Beyond the Cusp

November 22, 2013

Obamacare Working Just as Actually Intended

Everywhere you turn on the media, be it news coverage, late night entertainment, Comedy Channel faux news or virtually any talk show, you are hearing all about the failures of the Obamacare rollout and how literally thousands, hundreds of thousands and soon rumored to become millions losing their health insurance coverage largely because their current policy does not meet the stringent government mandated standards. Virtually everybody is treating all of the litany of disasters which is becoming the standard for all phases and measures of Obamacare as if they are either unintended consequences, results from measures which were mainly caused by miscalculations, overzealous application resulting from no clearly defined standards, or simply put none of the problems were intended, planned, foreseen or desired. Well, perhaps the media has gotten this as wrong as they have virtually everything else about President Obama and his entire agenda from their initial praise and infatuation with “Hope and Change” without even bothering to question Hope for what and Change what and how. Perhaps all of the problems with Obamacare including the disastrous computer site “healthcare.gov” with its cycle of having far more down time than operating normally, if anything with that site can be referred to as normal, has all been part of a delicately balanced, fully flushed out, intentionally plotted and insidiously nefarious plot and plan to destroy the entire private healthcare and health insurance industries in order to get to a completely different kind of healthcare imposed on the American people.

 

Believe it or not, but the entire Obamacare system with its thousands upon thousands of regulations, many of which are unfathomable to any sane person, is designed to ruin the health insurance industry initially and then, as a result of possibly the majority of Americans being forced from their present insurance coverage into the government provided insurance through the exchanges, placing a plurality if not majority of Americans on government provided health insurance and thus place their healthcare decisions under the thumb of government bureaucrats.  The initial proof comes when one considers the required coverage that must be included in from even the most basic plan all the way to the most expensive so-called Cadillac plans. Why must every insurance plan cover birth control pills, breast exams, prostate exams, prenatal care, and a complete list of either gender related items or age specific items with no exceptions even for single individuals whose gender makes such coverage ridiculous, not simply superfluous. There is but one logical reason to have a long list of gender, age and other very specific coverage to be required in every insurance package for it to be acceptable in the President’s plan. The Gender specific requirements would never be necessary for either one gender or the other yet they are still demanded to be in even plans for single adults. Age specific requirements are placed as requirements for insurance plans for all ages. Even items that have such a low instance of occurrence in certain age groups or either gender as to make it required makes no sense and which would seldom if ever be covered in any regularly issued health insurance plan has been included in Obamacare to make sure that the vast majority of health insurance policies in some way do not meet the specific and stringent required coverage demanded by the Patient Protection and Affordable Healthcare Act thus making them unqualified and thus their holders become uninsured fulfilling  the plan is to force all, or at least the vast majority, of these victimized people onto the government exchange insurance rolls.

 

What comes after such a large number of Americans are forced onto the exchanges and government regulated and run health insurance? Well, these plans are still backed by the health insurance companies but not all of those who were eligible to participate actually chose to pick up such coverage. The insurance companies who will underwrite the exchanges will likely find that payments will be delayed, contested, and eventually regulated so that the payments are made more affordable for the government when reimbursing the payment for care given. These companies can expect bureaucratic snags and the government contesting prices and other monetary remunerations and these insurance companies will soon find that their repayments have fallen so far in arrears that their very ability to make a profit will be in peril. Eventually the government will push many of these insurance companies into bankruptcy. Once this situation has made it so that the health insurance companies have refused to remain in the government system then the government will take over the responsibility for payment for all healthcare for those people still on the exchanges. With the government not being the most efficient system known to mankind, eventually there will be sufficient backup in making payments that hospitals and physicians will either end up financially destroyed or leaving the system and practicing on a cash only system. The government will make that illegal as soon as there are sufficient physicians and hospitals working independently from the now government healthcare payments and coverage that putting these renegade healthcare providers completely out of the system and business or begging to be reincluded under the government plans. This will cause sufficient boondoggle that the repayment of fees for coverage that the entire system will collapse under the weight and tangled inefficiencies and healthcare will be in complete disarray.

