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Conflating Health Insurance with Health CARE

Our politicians do not learn from history, even our own. House Bill 100 (“New Mexico Health Care Access Wins Final Approval,” Los Alamos Post, Feb 19) just passed is touted to “increase[s] access to high-quality health care.”Sadly, this is not true.

HB 100 will provide additional funds (“tools”) to BeWellNM, New Mexico’s ACA-created health insurance exchange, which provides subsidies to New Mexicans who make too much money to qualify for Medicaid and too little to afford private insurance and/or do not have employer-supported health coverage.

Full closure: From 2013 to 2019, I was the “Consumer Advocate” onBeWellNMBoard of Directors. I support its mission to improve access to care, not merely insuring more people.

Both our state representatives and the governor conflate the words insurance and access, implying they are the same. They most certainly are not!

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Why Don’t We Get Monthly Medicare Checks Like Social Security?

Long, long ago (“in a galaxy far, far away”), I was a schoolboy near Liverpool, England. In 1960, I won the Old Wallaseyans Stumps Speeches Debating Trophy. It was nice to win, but the really good part was that in the final round, I beat my brother Stewart. He and I competed for everything from grades and awards to girls. Now fifty-five years later, I need to fall back on debating style to raise an important question about Medicare.

Point No. 1: Entitlements Are Free

An entitlement is a right to have or to do something. Such a right is granted to you by God or by the government. (Often, the latter thinks it is the former.) You pay nothing for an entitlement. Indeed, that is a hallmark of an entitlement — it is free.

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Federal Hypocrisy Over EpiPen: A Tale of Pot and Kettle

Aphorisms like “the pot calling the kettle black” persist because they keep being proven relevant. Such is the case with politicians’ outrage over Mylan Pharmaceuticals’ price gouging for its life-saving EpiPen: their price has risen from less than $100 for a two-pack in 2007 to $600 today.

The government (“pot”) is loudly and very publicly calling Mylan (“the kettle”) “black”-at fault-for something the government itself did.
The solution to the exorbitant price of EpiPen is not public shaming, such as claiming that Mylan is “just the latest troubling example of a company taking advantage of its consumers.” The solution is not Mylan’s proposed coupon program or its introduction of a “generic.” Most definitely, the solution is not more government controls through regulation.

The answer lies in releasing market forces from government suppression. If government bureaucratic barriers were eliminated, sellers could compete, and the supply of goods would increase. If the government were not the third party payer for health care, that is, if consumers controlled their healthcare dollars, spending would drop. Prices would plummet from these market forces.

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Can We “Build on ACA Success”?

Democrats plan to make healthcare a defining issue in the 2020 presidential election. Their rallying cry is, “Build on the success of the ACA!” Is the ACA, in fact, a success, based on facts and evidence, not rhetoric and spin?

Did Obamacare live up to its official name? Did it make health insurance “Affordable?” Did Obamacare make medical “Care” available to all Americans? No and No. The ACA did not make health insurance affordable. The ACA did not improve access to the medical care we all need.

Most Americans believe that having insurance is the key to getting care: those with insurance get the care they need and the uninsured don’t. This is false, a myth. Commonly, the opposite is true. 

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Five Bogus Healthcare Narratives and One True

There are so many compelling narratives about healthcare, people simply can’t distinguish truth from falsehood. Without knowing the facts about healthcare, we cannot fix it. Following are five examples of commonly accepted wisdom that are bogus, myths, and one true narrative.

When you accept that Washington is the cancer in healthcare, the cure becomes clear, obvious, and politically unacceptable (to the Beltway). To fix healthcare, We the Patients need to kick Washington out so we can decide for ourselves, in our states, what healthcare structure works best for us. Washington’s one-size-fits-all … does’t.

The true narrative is StatesCare, the one and only effective “fix” for healthcare: Eject Washington from healthcare. Let We the Patients decide their care and their spending.

Read More: bureaucracy in healthcare

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The BIGGEST Healthcare Lie: Washington Will Provide Our Care

Both Republicans and Democrats in Congress have bought into three healthcare lies: big, bigger, and biggest. The first says health insurance is what we need. The second presumes that having insurance means you will get care. The biggest lie is that Washington will deliver timely medical care for all Americans. 

For five decades, Washington’s fixes for healthcare have made things worse, not better. Healthcare has become Washington is the cancer-it cannot be the cure. We need to release healthcare from federal control. Healthcare should return to the states, where it belongs according to the U.S. Constitution. 

What is healthcare without federal control? It is called StatesCare, where Washington plays no role, and where the states singly or in groups decide what type of healthcare system will best serve their residents. 

Read More: US healthcare Critically ill

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Why Did I Get the Wrong Rx?

The reason you got a prescription for the wrong medication is simple. Your doctor did not choose it, someone who never heard your name and doesn’t know your medical history, that faceless person decided what medicines you take.

These faceless, unseen doctors-without-licenses are government rule writers, insurance actuaries, and bureaucrats working for pharmacy benefits management (PBM).

Every day thousands of Americans get the WRONG medication for their illness. It’s time to return decision-making authority where it rightfully belongs: with you and your doctor. 

Read More:  Doctor Patient Relationship

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Single Payer Is Root Cause for VA Deaths

Former Chief of Staff of the Army and current Secretary of Veterans Affairs Secretary Shinseki “falling on his sword” won’t bring back a single veteran who died needlessly while waiting for approved medical care. He is being used as a scapegoat. Singling out specific institutions such as Phoenix VA Hospital is a diversionary tactic — it won’t get veterans the timely doctor visits they need. Blaming never fixes anything, and tweaking the VA system won’t make things right, nor will throwing money at it.

