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Repairing the Healthcare System

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Single Party Payer Will Fail

Stanley Feld MD, FACP, MACE

Socialism does not work!

Intellectually, socialism is attractive and easy to understand.

 

Simple Definition of Socialism

 

Full Definition of socialism

  • 1
:  any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods

  • 2
a :  a system of society or group living in which there is no private property
b :  a system or condition of society in which the means of production are owned and controlled by the state

  • 3
:  a stage of society in Marxist theory transitional between capitalism and communism and distinguished by unequal distribution of goods and pay according to work done.”


It would be nice to have the government tend to all our needs equally.

Everything would be free to the public.

  • Not one would need to “get ahead.”
  • No one would have special privilege.
  • Everyone would live the same housing.
  • No one would have to have responsibility for anything.
  • No one would have incentive to be creative or inventive.
  • No one would need to take the initiative to be innovative and create new good and services.

The government would then run out of money because people would have little to be innovative about or have any incentive to work hard to provide for their family.

People would have little incentive to produce income that would generate taxes for government to spend on goods and services to support the benefits offered the people in a socialistic system.

The government would have to borrow more money from others because the people would not produce enough income to tax.

What lender would be inclined to lend money to a country that could not pay it back?

The socialistic system would then become unsustainable and collapse.

This explanation might be considered by some to be a fifth grade explanation of socialism. It is simple to understand but direct and to the point.

America is headed in that direction. The present healthcare system as is unsustainable.

Government cannot spend other peoples’ money when the money is not there.

In America the federal government and state governments keep making the same mistakes over and over again.

Obamacare’s regulations caused 335,000 healthcare insurance policies to be cancelled in Colorado. In 2010 Obamacare made these Coloradan healthcare insurance policies illegal.

Obamacare has failed for the citizens of Colorado.

The state’s politicians tried to fix Obamacare by borrowing hundreds of millions of dollars from the federal government to set up Colorado HealthOP the state’s co-op health insurance plan.

The goal was to stimulate competition among insurance companies by providing lower priced insurance. The co-op is in debt to the federal government for hundreds of millions of dollars.

Colorado HealthOP became the largest insurer on a state health insurance exchange in Colorado.

Colorado HealthOp lost so much money that it could not borrow any more. The Colorado HealthOp had to shut down in October 2015 leaving the federal government to absorb its loan to the state of Colorado.

The closure of Colorado HealthOP left 80,000 Coloradans without health insurance coverage for 2016.

The other state insurance plans are increasing premiums an average of 11.7% to stay above water according to state calculations.

It has made premiums and deductibles too expensive for many of these uninsured 80,000 people.

Coloradans are tired of all the insurance changes, increasing prices and uncertainty. They want something new.

The knee jerk reaction is to change to something easy to understand. A socialistic single party payer system (SPPS) is the easiest to understand. Let the state provide healthcare insurance to everyone. Healthcare would be universal and free to the public.

The problem is nothing is free. The advocates in Colorado (progressives and liberals) are mobilizing to replace Obamacare with either the Canadian or United Kingdom healthcare system.

However, both of these nations healthcare systems are unsustainable. They are failing because of the cost, inefficiency, long wait times for diagnosis and treatment and lack of services despite the governments claims and some of the consumers’ perceptions.

The progressive advocates accumulated 100,000 Coloradans’ signatures. These progressive democrats have gotten a single party payer (SPPS) proposal on the 2016 ballot.

“ColoradoCare,” as it is being called, would replace private insurance with health care funded completely by the government, substituting higher taxes for premiums.

The conservatives in Colorado do not have a proposal to replace Obamacare to put on the ballot in 2016. They have been asleep at the switch.

Conservatives and libertarians have been sleeping at the switch in every state except Vermont.

Conservatives and libertarians did nothing in Vermont. Peter Shumlin was elected governor to institute a SPPS.

The Vermont experiment with a single party payer system has been a disaster already.

“In 2010 Vermont voters elected Democratic Gov. Peter Shumlin, who promised to institute single payer in lieu of ObamaCare.”

Jonathan Gruber, who designed Obamacare, and thinks Americans are stupid, along with William Hsiao, who thinks price controls work designed the system for Vermont.

