Health Care Fairy Tales PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Dr. George Watson, D.O.   
Tuesday, 01 May 2012 13:46

Retired Dr. Bill Roy proved again why he is a former Congressman from Kansas in a recent op-ed “GOP Solutions for Health Care Are Fairy Tales”.

The correct statement is, “Both Democrat and Republican solutions for health care are fairy tales.” They are fairy tales, and they are all un-Constitutional.

As would-be reformers generally do, Roy tells an emotional story. His example is an 11-year-old girl in Tarzana, California, with a bill for $4,852 for an emergency room visit for a stomach ache.

Roy laments, “This young lady’s dad had lost his job at a movie studio. Desperate for some coverage, he chose to buy about all the health insurance he could afford, a $5,000 deductible policy.”

Then Roy reports, “But the doctor ordered all kinds of diagnostic blood work at all kinds of unrevealed prices.”

Roy says, “There’s plenty to learn about this experience.” He says, “We’re overcharged, over-diagnosed, and over-treated.” He adds, “The free market absolutely doesn’t work in medical care.” And he concludes, “Finally, we cannot run a system built on private, for-profit health insurers with billionaire CEOs.”

And then Roy asks, “How long are movement conservatives going to insist on rationing health care by costs, while thousands die?”

Let’s start with Roy’s absurd statement, “The free market absolutely doesn’t work in medical care.” The fact is, the free market has not had a chance to work in medical care, because of the crooked, nit-wit schemes of politicians that think the way Roy does. If the parents had taken the little girl to a private physician (one who contracts directly with the patient and has no insurance or government contracts), the bill could have been $45 for lab work, $400 for an abdominal CT scan, and $75 for the office visit—payable by cash, check, or credit, the same way people pay for their cell phones, car payments, and car insurance payments.

Dr. Roy is correct in stating that in medicine we do have “all kinds of unrevealed prices.” That’s because of hospitals contracting with insurance companies and government—as a result of previous legislation. For example, the McCarran-Ferguson Act of 1946 exempts the business of insurance from anti-trust legislation. Lyndon Johnson’s fairy-tale Great Society legislation of 1965 poured trillions of dollars into “fighting poverty,” as through Medicaid, which also results in hospitals shifting costs to private patients like this little girl. Then there was Nixon’s HMO Act of 1974, requiring employers to offer plans that feature secret agreements with “providers.”

A simple solution would be to require insurance companies to list what they will pay for certain procedures. Then the hospitals and doctors can charge fair prices. If Roy thinks patients can’t make decisions for themselves, he probably thinks they can’t read the menu in a restaurant, or they can’t decide which of the latest cell phones they want or need.

Roy’s lament, “this young lady’s dad had lost his job (and insurance)” is another consequence of congressional malpractice, the fraudulently named Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). If the liars had written the law to do what the name implies, the girl’s father could still have had his insurance from employment, because he would have owned it, just like he owns his car and homeowner’s insurance.

Roy’s question, “How long are movement conservatives going to insist on rationing health care by costs, while thousands die?” betrays the fact that he has not read the fraudulently named Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), under which an appointed board would ration health care by costs (Quality Adjusted Remaining Years--QuARY). This Act has no patient protection, and everyone knows it is not affordable. The Congressional Budget Office now estimates that it will cost $1.76 trillion, and Sen. Jeff Sessions says he has found $17 trillion in long-term costs.

The real questions are, “Who should determine the prices—the free market, or government bureaucrats and their cronies?” and “Who should decide what care a patient should have—the patient and her family, or the PPACA rationing board?”


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