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Speaking the Truth

Gary is an author, trial lawyer, Mequon-area resident and town of Cedarburg supervisor. He is a columnist for the News Graphic and writes for several Wisconsin area magazines and is a national columnist with The American Thinker and PJ Media.  He lives with his wife, Lisa, and has three sons ages 18 to 28. Gary won Ozaukee County in his bid for the Wisconsin Assembly's 60th District in 2011, but came up just 58 votes short.

THE DANGER OF OBAMA CARE

On June 25, absent even a pretense of objectivity, ABC turned its air waves over to our president, allowing him to make his case for nationalization of one-fifth of the nation’s economy – our health care system. Sadly, the network literally banned GOP commercials in opposition – before, during or after the infomercial, which received rock bottom ratings in its time slot. The man who “loses sleep” over the very deficit he created is proposing to put your children and grandchildren two to four trillion dollars further in debt. And that’s just for starters.  

But wait a second. Health care reform is dead last on the list of things Americans want tackled and polls indicate that virtually everybody seems to be happy with their health care. Reforming health care is even less popular today than when Hillary Clinton tried to saddle us with ill-fated “Hillary Care” in 1993. Back then, a 55% majority said they felt the health care system needed to be “completely rebuilt” compared with 41% today.

Moved to tears by propaganda like Michael Moore’s ‘Sicko’, emotional proponents of Obama’s newest government takeover of the private sector mindlessly parrot that there are 45 million uninsured – a number misrepresented and exaggerated more and more every year for partisan reasons. According to the Pacific Research Institute, one-fourth of the uninsured are under 24 and half are under 35. They aren’t even the same people from year to year or even month to month. Three-fourths of the “uninsured” remain so for less than a year and the simple truth is that the percentage of uninsured Americans remains the same as in 1996, and lower than in 1997 and 1998. One-third live in households making more than $50,000 a year and one in seven make over $75,000. One-sixth of them are illegal aliens. The Census Bureau even counts as “uninsured” the 15 million children and poor people who are eligible for Medicaid and the SCHIP program but do not enroll. Suddenly things don’t look so dire.

Over 85% of Americans have health insurance and are happy with their care. Yet, Big Brother wants you to believe that dismantling the best health care system in the world and putting your health care decisions in the hands of the same people who ran Medicare and Social Security into the ground is good for America.

Obama Care creates an individual mandate requiring you to buy a “qualified” health insurance plan, as defined by Obama. If you go without such an animal for any given month, you will pay another new Federal tax.  Under Obama Care, Big Brother will define “qualified plan” in such a way that all private health insurance will be mandated to have guaranteed issue and renewal terms, modified community ratings, no exclusions for pre-existing conditions, and no lifetime or annual limits on benefits. Family policies would have to cover “children” up to age 26. It would punish the successful by defining what “affordable and available coverage” is for different income levels and reward smokers, alcoholics and drug users by preventing plans from charging more for risky behavior. In essence, the private health insurance business will be made unprofitable.

At the same time, Obama Care will also create yet another employer mandate, one strongly opposed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce because it would chase overseas even more over-regulated corporations already suffering from the second-highest corporate tax rate in the developed world. Employers would have to offer insurance to their employees and pay a large percentage of the premiums at a mandated level. Any small business that does not would pay yet another new tax. That giant sucking sound will be the last remaining American businesses heading for the door.  

Underlying all of this is the innocent-sounding “public option” – essentially a government-run program for anyone unhappy with the options from private insurers. Obama claims critics like me who warn that this will lead to a "single-payer" system run by the government "are not telling the truth." But it's the president who is not being  honest about this proposal. Government health care will be fueled by unlimited funds from you – the taxpayer – to help it compete with and crush private insurers, guaranteeing that single-payer health care run by big government will be the last man standing.  Make no mistake – this is the beginning of socialized medicine in America.

