Thursday, June 16, 2011

In Defense of Doctors

The doctors are not really to be blamed for the health-care mess. Instead, it is the intricate web of regulations, medical boards, AMA, lawsuits, insurance companies, etc.

The corporatization of medicine is reducing doctors and patients to mere cogs in a monster machine. Because the average American has become brainwashed to rely on insurance for routine care, the typical doctor's office must deal with mountains of paperwork involving insurance forms. The doctor, being paid by the insurance company, must abide by its restrictions.

The private insurance company is a defacto government. Instead of being directly financed by the taxpayers, it is financed by premium payments from the policy holders. But these premiums are akin to a tax. Plus the insurance company is large and bureaucratic. Whereas Medicare is answerable to the citizenry, the insurance company is answerable to its shareholders.

If people want to be truly free, they should not rely on either the government or the insurance company for routine care. It would be so much better for the patient to be a free agent, paying a doctor directly for his services. Then there wouldn't be this interference from a third party between you and your doctor.

On the other hand, insurance (whether government or private) would be important for catastrophic care. But having a high deductible in conjunction with a health savings account (HSA) allows the person to be in charge of his own health-care. So for the poor, charitable organizations will kick in to help. What is wrong with that?

Now what about the doctors? Are they the bogeymen responsible for ripping off their customers with high fees? Not really. They are merely small players within the monstrous health-care spider web.

Sure, there are bad apples amongst the physicians. But the system does not effectively weed them out. The medical boards -- analogous to school boards  -- are reluctant to delicense bad doctors. This situation is akin to teachers on tenure. So with the bad doctors still practicing medicine, the price of malpractice insurance goes up. In other words, the good doctors end up subsidizing the bad doctors.

Another reason why doctors must charge us high fees is due to the overhead costs of requiring several clerks to do the insurance paperwork. With ObamaCare, the requirement for comprehensive insurance for routine care will enshrine this costly arrangement. Plus the increase in regulations from the federal level will worsen overhead costs.

When the baby boomers were young, the public school system was swarming with huge numbers of new students. Yet the country did not go bankrupt.

So now with the baby boomers becoming old, the health-care system will be swarming with huge numbers of new sick people. The country can survive.

As a nation, we must get away from the notion of requiring comprehensive insurance for routine care. We must build new medical schools. We must have more doctors. We must have more hospitals (including physician-owned hospitals.)

With an increase in the number of providers, with the elimination of insurance for routine care, with a reduction in burdensome regulations for the private doctors -- healthcare will become cheaper. Unfortunately, things like ObamaCare and RomneyCare do the opposite -- healthcare becoming too expensive.

So which is it America ...  FreedomCare or ObamaCare?

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

True Healthcare Reform

With the health-care sector now representing over 17% of the U.S. economy, it is expected to grow to 19.3% of GDP by 2019. Likewise, while the real estate market is in a state of deflation, the health-care sector is in a state of inflation. Thus, the U.S. economy is schizoid.

Under ObamaCare, money will be sucked out of the overall economy, and will be funneled into the healthcare sector. This will exacerbate deflation of the overall economy, and add fuel to the inflation fire raging within the health-care sector. Under this scenario, the impact for ordinary Americans will be disastrous.

Within the health-care sector, there are two sides of the equation -- insurers and providers. Both involve monopolistic entities. The politicians -- Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney, Barack Obama -- have devoted most of their attention to insurance reform. All three men are terribly misguided.

Whether we talk of RyanCare, RomneyCare, or ObamaCare ... none of these three reforms address the problem of the provider side of the equation -- namely the lack of adequate competition amongst the providers to help lower costs for the insurers (and for the patients, too). Paul Ryan brags about his market-based solutions for private insurance; yet he ignores the reality that the provider-side of the equation will remain monopolistic in nature.

The Rockefellers, during the early 1900's, were instrumental for having decreased the number of medical schools and thus, limiting the supply of doctors. Today, with the AMA, there has been continued pressure on Congress (via laws, regulations, and licensing restrictions) to keep the number of doctors below a certain level so as to limit competition and maximize profits.

Likewise, the AHA (and other hospital lobbying groups, too) had influenced the ObamaCare legislation to essentially eliminate physician-owned hospitals. The for-profit hospitals (and the giant non-profits, too) did not like the doctor-owned hospitals being able to compete against them. Now with those type hospitals to be phased out, this is bad news for the consumer.

