Beyond the Cusp

May 11, 2017

Of Healthcare and Health Insurance

 

Obamacare was not about receiving healthcare but on how it was to be covered, how it would be paid for. Trumpcare is not about receiving healthcare but on how it is to be covered, how it will be paid for. So, nobody is going to die because they cannot receive treatment because of either legislation. The differences are all about how health insurance will be distributed, paid for and the role of government in this procedure. Another item which is required is the knowledge that there is no such thing as an untreatable patient because by regulations any hospital which receives any form of government money, Medicare, Medicaid, Veterans Reimbursements or direct government aid are required to treat absolutely anybody who comes to them for treatment regardless of whether or not they are capable of paying for the treatment. This includes treating the uninsured, the homeless, the indigent and anybody else who comes to them for care whether through emergency vehicle or simply walking in the front door or the side door marked “Emergency Room.” The hospital I used to work for as a Biomedical Engineering Electronics Technician, the Washington Hospital Center, a thousand bed cardiac care hospital which also has Washington D.C.’s award winning burn center, a top eye and ear clinic, a Cath Lab with a half dozen operating theaters including two Electrophysiology Labs, an EEG department, an entire separate Physical Therapy Hospital attached to them across the entranceway, two separate operating theaters, one with a dozen operating rooms and the outpatient theaters with five operating rooms, one of the areas major Trauma Centers with two medical helicopters and six bays of which two could be used for emergency surgeries, an entire series of outpatient health clinics covering everything from inoculations to chronic treatments plus much more, and was a hospital which provided close to two million dollars in free care back when I was an employee in the late 1980’s through the early 1990’s. So the untruth that people in the United States die on the street because they were unable to receive treatment anywhere because they had no insurance is exactly that, an untruth. In the United States all but a very small number of specialty hospitals and members’ only hospitals, which treat either certain religious groups or select people who belong and pay either a monthly or an annual fee, receive federal funds one way or another and thus are required to treat all who come to them needing treatment. That is the first point that needs to be told as it removes the largest complaint that people are falling dead all over the United States in nearly every city as they are denied treatment because they are uninsured. The claims that we would soon see carts dragged through poorer neighborhoods calling for them to bring out their dead (as seen below) were a bit of an over-exaggeration.

 

 

So, the two plans are all about health insurance, not healthcare. The next truth, which is being used to cast a false accusation, was that the large increases in premiums came since President Trump became President, thus are his fault. The quote that the largest and by far most drastic increases in insurance premiums have been witnessed this year is absolutely true. The claim this makes them President Trump’s responsibility is quasi-valid. That President Trump has caused these drastic increases is false. What is true but seldom mentioned is that all of the statutes and regulations derived from Obamacare came into effect this year as of January first. Now this could all be coincidence, but I doubt this. Many premiums had been seen to increase, in some states almost, if not, doubling, last year as another round of regulations, laws and rules came into effect, but those paled in comparison to those that struck this year. The real effects intended by Obamacare have begun to raise their ugly truths with states such as Iowa fearing the loss of the final insurers pulling from offering coverage in the near future. This was the plan, to so bankrupt the health insurers leading to a panic, which would make a single-payer government health insurance plan acceptable due to lack of alternatives. One by one states would be forced to join Federal Government health insurance. The end result was to be Government Healthcare simply because the insurers who had covered health expenses could no longer make a profit as with the rising premiums people either opted for the Federal coverage or simply ducked from having any coverage. This is what Trumpcare is attempting to prevent and the reason why putting something in place quickly is so important. Unfortunately that also might lead to putting forward a flawed plan which will require patches and modifications before it becomes workable and this would be interpreted as poor planning. Meanwhile, a case being brought before the Supreme Court that would make Obamacare subsidies be limited to those states running their own exchanges threatens to force Obamacare to actually operate as written and not as expanded through broadened but presumed illegal interpretation (see map below). Should this case win it could open the way for more cases of a similar vein leading to strictly limiting Obamacare to the language of the law.