Nobody in Obamaland has any idea how to pay for this new government rush to utopia. Your employer-provided health care benefits will be taxed, reducing your take-home pay, but that won’t even scratch the surface of the surface. How soon we forget the empty teleprompter words echoed hundreds of times during Obama’s campaign about not raising the taxes of anybody earning less than $250,000 and tax cuts for 95% of Americans.

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates Obama’s utopia will add another trillion dollars to our indescribably-massive deficit. Republican scoring puts it over $3 trillion. The American Medical Association is against any form of government-sponsored health care program, and so are an increasing number of Democrat Senators and Congressmen, and even Obama’s own Chicago Tribune. But the “Yes We Can” train keeps rolling.

What’s worse, the proposal will only extend health insurance to a net 15 million more Americans – less than a third of those alleged to be uninsured and less than half as many as the unpopular Hillary Care would have covered in 1994, for the same money.

Obama says you’ll be able to keep your doctor. Not so, says the CBO. Obama Care immediately kicks nearly 20 million people out of the current health care system because many employers will no longer offer insurance and coverage from other sources will decline by 8 million. The Lewin Group documents that the public option alone will result in 100 million Americans being switched by their employers from their existing coverage or transferred to Obama Care. The paradox is that in order to provide care to all, government must deny it to some, and the terminally ill and elderly are the first ones on Obama’s chopping block.

At the same time, President Obama and the Congressmen who vote for this latest in a long line of expensive government takeovers will be exempt from the very plan being foisted on the rest of us. As payback to his supporters, members of labor unions will also be exempt, and he has backed off of tort reform measures which he promised would help hold down health care costs, as a payback to his supporters, in deference to personal injury trial lawyers.

For those who still fawn over the collective disasters that are the Canadian, British and French health care systems or still insist “something” must be done to “fix” health care, there are reasonable, non-socialist alternatives that control costs and keep your health care choices between you and your doctor. Wisconsin’s Rep. Paul Ryan and Oklahoma’s Tom Coburn have proposed the Patient’s Choice Act, a patient-centered alternative that transforms health care in America by strengthening the relationship between the patient and the doctor, uses choice, health savings accounts and competition rather than rationing and restrictions to contain costs, and ensures universal, affordable health care for all Americans.

As Canada, France, and the rest of the EU swerve sharply to the right under the weight of unsustainable socialist programs, here comes pokey Obama Care, following the same failed trickle-up poverty policies that haven’t worked anywhere. Even the socialists running Hungary are smarter than we are – recently passing dramatic tax cuts and cutting personal income tax rates and the employment tax to encourage employers to save and create jobs. Advocates of universal coverage and mandates point longingly to countries like Switzerland, but fail to mention that those countries have a population about the size of metropolitan Dallas and almost no unemployment. 

In 1884, Otto von Bismarck, Chancellor of Germany, instituted the first modern program of socialized medicine. It was called compulsory national health insurance and was very similar to Obama Care. Bismark’s motive in introducing socialized medicine to the German masses was to buy their loyalty and deter them from the illusion of communism. In other words, Bismarck was the first leader to fight communism by adopting communism. The German citizens paid more and got less in return. Bismark failed, but he did become an important component of the German militaristic state and helped pave the way for Hitler a generation later. With every intrusion on our liberty we become more dependent on – and more subservient to –our government.

England first started experimenting with socialized medicine in 1911.

The inept and overly-expensive National Health Program which became the law of England in 1948 is modeled after the Soviet system created by Lenin. In less than two years, there were more than half a million people on hospital waiting lists and 40,000 unused hospital beds because of a nurse shortage. The doctor and hospital shortage in Britain has become so bad that mentally retarded and elderly people are unable to secure proper care. The only effective means of easing the shortage is to deny hospital admission to the old and chronically ill, similar to what Obama is advocating.

Nearly one-seventh of all British taxes go into the national health program. Sadly, the horribly inept "free" medical services actually cost the average Brit much more than the most expensive American private health insurance and hospitalization. In June of 2005, Canada’s Supreme Court rule that its health care system - which originally outlawed private health insurance -  held that waiting lists for medical treatments were too long and private health insurers had to be allowed to compete with the public system. As a result, the future of Canadian healthcare is a question mark.

