Before Obamacare: A Personal View

Dismayed and saddened by the SCOTUS decision, Karen and I understood that our reaction was born of years of immersion in the health care system when our son Ariel was stricken with cancer.

My Writer’s Guild insurance provided excellent coverage, but still there were battles with the insurance company. At one point we even hired a lawyer to compel the insurance company to pay for an expensive procedure. We prevailed.

Over eight long years Karen and I did everything in our power to save Ariel’s life. We consulted with dozens of specialists. We met with physicians here in L.A., in New York and Seattle. We never rested, we never lost hope. That our beloved son passed away was due to the power of the disease not to lack of proper medical care.

Here’s the core: Karen and I were as much in control of our son’s fate as was possible.

There were countless choices to make in the complex cancer protocols, for medicine is rarely simple, often an imprecise art of trial and error. We believe we made the best decisions for our son.

But under the onslaught of new regulations that come with state centered, state controlled health care decisions—for everyone but the very wealthy who will have private doctors—choices will inevitably shrink. The multiple layers of government bureaucrats and cost cutters will not only come between patient and physician, but even more layers of government will dictate to the physician what he can and cannot do.

We are not being alarmist, simply realistic.

Obama promised that if you like your insurance you will keep your insurance.

This, of course, is a lie. Thousands of businesses will drop their insurance plans and millions of Americans will be forced to migrate to government “exchanges.” If that word doesn’t send a chill up your spine then you are not familiar with the language used by communist and socialist states. For instance, you will no longer see a physician but a “health care worker.”

Obama promised that you will be able to keep your doctor.

Another lie. Once the government controls health care they will mandate which doctors you can see because the government will contract with various practises, medical mills that will incorporate to take advantage of Obamacare. You’ll be lucky if these physicians have medical degrees from Bangladesh.

Of course, thousands of fine physicians will retire rather than face the blizzard of paperwork and shrinking fees.

All government agencies have one simple priority: to perpetuate themselves. And they do this by amassing power through size, budget and the layering of regulations that increase their reach over the lives of citizens

This is how government agencies work.

They are a cancer seeking to colonize the host.

During the eight years we lived in the world of hospitals we encountered dozens of families from Canada, Israel, France and England. Here were cancer patients who made their way to America in order to escape the coldly inefficient grip of socialized medicine. I vividly recall a lovely woman from Toronto with breast cancer who had to wait months for treatment. “By the time they hook me up it will be too late,” she said.

And that was by design because some Canadian board of medical actuaries decided to shuffle her to the back of a line.

Here in America she started her regimen of chemotherapy within days.

The statistics are stark:

The percentage of men and women who survived a cancer five years after diagnosis: 

United States: 65%

England: 46%

Canada: 42%

Percentage of patients diagnosed with diabetes who received treatment within six months: 

United States: 93%

England: 15%

Canada: 43%

Percentage of seniors needing hip replacement who received it within six months:

United States: 90%

England: 15%

Canada: 43%

Percentage referred to a medical specialist who see one within one month:

United States: 77%

England: 40%

Canada: 43%

Number of MRI scanners (a prime diagnostic tool) per million people:

United States: 71

England: 14

Canada: 18

Needless to say Canada and England have national health insurance.

The truth is no one in America is denied health care. People are denied insurance but that is the nature of insurance. Obamacare is designed to strangle the medical insurance industry and replace it with an entitlement program that will demand endless and higher taxes that can never pay for the system. Eventually America will be Greece.

Two simple fixes would have been a good start:

1. Tort reform.

2. The ability to buy health insurance across state lines.

But Obamacare is not interested in taking on lawyers, one of their biggest donors. And they have no idea how the marketplace is distorted by the inability to shop for and purchase interstate insurance.

The solution is more freedom in the marketplace, not this Soviet style top down Rube Goldberg device that will grind both patient and physician into shreds.

Obamacare is a serious threat to the future of this republic.

I’m not a lawyer but it seems to me that the SCOTUS decision sets the precedent for the government to regulate inactivity.

In short: Congress can make you buy anything as long as it makes you pay a fine if you don’t.

The implications of this decision are beyond imagination.

If you do not buy spinach you will pay a taxes. If you do not attend government mandated exercise class you will pay a taxes. If you do not install solar panels on the roof of your house, drive around in a crappy Chevy Volt, or purchase Michelle Obama’s book on organic gardening you will be taxed.

The IRS is now an armed weapon system of Obamacare.

But Karen and I refuse to give in to despair.

Here’s what we did.

Dear Robert,

On behalf of Romney for President, Inc., I would like to thank you for your generous donation of $100.00. Your support makes it possible for us to continue our mission.

A receipt of your donation is included with this email.

Thank you,

Romney for President, Inc.

Mitt Romney

Click here and donate.

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6 Comments

  1. David Foster
    Posted July 2, 2012 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

    Peter Drucker noted that a government which is NOT “a government of paper forms” will rapidly degenerate into a “mutual looting society.” The point does not change if the forms are electronic instead of paper.

     Hence, it is a chimera to believe that a centralized government bureaucracy will be flexible and company-centric. Bureaucratic inflexibility is bad enough with corporations, but is kept in check to some extent by competitive forces. With government, the competitive forces do not exist.

    Hence, a centralized government healthcare program will be “a program of paper and/or electronic forms,” at the extreme cost of flexibility and customer-centeredness, which as you point out are especially important in the medical field. OR, the government healthcare program will delegate enormous discretionary authority to low-level functionaries, which path carries definite problems of its own. 

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  2. ike
    Posted July 2, 2012 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    the Veterans Admin. Is the longest running government operated hospital system.  It is the best that the government can do for a mostly healthy mostly young patient population. if you look at the data from users, not the political spin, it is horrid.
     

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

    • Robert J. Avrech
      Posted July 2, 2012 at 8:08 am | Permalink

      ike:

      My father is a veteran and he’s been through the VA for years and years and yes, it’s bad. Tragically so. 

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • DrCarol
      Posted July 2, 2012 at 10:37 am | Permalink

      I worked in a big VA hospital for 3.5 years.  The nurses, for the most part, was very dedicated.  The staff doctors were so-so.  The working conditions were horrendous.  We had 38 patients on our wing, most of whom could do virtually nothing for themselves, and typically we would have one RN, one LPN, and one aide to care for them.  In contrast, the flagship local hospital had seven people taking care of 23 patients.
       
       

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  3. Johnny
    Posted July 1, 2012 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

    Robert, you and Karen have more insight into pros and cons of our medical system than all the 90 day wonders working at the White House combined. They spend all day thinking about it while you lived it. 

    And the biggest issue is one that is just now getting attention as evidenced by Nanny Bloomberg – since the government is paying the health bills they get to tell us what we can and cannot eat, drink or smoke. 16 oz sodas are just the beginning. Orwell should have included Big Brother telling us to eat our peas.

    The best thing Republicans should do is to get the government and their endless mandates out of health care (funny how mandates increase the costs and price more people out of the market requiring the government to meddle more with community rating and coverage of pre-existing conditions etc). If Republicans support the “popular” aspects of Obamacare they are making a big mistake. Everyone likes ice cream if they think it is free.

    If Obamacare is not repealed there will be future Ariels and their families that will deal with the frustrations of a disease and a mindless bureaucracy – the worst of all worlds.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

    • Robert J. Avrech
      Posted July 2, 2012 at 8:10 am | Permalink

      Johnny:

      Obamacare is not juts an assault on liberty it is a full frontal assault on the sacred relationship between doctor and patient. 

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

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