THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT OF 2010 or OBAMACARE
by Dr. Lawrence Wilson
Ó March 2010, L.D. Wilson Consultants, Inc.
In March, 2010, The US Congress passed a 2700-page law to supposedly improve medical care in America. Not one Republican voted for it. Also, a number of senators and congressmen admitted they had not read the law before they voted for it.
Some who signed on to this legislation did so with a good heart, believing this bill will really help America. I do not question their motives, but only their judgment.
This article is not intended to be partisan. It is just the opinion of one who has worked in the health care field for over 35 years. I believe this law is one of the worst pieces of legislation ever devised. Here is why:
PROBLEMS WITH THE HEALTH LAW
1. Unconstitutional. No matter what the Supreme Court of the US says about it, this law is completely contrary to the principles and spirit of the US Constitution and everything America stands for. America was founded on principles of choice and voluntarism. This law forces the people to buy a product, even if they don’t want it.
If the law is considered a tax - and it definitely contains many new taxes - it originated in the wrong house of Congress, and should therefore be thrown out for this reason alone. For other constitutional problems with the law, please read The Recent Supreme Court Decision On Obamacare on this site.
2. Mainly about control of the population, not about health care or student loans. This law is almost pure top-down, command-and-control economics. Everything will be run from the top down by bureaucracy. Power and responsibility are taken away from the people, and turned over to a government bureaucracy.
This is not only contrary to the spirit of America, but it doesn’t work well at all. There is simply no bureaucrat who is smart enough to know what each American needs in the way of health care.
3. Promoted totally dishonestly. The president said repeatedly you will be able to keep your doctor, and you will be able to keep your current health insurance. These were both lies, and he knew it.
These issues are at the center of the health care system, so these were not just small lies. They were huge, deliberate deceptions designed to get the law passed over the common sense objections of the American people.
4. Financially, it is totally irresponsible. ALL government health programs around the world cost much more than private systems, and most in America have exceeded their projected costs, often by 100 times or more. Medicare and Medicaid in America fall into this category.
This program is no exception. It has greatly increased the cost of medical care, with very few, if any benefits (2016).
Government welfare programs, which this is, are always astronomically costly and inefficient.
5. Further entrenches the drug medicine monopoly or cartel. The drug industry and the AMA support this law. This means the drug medical system and the drug medical cartel will continue to control medical care.
They are looking forward to enrolling millions more Americans into drug medicine, even though much cheaper and better alternatives exist in natural health care.
6. Sickening. Because this program enrolls more people into the drug medicine system, it will increase the numbers using toxic drugs, vaccines, and the rest of the toxic brew that is today allopathic medical care. More drugs and vaccines will make Americans even more ill.
Alos, there is a definite benefit to controlling one’s one health care, rather than having a government bureauracy in charge. Legislation such as this one that reduces a person’s control over his or her life tends to have a sickening effect.
7. Worsens medical care by discouraging innovation and the profit motive. Although I wish it were not the case, the profit motive is an excellent way to motivate people to discover new healing methods, new operations, new products and other innovations to improve our health. Taking away this motive by expanding the government’s hold on health care is harmful for innovation.
8. TYRANNICAL. Tucked away deep in this bill are clauses that empower hospitals to literally detain anyone who does not follow their doctor’s orders in a hospital.
This is not America, folks. But it is happening because too few people question it, and it was passed dishonestly. I would stay out of hospitals as much as possible. Fortunately, nutritional balancing can help many people avoid hospitals.
THE MAIN ARGUMENT AGAINST THIS BILL
Whenever the US government takes over a function that can be done by the private economy, it always costs far more than if it is managed by the private economy. This is not speculation, but rather a matter of fact that has been studied extensively. Yet, this fact is not being told to the American people by the proponents of this legislation.
