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Monday, July 13, 2009

ObamaCare....What does it really cost?

Socialized medicineImage by brionv via Flickr

Last Thursday, I went to a Healthcare Symposium, put on by the Tulsa 9-12 Project.

The list of speakers included, Dr. Eric Cottrill, of the Tulsa County Medical Association, the Oklahoma State Medical Association, and the Oklahoma Alliance of Physicians for Tort Reform, www.okphysiciansalliance.com

Dr. Cottrill spoke on the need for reform of our current Healthcare system, and he emphasized the need for the reform to be local and state based, not federal. With strong Tort reform, the cost of healthcare drops dramatically. In order to be effective, Tort reform MUST have caps on the awards for "pain and suffering". These caps, however, do not have an impact on real monetary losses, from job loss, to actual medical costs. Also, another step to loweencyring Healthcare costs, is limiting "frivolous" lawsuits. Right now, in Oklahoma, it costs the plaintiff nothing, to file a lawsuit against a doctor, or medical facility, as lawyers take these cases on a contingency basis. If a "loser pays" law were to be passed, then only those cases with actual merit would be brought. The fewer malpractice suits are filed, the lower the cost of malpractice insurance. The lower the cost of malpractice insurance, the lower the cost of doctor's visits. Simple Economics.

He also spoke about the ramifications of the Obama Administration's proposed Healthcare Reform Bill. If we want to see an example of Government run Healthcare, we need only look at the VA hospitals. Restricted, and inferior, treatments, and drugs. All day for a Doctor's visit. As he put it, there are two ways that you can pay for healthcare, money or time. I don't know about you, but I would rather pay my own expenses, "out of pocket" than to be treated in a facility that just treats me as a number, and has no regard for my time, while giving inferior care, based on regulations and cost analysis. Noone goes to a doctor and says "Hey, Doc, I want you to cut every corner you can, make sure that my Healthcare costs as little as possible, no matter what!" No, we all want the VERY BEST CARE POSSIBLE!

The second speaker of the evening was Glenn Mulready of Health Insurance Underwriters Association. Glen spoke on the Myths and Facts of the uninsured Americans Debate.
The Obama Administration says that there are 46-50 million uninsured Americans. Well, let's take a look at those numbers. Of those 46-50 million, 14 million are already eligible for existing Government health programs. That leaves 32-36 million. 45% of the remaining are only without insurance for less than 4 months, as they change employers. That leaves about 18-20 million. 66% of those are the 18-34 crowd, who tend to choose not to purchase insurance, because they are still "invincible". That leaves just 8-13 million who are truly uninsured. Of those, an estimated 10 million are not even US citizensm according to the US Census Bureau. So, who is truly uninsured? Why do we NEED Government run Healthcare? Just to take care of the illegal immigrants, and indigents who refuse to take care of themselves? Why not do like Dr. Cottrill said, and Reform our current system, instead of scrapping it for one that we can't even afford, and that is inferior to the quality of care that is already available?

How can a bankrupt Government afford Universal Healthcare?!

The final speaker of the evening, was State Representative Dr. Mike Ritze, of Broken Arrow. Dr. Ritze spoke about the problems of our system, and offered solutions. As he stated, our current Healthcare system is widely acknowledged as being broken. Costs are increasing, ER wait times grow longer and longer, and illegal immigrants are flocking to America. The number of doctors who accept Medicare and Medicaid is shrinking, due to poor reimbursement, and massive amounts of red tape. Americans are calling for change.

There is a common misconception that we currently have a Free Market system, when it comes to Healthcare. The Federal Government already regulates and controls our Healthcare system. About half of all healthcare costs are paid by the US Government, and access is controlled by over 100,000 pages of regulations!! We need to get them OUT of the Healthcare business, not give them MORE control!! We are already seeing shortages of doctors in the US, due to the over regulation. Foreign doctors are recruited to the US to fill the void, oft times without having to go thru the same level of schooling, or credentials checks that American doctors go through! A large percentage of the malpractice suits filed in the US are foreign doctors who didn't have the necessary training to perform the tasks they were performing!

European experiments in socialized medicine are failing under the weight of delays in necessary medical procedures, a lack of healthcare professionals, and skyrocketing costs. In many countries with socialized medicine, there are talks of limiting, or eliminating, healthcare for smokers, the obese, and many others that the government deems not worthy of being treated. Allowing the Government to make life and death decisions, is dangerous, and absolutely contrary to the freedoms that our nation was founded on.

The real solution to our healthcare crisis is to get Government OUT of the healthcare business! Let free enterprise solve the problems, especially at the state and local levels. Encourage more doctors to run for office, instead of these career politicians, so that we have knowledgeable representatives at the local, state and federal levels. And do your own research and lobby your state and federal legislators to reduce the restrictive regulations, and pass Tort reforms

Over all, the evening was very informative, and educational. I understand better, the arguments against nationalized Healthcare, and the damage it will do to, not only our quality of healthcare services, but also to our Freedoms as Americans.

Please, stand up and fight against the continued attacks on our Constitutional freedoms, and the American way of life. Contact your legislators, let them know how you feel about these bills, and let them know that if they vote for it, we WILL retire them in the next elections. We ARE going to take back our country, and we will put back everything that they have taken from us!
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