Monday, May 30, 2011

RyanCare is "Corporate Welfare"

Paul Ryan claims to be for "free markets." His Medicare reform plan is not based on the free market; it is based on the corporatist model akin to ObamaCare and RomneyCare.

Taxpayer's money will be used to subsidize private insurance companies (via premium supports). The government will then decide which companies would qualify for this subsidy. The laws and regulations crafted for this RyanCare will be heavily influenced by corporate lobbyists. Just as in ObamaCare (where we had the Corn Husker Kickback, the Louisiana Purchase, and the Gator Aid), there will be corruption. Ordinary Americans, who do not have powerful lobbyists representing them, will be out of the loop. (The politicians tell lies when campaigning, then break their promises once elected.)

The "corporate socialism" (being espoused by the likes of Paul Ryan, Barack Obama, and Mitt Romney) isn't good for the healthcare consumer. What is needed is more competition. The oligopoly status of the healthcare providers is aided and abetted by regulatory capture, discouraging new players from entering into the marketplace. The powerful American Hospital Association (AHA) does not want competition from the physician-owned hospitals. The ObamaCare bill was written to AHA's favor.

What is needed for the consumer is an unleashing of "charter" hospitals to enter into the healthcare field. This will help break the back of the AHA stranglehold against the new innovators who'd provide us with better care at lower prices.

The corporate monopolies do not want competition. They hate capitalism! These companies want to retain monopoly status and use socialism as a mechanism to thwart smaller businesses from invading their turf (via overly restrictive licensing requirements, for instance).

Another problem is the people's addiction to comprehensive insurance for routine care. Imagine how expensive food would be if we relied on insurance to pay for all our grocery bills. We shoppers wouldn't bother clipping coupons or pay attention to prices anymore. We simply wouldn't care ... because insurance pays for everything! (This would cause price distortions to market behavior -- costs would skyrocket.)

The problem with RyanCare, ObamaCare, and RomneyCare ... is that it further strengthens our addiction to insurance for routine care. And it weakens our empowerment over our own healthcare decisions. The doctor doesn't work for you, the patient -- he works for the insurance company. This undermines the doctor-patient relationship. In corporatized medicine, we simply become "a number."

Personalized care is gone, being replaced by standardized care. This is what to expect for our future. Tragic!

For a related article on charter hospitals:

http://kellyrek.blogspot.com/2011/05/oligopolies-of-education-and-healthcare.html

To read more on the problems with comprehensive insurance (as opposed to catastrophic):

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/print/2009/09/how-american-health-care-killed-my-father/7617/

To read more on the problem with RyanCare:

http://capcityfreepress.blogspot.com/2011/05/laurence-m-vance-not-ending-medicare-as.html

Sunday, May 29, 2011

The Elites vs. Progressives & Libertarians

Think of American politics as being a battle being waged by three groups fighting against one another:

1) Libertarian Conservatives
2) Progressive Liberals
3) Corporate Elites

The corporate elites have succeeded to reign supreme over the other two factions by distracting the American people with issues of “left” versus “right.” As a consequence, we have big business in cahoots with big government — otherwise known as “corporate socialism.”

The progressive liberals hate the “corporatism” of government, but they love the socialism.

The libertarian conservatives hate the “socialism” of government, but they love the capitalism.

So basically, the progressives and the libertarians have a common enemy — corporate fascism. But the progressives believe the solution is more government (i.e. “democratic socialism.”) Whereas the libertarians believe the solution is less government — thus depriving the corporate behemoth its partner in crime.

Consumer Empowerment for Seniors on Medicare

The baby boomers have been paying Medicare taxes for several decades. Now the senior citizens, who are currently enrolled in Medicare Part B, are limited to seeing only those doctors who contract with Medicare. But the doctors get reimbursed with less money from the Medicare insurance versus from the other patients with private insurance (for equivalent service). Thus, more and more doctors are opting out of Medicare.

So the patient on Medicare Part B may want to privately contract with a physician who doesn't accept Medicare. But that senior citizen would have to pay for the full cost of care from out of pocket, with 0% reimbursement from Medicare. Otherwise, with a shrinking pool of doctors still accepting Medicare, the patient would be forced to go to a crowded clinic of old folks, waiting for care from the "Medicare" doctor.

