Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Health Care

Unless you've been living under a rock these last few days, you know that Republican Scott Brown has won the Senate Seat that was vacated when Teddy Kennedy left this life to stand before a just and holy God in judgment. That a Republican won a seat in a Democrat stronghold, that had been held by a Democrat for 47 years should send a clear signal to our government. That 22% of Democrats voted for the Republican should be an even clearer signal. Americans of both parties are fed up. Fed up with ever increasing government intrusion into our lives. Fed up with out of control spending. Fed up with the power grabs. Just plain fed up.

Those on the left are lamenting this victory as "the death of health care in America." This, of course, could not be further from the truth. Health care is alive and well, and will continue to be the finest health care system in the world, now that it's possible to block the government from taking it over. And yes, the Democrats are whooping and hollering about Republicans being obstructive just for the sake of being obstructive. (The fact that the majority of their own constituents are also opposed to the current health care bills making their way through Congress is lost on them.)

So, the Democrats say that Republicans are opposed to the bill, but have not offered any solutions of their own. Well, the truth is, Republicans have offered solutions. It's just that they are solutions the Democrats don't want to hear. For those of you who may not have heard what those solutions are, let me enlighten you:

1. Tort Reform--first and foremost, if any sort of significant health care reform is to be achieved, tort reform must be enacted. Trial lawyers are leaches, sucking the life out of our medical community. The sheer number of frivolous and trivial malpractice suits has already driven many fine doctors to leave the practice. For those that remain, the added burden of malpractice insurance can be crippling. Many doctors must pay multiple thousands of dollars in malpractice insurance premiums each year. This leaves them with but two options--quit medicine, or pass those costs on to --guess who?--that's right, you and me. Some states have enacted tort reform at that level. Mississippi for example, enacted tort reform in 2002. Since the law took effect, the number of medical malpractice lawsuits has fallen by nearly 90%, which in turn has cut malpractice insurance costs by 30% to 45%, depending on the county. That's a heck of a lot of savings, folks.

2. Allow competition among insurance companies--so, those pushing for a government takeover of health care complain that insurance companies are monopolies (conveniently ignoring the fact that if government does take over health care, what will that be but a monopoly?). The simple truth is, if insurance companies are monopolies, it's because the government made them so. It was the federal government who placed restrictions on insurance companies which prohibit competition across state lines. That is--competition for your business. If the government truly wanted health care reform, it would lift these restrictions and allow insurance companies to once again compete in a free market. As everyone, well, everyone with some sense, knows, competition does two things: it lowers costs, and it raises quality.

3. Kick the freeloaders out of the system--eliminating this massive drain on our health care system can be accomplished in a couple of ways. One is to allow hospitals to expect payment for services rendered. As it stands now, anyone in this country--whether here legally or not--can show up at any hospital emergency room for any reason. That hospital is then required by federal law to render the highest quality health care in the world, with no questions asked. Millions upon millions of dollars worth of medical care is given out in this country each year to people who have no intention of paying. Well, guess what? Somebody has got to pay for all that "free" health care. It doesn't really drop out of the sky you know, and so those costs get passed on to--that's right--you and me. This alone has accounted for a significant portion of the increase in health care costs in America since the law was passed. Simply allowing hospitals to begin collecting from those who don't pay would lower costs for all of us.

Secondly, allow insurance companies to once again deny or restrict coverage for pre-existing conditions. This used to be the norm, until guess who stepped in again. That's right, the government. The problem is this: Joe is a young relatively healthy, typically self absorbed young person in America. He works at a fast food joint, and by his own admission has no ambition of bettering himself. He doesn't have a lot of money left over after paying for his basic necessities, and what is left over is spent on electronics rather than being responsible for his health. He's got a 72" flat screen plasma TV, the premium package of whatever TV service he subscribes to, the latest cell phone with the most expensive 3G network, high speed internet, all the latest gaming systems, but no insurance. After all, Joe deserves to be entertained, doesn't he?

Then one day, Joe gets sick. He goes to the doctor, who tells him he needs surgery. Joe then runs right out and buys himself some health insurance, which has to cover the costs of his surgery since they can no longer exclude pre-existing conditions from their coverage. Joe has his surgery, and joy joy, he's going to be OK. He's back to playing his XBox in no time. The first thing he does is drop his health insurance. Joe has just had $75,000+* worth of high quality medical care for the cost of just a couple of month's premiums. He feels very proud of himself for having juked the system. Well, guess what? Somebody has got to cover the costs for Joe's surgery, and that somebody is--wait for it--you and me! Scenarios like this are played out time and time again, all over this country. This accounts for a significant portion of the skyrocketing costs of health insurance, and could be eliminate simply by allowing insurance companies to require at the very least, a minimum a waiting period on covering pre existing conditions.

So there you have it--three ways that would truly reform health care by reducing costs without sacrificing quality. That the current government shows not the slightest interest in even entertaining these ideas tells me that they have no interest in improving the health care system in America. What they truly want is power--in this case, the ultimate power over the nation's populace.

The power to dictate who lives and who dies.

*I just picked this number totally at random for the sake of illustration. Actual costs of surgery vary depending on location and type of surgery.


Steve said...

Very well said!

Martial Arts Mom said...

AMEN, Becky!!!!

Patch said...

Good post, totally agree FWIW!


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