Once again the people whose socialist candidate, Hillary Clinton, lost the election in November are, like Chicken Little, screaming that “the sky is falling” because President Donald Trump is preparing to do what he said he would do in the election – repeal and replace the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010. I prefer to call it the Unaffordable Care Act, and I’m not the only one.
These people (who are sadly misinformed) are attending town halls, or protesting outside them, screaming holy heck about the possibility of losing their insurance when Republicans have made it quite clear that there is NO intention of pulling the rug out from under anybody as our elected representatives work to enable the health care sector of our economy to function much better and help everyone to access much more affordable health care. These protestors are afraid because someone has apparently told them that the Republicans just want to take their “health care away.”
One woman who actually paid for admission to an event in Kentucky where Senator Mitch McConnell was present said she had come to protest, among other things, “losing our health care.” So this is what they think: if the collapsing Obamacare system is actually reformed to provide access to care for everyone in an affordable manner, that means they will lose their health care.
Too many people in this country have become accustomed to the concept of “insurance coverage” for health needs as being equated to receiving health care, when in fact, coverage does not always enable access to health care. Just look at our Veterans Administration system or Medicaid where beneficiaries often have a difficult time finding a doctor who accepts Medicaid because of its below-cost reimbursement rates.
While I am very much in favor of people being allowed to protest in this country (our constitutional right), it is time for all of them to become truly educated about what they are protesting. At the end of this post, I have re-posted the interview Tucker Carlson from Fox News did with Steven Weissman, a former hospital CEO regarding one of the major cost drivers of health care – phony pricing by hospitals and other providers. I posted it on my blog last Friday to give people something to think about over the weekend before I wrote this post.
The notion that all people need is to be “covered” by some health insurance policy, means they will “have health care” is very faulty. First of all the combination of Obamacare insurance premiums, deductibles, and co-insurance payments are so high for many people that they have decided it would be less expensive to go without insurance.
Yes, it is reassuring to have at least an insurance policy for those really large-ticket treatments such as surgeries or cancer treatments, etc. – those problems over which we may not have a lot of control. However, if we are working individuals with at least a lower middle class income, we would be better served by the government allowing some tax breaks for health savings accounts and possibly the catastrophic insurance policy that goes with it and then getting out of the way to give us room to be wise health care consumers. We would also be better served if the tax deductions for health care were the same for individuals employed by a company that offers health insurance and those who are self-employed or employed by a small business that cannot provide health insurance.
The people who are screaming are probably those who have received substantial subsidies through the Obamacare exchanges to help pay for their health insurance costs. However, these are plans that place a lot of control over people in the form of narrower provider networks, insurance denials for treatment, insurance companies’ control over the number of doctors practicing in an area, etc. These people do not understand the impact that the insurance companies’ phony negotiations with providers (many of them tax-exempt) have on the actual cost of health care that has been hyper-inflated because of those phony discounts touted by the insurance companies. I cannot say it enough – these “discounts” are the cause of higher health care costs, and NOT the solution.
Real Compassion is Important Too
One disclaimer – I am very well aware that we, as a society, need to provide for the care of the extremely sick, unemployed and disabled who are unable to take care of themselves either temporarily or long-term. I believe in mercy and compassion. But, as I have outlined in earlier posts, there are innovative ways to take care of them that do not require government control over everyone in the form of expensive mandates.
Stand For Real Freedom!
I suggest to these protestors that instead of screaming about the unlikely possibility of “losing their health care,” that they get educated regarding how they can make health care accessible and affordable to everyone without a nanny government keeping average able-bodied people pacified with government giveaways.
Where is the spirit of independence and freedom that drove the founding fathers of our country to reject the tyrannical rule of Britain and establish a government intended to stay out of the way of the individual as much as possible enabling “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness?”
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