Beyond the Cusp

September 19, 2017

The Grand Healthcare Fiasco

 

Has anybody honestly thought the concept of “Single Payer Government Healthcare” through completely? Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren claim they have the entire thing sorted out. What is their solution, you ask? They will tell everybody that it is easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy. The answer is to simply give everybody a Medicare Card and presto-chango and you have universal healthcare. Nothing will change other than the government will now pay all your healthcare expenses. You actually do get to keep your doctor. Of course, you do not get to keep your healthcare insurance because the government will become your health insurance provider. Now, what could be any more simple? When you go to your doctor, you just show them your Medicare card, they take down the number, you sign that you received the care listed and the government pays your doctor. Well, you will need to press down when signing the paperwork because there are tons of copies being produced, at least five with an unknown upper end. Well, there will be a little more to your doctor getting his money, but your work will be finished. Your physician will then be required to also complete some additional forms further describing the services delivered and the resources used and any testing which was required and any other incidentals which might be required to satisfy the government regulations and specific other essential requirements to complete and satisfy every criteria which the government and Medicare requires. Then the entire package is wrapped-up and mailed using Fed Ex, UPS, DHL, USPS or other mode of delivery of your physician’s choice and after the government Medicare workers complete processing and approving the claim, then the check is in the mail. Well, actually, not necessarily.

 

Medicare requirements are very particular and it will probably take some adjustment in meeting their standards and style requirements as well as quantitative and qualitative requirements as well as making sure that you utilize the perfect and correct forms for each specific set of procedures as well as the right entries for items utilized and which form for each procedure and a million other vitally important minutia; all of which will take a little period for adjustments. Then, and only then, things will move along smoothly for you, your physician and everyone involved. Of course, there is a faster means your physician might consider in order to make their reimbursement less painful and less time consuming, they might actually consider trying hiring somebody with experience in government forms and government lingo with a specialty in Medicare forms and formulations. Once the wrinkles have been ironed out, then will come the initial shock for your physician, the fact that he will be receiving less for each visit and delivered medical services than he may have become accustomed. With some fine-tuning of how he represents each service rendered and supplemental services required and other technicalities, your physician will be able to rectify some of the deficit he first encountered. The one thing he should be forewarned is that the government may decide to audit his practice if they suspect they might be cheating the government to increase his profit margin by cheating the government by charging for things either he did not provide or for items he did not use. What adds to the overall confusion is that government processing of claims and auditing of these same claims are actually somewhat subjective just as much as objective. That leaves some wiggle room, often some very noticeable wiggle room. Much of that is due to regulations written in order to protect, favor or punish specific items, procedures and a variety of other items and even people which often lead to regulations which are all too often contradictory with all too often vague wording such that things depend upon the person reviewing the same procedural sequence coming out with very different results. This also means that what applied one time might not be acceptable the next which makes for some difficulty complying with every regulation and requirement.

 

Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren

Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren

 

But let us leave all this aside and pretend that every provider is fully capable of meeting every wrinkle and requirement in the paper jungle which is government forms and requirements and understand and interpret every regulation with the greatest of ability. So, your physician is now a professional at all things government requirements, what could be the problem now? But what about these HMO, PPO and the rest of the alphabet soup of group coverage? Well, their problem will be to completely standardize treatments for every scenario and also make sure that the physicians itemize and document with great accuracy such that their administrative professionals can accurately file with the government. Our bet is that very quickly the idea of having your own private physician will very quickly become a thing of the past and most physicians will run and hide behind the bureaucracy of some group healthcare facility be it a hospital, clinic or HMO, PPO styled health provider. Yes, there will always be the pay for service providers who will be required to at the least file the Medicare paperwork despite taking an additional fee from their patients. Whether such will be theoretically permissible under the single payer government Medicare for all healthcare packages which the law suggested by Senators Saunders and Warren are suggesting is debatable because, as we all know, the government hates competition when taking over an industry. But there is another item which might allow for such care to exist, the wealthy are unlikely to be kind to having to accept the same level of care as the average person. As the wealthy are the meat behind campaign financing, our government representatives are extremely sensitive to their desires, wishes and comfort, and that means that the wealthy will be permitted their own better healthcare, thus, paying an additional fee to your personal physician will very likely be permitted or opting to go your own way and paying your physician as long as you also pay for government healthcare despite not taking full advantage of their wonderful services. But even all of this is not going to be the biggest problem because to assure that the majority of people end up in the government healthcare system, private health insurance will need to be made illegal across the board, which is why the wealthy will be paying directly to the physician for services and not purchasing an insurance plan. Further, the government will very likely allow membership hospitals charge their flat entrance fee either monthly or annually and any additional fees per service as required to continue to provide their services as long, again, as their members pay their Medicare fees to the government plan.