Particularly with RomneyCare and ObamaCare, these reforms will result in an increase in demand for care from the providers, yet no increase in the number of providers. This is a recipe for higher prices, higher taxes, the rationing of care, and the eventual bankruptcy of the insurance industry. (We will wind up with single-payer.)

Meanwhile with RyanCare, a better solution for Medicare reform would be to focus on the provider-side of the equation first. Bust up the monopoly! We need an explosion of new medical schools, new doctors, new hospitals, etc.

The status quo is unacceptable. The so-called reformers are merely enshrining the sclerotic monopolies. This is a stranglehold that is killing innovation, competition, and consumer choice. The hospital industry is like the teachers' union. They resist the new charter hospitals (i.e. physician-owned). The industry wants to be "too big to fail." When a hospital serves a community without adequate competition, they cannot be shut down ... ever!

The other problem with RyanCare is his privatization scheme. Unfortunately, the GOP's version of privatization involves the conversion of a purely government agency into a private-public partnership along the same lines as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. These type of entities invite corruption. Whenever you have the marriage of corporation and state, you have what's called corporate socialism.

Under Ryan's Plan, private insurance companies will be receiving taxpayers' money in the form of premium support subsidies. The government will be deciding which insurance companies would qualify for such subsidies. The politically-connected entities would get special treatment. You'd get such situations as regulatory capture. This would ensure oligopoly status for the big players. (It'd be bad for us consumers and taxpayers.)

Maybe we should regard health-care insurance in the same way as infrastructure. The public highways are payed for by our taxes. So why not insurance? Why not Medicare for all?

But if we were to have single-payer insurance, it must be the bare bones minimum with high deductibles. And the insurance must be for catastrophe only (i.e. hospital insurance). There must be skin in the game for the consumer. With the high deductible, it'd be used in conjunction with a health-care savings account (HSA). Likewise, charitable organizations would play an important role for helping out with the deductible for the lower income folk.

Then for those who want it, people can purchase supplemental insurance from private companies for comprehensive coverage. This would cover for things like drugs and routine doctor visits.

Now getting back to the provider-side of the equation, with increased competition -- there'd be a dramatic improvement in the overall economy. We'd be having a type of explosion in GDP within the health-care sector, lower prices for the consumer -- hence affordability.

Capitalism works wonderfully for the computer/technology market. Consumers can afford high-tech gadgets at extremely affordable prices. This is what we want for health-care. Free enterprise is the answer.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Healthcare Scam

Buying healthcare is not the same thing as buying healthcare insurance. ObamaCare forces people to use private insurance as the vehicle to purchase healthcare.

Why is healthcare so expensive? The answer is simple. The healthcare providers were purposely designing themselves to become an oligopoly … so as to guarantee obscene profits. During the early 1900’s, the Rockefellers closed half the medical schools in the U.S.A. This reduced the supply of doctors in the marketplace, thus creating the conditions for super expensive healthcare. (Without competition, prices can stay high.)

Our healthcare system is a scam. We are being forced to use insurance as a mechanism to pay for the inflated costs of healthcare. The government uses overly stringent licensing requirements and red tape to limit the number of healthcare providers. Of course, this is precisely what the providers want … a captive customer.

The lobbyists for the healthcare industry had their fingerprints all over the place in the ObamaCare legislation. This bill was to benefit them, the providers … whereas the healthcare consumer is getting screwed big time.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Palin Tale

Once upon a time, there was a princess named Sarah Palin. She decided to tour the country. In a big bus, she went from village to village, visiting with the peasants.

In one town, a naughty boy named Ed Rollins taunted the princess for her lack of seriousness. He was the son of a nice lady, named Michele Bachmann. So what did Sarah do? She invited Ms. Bachmann into the bus.

Then they drove on. Upon arrival to a large castle, they met this king, Ted Turner. The people in the entourage cheered heartily. Then Ms. Bachmann invited Mr. Turner, "Come, let's roll on down the highway!" He agreed. (They went into overdrive.)

Then the trip ended. Sarah wanted to become queen. She chose Ron Paul as her partner. But she had an enemy rival. A prince, named Obama, connived with his brother Romney to put a spell on her. But Sarah became queen, anyway.

The neocons were happy. They thought they could control Sarah as a puppet. "We need a new war!," they shouted. "The kingdom in Arabia has great riches."

