Leftist Lexicon Word of the Week

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You may not know it yet, but we have a medical emergency in America. That’s right, people all across the fruited plain (where they don’t grow many fruits) are spending their way into bankruptcy because health care costs are too high! The elderly are having to choose between food and medicine! If only there were a solution that would make health care affordable…

Well, the Left says it has just a solution, a little something the kids like to call Medicare For All. In theory, it would cut costs, cover everyone, and be more effective and efficient than private practices. Given the Left’s fondness for big government solutions to problems they usually invent to justify their big government solutions, I’m skeptical. But, let’s give Medicare For All a fair shake.

And by “fair shake,” I mean “the mockery it so richly deserves.”

Medicare For All

What the Left thinks it means – single payer universal health care that will help people who cannot help themselves

What it really means – making health care like the DMV

The idea behind Medicare For All seems to make sense on the surface. If it works as intended, it would save people money, ensure coverage for the widest swath of the population, and be at least somewhat competitive with private health care insurance and care. Yeah, that’s a pretty big “if.” In modern history, anytime government has gotten involved in what is seen to be a public need, it usually winds up being worse off for the people it (allegedly) tries to help.

The most obvious example of this is Obamacare, which was intended to be a half-measure towards Medicare For All. Although many received better options, many others had their policies cancelled or require more money to use. And the funny thing? Actual care didn’t change, only the cost of it did.

This goes back to a common trick the Left uses when discussing health matters: conflating health care with health insurance. Although many use these terms interchangeably, they are quite different. If you cut yourself and use a bandage to stop the bleeding, that’s health care and, unless you’re the type to file a medical claim for a cut, insurance doesn’t get involved. The converse is also true. You can have health insurance without ever needing care. The insurance is there in case you do need care. Nothing like a little semantic trickery to muddy the rhetorical waters, huh?

Medicare For All uses a similar tack. This time, though, instead of paying for some of the people who can’t afford health insurance, you’ll be paying for all of the people who can’t afford health insurance. And in exchange, you get…well, that’s the sticky part. Unless you go on Medicare For All, you get nothing in return. Not a tax deduction for taking on a few million new dependents. Not an offer to chip in for household bills. Not even a thank you card. You’ll just be expected to pay for it.

But at least those greedy insurance companies won’t be able to deny claims, right? Welllll…yes and no. Medicare For All will take the insurance companies out of the equation, but there is a dirty little secret the Left doesn’t want you to know. Do you know who denies the most medical claims in the country? Which member of Big Insurance causes the most grief in this area? The big bad monster that rejects the most insurance claims is…the federal government.

Medicare, to be precise. You know, the same Medicare the Left wants everyone on?

And it gets better. Of those denials, up to 75% are overturned on appeal. So, not only does Medicare deny more claims, but they waste time and money in the process by inaccurately denying claims and then having to deal with appeals. Private insurance companies can’t get away with that because they would lose customers, but with Medicare For All, there will always be a market, no matter how many times they screw up.

As far as better care is concerned, that’s hit or miss. Look at the VA system for an example of government-run health care. Some VA facilities are great, and others leave a lot to be desired (like health care). It’s this inconsistency that should bother people. This isn’t Wheel of Diagnoses here, folks. If you need health care, you want to at least feel like your care provider has something on the ball. In private practice, if you can’t consistently do your job right, you’ll go out of business. Medicare might be one of the last things that exist after a nuclear holocaust, along with roaches, Twinkies, and what’s left of Cher’s plastic surgery.

So, are you convinced Medicare For All is a bad idea yet? If so, great. If you’re still not convinced, let me make one final appeal to your reason. For as good as you think single payer government run health care/health insurance is, the two biggest flaws it has are 1) its existence requires people to continue to pay into it, even if it’s against their will and/or knowledge, and 2) the results aren’t worth the cost.

On the first point, you are literally taking money from people through force and deceit. (Notice I am literally using literally correctly.) If you or I would do that (the force and deceit part, not the use of literally), we would rightly be charged with theft. Even if the federal government is doing it, it’s still morally wrong to force or fool people to part with their money, especially when the outcome isn’t as cut and dried as you think it is.

On the second point, as much as you think Medicare For All will drive down costs, it won’t. Without competition, there will be no need for Medicare to do things better and faster. You will get what they give you, and you will have to like it. Reminds me of the health center during my undergraduate years. Their solution was to take a green pill and, if that didn’t work, take another one. Then, there is the possibility the government will cut off your care altogether if they don’t think it will be worth it. During the Obamacare debates, there was talk of “death panels” which the Left denied were in there. Yet, even in the health care models the Left loves to use, there is managed care, which is basically death panels. If a bunch of medically untrained bureaucrats determine your life isn’t worth saving, you’re left to die.

