The dreaded “National Health Care” issue is upon us

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By Robert E. Beckner

Will we Americans continue to have a largely free market- oriented health care system or a government run system where politicians and bureaucrats in Washington, D.C. make the most fundamental decisions about how we enter life, how we leave it and how we are cared for when we are ill?

This form of government-owned and “mandated” insurance is just a form of socialized medicine and is being pushed hard-sell to all involved. The American Medical Association, doctors, lawyers, hospitals, nurses are against it — anyone who has the slightest contact with medicine. The major media has taken a role to support government proposals. The government says coverage must be in place by the end of the year or it will never be. Let’s hope for the latter!

This government has shown that it depends, in large part, in going around the country, as our president is currently doing, stirring up apathy, creating the sense that the problem is so big, so complex, so intractable that even attempting to think about it for yourself gives you such a splitting headache it’s easier to shrug and accept as given the proposition that only the government can deal with it.

When they finally come up with believable figures of what this plan is, some Americans may get angry, but an equal number will retreat into apathy. Just remember, when government is in place, it’s hard to go back.

So far, there seem to be in play, five plans under the names of Universal Health Insurance, group health insurance, individual health insurance, public health insurance “single payer” and “socialized medicine.”

Space doesn’t permit me to give you even a small description of each, but it’s only the last two that seem to be getting the attention or a combination of the two, called the “public plan” apparently favored by the president and the administration.

“Single Payer” is one that pays for every resident’s health care as a basic social service, funded out of taxes. “Socialized Medicine” is one system in which the government owns and runs health care facilities and pays salaries to doctors. Already signs are appearing where there is unhappiness with what’s being proposed so far by the president’s cabal. It’s being offered as competition for the private insurance companies. It would have fewer costs to make a profit. It would provide a safety net for people without insurance, without threatening employees-based coverage that most Americans still rely on. But if this plan sets premiums and provides low payments and many other ways and devices, the private market would be wiped out. The government’s eventual goal is to first get a foot in the door and gradually squeeze the smaller carriers out of business. In times to come, the big ones would also fall. Then, it would be all government-owned and run and would be a single payer system eventually.

Last month, a group of America’s top health insurers and providers met and promised the president they would save two trillion dollars in health costs over the next decade. They came up over fifty trillion short; all they did was work to sabotage our medical care. They realized the only way to reduce costs is to ration health care, thereby destroying the best health care in the world.

Here is how to reduce medical costs: first, cut doctors fees. Next, you cut Medicare fees by 21 percent. If you reduce doctors’ incomes, fewer will enter into the profession and those already practicing will quit. We currently have 800,000 doctors in the U.S. and about 1.4 million nurses. The president wants to add 46 million persons into a health care system he claims is flat broke already. Common sense tells you it can’t be done without more income. It’s seldom talked about where that money will come from and that is the biggest problem. Employers don’t want to pay for it, no one wants to tax employee benefits and if the government has to pay for it all, they will have to keep the printing presses running until we have no more trees. We certainly can’t borrow any more money from China or India or any other foreign banks or central banks as they are right now meeting in Russia (America wasn’t invited) to discuss the end of subsidizing America’s financial deficit spenders, or find an alternate to the dollar. This would obviously stop our balance of payments deficits “ad infinitum.” This information hasn’t made the main media press; but when it does, you’ll hear the explosion as people realize the dangers this president has put our country in.

Canada found that the best way to cut medical costs is to refrain from using the best drugs to treat cancer and other illnesses, which is economizing at the expense of patients’ lives. For example, 44 percent of drugs approved by Canadian health authorities for use in Canada, ‘are not allowed’ due to their high cost. Death rate from cancer is 16 percent higher in Canada than the U.S. Colonoscopies are so rationed that Canada’s colon cancer rate is 25 percent higher than the U.S.

If the president’s form of health care comes to America, private health insurers will be no more private than TARP-funded banks or our government-subsidized car companies in the president’s America. Everything will be controlled by government health care planners who will approve treatment; limit drug use; their ax will fall on the ‘oldest and sickest among us’, those least ‘deserving’ of our newly limited and diminishing health care resources.

All the other radical changes the president is bringing to our nation can always be reversed, of course; the will and desire not only of our politicians, but our public as well must be there. Remember, new taxes can be repealed or lowered, items nationalized can be privatized, but once the health care system is extended to cover everyone, including, as the president wants, 15 million “illegal alien immigrants,” 17 million people making $50,000 dollars or more a year and could afford their own insurance, 14 million people that already qualify for existing programs like Medicaid, who just won’t go sign up for it, plus millions of young people 18 to 31 years old who are healthy, don’t need and don’t want to spend their money for insurance. Surely this shows you there is actually no need for changing our health care at all. Some 255 million Americans now enjoy having their own good insurance — leave all of us alone.

He wants a large percentage of Americans to pay for some 46 million people when actually only about 8 percent need medical coverage. The truth be told, the president doesn’t care who pays for the insurance, the total cost is of no interest to him or even the people as none of this change is for poor people! Other programs already exist for them. He sees the opportunity to once again without the transparency he promised on the campaign trail, provide even more growth of government and to add to his control of even more of our lives.

Voters will feel the impact of these unneeded reforms very quickly when they see the rejection or limitations at the hands of the bureaucrats;, they will understand then how their options have become limited and how they gave away ever more of their freedoms. My suggestion is to immediately get on the telephone and call 202-224-3121 (U.S. Capitol’s switchboard) and ask for your two senators, Bill Nelson and Mel Martinez’s offices and tell them to vote ‘no’ on any health care bill, regardless of who submits it or how it is written. They won’t accept your e-mails. Don’t fall for the line they are putting out that you’ll be able to keep your own doctors. Even if you do, at first, it won’t make any difference. He won’t make the medical decision best for you — some unknown bureaucrat in D.C. will tell him what he’s allowed to do! Think about it!

Robert E. Beckner lives in Majestic Oaks with his wife, Sarah. He is a retired private investigator and insurance adjuster. He has also been a photographer and served with the Military Police in the Marine Corps.