Thursday, July 16, 2009

Tell Them Your Health Care Story: We Have to Stop This Health Care Boondoggle Now!

Now is the time to act. The liberal’s President Obama has “put us on notice”. Regardless of the fact that 80% of Americans are satisfied with their health insurance and their health care and better than 85% of America has health care coverage, the president is out to change all that for a nationalized health care system with a rationing board, “wait times” just like they have in Canada and Great Britain and huge taxes on big and small employers alike to pay for it. They even want to tax your current health care benefits out of existence by taxing the portion your employer provides for you AND taxing the portion you pay for. If your employer is going to be taxed on the health insurance benefit they provide you to pay for a “public option”, how long do you suppose your employer will be able to afford to provide a health insurance benefit?

As I said, the time to act is now! We must, call email and fax our representatives and let them know that their jobs are on the line if they vote for the Obama/Pelosi/Reid boondoggle. Tell them your health care story, whatever it is. Given that 80% of us are happy with our health insurance and health care, most of these stories are sure to be positive. And in any case, ANY care in the U.S. is better than the hundreds of horror stories we hear from countries with the types of health care systems Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and Tom Harkin want to give us. Please read my health care story that I sent the Iowa Senatorial and Congressional delegation last night:

Back in November, my son was nearly killed in a serious car accident. He broke his neck in three places, sustained a concussion, both lungs collapsed and three broken ribs. He spent two weeks in intensive care in Mercy Hospital in Des Moines, five months in a halo and two months in a hard neck brace. He is now perfectly fine and miraculously, never had any paralysis. Had we lived in Great Britain, he may have died while being triaged in an ambulance to get around their 4-hour government-mandated ER waiting time requirement. Had we lived in Canada, the availability of the treatment he needed would have depended on where we lived and how strained the resources of our province were. He may have still been in a halo well past his healing period while on a waiting list to see a neurologist or get a CT scan scheduled. We ran up $300,000 in medical bills of which our share was about $5,000. What a bargain! If we had no insurance, I could rest easy knowing that he would have still received all the treatment he needed to recover because as you know NO ONE in this country can be refused life-saving medical treatment if they need it. While my bill may have ended up being much larger, having my son alive and well would have been worth every penny. My experience with my son has demonstrated to me that the notion that we have the best health care system in the world isn't just a pleasant fiction -- it is hard fact – and we are standing on the precipice of ruining our fine health care system for want of covering a few million uninsured Americans.

Yes, all of you know we are talking about a few million Americans – many of whom are covered under existing government programs. Here’s a fact that you may or may not know about Title 19 Medicaid: It pays 100% for BRACES, gentlemen. We’re not talking about any medical necessity here, gentlemen: We’re talking about BRACES – for straightening teeth. How many orthodontic treatments do you suppose are medically necessary? Not my son’s that’s for sure. Yet because my ex-wife qualified for Medicaid when my son got his braces, I spent months fighting to pay for my son’s orthodontic treatment. I was finally forced to give up and paid the balance after they disqualified my son which ended up being the majority of the treatment. But in a country where supposedly indigent people can get their kids’ teeth straightened on the public dole, I dare say there is hardly a problem with Americans going without health care. If you doubt this, witness the hundreds of hospitals going broke in the West and Southwest because they are forced to treat illegal aliens! I submit to you sirs that there isn’t a shortage of health care in this country for people who can’t afford to pay, there’s a shortage of common sense when it comes to government involvement in health care. Creating public option insurance that covers everyone not covered by private insurance and setting it up in competition with the private sector is not the way to go.

President Obama constantly asserts that he doesn’t want “government run health care” and that having the government compete with the private sector “keeps the private sector honest”. No more absurd or disingenuous words have ever been uttered regarding health care. I believe Indiana Representative Mike Pence put it beautifully this morning on Fox News when he said “The government competes with the private sector the way that an alligator competes with a duck – it eats it.” As a private health insurer, how can you successfully compete when the entity you are competing with makes all the rules of the game? The answer is you can’t.

Another thing about “The Affordable Health Insurance Act” (an absurd name if I ever heard of one) is funding. Here we are trillions and trillions in debt, money that we have already shoved off as a burden on my kids and grandkids and now we’re going to somehow fund a massive government health care plan? It’s ridiculous gentlemen! One funding scheme involves taxing the private health care plans of all Americans from the employer and the employee side. There is no better way to discourage competition and give the government option a monopoly than removing an employer’s incentive to provide health care by increasing their costs tremendously. Employers will, out of necessity, abandon their health plans forcing employees onto the government plan. I know this for a fact. Years ago, I was the administrator of a small employer plan that covered about 450 lives. The last year of the plan, the total group premium was $360,000 of which the employer paid 55% or approximately $200,000. Add the 35% corporate profit tax on top of this which is what happens when you eliminate employer deductibility for health insurance premiums and we wouldn’t have been able to afford to insure our group. That’s 140 employees and their dependents out of health insurance gentlemen all to be forced, if this plan passes, onto an inferior government plan. This is not a choice the employer makes voluntarily out of some evil desire to cut off their employee’s insurance, it’s a business decision forced on the employer by the government.

Speaking of government health insurance plans, we know how well current government plans work. Medicare is vastly over budget, underfunded and inefficient as is Medicaid. As I mentioned before, other socialized medicine systems in countries far smaller than ours are failing miserably, breaking government budgets and their citizens are dying because of it. And yet this is the direction Obama and the Democrats want to take this country? What in God’s name are they thinking? What in God’s name are YOU thinking Messrs Boswell, Loebsack and Braley?

In closing, I’d like you to think about this: If this government option plan is what’s best for my family and other middle-class American families, will you take a pledge to go off your Cadillac plan and onto the one you design for us mere mortals? I bet you won’t. As President Obama said in the ABC universal health care infomercial a couple of weeks ago: When it’s your loved one, you obviously want to do what you can to make sure they get the best care possible. If you live in countries that now have socialized medicine, this means coming to the U.S. for health care if you can (and many do). If you are a member of the ruling elite as Barack Obama is, you automatically get the best health care possible. Under the current system, a 17-year-old from a middle class family in Iowa got the best care possible and recovered from injuries he may have died from while waiting on treatment in countries with the type of medical care the Democrats want to reduce us to. I want to know that, should my young granddaughter need extraordinary care of the level my son required, she will be able to get it. I’m positive that she could under the current system because I have seen it happen. I’m equally as positive that it won’t happen if we have universal health care because the facts and common sense dictate that a government that has never been able to run a public welfare or health program efficiently won’t be able to do so with a massive multi-trillion dollar health care bureaucracy. Again, gentlemen, I implore you for all the aforementioned reasons and many more: Don't mess with the best health care system in the world!

Act now: go to, to find your representative's contact information.

No comments: