The Nanny State and the Cost of Unfunded Government LiabilitiesEconomics / Economic Theory Nov 01, 2009 - 07:24 AM GMT
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.” Declaration of Independence
“The reason this country continues its drift toward socialism and big nanny government is because too many people vote in the expectation of getting something for nothing, not because they have a concern for what is good for the country.” Lyn Nofziger
When I decided to tackle the national healthcare issue, I thought a good start would be examining the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution to see what they had to say about the right to healthcare. I hunted and searched the various documents which created our country. I found that according to the Declaration of Independence, we have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The Fourteenth Amendment states, No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
I did not find the right to healthcare in the Bill of Rights. I also did not find the right to an Ivy League education, the right to a well paying job, the right to a fully paid for pension, the right to drive a BMW X5, the right to a beautiful wife, the right to reside in a 6,000 sq ft McMansion, or the right to get into Heaven.
I did discover that government derives their JUST powers from the consent of the people. I also found that if those who govern use their powers in a destructive manner, the governed have the right to abolish that government and install a new government. Those who have run up $12 trillion in debt, led us into multiple trillion dollar foreign wars, left our children and grandchildren with a $100 trillion bill for unfunded promises, and have sold their souls to evil banks and corporations, have exercised their powers in a destructive manner. Despite this record of government corruption, failure and mismanagement, these politicians are about to fashion a new government healthcare bureaucracy that will cost trillions. Passage of this plan is a fateful decision which will push the United States a step closer to economic collapse. Abolition of this government will be necessary and the people will need to install a new government that will follow the U.S. Constitution.
HOW MANY PEOPLE ARE REALLY UNINSURED
“Mystical references to society and its programs to help may warm the hearts of the gullible but what it really means is putting more power in the hands of bureaucrats.” Thomas Sowell
As the Democratic Party attempts to ram their socialist government controlled healthcare plan down the throats of Americans, they have stooped to lies and misinformation to mislead the public. Last week I watched as Senator Jay Rockefeller declared that 50 million Americans were uninsured. In his speech on September 9, 2009 President Obama stated:
“There are now more than thirty million American citizens who cannot get coverage.”
On August 8th, President Obama said:
“Reform is obviously essential for the 46 million Americans who don’t have health insurance.”
So what is it? Who’s lying? Who’s exaggerating? Who’s misleading the American public? If the Democrats can’t even figure out how many people are uninsured, how can we possibly trust their 1,990 page “solution”? The 46 million figure comes from the 2007 Census Bureau report. So, why did Obama reference 30 million uninsured in his speech? Maybe it was because 9.3 million of those were non-citizens. Since the Democrats didn’t want to let the public know they were going to cover illegal aliens, Obama backed them out of his figure.
Another 6.4 million actually are enrolled in Medicaid but mistakenly tell the Census they have no health insurance. Another 4.3 million are eligible for Medicaid or SCHIP but have not signed up. In addition, scores of the 46 million could theoretically afford health coverage, but choose not to purchase any. In 2007, 17.6 million of the uninsured had annual incomes of more than $50,000 and 9.1 million earned more than $75,000. Sally Pipes documents in the Top Ten Myths of American Health Care: A Citizen's Guide, that those making more than $75,000 per year are part of the fastest growing segment of the uninsured population. These people have exercised their freedom and decided not to buy insurance. That is their choice and not the responsibility of government or taxpayers. Taking these facts into consideration leaves 8.4 million people truly without insurance.
A 2003 BlueCross BlueShield study determined that 8.2 million Americans are actually without coverage for a long term period of time, because they are too poor to purchase health care but make too much to qualify for government assistance. Even though these people are without insurance they have access to healthcare, because federal law prohibits hospitals from denying treatment to patients who show up at hospital emergency rooms. The average household in the U.S. has 2.5 people. This means there are 3.3 million households out of 114 million households without health insurance. That is 2.9% of all the households in the U.S. This appears to be an awfully small percentage of Americans to warrant a $1 trillion new government bureaucracy. National health spending in 2009 will reach $2.5 trillion. This comes to $8,000 per person. If we gave the 8.2 million Americans without health insurance an $8,000 voucher for healthcare, it would cost $65.6 billion. This amounts to a stimulus plan rounding error. The truth is that Obama and the Democratic statists in Congress don’t want to make healthcare better or more efficient. They want control of your life.