 

When this situation becomes dire enough and unworkable through planned obstructions to remuneration and payments the people will demand that the government do something as the healthcare system will truly be broken. That is when the salvation that will be offered will actually be the formalization of the very system that caused the problem, a single payer healthcare system under the auspices and whims of a fickle Federal Government. Once there healthcare will never return to anything even remotely close to the quality and quantity of healthcare which has been the benchmark of the American healthcare industry. Americans can forget any research producing new drugs, pioneering surgeries and treatments being formulated and perfected in the United States, efficiency which is among the best in the world or new innovated diagnoses. What can be expected is long wait times to see a physician, even worse wait times to see a specialist, delays in receiving surgery, managed care, refusal of care if deemed too expensive or risky by government agency which has no physicians or other healthcare workers on the committee, general delays in all forms of treatment eventually reaching the point that if one has the flu they will receive care within two or three weeks, eventually months, after they have completely recovered. If all of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act or Obamacare, pick whichever name you prefer, has not been discarded into the waste-can of lost causes totally repealing every aspect, every regulation and any other vestiges of this approaching intentionally designed and engineered disaster then we will be telling our children and grandchildren about the time in the seemingly distant past, though it will be only a very few years, when sick children were taken to see a doctor and be treated within hours or maybe a whole day and receive possibly lifesaving treatments and be healthy and outside playing even before we get to see a doctor these days. I hope no parent or grandparent ever needs to tell their sick child such sad and unnecessary stories, especially as an explanation of why they are still suffering from some formerly easily treated illness. The entire disaster in the making that is the plan behind Obamacare must not be allowed to claim future lives, especially of innocent children. This is an emergency intentionally being perpetrated on the American people who do not deserve such a threat to their healthcare and personal health.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

July 28, 2013

Of Likud and Republican; A Problem Shared

They say that misery loves company and should that be true then members of America’s Republican Party and Israel’s Likud Party have plenty of company. Both of these political parties have had a split from in their membership and both sides blame the other for any election misgivings and shortfalls. What makes things even closer between the two is in both cases the split pits political purists who hold tightly to high political standard that might be best described as the pure essence of their party in theory while the other faction claims to be practical realists who hold that high political morality is great in theory but practice demands that the party must be more open to a wider group and that compromise is paramount. In both parties the purists claim that they have been ignored and that they have not had a candidate who holds fast to their strict definitions of belief while the realists blame the purists for forcing the party too far from the center and costing them the so-called swing voters which are necessary in national elections.

In the United States the Republican Party has had a group from which has been defined as the Tea Party Republicans but might be best defined as Constitutionalists and Libertarians. These Constitutional purists hold strongly to individual freedoms as defined by the Founding Fathers in their letters, writings and the founding documents of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Their claim is that there are a multitude of voters who believe the same way as they do and that many of these voters are even more stridently defined and are willing to stay home on Election Day rather than vote for a candidate they feel is too compromised on their issues. The realists claim that the dogmatic purity is too restrictive and denies the party the support of middle of the political spectrum voters. The realists claim that the Republican Party needs to position their candidates just slightly more conservative than the Democrat’s candidate as this will position their candidate to pick up the centrist voters as well as the strident conservatives of all stripes as who else would such people vote for, the Democrat or some third party candidate? They claim to run a stridently conservative candidate would leave the party with high political morals but no vote totals and they doubt that third party candidates actually take that many votes away due to their reference to put forward a compromise candidate. The biggest disagreement between these two groups in the Republican camp is where their recent candidates for the Presidency stood on the issues, especially in the last two elections where they lost to the Democrat Party candidate, Barrack Obama. In both cases the purists claimed that both John McCain and Mitt Romney were members of the realist camp while the realists claimed that due to catering to the purists these two candidates appeared too far to the conservative and libertarian end of the political spectrum. Both sides claim that the candidates were chosen and ran as if they were the epitome of the other side’s idea of the perfect candidate. Obviously both sides cannot be correct.

