Stanley Feld M.D.,FACP,MACE
Massachusetts is in a financial bind. Most other states are in the same financial bind. No state has a ticket to a brighter future because politicians in the state spend the taxpayer dollars with little regard to adding value to taxpayers.
It is very difficult for the average taxpayer to understand the charade. In the future, due to blogging and social networking it is going to be a little more difficult for politicians to get away with what they been getting away with.
My reader, who wishes to be anonymous, continues to explain what politicians in Massachusetts are doing now that the universal coverage experiment has failed. Universal coverage is vitally important. The strategy used to achieve universal care by politicians is faulty and leads to failure.
Now they are creating a:
“Monopoly on top of a monopoly.
Big Hospitals and Big Insurers.
Your Doctor as Corporate Man?
Doctors, nurses, and allied health practitioners would all now be forced to work for Big Hospitals, which effectively work for Insurance Companies, and not the patient. “
This has been happening for many years all over the nation resulting in increased premiums, increases in taxes, and decrease in access to care. The goal is to manage the cost of care to the advantage of the healthcare insurance industry and the hospital systems, not to the advantage of the consumers (taxpayers)
“Any chance that real market forces might be brought to bear would be outlawed.
Apparently, Massachusetts only wants to control cost for Insurance Companies.”
Please note the terms used: “control the cost for Insurance Companies” and not “control the costs of the insurance companies.”
“As the Commission’s proposal stands, this is no ticket to a brighter future for Massachusetts.
Stubbornly blind to the enormous cost that Blue Cross layers on top of the actual cost of health CARE, this can come to be known as "pulling a Massachusetts "
If it wants to pull itself out of this hot water, Massachusetts needs to actually reduce cost and increase quality – and reverse Massachusetts’ loss of doctors, citizens, and tax base.
Its politicians will have to forget about installing Insurers and Accountable Care Organizations as a chokepoint to get to a doctor – forget about engineering a situation that requires middlemen – forget about hard coding them into the law.
Market forces work famously well on cottage industries, and medical practice is nothing if not a cottage industry. The large number of independently practicing doctors offers freedom of choice, complete access to CARE – for both employers and individuals, and universally available care that is affordable.
Consumers benefit, if Consumers’ access to the market for medical practitioners is kept truly free and unobstructed by any third party.
Otherwise, only the choke-holding middlemen benefit.
How much real estate does Blue Cross own?
How many shopping centers? How many office buildings?
How much did it and does it spend on its real estate?
On management salaries?
On commissions to their insurance sales agents / brokers / consultants?
How much of insurers’ real profit are they funneling out the back door in management salaries and asset acquisitions, and how much are they assigning to other categories – like Reserves?
How much do insurance companies really make in profit? (If they don’t call themselves “non-profits”, that is)
How much do they charge us in premiums, on top of the blizzard of expensive-to-manage paperwork they create?
Where would all the trillions of dollars go that Washington wants to borrow and put on our tax bill?
Exactly what is all that money going to buy?
We can’t know, because that information is locked inside insurers’ and the government’s black boxes.
We can’t audit their books. We can’t know the accounting rules by which money is assigned to one category or another.
We can’t know how many sets of books they keep – one for PR purposes, another for investors?
Apparently, Massachusetts’ Reform Commission has a blind spot, and Blue Cross is standing in it, doing what the insurance industry always does – pointing the finger in every direction but at itself…
"Oh, it’s the doctors / its technology / …"
Installing a middleman is a set-up – drawing a curtain against the sunshine, destroying any chance of freedom from being ensnared in an insurer’s or the government’s web.
In fact, it glues us all in place. Have you ever seen ‘The Fly”?
When nothing and no one comes between each Consumer and each Practitioner, when complication and insurance / government middlemen are stripped away, there is perfect transparency.
There is no dark place in which to pile on cost or engage in price fixing.
There is nowhere to hide.
And here’s another benefit…
When Consumers deal directly with their Doctors, no one can ration anyone out of their care.
Thank goodness! That saves us all a lot of money on “comparative effectiveness research”.”
Let the consumer beware and protest to the politicians. After all we elect them.
Can we trust a government takeover of healthcare?
Government bureaucracy adds costs and complexity.
Outsourcing administrative services to the healthcare insurance industry involves bureaucracy.
Outsourcing administrative services provides another opportunity for waste.
All the complexity is said to be for the benefit of patient care.
However, money for direct patient care between the physician and patient is continually being reduced as bureaucracy is increasing.
The time has come for the consumer to put his foot down and stop the politicians.