Experiments with socialized medicine were and still are a failure. But government never retreats. When it seizes money, power, and liberty from us in order to promote our “welfare” and the unintended consequences make things worse, government always argues that it didn't have enough power and money to do enough promoting.

Our health care system is not without its problems, but the true causes of the problems might surprise you. Obama-supporting trial lawyers and government itself are responsible for much of the high cost of health care in America today – not insurance companies. A Milliman study recently showed that a family of four pays $1700 a year more in premiums because Medicare and Medicaid grossly underpay doctors and hospitals, exactly like Obama’s “public option” will do. If private insurers could mimic Medicare payments levels for health care providers, health insurance premiums would be cut nearly in half. Defensive medicine practices – out of fear of malpractice suits filed by liberal trial lawyers – also create a huge obstacle to holding down costs. The remaining $11,000 purchases the family's own coverage, usually through an employer. Though we count that as "private" spending, the government largely controls that $11,000 as well.

The “private” health care system Obama complains about hasn’t been “private” for generations. Government already finances about half of Americans' medical care, thanks to Medicare, Medicaid, and other government programs. In 2007, the average family of four paid $25,000 for health insurance - nearly 30% of their income. About $14,000 of it represents taxes that fund Medicare, Medicaid, SCHIP, and other health programs for the elderly and the poor. In other words, the government already controls the lion's share. So, the “solution” of socialized medicine is actually itself the problem. The high cost of our current “private” system can also find blame in the patients themselves – when it’s “all you can eat”, people eat as much as they can in order to get their money's worth. The consumer has been taken out of the equation. I can’t help but laugh out loud when our esteemed president, in championing health care reform, stresses the unsustainability of our current system while insisting that nothing will change. It doesn’t add up.

The sobering reality is that the guy about to take over one-fifth of our economy has never met a payroll or run so much as a Jiffy Lube. Our president might be a smart guy, but to borrow a phrase from the Gipper, the real danger isn’t that he’s ignorant – it’s just that he knows so much that isn’t so. He has misinterpreted last November’s disenchantment with Bush and Iraq for a socialist mandate. Unless we take a stand, the government rationing will soon begin. The good news is we'll all have a health care card with the Messiah’s picture on it. The bad news is it will be worth almost nothing and will come at the steep price of our liberty. It seems our first black president is also our first Red president and last November’s chickens are now coming home to roost. All at once.

For the devastating details of H.R. 3200, see below:

 

Reviewed, revised and adapted on July 29, 2009, by Liberty Counsel from the original authored by Peter Fleckenstein and posted on FreeRepublic.com and his blog, http://blog.flecksoflife.com. Liberty Counsel 800-671-1776 www.LC.org

• Sec. 203, Pg. 84 - Government mandates ALL benefit packages for private Health Care plans in the exchange.

• Sec. 203, Pg. 85, Line 7 - Specifications of benefit levels for plans means that the government will define your HC plan and has the ability to ration your health care!

• Sec. 205, Pg. 95, Lines 8-18 - The government will use groups (i.e., ACORN & AmeriCorps) to "inform and educate" (sign up) individuals for government plan.

• Sec. 205, Pg. 102, Lines 12-18 - Medicaid-eligible individuals will be automatically enrolled in Medicaid. No freedom to choose.

• Sec. 223, Pg. 124, Lines 24-25 - No company can sue the government for price-fixing. No "administrative of judicial review" against a government monopoly.

• Sec. 225, Pg. 127, Lines 1-16 - Doctors – the government will tell YOU what you can make. "The Secretary shall provide for the annual participation of physicians under the public health insurance option, for which payment may be made for services furnished during the year."

• Sec. 312, Pg. 145, Lines 15-17 - Employers MUST auto-enroll employees into public option plan.

• Sec. 313, Pg. 149, Lines 16-23 - ANY employer with payroll $400,000 and above who does not provide public option pays 8% tax on all payroll.

