The American public is being scammed by the endless brouhaha concerning Obamacare and the impending government shutdown. Precious little of what is being reported by the mainstream media and the government is the truth. In order for you, the citizen, to be firmly grounded in reality, you must summarily reject most of what you hear and read concerning these two issues.
The Market Ticker has provided the straight scoop on the government's Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, and the looming shutdown of part of the federal government. A summary of the real truth is as follows.
First, a shutdown of the government is not the end of the world. Essential government services will continue as usual. The military will protect the country as always. Social Security checks for the elderly will be delivered and deposited as normal. Even the Postal Service will function uninterrupted.
The entire government will not and has never shut down entirely. Even in non-essential services, a skeleton crew of employees will keep those departments running. And even if such departments were to shut down completely, Congress has the power to contract with private businesses and entities to provide those services until the budget stalemate is resolved.
Second, a partial government shutdown is actually a good thing, very good in fact. We are currently spending money we do not have to the tune of a $17 trillion debt (over $100 trillion if you count unfunded liabilities such as Social Security and Medicare). Given that Congress and the president refuse to do anything that actually reduces the debt, a partial shutdown is a Godsend. Billions of dollars will be saved.
Government employees and the mainstream media like to paint a doomsday picture of a shutdown by citing how much money it will cost the government to shut down. This is pure horse ca ca. A shutdown means the government saves money because the spending that goes on in those particular departments will cease. The less government does, the better. But the propagandists always tell only one side of the story -- how much it costs to shut down. They never report how much money is saved in a shutdown, which far exceeds the costs of shutting down.
Third, the healthcare system that exists now, in addition to the way it will exist after the full implementation of Obamacare, is designed to bankrupt most people unless they are multibillionaires or have health insurance. Government regulations have made it that way. And health insurance providers are a key component of the scam.
If the insurance industry would go away for all except major catastrophic policies, and doctors, hospitals, and patients were forced to pay for or provide health services according to free market principles, the price would come down drastically. As The Market Ticker correctly notes, if it costs $100,000 for a major surgical procedure, and if most patients had no insurance, one of two things would happen. Either no one would get the procedure, which would be catastrophic for doctors, hospitals, and patients, or the price would come down enough so that most people could afford it. This is the way the market works. It is a law of simple economics. And everybody wins. Doctors and hospitals make more money because more people can afford the procedures. Patients win because they can get what was once hyper-expensive procedures at costs they can afford.
The reason the costs for such things do not come down but skyrocket is that government policy and the insurance industry have guaranteed payment whether the patient pays or not. That guarantee means prices go up, up, and away. So-called "universal healthcare" does nothing to correct the problem at its core due to its mandate that all services be offered regardless of the ability of the patient to pay and regardless of how expensive it is to offer the procedure. Thus, there is absolutely no incentive to reduce the costs to make them affordable for the average person.
Many protest that this free market approach to healthcare would mean massive denials of care to a large portion of the population. You mean, like Obamacare will do through its death panels? The answer is no. If healthcare services are offered on the free market the price would come down so that most could afford it. And it benefits the doctors and hospitals because the more people they can get in and offer the procedures to, the more money they make. Offering services to as many people as they can is to their benefit, a very different concept from health insurance, which, when you think about it, benefits providers only to the degree that people are denied care. This will be true for Obamacare as well. The same goes for a single payer government system. Money is made only when costly procedures are denied to people who cannot afford to pay. Thus, insurance companies have an enormous economic incentive to deny care to as many as they can.
Fourth, another dirty little secret nobody bothers to report about Obamacare is that the so-called "dozens of choices" citizens will have in choosing providers is a myth. The real truth is that although dozens of companies will offer plans that are compliant with Obamacare, the individual citizen will have only one choice. Why? Because a tiny, unreported component of the Obamacare law states that citizens will only be able to buy coverage from a company that agrees to sell their policies in their own county.
You read that right. Not in your state but your county. Let's say, for example, that in your state four major insurance companies will offer policies consistent with Obamacare, and insurance company A is the best of the bunch and the most affordable. If insurance company A decides that offering their plan in your county is not to their benefit, then you cannot buy a policy from insurance company A. And suppose insurance companies B and C also decide that it is not feasible to them to offer plans in your county, then they are not going to be available to you, either. That leaves company D. It is the highest priced plan of the four, and the services they offer for that higher price carry an out of pocket deductible of $2,000. You are stuck with company D because in your particular county they are the only game in town.
This is what Pelosi, Reid, and Obama foisted upon you in the dead of night one dark day in 2009. And this is why Obamacare needs to go even if it means shutting down the government for a year and firing 75 percent of government employees who feed on taxpayers like leeches.
My latest entry is now posted on my blog in the popular series, Musings After Midnight, titled, "The Stealth War."
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