Many of the 17.6 million people who make more than $50,000 per year choose not to purchase health insurance because they are self employed. The tax code exempts people from paying taxes on health care benefits purchased through their employer, while denying the same tax advantages to individuals. Ending this discrimination would make health care more affordable to those who are self-employed or not covered through their workplace. This would allow Americans to have health care policies that are portable, so it would reduce the gaps in coverage people can face when they quit or lose a job. There are easy cost effective solutions to covering the 30 million uninsured referenced by President Obama in his September “You Lie” speech. The Democratic Party has no interest in easy cost effective solutions. They want power over doctors, insurance companies, hospitals, and the American people. They are pushing for government intervention in health care by distorting the 46 million uninsured figures to advance their goal of socialism. The liberal mainstream media is disseminating the lie widely without further elaboration, therefore rigging the game in favor of the Democratic Party.
COST OF HEALTHCARE
“It is amazing that people who think we cannot afford to pay for doctors, hospitals, and medication somehow think that we can afford to pay for doctors, hospitals, medication and a government bureaucracy to administer it.” Thomas Sowell
The U.S. health care system is riddled with inefficiencies, outrageous administrative expenses, inflated prices, pitiable management and inappropriate care, waste and fraud. These problems increase the cost of medical care associated with government health programs like Medicare and Medicaid, and health insurance for employers and workers and affect the security of families. There is one thing that conservatives, liberals and libertarians can all agree upon. The cost of healthcare in the U.S. is out of control.
Source: Perot Charts
We spend more than every other country on the planet, and with our rapidly aging demographics, costs are situated to soar. We’ve allowed the system to hurtle out of control for decades, with no attempt to rein in costs. There are too many corporate lobbyists paying off too many Congressmen. These people do not care about the American people. They care about obscene profits and the power to control our lives. Government intervention in the healthcare market has already created a $100 trillion unfunded liability for our children and grandchildren.
According to the National Coalition on Health Care:
- National health spending is expected to reach $2.5 trillion in 2009, accounting for 17.6 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP). By 2018, national health care expenditures are expected to reach $4.4 trillion—more than double 2007 spending.
- National health expenditures are expected to increase faster than the growth in GDP: between 2008 and 2018, the average increase in national health expenditures is expected to be 6.2 percent per year, while the GDP is expected to increase only 4.1 percent per year.
- In just three years, the Medicare and Medicaid programs will account for 50 percent of all national health spending.
- Medicare's Hospital Insurance (HI) Trust Fund is expected to pay out more in hospital benefits and other expenditures this year than it receives in taxes and other dedicated revenues. In addition, the Medicare Supplementary Medical Insurance (SMI) Trust Fund that pays for physician services and the prescription drug benefit will continue to require general revenue financing and charges on beneficiaries that will grow substantially faster than the economy and beneficiary incomes over time.
- According to one study, of the $2.1 trillion the U.S. spent on health care in 2006, nearly $650 billion was above what we would expect to spend based on the level of U.S. wealth versus other nations. These additional costs are attributable to $436 billion outpatient care and another $186 billion of spending related to high administrative costs.
In 1960, health services as a percentage of GDP was 3%. Today, health services are 10% of GDP. At the current rate of increase, along with a quickly aging population, health services will pass 20% of GDP in the next two decades. I hear Democrats refer to Medicare and Medicaid as successful government programs. I guess my definition of success is slightly different than a U.S. Congressman’s definition. A program riddled with $200 billion in fraud, astonishing amounts of paperwork, a Federal bureaucracy that costs $750 billion per year, and has run up $89 TRILLION of unfunded liabilities, is not a winning program in my book. The Medicare/Medicaid system will bankrupt the country. It is on an unsustainable path. Creating a new trillion dollar National Healthcare plan will only accelerate our demise. Obama and Congress need to address the unsustainable path of Medicare and Medicaid before introducing another trillion dollar inefficient corrupt government bureaucracy.