• Sec. 313, Pg. 150, Lines 9-13 - Businesses with payroll between $251,000 and $400,000 who do not provide public option pay 2-6% tax on all payroll.

• Sec. 401.59B, Pg. 167, Lines 18-23 - ANY individual who does not have acceptable care, according to government, will be taxed 2.5% of income.

• Sec. 59B, Pg. 170, Line 1 - Any NONRESIDENT alien is exempt from individual taxes. (Americans will pay for their health care.)

• Sec. 431, Pg. 195, Lines 1-3 - Officers and employees of HC Administration (government) will have access to ALL Americans’ financial and personal records.

• Sec. 441, Pg. 203, Lines 14-15 - "The tax imposed under this section shall not be treated as tax." Yes, it says that.

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• Sec. 1121, Pg. 239, Lines 14-24 - The government will limit and reduce physician services for Medicaid. Seniors, low income and poor are the ones affected.

• Sec. 1121, Pg. 241, Lines 6-8 - Doctors, it does not matter what specialty you have; you’ll all be paid the same. "Service categories established under this paragraph shall apply without regard to the specialty of the physician furnishing the service."

• Sec. 1122, Pg. 253, Lines 10-23 - The government "validates work relative value units" (sets value of doctor’s time), professional judgment, methods etc. (defining the value of humans).

• Sec. 1131, Pg. 265 - Government mandates and controls productivity for private HC industries. "Incorporating Productivity Improvements into Market Basket Updates that Do Not Already Incorporate Such Improvements."

• Sec. 1141, Pg. 268 - The government regulates rental and purchase of power-driven wheelchairs.

• Sec. 1145, Pg. 272 - Treatment of certain cancer hospitals: Cancer patients and their treatment are open to rationing!

• Sec. 1151, Pg. 280 - The government will penalize hospitals for what government deems preventable readmissions (incentives for hospital to not treat and release).

• Sec. 1151, Pg. 298, Lines 9-11 - Doctors, treat a patient during initial admission that results in a readmission and the government will penalize you for that action.

• Sec. 1156, Pg. 317, Lines 13-20 - "PROHIBITION on physician ownership or Investment." Government tells doctors what/how much they can own.

• Sec. 1156, Pg. 317-318, Lines 21-25, 1-3 - "PROHIBITION on Expansion of Facility Capacity." The government will mandate that hospitals cannot expand ("number of operating rooms or beds").

• Sec. 1156, Pg. 321, Lines 2-13 - Hospitals have opportunity to apply for exception BUT community input required.

• Sec. 1162, Pg. 335-339, Lines 16-25 - The government mandates establishment of outcome-based measures. Rationing.

• Sec. 1162, Pg. 341, Lines 3-9 - The government has authority to disqualify Medicare Advantage Plans (Part B), HMOs, etc. This will force people into a government plan.

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"The Secretary may determine not to identify a Medicare Advantage plan if the Secretary has identified deficiencies in the plan’s compliance with rules for such plans under this part."

• Sec. 1177, Pg. 354 - Government will RESTRICT enrollment of special needs people! "Extension of Authority of Special Needs Plans to Restrict Enrollment."

• Sec. 1191, Pg. 379 - Government creates more bureaucracy – "Telehealth Advisory Committee." HC by phone or the Internet – dial 1 for your health care advice?

• Sec. 1233, Pg. 425, Lines 4-12 - Government mandates Advance (Death) Care Planning consultation. Think Senior Citizens and end of life. END-OF-LIFE COUNSELING. SOME IN THE ADMINISTRATION HAVE ALREADY DISCUSSED RATIONING HEALTH CARE FOR THE ELDERLY.

• Sec. 1233, Pg. 425, Lines 17-19 - Government WILL instruct and consult regarding living wills and durable powers of attorney. Mandatory end-of-life planning!

• Sec. 1233, Pg. 425-426, Lines 22-25, 1-3 - Government provides approved list of end-of-life resources, guiding you in death.

