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

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?

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Not enough votes in the Senate

The reason why there aren’t enough votes in the Senate to pass legislation to repeal and replace Obamacare is very simple. The proposed legislation does not repeal and replace Obamacare. It’s that simple.

The proposed legislation modifies Obamacare but it is not a repeal and replace which was mandated by the People. And thankfully there are some Senators who know and recognize this fact. Thus there aren’t enough votes for it to pass.

With the mid-term elections just around the corner those wise Senators don’t want to come home to their People and explain why they voted for legislation that breaks their promise. And those that were in favor of the bill will have a lot of explaining to do when they get home.

Both the House and Senate Republicans need to grow a pair, as the saying goes, and pass the complete repeal of Obamacare. Then work on getting the health insurance industry in line and get reforms in on actual health care as well.

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Health Insurance is not Care

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.

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It’s a Start

A partial repeal and replace of ObamaCare has passed the House and is on the way to the Senate, where it is expected to pass as well. This is a better piece of legislation than the earlier version that failed in President Trump’s first 100 days.

Of course it doesn’t go far enough as that would require a super majority in the Senate in order to pass. And the GOP doesn’t have enough of a majority to make that happen at this time. This is unfortunately due to Senate rules which could be changed if the majority party chooses to do so. But Senator Mitch McConnell, the majority leader, doesn’t have that kind of a backbone, he is a coward.

Unfortunately even with this legislation passing both the House and the Senate and being signed into law by President Trump. It wont go into effect until next year. We still have to suffer under ObamaCare in 2017.

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Vote NO

Today the House votes on the American Health Care Act. Or as it has been called by many ObamaCare 2.0 or ObamaCare Lite.

I stated in an earlier post that I did indeed vote for President Trump and that I was not going to rubber stamp everything he does or supports during his Administration. He will be held accountable.

I did not elect President Trump or my members of Congress to make a lighter version of the ACA. I voted for them, in part, on their promise to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act aka ObamaCare.

This new legislation in the form of the AHCA does not repeal or replace ObamaCare. It only modifies it. And this is not what I elected them to do. It is deeply disappointing.

And I have instructed the Iowa delegation in the House not to vote in favor of this legislation. I hope they listen to the people that put them in office or come the mid terms they may be facing primary challengers who will.

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The Numbers Game

With the Republican health insurance proposal being bandied about, the Left has done what it usually does when Republicans actually act on a real or perceived need: they panic. Technically, they do more than panic (like lie about the proposal, slander Republicans, and get their astroturf protesters out in farce…I mean force), but at the heart of their initiatives is panic. The Left’s great fear is that someone else will come up with an idea that is better than anything they could cobble together, and that it might actually work.

In this case, the idea they’re trying to save is Obamacare. After years of ignoring Republican alternatives and claiming the GOP had no ideas, we finally have Trumpcare/Ryancare/RINOcare/whatever other-care name is being used. (Personally, I prefer Flaming Train Wreck 2: Electric Booglaoo.) In response to the plan, Leftists are using statistics to create a narrative, specifically that under the plan put forth, 24 million Americans would be without health insurance and how that would lead to them dying a horrible painful death.

Yes, dear readers. The Left is sending them to see Yoko Ono in concert.

Whenever any politician uses numbers, I get a little suspicious because it’s very easy to sway opinion when you throw numbers around. Numbers have a heft to them in discussions because most people believe them without question. After all, who would use numbers to create a false narrative? It’s not like any political party swore up and down we would all get $2500 savings by going on a crappy government-mandated health insurance plan, right?

Anyway, the 24 million Americans without health insurance statistic seems pretty solid…until you do some digging into how that number is derived. Turns out a decent chunk of that 24 million would be people opting out of Obamacare since, you know, it sucks more than a nymphomaniac porn star at the center of a black hole working straight commission. Say, that gives me an idea for a movie! Maybe later; I have a blog post to finish.

So, what does this mean? One, I have a weird sense of what turns me on, and two, the 24 million number is misleading at best. For one, it assumes the people who would opt out of Obamacare would be unable to get insurance through another means. It may not be that much of a stretch, but it’s far from a guarantee. Plus, there is always the option to take your chances and pay as you go, thus bypassing the insurance companies and the government altogether. There are also religious organizations, GoFundMe pages, and other means to help patients pay bills.

But somehow the Left wants us to believe these 24 million Americans are doomed to die.

Another question that hasn’t come up yet is how many of the 24 million might be illegal immigrants. I won’t go into a long diatribe about illegal immigration here, but suffice it to say the pitch for Obamacare included illegal immigrants in their numbers to show how many Americans didn’t have health coverage. Remember, the bigger the lie, the bigger the number used to give it the ring of truth. And the 24 million number being tossed about is big enough to be questioned as to its accuracy. When you consider the people screaming about it are Leftists, well…

Regardless of how you feel about the Republican proposal, it’s important not to get caught up in false details designed to make you feel a certain way and ignore your common sense. Dig deeper, find the truth, and stand by it even under the most intense scrutiny.