Source: Perot Charts
The Federal government has promised far more than it can deliver. They cannot fulfill these promises. Medicare and Medicaid were enacted in 1965, the last time a Democratic President decided to improve the lives of Americans by enacting Great Society programs that have saddled future generations with society crippling debts. The initial beneficiaries never paid a dime into the plan. When it was enacted there were 6 workers per beneficiary. By 2030 there will be 2.4 workers per beneficiary. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that to cover the future deficits through tax increases would require a doubling in tax rates, with a top marginal rate of 66%. The current cast of Congressional criminals won’t dare touch Medicare. They fear the wrath of the AARP and the liberal do-gooders who refuse to deal with reality. Their solution to every problem is – TAX THE RICH (the 53% of Americans who actually pay taxes).
The entire healthcare debate needs be put on hold until the looming Medicare disaster is solved. A combination of the following ideas must be enacted:
- Since Medicare is a fee for service model, millions are wasted on unnecessary tests. Researchers at Dartmouth Medical School estimate that 30% of Medicare spending does nothing to make beneficiaries healthier. This is a waste of $150 billion per year. The incentive to conduct unneeded tests must be taken away.
- Medicare’s lack of controls and administrative oversight results in annual fraud losses of $200 billion. The GAO found that questions from providers at Medicare Call Centers were answered correctly 4% of the time. A commission of experts from industry and the GAO needs the ability to make drastic changes in the system to eliminate this fraud.
- Allow the free market to work by giving new enrollees a means tested voucher that can be used to purchase the health plan of their choice.
- Allow seniors to opt out of Medicare, without losing their Social Security benefits.
- Allow new workers to save their 2.9% Medicare tax in an inheritable account dedicated to retirement healthcare costs.
The 1,990 page bill being forced through Congress in no way deals with the staggering waste of the current system, estimated to be $700 billion to $1 trillion annually. The waste flows from a culture of health care in which every incentive is to do more unnecessary tests. Doctors make more money and protect themselves from lawsuits. Congress has no intention of addressing this major cost driver, because the Trial Lawyers of America contribute millions of dollars per year to lobby (buy off) Congressmen. Amazingly, 96% of their contributions (bribes) go to the Democratic Party. I wonder why medical malpractice lawsuits aren’t addressed in a 1,990 page bill written by Democrats. Total spending on medical malpractice, including legal-defense costs and claims payments, was $30.4 billion in 2007, according to an estimate from consulting firm Towers Perrin. At the University of Miami’s School of Medicine patient practice, 14 cents out of every dollar collected in fees for services to patients goes toward buying medical malpractice insurance. In a 2003 report that called for medical liability reform, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services estimated that limits on malpractice awards could save between $70 billion and $126 billion a year. This is likely on the low end, as it is extremely difficult to gauge how many unneeded tests are ordered to avoid a lawsuit.
The Democratic congressional leadership has evaded solutions to the random, costly and time-consuming jury-by-jury malpractice system. Texas passed a law in 2003 that caps liability awards at $250,000 for noneconomic damages such as pain and suffering, a move that has led to fewer malpractice suits being filed. According to Texans for Lawsuit Reform, a lobbying group that supports the caps, medical-liability-insurance rates have declined an average of 21% in the state since the law change, with almost a quarter of doctors seeing a 50% decrease. Pilot projects could test whether this system should be replaced with expert health courts, but leaders who say they want to cut costs will not even consider them. Expert courts might succeed and undercut the special interest of the trial lawyers. An expeditious and reliable new system would compensate patients more quickly and at a fraction of the overhead of the current medical justice system, which spends nearly 60 cents of every dollar on lawyers' fees and administrative costs.
Expert health courts would eliminate the need for "defensive medicine," thereby helping to save billions in costs. Defensive medicine, the practice of ordering tests and procedures that aren't needed to protect a doctor from the remote possibility of a lawsuit, is ever-present. A 2005 survey in the Journal of the American Medical Association recounted that 93% of high-risk specialists in Pennsylvania admitted to the practice, and 83% of Massachusetts physicians did the same in a 2008 survey. The same Massachusetts survey showed that 25% of all imaging tests were ordered for defensive purposes, and 28% and 38%, respectively, of those surveyed admitted reducing the number of high-risk patients they saw and limiting the number of high-risk procedures or services they performed. Defensive medicine is notoriously hard to quantify, but some estimates place the annual cost at $100 billion to $200 billion or more. Quantification is difficult because defensiveness is now entrenched in the culture of American health care. It's hard to separate the financial incentives from the distrust of the American justice system. There are hundreds of billions in savings that could be achieved if Congress chose to focus on the right issues. Instead they will add a $1 trillion bureaucracy that will increase costs for all Americans while delivering poorer quality healthcare.