In Israel, the Likud Party has had an even rougher time despite currently being the party in power. All one has to do to see the convulsions which have wrought through the Likud body politic is to review some of the up and coming and established Likud Party leaders over the last decade or so. It was from the Likud Party that Kadima was born when the realists’ extremes of the party felt they could no longer accomplish their desired policies and remain within the Likud Party. It was a Likud elected Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, who divided the Likud Party by taking a fair number of the leadership and merging them with other opportunists from Labor and other parties to form a new party they named Kadima. Those who split and joined Likud claimed that their moderate views were not welcomed in Likud and that they really had little choice. Some of those who left Likud with Ariel Sharon, among others, were Ehud Olmert, Tzipi Livni, Shaul Mofaz, Meir Sheetrit, Gideon Ezra, Avraham Hirschson, Ruhama Avraham, Majalli Wahabi, Roni Bar-On and Omri Sharon. The main reasons for the divide was over whether Israel should carry out the disengagement plan and simply remove all Israeli presence from the Gaza Strip and turn the entire area over to the Palestinian Authority as a test case to give the Palestinians an opportunity to govern and prove their capabilities. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon carried out the disengagement and a short while later Hamas took control over the Gaza Strip in a violent coup which led directly to the rain of rockets and other terrorist attacks emanating from the areas Israel had vacated.

Despite the obvious failure of the disengagement as far as Israel is concerned and, oddly enough, as far as the Palestinian Authority was concerned, there is still a strong worldwide push to force another disengagement from Judea and Samaria turning the entire area over to the Palestinian Authority assuming that this time will work out better. What makes the push for finding a peace in which much if not almost all of the areas of Judea and Samaria, also known to the Arabs as the West Bank, is turned over to the Palestinian Authority is once again the issue that is splitting Likud onto two camps, one is the Zionist Camp which purports that Israel should simply annex the entirety of Judea and Samaria and set a method by which the Palestinians could apply and qualify as citizens in Israel while the other camp are the so-called realists who hold that the Palestinians cannot be granted citizenship in Israel for any number of reasons among which include the “demographic bomb which states that in thirty to fifty years the Palestinians will outnumber the Jews in Israel simply through natural reproductive growth, or the idea that Israel will find themselves in even a worse position where the rest of the world will impose a solution on Israel where they will lose everything and therefore a compromise must be found. Currently, the Likud led coalition is headed by Prime Minister Netanyahu who is working towards finding a path to making a treaty with the Palestinians where, according to rumors, Israel would retain the major Jewish settlement blocks which amounts to around fifteen percent of the lands of Judea and Samaria and the Palestinians would be allowed to form their state in the remaining eighty-five percent. This would entail the Israelis absorbing between sixty and eighty thousand Jewish Settlement refugees from the towns and farms that would be ceded to the Palestinians. As the lands of Judea and Samaria are a large portion of the traditional ancient Jewish-Israelite-Hebrews historic and biblical homeland, there are many who feel that relenting on these areas to be sinful and sacrilegious, tantamount to treason against the true faith of Judaism. One should be able to see that giving up lands whose name is Judea might be a serious compromise for a people and religion denoted by the name of Judaism.