 

Finally, the people who will be hurt by any government healthcare system, where all health insurance is replaced by government payment of healthcare fees, is the health insurance company employees and the independent health insurance agents. From what we have read, this would include somewhere from two and a half million to three million people losing their employment. I can hear your claim that most of these people would be required to be hired by the government to do pretty much the same jobs they perform now. Well, that might be true if the only thing that health insurance employees ever did was process insurance claims. But there are also the salespeople, accountants, executives and likely dozens of other positions other than claims processing. Further, as the government will be the sole provider, and there being a number of healthcare insurance providers, the majority of these people employed by these companies will be out of work. There will be some new employees, enforcement investigators who will be sent to investigate fraud, and there will inevitably be fraud just as there is fraud now in Medicare and Medicaid. Then there are the last two and most frightening truths. With time, this care system will run into the same problems the other government healthcare systems already in use in the United States have, namely the “Veterans’’ hospitals and the healthcare system providing care of Native Americans in the various Reservations. This may be the absolutely most frightening reality of the entire healthcare prospects. There has to be a better system than using Medicare for all or any of the other European systems plus Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

 

We might suggest the Israeli system where everybody is required to have coverage and pay the healthcare tax. Here is where the Israeli system diverts from the others. There are four separate healthcare systems which are required to provide basic services by the government. Each of the four offers this basic set of services plus each choose a few additional services for their basic coverage. They each offer additional levels of service, say bronze, silver, gold and platinum (used for example only) which each provide additional services and prescription and other service coverages each for an additional fee to your provider. Physicians are required to provide a set number of hours of their practice to one of the national providers. They can then offer for fee services outside the system and collect fees as they desire to charge, if they are so motivated. This is most often taken up by specialists and surgeons. This also allows for those who desire to choose their own physicians outside of the basic providers to pay only the basic fee the government requires and then get all of their care privately. The four separate providers each are kept providing their services, including their additional service levels, at a reasonable rate as they are competing against one another. They also each provide separate additional plans leading to people choosing whichever of the four provide the services they are most likely to require. So diverse coverages, competition keeping fees low and physicians providing service to the general good before they can sell their services on the open market to earn additional fees. It provides the most for the least for the people and allows for physicians to make as much salary as they are able to command from an open market system as well. Everybody gets their advantages and all receive basic health coverage. Major Medical where hospitalization is covered for all is part of the system which appears to be much of what the United States is aiming to cover. There is one problem with the Israeli system, it is Israeli and that appears to disqualify it for some idiotic reason.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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August 29, 2017

The War Against Conservatism Begins

 

The war against Conservatism and all things right of center, and possibly even left of center, has begun but where will it end? Recently the August 16, 2017 “MTP Daily” show and the August 20, 2017 “Meet the Press” program, author Mark Bray, who wrote a book about Antifa was featured. Bray argues that, “Nazism and fascism was not stopped by polite dialogue and reasonable debate. It had to be stopped by force.” This led to the conclusion of the discussions to plead that violence is necessary. Apparently, if there exist people whose views do not correlate within the prescribed norms as defined by our masters in the media, academia, entertainment and the rest of the left leaning establishment to the extreme leftists, then they may be dismissed and are of little concern according to many of our political leaders. In all honesty, this struggle has been ongoing for much longer than many of us realize. Believe it or not, this did not begin with the election of President Trump, nor with President Obama, nor George W. Bush, nor William Jefferson Clinton, nor on an on for elected leadership back before even President John F. Kennedy, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and on and on back before President George Washington. This fight between the right and left goes back to Aristotle and possibly to King David and possibly even earlier than that. This struggle between the liberal left and the conservative right has been one of the basic contentions of humankind.