The waste and fraud in the current healthcare system will not be alleviated by inserting a new government bureaucracy into the equation. A Thomson Reuters report disclosed these findings:
- Unnecessary care such as the overuse of antibiotics and lab tests to protect against malpractice exposure makes up 37% of healthcare waste or $200 to $300 billion a year.
- Fraud makes up 22% of healthcare waste, or up to $200 billion a year in fraudulent Medicare claims, kickbacks for referrals for unnecessary services and other scams.
- Administrative inefficiency and redundant paperwork account for 18% of healthcare waste.
- Medical mistakes account for $50 billion to $100 billion in unnecessary spending each year, or 11% of the total.
- Preventable conditions such as uncontrolled diabetes cost $30 billion to $50 billion a year.
- The average U.S. hospital spends one-quarter of its budget on billing and administration, nearly twice the average in Canada.
HISTORY OF GOVERNMENT FAILURE
“It is hard to imagine a more stupid or more dangerous way of making decisions than by putting those decisions in the hands of people who pay no price for being wrong.” Thomas Sowell
There is one thing that is beyond doubt. When government gets their grubby little fingers on any aspect of society, it costs the taxpayer more money and the task gets done incompetently, or not at all. It has taken decades of dreadful judgments, mismanagement and corruption to get to this breaking point. We went from a logical market based pay-as-you-go healthcare system in the 1950s to an illogical, bureaucratic, wasteful, litigious system that is bankrupting the country. The sorrowful path through the years is painful.
At the start of the decade, national health care expenditures are 4.5 percent of the Gross National Product. Many more medications are available now to treat a range of diseases, including infections, glaucoma, and arthritis, and new vaccines become available that prevent dreaded childhood diseases, including polio. The first successful organ transplant is performed.
Over 700 insurance companies are selling health insurance. Concern about a "doctor shortage" and the need for more "health manpower" leads to federal measures to expand education in the health professions. Major medical insurance endorses high-cost medicine. President Lyndon Johnson signs Medicare and Medicaid into law in 1965. Costs immediately begin to accelerate.
President Richard Nixon renames prepaid group health care plans as health maintenance organizations (HMOs), with legislation that provides federal endorsement, certification, and assistance. Healthcare costs are escalating rapidly, partially due to unexpectedly high Medicare expenditures, rapid inflation in the economy, expansion of hospital expenses and profits, and changes in medical care including greater use of technology, medications, and conservative approaches to treatment. American medicine is now seen as in crisis.
Corporations begin to integrate the hospital system (previously a decentralized structure), enter many other healthcare-related businesses, and consolidate control. Overall, there is a shift toward privatization and corporatization of healthcare. Under President Reagan, Medicare shifts to payment by diagnosis (DRG) instead of by treatment. Private plans quickly follow suit. There are growing complaints by insurance companies that the traditional fee-for-service method of payment to doctors is being exploited. Corporate profits trump care. Charitable non-profit hospitals are driven out of the market.
Health care costs rise at double the rate of inflation. Expansion of managed care helps to moderate increases in health care costs. Federal health care reform legislation fails again to pass in the U.S. Congress. By the end of the decade there are 44 million Americans, 16 % of the nation, with no health insurance at all. The long-term viability of Medicare and Medicaid is ignored by Congress.
Health care costs are on the rise again. Medicare is unsustainable under the present structure and must be "rescued". Changing demographics of the workplace lead many to believe the employer-based system of insurance can't last. Direct-to-consumer advertising for pharmaceuticals and medical devices is on the rise. National health care expenditures are 17.6 percent of the Gross National Product by 2009. Obama is about to pass healthcare legislation which will result in a dramatic increase in costs.
Government did not get involved in healthcare until 1965, when Medicare and Medicaid were passed by a Democratic President and a Democratic Congress. The charts below paint a picture of waste, mismanagement, administrative nightmares, and out of control costs. Annual national health expenditures have risen from $50 billion in 1960 to $2.5 trillion in 2009. Government intrusion and control is the single biggest explanation for this disastrous result. The policies instituted by the government through Medicare, Medicaid, and HMO laws, along with mandating that insurance companies meet 50 separate state requirements to do business have bastardized the free market. There is no competition between doctors, hospitals, or insurance companies. The incentives are all geared towards charging more for services. Introducing a government run insurance option will now decrease competition and drive people into the government option.