So, what does the future likely hold for these two parties and their respective nations? First off, in the Likud the future is relatively clear in that the younger members of the party such as Danny Danon and Moshe Feiglin who are strident Zionists and favor Israel retaining all of Judea and Samaria and offering the Palestinians who wish to remain and become Israeli citizens a methodology and plan to do so and for those Palestinians who would prefer to leave and live in the Arab world be given fair compensation for all of their properties and an additional payment to facilitate making their transition easier. This shifting towards a stronger nationalistic outlook also matches one of the trends within the Israeli population along with trending towards the populations as a whole becoming more religious. There is a real, visceral, tangible revitalization of Judaism taking place within Israel that is growing healthily in accord with nationalism. The window that we hear being bandied about as a limited time remaining in which forming a Palestinian state being possible is very probably an accurate assessment but for reason different than those stated. The problem is not that the two sides are growing more strident in their positions and thus reaching a compromise will soon become impossible as it is that a growing number of Israelis are beginning to realize that the Palestinians will never live peaceably even should they be granted their own state but will continue to use terror and pleadings to the world, especially Europe, to return all of the lands to them and remove Israel from the map. It really should not be a huge surprise as this has been the message shouted loud and clear from Palestinian society and the Arab World at large since before Israel was founded and it has never changed. The Israelis hear it constantly on Palestinian radio and television broadcasts, read it in Palestinian newspapers, journals, magazines, and their children’s textbooks, and it is evident on their maps which show all of the land as Palestine with no mention of Israel whatsoever. Likud will eventually become an almost purely Zionist Party as will other Israeli political parties and that will not be a contended position in elections. Likud also supports capitalism, free trade with other nations, smaller government, privatization of government run services and companies, and less regulations and restriction on business in general. Their main competitors in the political realm are all socialists of different stripes.

The Republican Party’s future is not quite as easily determined as there is not the generational split anywhere near as obvious as it is for Israel’s Likud Party. The Tea Party segments of the Republican Party are a growing sector which is still flushing out its organizational structure and thus will gain some more voice and strength in the immediate future. The challenge for the Tea Party members will be maintaining their higher than average level of involvement which is often found when a movement is in its early stages and still growing. There have been signs in some elections where the Tea Party has surprised the establishment and pollsters by winning what were termed upsets such as Bridenstine against Sullivan in Tulsa, Oklahoma and Ted Cruz in Texas, among others. The problem with predicting the future of political parties in the United States over doing so in Israel is an obvious one, size matters and the United States has size over Israel in every manner you care to measure with the exception as both nations have a similar number of Jewish citizens, for now. When one speaks of the Republican Party, there is a huge difference as you look at different locations. An example which makes this point is that if one compares a Democrat elected to the United States House of Representatives from Texas or Wyoming to a Republican elected to the same august body from Maryland or Massachusetts, one would likely find that the Democrat would be considered the more conservative of the two. That is why it is impossible to form an exact definitive description for a member of any political party in the United States and especially for the two main parties, the Democrats and the Republicans. Politics in the United States is a lot like real estate, what matters a lot is location, location, location. Still, the Republican Party will likely face a reformation of sorts over the next decade or two and a good prediction would safely contend that Republican candidates will become more aligned with the founding declarations of individualism, freedom, and less reliance on government. They will push for reforms that lessen the reach and purview of the federal government and push for empowerment of the individual states and even to local city and county governments. Any contributions from the Federal Government will be in the form of block grants and there will be less stringent restrictions on their use. Whether this resonates with the public remains to be seen but there is a high likelihood that should some of the over-bloated Federal Government programs, even some of the newest among them, become financially untenable that rather than allow for Federal taxes to rise close to if not over fifty percent, the people of both parties will demand somebody take a carving knife to the Federal budget and the programs it supports. This will be the result more of necessity than anything else but it is surprising how frugal people can become when their ability to survive is on the line. But, as we have said before, time will tell.

Beyond the Cusp

June 5, 2013

The Coming Consequences with Obamacare

Obamacare, or as the more erudite among us call it, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will take full effect in theory this coming January of 2014. The only saving grace is that Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius is well behind in formulating all of the regulations which are demanded within the thousand plus pages of the legislation. Of course the ever diligent IRS is well on their way to hiring the eventual 16,500 additional agents to enforce the taxation related to the national healthcare system. There is a feeling that something is basically wrong with a healthcare system which requires the government to hire so many additional tax enforcement agents while not having any proposals to hire a single additional doctor. Unfortunately, the lack of hiring of healthcare workers is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg of the irregularities surrounding the differences between promises and the reality of Obamacare.