• Sec. 1233, Pg. 427, Lines 15-24 - Government mandates program for orders for life-sustaining treatment (i.e. end of life). The government has a say in how your life ends.

• Sec. 1233, Pg. 429, Lines 1-9 - An "advanced care planning consult" will be used as patient’s health deteriorates.

• Sec. 1233, Pg. 429, Lines 10-12 - "Advanced Care Consultation" may include an ORDER for end-of-life plans - from the government.

• Sec. 1233, Pg. 429, Lines 13-25 - The government will specify which Doctors (professional authority under state law includes Nurse Practitioners or Physician’s Assistants) can write an end-of-life order.

• Sec. 1233, Pg. 430, Lines 11-15 - The government will decide what level of treatment you will have at end of life, according to preset methods (not individually decided).

• Sec. 1302, Pg. 468, Lines 16-21 - "Community-Based Home Medical Services means a nonprofit community-based or state-based organization."

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• Sec. 1302, Pg. 472, Lines 14-17 - PAYMENT TO COMMUNITY-BASED ORGANIZATION: One monthly payment to a community-based organization. Like ACORN?

• Sec. 1308, Pg. 489 - The government will cover Marriage and Family therapy. This will involve government control of your marriage.

• Sec. 1308, Pg. 494-498 - The government will cover Mental Health Services including defining, creating and rationing those services.

• Sec. 1401, Pg. 502 - Center for Comparative Effectiveness Research Established. Big Brother is watching how your treatment works.

• Sec. 1401, Pg. 503, Lines 13-19 - The government will build registries and data networks from YOUR electronic medical records. "The Center may secure directly from any department or agency of the United States information necessary to enable it to carry out this section."

• Sec. 1401, Pg. 503, Lines 21-25 - The government may secure data directly from any department or agency of the US, including your data.

• Sec. 1401, Pg. 503, Lines 21-25 - The "Center" will collect data both "published and unpublished" (that means public & your private information).

• Sec. 1401, Pg. 506, Lines 19-21 - An "Appointed Clinical Perspective Advisory Panel" will advise The Center and recommend policies that would allow for public access of data.

• Sec. 1401, Pg. 518, Lines 21-25 - The Commission will have input from HC consumer representatives.

• Sec. 1411, Pg. 524, Lines 18-22 - Establishes the "Comparative Effectiveness Research Trust Fund." More taxes for ALL.

• Sec. 1441, Pg. 621, Lines 20-25 - The government will define "NEW Quality" measures in HC. Since when does government know about quality?

• Sec. 1442, Pg. 622, Lines 2-9 - To pay for the Quality Standards, government will transfer money from "qualified entities" (government Trust Funds) to other government Trust Funds. More Taxes.

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• Sec. 1442, Pg. 624, Lines 19-23 - Qualified Entities: "The Secretary shall ensure that the entity is a public, nonprofit or academic institution with technical expertise in the area of health quality measurement."

• Sec. 1442, Pg. 623, Lines 5-10 - "Quality" measures shall be designed to assess outcomes and functional status of patients.

• Sec. 1442, Pg. 623, Lines 15-17 - "Quality" measures shall be designed to profile you, including race, age, gender, place of residence, etc.

• Sec. 1443, Pg. 628 - The government will give "Multi-Stake Holders" pre-rulemaking input into selection of "quality" measures.

• Sec. 1443, Pg. 630-31, Lines 9-24, 1-9 - Those Multi-Stake Holder groups include unions and groups like ACORN deciding what constitutes quality.

• Sec. 1444, Pg. 632, Lines 14-25 - The government may implement any "Quality measure" of HC services that bureaucrats see fit.

• Sec. 1444, Pg. 632-333, Lines 14-25, 1-9 - The Secretary may issue nonendorsed "Quality Measures" for physician and dialysis services.

• Sec. 1251 (beginning), Pg. 634 to 652 - "Physician Payments Sunshine Provision" – government wants to shine sunlight on Doctors but not government. "Reports on financial relationships between manufacturers and distributors . . . and between physicians and other health care entities."

