Friday, October 26, 2012
Sunday, October 14, 2012
Part one of:
The political class is neither good enough nor smart enough to run Health Care. The tyranny of rationing and behavior control will be the consequence of the Affordable Care Act.
v If politicians, lobbyists, generic bureaucrats, Presidents, Presidential Czars and Presidential Cabinet members proportionally reflected the population’s temperament, there would be the same proportion of magnanimous altruist, of well-intentioned busybodies, of corrupted souls, of two face liars, of decent people, and of malicious psychopaths. Since the aforementioned “political class” exerts more control over us than the general population, it is right to fear them. It is necessary to constrain, dam, and decentralize their power with a Constitution because they are not angels. It is a stretch, however, to expect a proportional representation of temperaments among them. Tyranny is humanity’s historical norm. Power corrupts.
v The left-wing chortles with snarky disdain at “slippery slope” arguments like the tyranny argument above. They say that their command to purchase insurance will not lead to state enforced vegetarianism or state forced abortions. It’s ridiculous to assert, they say, that the affordable care act will lead to death panels where Jack-Kavorkian-Democrats pull the plug on Grandma. “Trust us” they say.
Supreme Court Justice Ginsberg mocks conservatives by quoting Robert Bork. “Judges and lawyers live on the slippery slope of analogies; they are not supposed to ski it to the bottom.”:http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0612/77958.html#ixzz21xMirlV9 By focusing on what might happen, but probably will not, the “slippery slope” distracts us from discussing the matter at hand; that the Affordable Care is desirable. Or so they say.
v The problem with their brush-off of the likely tyranny argument is two-fold: 1) Much of what we fear is already happening. 2) We don’t trust them because we know what major power players in left-wing intelligentsia have said.
v Rationing occurs today under Medicaid and Medicare because the government needs to save money, so it short pays for medical care. (The Affordable Care Act expands Medicaid and it grants greater authority to the Independent Payment Advisory Board which authorizes the short paying.)
Example: “Want an appointment with kidney specialist Adam Weinstein of Easton, Md.? If you're a senior covered by Medicare, the wait is eight weeks. How about a checkup from geriatric specialist Michael Trahos? Expect to see him every six months: The Alexandria-based doctor has been limiting most of his Medicare patients to twice yearly rather than the quarterly checkups he considers ideal for the elderly. Still, at least he'll see you. Top-ranked primary care doctor Linda Yau is one of three physicians with the District's Foxhall Internists group who recently announced they will no longer be accepting Medicare patients. "It's not easy. But you realize you either do this or you don't stay in business," she said.” http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/11/25/AR2010112503638.html
Example: Barbara Wagner and Randy Stroup of Oregon were both initially denied life pro-longing cancer treatments because of the expense. Oregon already has a government saturated Health Care system. A bureaucrat offered public funding for assisted suicide instead. (Legal in Oregon) http://special.registerguard.com/turin/2008/jun/03/gift-treatment/
So the message from Oregon, so aptly stated by Barbara Wagner, is: “We’ll pay for you to die, but not pay for you to live.” http://www.pccef.org/articles/art67.htm
Example: Only 16% of Maryland dentist accept Medicaid patients. In one extreme case of note, Deamonte Driver died of a tooth infection that spread to his brain. Deamonte’s tragedy was used as evidence in support of ObamaCare. It turns out that Deamonte was insured by Medicaid.
The Cause and Effect: According Richard Foster, Medicare’s chief actuary, Obama Care will bring Medicare’s reimbursement rates lower than Medicaid*1. .So private healthcare insurance is squeezed by a pincer movement; Medicaid is expanded by adding 18 million people and reimburses an average of 56%*2, Medicare will add 2.5 million or more per year as people age*3, the reimbursement rate for Medicare is lowered, Healthcare providers will have to foist the unreimbursed expense upon those who have private insurance, and private insurance is forced to provide for those with pre-exiting conditions which will necessarily force up insurance prices. Eventually the burgeoning vine strangles the tree that sustains it.
Rationing is the necessary consequence of the government’s paltry reimbursement rates. As private insurance becomes unaffordable, Americans will gravitate to Medicaid or State run subsidized exchanges. Because more Americans will be sucked into some form of government health care, more will experience rationed healthcare. 1How ObamaCare Harms The Poor, by Avik Roy, National Review July 30 2012, 2. http://thf_media.s3.amazonaws.com/2011/pdf/TheImpactOfObamacare.pdf 3. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/212585.php
v Busybody nanny-state control is already occurring or threatening at various levels of government and with the Affordable Care Act specifically.
Example: New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is proposing to ban large sodas in NYC. http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504763_162-57451372-10391704/mayor-bloombergs-soda-ban-proposal-to-be-submitted-to-nyc-health-board-today/
Example: Several major US Cities, including New York and Philadelphia, and the State of California have banned trans-fats. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trans_fat 117-136
Example: When life issues and “preventative services” conflict, the Feds via the Health and Human Service Secretary determines the moral decision for insurance companies. K. Sebelius requires “free” coverage for early-abortion pills, and sterilizations. (Women’s Preventive Services Guidelines and HHS Mandate Pg. 2) www.alliancedefensefund.org/obamacare
Example: As of July 2010, indoor tanning services are subject to a 10 percent excise tax, under the Affordable Care Act. http://www.irs.gov/businesses/small/article/0,,id=224600,00.html This tax, like an alcohol sin tax, is designed to decrease a behavior the political class dislikes. (And is unambiguously aimed at pale people)
Example: Medicare will pick up the tab for obesity screening and intensive behavioral counseling…The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid. http://www.medpagetoday.com/PublicHealthPolicy/Medicare/29940
Example: For more proof that Government taking care of you can lead to it taking control of you, check out the WIC government food program’s authorized food list. Not allowed; foods with added sugar, whole milk, brown eggs, white bread, canned beans, potatoes, nuts, sardines pack in hot sauce, and more. http://www.cdph.ca.gov/programs/wicworks/WIC%20Foods/WICAuthorizedFoodListShoppingGuide-7-5-2011.pdf.pdf
Example: California’s Energy Commission proposed installing remote controls in home thermostats that could not be overridden by homeowners during an emergency. (Some think Global Warming is an emergency) http://www.ucan.org/energy/electricity/advanced_metering/big_brother_control_thermostats_homes
Example: Many states have or are considering mandatory drug testing for food stamp recipients. http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/story/2012-02-17/welfare-food-stamps-drug-testing-laws/53306804/1 This is obviously an unconstitutional warrantless search, protected against by the 4th and then the 14th amendments. But if the Constitution is ignored to allow the Feds to surpass their boundaries to help you at your neighbor’s expense, it cannot be expected to protect you after it’s been ignored to begin with.
v Distrust the political class because of what they have actually said.
Example: From Ecoscience, co-authored by John Holdren in 1977. John Holdren is President Obama’s Science Czar.
“Adding a sterilant to drinking water or staple foods is a suggestion that seems to horrify people more than most proposals for involuntary fertility control. … To be acceptable, such a substance would have to meet some rather stiff requirements: it must be uniformly effective, despite widely varying doses received by individuals, and despite varying degrees of fertility and sensitivity among individuals; it must be free of dangerous or unpleasant side effects; and it must have no effect on members of the opposite sex, children, old people, pets, or livestock.
A program of sterilizing women after their second or third child, despite the relatively greater difficulty of the operation than vasectomy, might be easier to implement than trying to sterilize men.
The development of a long-term sterilizing capsule that could be implanted under the skin and removed when pregnancy is desired opens additional possibilities for coercive fertility control. The capsule could be implanted at puberty and might be removable, with official permission, for a limited number of births.” http://zombietime.com/john_holdren/
Politicfact defends John Holdren because his recommendations attach the proviso "if the population crisis became sufficiently severe to endanger the society." Oh in that case it’s perfectly tolerable for influential policy wonks to suggest China like oppression because they really don’t mean it, until of course they mean it. Regardless, the rebuttal includes the same quotes and therefore helps prove the veracity of Holdren’s statements. http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2009/jul/29/glenn-beck/glenn-beck-claims-science-czar-john-holdren-propos/
Example: Cass Sunstein , Obama’s Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs "Many analysts, however, have suggested that the government should rely instead on the 'value of a statistical life year' (VSLY), in a way that would likely result in significantly lower benefits calculations for elderly people, and significantly higher benefits calculations for children," the 2003 paper said.
"I urge that the government should indeed focus on statistical life-years rather than statistical lives. A program that saves young people produces more welfare than one that saves old people," it added.
"Older people are treated worse for one reason, they are older. This is not an injustice.”
Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2011/06/is_it_time_to_push_cass_sunstein_over_the_cliff.html#ixzz21hATBMHF
Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2011/06/is_it_time_to_push_cass_sunstein_over_the_cliff.html#ixzz21hATBMHF
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
v The lie: Free-riders, people who don’t pay their health care bills, are the main driver pushing Health Care insurance costs higher. Obama Care proponents, including Justice Ginsberg in her Supreme Court opinion, cite a statistic claiming free-riders extracted from health care providers $43 billion worth of uncompensated care in 2008.
1. The truth is that “$43 billion” is a lie.
v Three-fourths of skipped bills are compensated.
“We traced its estimates of the magnitude of… $43 billion per year, … to two sources: the aforementioned Health Affairs study, and a non-peer-reviewed study commissioned by FamiliesUSA, a Washington, D.C., group long known for its advocacy of greater government involvement in health care. Yet Congress simply ignored the evidence in the Health Affairs study and failed to recognize the serious flaws in the FamiliesUSA analysis.
Specifically, Congress ignored the $40 billion to $50 billion that is spent annually by charitable organizations and federal, state, and local governments to reimburse doctors and hospitals for the cost of caring for the uninsured. These payments, which amount to approximately three-fourths of the cost of such care, mitigate the extent of cost shifting and reduce the magnitude of the hidden tax on private insurance.” http://www.hoover.org/publications/hoover-digest/article/84061
v “Analysts at the Urban Institute concluded that uncompensated care accounts for 2.8% of all health care spending, and that cost shifting due to the uninsured raised private insurance premiums is 1.7% “at most.” The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office agrees: “Overall, the impact of cost shifting on payment rates and premiums for private insurance seems likely to be relatively small.” http://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/cost-shifting-does-not-justify-obamacare
2. The truth is that the Federal Government is the biggest free-rider and therefore the biggest driver of higher insurance prices.
v If you accept the lie that Justice Ginsberg cites, “43 billion of uncompensated care in 2008,” then the federal government is still six and a half times the free-loader as the scapegoated free–riders.
Medicare spending … reached $466 billion in 2008. Spending on Medicaid was $352 billion in 2008. http://www.healthaffairs.org/press/janfeb0907.htm pulled from the Center for Medicare and Medicade Services. Kaiser Foundation estimates a national reimbursement rate of 0.72 in 2008 for Medicare and Medicaid. (The Government uses monopoly-like purchasing status and the force of law to short-pay bills) $352billion + $466billion= $818 billion. $818 billion is under 3/4th payment on actual invoices. Extrapolating from $818 billion, the total invoices for Medicare and Medicaid were $1,136 billion ($1.1 trillion). This leaves $318 billion that politicians refused to pay hospitals and doctors. That is over 6.5 times what the scapegoated “free-riding” uninsured left to the HealthCare system, and is $318 billion that providers must offset by raising prices to private insurance. The real free-rider is the Federal government.
v If you don’t accept the “43 billion dollar” lie, and only count the quarter of skipped bills that providers are stuck with, then Federal Government was 29 times the free-loader than the free-riders were in 2008.
v Furthermore, the Heritage Foundation cites the fact that Medicare/aid compensation is now closer to 56%.
