The facts: Socialism and U.S. healthcare

As a physician practicing in the area for over a decade, I had to respond in conscience to the recent editorial referring to healthcare for the poor. In order to make any decision as a populace, we must first have the facts. There were many misleading statements and few facts in Mr. Timothy Parker’s recent essay.

I can start with just the title at first, “Poorest Entitled to Healthcare in U.S.”

First and foremost, no one is “entitled” to any benefits not listed in the Constitution. We may vote democratically to add benefits (Medicare, Social Security, housing) but no one is entitled.

Secondly, and more pertinently, we HAVE health insurance for the poorest. It is called Medicaid.

Many do not understand the difference between Medicare (elderly and disabled) and Medicaid (poorest). There are strict low-income caps on any who apply for Medicaid. It is exclusively designed for the poor.

As far as the rest of us,there is no doubt that there is a problem with healthcare in the U.S. However, to say that there are 50 million people without “healthcare” is misleading. There are 50 million without “health insurance.”

Anyone who is ill can go to an emergency room and receive care; and of those 50 million, how many are between the ages of 20-35 who would choose not to buy insurance even if they had the financial means?

A healthy 26-year-old can get insurance for about $150 per month. Would that person choose to pay for insurance, or put part of that toward his iPhone bill?

Looking at the numbers, there are about 25 million people who need health insurance who can’t afford it. That is about 7 percent of the U.S. population.

What the Affordable Care Act (ACA) did was revamp the entire system for only 7 percent of the population.

It put control of our personal health decisions in the hands of the federal government. Regardless of whether it is the government directly or the insurance exchange, the ultimate power of what health services are covered, how much is paid, and what services can be offered comes from the Secretary of Health and Human Services.

The U.S. Preventative Task Force is the federal government’s public health screening arm. Under President Obama this task force has recommended that NO man of ANY age should ever be screened for prostate cancer. They also recommend that no woman under 40 without risks should get a mammogram and after age 50 every OTHER year.

To most doctors this is unconscionable. What about those who agree with Obamacare? Do you follow those guidelines? Does Mr. Parker? The real question is what will happen in 2014 when the federal government takes control of those decisions for you and your doctor?

The ACA/Obamacare was not passed “with great compromise” as inferred. Not a single Republican in the House voted for it. It is modeled after “Romneycare” in Massachusetts, however, and this year the governor of Massachusetts is attempting to pass a $20 billion cut to their program because of the losses.

Last year Massachusetts tried to pull legal immigrants from the insurance pool, but they were denied by their own state supreme court.

Looking at socialized medicine worldwide, we see a similar picture. Most socialized nations have the same rate of increase in health expenditures as the U.S., they just have a lower starting point.

These starting points are falsely low as a result of their health insurance and retirement systems not being included in expenses because the governments are responsible for retirement.

It would be similar to United Healthcare or Blue Cross Blue Shield not having to pay for a human resource department and 401k plans.

Most importantly, we have to look at quality of care for those who are sick. In Canada, the death rate from breast cancer is about 10 percent higher than in the U.S. For colon cancer it is about 7 percent higher.

I have had Canadian patients inform me wait times for elective hip replacement is 13 months. Right now I have a patient whose sister has a herniated back disc and is on chronic medication whose wait time for surgery is 15 months. She is attempting to get a surgery here in the U.S.

Canada is worse than most of Europe, but not by much. In Britain they deny certain seniors dialysis, which leads to certain death. Longer wait times, less care — and this is before austerity measures.

What we all must understand is that there is no magic bullet. If we choose socialized medicine, it is not only the doctors and hospitals that suffer, but also the patients. Some bureaucracy that “knows best” will decide what is right for us.

On the other hand, if we choose a market-driven system, there will be those who fall between the cracks of care. For those there is charity care — free medication and free services with a little investigative work.

All major pharmaceutical companies will give free medications to those with low incomes, including the working poor.

Right here in Fayette there is the Fayette Care Clinic and the Take Care Clinic for low- or no-income persons. There are often delays and changes in charity care but those are not much worse than we see in socialized care elsewhere.

Medicare is available for those who become disabled at younger ages.

If we say we are following Judeo-Christian beliefs, will we be able to live up to our responsibilities with donations of time and money? If not, will we choose “forced conversion” where the taxes of ACA/Obamacare are used against our will to fund second-tier healthcare for all? This is what this next election will decide.

I have presented hard facts and personal experiences. Mr. Parker has provided vague facts and innuendos. Whom should you believe?

This is the information age. I challenge everyone to research these facts using reputable sources. Please educate yourselves — your life depends on it.