 

States Where Supreme Court Could Make Obamacare Subsidies Disappear

 

Emergencies often lead to poorly thought through or otherwise incomplete plans being put into force requiring more attention and an ongoing policy, which causes other problems as changing rules leads to fearful reactions by the affected companies, in this case health insurers. This could in part be the reason for the initial failure of the first attempt at cobbling together a plan and that may prove to have been a saving grace. Now we have Republican Care II, which passed the House of Representatives but now faces review in the Senate where changes will very likely be made and then the legislation, and this is all we have, legislation, will be returned to the House of Representatives. There it may be changed further and this exchange will continue until something more complete and comprehensive which meets the principle concerns of the Senators and Representatives and then will be passed on to the President. This is all depending on one little technicality, the Senate Democrats. The Democrats have sufficient Senators to prevent anything being passed through the Senate through filibuster. The overt civility of the Senate has made the filibuster as simple as telling the President Pro Tempore that a filibuster is intended and the legislation is all too often tabled until sixty votes can be guaranteed to invoke cloture ending the filibuster. No longer does the Senate demand that Senators imposing the filibuster actually talk twenty-four hours a day seven days a week until they tire of doing so or cloture is voted. There was one recent exception when Republican Senator Ted Cruz of Texas read Dr. Seuss’s “Green Eggs And Ham” as part of his twenty-one hour solo filibuster before surrendering as none of his fellow Republicans stepped up to support his attempt at mainly a symbolic statement against Obamacare (seen below). So, out of courtesy, the Democrats will not be made to actually take to the floor and fill the time with endless driveling and possibly entertaining the media with the reading of children’s tales or misquotes. This is also why the filibuster is used so frequently in the Senate as it no longer requires any significant effort or contribution in support of the position taken by the filibuster in opposing legislation. This will also prevent the necessary back and forth between the House and Senate in the manner in which the Congress is supposed to function and also stall any possibility for relief from the impending disasters that will come as a result from Obamacare. This is one time where time actually is of the essence.

 

 

What is certain is that should too many insurers decide to no longer offer health insurance and simply close down this part of their companies, then there truly will be a healthcare crisis in the United States. Many will say that this would be a gift as it would usher in government provided healthcare at long last and the United States could joint the long list of civilized nations. These individuals and groups will leave out the interesting fact that most nations providing government healthcare have a different problem, they cannot provide for their own defense and rely completely on the United States to provide the deterrence, which keeps them safe, relatively and thus far. They will point to particular nations while avoiding numerous others to prove their point that government provided healthcare is completely doable. Those nations they refuse to point to are the reason it will not work in the United States as they found out in Britain when they finally decided that they had to cut back on the amount of healthcare they were providing while other nations approached their problems with price controls.

 

There is a light on the horizon, though most would never point to their success. There is one nation that has universal coverage, a very capable and viable defense force, and a form of government/private health insurance. That nation is Israel. They have a minimal coverage required be provided by all insurers for which each receives a government payout. Then the four insurance companies offer their base plans while the people pay a health tax to cover the base plans offered. Then each of the four insurers operates in areas they feel they can make a profit with at least two operating in each part of the country. Then each insurer offers additional coverages, which they give nice sounding names such as Silver, Gold, Platinum or Palladium, well, OK, not the last one as it is made up. Individual can take the base coverage or they can purchase additional coverages, which vary depending on which of the four companies they choose. This works well for the most part. Yes, there can be problems when a person’s coverage and their particular needs have a failure in coverage, but these are addressed individually. So, nothing is perfect, but it appears to work, at least as far as we have experienced. Where this system may not be perfect, it is a great starting point and with the numbers of insurers currently in the United States, some form of system like this should be capable of being established, perhaps one where the government simply dictates the medial price for the basic coverage and sets up variances for the different markets throughout the nation. That’s our best suggestion if the politicians in the United States are seeking a system that combines a set coverage for all, even to include major medical for unexpected emergencies and hospitalizations, combined with a competitive market where competition is used to reduce prices. In the meantime, let us wait and see what the Congress is capable of producing.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

September 9, 2013

It’s More Than Just Syria, Remember?

