Is it possible that our government is planning to render a segment of our population completely and totally expendable?
While it seems almost inconceivable, one need only consider the benefits of a reduced population of aging Americans:
- reduction in the payout obligations of Social Security;
- reduction in job loss and the creation of more job opportunities for younger citizens;
- a significant reduction in costs for the largest consumer segment of medical services; and
- the elimination of a segment of the population that skews conservative and Republican.
Why I am suspicious …
Other than being a paranoid member of the target audience for reduced medical services, I am becoming highly suspicious of President Obama’s healthcare initiative which:
- purports to extend coverage to millions of people while doing little or nothing to increase facilities or doctors;
- requires a massive database to track the most intimate details of one’s life without a formalized right to privacy and database safeguards; and
- depends heavily on the use of “best practices” to guide medical services covered by the government.
Best practices for whom?
Unfortunately, the treatment of aging Americans often results in poorer outcomes when compared to a younger and healthier audience. Based on this scenario, either healthcare will be rationed or an aging population will be decimated by the denial of “last chance” procedures, drugs and other life-prolonging services based on this bureaucratic “best practices” protocol.
It is amazing to me that you do not hear the Obama Administration talking about the cost reductions that would occur by simply subsidizing the manufacture of more high-technology scanning devices and making them available to more people, thus driving down the per-unit costs of service. Not only would this be logical, the real problem is that it would also cut into the significant profits accruing to those that manufacture the devices and offer services to the general public.
Enter the lobbyists …
There is no doubt in my mind that the lobbyists for the medical profession, drug companies and insurance companies are pouring multiple millions of dollars into the upcoming campaigns of legislators fearfully facing the upcoming 2010 election cycle. All in an attempt to influence healthcare legislation and preserve their own “carve outs,” exemptions and niche monopolies.
Inherent conflict of interests …
To my way of thinking, there are at least two inherent conflicts of interest involving healthcare that must be addressed before any real reform of the healthcare system can be offered to the American people.
First, the inherent conflict of enabling legislation crafted and passed by those who have forsaken their oaths of office to represent their constituents and who have sold out their votes to the special interests.
Second, the inherent conflict of interest when large insurance companies and medical groups are placed in charge of an individual’s healthcare are offered incentive bonuses to reduce overall costs without a corresponding reduction in service levels. That is, they are incentivized to meet their bonus goals by denying services to those who may desperately require such medical assistances.
Impact on Doctor-Patient relationships …
I am not saying that your individual doctor may not be a caring and compassionate individual or a consummate professional, but I am questioning is how thorough he can be in dealing with an individual patient on a time schedule prescribed by his managers?
Over the years I have been blessed with the ability to interact with some world-class doctors in a world-class facility. I have a fair amount of medical knowledge, probably too much for my own peace of mind, garnered by reading, observing and caring for family members. I know what quality medical care looks like and am appalled by some of the care being meted out by medical groups that whose efficiencies are more conditioned to earning executive bonuses and meeting goals than they are for providing quality healthcare at an affordable price.
Years ago, it would have been inconceivable that a patient needed to drive at least three miles to obtain a blood draw at a “drawing station” which then forwarded the blood over 70 miles away to a company laboratory. But that seems to be the reality if you do not have insurance willing to use a closer and more reasonable lab.
Enter the unions …
There is no secret that I am not a fan of unions. It is an anathema to me to reward seniority over performance and to demand greater pay and benefits for less work. Not to mention onerous work rules which pad the payrolls and destroy any semblance of fair competition in the real world. Therefore, it is with great disgust that I saw a piece of proposed healthcare legislation that explicitly exempted the unions from its provisions. I assume my theory that the politicians may have found a way to increase union membership in return for legislative campaign donations and support might be valid. Especially if you must, of necessity, become a dues-paying member of a union to receive quality healthcare at a pre-negotiated and affordable price.
Solutions require political action …
We need to remove corrupt and complacent politicians from the equation, lessen the impact of bonus-hungry insurance company executives and restore a greater measure of control to physician/administrators who understand the delivery of quality healthcare.
My solution is to remind legislators who they work for. And in my humble opinion, this can be done at the ballot box simply by throwing the bastards out in 2010– all of them and on both sides of the aisle. And again in 2012!
OneCitizenSpeaking: Saying out loud what you may be thinking …
Quote of the day: “The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions, that I wish it always to be kept alive.” - Thomas Jefferson
The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane. -- Marcus Aurelius
“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!
“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw
“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”
“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS "The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius “A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell “Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt." (The people gladly believe what they wish to.) ~Julius Caesar “Describing the problem is quite different from knowing the solution. Except in politics." ~ OCS
“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS
"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius
“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell
“Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt." (The people gladly believe what they wish to.) ~Julius Caesar
“Describing the problem is quite different from knowing the solution. Except in politics." ~ OCS