsidized by taxpayers. In other words, Obama is using a similar stealth approach to nationalization as he has with the banks and the car industry.
Currently, Americans have access to a world class health care system. Hospitals by law are required to admit anyone who shows up at the door--whether those patients have the money to pay or not. The bottom line is in this free enterprise system, no patient is left without medical treatment.
Men, women and children from all around the world have long come to the United States for medical treatment. Why have they not gone to national health care countries such as Canada, Cuba, France, China or Russia? For example, if you lived in Canada and you were to injure your leg playing in a football game and your doctor recommends an MRI, your wait for an MRI is several weeks at least. In the Untied States, in most cases, you will be able to get the MRI within a week or sooner. In nations that have implemented a socialist health care system, even an emergency gall bladder case may require one to wait several months before one can see a physician. Each case is dealt with in a pecking order, depending on the age of the patient and other bureaucratic factors. This is RATIONED medicine.
The current plan being considered would include rationing based on age and other factors. Proposed include : cut diagnostic imaging tests like MRI's and CAT scans, reduce the use of antibiotics, perform fewer Caesarean sections, and cut care for management of chronic back pain. The Obama health care proposals will lead to a Canadian style socialized medicine, with consequences such as: a 16% higher cancer death rate in Canada; an eight week wait for radiation therapy for cancer patients; 42 % of Canadians die of colon cancer vs. 31% in the US. Decisions will not be based upon the physician's opinion but will be made by a bureaucratic decision maker. Ever call the government and depend on them for a quick decision? If you don't feel comfortable with that idea, why allow them to control your health? This will put the government firmly in the middle of the relationship between patients and their doctors. President Obama has stated that he “would give permission for the patient to select his or her own physician". Since when do we need permission from the President to select our own doctor?
Through all these past years, we in the United States have been privileged to have the finest health care system in the world. We have it because our system allows those working within the system--doctors, nurses, medical scientific researchers, other health care providers and personnel-- to work as professional entrepreneurs in a free enterprise system. We are realists when we recognize that in America, whoever is in charge of paying for health care, will ultimately be responsible for the quality of care Americans receive. If you pay for your own health care, either directly or through your insurance plan, then the physicians and medical professionals who serve you are, in effect, your employees. However, in a system where the government pays for your health care, you, as the patient, are not the one in charge. The government, who is the employing agency and who pays the bills, is in charge of the medical case and the medical providers. And the patient is just a number waiting for another bureaucratic decision.
We believe that the free enterprise system, based on demonstrated values, is a driving force of energy in our society. A socialistic health care plan sounds good but in practice it never works. The only thing "equal" about socialism is the equality of suffering. Let's move our health care system to more freedom, more individualism and less government, and use the tested, competitive market mechanism to attain care for all. Today, reforms are needed in the sky rocketing costs of malpractice insurance for physicians and there is an urgent need of tort liability reform. Why has the Administration not addressed these vital matters? Could it be that the trial lawyers have contributed handsomely to certain political interests?
We are truly appreciative for the outstanding and comprehensive health care system we have in America and the highly dedicated and competent health care personnel we have in our midst. This can only happen in a country where freedom prevails and the worth and dignity of the individual is protected. The voice of Franklin Delano Roosevelt said it so eloquently when he said "The only sure bulwark of continuing liberty is a government strong enough to protect the interests of the people, and a people strong enough and well enough informed to maintain its sovereign control over the government." How truly significant it would be today if we heard the clarion call for the protection of our great American FREEDOMS. But then, that would require something which is so desperately needed today: STATESMANSHIP. And that is how we see it FROM OUR PERSPECTIVE.