Wait…doesn’t that run counter to your beliefs about abortion being between a mother and her doctor?

In either case, Medicare For All isn’t a good fix for what ails our country’s health care system. It’s not even a bad fix, really. Try a monumentally broken fix. If you want to lower costs, help people get health insurance, and prevent all the bad stuff the Left says is happening now, there is one way for the federal government to do it.

Get the Hell out of the way!

Pre-Existing Conditions

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Pre-existing conditions are not covered by insurance. And they shouldn’t be either.

Please tell me why an insurance company would take such a risk. It’s not good business at all. And insurance companies, like all businesses, seek to make a profit. If one is always paying out, the profit goes away and the business goes out of business.

Are Leftists up in arms about other kinds of insurance no covering pre-existing conditions. We never hear of any Leftists demanding the coverage of a pre-existing condition on a home or vehicle.

“Hello All State? Yes I would like to get insurance on my vehicle. Oh I’ve had a wreck so it is totaled and needs lots of repairs. So it has a pre-existing condition. You can over that right?”

All State would not cover that vehicle with an insurance policy.

“Hello State Farm? Yes I would like to get homeowners insurance. Yes right now my house is burning so I will need to get it fixed once the fire is out or if the fire destroys it. Yes this is a pre-existing condition of being on fire.”

Here again State Farm would not cover this pre-existing condition. No insurance company would and no insurance company should be forced to do so either. It would cause the company to go bankrupted and out of business. Unless of course that is the goal.

Although these examples were on property the same applies to health conditions. With a pre-existing condition, there is always a payout. That is loss revenue and loss profits. That over time will lead to an insurance company closing its doors forever.

Insurance is to cover something that might happen, that one hopes never does. A payment to cover costs in the event of catastrophe. It is a risk that insurance companies take. They are betting that no event ever happens. But if one has to insure something that has already happened. Then the cost is either going to be very high to cover the outgoing costs. Or it will not be insured.

Additionally, in these debates the terms of health care and health insurance are used interchangeably. They are not the same thing at all. Everyone has access to health care. It is not a right however nor is health insurance.

I have already written on the topic of reform in our health care industry and health insurance industry. If you are interested in these please look up the previous posts on this subject and check the issues section menu as well. Reform in both are needed.

And there needs to be something to assist those with pre-existing conditions as well. But it’s not health insurance since that implies something that hasn’t already happened. What it is, I don’t know, but it should be available.

Leftist Lexicon Word of the Week

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Christmas is right around the corner, but there will be an unwelcome surprise in some people’s stockings: a sharp increase in their annual health insurance premiums due to Obamacare.

Ah, Obamacare, the controversial legislation that got the federal government into the health insurance game, and there is no possible down side to that, right? That depends on who you ask. If you talk to people who have benefitted from Obamacare, it’s been a godsend. If you talk to people who have actually had to pay for Obamacare, it’s a tool of the Devil.

And if you talk to me, it’s another in a long list of things the federal government couldn’t get right even with the instruction manual. Oh, and it’s this weeks Leftist Lexicon entry.

Obamacare

What the Left thinks it means – an attempt to insure all Americas through government-run and privately-run insurance programs that have been sabotaged by Republicans

What it really means – a program that turns a trip to the doctor into a trip to the DMV

As you might have guessed, I’m not a fan of Obamacare for a number of reasons. First and foremost, it’s a massive federal overreach for something that should rightly be determined by those affected most by it: the potential patients. Barry Goldwater once said, “You can’t legislate morality,” but Leftists who push Obamacare seem to think you can tax it. Then again, they think they can tax anything, so that’s not exactly surprising news.

What is surprising is how many people don’t think about Obamacare’s implications. At its core, Obamacare forces people to buy a particular product or service based solely on the whims of bureaucrats who don’t know you or your situation. I know our culture has grown lazy, but do we really want government to make all of our decisions for us? (If you’re a Leftist, don’t bother responding. I already know you’re bobbing your heads like a metalhead at a Metallica concert.) If you’re like me, the answer to my question is a resounding “no,” and not by accident. We’ve seen how the federal government could screw up a one-person parade, but if you’re unconvinced, let’s take a trip out to the Golden State.