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Obamacare Lite

The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) needs to be scrapped. All of it. Not some patch work plan that is currently being presented from some back room deal.

Mr. President and my members of Congress. I voted for you, in part, because you promised to repeal Obamacare. A terrible piece of legislation. So repeal it now. The House passed such legislation years ago. Get it back out and get it to the President’s desk.

Then come together to overhaul the system properly. None of this ‘we have to pass it to know what’s in it’ garbage. Allow insurance companies to operate across state lines. This would increase competition in a free market. This would raise available pools of insured Americans. And it would lower the over all cost of health insurance.

But do what is right first, for America. End the Affordable Care and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Acts that together make up Obamacare. End all 960 pages of this bad legislation once and for all. Vote no to any kind of “Obamacare Lite”.

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Enough Rope

It looks like the Liberals have finally given themselves enough rope to hang themselves with it. Of course they would always be opposed to the idea of the GOP changing the Senate rules to a simple majority. But when the Liberals do it, then it’s OK because that is just making it “fair”.

I greatest prayer right now is that the Liberals continue to change the rules of the Senate from a two-thirds majority rule to a simple majority rule. Then their only obstacle in passing any legislation will be the Republican controlled House. And with enough bullying tactics, that too can be overcome.

Once all of these rules are changed in the Senate, the Liberals will be happilly pushing the rest of the evils of their agenda through the legislature and on to President Obama’s desk to become law. Thinking all along that come the mid-term elections of 2014, that they will gain control of the House and nothing can stop them.

But that is just dead wrong. So much about their forced agenda is not liked by the American public who are finally beginning to speak out. Conservatives will run in the mid-term elections, and history will repeat itself. The conservative movement will sweep both chambers of Congress. Retain control of the House and gain control of the Senate.

And then they will have the simple majority rules in place, thanks to the Liberals. And the defunding and total repeal of ObamaCare and the rest of the laws that are destroying our Christian nation and culture can be swept away up until the 2016 elections for a conservative President.

But none of this can happen if the moderates and Republican establishment candidates gain the nominations. If that happens, then there will be no change and our country will continue its decline like that of ancient Rome.

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The Cost of the Affordable Care Act

The Affordable Care Act is coming into play for 2014 when the law goes into full effect. Unless you are an Obama crony and have been exempted. I am not and must abide by the laws as they are written. Fortunately for 2014, I can still get health insurance though my employer.

Every year, with inflation, I accept a slight increase in the cost of this health insurance. There is dental insurance, vision insurance and medical insurance. And this year, since it is the “open enrollment” period I find myself looking at this coming costs for 2014.

Across the board of all 3 insurance sets. Deductibles have increased as have out of pocket costs for co-pays and any other expenses the consumer has to pay that the insurance will not cover.

But here are the numbers for those that want to know just how the increases break down, many thanks to the “Affordable Care Act”.

My vision insurance has an 8% increase in cost per month of coverage. My dental insurance has a 23% increase in cost per month of coverage. And my medical insurance has a 109% increase in cost per month of coverage. Plus the increase in the deductible and the increase in co-pays.

So overall, my insurance costs have gone up by 97%.

Tell me, how is this supposed to be “affordable” again? I’m confused.

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The Unaffordable Care Act

With this horrible piece of legislation coming into full force on Jan 1st. It is long past time to scrap it. This is not the answer to the health care question in the United States. This is another large grab by the Government to take our hard earned monies and to further control and influence our lives. The Founding Fathers would be appalled at our general attitude of apathy on this issue alone.

Health care in the United States needs to be reformed. The Affordable Care Act aka ObamaCare is not the answer. As the health care exchanges come active, more and more people are experiencing what was said about it. The prices are HIGH and not affordable by many of the poor. And even the notion that the Federal Government demands that every citizen have health insurance is a gross violations of our freedoms.

Those in favor of this Constitutional violation, repeat the line about we are mandated to have Car Insurance. And yes we are, if we own and drive a car. But if we don’t then we are not mandated to carry car insurance. This was not the intent of the commerce clause, and this abuse can be taken further now that it’s been opened.

Here are two simple things that can be done to change health care in America.

1) Using the commerce clause, the Congress can pass legislation allowing insurance companies to operate across state lines. So that message of “not available in all states” becomes a thing of the past. This allows a bigger pool of people to draw upon and thus lowers rates.

2) Medical billing needs to be changed. Right now it is the only thing we purchase without knowing the cost of it in advance. There is no comparison shopping and no price negotiations. Bring medical costs into the free market place. It will drive the cost down or the hospitals and doctors that overcharge will simply go out of business.

Scrap “ObamaCare” and implement these 2 changes and watch health care become affordable to all without exchanges, government mandates, and higher taxes. Then we can go about getting down to real business.

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