Friday, November 29, 2013

Is Health Care A Fundamental Human Right or a Service?

By Dr. Ileana Johnson Paugh 

How many Americans believe that health care is a fundamental human right? How many Americans believe that it is just a service that must be paid for just like any other service? Good doctors and nurses who train a long time and invest a lot of money in their education expect to be paid well for their expertise and unique skills.

Respectable hospitals cannot operate on the basis of a “fundamental human right,” invented by “progressives,” somebody must pay for health care. Life-saving medical equipment and drugs are expensive.

There is a reason why the best medical care, equipment, drugs, and doctors in the world exist in capitalism and not in socialist countries. Individual thinking, creativity, and entrepreneurship rewarded by profit have improved our lives and our health. Collectivism resulted in the death of 100 million individuals. Developing each drug cost at least $950 million and researchers and investors expect to be paid for their financial risks, research, and ideas.

Americans have always supported the development of life-saving expensive drugs which were then sold to other nations for much less than we paid at home or were given away for free. Americans have thus subsidized the medical treatment of citizens of many nations.

Hospitals have charged patients with insurance more to cover expenses for those who did not, could not pay their bills, or had no insurance, such as illegal aliens. Quite a few smaller hospitals have closed their doors for that reason alone.

It is true, some people who get sick and have no health care can die. It is also true that without food people also die. Is food then a “fundamental human right?” Someone must toil so that somebody else eats for free?

If you ask “progressives,” everything should be free and nobody should make a profit because profit is “obscene and socially unjust.” Yet taxation from capitalist profit and from income earned supports able-bodied

Americans and illegal aliens who choose not to work, work undocumented, or cannot find a job thanks to the current depressed economy. At some point the golden goose is going to run out of golden eggs. As Margaret Thatcher said, the problem with socialism is that you run out of other people’s money.

Public Citizen, in a recent fund raising memo asking potential donors for $5, says that ObamaCare’s problem is not the broken website (the obscene development cost of $693 million, all the lies and misrepresentations of premium costs, keeping your doctors, keeping your insurance, lower premiums, etc.), the problem is that “we spend more on health care per person, by far, than any other developed country, yet millions and millions of our citizens are left without insurance, leading to 45,000 preventable deaths every year.”

The statement is not exactly accurate. A study of 9,005 individuals who answered questions about race, ethnicity, income, and household size was reported in December 2009 in the American Journal of Public Health. These respondents self-evaluated their health and were examined by doctors. The study “oversampled several groups, including Black persons, Mexican Americans, the very young (aged 2 months to 5 years) and those aged older than 65 years.”

Based on sound scientific research, the study contains numerous biases and is hardly a representative sampling of the uninsured U.S. population.

The study concludes, “Lack of health insurance is associated with as many as 44,789 deaths per year in the United States, more than those caused by kidney disease.” Notice the use of the word “associated with,” it does not say “caused” death. There is a significant difference.

The very idea that medical insurance guarantees prompt, timely, excellent medical care, health, and a good outcome (life), is preposterous.

Socialized medicine does cause severe shortages and forces rationing to reduce costs

The fact that socialized medicine does cause severe shortages and forces rationing to reduce costs, thus causing patient deaths by neglect and denial of services seems to escape those who are so eager to institute socialized medicine in this country.

The CDC does say that 200,000 deaths per year from heart disease and stroke are preventable.

The NIH says that preventable causes of death in the U.S. are associated with diet, lifestyle, and metabolic rate.

ObamaCare has already left millions of formerly insured Americans uninsured because the law mandates many more services that insurance companies cannot cover without raising premiums or dropping those already insured. It is simple economics, something that liberals must have slept through in high school and college. 

At the end of the full implementation of ObamaCare more Americans will be left without insurance coverage or dependent on Medicaid than the initial 15 percent who were uninsured before ObamaCare was passed.

Most Americans were satisfied with their excellent health care, the envy of the rest of the world, and their insurance. About 15 percent were uninsured, young people who chose to play insurance roulette based on age, good health, a sense of immortality, and those unfortunate Americans who could not afford the higher premiums based on their low incomes, pre-existing conditions, and those who were canceled by their insurance.

A cheaper solution would have been to offer federally subsidized insurance to those 15 percent who were uninsured. It would have been much cheaper than ObamaCare.

