Tuesday, March 23, 2010

November 2, 2010

You know my biggest problem with so called “Health Care Reform?”

The name.

It’s wrong.

This has nothing to do with actual health CARE. We as a nation, already have the finest health CARE on the planet. This is why even high level elected politicians from supposed health care utopias like Canada, routinely come south to America for life saving operations.

No, this is really “Health Insurance Reform.”

Or really, “Health Insurance Entitlement Reform.”

Or, let me take one last whack at it: “Health Insurance Entitlement Expansion.”


You can’t refute that, even if you were for Obama and Pelosi’s hideous legislative mutant they pushed out on Sunday after 18 months of labor. If you are for it, you will say it’s morally right, it will be affordable, and that it will make the health care industry in America better over the long run.

You are also smoking crack, but I can’t help you with that.

This thing won’t save us money, it won’t work as advertised, and it won’t ever become popular. And it sure as hell won’t be a political plus for Democrats.

The numbers are simple. Some 30 million people will get “coverage.” (Two notes: A) Not until 2014, so sit tight, kids. B) Wait until they find out “coverage” doesn’t mean they’ll actually see a doctor who can help them in a timely fashion.) They are technically, the “winners” in this. The other 277 million Americans will be “losers” in this. Their taxes will go up, job creation will be given another crushing gut punch, and premiums will continue to rise.

Oh, and they’ll wait longer to see their doctor. That is, IF their doctor doesn’t take an early retirement. Which many will. Just watch.

Yet somehow, Nancy Pelosi thinks that “once we pass it, the public will like it.” Spoken like the arrogant botoxed San Francisco nitwit-granny she is. I for one, will never, ever, ever – in a trillion years – like a law that says I MUST purchase something or face tax penalties, or jail.

I am not alone.

But back to words, and what they mean. When you can actually change what words mean in the public debate, you can execute spectacular frauds on an uneducated public. If Democrats had started by stating plainly that they wanted to enact “Health Insurance Entitlement Expansion” this thing would have gotten nowhere.

So you start changing what words really mean. Health “care” is used instead of “insurance.”

And insurance is not insurance, it’s really a free basket of medical goodies at somebody else’s expense.

As a true “insurance” problem, health care is not that complicated. Fifty years ago, actual private health insurance was just that. They were policies written to hedge against catastrophic, nest-egg obliterating illnesses. Yet over the decades, health “insurance” has morphed into the Ceasar’s buffet of medicine.

In a perfect world, I would love to purchase a simple “catastrophic” policy for me and my family. I’d like to be able to opt-out of my employer insurance, pocket the cash it costs the company to provide that, pay taxes on it, and never again worry about “what happens if I lose my job?”

I’d like to be able to shop dozens of companies in any state in the country for it, and have a deductible in the $50,000 range. God forbid I run into some nasty disease, but even at that number, between savings, credit cards, friends and family, we’d be able to make it through, and pay off that deductible once I beat back my near death illness. If I die, problem solved. Life insurance.

Everything else, I pay for.

Like your homeowners insurance. That basically covers your house burning to the ground, or getting lifted off its slab and dropped 2 states away by a tornado. It doesn’t cover light bulbs, HVAC maintenance, painting, new windows, or plumber’s calls after hours on a Sunday.

Do you think homeowners “insurance” might be astronomical if it did?

Yet that is exactly what health “insurance” has become. I just saw where Virginia, my state, failed to root out Viagra as covered under state workers’ “insurance” plans. They tried, but just couldn’t do it. Those state worker drones want their boner pills, baybee, and they ain’t gonna pay for ‘em.

Good to know my taxes, will be paying for that.

All through Obama’s 50-state tour of lies, whoppers, and cherry-picked medical sob stories, you always heard about “Mrs. Jones, who has cancer, and lost her insurance, and is in danger of losing her life savings, and being kicked out of her house.”

Okay, so let’s fix THAT, then.

