There’s a true story of a man who recently passed away and left a small estate to be dealt with by his children. One of his children was made trustee via a living trust and held the responsibility of taking care of all taxes, utility bills, and maintenance on several properties. The father left an inadequate balance in his checking account to cover these expenses over the duration of the estate proceedings (some items were to be run through the probate process), and the child/trustee was soon forced to dip into his own resources since none of his siblings were willing to contribute to the effort; they were simply crying out for their share of the booty. Undoubtedly, this is a familiar story.
Since no one was living the father’s house, and with the onset of seasonal warming, the trustee opted to have the utilities “cut off” by the related suppliers. Water service was discontinued, gas supplies were terminated, and the electricity was turned off. The effort reduced the cash outlay and financial burden of the chosen trustee. All efforts were completed successfully and the financial obligations were effectively reduced.
In contacting the city to turn off the water the trustee was given a specific time to be at the house. The water department was a bit late in arriving and gave “a broken water main” as their reason; certainly justifiable. The water shutoff was completed in about three minutes.
The efficiency of local government officials is the direct result of the absence of the layers of bureaucracy that insulate federal officials from their constituents. It’s far easier to confront and chastise the mayor of a small town than it is to confront and chastise the President of the United States.
The gas company (DTE) gave a four hour time span, between 8 am and 12 noon forcing the trustee to be available at the house for that duration; no explanation given as to why he couldn’t be notified when the workers were on their way (the trustee lives only minutes away). The actual shutoff was completed, including the removal of the meter, in approximately five minutes.
The electric company (also DTE) rules were even more unreasonable. They required the trustee to be available from 8 am to 4 pm on the assigned day. Under these circumstances, a person is required to take a full day off from work, thereby relinquishing an entire day’s pay, in order to be available since the utilities only make these changes during “normal business hours.” Turning off the electricity was completed, including conversation with the worker, in about one minute. That means eight hours sacrificed for a minute’s work.
Both gas and electric services are billed through DTE (in effect, a monopoly), and they wouldn’t send out one person or team to handle both tasks at the same time. By all appearances it is not the policy for DTE to extend to customers the courtesy of informing them of a pending arrival either. It seems this is standard practice for the utility companies in Wayne County and it seems there’s nothing we can do to change this practice.
The trustee in the story recently enjoyed the pleasure of having Best Buy deliver a new television to his home. As per Best Buy policy, a two hour time span was established and the team delivering the television called to notify the trustee of their arrival “within the next twenty minutes.”
Best Buy, knowing they’re in competition with other retail outlets, does all it can to please its customers with the intent of keeping their business. Not so DTE. They know they’re the only game in town and seem to take pleasure in making the lives of their customers, shall we say, “difficult.”
The point of this discussion is that we’re now facing an entirely revamped health care system in this country. The way the new plan is structured, all the existing health insurance providers will, over time, be “excused” from doing business, leaving only the federal government as the “single payer system” so beloved of President Obama, who won Wayne County by a three to one margin in 2008.
“Single payer” can be easily translated to mean a “government run monopoly.”
All rules and regulations set forth in the new law will be determined by a “Commissioner” who will decide how all insurers will provide coverage, what that coverage will include, and what the premiums will cost among other things. The premiums to be paid by the insured will be arranged to fall short of the “Commissioner determined”, mandatory coverage, and will subsequently run private insurers out of business. Text of the new law can be found here; search for the term “Commissioner.”
Again, the way the new law is structured, all existing health insurance providers will be pushed out of the market leaving only the government’s monopoly.
A recent article by Michelle Malkin is brought to mind in which she shares excerpts from emails she has received from several newly minted, government-trained census workers. The gist of the emails reveals how the workers were encouraged by supervisors “not to be so productive and efficient”, but to “slow down”, “stall”, “waste time”, and “milk the system.” One email relates: “I was told not to be so darned efficient or else I’d be cut!”
Once the federal government has effectively run private health insurers out of the market, this same attitude of “slow down” and “take your time” will inevitably run rampant throughout the entire government run health care system; think Secretary of State offices, or Social Security offices.
It is but a small step from government run health insurance to government run health care delivery.
We’ll see doctors and nurses being “encouraged” to “slow down” and “not be so efficient.” Can you imagine a heart surgeon being told “not to be so darned efficient or else [they’ll] be cut!”
Patients will be informed of their papers being out of order and will be instructed to return at a later date.
Of course, the slowdown will be explained away in the interest of holding down costs; fewer patients treated results in fewer billings to the government and subsequently lowered costs. Some might call this “rationing.”
Like DTE, the federal government will have all Americans at their mercy. The “choice and competition” touted by this President will be gone. This is the desired goal; control of the people by the government.
This is what the voters of Wayne County chose in 2008. Good choice.