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With the morning, noon, and night Syria this, Syria that, it is difficult to remember the plethora of disasters which had been plaguing President Barack Obama and the legislative initiatives which had been dominating the headlines, AM political talk shows, and the late night comedians. Before we had our lesson in translating Arabic, care of Senator John McCain, with his informing a curious public that when terrorists and al-Qaeda or Muslim Brotherhood fighters are screaming “Allahu Akbar” that it means “Thank G0d” and not “Allah is the greatest,” we had former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s infamous quote of, “What difference now does it make,” regarding the murder of four brave Americans in Benghazi including Ambassador Chris Stevens, State Department staff member Sean Smith and Former SEALs Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty, the last two continued to fight for their lives for close to seven hours painting the mortar position which eventually killed them but nobody was coming, they had all been ordered to stand down. We still have not been privileged to be told where the stand down orders originated and we are now fully aware that during the campaign when Hillary Clinton decried, “Who do you want answering that telephone at 3:00 in the middle of the night?” We now know that it is neither Hillary Clinton nor Barack Obama. It probably has not improved all that greatly replacing Ms. Clinton as Secretary of State with John Kerry or with adding as Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel.

 

Then there are plans to provide anywhere from eleven to twenty-plus million undocumented workers a path to citizenship despite that they are more accurately described as illegal aliens; though I get the feeling that they have other names depending on which side of the argument one sits. There are those mostly amongst the Republicans who look at the illegal aliens as a low cost workforce which can benefit big business while many Democrats view these illegal aliens as future Democrat voters who very well might sway future elections such that the Democrats retain a majority in both the House and the Senate and retain the White House, well, at least for the foreseeable future. Remember the discussions as to whether we should refer to these illegal aliens as undocumented workers, unfortunates simply seeking a better life for their families, migrant workers, seasonal workers or any of any of a collection of misleading terminology had been raging for months. The main thing is that you must never refer to the “path to citizenship” as “amnesty”. No matter how you describe these illegal aliens, you must ignore the fact that these people crossed our borders, broke our immigration laws, jumped the line, and began their American experience by stealing somebody’s identity and instead show compassion and understanding. We need to remember that the immigration problem also has a group of politicians who have met and plotted out a path which will lead to a resolution by which everybody will receive fair treatment. These legislators go by the name of “Gang of Eight” and includes the following Senators;  John McCain (R-Ariz.), Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Michael Bennet (D-Colo.). Of course there is also one small peculiarity to the immigrations debate, apparently there is a sizeable portion of the population who would support President Obama simply making the illegal aliens legal citizens by Presidential edict and going around the Congress and the Constitution. With the way everybody is paying attention to Syria, President Obama just might get away with simply decreeing citizenship for the illegal aliens with blanket amnesty, or whatever it will be called to avoid using the dreaded amnesty terminology, by Presidential Executive Order. President Clinton’s aide Paul Begala summed it up perfectly when he stated, “Stroke of the pen. Law of the land. Kinda cool.”

 

Then there is less than a month before Obamacare requires Americans to register with health exchanges in order to attain health insurance or else pay the fine. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, despite the piecemeal enactment being broken apart as President Obama selectively grants favored groups, companies, unions and politicians waivers from having to comply with Obamacare, is still barreling forward to forever drastically change the way Americans receive healthcare. Add to that the little inconvenience of postponing the implementation of the employer mandate but not the personal mandate means that businesses can simply refuse to insure their workers while the employees will have to either get insurance or pay a fine. Then there is the small miracle which is predicted to become very popular is opting for paying the fine for being uninsured as the fine is significantly less than insurance will end up costing very quickly. The first year the cost for insurance will be affordable, yet later when more people choose to opt out of buying insurance and simply pay the fine, which will cost less, knowing full well that they can always buy insurance immediately should they develop a serious health emergency without any fears that they could be turned down, costs will skyrocket. The eventual aim of Obamacare is to bankrupt the insurance providers forcing everyone on to a single payer government healthcare system. The real fiasco here is that both the majority of the Democrats and Republicans are supportive of forcing the entirety of the population of the United States into government healthcare so neither side will take any actions which will actually prevent the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act from taking effect. What made the reality that the aim is to collapse the health insurance industry came when President Obama gave employers an extra year before they will be required to insure their full-time employees. This will place all of the costs on the individual while the employers simply stop providing health insurance. The initial casualties have already been put on display as many employers have cancelled the options for insuring an employee’s spouse and even children. Another consequence has been the massive shift in hiring from full-time employees to a significant percentage of part-time employees. The percentage of part-time employment making up the new jobs each month is well over fifty percent and approached well over seventy-five percent. Who would have figured out that the most visible change caused by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act would end up being a shift to mostly part-time employees in order to get around the draconian measures and requirements on employers for providing healthcare for their employees but only those who are full-time.

