Beyond the Cusp

August 5, 2017

Hey Bernie Thanks for Your Advice on Healthcare

 

Senator Bernie Sanders has proposed for President Trump that there is a singular way to repair the broken healthcare system. Berating the President and the Republicans for their failure thus far to repair Obamacare, Sanders offered his suggestion on CNN stating, “Single payer would save the average family significant amounts of money.” True, that might be the case, unless they pay income tax, but then only the wealthy, according to Democrats, pay income taxes. That is because most of the income taxes are paid by those making over $75,000 per year, seemingly what the Democrats quote as the wealthy in their debates on who should be taxed the highest. Forget that such a salary would not support the average family of four in most of the major cities throughout the United States which is why both parents must work in most families. But for those in the bottom 49% who pay no income tax, but do pay Social Security taxes, single payer healthcare is wonderful as when income taxes double, they will not need fear as twice nothing is nothing. But some of them will need fear because to increase revenue the level for paying taxes will drop precipitously. The only income tax free incomes will likely end up being the lowest 25% or 30% with these new taxable paying a fair percentage which they cannot afford. It is even possible that the new rage of a $15/hr. minimum wage will place you into the income tax range; would that not be a hoot? But Bernie loves the socialist idea and wishes the United States could just become part of the failed experiment we call Europe. We understand his viewpoint and hope that he never gets to carry out such plans as President, something Hillary saved the United States from as he might have bested Trump as many polls reported.

 

About that single payer plan that Bernie thinks would be the salvation for healthcare in the United States. It would save the United States and her people from the slow disintegration of the health insurance industry simply by eliminating it overnight. Bernie would say that this was wonderful because these blood-sucking insurance companies are horribly evil as they actually are in business making a profit. That is horrible unless you have stock from your 401K plan or personal stock holdings or if you happen to work for one of these health insurance companies which Bernie wants to put out of business. You see, Bernie believes that any company which makes a profit is making that profit because it overcharges the people using their product, be it clothing at WalMart or health insurance from an insurance company. Bernie would tell you the government could do the same job of providing the payments for your health better than the existing systems which need to make profits. Profits, according to Bernie, never come from efficiency and prices are not lowered by competition, everything is out to steal your money by ripping you off. That is why Bernie believes the government should run every industry. He would likely tell you that the government should run the grocery stores such that you would never have to pay for groceries. All you would do is receive your government food card which would have a color code and when you get to the store, the shelves would tell you how much of any item your color permits you to buy and whether or not you are permitted to buy some things at all. You have the purple card, no candy or sweets for you; the government has you on a low carb, high fiber diet, so enjoy the yummy, government produced granola and soy wafers. You see, if the government is paying for your healthcare, the government will need to control what you eat. Expect certain items to become illegal if the government pays for your healthcare such as alcohol, cigarettes, whole milk and many high fat products or anything else the government deems is not good for you, unless you have that special card which allows you to shop at the primo store where they even sell ice cream. The government would be permitted to enroll you in a mandatory exercise class and if you do not measure up to the fitness reports, expect a fine, it is not a fat tax, it is an under fitness fine.

 

We all got a fine example of where government provided single payer healthcare results in the sad saga of Charlie Gard who was sentenced to have life support removed from his one-year-old body because the costs of treatment were too high for his likely lifetime earnings. Oh, of course they did not put it that way, and it only took this long because his parents had been fighting to be allowed to take him to the United States, where the government does not determine who is worth saving and everybody is worth saving, for treatment which was even offered free for over nine months, or Charlie would have died before his four month birthday because he was too expensive and his earnings would not have repaid the government. Oh yea, that is the criteria that the health boards use, potential earnings against initial costs. That is why once you reach seventy they do not even pay over a minimal amount for prescriptions. At that age, you are really done earning and nobody cares if you live or die any longer anyway, and that includes family. That is what the government has decided and is also kind of what the children are taught to believe as well. Socialized medicine, it is just wonderful as long as you are healthy.

 

Helicopter landing at MedStar Washington Hospital Center

Helicopter landing at MedStar Washington Hospital Center

 

There are all the stories about the wonderful care in Canada. Well, I worked at one of the finest heart hospitals in the world located in Washington D.C. and of our heart patients needing life saving surgeries, there were two main countries from which they came; Saudi Arabia and Canada. We also got a decent number from Europe though most of the Europeans with that kind of money belong to private care groups which are actually membership hospitals or clinics. That is how the really wealthy get around national healthcare. They either belong to a private health provider or go to the United States or, oddly enough, Israel and India. But the rest of us in the regular person on the street category, we are rated by our earning potential in Europe and Canada. Part of the reason the system in Canada works is that the United States is rather close to Canada and all too many Canadians simply slip across into the United States, rent a place and head to the hospital with their driver’s license and get their care and pay for it, often arranging payments with the hospital. Why wait in Canada for two years for a new hip when you can get one in the United States in ten days?

 

There is a reason that the United States has about the best healthcare system in the world and definitely the largest which performs the most procedures. There is no healthcare system in the world which places a higher priority on the lives of their patients than the United States spare one, and that is the nation which values the lives of every human being so highly that even their enemies enter their hospitals for treatment knowing that everything possible will be done to preserve their lives.

 

Our warning to the wonderful (and the less than wonderful) people of the United States is, please keep your wonderful, privately-run healthcare system as is because once you lose it to the government you will never be able to extract the same system. By the time you manage to extricate yourselves from the horrors to come, the system will be as broken as your streets, bridges and highways have become. Would you trust your life to the snow removal in most cities where it is run by the city or the state, and those levels of government are more efficient than the federal government, except maybe for the city government in Washington D.C. due to the horrible example they have right there to emulate. Yes, many times people complain about how long they waited in an emergency room just to get five stitches in their child’s lip after a slight altercation on the playground. Keep in mind that an emergency room is not first-come-first-served basis but on a most serious first basis as somebody with a broken leg or sucking chest wound comes in after you, they will be treated before you and your five stitches is about the lowest form of injury once the bleeding has been treated which often requires a cold cloth to stop the bleeding. Heart attacks usually take first priority, which we can attest to by personal experience. We will grant you that emergency rooms could use larger staff but then somehow whenever we end up in one, it is always when they are bust with seeming thousands arriving by the hour; and we never see them on a Wednesday morning at 10:00AM and there were no major car accidents and everybody is watching “The Price is Right” or doing crossword puzzles. If the United States ends up with universal healthcare run by the government, then the emergency room might become the most efficient place even time-wise in the entire hospital. Honestly, after the debacle with the Veterans Administrations Hospital System and them even using two lists, one for their reports which showed how promptly they dealt with caring for the veterans and the real list which had vets dropping dead in the hallways waiting for a bed or even to see a physician for an initial diagnosis, let alone treating their problem; and this is the kind of system people honestly desire? Ask the Native Americans about their government run healthcare. After checking out those two disaster cases, then tell me that is the healthcare you want for you and your family. Sometimes you want the different choices competing for your business, because it makes them try harder. Public run healthcare means every choice is run by the same administrators and could not care about your business as they get paid no matter how poorly they treat you, or even if they refuse to treat you.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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