Queen Sarah got mad, "I quit!" So she resigned her post as "governor." Thus Ron Paul succeeded her to the throne. This was the beginning of the Ron Paul Revolution. Young lads enrolled in schools to learn "Austrian economics."

A gallant knight, by the name of Donald Trump, unleashed his sword upon the healthcare oligarchs. "In the name of the lord, and in honor of Teddy Roosevelt ... let the others in!" Thereafter, more boys and girls were allowed into the clubhouse. They all played doctor. But it got so crowded, new clubhouses were built -- tagged as charter hospitals. The monopoly was broken!

A jester, named Paul Ryan, jumped up and down in delight. He convinced the other kids to accept vouchers for admission into their clubhouses.

Meanwhile, the beloved Sarah Palin, she was sailing the seven seas in her boat -- christened as, "The One World Tour." So everyone lived happily ever after.

Bachman Turner Overdrive ... "Roll on Down the Highway"

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Socialism vs. Liberty

Corporate socialism is a war against consumers and small businesses. Progressive libertarianism is a war against corporate monopolies.

Separation of Corporation and State

I am against privatization of government agencies. We need a separation of corporation and state. When we have an unholy union between big government and big business, we have rampant corruption.

In the case of Iraq, private contractors were paid ungodly sums of money for doing the work that the military should have been doing. The “no bid” contracts being awarded to such corporations as Blackwater and Haliburton involved the transfer of public moneys into the hands of private companies in obscene $ amounts.

This Iraq War contributed to the squandering of the U.S. Treasury. George W. Bush turned the budget surpluses of the Clinton Administration into budget deficits. A good portion of that public money went into the pockets of the war profiteers.

Read about the aftermath of the Iraq War in the following link.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Monday, June 6, 2011

Provide-Side Economics must be Addressed

In the realm of healthcare, we have the suppliers versus the providers. The suppliers are the insurance companies which supply the customers to the providers (hospitals, doctors, nurses, medical device manufacturers, drug companies, etc.). With the aging of the baby boomers, we have the increased demand for underwriting from the insurance suppliers, thus decreasing their profits. Concurrently, we have an increased demand for services from the providers, thus increasing their profits.

Unfortunately, the providers being flush with money, have greater lobbying clout with Congress. Meanwhile, the suppliers are in the losing end of the stick -- yet still had enough clout to have demanded the individual mandate to be part of ObamaCare and RomneyCare. These healthcare reform bills were, in essence, a bailout of the insurance industry. But unfortunately, the private sector insurance companies (for healthcare) may eventually become extinct.

In order to save the supply-side of healthcare from its demise, the provide-side sector must be more firmly addressed. The corrupting influence of lobbyists and money from the providers had skewed ObamaCare and RomneyCare too heavily in their favor, and not enough in favor of the insurance industry. These "reforms" have been crafted with new laws and regulations that will exacerbate the oligopoly status of the providers. With less competition at the provider end, the price of healthcare will increase ... and the quality of care will suffer. If prices are capped, then there will be rationing.

When there is a limited amount of providers, it does not matter whether we have government insurance or if we have several private insurers -- the suppliers will be under the mercy of the providers. There will be an increased demand for care while the shortage of care becomes acute. This is a recipe for hyperinflation, bankruptcy for the private insurers, sky-high taxes for the American citizen, increased government debt, and the rationing of care.

The bozos in Washington D.C. are being duped into paying too much attention to the supply-side of healthcare (i.e. insurance reform) without being tough on the providers. We need a Teddy Roosevelt type of figure (like Donald Trump who does not bow down to anyone) and would then bust up the healthcare monopoly (on the provider side) ... or a Sarah Palin who had the guts to face up to the oil companies in Alaska (whereas the establishment Republicans were stooges for that industry).

The Ryan Plan for Medicare reform will not work if we continue to have an oligarchic system of healthcare at the provider end. The American Hospital Industry (AHA) are scoundrels in having crafted the ObamaCare legislation to include the severe restrictions against physician-owned hospitals. We need more hospitals in the marketplace, not less! Likewise, we need more medical schools and more doctors -- to hell with the AMA should they thwart this needed goal.

Please visit my related blog ...

Mitt Romney is worse than Obama

According to **The New Yorker** (“Romney’s Dilemma,” June 6, 2011) Mitt Romney was the mastermind of not only “MassCare” but also a key player behind the scenes for ObamaCare’s creation.