All the reasons why government-run health care is far more costly than privately-run programs are explained later in this article. However, the people are being sold a false bill of goods when they are told it will save money. It never saves money to have the government “cut out the middleman” and run a program, whether it is Medicare, Medicaid, the post office, Amtrak or any other government program. Therefore, a major practical objection to this bill is that it will be outrageously costly and wasteful, no matter what the Congressional Budget Office or anyone else claims. This is a matter of history, and there is absolutely no reason to believe that this new law will be any different in this regard.
Article I, Section 8 of the US federal Constitution spells out the major powers that are delegated from the people and the states to the federal government. Health care and administering student loans are not among these functions. In other words, the founders, who studied government very deeply, felt that health care is best handled by the private sector.
The founders were guided by a simple principle, which is that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. This means that if a function in society can be handled locally in a decentralized manner, it is always best. Some functions must be handled at the national level, such as making treaties with other nations and raising an army. Health care, however, is a very personal matter, so why would we centralize this function?
Health care is also very important and turning it over to a large, distant, powerful bureaucracy invites fraud, corruption, snooping on people’s private information, and concentrating great power over the people by the government. It is perhaps not a coincidence that one of the first acts of many dictators such as Stalin in Russia, Bismark in Germany, and many others was to establish a government-run health care system. It makes the people far more dependent upon the government and gives the government much more life-and-death power over the people. Many naively think that this time will be different, somehow. Evidence from existing programs such as Medicare, Medicaid, the Massachusetts experiment in medical care and so on prove otherwise. So this new law goes totally against the principle upon which our nation was founded, namely a limited, constitutional government.
Other constitutional issues that will be decided in courts of law include:
1. The bill forces the states to raise taxes and carry out the wishes of the federal government, or the states will lose 100% of their Medicaid funding. This is simple coercion.
This is also called an unfunded mandate. This means the federal government forces the states to do something, but does not provide the millions of dollars to carry out the mandate. Hopefully, this will be found to violate the 10th Amendment to the federal Constitution. This Amendment reserves to the states and the people all powers not delegated to the federal government.
2. The law force all the citizens to buy a product (insurance) from a private company just to exist. This is wholly antithetical to our founders vision for America and our Constitution. It is not like car insurance, which comes with the privilege or driving. This bill forces people to buy a product not of their choice just because the person is alive. This has never happened before.
WHAT IS THE GOVERNMENT’S TRUE ROLE IN HEALTH CARE?
The US Constitution states that the role of government is to protect individual rights. This is the main purpose of government, according to our founders. It involves protecting basic rights to own property, and to ensure the enforcement of private contracts between individuals, judge disputes, and assure freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, the right to bear arms to protect oneself and one’s property, and other freedoms.
It is important to note that this costs the taxpayers almost nothing, and it requires a small government that is not oppressive to the people. It is the system that built America to be the envy of most nations of the world. Technical names for this type of system are a republic, the rule of law, a free market economy and capitalism. These words simply mean that people are free to contract with others for services and goods, and people are free to manufacture items and offer health and related services to others without restrictions. Of course, if a product or service harms another, one is liable under standard criminal laws against fraud, negligence and misrepresentation, among others.
What is social justice? The president and most Democrats think that government should change its role. Instead of protecting the citizen’s right to make his own health care choices, the government should redistribute the health care goods and services to make sure that everyone gets the same health care. In other words, the role of government should not be to protect the individual and his rights. The role of government should be to even out all the inequalities of life so everyone gets the same goods and services.
This is a completely different philosophy of government called progressivism, socialism, social justice, communism or Marxism. It is sometimes also called the cradle-to-grave welfare state. This type of economy is also called a command-and-control economy. This philosophy has crept into America over the past 100 years or so and sounds very nice. It is important to understand that this health care “reform” is an attempt to switch America over to this command-and-control system of health care delivery. The process of changing America has been a slow one that started in earnest with Medicare and Medicaid and has just kept progressing since then.