Employers will be dropping employees from their insurance plans by the millions. A new bloated government bureaucracy will “surprisingly” get out of control. Price fixing by government will drive service levels downward and rationing of care will be the result. Prepare to wait months for knee surgery. They’ll get to you as soon as your appendix bursts. Dr. Ron Paul describes how government has already destroyed our healthcare system, so the massive overhaul proposed by the Democrats will surely blow up in Americans’ faces again:
“We should remember that HMOs did not arise because of free-market demand, but rather because of government mandates. The HMO Act of 1973 requires all but the smallest employers to offer their employees HMO coverage, and the tax code allows businesses – but not individuals – to deduct the cost of health insurance premiums. The result is the illogical coupling of employment and health insurance, which often leaves the unemployed without needed catastrophic coverage. While many in Congress are happy to criticize HMOs today, the public never hear how the present system was imposed upon the American people by federal law. As usual, government intervention in the private market failed to deliver the promised benefits and caused unintended consequences, but Congress never blames itself for the problems created by bad laws. Instead, we are told more government – in the form of “universal coverage” – is the answer. But government already is involved in roughly two-thirds of all health care spending, through Medicare, Medicaid, and other programs.”
The pie charts below compare costs in 1960, before government intervention, to 2004, after four decades of government control. The three slices of the pie that stick out like a sore thumb (future cost $8,000) are Administration, Public Health Activity and Research. In 1960, 5.9% of costs were incurred for Administration and Gov’t and 2.5% for Research. In 2004, 10.3% of our costs were related to Administration and Gov’t and 2.1% for Research. We spend vastly more on paper pushing and government regulations and less on research and care. The FDA government bureaucratic jungle imposes billions in useless costs on the developers of every new drug. This money goes to lawyers and compliance experts, not research scientists. Government thrives while average Americans pay and suffer.
“You will never understand bureaucracies until you understand that for bureaucrats, procedure is everything and outcomes are nothing.”
Texas Congressman Ron Paul, a man who has delivered 4,000 babies into this world, has experienced the pre-government market and the post government control of medical care in America. Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid are inflicting their socialist fantasytheories on America. Ron Paul has real life experience. Who should you trust? His view couldn’t be any clearer:
“I started medicine when there was no Medicare and no Medicaid and let me tell you, I don’t remember one time when I saw people out in the streets begging for medical care. Now we do. With managed care and now with socialized medicine coming, believe me, quality will down, costs will go up, there will be shortages, there will be lines and nobody is going to be happy. We’ve had corporate medicine now for about 30 years which is managed medicine by the government, and it has been a total disaster and it didn’t do much more than push the costs up.”
“The more the government is involved in an industry or service, the higher the prices go. So, in education costs go up way beyond the cost of living, and the cost of medicine goes way up. So you can’t solve the problem of medical care by ignoring this. Now, Obama says, “What we’re going to do is we’re going to tremendously increase the services and we’re going to cut all the payments to the doctors in the hospitals.” I mean, where is he coming from? That can’t possibly work.”
Dr. Paul has proposed logical market based solutions to the healthcare crisis for years and as usual, has been ignored by Democrats and Republicans alike:
- Allowing families to claim a tax credit for the rising cost of health insurance premiums. With many families now spending close to $1,000 or even more for their monthly premiums, they need real tax relief – including a dollar-for-dollar credit for every cent they spend on health care premiums – to make medical care more affordable.
- A dollar-for-dollar tax credit that permits consumers to purchase "negative outcomes" insurance prior to undergoing surgery or other serious medical treatments. Negative outcomes insurance is a novel approach that guarantees those harmed receive fair compensation, while reducing the burden of costly malpractice litigation on the health care system. Patients receive this insurance payout without having to endure lengthy lawsuits, and without having to give away a large portion of their award to a trial lawyer. This also drastically reduces the costs imposed on physicians and hospitals by malpractice litigation. Individuals can purchase negative outcomes insurance at essentially no cost.
