Sunday, July 19, 2009

Your Health Care Should be Yours - Not Up To Others

Keep these things up front where you can remember them:

"Health insurance", as discussed today, is NOT "insurance", because every person will access the benefits. In an insurance plan, some do NOT access benefits. This is actually socialized medicine. Be honest and enforce that term.

The entire purpose of "health insurance" is to pay doctors. Someone has to be paid to treat you, because nothing is free.
If you do not pay, you are not a customer, you are a commodity. Things will be done by policy, not the way you desire.
A policy is not treatment. If you do not make the market favor health care providers, no one will treat you. Your policy, subsidized by government or not, will be worthless.


Basic questions do not get asked as often or as loudly as they should:

  • Why should I ever pay for something I DO NOT RECEIVE?
  • Why should government ("other people") pick up all of the cost of anything?
  • Do you recognize that all resources, government included, are limited?
  • Do you know what your insurer's current practices are, and their relationship with your doctor? How about with other doctors? What do they have to say about non-routine procedures? Prescription painkillers?
  • Why are thousands of people who have nothing to do with actually treating me involved?
  • Why does the Explanation of Benefits - from an insurer - have dollar numbers on it that no one was paid?
This last is an artifact of the insurers agreement: a doctor will provide services for less than a "list price" in return for guaranteed payment.

What? Do you really believe that?

Really? The doctor doesn't adjust his prices to deal with the overhead of hundreds of forms he has to submit, and the correspondence regarding his services? Extra people in the office and at the insurer's offices do their jobs for free? Of course not. So people want government to step in.


Aren't you really, seriously insane for proposing that? You don't like what government is doing in the Middle East, you know public housing sucks...

The IRS is not your friend. Why would you even begin to think a Federal medical authority would be?

The Veteran's Administration has been proven to let veterans DIE to reduce their workload. THAT is a government-run healthcare system. Its administrators, just as is the case with health-care insurers, suffer no immediate penalty from witholding care.

Yet the Affordable Health Care Act has penalties in store for you if you get care other than by Federally approved means. Your health care plan cannot be better than Federal authorities decree unless you pay a surcharge.
Yes, you're sick; sorry, fill out the forms and wait. Wait some more. You've been promised that no one will be denied care. "Sorry, madam, you'll have to wait. You're not being denied care, it just isn't available right now. Have you submitted your paperwork? Then, the system is working." Oh, you want to go somewhere else, because some bureaucrat has not got it through their thick head that disease does not wait? 

Sorry. You can't. No. 
So, you are sick. The clerk is not sick. You will do as you are told. Watch in the mirror as the disease eats you alive, as you wait for the permission of someone whose income will never be challenged and who states that the system is working perfectly because paperwork is filled out.
In addition, this monstrosity is set up so that not only initially, even after you are signed up for it, it will "reset" and cancel the arrangements you have made with your doctors!
Doctors and hospitals are charging more and closing locations because of the costs of the "Affordable" Care Act.

Oh, joy. Did you vote for this? It's what happens when the ignorant clamor for government to give them something for "free".

Did you notice that the Affordable Care Act supersedes medical decisions made in your presence? Not only can you NOT keep your doctor, you cannot even keep the treatment she prescribes unless it is approved by someone who has never seen you!

The President of the United States LIED about this Act. It was pushed into law by "public servant" Nancy Pelosi, who did not even read the bill before signing it, and who said, "We have to pass this law to see what's in it." Why would you even think about supporting it? Why aren't you thinking about jail time for Ms. Pelosi?

I have another proposal, which will still ensure doctors get paid, which must happen. Here's the message I sent my Senators, and which I will repeat soon:

Dear Senator:

I believe I have a model for health care which could revolutionize the industry, improve efficiency and make you the object of public admiration. Bold claim? Well, let's see.

We should set up the "Medical VISA Card" - like this:

• This card would be issued by an existing Federal agency or contractor to every person attaining majority, or to the guardian of every person for whom one is appointed, upon their voluntary acceptance of a contract. This would establish positive ID for that person. There would be benefits to this - see below. I call this a VISA card just because that company has all the assets in place to do this already. The program could bear the name of the person(s) putting it in place.

• The card would be usable ONLY for prescription medicine and for visits to licensed doctors and dentists.

• The card would enable the consolidation of medical records and practices into  "portable" form. Currently, some states insist that "your" medical records are the property of the attending physician, and some consider them to be yours. Neither of these views serve the public well, but with a secure chipped card, all records can be accessed with the card in a chip reader at registered office locations. This feature would allow vast improvements in the administration of opioids and psychotropic drugs by preventing or reducing hoarding and prescription fraud. Software can easily track the daily use of these drugs, exposing when usage exceeds the prescribed amount for a particular patient.

• The card would have a "threshold". Reaching this number would trigger agency review of the use of the card and agency participation. Just like reaching a deductible works in your current insurance policies, the agency takes over treatment costs and decisions once they are beyond your capabilities. Think of a value determined by the person's economic status - the method by which credit is responsibly extended today.

• The balance would be due from the holder to the "medical VISA" agency, exactly as bank and other credit cards are handled today.

• An interest rate on outstanding balances would be established to pay the direct cost of the program (overhead), and to support an investment fund to be used for catastrophic illness and disability of all participants in the program (benefits). There will always be a percentage of the public who cannot pay for their medical care. This is a difficult situation, but until the system is self-financing, it cannot pay these charges. If you value health care programs as humanitarian and representative of the goodwill of the United States, funding MUST be established. Lying about this will do no one good.

• Card holders could be shown instructions for getting medical attention, and encouraged to avoid using emergency rooms for routine care. Hospitals could issue the medical card (facial recognition software can prevent multiple, fraudulent accounts) to send patients to other clinics.

Medical VISA card holders could build a positive, interest-paying balance in their medical account, as this is portable medical insurance. It doesn't depend on where you work!
This feature will eliminate the impossible burden now placed on small business owners by removing the hiring and hours thresholds for "insurance" coverage through work. That never made sense.
Bingo. More full-time employment.

• This system does not discriminate between individuals based on anything but their reported income, and then, only to determine when the agency steps in. It doesn't care about citizenship or race. If you are an immigrant, you would be positively identified by this card. The system relieves the nation of the medical burden of immigrants.


Make no mistake about the fundamental nature of this card: up to the "threshold" amount, the holder MUST pay. People simply won't be careful with other people's money.

Current rhetoric insists on calling today's medical plans "insurance", which it is not, because there is no one who will not receive benefits.
A credit model for the delivery of services makes more sense by far, immediately removing the opportunity some have taken to characterize health care as "free" - which is completely impossible.

Senator, people understand credit cards. It's time to re-establish and strengthen the patient-doctor relationship.
This will do that.
Need treatment? See available doctors, check their reputation for service and prices. Get treatment. Hand the doctor your card. Pay the balance.

If you find merit in this, feel free to add to or subtract from it and pass it on - because there is a truth you cannot escape or deny:

You will not get to say what happens unless you are the one paying.