• Sec. 1501 (beginning), Pg. 659-670 - Doctors in Residency – government will tell you where your residency will be, thus where you’ll live.

• Sec. 1503 (beginning), Pg. 675-685 - Government will regulate hospitals in EVERY aspect of residency programs, including teaching hospitals.

• Sec. 1601 (beginning), Pg. 685-699 - Increased funding to fight waste, fraud, and abuse. (Like the government with an $18 million website?)

• Sec. 1619, Pg. 700-703 - If your part of HC plan isn’t in the government’s HC Exchange but you qualify for federal aid, you don’t have to pay.

• Sec. 1128G, Pg. 704-708 - If the Secretary determines there is a "significant risk of fraudulent activity," on HC provider or supplier, the government can do a background check.

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• Sec. 1632, Pg. 710, Lines 8-14 - The Secretary has broad powers to deny HC providers and suppliers admittance into HC Exchange. Your doctor could be thrown out of business.

• Sec. 1637, Pg. 718-719 - ANY Doctor who orders durable medical equipment or home medical services is REQUIRED to be enrolled in, or eligible for, Medicare.

• Sec. 1639, Pg. 721 - Government MANDATES that Doctors must have face-to-face with patient to certify patient for home health services.

• Sec. 1639, Pg. 723-24, Lines 23-25, 1-5 - The same government certifications will apply to Medicaid and CHIP (Children’s health plan: Your kids).

• Sec. 1640, Pg. 723, Lines 16-22 - The government reserves right to apply face-to-face certification for patient to ANY other HC service.

• Sec. 1651, Pg. 734, Lines 16-25 - Proposes, for law enforcement sake, that the Secretary of HHS will give Attorney General access to ALL medical data.

• Sec. 1701 (beginning), Pg. 739-756 - The government sets guidelines for subsidizing the uninsured (and you have to pay for them).

• Sec. 1704, Pg. 756-761 - The government will shift burden of payments to Disproportionate Share Hospitals (DSH) to states (your taxes).

• Sec. 1711, Pg. 764 - The government will require preventative services - including vaccinations (no choice).

• Sec. 1713, Pg. 768 - Government-determined Nurse Home Visitation Services (Hello union paybacks).

• Sec. 1713, Pg. 768, Lines 3-5 - Nurse Home Visit Services – Service #1: "Improving maternal or child health and pregnancy outcomes or increasing birth intervals between pregnancies." Compulsory ABORTIONS?

• Sec. 1713, Pg. 768, Lines 11-14 - Nurse Home Visit Services include determinations of economic self-sufficiency, employment advancement and school-readiness.

• Sec. 1714, Pg. 769 - Federal government mandates eligibility for State Family Planning Services. Abortion and government control intertwined.

• Sec. 113, Pg. 21-22 of the Health Care (HC) Bill MANDATES a government audit of the books of ALL EMPLOYERS that self-insure in order to "ensure that the law does not provide incentives for small and mid-size employers to self-insure"!

• Sec. 122, Pg. 29, Lines 4-16 - YOUR HEALTH CARE WILL BE RATIONED!

• Sec. 123, Pg. 30 - THERE WILL BE A GOVERNMENT COMMITTEE deciding what treatments and benefits you get.

• Sec. 142, Pg. 42 - The Health Choices Commissioner will choose your benefits for you. You have no choice!

• Sec. 152, Pg. 50-51 - HC will be provided to ALL NON-US citizens.

• Sec. 163, Pg. 58-59 beginning at line 5 - Government will have real-time access to individual’s finances & a National ID health care card will be issued!

• Sec. 163, Pg. 59, Lines 21-24 - Government will have direct access to your bank accounts for electronic funds transfer.

• Sec. 164, Pg. 65 is a payoff subsidized plan for retirees and their families in unions & community organizations (ACORN).

• Sec. 201, Pg. 72, Lines 8-14 - Government is creating an HC Exchange to bring private plans under government control.

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