California is a Leftist paradise. Filled to the borders with affluent Leftists who think the same way. A Governor who’s nickname is “Governor Moonbeam.” More Priuses (Priusi?) per square foot than anywhere outside of a Toyota factory. These are the smart ones (just ask them). If Obamacare was going to work, it would work in California.

And it wouldn’t. Seems health insurance providers saw the law of diminishing returns and got out, putting more pressure on the state exchanges to pick up the slack. And when they couldn’t, it made the existing problem even worse. Who knew that would happen? I mean, aside from everyone who was against Obamacare.

A common argument among Obamacare supporters is that Republicans threw up roadblocks that presented it from being successful. Explain California. You can’t. Republicans didn’t cause problems in California that prevented Obamacare from being implemented lock, stock, and barrel. Republicans didn’t withhold funding for the state exchanges. Republicans had zero to do with how California tried to make Obamacare work. That failure is all on you, Leftists.

Not that you’ll admit it, mind you. Admitting Obamacare was a bigger failure than “The Emoji Movie” would be blasphemy. As with the Left’s view of communism, socialism, or the designated hitter rule, it’s not that the idea was bad; it was just not done right. Listen kids, if California can’t get it to work right when you control the vast majority of the power and resources, it’s never going to be done right, and Obamacare is no exception.

The main problem with Obamacare is the fact it requires the purchase of a product without the benefit of comparison shopping. And when it’s the government dictating what you must buy and where you have to buy it, quality is job none. We saw this in the former Soviet Union where citizens had one choice and that was it because the government said so. This approach treats everyone the same, but we’re not the same.

I wear a size 12 wide shoe. Even in our capitalist society, finding a comfortable pair of shoes can be like trying to find the plot in a Michael Bay movie, but it can be done. In the Soviet Union, I could only get a size 12 wide shoe if the government determined there was a need for it, and even then there would be no guarantee I would get one. If the government’s quota was 14 pairs of size 9s, you were stuck with the size 9s no matter how poorly the shoes fit.

Now, imagine this same “one size fits all” approach to health insurance. Considering Obamacare gave us the wonderful “option” for men to buy female birth control pills, it’s not that hard. In fact, that’s one of the features of Obamacare that no one really talked about: everyone would be required to participate. Whether it be getting health insurance or paying the tax…I mean “fine” associated with not having insurance, we all had skin in the game, and if we danced to the government’s tune, we were seen as cookie-cutter copies of one another, regardless of individual issues. You have a family history of heart issues? Sit over there with the lady with a hang nail and we’ll be with you eventually.

Which brings us to another Obamacare feature: wait times! I know I like sitting in waiting rooms as much as I like listening to Lena Dunham talk about anything, but it is the price I pay for the service I get, which is exceptional. With Obamacare, you may be put on either a waiting list where they’ll get around to you as soon as the wooly mammoths start taking all the spaces in the parking lot, or on another waiting list where they’ll get around to you, oh, never. When the government mandates what type of care you get and when you can get it, there is no real urgency to see you. Once they see you, they’re on the clock, but if they never get around to seeing you and you shuffle off this mortal coil, that clock never starts.

Although Obamacare was started with what could argue was noble intentions, the execution of it has been lackluster at best. And all because Leftists wanted to create another way for people to become dependent upon government bureaucracy for something we can take care of ourselves.

I know I’ve said a lot of bad things about Obamacare, but I do see one major upside. It reminds me of just how good I have it by not being on it.

I’m Not a Doctor, But I Play One in Congress

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Right now, the hot debate going on in Washington is repealing and/or replacing Obamacare. Democrats are saying the current efforts will throw people off their health insurance and put them out on the streets where they will be attacked by roving gangs of cannibalistic mimes or something like that. (The scariest thing about cannibalistic mimes? You’ll never hear them coming.) Republicans are doing their best to walk the tightrope between full repeal and partial repeal after campaigning solely on repealing Obamacare, mainly because they want to keep their jobs and not have to go on Obamacare or, horror of horrors, get a real job. While the debate wages on, there’s an important question that is going unanswered.

What role does the federal government have in health insurance?

The Left and the Right currently have the same solution, just a difference of how much control the government should have. The Left is pushing for the government to have more power, which is their answer for every social ill. The Right is pushing for a hybrid of government and private control, allowing for the federal government to act like an insurance company in the marketplace. But in the end, they both use the same excuse: we have to do something to protect the most vulnerable, and the government is the only entity with enough money and power to do that.