The Medicare Patient Empowerment Act would solve this problem. If passed in Congress and signed by the President, the person on Medicare Part B would be allowed to privately contract with the doctor to pay a surcharge on top of the puny reimbursement from Medicare. (Remember, the doctor makes more money from private insurance reimbursement than from Medicare reimbursement.)

Otherwise, the senior citizen on Medicare would be relegated as pariahs for healthcare. The doctor wants to make money. Treating younger people with private insurance is more lucrative for primary care physicians. Meanwhile, ObamaCare in its present form, exacerbates the payment differential between Medicare versus private insurance on reimbursement rates to healthcare providers. (The Independent Payment Advisory Board -- or IPAB -- is a 15-member panel that will be authorizing caps to Medicare spending. The IPAB will worsen the quality of care for senior citizens.)

Below are the links, for more info:

http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/advocacy/current-topics-advocacy/practice-management/medicare-patient-empowerment-act.page

http://www.ama-assn.org/resources/doc/washington/my-medicare-my-choice.pdf

http://www.ama-assn.org/resources/doc/washington/hr1700-ama-letter-of-support.pdf

http://www.ama-assn.org/resources/doc/washington/medicare-patient-empowerment-act-faq.pdf

http://kellyrek.blogspot.com/2011/05/changes-to-medicare.html

Paul Ryan has an important ally ... Bill Clinton!

“Former president Bill Clinton and Republican Congressman Paul Ryan were unwittingly caught on camera at an event discussing Medicare cuts.”

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xiy99e_clinton-ryan-caught-on-tape-on-medicare-cuts-the-young-turks_news

Saturday, May 28, 2011

ObamaCare is not good for New Hampshire

"I believe there are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power, than by violent and sudden usurpations." [James Madison]

The above quote is displayed in the masthead of the blog America's Watchtower. (Despite the name, the blog has no affiliation with Jehovah's Witness. The writer is a conservative who lives in Kingston, New Hampshire.)

Concerning the issue of the ObamaCare waivers, its lack of equal protection, and the impact upon the state of New Hampshire ... please visit the link below.

http://americaswatchtower.com/2011/05/19/obamacare-kathleen-sebelius-admits-the-healthcare-law-is-not-good-for-new-hampshire/

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Lively Discussion on Healthcare Reform

Please visit the blog webpage "HBO Takes on Wall Street" and read the comments section afterward. It evolves into an informative debate on healthcare reform. Rabiner and I really go after one another ... but in a civil manner.

http://www.frumforum.com/hbo-takes-on-wall-street

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Flat Tax for Healthcare

Money we are forced to pay to the government is called a tax. Money we are forced to pay to the insurance company is called a premium payment. If we were to think of the insurance company as the government, then we’d call the “premium payment” a “tax.”

So think of Obamacare and Romneycare as examples of a mandate to pay a regressive tax into the governing authority called private insurance. I say its regressive … because a middle class person pays a much higher percent of his income for the premium than a wealthy person.

So instead of this regressive tax into the insurance cartel, why not a flat tax instead? Many right-wing conservatives preach the virtues of the flat tax as the Holy Grail. So why not?

Monday, May 16, 2011

Divide and Conquer

I do not trust either the Republican party or the Democrat party. We need a constitutional convention to address the needs of ordinary Americans.

The unholy alliance of Big Government and Big Business is destroying the middle class. The Democrats use identity politics to divide and conquer; the Republicans use the culture wars to divide and conquer; the corporate elites use money and lobbyists aimed at both parties as their form of divide and conquer.

Paul Ryan’s Medicare Plan is a perfect example of divide and conquer. He is pitting the baby boomers born 1956 and earlier against the boomers born 1957 and later. The one group gets full Medicare benifits; the other group gets thrown into the arms of the insurance cartel.