Problems with command-and-control economics or top-down economic policies. These include:
1. HIGH COST
This is what brings down all command-and-control economies. There are at least a dozen reasons why this is so:
1. The need for large, costly bureaucracies. To run a government health care program requires a huge, costly bureaucracy. Thousands of public servants must be hired to figure out each person’s health needs and determine which treatments and how much of each are best for each person. Bureaucrats are also needed to send out bills and collect the many taxes and fees to pay for the system. New bureaucracies will evaluate drugs and treatments, and another new one will police the people to make sure they all buy the right health insurance. The new bill mandates hiring 16,000 new IRS agents (this will expand the size of the IRS by over 30%) in order to police the citizens who will be forced to buy insurance or pay a fine to the IRS.
Bureaucrats are also needed to police the doctors, the hospitals, the laboratories, the device makers, drug companies and everyone else in the system because fraud and abuse always abound in government programs administered from far away. It is simply difficult to make sure everyone plays by the centralized rules. More people are needed to process all the paperwork or electronic safeguards, to figure out the budgets, and to evaluate all the medical treatments. Also, government workers are unionized and receive generous pay plus a lot of benefits. This all costs a fortune. None of this bureaucracy is needed in a free market health care system.
It means that with a government-run program, much more of the wealth and talent of the nation is spent on bureaucrats and paperwork, and much less is spent on innovation, science, technology, and patient care. So it is a financial drain as well as a drain on the human resources of the nation. This is always what ruins government command-and-control economies.
Every government health program has far exceeded its projected costs. This is the most essential knowledge that must be shared. Medicare and Medicaid today each cost over 100 times what they were projected to cost. Massachusetts set up a “universal” health care system similar to this federal legislation. Within only about 4 years, it is already about 10 times over budget. The idea that this “reform” will save money is laughable. It makes no sense that we must spend almost a trillion dollars to save money, for example.
2. Government entitlements set up perverse incentives. “Giving” people health benefits without charge or at an artificially low cost sounds very nice, but creates the following perverse incentives:
Š People have less incentive to take care of their health because they are told they will be taken care of no matter what they do. In fact, they have an incentive to abuse their health. Only then they can collect a health “benefit”, while those who care for their health receive nothing from the government. This creates worsening health, which costs much more money.
Š If services are very low cost or “free”, people overuse them. This always happens and sends costs through the roof.
Š If goods are perceived as free, people do not respect government property as much as if it were their own and they had to pay dearly for it. This also raises costs greatly, at times.
Š Cheating and fraud increase with such programs because people figure it is just government money, and there is plenty of it, so it won’t hurt a little to cheat when filling out forms and so on. With a free market program, everyone is watching his own pocketbook.
3. Lack of open markets and transparent pricing. This may not seem important for health care, but it is very essential. Health care, like every other human endeavor, is a constantly evolving industry with new innovations being tried and used every day. Markets and pricing function as ways that consumers, doctors, hospitals and everyone involved in health care evaluate and learn about the potential benefits of all the new innovations in technologies, therapies, delivery systems, computer systems, and so forth.
American and European medical care systems are already quite divorced from market principles and transparent pricing. This legislation further destroys this essential information-sharing process.
The legislation claims to compensate for this by setting up a number of new government boards and agencies to evaluate medical care methods and technologies. Instead of relying on markets and transparent pricing, which the government cannot control, a government committee sitting in an office in Washington DC will evaluate thousands or perhaps millions of new treatments, new products, new devices, new delivery systems and so on. This has been tried many times in other nations. It simply does not work well. No one is smart enough or up to date enough to evaluate new ideas from afar. Such evaluation is much better done by the free market, by new companies that will spring up and try to promote a new treatment, for example, or a new product. As a result, innovation decreases and money is spent unwisely for unproductive, unsafe and ineffective methods when a government committee makes all the big decisions.
3. Taking away “the hidden hand of the marketplace”. Free markets have some wonderful hidden qualities. This was written about by Adam Smith, for example, in his book, The Wealth Of Nations. He observed that wherever free markets were allowed to operate, the wealth of the nation increased. Meanwhile, whenever command-and-control economics was used, the nation became poorer.