Public Citizen considers the situation outrageous that capitalism “still permits the for-profit health insurance industry to decide who can or cannot see a doctor and to commodify a fundamental human right.” 
Who should then decide? The federal government, of course, because they do everything else so precisely.

Government care worked really well in Cuba, Venezuela, and Eastern Europe where socialist/communist governments decided who got medical care, what type, how much training doctors had, how much they could earn, where they could practice medicine, how much rationing occurred, who lived and died, and how well the communist elites were treated in their private hospitals.

Public Citizen is telling the low information voters that “Our citizens need – and morality demands – a single-payer, Medicare-for-All system.” Who knew that morality demanded health care? And who decides the definition of morality? Is it the government or the enlightened “progressives”?

ObamaCare was never about insuring the 15 percent uninsured, it was about control over our bodies, about impoverishing and making dependent on government those already insured, bankrupting the insurance companies, and establishing one national single-payer system run by the IRS and HHS. What can possibly go wrong with such a plan?

“Helping people when they are sick or injured should not be an industry, like manufacturing lint rollers or windshields,” says Public Citizen. Yet the national health care system in the U.K. is the largest employer. It seems to me that it is an industry, an industry that is run very badly, in which severe rationing occurs and procedural waiting time for ER admissions, tests, hospitalizations, and surgeries is very long. The survivability rate from all forms of cancer is much lower than in the U.S.

Nationalized health care works well for sniffles but not for serious problems, expensive procedures, and surgery. One-payer system is very expensive and requires much higher taxes than Americans currently pay.

Public Citizen promises its $5 donors that “it will derail attempts to cut Medicare.” That will be interesting to see especially since the Obama administration is cutting $719 billion from Medicare in the next 10 years in order to fund ObamaCare.

Public Citizen is working with Senator Bernie Sanders, a self-described democratic socialist, and Representative John Conyers to “boost legislative momentum for single-payer reform.” The plan is called “Medicare-for-All.” It will ensure every American’s basic right to health care, saving 45,000 lives every year” and “saving our country $350 billion or more annually.” I am not sure how they arrived at this figure but it does not matter, low information voters are easy to convince.

Unless single-payer Medicare-for-All happens, said the President of Public Citizen, our society cannot “progress out of this dark chapter in our national story where we allow 120 of our fellow citizens to die every day so that for-profit insurance industry can perpetuate its profiteering.”

I wonder how many people will die once the full implementation of ObamaCare happens and the 15-member death panel is in full force. How many people will be denied procedures based on their age, usefulness to society, disability, political affiliation, ethnicity, religion, and race?

According to Heritage Foundation, ObamCare’s new exchanges actually offer very limited choices, premiums are more expensive for Americans in at least 42 states, and the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projects that 7 million people with employer-sponsored coverage will lose their insurance due to ObamaCare.

ObamaCare undermines American values by discouraging marriage and work

“ObamaCare undermines American values by discouraging marriage and work.” Worse yet, ObamaCare prioritizes illegal aliens over American citizens and able-bodied adults over the disabled. Legal, non-citizen residents qualify for federally subsidized insurance with more and better coverage options than American citizens. (Morning Bell, The Heritage Foundation, November 27, 2013)

States that expanded Medicaid programs will automatically enroll in Medicaid Americans with incomes under 138 percent of the federal poverty level.  But non-citizens will have better options via federal subsidies to purchase coverage in the ObamaCare exchanges. 

To make matters worse, in some states, when a person who received lengthy medical treatment under Medicaid dies, the state goes after the remaining spouse’s assets in order to reimburse Medicaid.

States that did not expand Medicaid programs will offer non-citizens the option to purchase subsidized insurance in the exchanges, while American citizens below 100 percent of the poverty level will likely not qualify for subsidized coverage. (Morning Bell, The Heritage Foundation, November 27, 2013)
ObamaCare will spend $700 billion on Medicaid expansion in order to cover able-bodied individuals, millions of unemployed and underemployed, threatening coverage for disabled Americans, and creating a permanent class that has no financial incentive to work.

These people will become permanently dependent on government for every need. The sad truth is that what government gives generously, it can certainly take away. All we have to do is look at the sad state of Greece. Many citizens must depend on charities for serious medical treatment or face death.

Canada Free Press