 

Syria is a terrible situation that is likely to only get worse with time but it is not the only problem on the horizon as demonstrated above. What makes the state of the world even more troublesome is that Syria is far from the only problem in the Middle East and North Africa. Tunisia has devolved back into a series of chaotic demonstrations with the people very adamant that they want a far more secular government and will not tolerate creeping Sharia. Libya never actually established a national government and has broken up into mostly tribal forces exerting their influence over their separate tribal areas. Many of the cities either belong to a local tribal leader or to al-Qaeda or other terrorist forces. Mali is still in the throes of a civil war and the French are not securing much beyond the major cities. Nigeria is in a state of civil war with the Islamic forces controlling the north and destroying churches and murdering Christians where the two influences border each other. The Islamist forces are slowly pushing southward sewing destruction to everything of a Christian influence as they proceed. The Egyptian military has removed President Morsi and the Truth and Justice Party from control over all the levers of the government halting their drifting towards Islamist Sharia governance. Turkey is experiencing Sunni-Shiite violence with many of the Shiite fighters taking refuge in Iraq and being supplied by Iran and receiving training from the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRCG). Yemen is in the grasp of a civil war with tribal forces in the northern parts of the country while fighting to hold off al-Qaeda from taking over the southern parts of the nation including some of its most vital ports. Somalia and the Horn of Africa is still an unruly disaster with the cities broken up into small enclaves with violence the rule, not the exception. And then there are the secretive peace negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians which are being held under a cloak of silence. Nobody appears to be certain about anything concerning these negotiations which with knowing President Obama, Secretary of State Kerry, Secretary of Defense Hagel and the State Department can only make any supporters of Israel extremely nervous. In addition the Israelis are represented by a Post-Zionist Tzipi Livni who was one of those who assisted in crafting the offers under Ehud Barak which offered to split Jerusalem and return over ninety percent, some have noted it was close to ninety-seven or ninety-eight percent of Judea and Samaria, to make up the Palestinian State. Add the rumors that President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Kerry provided Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and Palestinian Chief Negotiator Saeb Erekat letters guaranteeing them that every single Palestinian demand and precondition would be granted even if the United States had to force such a solution upon the Israelis. That would include removing close to nine-hundred-thousand Jews from Judea and Samaria, dividing Jerusalem placing all of Jerusalem’s holy sites beyond the reach and unable to be visited by the Israelis, and forcing an influx of as many as five and a half million Palestinian refugees inside pre-1967 Israel making the Palestinians the majority population in Israel thus erasing the Jewish State. I really hate rumors.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