Not only are free markets the best to care for most human needs. In addition, unexpected benefits occur when people are free to build businesses, share research among themselves, and associate and contract freely among themselves. They find innovative solutions to human problems that are completely unexpected.
Top-down, government-controlled economic systems forbid or restrict with taxes this kind of interaction between people in the society. As a result, many innovations simply are not brought forth and the entire society suffers as a result.
4. Incompetence. Turning administration of the health care or any business to bureaucrats again sounds fair, but usually the type of people who work in government are not the brightest, most heard-working and most honest, in most cases. This is because government jobs are boring, for the most part, and very secure. This attracts those who value job security and good benefits, rather than the brightest people.
Many of the more intelligent, more independent thinkers and innovators do not like the regimentation and boring nature of bureaucratic jobs. They want to control their own business, so they are often found in the business world, not in government.
This is unfortunate, but true. As a result, the decisions that are made within bureaucracies are usually not the wisest and most far-sighted and intelligent ones. This wastes lots of money and often results in disastrous policies and practices.
5. WASTE, FRAUD AND ABUSE ARE ALWAYS FAR WORSE WITH GOVERNMENT-RUN PROGRAMS
There are several reasons for this:
Š Managing people and resources from far away makes oversight far more difficult. Markets operate locally, so there is much easier oversight.
Š Bureaucracies are easy to cheat by just filling out paperwork incorrectly. There is so much paperwork with many of these systems, that literally millions of dollars can slip through unnoticed.
Š As explained above, bureaucrats are usually not the brightest people, so they are more easily corruptible and can be manipulated more easily. Sadly, the bigger the government bureaucracy, usually the easier it is to control for special interests.
Š Many bureaucrats are most interested in keeping their jobs and in “not making waves”. For example, if money is being wasted, they have little incentive to report it and do something about it.
Š Bureaucrats often do not work very hard. In part, it is their personality. In part, it is because they are generally unionized and their contracts demand that they not work too hard. Most of their contracts also make it very difficult to fire them if they do a poor job. In fact, federal workers in America cannot be fired for incompetence unless it is very extreme. They are just ‘transferred’, where hopefully they do less harm.
Š It is hard to shut down a corrupt or inefficient government agency. If a private business is poorly managed or makes poor decisions, it will fail and go out of business. If a government agency such as the Medicare is inefficient or wasteful, which it is, it just requests more money and most of the time it keeps right on doing things the same old way. The US Postal Service is a good example. Amtrak is another one.
For all these reasons, which, added together is a lot, government systems are riddled with fraud, waste and abuse. It is far worse than private companies in most all cases.
6. CORRUPTION IS A HUGE PROBLEM IN ALL GOVERNMENT PROGRAMS
By definition, when the government administers a function in society, it become politicized. This means that a call from a Congressman causes people to jump and respond, often bending the rules to favor this political group or that one. It also means that one administration favors one group or one service, while the next one favors someone or something else. This creates instability, inefficiency and often downright stupidity.
This fact is sometimes called patronage, in which whoever is elected must “pay back” or patronize those who elected the person or the party in power. It is inevitable in government-run programs of all types.
Bribery, intimidation and other types of corruption are also much easier in centralized programs. This is one reason that big business, unions and other lobbying groups love government programs. These programs are simply easier to infiltrate and control for their own purposes.
For example, in America, the Food and Drug Administration controls all the drugs, foods, and medical devices. This agency is relatively simple to infiltrate and corrupt compared to the way it was before the days of the FDA. In those days, prior to 1906, hundreds or even thousands of private companies and even individuals offered foods, drugs and medical devices. It was a free market that was controlled by the criminal laws against fraud and negligence, among others. It was very difficult, if not impossible, for special interest groups such as the AMA or the drug companies to bribe and intimidate thousands of companies in order to promote their own products and keep others out of the marketplace. But it is simple to control a small agency that has total control of the food and drugs in America.