3. The truth is that the Patient Protection Act betrays the lie.
v They justify tyranny with duplicity by attempting to have it both ways: The uninsured are free riders who burden us by using health care they don't pay, but that hospitals are forced by state good-Samaritan laws to provide and then must make up the cost by increasing prices on those who have insurance. And, the uninsured are primarily healthy young adults who are an actuarial gold-mine for insurance companies because they "incur relatively low healthcare costs." In other words the mandate betrays their lie, if the uninsured burdened the system significantly then they couldn’t be used buoy the new system.
“It is precisely because these individuals, as an actuarial class, incur relatively low healthcare costs that the mandate helps counter the effect of forcing insurance companies to cover others who impose greater costs than their premiums are allowed to reflect.” Chief Justice John Roberts
v Claiming that the Affordable Care prevents free riders from passing their cost on to you is a lie. Those who cannot pay hospitals back now, are precisely the ones exempted from the individual mandate penalty.
The lawyers defending the bill before the Supreme Court admitted that “[t]he amount of the penalty will be calculated as a percentage of household income for federal income tax purposes, subject to a floor and [a] ca[p],” and that individuals who earn so little money that they “are not required to file income tax returns for the taxable year are not subject to the penalty” §5000A(e)(1); who earn too little income to require filing a tax return
Justifying the Affordable Care Act as a solution to prevent free riders from passing cost on to you is a lie. Those who cannot pay hospitals back now, are precisely the ones exempted from the penalty. The real free-rider grabs an ever growing market share and wields the force of law to impose its will. The real-free rider is the Federal Government.
Saturday, October 6, 2012
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is a take-over of the healthcare system by the federal government.
v Citizens are told by the federal government to buy approved insurance plans, instead of arranging to pay for health care the way free citizens see fit.
v The federal government approves the insurance plans that you must buy.
v The federal government requires that, beginning in 2014, large employers provide their employees with Obamacare-compliant insurance plans or pay a heavy fine and employers of any size who provide their employees with insurance must offer only Obamacare-compliant plans or face similarly burdensome fines and lawsuits. (26 U.S.C. § 4980H Pg. 1; ObamaCare Sec. 1562(f), Pg. 152), (26 USC § 4980D Pg. 1; ObamaCare Sec. 1562(e)-(f), Pg. 152; 29 U.S.C. § 1132 Pg. 1; ObamaCare Sec. 1562(e)-(f), Pg. 152) ww.alliancedefensefund.org/obamacare
v The new law contains 700 references that the (Health and Human Services) Secretary “shall” determine and “may” determine 139 times. For instance, “The Secretary shall develop oral health components that shall include tooth-level surveillance.” Section 4102
v The federal government controls the amount of operating rooms there are in hospitals. Sec. 6001 PPACA (Consolidated) 62212y 100 PERCENT INCREASE LIMITATION
v “As part of new labeling requirements, she'll also have the power to regulate a wide variety of foods -- even Happy Meals. A clause of the law titled "MENU VARIABILITY AND COMBINATION MEALS" reads: "The Secretary shall establish by regulation standards for determining and disclosing the nutrient content for standard menu items that come in different flavors, varieties, or combinations, but which are listed as a single menu item, such as soft drinks, ice cream, pizza, doughnuts, or children's combination meals, through means determined by the Secretary, including ranges, averages, or other methods." http://spectator.org/archives/2010/06/04/the-empress-of-obamacare/1 At first this reads like the Secretary prescribes the nutrient chart, but read it again; “determining …the nutrient content…” Which definition of “determine” is used here? To ascertain after observation? Or, to control and decide?