 

This argument was fought when the Israelites threw off slavery in Mitzraim (Egypt). The argument was seriously debated by the Greeks and in Rome it took the life of Caesar and led to numerous wars throughout the ages. The modern history of this struggle became to a pinnacle point on June 15, 1215, when King John of England signed the Magna Carta Libertatum (Medieval Latin for “Great Charter of the Liberties”), at Runnymede, granting limited shared power between the King and the major land owners of Britain. The struggle continued on through the American Revolution followed by the French Revolution, the second having less than stellar results. The next point of armed struggle in the United States was the Civil War and the resulting freeing of the slaves. There was some backsliding with the laws which resulted in returning many slaves to second-class status and this continued until the next great struggle of the Civil Rights movement. This was incorporated into the entire sixties peace movement and its related alternative lifestyles. Things appeared to come to a boil in the sixties as there were violent protests with the media, academia, entertainment and the right leaning establishment to the radical right conservatives who desired to take things back to the “good old days,” a term which was very loosely defined if defined at all. Over the next forty to fifty years, there has been a changing of the guard and a shift in positions on many subjects. In the sixties, the left were the Libertarian leaning side who supported limited government and individuality while the right believed that society needed regulations and laws in order to prevent chaos, crime and immorality. That was then, but what about now?

 

Today the sides have changed in many ways. Instead of the establishment being right leaning, today the establishment leans left. The media, academia, entertainment today are all left leaning or even reaching into the far left. The right is in favor of less government and individualism while the left believes that government must take charge and clear all of the societal ills. Simply put, the sides and power have shifted and as the power used to be with the right, it now lies with the left. Things were nice and quiet and running smoothly whenever the left, the Democrats, were in the White House and thus holding ultimate power over the government as the President can prevent anything the left considers backsliding from their agenda. While President Clinton was in office, the fight was fairly civil. While George W. Bush was in the White House, things were less civil but still could be considered civilized though there was much consternation over the initial results against Al Gore and the debacle in Florida. Then came President Obama and things were reported as being the most unbelievably wonderful of all administrations. The economy was reported to be in constant and steady, if slow, recovery. Problems were minimal and the problems with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) would be worked out and it would be the most successful healthcare innovation since the invention of penicillin.

 

Then came the election for the successor to President Obama and the campaign was running smoothly and with precise and perfect precision according to all mainstream media reports. Hillary Clinton was the presupposed and inevitable winner and was to be coronated President after the election. As the election came closer, the numbers began to close together, something which always happens, so nobody took any real note, as Hillary could not lose to the ignorant and offensive Donald Trump. Every newspaper from the large cities touted their polls of their readership and they showed Hillary with double-digit leads. Every major city around the nation, Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, Seattle, San Francisco, Boston and Washington D.C. all ran headlines right up to a day or two before Election Day giving Hillary Clinton a comfortable lead. The night before the election the lead narrowed to a point where some began to doubt the polling and some even claimed that Donald Trump could actually win. Well, they were correct and we now have President Trump and the left who believed with every fiber of their being that Hillary Clinton could not lose went completely off the deep end. Since the election of President Trump there has been a concerted effort to destroy him and open warfare has been declared by the leftists. We see it regularly and where it will lead cannot be predicted, but we know what they demand, the return of power to the left and its protectors as they feel the left are the only people who have the right to lead.

 

Blame Game Starring Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump

Blame Game Starring
Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump

 

The open conflict between the left and the right was coming to a boil long before Charlottesville and making it appear as that was the start was simply another deception. The left uses the media to define everything to their means and way of thinking. They insist that only the left has any answers to the challenges which the nation faces. They claim that the right is full of racists and people angry and filled with hatred and thus are unfit for leadership. The left claim to be all about compassion but apparently they feel that only those who agree with their programs and principles are worthy of receiving that compassion. There are many on the left who are wonderful people and they are willing to compromise and work with those on the right who also will compromise. Then there are those on the far left which are most often labeled as leftists who take a position that should their compatriots on the left not be in power then violence is the answer. They would riot and take offense at any and every perceived offence and were the ones who came ready to fight with the alt-right in Charlottesville. Since Election Night, there have been continuous streams of points which have been called pivotal focal points which they have blamed the right, or the alt-right, for taking things to a new level and; in each of these, the levels of the conflict have been escalated. Friendships have been destroyed, marriages have broken up, families torn asunder and business partners broken apart as the escalations have grown to the point that civil society is now close to being threatened. Where this will lead is becoming painfully apparent, as there will be no peace for as long as the Republicans hold the White House. Actually, that is not entirely honest as there are rumors of a plan being put in motion which would permit a Republican in the White House with certain concessions being made.

