Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Doctors Don't Like It

I reported to you long ago that the doctors don't like this plan. Well the doctors are making their opinion loud and clear. Perhaps a lawsuit straight from those who's lives are going to be changed dramatically by a stroke of the pen.

Medical Society Files Lawsuit to Block Health Care Overhaul

First, do no harm. Second, sue the government.

With the president's ink barely dry on the health care overhaul's final fixes, a group of nearly 5,000 American physicians is filing suit to stop the mammoth new law dead in its tracks.

"I think this bill that passed threatens not only to destroy our freedom in medicine but to bankrupt the country," said Dr. Jane Orient, executive director of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons.

The Arizona-based medical coalition filed suit on March 26, arguing that congressional reforms illegally coerce individuals into buying insurance from private companies.

Starting in 2014, anyone who chooses not to buy health insurance faces a small federal penalty, but in 2016 the fine jumps to $695 a year per person or 2.5 percent of overall income, whichever is greater. That means that anyone earning more than $27,800 would be subject to increasing penalties, with a maximum fine of $2,085 per family.

Supporters of the law call it a simple tax meant to shore up coverage nationwide; but the AAPS says the mandate is an "unprecedented overreach" — an unconstitutional grab that rewards insurance companies and allows the federal government to seize private property in violation of the 5th Amendment.

Insurers "will have millions of new, unwilling customers that they wouldn't have gotten," said Orient, an internist based in Tuscon. "They're counting on getting all this new money."

Though legal challenges to the new law are popping up nationwide, the conservative-leaning AAPS is the only medical society to file suit against the health care package. The American Medical Association, the largest physicians' group in the U.S., supported the health care overhaul and lobbied on its behalf.

Orient says she hopes more groups will join her suit, and predicts a shortage of doctors as the medical community adjusts to the new law.

"We need to get back to the old-fashioned style of medicine where doctors worked for their patients and patients paid their doctors," she said.


We have only just begun to reap the nightmares that will come with the implementation of this healthcare bill. Nothing has been done to lower the cost, which is what Americans really needed. Plenty has been done to raise the cost Now they plan on taking more and penalizing you if you don't buy what they are selling. We can still get this bill stopped. We need to boot out of office everyone who forced this horrible bill upon us. Start preparing for elections and supporting real conservative candidates.

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Friday, March 26, 2010

How Are Your Health Dollars Spent

Since everyone is talking healthcare, why don't we look at how it breaks out.

Let's take the big slices, hospital care and Physician and Clinical Services. The size of these two slices make up 52% of the cost of healthcare. If we can find a small percentage of savings in these areas, we will have significant savings overall.

I pointed out a video when I wrote "The Real Reason Healthcare is so High". We have Illegals flooding our healthcare system. How many hospitals have closed or filed for bankruptcy due to the vast cost of providing Medical care to illegals. Once they are here we become obligated, so keeping them out should be a priority when discussing ways to cut the cost of healthcare.

Doctors and even some of their staff spend large sums of money on malpractice insurance. They lose time and effectiveness by practicing protective medicine as well as battle lawsuits and the large settlements that often result. Instant wealth opportunities and gold diggers are not foreign to any business activity but they are far more prevalent in the medical industry. Simply knowing that doctors have multi-million dollar malpractice policies makes them all the more ripe for the picking. These insurance bodies often settle for large sums to avoid long battles and vast jury awards that ultimately drive up the cost of insurance for all medical personnel.

Increasing the number of doctors would help make healthcare more accessible and perhaps more affordable. The current enrollment in medical schools have dropped and the caliber of student is also suffering. Gone are the days when medicine was a lucrative practice. There is more money and less risk in so many other fields that perhaps we need an incentive system to draw in quality candidates. I know when I was attending pre-med classes there wasn't anything motivating me to finish. In fact the opposite was often more common.

HMOs have radically changed the medical profession. Their formularies and reimbursement programs take control out of the patient and doctors hands and put it in the hands of bureaucrats. This system of healthcare management has focused the industry on cost instead of outcome. The goal of the doctor patient relationship was the health and well being of the patient. Under the HMO system the goals are based on uniformity instead of best health outcome. Patients have the impression that they should have it all given the high cost of the program, while insurances try to give them the minimum they feel they need leaving doctors in the middle to negotiate the end result or fail to be reimbursed for their efforts. The HMO system has created another problem. The co-pay system takes away any incentive for the patient to learn or do basic care. The medical facility is forced into a bad guy roll by denying some level of care.
Placing the price tag back out in plain sight and allowing the patient to use their money to buy what they need would restore the patient doctor relationship as well as contain costs. The doctor only naturally will perform to the buyers level of acceptance. Third party buyers such as insurance companies and government programs take the focus off the real issue that brought this group together in the first place. Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) are a great way to put things back in order. The Personal Medical Savings Account is a far superior method for restoring some of the accountability back into the system. If someone had to actually pay for the requested service even knowing they would be reimbursed for a qualified medical visit, they would spend some time verifying and learning how to qualify. If there was the possibility that they would foot the bill they would be absolutely sure they needed to go. On the flip side if the medical facility was paid by the patient and not some formulary centered third party, they would be more prone to quality customer service. The incentive to please and help the patient would be returned to the health care industry. It would also be easier to focus on care when only patients with real needs came, hence education.