This is a very important reason why many forces in society want government-run programs. Unfortunately, most societies, including all in Europe and now in America, eventually succumb to pressure from these powerful lobby groups. The push to set up government-run programs is not to help the public, as we are told. It is to make the industry far more easily controlled and corruptible by special interests.
7. THE ONE-SIZE-FITS-ALL PHILOSOPHY OF HEALTH CARE IS INEFFICIENT AND OFTEN STUPID
People’s needs are individual. Many types of health care are available such as vitamins, nutrition, homeopathy, herbs and others. However, a government program can never offer anywhere near all of them the way a free market always does.
For one thing, the bureaucrats are usually unaware of all the options, especially since they change on a daily basis. More importantly, special interests, such as drug companies, lobby, threaten and bribe the FDA and other agencies to make sure the government only covers their particular services.
As a result, the health of the American people has declined significantly over the last 50 years. This new bill will give 30 million more people “free” toxic drugs, and thus ruin more people’s health.
8. GOVERNMENT-RUN PROGRAMS ALWAYS DISCOURAGE CHARITY
Government programs for the poor, the sick and the elderly in society always discourage and compete with private charity. Usually, the charities go out of business because they can no longer raise enough money. More of people’s money is forcibly taken from them in taxes and other fees to pay for the government programs. Also, people feel they have already “given” in taxes, so they are less inclined to support other charities. This is happening in America today as a result of much higher taxes, especially on the middle class, who give the most to charity.
One might say that this is okay and we don’t need charity any more since we have government “safety nets”. However, learning charity is very good for both the donor and the recipient. It is a virtue to be unselfish and to learn to help others. This is why most parents encourage this in their children, for example. So government programs discourage this very virtuous activity.
In fact, private charities handle money much better than government bureaucracies, but that is another story that is not exactly on this topic.
9. Government programs discourage entrepreneurs. Having many government-imposed rules, regulations, taxes and other fees greatly discourages entrepreneurship. This is a unique human skill to see a problem and figure out a solution for it. It is the mark of an intelligent person. An intelligent society will encourage this behavior, and a capitalist and free market society does just that, as entrepreneurs are rewarded well in these societies.
Entrepreneurs are a unique breed of people who are usually a little selfish, but are willing to share their insights if the incentives are right for them. When a government takes over an industry such as health care or any other, this strongly discourages entrepreneurial activities. Most bureaucrats do not like entrepreneurship. They prefer the old, well-known solutions that they can understand. They don’t like newer systems, newer products and new types of services they can’t understand. So they often forcibly discourage new ideas and new ways of doing things that are not in their rule books.
Entrepreneurs are in some ways the life blood of the economy. They are often the brightest, free-thinking people who can solve the tough problems in unique, new, unconventional and unusual ways that move a society forward in its evolution.
Discouraging them leads to disaster in most cases. The free thinkers move away to other nations that are more friendly to them, even if they have to escape in the middle of the night. America has benefitted greatly because talent has come to America, not elsewhere.
Wherever the entrepreneurs land, that society becomes more advanced with better communications, better medical systems, better weapons and more intelligent systems that overtake and conquer the stupider, older bureaucratic nations. This occurred in the Soviet Union, for example, and even in Nazi Germany, another command and control socialist society.
America may now be slipping as she embraces political correctness, social justice and socialism that only cares about “leveling the playing field” and “redistributing the wealth” instead of stressing excellence, intelligence, talent and entrepreneurship. These and other human qualities are not distributed evenly in the population and cannot be “equalized”. They can only be appreciated and developed in each person as much as possible.
This is the key difference between a capitalist free market health care system and a socialist system that only seeks to equalize all the people. Planet earth needs talent, not equality. This may sound cruel and heartless, but I urge the reader to reconsider. Talent and hard work bring prosperity, and there is a spreading effect that is mistakenly called the trickle down effect. In other words, as people who work hard become wealthy, they hire others, which spreads the wealth much further. The ones they hire are those who are willing to work hard as well. They, in turn, hire others to clean their homes and so on and the wealth effect spreads rapidly.