Anthony F. Lawson, M.D.

Fayetteville, Ga.

[Dr. Lawson is associated with Starr’s Mill Internal Medicine located on Ga. Highway 74 just south of Peachtree City.]

Davids mom
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KC

You read your history. I think there was an administration between Clinton and Obama.

PTC Observer
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DM - Pay attention

Please

"“A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government."

It doesn't matter what the Democrats left the Republicans in the 1990's.

Here, take a look at this DM.

http://www.usdebtclock.org/

It's the red numbers you should focus on DM.

S. Lindsey
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PTCO..Obama does not even know how much debt we have..

https://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/video-obama-does-not-know-size-debt...

Here’s the clip of President Obama’s interview with David Letterman (which Steve Hayes discusses in greater detail here), during which Obama shows that he apparently has no idea how big our national debt is — apparently even to the nearest trillion.

...and that is the problem.

Davids mom
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PTCO

You just keep looking at the numbers - that is about all you can handle.

kcchiefandy
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Well, DM...

...just give us your credit card #'s and the CCV #'s on the back and we'll help you understand debt. A DEBT IS A DEBT, it doesn't matter 'how' it works between nations; it's still a debt. Btw, the largest debt holders of American debt are Americans (bonds, notes, etc...); China owns a lot but not the majority amount... Hey, I NEED a Cadillac, I'm too big for a Prius to haul me around; I'll just put it on your credit card...I'm sick - it's not my fault - I'm sure you won't mind; thanks for the help!

Davids mom
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Kc

Not using my credit card currently. Sorry.

PTC Observer
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DM

And you can't or you choose not to while you call for even more deficit spending to support unsustainable programs.

Go back and look at the last line item in the link DM. You can't possibly think that this can go on and on and on. Maybe you don't care, maybe you would like to see a dictatorship? A good socialist would be good for you, maybe the guy that occupies the WH right now?

A democracy to end democracy, right DM?

Davids mom
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PTCO

Can you share without using 'talking points'? 'I' don't support unsustainable programs using deficit spending - but that's the hand we've been dealt for more than 50 years. To expect to correct this in 3 years is ????? . Americans are seeing progress, and wondering would returning to the practices that got us here is wise. We'll know in November.

PTC Observer
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Talking points? DM

I have no idea what you are talking about.

Correcting out of control spending is at some point, self correcting, but the result of this correction is chaos.

So, if we don't start correcting it the world loses confidence in our will and more importantly our currency. It will be our children that pay for this both financially and with their freedom. You are a big proponent of government "solutions" but government solutions have only served to bankrupt the nation. Yet, you seek more "solutions". There are no government solutions only political pay offs.

Are those talking points? If so, just ignore them as you normally do.

Davids mom
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PTCO

Please share MY sentence which makes you believe I am a BIG proponent of government solutions.

PTC Observer
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DM - Now

Now tell me DM I don't have to go looking very deep in these pages for your support for the new health care law that will add another program to bury our country under even more debt.

Do you denounce this program as a waste of money DM?

No?

I didn't think so.

Davids mom
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Health Care Program
Quote:

Do you denounce this program as a waste of money DM?

No - and neither do EITHER of the candidates for president!!!! (Although one keeps changing his position almost weekly.)

PTC Observer
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DM - We're

Not talking about them, we're talking about you.

So, go back and re-read the string here DM.

Like I said, just ignore me as you normally do. But you are part of a really, really big problem for our country.

Our country is broke, you know it, but you and other leftists persist.

You know what the outcome will be.......and you invite it.

Davids mom
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PTCO

If you ran out of food and only had 5cents, would you hold on to the five cents or spend it on seed in order to grow more food?

PTC Observer
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5 Cents

Wouldn't be worth anything if I ran out of food DM.

I fact that you will find out.

Davids mom
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PTCO

Any individual who proposes disenfranchising a good part of the American populace is not to be considered creditable. You have become a joke IMHO. But your comments are entertaining. The bottom line will be realized in November - and then we'll go from there.

PTC Observer
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Not so DM

Nothing will change in November, only the faces may change. The problem will continue with help from folks like you.

It's all in the numbers DM.

Larry Sussberg
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Albion & SPQR

IMHO, we have the world's best health care system.
Our problem is with the health insurance industry.

We might need a regulated health insurance industry that is able to cross state borders and operate nationally but in return may need to be regulated as to rates, loss ratios, and consolidations. We need multiple options in health care insurance but we need to ensure that the industry does not consolidate into 2 or 3 large companies.