Once again a simple review of the problems with healthcare and its cost help us find ways to improve the system without having to resort to something as drastic as Obamacare. I recently wrote every senator to give them these very suggestions before they voted for Obamacare. I still haven't received a response from anyone. They sent me a generic thanks for writing letter.

The answer isn't bigger government. Looks like many got this test question wrong and failed America. It is time we a least shrunk government by every name on the "yes" side of Obamacare.

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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Has Failed Education Caused America To Fail

Yes I know it is 40 minutes. It is worth it.

Are You Ready to Start the Debate?

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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

They Brought You Obamacare Without Any Understanding Of Insurance

They don't know what they voted for because no one read the 2600 pages. Now they make a list of so called benefits of the plan and fail to recognize the ultimate outcome. Here is an article that gives you the benefits with a brief explanation

The Top Ten ‘Benefits,’ Seven of Which Aren’t [Avik S. A. Roy]
Democrats, such as Sen. Dick Durbin (D., Ill.), say they are eager to campaign against Republicans who seek to repeal their health-care legislation. "The Republicans will have to stand up and say we want to repeal those things and I think that will be hard, because people will begin to realize these are commonsense changes," said Durbin.

Indeed, as Grace-Marie Turner mentioned on these pages, Democrats have posted a list of the "Top Ten Immediate Benefits" that they argue that individuals will gain from the legislation.

But there is no such thing as a free lunch, and many of these "benefits" are accompanied by unmentioned costs. If you require that every restaurant serve Kobe beef instead of USDA Choice, diners might see that as a "benefit" — until their waiter gives them the check.

Let's go through the Democrats' top ten, point-by-point:

Prohibit pre-existing condition exclusions for children in all new plans. This will increase the cost of insurance for everyone else. Net negative.

Provide immediate access to insurance for uninsured Americans who are uninsured because of a pre-existing condition through a temporary high-risk pool. High-risk pools are a good way to improve coverage of those with pre-existing conditions, which is why John McCain advocated them in the 2008 Presidential campaign. Unfortunately, the Democratic bill doesn't do enough to make them feasible. Net neutral to positive.

Prohibit dropping people from coverage when they get sick in all individual plans. Insurers shouldn't drop people when they get sick, unless they have an extremely good reason, such as misrepresentation of a pre-existing condition. The onus should be on insurance companies, therefore, to investigate these things up front before taking consumers' money. This mandate will have the side effect of making applications for insurance more onerous. Net positive.

Lower seniors' prescription-drug prices by beginning to close the donut hole. As a flat-out subsidy, yes, this will appear to seniors to be a straightforward benefit. But it is accompanied by a far larger cut: the obliteration of Medicare Advantage. Net negative.

Offer tax credits to small businesses to purchase coverage. The tax credits will not be enough to compensate for two things: (1) an Obamacare-driven acceleration in the rise of the cost of health insurance; (2) the employer mandate, which requires that any small business with more than 50 employees provide health insurance to every employee or pay a fine equal to $2,000 multiplied by the entire number of employees in that company. Net negative.

Eliminate lifetime limits and restrictive annual limits on benefits in all plans. Yet another mandated "benefit" that will drive up the cost of health insurance. Net negative.

Require plans to cover an enrollee's dependent children until age 26. See #7, though if this provision increases the number of young people with health insurance, it could improve the risk pool and have a salutary effect on insurance costs. Net neutral to positive.

Require new plans to cover preventive services and immunizations without cost-sharing. See #7. Another clumsy mandate that will drive up the cost of insurance. Most plans already encourage prevention — but prevention has no impact on long-term health care costs, since we all have to eventually die of something. Net negative.

Ensure consumers have access to an effective internal and external appeals process to appeal new insurance plan decisions. Yeah, except that a new government agency, the Independent Medicare Advisory Board, is now empowered to bar reimbursement for any insurance claims it deems fit. And its decisions, enacted by unelected bureaucrats, can't even be appealed by Congress, let alone consumers. We know from experience that once Medicare stops reimbursing for something, private insurers usually follow. Net negative.

Require premium rebates to enrollees from insurers with high administrative expenditures and require public disclosure of the percent of premiums applied to overhead costs. Once again, this is a mandate that will only drive up insurance costs. If an insurer is required to spend 85 percent (say $850 of every $1,000) of premiums on patient care (hence $150 in "overhead"), but the company needs to spend $200 on administrative costs to ensure that its plans run effectively, they will simply raise premiums by $333 in order to ensure that the percentage of premiums spent on overhead remains the same. Net negative.