[The above text happens to be my posted comment in the FrumForum. The link is below.]

http://www.frumforum.com/with-no-huckabee-will-gop-forget-middle-class#comment-293591

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Changes to Medicare


[Note: Capitation means setting caps to Medicare reimbursement rates.]
The Medicare cuts involving capitation would result in healthcare providers to prefer younger patients with private insurance — more money to be made off of them. Already, the Mayo Clinic here in Glendale, Arizona rejects Medicare patients.
A solution, to empower Medicare patients from the negative consequences of capitation, is the Medicare Patient Empowerment Act. This will allow the Medicare recipient to pay extra money out of his/her own pocket to the provider … to help boost the stingy Medicare reimbursement and equalize it to the market price levels. Otherwise, the elderly will become pariahs and be viewed as indigents by the healthcare providers.
Already, the kidney dialysis patients — under Medicare — receive horrible treatment. The Atlantic magazine did an expos√© on this in the December 2010 issue. With the capping of Medicare reimbursement rates, the quality of care will only worsen.
Below are the links:
The Medicare Patient Empowerment Act (bill’s summary) …http://www.leecountymedicalsociety.org/MedicarePatientEmpowermentActSummary.pdf
“God Help You. You’re on Dialysis” …http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2010/12/-8220-god-help-you-you-39-re-on-dialysis-8221/8308/

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The above text was written by me in the FrumForum as a comment in response to an article written by Eli Lehrer.

"McConnell Gets a Chance for Medicare Cuts"
http://www.frumforum.com/how-the-gop-can-get-medicare-cuts-now 

Friday, May 13, 2011

The Oligopolies of Education and Healthcare

The oligopolies within healthcare -- hospitals, drug companies, and insurance -- are analogous to the teachers' unions. They resist competition. With their power and influence, they use the Federal Government to help maintain their monopoly status.

The American Hospital Association (AHA) has succeeded in having gotten the Obamacare law to severely restrict the operation and construction of physician-owned hospitals within the communities. Likewise, the teachers' unions have been lobbying against charter schools from being able to operate within their turf.

Yet for the consumer, higher satisfaction ratings have been expressed for the smaller physician-owned hospitals (vs. the giant corporate hospitals) and for the charter schools (vs. the traditional public schools). The oligarchs oppose capitalism because they hate competition.

The drug companies also want to maintain their monopoly status. The Obamacare law includes the provision to continue the ban on prescription drugs from Canada. The law also includes the deal to provide seniors on Medicare Part D with subsidies for brand name drugs, not the cheaper generics.

The oligarchy of healthcare providers fosters the American people's dependence on comprehensive insurance for routine care. With an oligopoly thwarting competition, prices are sky-high. The consumer then cedes power to the insurance company who'll make decisions on his/her behalf -- negotiating prices with the providers and deciding whether or not to provide care.

Just as parents who want better education at lower prices (and want charter schools in their neighborhoods) ... we healthcare consumers must demand the allowance of charter hospitals (like doctor-owned hospitals), charter healthcare clinics (which accept cash payments from the uninsured), and a stronger voice of our own regarding healthcare reform.

President Obama had broken his promise to conduct the negotiating and crafting of healthcare reform in an atmosphere of transparency (and be broadcast live on C-span). He instead did it behind closed doors; the participants were the oligarchs of the healthcare industry.

By the way, read the article about the education monopoly, the teachers' unions, the resistance to true reform, etc. in the latest Atlantic magazine.

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2011/06/the-failure-of-american-schools/8497/

"The Atlantic" Magazine

The Atlantic is a centrist magazine that has been publishing excellent articles on the topic of healthcare over the past several years. Below are two examples.

On the government boondoggle of the Medicare kidney dialysis program:
http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2010/12/-8220-god-help-you-you-39-re-on-dialysis-8221/8308/

On America's addiction to comprehensive insurance for routine healthcare:
http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2009/09/how-american-health-care-killed-my-father/7617/

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Finland harboring terrorists?

Pastor Juha Molari has been defrocked by the State Lutheran Church of Finland, because of having criticized the Kavkaz Center as being a terrorist organization inside Finland. The Kavkaz Center is an Islamic group, promoting jihad against Russia on behalf of Chechen Rebels. (The Kavkaz website server had been kicked out of other countries, before finding a refuge in Finland to host its site.)

This is currently causing friction between the governments of Russia and Finland. Listen to Russian television:
http://rt.com/news/finnish-priest-defrocked-terrorists/.
An earlier broadcast is:
http://rt.com/news/finnish-priest-umarov-molari/.
The Russian Pravda newspaper reports:
http://engforum.pravda.ru/index.php?/topic/37390-kavkaz-center-moves-to-finland/.