- A $500 per child tax credit for medical expenses and prescription drugs that are not reimbursed by insurance. Create a $3,000 tax credit for dependent children with terminal illnesses, cancer, or disabilities. Parents who are struggling to pay for their children's medical care, especially when those children have serious health problems or special needs, need every extra dollar. Waive the employee portion of Social Security payroll taxes (or self-employment taxes) for individuals with documented serious illnesses or cancer. Suspend Social Security taxes for primary caregivers with a sick spouse or child. There is no justification or excuse for collecting Social Security taxes from sick individuals who literally are fighting for their lives.
FREEDOM, LIBERTY & FREE MARKETS
“Democracy and socialism have nothing in common but one word, equality.
But notice the difference: while democracy seeks equality in liberty, socialism seeks equality in restraint and servitude.”
Alexis de Tocqueville
The Constitution of the United States and its Bill of Rights clearly define our method of representative government. Both our social and economic systems are based on private enterprise from which springs initiative and ingenuity. Ours is a system where the Federal Government should undertake no governmental, social or economic action, except where local government, or the people, cannot undertake it for themselves. No one in Washington DC, other than Representative from Texas Ron Paul, understands or believes this. Over time, government has taken unwarranted actions to protect people from the consequences of their actions by restricting citizen options. In addition to invoking government to heavily regulate the economy and redistribute wealth, Democrats now insist that we need government to make many of our private decisions for us, because individuals can't be trusted to make them on their own. The passage of this 1,990 page socialist control bill will impose more restraint on your rights and inflict increased servitude to the State.
“What is ominous is the ease with which some people go from saying that they don't like something to saying that the government should forbid it. When you go down that road, don't expect freedom to survive very long.” Thomas Sowell
Government has imposed policies on Americans in the name of public health that are aimed at regulating personal behavior. Anti-smoking initiatives, reducing alcohol consumption, demanding seatbelt and motorcycle helmet use, regulating diet and lifestyle in the name of curbing obesity, federalizing local issues like speed limits and the minimum drinking age, and generally using the unbending authority of the state to police away lifestyle risk. H. L. Mencken, a fierce critic of government during the early Twentieth Century, wrote, "The urge to save humanity is almost always only a false-face for the urge to rule it." This couldn’t be any truer today, as our "saviors" enforce laws, regulations, and government "awareness campaigns", thrusting the filthy hands of government into every aspect of our lives. Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and the liberals in Congress are not passing the healthcare bill because they care about your health. They are passing the bill because the corporate lobbyists who wrote the bill have written it to benefit themselves. Government’s power over your every health decision will increase exponentially.
Before Medicare and Medicaid, the poor and elderly were admitted to hospitals at the same rate as they are admitted today and received excellent care. Before those programs came into existence, every physician understood that he or she had a responsibility towards the less fortunate and free medical care was the norm. Physicians take the Hippocratic Oath seriously. These facts do not fit into the current liberal script of government rescuing us from greedy insurance companies and evil doctors. The fact is that no one in this country is dying because they lack healthcare. Every person in this country, including illegal aliens, can walk into an emergency room and they will be treated by the best doctors and nurses in the world. Dr Ron Paul explains how it was and how it will be:
“For decades, the U.S. healthcare system was the envy of the entire world. Not coincidentally, there was far less government involvement in medicine during this time. America had the finest doctors and hospitals, patients enjoyed high-quality, affordable medical care, and thousands of private charities provided health services for the poor. Doctors focused on treating patients, without the red tape and threat of lawsuits that plague the profession today. Most Americans paid cash for basic services, and had insurance only for major illnesses and accidents. This meant both doctors and patients had an incentive to keep costs down, as the patient was directly responsible for payment, rather than an HMO or government program. The lesson is clear: when government and other third parties get involved, health care costs spiral. The answer is not a system of outright socialized medicine, but rather a system that encourages everyone – doctors, hospitals, patients, and drug companies – to keep costs down. As long as “somebody else” is paying the bill, the bill will be too high.”
You can bet that Lyndon B. Johnson and Democrats in Congress assured the American public in 1965 that Medicare and Medicaid would save money. I doubt they would have been able to pass the bill if they had told Americans that it would result in a $100 trillion unfunded liability and would be racked with fraud, mismanagement and would drive healthcare costs dramatically higher. Obama, Pelosi, and Reid are lying to Americans again. Costs will rise dramatically and service levels will deteriorate. Within five years, Democrats will be calling for a Value Added Tax of 10% to 20% in order to cover the “unexpected” cost overruns in the new plan. More government control, less choice, less freedom, less liberty, and a country closer to bankruptcy will be the outcome.