“Helping design the system was advisers such as Jonathan Gruber, the MIT economist often described as the architect of Obamacare, and William Hsiao, the Harvard economist who developed the Medicare price controls that are driving up prices around the country.”

Vermont played right into President Obama’s goal of creating a single party payer system (SPPS). Colorado is trying to follow the same path to disaster.

The Obama administration provided Vermont with many millions of dollars in federal grants in order to accomplish President Obama’s dream of a single party payer healthcare system.

In order to pay for Vermont’s SPPS the state proposed an 11.5% payroll tax on businesses, which would have taken the total payroll-tax burden to nearly 20%.

Vermont contemplated a new state income tax of 9.5% to pay for the SPPS on top of the existing 3.55-8.95% individual state tax.

The state budget would need to be doubled with the SPPS, therefore taxes would need to be doubled.

Even with these increases in taxes the plan would be deep in the red in three to five years.

Gov. Shumlin (Vermont) was elected to create a SPPS. In 2014 he abandoned single payer system he was about to create because of its effect on the state economy.

Gov. Peter Shumlin woke up to the impending disaster, “The potential economic disruption and risks,” he remarked, “would be too great to small businesses, working families and the state’s economy.”

Ben and Jerry might even flee the state and move to Texas because of the high taxes and economic disruption.

The people of Colorado should look carefully at Vermont’s mistake. The Denver Post has already predicted tax increases that would drive business and job growth out of the state.

Colorado also has a large VA Hospital System. In April 2015 the Colorado Springs Gazette reported that four of Colorado’s VA facilities were among the 10-worst in terms of wait times of all VA hospitals.

The Veterans Affairs hospital system is a pure a single-payer system.

A September report by the agency’s inspector general supports the conclusion that thousands of veterans may have died while waiting for the care they needed, although shoddy record-keeping made it impossible to know for sure.”

All Coloradans have to look at is their state’s VA SPPS that cannot take care of the 400,000 veterans in the state. Why should Coloradans expect a SPPS would work for five (5) million residents it their state?

What have conservatives and liberations offered as a substitute for the failed Obamacare experiment?

Nothing!

Leaders should start looking at My Ideal Medical Savings Account system that would put consumers in charge of their health and healthcare dollars.

Please send my summary blogs about an alternative to Obamacare and my Ideal Medical savings accounts to your elected representatives.

Spread the word about My Ideal Medical Savings Account as an alternative to Obamacare.

I wish everyone a HAPPY AND HEALTHY HOLIDAY SEASON

The opinions expressed in the blog “Repairing The Healthcare System” are, mine and mine alone.

All Rights Reserved © 2006 – 2015 “Repairing The Healthcare System” Stanley Feld M.D.,FACP,MACE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I Still Don’t Understand The Supreme Court’s Decision

Stanley Feld M.D.,FACP,MACE

I still do not understand the logic of the Supreme Courts decision in King vs. Burwell.

The solution to the healthcare insurance exchange subsidies is simple. Congress needs to change the law to include subsides for people buy healthcare insurance in federal exchanges. It is not the Supremes courts job.

The Supreme Court changed the law because it believes that federal health insurance subsidies were implied in the law when there is evidence that federal insurance subsidies were specifically restricted.

Chief Justice Roberts wrote, “Congress passed the Affordable Care Act to improve health insurance markets, not to destroy them,”

“If at all possible, we must interpret the act in a way that is consistent with the former, and avoids the latter,” he continued, echoing language he used in 2012 to uphold another centerpiece of the law, the requirement that most Americans carry health coverage or pay a penalty. In that ruling he defined the penalty for noncompliance as a tax.”

Obamacare is a partisan law that is destroying the health insurance markets not improving them. A vote to repeal it now might be bipartisan even though President Obama would veto it.

Obamacare has been more destructive than helpful to the healthcare system. There is a better way to “improve the health insurance markets.”

Chief Justice Roberts took the opposite view in dissenting against gay marriage (Obergefell).

“Roberts’s Obergefell dissent is, at its heart, an attack on the method Justice Anthony Kennedy used to reach the majority’s conclusion that the Constitution forbids states from denying equal marriage rights to same-sex couples. Kennedy held that marriage is a fundamental right, and that this right extends to same-sex couples.”

