About Me

In writing the "About Me" portion of this blog I thought about the purpose of the blog - namely, preventing the growth of Socialism & stopping the Death Of Democracy in the American Republic & returning her to the "liberty to abundance" stage of our history. One word descriptions of people's philosophies or purposes are quite often inadequate. I feel that I am "liberal" meaning that I am broad minded, independent, generous, hospitable, & magnanimous. Under these terms "liberal" is a perfectly good word that has been corrupted over the years to mean the person is a left-winger or as Mark Levin more accurately wrote in his book "Liberty & Tyranny" a "statist" - someone looking for government or state control of society. I am certainly not that & have dedicated the blog to fighting this. I believe that I find what I am when I consider whether or not I am a "conservative" & specifically when I ask what is it that I am trying to conserve? It is the libertarian principles that America was founded upon & originally followed. That is the Return To Excellence that this blog is named for & is all about.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Last Universal Healthcare Reform President

Well just like in the 2008 presidential campaign when it took over a year & a half to drag out of BO just what he stood for & who he stood with, the current healthcare reform process is taking a similar tack. Last night @ precisely 8 o'clock BO was scheduled to explain in clear terms what his healthcare reform plan called for, what it would cost, & how it would be paid for. After a 45 minute speech given to a joint session of Congress we learned little that has not been in any of the various bills in Congress. We still do not know any significant detail of the plan that should make any of us except the most die hard statists want to proceed to turn over 17% of our economy to the government to run. In this regard, the speech that was scheduled for precisely 8 o'clock started after 8:15 PM because BO was late -not a reassuring start.

We learned (or have strong reason to believe) that as of last night BO's plan is estimated to cost $900 billion over ten years, that he now approves of John McCain's proposal for insuring high risk people by putting them in insurance pools that operate on guaranteed issue principles of not denying coverage, that the plan imposes a penalty on insurers of high end insurance plans like unions endorse, that it includes a federally controlled insurance exchange that anyone could buy into under community rating principles (an idea that tends to price younger & low risk people out of the market) regardless of any pre-existing conditions, that it does away with lifetime caps on coverage & forbids insurers from dropping people once they get sick, & if there was any doubt about the "public option" being included that guarantees universal healthcare's inevitability the plan includes a trigger for the "public option." The trigger ensures the "public option" comes into existence if insurance companies do not lower healthcare spending or shrink the number of insured - voila, universal healthcare European style. There also is a penalty for employers who do not provide healthcare for their employees - the penalty is set below the estimated cost of healthcare insurance so the employers will be sure to drop coverage which is another mechanism for bringing in the "public option." This also does away with the notion that you can keep your insurance plan if you like it because it will no longer be there when your employer drops the plan in favor of paying the penalty. Points for paying for the plan include cuts in Medicare theoretically resulting from finding fraud in Medicare estimated to approach $700 billion meaning that many people reading this message will have their Medicare coverage reduced when that much fraud is not found - you also have to wonder why BO is not looking for this fraud right now.

Some of the above points will stick in the throats of BO's supporters but his abandonment of trial lawyers was not as complete since he only agreed to pursue tort reform for nuisance lawsuits that drive up medical malpractice insurance costs & defensive medicine costs (& patient inconvenience) by possibly starting a pilot program in a few states. Such a program would not be included in any legislation but rather would be authorized by executive order meaning that it will never see the light of day.

BO said that "he is not the first president to pursue (universal) healthcare reform but he is determined to be the last" - we can only wish him well with this as we get rid of it & him forever.

Social Insurance programs trace back to Germany in the late 1880s when Chancellor Otto von Bismarck implemented his Prussian Plan to provide retirement benefits & other benefits to German workers. Bismarck's plan was the basis of TR introducing in 1912 a platform calling for national health insurance for industry which in turn led to FDR getting his idea for Social Security. FDR & Truman both wanted to include universal healthcare in their plans but were shot down mostly through the work of the American Medical Association (AMA) & politics getting in the way with internal government conflicts over priorities much like we have today. Truman proposed a single payer system that would include all of American society - Truman's plan was denounced by the AMA & was called a Communist plot by a House subcommittee which certainly still holds true today re BO's plan. In 1965 LBJ signed Medicare & Medicaid into law & today these two programs consist of one third the total healthcare spending in America, are 75% subsidized by taxpayers, & the explosion in the quantity of healthcare demanded over the past four decades because of these two programs is the main reason for healthcare inflation according to Professors Sharp, Register, & Grimes in their book "Economics Of Social Issues." In the 1970s Nixon made an attempt @ universal healthcare when he renamed prepaid group health care plans as health maintenance organizations (HMOs) & proposed legislation that provided federal endorsement, certification, and assistance. Carter was pushed into universal healthcare proposals by Ted Kennedy in 1979 & you don't have to be an economic historian to remember Hillarycare in the 1990s right after George H.W. Bush also proposed a universal healthcare plan in 1991. Our history is loaded with failed attempts @ universal healthcare but there are enough successes for us to realize that incrementally we are moving in the universal healthcare direction like with the passage of the SCHIP expansion earlier this year.

Now this infamous history shows that universal healthcare has been pursued by many political parties including the Bull Moose Party & the Republican Party but the main pusher has been the Democrat Party. The involvement of all parties in this regard is why you haven't heard any substantive response from the Republican Party including the post-speech appearance on FNC by the so-called new lion Eric Cantor of Virginia who gave such a tepid disappointing response to BO's speech that Carol told me "I hate to hear him talk like that." The only real response we have had is from the people who have attended Tea Parties & Town Hall meetings in a great grassroots movement all over the country - this is what pushed BO into giving his speech last night. If this issue is important to you I suggest that you start to participate or continue to participate in such events to make your voice heard since it is the only thing you can rely upon to combat the socialist onslaught.

But of course this is really not about your health, government concerns about your health, or improved healthcare plans @ all but rather is about control & the power to confiscate & redistribute your wealth. As Fred Zydeck recently wrote "their real purpose - a public option in healthcare, funded by taxpayer dollars to drive private insurance out of business, ration healthcare, & put the U.S. on a more equal footing with the failed systems of Canada, the United Kingdom, & France" thereby making the American people totally dependent on government - both financially through taxes & physically through universal healthcare.

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