“If it were not for Mitt Romney, with assistance from the Heritage Foundation and George W. Bush, it is extremely unlikely that Obama would have passed his universal health-care law last year.” [Page 42 of the printed edition of **The New Yorker** (June 6, 2011)]

A choice between Romney and Obama is no choice at all! Hence, we need a third-party candidate (like Sarah or Trump) to give us voters a real alternative.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

The Insurance Highway

Imagine if all our roads and highways were owned by a few oligarchic insurance companies. For those of us with cars and bicycles, we must purchase an insurance plan to gain access to the roadway system. With one insurance company, you can use only certain roads within the network. (You will be denied permission -- or pay a hefty toll -- when using the other company's roadway system.)

This is how our healthcare insurance system is set up. With a comprehensive policy covering routine care, you are limited to the doctors within the network, and denied access (or pay out of pocket) to those outside of the network.

We have a horrible debt crisis. So if Paul Ryan were President, maybe he'd be calling for the privatization of the U.S. Department of Transportation. Then the federal government will hold a public auction. The Interstate Highway System would be sold off to the highest bidder. The remaining roads would be given as block grants to the states, for them to auction off.

Then for those of us with cars and bicycles, we will need to purchase a road insurance plan. But not to worry, Paul Ryan will provide us with taxpayer-funded vouchers (in the form of premium supports) to help pay for the expensive insurance.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Why Healthcare is so Expensive

If healthcare were truly based on free market principles, there would be no need for individual mandates! Why? Because healthcare would be extremely affordable.

It would be like going to the grocery store to do some shopping. (You do not rely on an insurance company to negotiate prices with the food providers; you do not use an insurance plan to pay for all your grocery bills; you are not under the mercy of an insurance policy that will ration your food consumption patterns.)

The problem with both ObamaCare and RomneyCare is that they do nothing to increase the supply of doctors in the marketplace. Instead it merely increases the demand for doctors. This is a recipe for disastrous inflation of healthcare costs for the consumer.

And did you know the Rockefellers (during the early 20th century) were instrumental in limiting the supply of doctors and medical schools … which is contributing to the extremely high prices for healthcare today? That’s why we “need” insurance for routine care (and for catastrophic care, too).

A Person's Defense of RomneyCare

While I am an opponent of RomneyCare, I would like for you to read the post by a supporter of RomneyCare at a discussion thread in the FrumForum. 

Be Brave and Speak Out

I encourage you all to exercise your right to free speech. Whatever your beliefs, do not be afraid to express them. Instead of helplessly watching events transpire around you, become proactive and take calculated risks to influence outcomes for the better. As with every enterprise ... there will be failures, there will be successes.

Start your own blog. Network with others; participate in their blogs, too. Debate ideas.

Please keep in mind that it is too easy to get into the trap of demonizing people (like those in the ruling class) as  some kind of evil monsters. In my case, it would be the personae of President Obama, Senator Paul Ryan, and Governor Mitt Romney. Yet they or their associates may be reading my blog. (Wishful thinking.) Nevertheless, the whole world can read my posts. I must be careful not to get too nasty when writing about the three bogeymen.* [see note]

While I am critical of these folks, I must have a dose of humility. What if I were President? Might I break campaign promises, too? If I were a Senator, might I be heavily influenced by the insurance lobby, too? If I were the governor of Massachusetts, might I have been deceived into accepting Ted Kennedy's healthcare reform, too?** [see note]

Yet, I would hope the people in power to read blogs like mine. I want these types to feel at least a little connected with those of us in Middle America. Otherwise, they would be blinded by their own circle of elitist friends and yes-men. As an example of cultural disconnect ... candidate Obama had once stated, “You go into these small towns in Pennsylvania and, like a lot of small towns in the Midwest ... it’s not surprising, then, they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion ..."

In contrast, you then have a Sarah Palin who does connect with ordinary folk. But because she doesn't act elitist, she gets trashed by the haute personalities in corporate media (like Katie Couric).

Participation in blogs is a safety valve for ordinary citizens. It allows us to express our opinions and our frustrations to the world. It also allows us to network with like-minded citizens. Lastly, it exposes us to alternative viewpoints via our interactions with those of an alien ideology. (We learn from one another.)

[Additional notes]

*   Big brother is watching!