Roberts offers a harsh response:

“Stripped of its shiny rhetorical gloss, the majority’s argument is that the Due Process Clause gives same-sex couples a fundamental right to marry because it will be good for them and for society. If I were a legislator, I would certainly consider that view as a matter of social policy. But as a judge, I find the majority’s position indefensible as a matter of constitutional law.”

As Roberts explains, “the Obergefell plaintiffs’ “‘fundamental right’ claim falls into the most sensitive category of constitutional adjudication.”

 This claim does not rest upon a right that is specifically mentioned in the Constitution. Rather, the plaintiffs argued that marriage discrimination violates “a right implied” by the Fourteenth Amendment’s requirement that ‘liberty’ may not be deprived without ‘due process of law.”

A right implied is called “substantive due process.”

Chief Justice Roberts argued that federal health insurance exchanges’ subsidies were implied in Obamacare in his support in the King vs. Burwell case.

He rejected what is implied in the Obergefell gay marriage case.

Article 1, Section 7 is the part of the Constitution that gives us the process for creating laws in this country. This is the only method the Constitution permits for changing laws in this country.

  1. Both the House of Representatives and the Senate must pass a bill.
  2. Once a bill has passed both houses of Congress, the president can either sign it into law or veto it and send it back to Congress.
  3. If the bill is vetoed, Congress can over-ride the president’s veto and enact it into law with a 2/3 vote.

 

The Supreme Court has absolutely no role to play in creating or amending our laws according to the constitution.

The Supreme Court only has the power to make a judgments on the constitutionality of the laws enacted. It should not have the power to change the meaning of the written law.

This is especially true since a crafter of the law (Jon Gruber)  clearly stated the reason it was written that way.

“One of the architects of this law, Jon Gruber, has made it very obvious that this phrase was intended to mean exactly what it says.

Gruber has also emphasized that it was designed this way deliberately in hopes that it would pressure states to create their own exchanges

Chief Justice Roberts used the role of the courts argument in his dissent of the Obergefell gay marriage case. His reasoning is contradictory in both cases.

The Supreme Court decided that this law does not mean what Congress intended it to mean.

Applying this law as it was written would have some unpleasant consequences. Six of the nine justices on the Supreme Court have taken it upon themselves to re-write Obamacare to spare 6 million people loss of insurance.

The Obamacare cost to taxpaying Americans is $50,000 to $80,000 per person insured. There is a cheaper way to insure these 6 million people.

He did consider the cost of the EPA regulation to eliminate mercury from the air in the court’s decision to eliminate the regulation.

Did Chief Justice Roberts consider Obamacare costs to individual and group insurance plans? Individual and group plans are scheduled to increase by as much as 47% in Oregon. The Obamacare mandated penalty for not purchasing insurance in 2016 will be increased to $695 per person or 2% of the household’s income, whichever is greater.

The maintenance of the separation of power is a critical principal of the constitution and the Republic.

“It isn’t the Court’s job to save Congress from itself. If our politicians pass a boneheaded law that will have terrible effects on this country, it’s not the Court’s job to clean up the mess.

It is the role of Congress to figure out how to fix their own mess. If Americans recognize the mess Congress will face the consequences at the ballot box.”

President Barack Obama has consistently and unilaterally changed several of the deadlines.

He has constantly provided waivers from the law for people of consequence and labor unions who have protested. He has even given waivers from Obamacare to congress. 

Article 1. Section 7 of the constitution doesn’t allow the Supreme Court or the executive branch to make changes in the law without the consent of congress.

Few in congress have questioned whether President Obama has exceeded his authority with his numerous controversial executive orders. When some congressperson does he/she have been immediately marginalized by the President, his administration, and the traditional media.

The media is the message.  Millions of people repeat the same nonsense.

If you repeat a lie enough times it becomes the truth.

Even if you are someone who loves Obamacare, you should still hate this decision. The process of how you enact a policy is every bit as important as what policy is enacted.”

“And the way Obamacare has been manipulated demonstrates that our politicians are no longer restrained by the Constitution in any way.”

Everyone should be upset with the Supreme Court’s decision. It shows how irrelevant the Constitution and the rule of law have become in this country.

It demonstrates how close to tyranny our country is coming.

It’s our country’s 239th birthday.

Wake up America!

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