March 12, 2010 BLOG
More on Health Care Reform
Well, I've listened to everyone I can find about the Health Care bill and believe that there are things that ya'all should know about what is actually going on. It is not all what it seems. Also, remember my motto: "Just because I'm paranoid don't meant folks ain't out to get me."
In his latest rant, the president has decided to vilify the insurance companies. Of course, they made it easy for him to do so by increasing rates of up to 39 percent. In his reasoning, of course, there is no reason for this. But one has to remember that he has absolutely no business experience, much less any insurance experience. He has no idea what is involved in pricing health insurance premiums. Also, you need to remember that the president is a former "community organizer." A good many of the rules he chooses to play by are from the "Rules For Radicals" book by Saul Alinsky. If you are not familiar with that publication, here are some quotes from it.
"Tactics are those conscious deliberate acts by which human beings live with each other and deal with the world around them. ... Here our concern is with the tactic of taking; how the Have-Nots can take power away from the Haves." p.126
Always remember the first rule of power tactics (pps.127-134):
1. "Power is not only what you have, but what the enemy thinks you have."
2. "Never go outside the expertise of your people. When an action or tactic is outside the experience of the people, the result is confusion, fear and retreat.... [and] the collapse of communication.
3. "Whenever possible, go outside the expertise of the enemy. Look for ways to increase insecurity, anxiety and uncertainty. (This happens all the time. Watch how many organizations under attack are blind-sided by seemingly irrelevant arguments that they are then forced to address.)
4. "Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules. You can kill them with this, for they can no more obey their own rules than the Christian church can live up to Christianity."
5. "Ridicule is man's most potent weapon. It is almost impossible to counteract ridicule. Also it infuriates the opposition, which then reacts to your advantage."
6. "A good tactic is one your people enjoy."
7. "A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag. Man can sustain militant interest in any issue for only a limited time...."
8. "Keep the pressure on, with different tactics and actions, and utilize all events of the period for your purpose."
9. "The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself."
10. "The major premise for tactics is the development of operations that will maintain a constant pressure upon the opposition. It is this unceasing pressure that results in the reactions from the opposition that are essential for the success of the campaign."
11. "If you push a negative hard and deep enough, it will break through into its counterside... every positive has its negative."
12. "The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative."
13. Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it. In conflict tactics there are certain rules that [should be regarded] as universalities. One is that the opposition must be singled out as the target and 'frozen.'...
"...any target can always say, 'Why do you center on me when there are others to blame as well?' When your 'freeze the target,' you disregard these [rational but distracting] arguments.... Then, as you zero in and freeze your target and carry out your attack, all the 'others' come out of the woodwork very soon. They become visible by their support of the target...'
"One acts decisively only in the conviction that all the angels are on one side and all the devils on the other." (pps.127-134)
I'm sure you can find this book at most libraries. If not, it is still available for purchase or you can check out sites on line.
Pay particular attention to #13. This is what the president has done with the insurance companies. He has picked the target. Froze it, personalized it and polarized it. Now he is carrying out the attack.
What he is not telling you is why insurance companies are raising their rates and that the government and economic climate are the big culprits in this rate increase. Let's take a look at what is really behind the rate increases.
The easiest reason to explain is the economic problems. When people are not working and on COBRA extension of their health insurance, they tend to get health problems taken care of because they now have the time and they want to do it before they run out of benefits. Things like hernias, carpal tunnel problems, rotator cuff problems and other, non-life threatening conditions that they couldn't take care of while they were going to work everyday. This raises the claim incidence severely for insurance companies. Also, people will flock to the doctor for minor things they would never think about when they were working, like colds, flu, etc. In addition to that, claims for depression and anxiety almost triple during these trying times. The insurance companies MUST factor in these items when determining the premiums for the next year.
The next reason is a secret that the government does not want you to know. Neither the democrats nor the republicans want to admit to this because it is a failure of both parties over the years since Medicare and Medicaid have come into being. THE biggest factor in health care inflation is "cost shifting" by medical providers to the private sector to make up for low reimbursement rates by the government on those two programs.
In 1993, when I was testifying about the last attempt to pass national health care, I told the panel they needed to raise their reimbursement rates to stop the high inflation rate of health care prices. Both parties in attendance stated they believed that the medical community should absorb the difference because of traditional practices of discounting to the poor. And yes, the doctors always had priced things lower for the low-income folks. It was an accepted practice because of their inability to pay. But that all changed when everyone got insurance. Why should the medical community subsidize the government?
The government has just lowered the reimbursement rates for all medical providers. When this happens, all medical providers raise their rates to make up for the shortfall. It is necessary for them to do that in order to stay in business. It is just part of doing business. You MUST cover expenses and make a profit if you want to stay in business. In order to cover the additional expenses of the bills medical providers charge to insurance companies, rates must be raised to cover them. Remember, the president and few in congress have actually been in business and they do not understand that principle.
The lowering of government reimbursement rates affects all of us. It affects how much the medical providers must charge other people to be able to stay in business. When they do that, the people who must pay those increased rates in turn raise the price of their goods to make up for what they now have to pay. It is a never-ending spiral of cost increases.
I will make this statement and ya'all can take it to the bank because it is what God knows. "Unless and until the government pays their fair share for Medicare and Medicaid, we will never get a handle on the out of control price increases of health care. It just will not happen."
The president is now wanting to install government controls of insurance company rate increases. He is continuing his demonization of all of them. Most states already have panels that all rate increases must be submitted to and be approved. Once again, the feds are trying to usurp local authority and take it national.
The other "red herring" is from both parties. They want people to be able to purchase insurance across state lines. The one example I heard was that the same policy was cheaper in Kentucky than it was in New Jersey. Well, DUH!!! The cost of living is cheaper in Kentucky than it is in New Jersey. The cost of a semi-private room in New Jersey is probably double what it is in Kentucky. Plus, I'd bet most anything that New Jersey has state regs that must be adhered to by insurance companies that they don't have in Kentucky.
This is my humble opinion but I'd bet money on it. This bill is a foot in the door on the road to National Health Care with a universal health insurance policy and payor. It will be the complete ruin of the absolute best health care delivery system in the world. There will be budgets and limitation of coverage for all. If you get sick at the end of the fiscal year, good luck because there won't be any money to treat you.
The president and both the speaker of the house and majority leader of the senate realize that this bill MUST be passed prior to Easter Vacation when the congress critters go home for the break. There will be town hall meetings that will make last September's look tame. People are fed up with this but the "leaders" don't care. They are going to cram this down our throats because they know what is good for us and we don't know anything. AND, please mark my words on this. If this bill gets passed, it will not be able to be repealed. Even if the congress passes a repeal, the president will veto it and there will not be the necessary votes to override his veto. It is Now or Never for this Country.