Many Americans these days keep chanting that Healthcare is a “right”, but lets really look at that. Have these Americans considered what “rights” will be taken away with a Government controlled Healthcare plan?
Here’s a short list;
NO “right” to treatment, the Government will decide if you get treatment, or you’re expendable.
NO “right” to choose your own Doctor, even if you pay cash, the Government will decide.
NO “right” to see a Doctor immediately if you are sick.
NO “right” to a Second Opinion, because the Government obviously knows what best for you.
Now, that said, I know that I’m going to get the comments from the above statement about how some people on HMO’s don’t have any rights now, but, that is a misconception. HMO’s also known as Health Maintenance Organization in their original conception was great plans, key word here, “Original Conception”. HMO’s were created to help you maintain your health, not to fix your health, hence the word “Maintenance” and therefore they were and still remain the most cost-effective policies in the market. Even with an HMO you still have the “right” to treatment, you still have the “right” to go to another Doctor and pay cash, you still have the “right” to be seen when you are sick, and you still have the “right” to a second opinion. So to say that you have a “right” or will have a “right” under this new proposed Government plan is really a misconception in itself along with many other misconceptions.
Misconception # 1
You will still have the right to your own Private Health Insurance
Not exactly, on Page 16 of the just released Healthcare bill under the header of “Protecting The Choice To Keep Current Coverage,” the “Limitation On New Enrollment” section of the bill clearly states:
“Except as provided in this paragraph, the individual health insurance issuer offering such coverage does not enroll any individual in such coverage if the first effective date of coverage is on or after the first day” of the year the legislation becomes law.”
So in other words, yes, you can keep your coverage, just as promised right? Well, not really, if you have current private coverage you won’t be able to change it, and if you leave a company and become self employed you won’t be able to buy Private Coverage. So technically, yes, as long as you can keep your coverage in place you will have it, and you can hope that your Private Carrier does not go out of business. Which leads to the next misconception about how the Health Insurance Industry will become more competitive.
Misconception # 2
The Insurance companies will have to be more competitive once a Government plan is in place.
More competitive or insolvent? Back in April of this year the nonpartisan Lewin Group estimated that 120 Million or more Americans could lose their group coverage and end up on a Government plan. So,
if that’s the case, you do the math, that would leave Private Carriers with 50 Million less customers and could cause, as VP John Shelis of Lewin Group put it, the market to”fizzle out altogether”.
We are now seeing that this bill will actually kill the private market for private coverage by not allowing any new policies to be written once it becomes law, so how is that making the Private Carriers become more competitive? This bill is also likely to kill off the HSA’s, a goal many in D.C. have had for years. They have wanted for a long time to crush this alternative because it gives you as a consumer too much control over your own healthcare.
Misconception # 3
There are 48 Million Uninsured because they can’t afford Health Insurance
This is pure fallacy, David and June O’Neill of the Employment Policies Institute puts it into perspective.
• The O’Neill’s classified the uninsured in two categories: the “involuntarily” uninsured, which are the ones that are “likely unable to afford” coverage; and then the “voluntarily” uninsured, 18- to 64-year-olds who have incomes at or above 2.5 times the poverty line and are “likely have the means to obtain health care coverage.” Here’s the numbers – line by line;
• 43% of the 46 million, belong to the voluntarily uninsured group.
That then leaves 27 million Americans who aren’t covered because of affordability.
Now, here’s the kicker…
• One-third of those who are” involuntarily uninsured” are high school dropouts; only 7% of the privately insured didn’t graduate.
• A “disproportionately large” portion — almost 52% — of the involuntarily uninsured are young, 18 to 34.
• Immigrants make up a third of the involuntarily uninsured. (That’s not an “uninsured American” now is it?)
• Almost half of those the O’Neill’s placed in the involuntary column are single and childless.
What people don’t understand is that lacking insurance is not the same as lacking access to care. The uninsured do receive treatment, spending roughly 40% of the amount spent on health care by insured Americans each year. So given these statistics, I ask you do these number’s make a compelling case for D.C. to seize control of 18% of our economy just to make sure a small part of the population has medical insurance?
Misconception # 4
Americans are very unhappy with there current Health Insurance Coverage
Another untruth, according to a recent Rasmussen poll, “Seventy percent (70%) of Americans with health insurance rate their coverage as good or excellent. Twenty-three percent (23%) say their insurance coverage is fair, and six percent (6%) rate it as poor, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey. Overall, including those without insurance, 62% rate the health care they receive as good or excellent, while eight percent (8%) say it’s poor. For Americans with health insurance, satisfaction is a bit higher: 70% say their health care is good or excellent, while just four percent (4%) view it as poor.”
In summary, if you think the unemployment rate is high now, we haven’t even discussed the potential loss of jobs in the actual health care industry. With Insurance companies losing 50 Million customers as shown by the Lewin group, they will have to lay off employees. Then hospitals will lay off more staff because of lack of reimbursement or not enough reimbursement from the government plan. Next Physicians will retire in droves because they simply cannot operate in a negative business environment (meaning they cannot work for free!), and then who will want to become a Doctor to get paid so little.
Public opinion surveys such as Gallup have consistently shown that most Americans consider access and cost to be paramount in problems facing the system. Perversely, the primary changes that the new Healthcare Reform will bring to you and your family is reduced access to care and significant increases in cost via your tax dollars.
Oh by the way that was only getting to page 16 in the new Healthcare bill, there are still 1002 pages to go.
Call, fax or write your Congressional Representative today and tell them to read all one thousand pages plus of the bill and then say “NO” to “Less Care”, “Less Choice”, “Less Quality” for more of YOUR tax dollars. Tell them to go back to the drawing board and stop punishing the working class, yes the system needs to be reworked but it is not broken and like my Grandfather always said, “Don’t fix it if it ain’t broke”. If Congress wants an example of a broken system they only need to cross the border to our northern neighbor, after all Canadians cross the border all the time to come to American for better Healthcare. But with the new “Healthcare Reform” they won’t be doing that now will they, once again another blow to the American economy, I digress.
Sources of Data: Gallup Poll, Rasmussen Poll, Lewin Group and Employment Policies Institute
BreeLee Johnston is the founder of United American Tea Party which is a Chapter of Just Patriots Inc in St. Johns County. She is a member of the National Leadership Council of Tea Party Patriots as well as the Florida Coordinator for ICaucus.org and contributes a regular guest editorial to Historic City News.