A great emotional appeal, to be sure, but it sets up a dangerous precedent that can literally cost American lives. A government large enough to gives you everything is large enough to take it all away, health insurance included. If you doubt this, ask the parents of Charlie Gard.

The important thing to remember about the federal government is they have little to no concept of market forces, mainly because they are the ones who print the money. He who prints the money can drive private interests out of business because he can print however much money he needs to compete and survive. That makes a hybrid of public and private options difficult at best because the government will always hold the monetary card, while running up the debt in the process. Brilliant!

The Left’s option is not much better: Medicare for everyone. Their logic is that Medicare for all is a) single payer, and b) gets the insurance companies out of the decision whether a procedure is covered. Let me deal with the second part first. Do you know what insurance entity currently denies the most claims? It’s the federal government. That’s right, kids. If you want your insurance claim denied, you’ll be more likely to be denied by the government than you will be from the evil insurance companies. But at least you won’t have to fill out forests of forms, right. Oh, wait…

As far as single payer is concerned, it’s a non-starter for me because it leads to the same problems the public/private hybrid referenced above have, but with an additional twist: it completely cuts out insurance companies. As cool as that sounds to some people, it ultimately reduces choice, which eliminates the incentive to offer new products. Let’s say you own a lemonade stand. (Hey, that would be a great idea for a computer game! Maybe someone will take this idea and run with it.) If your neighbor also has a lemonade stand, you have to keep innovating to make your stand successful. The more players in the lemonade market, the harder you will work to bring people to your stand.

Now, let’s say you are the only lemonade stand in the area. With nobody to take away your business, the only incentive you have to do better is whatever you decide to put into it. Let’s just say the federal government isn’t known for having the best and brightest in their ranks. Any institution that has had such intellectual lightweights as Sheila Jackson Lee and Joe Biden doesn’t exactly scream competence.

So, let’s go back to my original question. What role does the federal government have in health insurance?

None.

There is no overwhelming need for the same federal government that can’t seem to pass a budget, balanced or otherwise, to become Big Brother Insurance Agency. This trumps any and all arguments for government supplied health insurance. Granted, the VA is an example of single payer that works, but it doesn’t work all the time. You know what would work? Getting government out of the insurance business and letting people buy what they wanted or needed.

You know, the way it was before Obamacare?

There are some parts of Obamacare I would like to keep, namely the part concerning pre-existing conditions. But that’s not enough for me to throw my support behind any government-run health insurance program. What would tip the scale for me would be if there are major reforms to the concept of government run health insurance, including an enforceable mechanism that would ensure the government treats every patient the same and with the utmost care. But since government run health insurance works like the DMV, it’s going to take a lot to get me to support it.

You know what does work in health insurance and health care? The free market. It’s not perfect, but it’s the best system we have. And you know what isn’t in the free market? The government as a competitor.

And if you’re still convinced government run health insurance will work, let me point out one final fact. Our government can’t balance its checkbook. What makes you think they can handle something more complex than not spending more than we make?

Health Insurance is not Care

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The debate in the US Senate is not about health care. What was passed last month in the US House was not about health care. Even the Affordable Health Care Act, commonly called ObamaCare was not about health care either.

None of these bills or laws have to do with health care. They are all about health insurance. And there is a huge difference between health care and health insurance. The terms cannot be used interchangeably.

Neither ObamaCare or TrumpCare are good for the American people, the economy, or even the insurance industry. Both are only about health insurance reform disguised as health care and falsely labeled as such. It is a discredit to the American people to claim either of these acts as health care. And both really don’t address the health insurance situation correctly.

To seriously address health insurance reform the insurance companies need to operate in a completely free market. Congress needs to end the patch work of laws across the several States as they now exist. Allowing insurance companies to operate across those state lines.

This will open up the available pools for both the corporate and individual health insurance markets. Thus driving premiums down and services will increase as competition grows. It is a win-win for all parties concerned and it is also the American way of doing business.

Congress also would need to address the stranglehold of regulations that plague the insurance industry as well. Some regulations are of course necessary to protect the consumer as well as the issuing company. But there shouldn’t be any more than what is necessary. This too will allow insurance rates to decline as the insurance companies can devote such resources out of government compliance departments and into services offered.

I will make note that preexisting conditions needs to be discussed in the health insurance reform. However, providing for preexisting conditions is not insurance. It is welfare. And people should be covered with preexisting conditions. If one has a preexisting health condition and no laps of coverage in their insurance it should be simply covered by insurance. If there has been a laps of coverage then it becomes a welfare issue.