The problem with the VA system is the system, a single payer model. Newspaper headlines shrieked outrage over unconscionable wait times to see a doctor; inadequate operating rooms; and needed medicines not available. This should come as no surprise. That is the way single payer systems work. That is the norm, not the exception.

Look to our north for proof, to the single payer system in Canada. Fifteen years ago, a Canadian surgeon named Dr. Ciaran McNamee sued the Alberta Provincial government claiming that patients were dying needlessly, while waiting for authorized (but not funded) care. He had good hard medical data to back up his claim, showing that there were not enough operating rooms, too few nurses or doctors, and insufficient medicines, all due to a government budget allocation process. The phrase applied to these patients, equally appropriate for our veterans, was death-by-queueing.

A queue is the British word meaning standing in a line. The current VA scandal comes as a surprise to many. It certainly shouldn’t. In 2003, a task force established by President GW Bush reported that at least 236,000 (!) U.S. veterans were waiting six months or more for a first medical appointment or initial follow-up. Nothing was changed in eleven years.

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How to Fix American Healthcare: Kick Out Washington

There are six important reasons to kick Washington OUT of U.S. healthcare. Simply put, healthcare is not in their wheelhouse. The solution to our failing healthcare system is StatesCare, not more-of-the-same Washington domination, called single payer or Medicare-for-All.

Reason #1: Track record

The first and most obvious reason to kick Washington out is its track record. For more than fifty years, the federal government has been fixing healthcare, and look what their “fixes” have produced: needed medical care is both unaffordable and unavailable, especially when we need it.

Imagine a football team that has had the same coach for fifty seasons and lost every game. Would you renew that coach’s contract for next season?

Reason #2: Cost

In 2009, President Obama said spending on U.S. healthcare was “unsustainable,” and he was correct. In 2010, the year the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was passed, the U.S. spent $2.5 trillion, 16 percent of GDP, on healthcare. The ACA was implemented starting in 2014 at a cost of $1.76 trillion. By 2018, we were spending $3.6 trillion on healthcare, 19 percent of GDP.

Washington’s latest self-proclaimed cost-cutting effort, the ACA, dramatically increased spending on healthcare. What was unsustainable in 2010 has become even less sustainable due to Obama’s namesake legislation. Americans need to find some way to reduce spending on healthcare that doesn’t depend on Washington.

Reason #3: Cost/Benefit

When an American considers purchasing anything, a product such as a sweater or a service like dry cleaning the sweater, the buyer compares money spent with benefit received. We know how much we are spending on healthcare. Are we getting an appropriate benefit? The answer is an emphatic no!

Nationally, we spent $3.6 trillion on healthcare in 2018, approximately twice what other developed nations spend. Yet wait times to see a physician increased to a point where people die waiting in line for medically possible, life-saving care that isn’t available in time. Such “death-by-queueing” has been reported in MarylandIllinois, and the Veterans Administration health system.

In 2018, the average American family expended $28,166 on healthcare costs, of which $23, 462 (83 percent) was paid to insurance companies. As median gross family income in 2018 was $63,179, a healthy family of four wasted 45 percent of their total compensation. (Imagine if they could have put all that money in to a family HSA.)

With Washington in charge of healthcare, Americans are spending more and getting less-a truly terrible cost/benefit ratio.

Reason #4: Legal

The original 1965 Medicaid law created “jointly funded, state administered” programs. Note the phrase state administered. Over five decades, the federal government has gradually taken control of every aspect of all Medicaid programs from eligibility and verification to mandated benefits and payment schedules.

In fact, the Medicaid law also explicitly legislates local, i.e., state, control of each program. Section 1801 of the Medicaid law is titled, “Prohibition against any federal interference.”

Read more click here: Fix American Healthcare

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Top Reasons to Buy Curing the Cancer in U.S. Healthcare

The COVID pandemic has shown how much we need the private sector in healthcare. It was the free market that got us early testing, ramped up production of personal protective equipment and ventilators, and instantly developed ideas for both treatment drugs and vaccines.

Meanwhile, the public sector, Washington, expends trillions of our “healthcare” dollars on federal bureaucracy, taking those dollars away from patient care. This wasted money comes from businesses like yours where health insurance premiums are taking an impossibly large bite out of the bottom line, while consuming a third of your employees’ take-home pay!

Just as our 1776 rebellion against an overly controlling government led to the birth of the United States, we need another American revolution, led by We the People, or We the Patients. We must reassert our FREEDOM, particularly from Washington’s domination. As Americans, we need to reaffirm our right to choose our medical care and our care providers.

Curing the Cancer in U.S. Healthcare: StatesCare and Market-Based Medicine outlines an efficient, workable plan StatesCare that returns control of healthcare to the American people. With StatesCare, businesses will not be burdened by huge insurance payments, and Americans can get affordable medical care when they need it.

Written by a physician who studied and trained at Yale, Chicago Medical School, Mayo Clinic, Northwestern, Harvard, and Anderson Graduate Schools, the book is a must-read for corporations, organizations, and other entities that want a healthcare system that will make medical care readily accessible, will save lives, and will reduce the bottom line to a spending level we can all afford. Curing the Cancer can restore health to a critically ill American healthcare system.

Discounts are available for bulk purchases. Read the book, share it, and be part of the cure.

Read more click here: Curing the Cancer in U.S. Healthcare