NATIONAL RUSSION ROULETTE
“They who would give up an essential liberty for temporary security, deserve neither liberty or security.” Benjamin Franklin
The United States of America is at a crossroads. If we allow the government to take over our healthcare system and inflict more regulations, more rules, and more cost, while rationing care, this will be the final nail in our capitalism coffin. A country that is already $12 trillion in debt, with unfunded liabilities exceeding $100 trillion, fighting two wars of choice, policing the planet by occupying 170 countries, funding insolvent criminal mega-banks, running bankrupt car companies, conquering global warming, and solving peak oil with solar and wind, will now take over one-sixth of the U.S. economy by adding its profound wisdom to the healthcare system. Based on the Obama administration’s own 10 year budget plan, adjusted for the new healthcare plan, the U.S. National Debt will rocket to $25 trillion by 2019. By 2020 the number of Americans over 65 will reach 54 million, up from 40 million in 2010. By 2030 it will reach 71 million.
“Socialism in general has a record of failure so blatant that only an intellectual could ignore or evade it.” Thomas Sowell
The “intellectuals” in the White House and Congress, who have never run a business and whose only experience is knowing how to spend your money, believe wholeheartedly in socialism. Once a national healthcare plan is enacted, there will be no turning back. The politicians running our country have completely disregarded the warning of David Walker:
“The U.S. government is on a "burning platform" of unsustainable policies and practices with fiscal deficits, expensive over-commitments to government provided health care, swelling Medicare costs, the enormous expense of a prospective universal health care system, immigration, and overseas military commitments threatening a crisis if action is not taken soon.”
Our leaders should be curtailing spending, repealing unspent stimulus funds, eliminating fraud and waste, instituting spending caps on Congress, ending our wars, and withdrawing troops from 170 foreign countries. Instead they are introducing the largest, most expensive entitlement program in history. This is national suicide.
When I watch the actions of Barack Obama and the Democrats in Congress, I can’t help but think of the scene in the movie Deer Hunter where the Viet Cong make the American POWs play Russian roulette for entertainment. Michael (Christopher Walken) insists on putting three bullets in the gun in a desperate plan to kill his captors and escape. In the movie, Michael’s plan works and he escapes. The American people will not be so lucky. Barack Obama is playing Russian roulette with our country’s finances. This national healthcare plan will be the bullet that splatters our brains all over the wall. There will be no happy ending to this movie. It is a gory horror film.
Michael: We gotta play with more bullets.
Michael: More bullets... [gunshot]
Michael: I gotta get more bullets in the gun.
Michael: We gotta play with more bullets.
Nick: More bullets in the gun?
Michael: More bullets in the gun.
Nick: How many more bullets?
Michael: Three. That means we gotta play each other.
Nick: More bullets against each other?
Michael: We gotta do it!
Nick: What? Are you Crazy?
“Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it.” Thomas Paine
Americans have chosen to surrender their freedom and liberty for safety and security. We’ve decided it is too much work to support freedom. We have allowed our government to be overrun by the military industrial complex, the financial industrial complex and the healthcare industrial complex. The safety and security we think we have is an illusion. We have neither. These deals with the devil will lead to the economic collapse of our Republic. At that time, we will have the opportunity as described by our forefathers, to abolish this government and start anew. Until that time we are destined to lose more freedom and undergo a long period of crisis and misery. It was our choice.
“Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel
of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.” Winston Churchill
Join me at www.TheBurningPlatform.com to discuss truth and the future of our country.
By James Quinn
James Quinn is a senior director of strategic planning for a major university. James has held financial positions with a retailer, homebuilder and university in his 22-year career. Those positions included treasurer, controller, and head of strategic planning. He is married with three boys and is writing these articles because he cares about their future. He earned a BS in accounting from Drexel University and an MBA from Villanova University. He is a certified public accountant and a certified cash manager.
These articles reflect the personal views of James Quinn. They do not necessarily represent the views of his employer, and are not sponsored or endorsed by his employer.
© 2009 Copyright James Quinn - All Rights Reserved
Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisors.
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