Is this system perfect? Of course not. However, it works well and certainly works better than taking money from the productive people by force and giving it to the poor who often do not spend money wisely. I know some will disagree with this, but I challenge them to show me a single case where equalizing all the people has worked well. It can only be accomplished by force and by discouraging the bright people. This is not helpful at all. Far better to encourage and reward the bright and harder-working people - and everyone will benefit. Because this is a very controversial topic, I will give just one simple example.
Thomas Edison invented the light bulb. We can get angry with him because he made a lot of money with his invention. Or we can realize that his simple invention transformed the world and greatly increased the wealth, the comfort, the health and the safety of billions of people throughout the world. Should we punish the Thomas Edison’s of the world, or would it be better to encourage them and allow them to become rich when they actually enrich the lives of billions of other souls?
There are millions of similar examples that could be cited, but the principle is identical. Is it better to punish the smart, creative people who help us all and make money in the process, or is it best to encourage the entrepreneurs and the hard-working inventors and innovators by allowing them to keep the fruits of their labors when they benefit all of us?
The bill has many other flaws:
RUINING THE HEALTH INSURANCE INDUSTRY
A big selling point of the new bill is that it forces health insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions. Both Democrats and some Republicans keep on mentioning this “great stride forward”. However, it is quite insane if you think about it.
Why buy health insurance and pay for it month after month if one can wait, pay a small fine to the IRS, and just buy insurance when one develops cancer or has a heart attack?
Also, no insurance company can stay in business for long if it is forced to cover all pre-existing conditions. This is like forcing car insurance companies to cover you even if you decide to buy insurance only after your car is in a wreck. It is simply insane. Measuring risk and making decisions about it what insurance is all about.
In fact, I would contend that forcing insurers to cover pre-existing conditions is unconstitutional, because it regulates or dictates the most important aspect of a business that the business must control to make ends meet. Most people will not see it this way, however.
What to do with those who cannot afford or meet insurance requirements. First of all, medical care prices are so inflated that if a free market were permitted, prices would drop drastically. I know this simply by comparing the prices back in the days when America had a free market system. In this case, a lot of insurance would not be needed. Somehow people survived and prospered for over 120 years in America without the entire idea of health insurance. Maybe we should investigate how they did it.
I read that the first American health insurance company, Blue Cross, Blue Shield, was started by doctors who wanted to keep their hospital beds filled. It was not started by consumers trying to protect themselves. Health insurance thus needs much more scrutiny.
In the past, people belonged to private welfare societies and community health associations. These were outlawed by the powerful AMA in the 1920s. These societies protected people in the event of an expensive illness, for example. This is a far better solution than insurance as it is set up presently. Also, today’s health insurance might work better if it were not regulated by the government, which means thoroughly infiltrated by specifal interests who force insurance companies to pay for all sorts of costly procedures. I would love to have the option to decide what procedures I want my insurance to cover, but I don’t have that option in America. So the health insurance industry is not serving the people, but rather it often serves other interest groups who have infiltrated the government regulatory commissions.
A BLOW FOR HEALTH FREEDOM
The new law forces all Americans to:
1) Buy health insurance even if one does not want it, and
2) Forces people to buy only a government-approved insurance policy. In other words, you can’t start your own “holistic” insurance or any other kind of insurance. One must buy what the government “mandates” or forces on the people. It includes insane things such as that men and older women MUST BUY maternity coverage, although they will never use it.
Health insurance is already terribly over-regulated and rigged by politics to cover whatever the lobbyists can get away with. For example, I just received a notice from my health insurer that a new law is now forcing them to cover me if I want an elective hysterectomy. Besides the fact that this does not apply to me, I don’t want insurance companies to be forced to cover this or that procedure. I would like to make those decisions myself as to what I want covered.