With health insurance, there should be no mandate necessary with the operation of allowing insurance companies to cross state lines. There is no need for subsidies or penalties. And there is no reason to have coverage for something one would never use … like birth control by men or prostate exams for women. Forcing these coverage’s is truly a sign the situation is out of control.

Once this becomes law and health insurance reform has taken effect and is working. Then Congress will need to address health care reform. But would need to get input from patients and the medical practitioners as well.

Leftist Lexicon Word of the Week

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I can’t believe it’s 2017 and I have to write a blog like this.

The House of Representatives passed the American Health Care Act, a bill that would roll back a number of features of the Affordable Care Act, including the requirement to buy insurance from the federal insurance exchanges or face a penalty. Naturally, the Left reacted in a mature, responsible way…by screaming about people dying due to a lack of health care because of the AHCA. (Well, it’s mature for them, at least.) Writing about the Left’s hysteria isn’t the part I can’t believe. The part I can’t believe I have to explain is the difference between health care and health insurance.

So, buckle in, buckaroos. This is gonna be a long one.

health care/health insurance

What the Left believes they mean – health care, used interchangeably

What it really means – health care and health insurance, respectively

Whenever I have to explain the difference between health care and health insurance to a Leftist, I use a simple analogy. Let’s say you have a cut and you need a bandage. You go to your local store and buy some bandages, while simultaneously trying to explain to the cashier why you’re bleeding all over the 12 items or less lane. The bandage is the health care, and the money used to purchase the bandage is the health insurance. You’re on your own regarding the bleeding in the 12 items or less lane.

This isn’t a hard concept to understand, but the Left is determined to use the terms interchangeably, even when it doesn’t make sense. Then again, if Leftists made sense, it wouldn’t give me such a headache to follow their logic. And by logic, I mean whatever hysterical squawking point they want to push to get what they want, but that’s neither here nor there.

It’s easy to write off the Left’s misuse of the terms as them being dumber than a bag of hammers, although that is quite often the case, but there is a deeper reason. As with much of what the Left does, there is a political upside to their “confusion.” By making the two concepts seem to be the same, it opens the door for government to take over both under the guise of one. And with the government being able to balance its checkbook on a regular basis, I’m sure there will be no trouble whatsoever taking over health care and health insurance.

For you Leftists reading this, that was sarcasm. In truth, government involvement in heath care has been less successful than the David Duke comedy special at the Apollo. Although the Left wants us to believe every other civilized country in the world has universal health care, the fact is we do, too. The difference? We’re typically picking up the tab for those other countries’ military, so they can spend their money on health care.

And yet, America’s health care system is better than theirs. When was the last time you heard of a foreign leader going to Sweden for anything more than chocolate or watches? When people have a choice for where they have their care, they choose America. So, why mess with it?

Another political part of the health care/health insurance debate is whether it is a right. To the Left, it is. After all, it’s right there in the Constitution…oh, wait. It’s not there at all! Why, it’s almost as if the Left is trying to create rights out of thin air! And, in this case, they are. By creating the right to health care, it creates a new need for government to act as a provider, which (surprise, surprise) gives rise to more regulations and, thus, more control over people. That’s really what’s at the core of most Leftist ideas: controlling others. Oh, sure, they claim they do it because they care, but in the end, it’s always about being able to tell people what to do. But don’t you dare tell them what to do! As long as they can be driving the bus, even if it’s heading for a brick wall that’s hiding a thousand-foot ravine behind it, they’re totally cool.

But what they’re doing with health care and health insurance? Not so much.

I am directly opposed to the notion of government run health care/health insurance because it makes it easy for people to just let the government control us. Do we make mistakes? As some of my ex-girlfriends will attest, I certainly do. And so do government officials. You know, the ones Leftists want to make health care/health insurance decisions for us? And unlike us, government doesn’t learn very much from their mistakes, which makes it much less attractive for them to take over a PTA meeting, let alone the health care and insurance decisions we need.

The fact their biggest cheerleaders can’t or won’t tell the difference between care and insurance doesn’t help their case any. Now, I’m not a doctor, but I do play one in my bedroom. However, I do have a radical idea on how to solve the health care and health insurance issues simultaneously.

Pay your own way. That way you get the care you need without having to worry about whether the insurance company is going to deny the claim. Like I said, it’s pretty out there, but I think it just might work.

Or at least, it will work better than Obamacare did.