v When life issues and “preventative services” conflict, the Feds via the Secretary determine the moral decision for insurance companies. K. Sebelius requires “free” coverage for early-abortion pills, and sterilizations. (Women’s Preventive Services Guidelines and HHS Mandate Pg. 2) www.alliancedefensefund.org/obamacare
v Religious exemptions to the HHS mandated coverage of abortion pills and sterilizations are determined by the Secretary. The exemptions are narrow. Any religious school or charity that serves people of other faiths is not exempt because it does not meet the requirements (a Christian soup kitchen, a Catholic school, etc.) Even some churches are not exempt if they are too focused on serving people besides themselves. (HHS Mandate Pg. 2) www.alliancedefensefund.org/obamacare
v The Secretary can fine doctors up to $10,000 if they have part ownership in their hospital and neglect filling out the correct paperwork informing the Secretary they are part owners. PPACA
v Employers can either pay $20,000 a year or so for the family coverage Kathleen Sebelius chooses for them, required by the PPACA not only for their workers but for all of their dependents as well, or they can start paying the tax penalties. That includes for those with 50 or more full-time employees a penalty of $2,000 per year per full time worker (minus 30 employees), if they offer no insurance. But even if the employer does provide employee health insurance, the employer is assessed a penalty of $3,000 per employee if the worker nevertheless qualifies to purchase his or her own health insurance on a state health insurance exchange and does so. http://heartland.org/editorial/2012/08/17/new-face-health-care-irs
v The Affordable care act creates the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB). IPAB is a rationing board.
v The government denies that it is a rationing board, but “with its authority to control prices, it will be able to drive Medicare payments so low, doctors will stop offering key services to patients.” Stanley Kurtz, National Review
v Dr. Elaine C. Jones, government relations committee co-chair of the American Academy of Neurology stated, "We are also very concerned about the power of the IPAB to cut payments to physicians. The sole function of the IPAB is to cut spending…”Mary Ellen Schneider (March 1, 2011). "Physicians Offer Rx for Fixing Health Reform Law". Internal Medicine News.
v Insurance companies are told who they must insure and how they must insure them. Acting in unison, there will be scant difference between them, thus creating a monopoly effect. This monopoly effect is hidden by the ruse of multiple companies, but really they take orders neither from you nor your employer, they take orders from the federal government. Their hope is to solicit favor with politicians to gain recognition on state-run exchanges, and also to protect the lucrative individual mandate. Instead of focusing on the consumer, sheer self-preservation will pin their hopes on campaign donations and lobbying.
v Doctors recognize this ruse and see it as the worst of both worlds; several big bullies and one Godzilla bully teaming up against them. “Eighty-three percent of American physicians have considered leaving their practices over President Barack Obama’s health care reform law, according to a survey released by the Doctor Patient Medical Association.” …co-founder of the DPMA Kathryn Serkes told TheDC. “Doctors clearly understand what Washington does not — that a piece of paper that says you are ‘covered’ by insurance or ‘enrolled’ in Medicare or Medicaid does not translate to actual medical care when doctors can’t afford to see patients at the lowball payments, and patients have to jump through government and insurance company bureaucratic hoops,” Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2012/07/09/report-83-percent-of-doctors-have-considered-quitting-over-obamacare/#ixzz20BUu3Vdw These additional organizations have also registered their disapproval. “Previous surveys by Athena, Sermo, Deloitte, the Doctors Company Survey, the Physicians Foundation, and IBD/TIPP have clearly shown that most doctors are unhappy with the direction of things, and a clear majority are opposed to the health care law” http://www.forbes.com/sites/marcsiegel/2012/08/12/will-your-doctor-quit-obamacare-foretells-mass-exodus-from-patient-care/
v Like insurance companies, healthcare providers motivated by self-preservation will pin their hopes on campaign donations and lobbying. The patient will be reduced to a “Where is Waldo” guy in a sea of insurance agents, compliance staff, lobbyists, politicians, lawyers and bureaucrats.
v The politicking of the healthcare industry will not save them. Godzilla has the Independent Payment Advisory Board whose meager reimbursement rates for Medicare/Medicaid can now only be vetoed by a congressional super-majority. The board is Independent by design, so that it is more difficult for Congress to rebuke paltry Medicare/Medicaid reimbursement rates. Healthcare providers will skimp on money-draining procedures or face closing their doors. Skimping on money-draining procedures is rationing.
v Citizens are told by the federal government to buy approved insurance plans, instead of arranging to pay for healthcare the way free citizens see fit. (It is worth repeating)