The new law is thus a serious blow to your health freedom by forcing even more insurance on people and forcing more rules on health insurance companies. Meanwhile, it will have the effect of forcing more drug medical care on the entire population. It will also raise the cost of insurance drastically for a number of reasons, the main two being taxes on insurance and insurance companies and forcing insurers to cover pre-existing conditions.
NO PRIVACY AND VIOLENT AND OPPRESSIVE GOVERNMENTS DEMORALIZE AND FURTHER SICKEN THE CITIZENS
The Fourth Amendment to the US federal Constitution assures the people that their private papers will be safe. A large government that must collect a lot of information and keep track of the people constantly in order to “manage” them properly is necessarily intrusive and oppressive. No privacy can be allowed, because then the bureaucrats might not make the right decisions.
In addition, in order to “equalize” the health care and other things among the people, the government must find out just how much money everyone has so they can take the wealth from those that have “too much” and turn it over to those they feel do not have enough. This can only be done at the point of a gun because no one willfully gives their hard-earned money to the government without the use of force. Thus command-and-control or socialist nations are always inherently violent in their methods and design.
Which system is worse? Interestingly, those who favor social justice believe that capitalism and free markets are violent and unfair. They are right to a degree, in that some people may be denied care if they cannot afford it. These people must then turn to charity or other options for their care.
However, in trying to remedy the problem, the social justice advocates don’t realize that their solution is much worse. The reason is that the latter is terribly wasteful, as explained above, and it is faceless. In other words, at least in a market system, if you need an operation, for example, and do not have the funds, you can bargain with the surgeon in person. If that doesn’t work, you can approach another surgeon and do the same thing. Perhaps you can trade your carpentry services for the operation. In other words, the system is very flexible.
In contrast, in a bureaucratic command-and-control system, there is much less flexibility. Everything is done by the “rule book”. There is no provision for creative bargaining, as there is in a free market setting.
Also, individuals are not in control of the system. Instead, the government bureaucrats usually have their “favorites”. For a while it may be the Hispanics, or black women, or someone else. If you are lucky, you are in a favored group or you are often out of luck. Bureaucrats often need to feel important, so many of them act heavy-handed and can make life miserable for those they control. While this can happen in free markets as well, it is rarely as bad and at least one has the option of going to someone else if one person is not helpful. This option is taken away in command-and-control economies, which this health care bill effectively creates.
Living under these conditions tends to demoralize the people, destroys their initiative, angers the people, and this further damages the people’s health, further raising costs and straining the health care system.
OTHER PROBLEMS IN THIS LEGISLATION
Those in favor of this “reform” say the bill will be paid for in new taxes, mostly on the wealthy people. This is often not a wise idea, however, since it is the wealthy people who create most of the jobs in the nation. Poor people do not create jobs, as a rule, because they don’t have the means. Jobs are very important right now, so taxing the wealthy is probably another bad idea.
Also, sadly, if you tax the wealthy and the hard-working Americans too much, they simply pick up and leave the country. They have the means to do this and they take their talent and their money somewhere else where they are not taxed as heavily.
New corporate taxes will hit the poor people the hardest. Proponents say that the new taxes to pay for the program are on corporations, and that poor and middle class people will not be taxed. This is just a lie. When one taxes corporations such as drug makers, hospitals or others, the company must pass along the tax to its customers. This means that EVERYONE IS TAXED. The poor are hit the hardest because it is not a progressive tax – it is the same for everyone. I do not understand why Americans do not see that taxing corporations is a regressive tax that hurts the poor and middle classes the most. Corporate taxes are just a way to hide the taxes so the people can’t see them.
For example, people do not realize that up to half the price of many goods today goes to pay alls sorts of taxes to the state and federal governments. The taxes are just hidden in the retail price of the product or service. The legislators are far too cowardly too just tax the people, so they tax corporations that must just pass the taxes on to their customers – you and I – in order to stay in business.