So, of the Democrats' top ten "benefits," seven have direct, opposing costs of an even greater magnitude. The remaining three provisions, if we're lucky, might work out. But we haven't even gotten started with all of the other mandates and tax increases in the law for which there are no upsides.

The Democrats' list demonstrates that we have a long way to go before our political class understands the very basics of how insurance works. One of the projects of conservatism over the next few years must be to rectify this problem.

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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Healthcare Reminder

I know you haven't seen or heard enough about healthcare so I thought that this video may be a nice reminder. John has such a great way of laying it all out so that it makes sense.

They are determined to force through healthcare. Maybe it is your voice that will be the straw that breaks the camel's back of Obamacare. Use the contact link on the side bar to do just that.


Friday, March 12, 2010

Is The Light On

Seems we have forgotten what makes this country different and ultimately great. We are a nation of laws. Every law is a building block that secures and upholds our nation.

While other nations are nations of men. Whoever is in power, determines the direction the wind blows. There is never a moment of security or consistency to base an economy on and corruption is normal business of state.

Once the foot size of the new king changed the standards of everything in a nation. What they liked and didn't like dictated what was bought, sold and raised. Many nations still function under a government system that mimics these kinds of crazy changes. If that wasn't bad enough, the greed that consumes some in power often reduces a nation to ruin.

This lack of understanding of what makes our nation great, makes so called do-gooders think ignoring a law here and there will make things better. Instead we water down what makes the country great and serve to make it what all the other nations are. The very compassion they are so proud of serves to destroy the only hope and security that is longed for.

Some come to get what we have but fail to recognize the true essence of our greatness. We are not great because of the dollar, it is only a symptom of why we are great. We are not great because of our many universities and tech schools, who help us on our quest for knowledge. We are not great because of our technology, it only serves to strengthen our ideas. We have achieved greatness through consistent laws that secure freedom. The laws have been laid down one by one each securely anchored to the constitution that serves as the bedrock to the entire structure.

Freedom, secured by our constitution and Bill of Rights, gave every individual opportunity to dream and to set a path aimed at securing that dream. Freedom offers everyone the opportunity to succeed of fail and reap what ever comes of those choices. Greatness came by individuals taking risks in their pursuit of happiness.

If we wish to stay free, we need to shake off nannyism. The weight of government will suppress freedom. Government intervention and regulation has robbed us of much of our freedom. The choices of a free person have been constantly reduced with good intentions. Their desire to help has slowly squashed the life out of those they seek to save.

America is slipping to third world status before our eyes, and those who we have chosen to represent us, have no idea what this nation stands for or is about. We are the beacon on the hill but the light is growing ever dimmer.

Suggested Reading for those who represent us.
The Constitution
The Bill of Rights
Supreme Court Cases Since Birth of Our Nation

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Saturday, March 06, 2010

Big Tent Thinking

Seems everyone is talking about inclusiveness. Nobody wants to be left out. I was once in a church that decided to clean up their member directory. They removed all the people who were not attending at least once a month. Suddenly people came out of the woodwork mad that they were not included. They acted like the church had done some horrible act by excluding their names from the directory.

We see the big tent approach being heavily pushed in the political area. Rather then take a strong stand on an issue, which may serve to shrink the tent. We see wishy washy, limp positions on nearly all issues. With both parties doing their best and worst to draw in the crowds they instead are starting to scare them off. Suddenly, nobody wants to belong to a less then exclusive club. People are suddenly aware of the fact that pleasing everyone pleases no one and the result is a large crowd who stand for nothing.

The Big Tent idea has started to permeate into business life as well. During a recession, this looks like a good idea but will often end in disaster. Most businesses are scrambling for sales in order to stay in business. They are so focused on making the next sale that they often push out to the edges of their ability just to get that next contract. Soon they find themselves doing jobs barely in the possible range and often taking losses due to this lack of expertise.

Knowing your niche market and focusing on what you do best is the way to stay in business. Doing what you do best means doing it with maximum outcome for both you and your client. Doing what you do best means getting referrals and staying in business.

Doing what you do best also means doing it more competitively. You are confident in your costs and turn times and are therefore confident on negotiating the price. Making money or breaking even is almost guaranteed. Once again staying in business means covering the costs and satisfying the customers.

The Big Tent approach means doing everything for everyone in order to never turn a customer away. This approach will often give less then ideal results and start turning customers off rather then making them more loyal. Small amounts of dissatisfaction will lesson referrals and reduce confidence in the customer getting a job well done. Instead of endearing the customer to you, you are slowly driving them off. A significant failure may result in a loss of more then just this customer. The word gets out.

Stay in business by doing the business that you do best.

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