** Actually, I later found out Mitt Romney was not duped by Kennedy. Governor Romney was the mastermind of MassCare ... more so than Kennedy. (Info was derived from The New Yorker's full article, "Romney's Dilemma." Abstract at ...

Thursday, June 2, 2011

An Independent will Win in 2012

It would be a most interesting Presidential campaign, if we were to have the establishment candidates of Barack Obama for the Democrats and Mitt Romney for the Republicans -- plus a strong independent running against the other two. Imagine if that independent were a Sarah Palin or a Donald Trump!

The independent candidate will win. Here's why:

1) Both political parties are poison right now. (Congress has extremely low approval ratings.)

2) A Palin or a Trump will suck votes away from both Obama and Romney.

3) Though Palin and Trump are flawed figures (we are all sinners, after all), their blemishes pale in comparison to that of Obama or Romney.

4) Palin had run against the establishment GOP candidate in Alaska and won the primary, eventually becoming governor.

5) Palin was actually a good governor, popular with Democrats, too. (Please read the Atlantic magazine article; link is at the bottom of this post.)

6) Trump has a strong business background. Capitalism is not evil. In a free society, voluntary organizations such as civic groups, charitable foundations, religious institutes -- and the fundamental unit of family -- all combine together to supplement capitalism that will restore prosperity and preserve liberty. (Otherwise, socialism will fill the void.)

7) With either Trump or Palin as an independent, neither can be labeled as extremists of the left and the right. The extremism that currently exists in America is the statism of the Democrat and Republican parties propped up by corporate money, banking interests, the insurance industry, big PhRMA etc. The Dems and the GOP serve the interests of Wall Street ... not Main Street. It is Orwellian propaganda that purveys the myth of Middle American values to be "extremism."

8) The American people were betrayed, when Obama promised transparency in the healthcare debate. He had also promised not to have lobbyists in his administration. Another lie.

9) Mitt Romney cannot be trusted over the issue of healthcare reform, either. His flip flops are not genuine; they are politically motivated. He advocated his Massachusetts healthcare reform plan as the paradigm for the nation, of which ObamaCare eventually became reality.

10) Paul Ryan may yet vanquish himself. With Palin or Trump in the White House, we will have an open debate as to the merits (or failures) of Paul Ryan's Medicare Reform Plan. (It will not be rammed down our throats like ObamaCare.)

11) I had been among the guilty, having made fun out of a Trump or Palin ticket. But either of them would be formidable against an Obama and Romney twofer. It wouldn't just be show business; this will be the real McCoy. (Remember when Ronald Reagan was underestimated as being merely a movie actor?)

12) Sarah's "shrill" voice belies her intelligence. She doesn't spend time reading romance novels; she instead studies the serious issues facing America. The elites in Washington may think she's a country hick, stupid and unsophisticated. Nothing can be further from the truth!

13) Palin is not as likely to win a majority in a two-way race between her and Obama, but she has an excellent chance to win a plurality in a three-way race of Obama, Romney, and herself.

14) A Trump-Huckabee ticket might be even better than a Palin ticket. (Sarah would then play an auxiliary, supporting role.)

15) Whom would you prefer ... the lies and broken promises of our beloved figure of Obama? Or would you prefer the slick spinmeister of Mitt Romney? Both are the darlings of the establishment. Let's have some real alternatives for a change.

Healthcare Bill of Rights

1) There must be equal protection under the law.

2) There must be respect for people's individual liberties.

3) There must not be obstacles in the way (i.e. insurance or government agencies) undermining the doctor/patient relationship.

4) There must be the freedom to choose one's own doctor.

5) There must be a break in the linkage between employment and the choice of healthcare and/or insurance.

6) There must be an increase in competition amongst the healthcare **providers** that will lower prices for the healthcare consumer. (Current regulations restrict competition via the licensing laws, the "ban" on doctor-owned hospitals and the limited number of medical schools.)

7) There must be the freedom for insurance companies to charge lower premiums to individuals who lead a healthy lifestyle (i.e. for those who keep their weight down, exercise, eat right, etc.)

8) There must be the freedom for individuals to purchase insurance from across state lines.

9) There must be tort reform.

10) There must not be an individual mandate for **comprehensive** insurance. (If there is to be a mandate, it should be in the form of a high-deductible **catastrophic** coverage or in the form of a flat tax.)