Thus this legislation is filled with fiscally irresponsible ideas.
IS THERE ANY NEED FOR THIS BILL AT ALL?
In my view, the answer is no. The real need is for a new health care system. It must be based on prevention via diet, lifestyle, clean drinking water (not tap water) and other simple concepts that build health. Little or nothing of this kind is in the new law.
Next, a sane health care law would use simple, inexpensive, natural healing methods first, before it permitted drugs and surgery which are far more dangerous and costly. The bill contains nothing like this.
If this were done, the people’s health would improve, the cost of services would be billions of dollars less, and the system would be safer and thus have fewer legal problems and less need for costly ‘defensive medicine’.
I believe the idea of “solving health care” using the old drug medical methodology, the old employer-based method, and the old force-the-people-to buy-insurance method is futile, outdated and can never work. It is like figuring out how to move goods by horse and buggy when one could use airplanes and railroads to transport them.
A sane system would stop frivolous lawsuits against doctors and hospitals. This is called tort reform. The Republicans in Congress wanted it, but the trial lawyers support the democratic party the most and opposed this simple, sane reform.
A sane system would allow people to buy insurance of many kinds, across state lines, without massive government “regulation” telling the insurers what they must cover. This would allow much more innovation in insurance. This simple, bright idea was also rejected.
WAS THERE A MARKET FAILURE?
An important rationale for this bill is that the free market just did not work. America, they say, had a privatized health care system and it was too costly and not doing the job.
In fact, America has not had a free market health care system for over 100 years. When she did, for her first 130 years, America was the healthiest nation and costs were very low.
The free market in health care services was destroyed by the AMA in 1910-1920 with the Flexner Report and the passage of the medical licensing laws in every state. I have written about this disaster in other articles.
Even after 1920 or so, costs stayed fairly low in America until around 1970. This was when America turned to pure socialized medicine and passed Medicare for the aged and Medicaid for the poor. These replaced free market solutions for the poor and the elderly, which were working fine.
Now those government programs are bankrupting the nation. Yet the new bill proposes adding millions more people to the same failing Medicaid program!
So the real failure is the socialized medical programs and the cartel control of medical care by the drug doctors and the drug companies who basically have control of the FDA and many other parts of the current system. This will not change one bit with this new legislation.
In fact, other nations with socialized medical care such as Canada and several European nations are scrambling to re-establish “competition” to try to hold costs down.
A BILL THAT IS FULL OF PORK AND LACKS THE SUPPORT OF MOST AMERICANS
The new 2700-page bill is loaded with special deals for certain people and districts. This is called pork barrel legislation. The bill contains billions of dollars of basically bribes that had to be given to various Congressmen and Senators in order to pass the bill.
Also, the bill is 2700 pages long and few, if any members of Congress even read it.
This is bad policy and pure corruption. The American people are sick and tired and I hope, furious about of this style of politics. The president promised a “new tone”, but this is the same old thing, only on the largest scale ever, by far.
The new bill also did not have the support of the American people or a single Republican in either house of Congress. This is not a bipartisan effort and people are tired of partisan politics. So despite any rhetoric, the truth is the bill did not have the support of a large segment of the American people. Even those in favor of the bill need to realize that for success, people must be behind the legislation. Those who passed the bill, however, are betting that Americans will soon forget the whole thing or that they can twist the truth and convince their constituents that it is in their interest when it is not at all in the interest of the American people.
It is time for the nation to come together to solve problems, but this bill just further divides the American people. So I hope that Americans will remember this in November of 2010 and vote out anyone who supported this kind of jamming-down-the-throat-against-popular–wishes type of legislation.
Also, beware of anyone who says the bill can be “fixed”. It cannot be fixed because its basic concepts are flawed. It needs to be repealed, and a new discussion started on this important subject. Your votes in ALL future federal elections should be based on whether the candidate will repeal this legislation.