But no, instead the fight has been all about EXPANDING the myriad medical “conditions” that are covered by “insurance.” Like abortion, gastric bypass surgery, or psychiatric counseling for example. Whatever your opinion of the merits or morals of these kind of things are, have you ever heard Obama tell the story of “Mrs. Smith, who needs her third abortion, has lost her insurance, and is in danger of losing her house?”

No. Because these medical procedures are merely expensive. They don’t bankrupt people.

They are also procedures of choice. You can give birth and give your child up for adoption (the line in this country is around the block on that), you can eat less and exercise more (ever seen The Biggest Loser? There’s no such thing as “too fat” to exercise!), and you can take a deep look at why you are unhappy, and whether or not that Xanax prescription is really the answer.

So instead of giving most of “responsible America” reform that would be a wonderful lightening of the financial load, Obama and Pelosi are giving us the opposite.

That, and another 16,500 IRS agents in charge of enforcement.

Oh, happy day!

So they pushed the nuclear plunger. It doesn’t mean it’s over. No, it’s just beginning. Because the backlash and unintended negative consequences are about to come washing ashore.

I take solace in the fact that this will be Pelosi’s last significant act in political life. She’s back to being an obscure San Francisco trinket in the house after the November Republican tsunami, and Harry Reid will be home doing the laundry. Pyrrhic victory in pocket, they will have awoken the sleeping bear.

They say “there’s no way the Republicans will ever be able to repeal it.”

Oh, yeah? Just like “there will never be a black president in our lifetime” or “you can’t beat the Clinton Machine” or “no Republican will ever win Ted Kennedy’s old Senate seat?”

Lifetime eligibility for welfare was repealed under Clinton, prohibition was repealed, the stamp act was repealed. Things get repealed all the time. This will be another.

Even Medicare and Social Security will face a de-facto repeal in the coming years: they're out of money!

Right now, nothing is impossible. Nothing. Did anyone ever think the United States would actually go bankrupt? No? Well that’s happening. It’s only a matter of picking what year it is.

And if come 2013 there’s a Republican president sitting atop thin Republican majorities in the Senate and the House, then we know now it’s perfectly okay to jam through highly partisan legislation by any means necessary.

Thanks, Nancy.

You should never give a whole bunch of really pissed off people a cause. Makes them extremely motivated, and focused.

So let's see. The approval rating of our beloved Teleprompter King has fallen below 50%. The opposition to this bill finished at 59% in the polls. Pelosi's approval rating is 11% and Harry Reid 8%. Unemployment is pegged at 10% with no signs of abating, and our national debt, even before this monstrosity, had already thrown another TRILLION on the pile.

It's like Democrats have a political death wish. And I, for one, can't wait to help make that wish a reality.

President Lincoln once said: “Public sentiment is everything. With public sentiment, nothing can fail. Without it, nothing can succeed.”

Better yet, was a sign at a recent rally: “Shove it down our throats now, we’ll shove it up your ass in November.”

See you at the ballot box.


  1. Amen, bay-bee! Very well said, Czabe. I like to write and I must say this is editorial-worthy, and for a large market. And I'll be in line, a couple of hours south of you here in Central VA, shoving it up their collective posteriors in November. Thanks for the encouragement.

  2. Not that I nesissarily agree with the whole health insurance reform, but rather I choose to play devil's advocate and raise a practical question:

    Most states require auto insurance. How is that more important than health insurance?

    I agree that, as it is both in the "reform" and as it is now, it's unsustanable. But you'll have a hard time telling me that insurance part of the system doesn't need reform as well as the care part.

  3. The auto insurance comparison is a poor one. Driving a car is a previlege not a right. You don't have to own a motor vehicle to go from A to B so you don't have to have auto insurance. Obvivously this is not the case with this "Health Care Reform" plan.