 

Everyone has seen that the Republican core old guard all are pretty much against President Trump almost as much as are the Democrats. Their leader has been Senator John McCain. But there are rumors this core of Republicans has decided to join with the Democrats and rid the United States of this upstart and irresponsible person sitting in the White House. There are rumors that some have been promised leadership in the new government while others have been promised campaign funding or other monetary enticements. The one rumor which is the most disheartening has been the one which places Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan siding with the Democrats to form a new union. This has all the beautiful aroma of the coming of some Republicans switching parties or forming a dual party coalition to rule as a new consensus party of left-leaning and leftist Democrats and Republicans who will run claiming to be mainstream members of their respective parties but would legislate and control the Congress and White House all while attempting to keep their agreement from the people. They would act out their arguments while voting as to their agreed mission. The worst of the rumors claim that Speaker of the House Paul Ryan has joined an effort which will result in his becoming President. The idea is preposterous, but according to the rumors, the intent is to impeach President Trump. One may inquire as to under what pretense and charges. Well, the charges do not matter, any pretense which results in a majority of the Representatives on the House bringing a charge and two thirds of the Senate finding for guilt and the President is impeached. The charge could be mentally unsuited for office, the current thread being pursued replacing the Russian conspiracy and alt-right ties. Anybody with any knowledge of American governance will point out the small inconvenience, that once President Trump would be impeached, then Vice President Pence would take office, not the Speaker of the House. This is where many call this rumored concept of convincing Speaker of the House Ryan that he would be placed in the Presidency would fall apart, but wait, the conspiracy theorists have this covered as well. They agree that Vice President Pence would take over and be President, temporarily. They have already come up with an idea for the next step, impeachment of President Pence. They claim that they can get him on his inability to separate religion from his office and as we “all know,” there is this “wall separating Church and State.” Well, actually, there is only a wall separating State from Church but none separating the Church from State as religious beliefs are perfectly permitted in politics. But as we pointed out previously, the charges do not matter, it is the votes which count. But would not Pence on becoming President get to appoint a new Vice President? Then that person would become President next even if Pence were impeached. Hold on there cowpoke, the new President gets to nominate a new Vice President upon taking office and they are not granted the office until the Senate approves their nomination. If the Congress can refuse to approve any nominee for Vice President and impeach President Pence before such nominee has been approved, then the third in succession becomes President, Speaker of the House Ryan.

 

As long as we are going down the rabbit hole, we see another outcome where these Republicans would be left out completely and it is really simple. All the Democrats need do is take their time on the impeachment of President Trump, continue once that has been accomplished to prevent any new Vice President being approved and have charges be leveled against President Pence and then wait for the 2018 elections. Then if they take the House of Representatives they can appoint their own Speaker of the House, and if Hillary Clinton would run for a House Seat in a solidly bluer than blue district and thus become a member of the House of Representatives, they could make Hillary Speaker and then convict Pence thus impeaching him and placing Hillary Clinton into the chair they claim was stolen from her. As long as we are talking craziness, why not go completely down the rabbit hole.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

November 4, 2016

As the Pacific Far East Crumbles Away

 

Eight years of steering the United States away from even the slightest whiff of conflict or controversy leaving virtually every former ally stuck out in the wind swept stormy seas of fate have started to leave some palpable damage along the Asian Pacific Rim. These damages may only last until the few weeks after the next Presidential Inauguration or may be cemented with more to follow; it all depends on the coming, and it can’t come too soon, American Elections. The slow tear between Washington and Manila may have just torn well past the turning point as the State Department may decide to hold on an agreed arms shipment for the Philippine Police because a single Senator, Benjamin Louis “Ben” Cardin, a Democrat from Maryland, informed them he would block such a request. It seems unusual for an already approved arms deal would be held, maybe cancelled, because a single Senator raised his displeasure unless his displeasure was requested from a higher source who preferred hiding in the shadows this close to the election. No reason to risk the Philippine and other related votes in what might be a closer election than the media has painted. The reason, apparently, for Senator Cardin demanding the weapons be withheld was due to the violent manner in which the Philippine authorities are carrying out their resolute and determined crackdown on the drug lords and their criminal enterprises. The claim is that the Philippine government is using extrajudicial killings against the drug gangs because obviously there is little chance the drug gangs might be resisting the efforts to close their operations down. It is interesting to note that extrajudicial killings is exactly the same charge made by leftist Europeans, leftist Americans and the Arab lobby to throw at Israel whenever a terrorist is killed instead of coddled like a harmless puppy.