The print version of a web page of the Kavkaz site urging Muslim rebels to fight for Allah is: http://www.kavkaz.org.uk/eng/content/2011/03/03/13715_print.html.
Another web page excoriates President Obama for the assassination of Osama bin Laden: http://www.kavkaz.org.uk/eng/content/2011/05/05/14261_print.html.

Please keep in mind, both the Russian news and the Kavkaz content disseminate propaganda. And also be aware that Juha Molari is affiliated with Johan Bäckman, a neo-Stalinist Finn who is also a Russophile. Meanwhile, Finland itself is a socialist country.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Obamacare is Bailout for Insurance Industry

Obamacare is a government bailout for the insurance industry, based on a Ponzi scheme. As with Medicare, Social Security and [defined-benefit] pensions -- the healthcare insurance market suffers from a shrinking pool of healthy, young clients coexisting with a ballooning of sick, aging baby boomers. This is a recipe for fiscal collapse (i.e. for the insurance bubble to burst).

As George W. Bush had advocated the ownership society, as Bill Clinton had pressured Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac to offer sub-prime mortgages to people who couldn't afford a home -- Barack Obama is mandating expensive comprehensive insurance upon the financially-squeezed middle class, whereas the low income people will be relegated to the Medicaid ghetto. This will add millions of new customers to the private insurance companies -- with taxpayers' subsidies in the form of premium support payments. (Isn't this also Paul Ryan's plan in his proposal to "privatize" Medicare?!)

Both the Democrats and the Republicans are beholden to the private insurance industry. With Obamacare in place, we American citizens are forced to participate in this Ponzi scheme via the individual mandate.

But as the housing bubble had burst a few years ago, the insurance bubble will burst within a decade. Obamacare and RyanCare will be the new Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac.

RomneyCare is a Failure

The health care "reform" bill for Massachusetts that Gov. Mitt Romney had signed into law in 2006 is a failure. Today, with everybody forced to buy insurance in that state, the "universal" coverage has resulted in a severe shortage of primary care physicians. There are long waiting lines to see a doctor. And now, more than before, folks are swamping the emergency rooms of hospitals to receive care. Please visit the links below:

http://washingtonexaminer.com/news/2011/05/survey-access-primary-care-lagging-mass

http://washingtonexaminer.com/blogs/beltway-confidential/2011/05/failure-romneycare-doctor-shortage-edition

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

My Criticism of Ryancare

I had written a review for Amazon.com on the book Why Obamacare is Wrong for America. Here is the excerpt, concerning the authors' endorsement of Ryancare.

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But there is one section that befouls the book. It is the key chapter, "What we should do instead to get reform right." The authors endorse "The Ryan Roadmap." They claim it'll put the consumer in charge of his own health care, not the government.

Actually, the Ryan Roadmap does not do that! The individual would be given a voucher, not for health care at his own choosing, but for the insurance company that will be his new master. In other words, the Ryan plan merely perpetuates the third party payer system (which acts as a gatekeeper between the health care consumer and the health care provider.)

Paul Ryan wants to preserve original Medicare for those born in 1956 or earlier. But for those born 1957 or later, we will be expected to purchase private insurance (with these "premium support" vouchers.) What insurance company would sell policies to old sick people?! It'd be like expecting homeowner's insurance to be sold to a person whose house is guaranteed to burn down within a decade or less.

The authors, Grace-Marie Turner, James C. Capretta, Thomas P. Miller, and Robert E. Moffit -- together with their hero Paul Ryan -- should read the article "How American Healthcare Killed my Father" in the Sept. 2009 issue of The Atlantic magazine. (Insurance, by definition, is for catastrophe, not routine care!)

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/print/2009/09/how-american-health-care-killed-my-father/7617/

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http://www.amazon.com/Why-ObamaCare-Wrong-America-Constitutional/product-reviews/0062076019/ref=cm_cr_pr_top_recent?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=0&sortBy=bySubmissionDateDescending

Ryan's Plan Becoming More Unpopular

As reported in Frum Forum News, Paul Ryan's plan is becoming more unpopular. Please visit the link below:
http://www.frumforum.com/opposition-to-ryan-budget-increases

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

More on Paul Ryan's Plan

 Please click onto the link below to read a blog by Brad Schaeffer in the Frum Forum. Particularly, be sure to read the interesting thread discussion below it.
http://www.frumforum.com/matthews-mediscare-wont-work