Saturday, November 30, 2013

ObamaCare is an Overstuffed Turkey

Across America, families are emerging from their Thanksgiving turkey comas, and have returned home after battling Black Friday 'sales' buying things they do not need, with money they do not have.

Both of these events put me in mind of the turkey that is ObamaCare and the ever more frenetic marketing of (as one wag put it to me) the "s*it sandwich" that is being sold to us as Obama's signature legacy.

Each day as we, the consumer, find out more of those details that the politicians wouldn't share with us, before the legislation was passed (with NO help from the Republicans) commentators are finally admitting what some of us have been screaming about all along.

I still have not found one person who admits to reading the whole 2,000+ page abomination, but finally, I HAVE found an analysis of the dollars and (non) cents UNConstitutional Act   (based on omissions, innuendos and outright lies) that shows why this product being foist on us by the Not-So-Super-Salesman-In-Charge, must not stand.  Read on:


Carving up the Health Care Pig

Have you ever wondered why it costs so much to see a doctor?  After all, a Doctor's time can only be worth so much, right?  Still, medical care has gotten so expensive that most are willing to pay a 3rd Party to pay the bill instead.  Somehow, it's perceived that paying someone else to pay the Doctor will decrease the cost of seeing the Doctor.  They call it "insurance," but the definition no longer fits the reality.  Insurance is designed as numerous individuals paying a little into a fund that covers catastrophic but unlikely events, while modern "health insurance" pays for routine events and common ailments.  But, for the sake of clarity, I'll refer to it as "health insurance," as it is commonly referred to as such. 

Let's begin with just a visit to the Doctor's office.  The fee charged doesn't just cover the Doctor's time.  It also has to pay the time of the Nurse who prepares you to see the Doctor and asks the questions he needs answered to optimize his time with you.  It also has to pay for the time of the receptionist who schedules your appointment, pulls your records, and makes sure the Doctor has time to see you, prioritizing those with the most urgent of needs.  It also has to pay the mortgage on the building the doctor had built to see you.  It also has to pay for the chair you sit in waiting to see the doctor, and the table he examines you on, and all the equipment he needs to have on hand.  It also has to pay the costs of those loans he took out to gain that medical knowledge, and the costs of the loans of his Nurse.

Costs are going to snowball quick in this reality, and this is going to get long, while only touching on the generalities of those costs. 

Now, your Doctor's Office has set up a fairly efficient system where by he sees many patients in a short amount of time, with each phase of the visit using the lowest cost labor needed, and requiring you to wait a little while longer for his time.  So, in a normal free enterprise system, where it was a business and a customer relationship, the visit would probably only run $20 to $40, but we've added a lot of paychecks and infrastructure that has no part in actually providing the service.

Rather than just writing a check, or paying in cash or plastic, we've added the insurance company, which means the Doctor's office has to process the paperwork to justify the charges to someone that wasn't there.  The insurance company has to pay someone to ensure the justification is correct, because they weren't there.  It has to pay for a building and filing cabinets and phones and cubicles, not only for the verifiers, but for the salesmen, and those that bill the patient for the coverage.  It has to pay for lawyers to make sure the paperwork is correct with the State.  And it has to charge the patient enough to pay for all of those costs, and to pay the Doctor for his time, and the costs of running the Doctor's office.

In effect, we have just doubled the number of paychecks and infrastructure it requires to pay for the Doctor's visit, just by adding the Health Insurance company to the mix.  And many will notice that their co-pay is very close to what the cost would have been otherwise.  Of course, we also "added jobs" to the equation, but there is still only one Doctor giving the care, and still only one Nurse checking vitals, and one receptionist helping to maximize efficiency in that care.

A sad reality is that many in America today believe that their best opportunity to "strike it rich," is through a lawsuit.  The lottery is high on the list as well, but business ownership is too low on that list.  "Medical malpractice" lawsuits are way too common, and combined with this belief that a lawsuit is the most likely means to riches, there are many frivolous lawsuits against Doctors and Insurance companies.  That's not to say that all are baseless, but the more common the lawsuit, and the more money awarded, or spent on a defense, or both, the higher the cost of insurance to protect the Doctor in the case, no matter how good he is.  The cost of that insurance becomes a part of the Doctor's Fee and is passed on to the patient in the cost of higher insurance premiums.

And then we have all these pills, that companies now advertise to the patient, on TV and patients now demand the magic pills from their Doctor.  It may be that each and every pill does exactly what the corporations claim, including the side effects, such as suicidal thoughts.  But, those pills require chemists, and scientists, and researchers, and laboratories to test them in.  They require test subjects, and then proof to the FDA that they are what they say they are.  All of those things cost money, and lots of it, and that's before it goes to production in a sanitary factory, or TV advertising.  Doctors can't know every pill made and the companies that make them pay a lot of money to ensure they do know their latest greatest.  They pay salesmen to woo the Doctor and educate them on the latest thing out.  The patient demands not only a prescription written by a doctor, but also "coverage" for the cost of the pills, and that adds time to the Doctor's billing as well as to the Insurance companies costs, which are again added to the costs of those premiums, while the co-pays likely cover the costs of actually manufacturing, and the rest has to cover the cost of all those middlemen. ...

There is MUCH more here, with irrefutable commonsense and FACTS.  Yes, I know that common sense and facts are frowned upon these days by the politicians who would rather we, the people, just meekly swallow this bitter pill called ObamaCare. 

I am seeing glimmers of hope that the patient (the American citizen) is waking from the ObamaCare coma.  My prescription is to share this column with all those patients who are still wavering and remind them that the *Doctor* does not always know best.  

In this case, America cannot afford the ill-conceived monstrosity that is Obama's UnAffordable Care Act.  My prescription?  Citizens MUST act, before the disease of "we are the government, and we are here to help you" renders the Republic terminal.

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