 

In nearby Malaysia, Premier Najib Razak also had some suggestions for Washington, though he directed them at the West in general referring to the former colonial powers when he cautioned, “It is not for them to lecture nations they once exploited on their internal affairs.” He was referring to the July lawsuits filed by the United States Justice Department implicating the Premier in a money-laundering scandal referencing more than three and a half billion dollars which were allegedly misappropriated. The Justice Department charges could not have anything to do with Najib is looking to strengthen ties with China and his recent six-day visit to Beijing. The United States State Department cannot be overly happy as Premier Razak’s China visit followed on the heels of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s visit. Not to worry folks, it’s all part of fundamental change President Obama promised in his October 30, 2008, speech where he stated, “We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America.” We would say job well done except that the entire job is not near finished. Yes, the news from the Far East, particularly the Philippines and Malaysia, but many allies of the United States have held silently strong knowing, or at least hoping and praying, that the United States would return to its former policies and things returning to previous normal. The four year hopes died hard and the eight year prayers will be determined within the coming five days even if there are states making recounts.

 

Malaysia Philippines and Indonesia

Malaysia Philippines and Indonesia

 

There is a theory that no matter the results of the Presidential Election there is one coming end of term surprise from the White House, a surprise President Obama wants the visceral satisfaction of performing personally. This is one that is so personal that President Obama may even take a vacation and visit Turtle Bay and the United Nations in order to call a Special Session of the Security Council to hear a proposal to solve what he has determined is tantamount to the root of all problems in the Middle East if not the world, solar system, galaxy or potentially the entirety of the Universe and all creation, Israel and the formation of an Arab State for the ‘Palestinians’ in Judea and Samaria with East Jerusalem as its Capital City. President Obama would be sure to relate how the recent UNESCO decision which removed all Jewish and Christian connection to the Temple Mount or the Old City of Jerusalem, which is most of East Jerusalem, and that it is solely a Muslim Holy Site thus would serve as a natural capital for a new Islamic Palestinian nation. This would be his argument along with the seeming international itch to take away a fair sized additional chunk of the lands originally promised for the Jewish State and form yet another doomed to fail Arab Muslim State reneging yet again making a mockery of international treaties. The only surprise would be such a move being vetoed by one of the other four permanent members of the Security Council; Britain, France, China or Russia. Is such likely? In a word, “Yes.” As to which one, that remains to be seen. Our guess has three in the following order least to most likely, China, Britain, or Russia.

 

That leaves a single pair of questions. One is whether nations which have started to distance themselves from the United States could be gathered back to the warm bosom of Washington and all the wondrous prizes that includes? Should the next President and advisors in the administration return to a more traditional set of policies, then time will reset most relations. Some of those who have moved away or distanced such as the above mentioned Malaysia and Philippines and includes Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Pakistan and an additional small selection largely in Eastern Europe will move further from United States orbit unless concerted and deliberate efforts are expended. Even then the chances of returning all will prove near impossible. Nations such as Iraq and Egypt may be lost for the foreseeable future as Russia and China pick up influence. Still. The majority of estranged nations would gladly return given the slightest of efforts. That is the good and the bad side, but there is a worse possibility.

 

What could be worse than losing as many as a half dozen or potentially more lost due to the changes made during President Obama’s Administrations? Well, the continuation of this path which is and always was an idea which found favor in the State Department no matter the President and their policy preferences. Many Presidents since some time after World War I and the infestation of Progressive, Leftist anti-American policies siding with virtually every enemy of the United States changing hands while the highest levels nurture whatever opposing force of the moment that faces the United States with the chain simply altering as the leadership is always passed to those supporting the subversion. These State Department employees are Civil Service workers who are protected by Civil Service rules and very strong unions, the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) or the National Federation of Federal Employees (NFFE). There have been instances where these unions have been suspected on working on campaigns, something quite unethical if not illegal. Should the advisors from the State Department continue in their privileged positions for setting foreign policy, then the current damage will only come closer to becoming permanent and the United States losing her position as leader of the free world. There are those who are claiming that continuing the current policies will lead to the death of the free world. Our comment is to say not so fast. There are places where freedom is still strong and others where freedom is slowly growing. Will there be a terrible and rough period? There are always such, the areas affected simply change with time. Hope should never be lost as cycles are a constant and things constantly change and that is unavoidable. As for what level of hope one should hold? Wait just a bit and we will get back to you on that.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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