 

As noted above, the lack of hiring of even a single additional doctor is troubling and only gets worse when you add that there has been no hiring of a single additional physician’s assistant, nurse, healthcare technician, orderly or other hospital worker. Making things far more ominous has been the results of numerous polls of physicians which on average have presented results indicating that anywhere from 35% to a startling 65% of those polled were seriously considering hanging up their stethoscopes rather than practice under the rules stipulated in Obamacare. If even just 10% of physicians hang up their stethoscopes the backlog of patients will be an insurmountable problem within the first year. The real problem is that it has been estimated that there could be as many as 25% increase in caseload added to the healthcare system, and that is one of the more conservative estimates. How the healthcare system will stay astride a measurably significant increase in caseload with a reduction in the available physicians to treat said patients is definitely going to present a serious problem. Either physicians will need to increase the rate at which patients are treated or add hours to each physician’s day or longer their workweek. I would not want to take any bet that physicians would face burnout in short order, simply retire or start to treat patients outside of the restrictions and requirements of Obamacare. The last of these choices would place them on the wrong side of Federal Law in short order and they would likely be closed down if not incarcerated. The government is not known for their sense of humor nor taking kindly to those who wish to operate outside their imposed systems.

 

Another realization which has been admitted by the administration and those who have investigated every letter of the Obamacare legislation is that there really will be panels which will decide who gets what levels of care and whether or not any patient will receive any care on some prorates cost-benefit analysis. The one name for the system that will be utilized has been referred to as the “Complete Lives System” which limits severely any care provided at either end of the age spectrum. Such a system if implemented would have some groups of voters up in arms in a very short time. Senior citizens would be up in arms as soon as they realized that they would not be receiving any medical procedures which carried with them anything beyond a minimal monetary outlay. That would mean no hip replacements, no cancer treatments, no surgeries of any variety, and some highly active and angry set of people who vote regularly, have the time to demonstrate and would engender sympathy from the general public, especially since most of us have parents who will someday be in this category. And the ire of the senior citizens would pale in comparison when parents are informed that their child is not worthy of any expensive procedures as they are not of sufficient age. The younger the child the less expense the care given the Complete Lives System is willing to allocate. Imagine the parents of a child born with what is now a regularly treated hearts defect commonly known as Blue Baby Syndrome. Such surgery on a newborn would fall outside of restriction on infants as they are not considered readily likely to be a cost benefit as their work-life is still a good twenty years away and so many possible complications could prevent their ever becoming a producing member of society. Another category of people who would receive next to no care would be the chronically ill be it a physical illness such as diabetes or a mental disorder as in both instances the person is considered more expensive to care for and a poor investment of medical expenditures. Yes, that’s right, in the Complete Lives System Stephen Hawking would never have become a physicist as he would have been deemed a bad health risk that would not have been likely to produce a positive financial outcome.

 

The worst problem which comes consequential to Obamacare is that it takes approximately 17% of the United States economy and makes it into a government program. Since investigations of numerous government programs has produced a result that the Federal Government must take in five dollars for every three they intend to spend, some of these researchers have found returns far worse where some departments would be fortunate to get one dollar for every five dollars collected. Even using the most optimistic return on tax dollars of three out of five dollars returned, then this will make the 17% of GDP into over one quarter of GDP at slightly over 28% of GDP. Add this significant quantity of the United States economy into the mix of other Federal expenditures and all government would then be responsible for well over half of GDP. Many economists will tell that at such size the government becomes unsustainable. Europe is currently figuring out that they can no longer continue to provide the services at current levels even with their tax rates at levels well above anywhere currently in the United States. Maybe all those who were labeled alarmists or conspiracy theorists were actually giving an accurate accounting of the unavoidable results of Obamacare would lead. All of these problems which will result from Obamacare do not take into consideration the unseen unintended consequences which seem to accompany every governmental effort. The only additional question that remains is which will compel the citizens to rebel first, the poor resulting quality of care under Obamacare or the ever spiraling upward taxes which never seem to prevent huge deficits because of Obamacare. Either way, Obamacare may just turn out to be the largest failure of the Federal Government, quite an accomplishment after the other SNAFUs we have managed to live with thus far.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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