September 6, 2013

Prepare for Single Payer Government Healthcare

The fight to defund or otherwise repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), better known as Obamacare, is a mute cause as it is a false flag put in place to take the United States as swiftly as can be legislated to the instituting of a single payer federal healthcare system similar to those in Britain, Canada, and the rest of Europe. As many who have studied these systems have already realized, and the rest will find out soon enough, such a method for addressing the delivery of healthcare to a nation’s population results in a lower level of care; longer waits to see specialists or even your regular physician; inability for the system to address any healthcare emergency situations such as a flu epidemic; the slowing of medical breakthroughs, new drugs and innovative treatments eventually bringing such necessary advances to a complete dead stop; and the eventual destruction of the entire healthcare industry due to creeping increase in percentage of federal budget channeled into healthcare causing higher taxation and less funds available for any other government expenditure. Much of the financial breakdown which has strangled much of Europe economically can be traced at least partially to the costs of government provided healthcare. Another problem directly tied to government healthcare is the lowering of physician and healthcare worker salaries compared to other occupations leading to lower numbers of individuals choosing to go into the medical fields eventually leading to shortages which only make the strain on the system increasing and the waiting lists growing longer until total failure becomes the obvious end result. But first we have to enact and then destroy Obamacare so that the people clamor for the government to come to the rescue and completely take control of the nation’s healthcare system when it becomes obvious the system is nearing collapse. So, how does this happen?

 

The first item necessary is to understand the entire scheme behind Obamacare. Obamacare was never intended to function and was sculpted for failure. One of the reasons that President Obama is granting waivers is not solely to reward and protect his friends and those who supported his campaigns, though that is how it often appears, but President Obama is granting waivers because it does not matter whether or not a sizeable percentage of the population is covered by Obamacare or not, what matters is for Obamacare to become unworkable and destroy the healthcare industry so completely and all the other related industries, especially the health insurance companies, such that there is no system left of healthcare as we have known it for all of our lives thus making government run single payer healthcare as the only option available in the end. Probably the greatest single exception granted by President Obama was delaying the employer mandate to provide insurance from taking place as scheduled and allowing it to be pushed off for one year, and I would not doubt if next year it is pushed another year into the future, was not done just to give large corporations a pass but to force even more people to have to use either the government provided exchanges, whether they be provided by your state or  left to the Federal Government to provide, or to option to pay the relatively minimal fee as an uninsured person. The aim is for the exchanges as well as other insurance plans to become exorbitantly expensive until nobody bothers to get insurance and instead pay the penalty which will costs thousands of dollars less than insurance. And why not since if you suddenly develop a serious medical problem you can always get insurance to cover that emergency and then return to paying the minimal fee and forgo expensive insurance. Yes, this will cause a collapse of the insurance industry in record time and also push anybody needing care into the government healthcare exchanges which is the forerunner of single payer government healthcare. So, why won’t our political representatives listen and deal a deathblow to Obamacare as so many have petitioned them to do?

 

This is the easiest but also most disgusting truth which drives straight to the heart of the majority of the problems with so many subjects concerning government and its place in the American public and each individual life within. The problem comes from the basic desire of lifelong politicians to gain control, or at the least influence, over every single item in the lives of the individual. These new lords of the ruling class desire control, and not just a little control but complete and unchallengeable control over every instance of your life. The conservatives desire to control over morality while the liberals want control over your wealth and societal norms. Both see granting the government control over many parts of our lives as simply a necessary influence in order to leverage their powers and influences on the rest of our behavior. If every choice you might face in your life instead of being made by the individual is granted to some government bureaucrat, then the government has that much more control, and the name of the game is control. Think about why the enforcement for Obamacare is not tasked to the Health and Human Services Department but is instead invested with the Internal Revenue Service. Why are they giving complete knowledge of your health and your every medical need to the same people who also hold a complete record of your financial information? Could it be that the IRS is very practiced at enforcement and have the most ruthless enforcement agents and protocols of any department within the government? Of course that is why. And the one item we must understand is that the vast majority of these lifetime powerbroker politicians seek to have as much ultimate control over the lives of the American public, serfs as they see it, and having an agency which has access to all of your financial and healthcare information and can exercise virtually unlimited control over your healthcare gives them the power of literally life and death over each and every individual. That is why Obamacare will be allowed to become the law of the land and is planned to utterly fail and fail horrifically. Once their feint into a new approach to healthcare has exploded and the public is in panic, then they will enact what they really wanted from the beginning, single payer, government healthcare, and after that freedom and liberty will have all but died in America.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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