There are industries that have been de-regulated that have suffered from too much competition, losses and consolidation that have resulted in "too big to fail" banks who, we the American people had to bail out, who are now killing us with high fees. Also, let's not forget jumbo airlines who can now charge high travel rates and associated fees. Airlines were de-regulated, as were the banks and telephone companies. Good examples where Americans benefited on a mid-term basis due to increased competition but suffered long term after consolidation to a few large players.

Let's remember that state insurance regulators stand in the way of national competition.

As for government control, let's keep it private but healthy, competitive and regulated otherwise we will continue on the current course of insurance companies blocking Americans from our health care system by raising rates, cutting back on what policies will cover and refusals for experimental life saving treatments which are the making of the much feared death panels.

The fastest way to socialized medicine is to allow free market competition where consolidations to 2 or 3 companies can hurt the American people.

I'm all for free enterprise but in this 1 case, as we have learned from history, regulation might be needed.

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Albion

Excellent rebuttal. But just like the counterpoint, it attacks the symptom and not the underlying problem. The real problem. Healthcare, with the advent of subsidized group insurance back in the 50's became a cost plus proposition and never looked back.

Davids mom
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My opinion on SJF's post
Quote:

The next election won’t change anything. In the increasingly remote possibility of a Romney presidency, he will not “repeal Obamacare”, as he says, because it is essentially “Romneycare” after all. The provisions will continue to roll out over the next several years and people will continue to appreciate the reality versus the manufactured fear and outrage.

Romney won't change anything - Obamacare is Romneycare

Quote:

American citizens are indeed “entitled” to a guarantee of access to benefits based on established rights and legislation. In the preamble to the Constitution our Founders thought it appropriate to include the phrase “promote the general Welfare”

welfare; to provide those services that citizens cannot provide for themselves Some believe that the poor should pull themselves up by their bootsraps or get sick and die. That's what the countries run by those 'Arabs' seem to be doing.

Quote:

Republican opposition to the ACA was a clear demonstration of the craven, intransigence of a Republican party that has veered dangerously off course. The chief tenets of the ACA were Republican ideas not so long ago. Now that President Obama has succeeded in advancing the legislation, that had failed to be enacted for decades, it’s suddenly socialism. Any reasoned review of the path from the principles to the enactment would result in a different conclusion. It is progress and it’s long overdue.

Over the years, Republicans supported ACA. Now that Obama got it through Congress, Republican supporters call it socialism. How will ACA change under Romney?

Anyway - we'll see what happens after November 6. Thanks SJF.

Git Real
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What A Useless Cut And Paste Job

Now...In your own words tell us how Obama, Hillary and your fellow minions are blameless in what has transpired in the Middle East over the past few days.

albion
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... and now for something completely different

Thank you for your well considered retort GR

Keep up the good work!

Davids mom
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The past few days

Four Americans have died. (and politics goes on as usual). Four have been arrested/captured as possible suspects in this horror. A stupid video was used by protagonists to stir up a populace. Who paid for this video that came out of the US? Who sent the video to the Arab world - in time for 9/11 disruption? Why is the American Jewish community denying that members of their community paid for this video? Why is Obama being blamed for the video? Why are all news media reporting the facts - except Fox Newes which is sensationalizing, rather then getting feet on the ground information and using the videos from other news media. (I hope I'm wrong in what I'm assuming about this - but it stinks) We have war ships in strategic places ready to act - and Marines are on the ground as I type. Is this what America wants - more war, death, destruction? I sincerely believe that Romney, the individual, knew nothing in advance about this horror - or he would have been able to handle it in a more 'presidential' way. The timeline shows that Romney's comments came BEFORE the death of our Ambassador. The facts show that the comment made by the officials at the state department were not well advised.. .and did not come directly from Obama. Are politicians using this tragedy to make Romney appear ready to handle foreign relations? Are politicians using this to make Obama look like he can't handle foreign relations? I believe that our politicans are not representing the American people. . . and that is sad and dangerous. . . for if we go to war over this incident - our sons and daughters pay the price. Somewhere in someones calculations - our sons and daughter are expendable in order to win an election. IMHO..

lion
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President Obama and anti-American protests

Most Americans are glad that President Obama is the person dealing with the current crisis in Muslim countries. Imagine if John McCain or Mitt Romney were in charge? Shoot from the hip diplomacy? Invasion of another Muslim country? President Obama and Secretary Clinton will handle the crisis with a minimal loss of American lives and do their best to repair the damage to our relations with those nations.

S. Lindsey
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Uh huh sure...

... MOST really? Don't think so.

How is the Arab Spring working out there Lion...?

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