  4. Matt, your question can best be answered as such:

    States require auto insurance in exchange for a privilege - i.e., allowing you to operate your motor vehicle on the roads they maintain. It's your prerogative to not operate a motor vehicle if you so desire, and thus you're not required to purchase auto insurance. In addition, I can't speak for every state, but in the one which I reside, if you can prove your financial ability to cover substantial damages resulting from an automobile accident, you may have the requirement to purchase auto insurance waived by the state.

    An entirely new standard would be set if the federal government is permitted to force any citizen to purchase a product or service as a condition of merely living. Many legal scholars argue that is unconstitutional, and I agree.

    Very little will change instantly. This is going to be a long, drawn out affair, and the full scope of this package will likely never come to fruition. Many state attorney generals are already lining up to file suit against the feds because of this legislation, and this will grind through the legal mill for months, if not years.

    Czabe's take was generally fantastic, as usual, but the only place he veered off course was making this a republican v. democratic issue. The dems are just the drunken sailors steering the ship in the here and now. The republicans have been nearly as bad in recent years, however. Government intrusion in health care has been an abject disaster in the state of Massachusetts, and that was implemented on the watch of a republican governor, and future GOP primary presidential candidate.

    It's toxic on both sides of the aisle. Choosing between democrats and republicans these days is about like choosing between a karate kick to the balls, or a hot grease enema...neither option is particularly appealing. We need to find some fiscally conservative political candidates, and find them quickly if we're going to rescue this country from its financial tailspin.

  5. """"
    And if come 2013 there’s a Republican president sitting atop thin Republican majorities in the Senate and the House, then we know now it’s perfectly okay to jam through highly partisan legislation by any means necessary.""""

    Republicans have done this in the past. Both sides are so divided it seems to be the only way to get anything done, and that is just sad.

  6. Comparing this to auto insurance is way off.

    If you're poor, your auto insurance is not subsidized by taxes.

    Auto insurance companies can refuse coverage if they feel you are too big a risk. They can also charge you a lot to compensate for risk.

    If you choose not to have auto insurance and hence not to own a car, you don't get penalized 2% of your income.

    The end result is responsible people with decent paying jobs are going to pay out the ying yang for insurance. We have to pay for all the poor and/or obese morons who will run up huge medical bills and pay little, if anything, into the system.

    What they should do is tax the hell out of twinkies, beer, tobacco, and McDonalds to pay for this.

    I was glad when O won the election, but now I'm regretting it. I didn't think anyone could be worse than W, but I was wrong.

  7. In addition to being mandatory only to the extent that you choose to drive a car on public roads, the required auto insurance is generally for liability only. You can wrap your car around a pole and, if you chose to exercise your free choice not to carry collision insurance, sorry about your luck. The legal requirement is to protect someone whom you may harm (while driving in public), not you yourself (while merely existing).

    The mandatory health insurance, combined with limits on premium ratios, is designed to take away the free choice of healthy people who prefer to self-insure for small expenses and force us to subsidize a massive entitlement expansion. No more pre-existing conditions? Great. Up goes the price. Deadbeat 26-year-olds leeching off their parents' policy? Great. Up goes the price. No lifetime or annual caps? Great. Up goes the price. Everything sounds nice until you realize that insurance companies don't print the money to pay claims. They take it from us.

    The whole thing seems designed to fail, since it does nothing to bring the purchaser and the seller together in the marketplace. As long as someone else (employer, taxpayer, insurance company, magical pixie king) is paying the freight, an individual has no reason to watch his costs. If the individual were paying for everything out of pocket, while insured against catastrophes costing beyond tens of thousands of dollars, there would be as much competition as there is for everything else.

    Boob jobs - stable or falling prices. Lasik - stable or falling prices. Botox - stable or falling prices. All medical in nature, all generally outside the insurance realm, and all getting better and cheaper as time goes on.

  8. "Oh, yeah? Just like “there will never be a black president in our lifetime” or “you can’t beat the Clinton Machine” or “no Republican will ever win Ted Kennedy’s old Senate seat?”"

    Don't forget "No one will use Twitter this time next year" or "Erin Andrews faked her own peep-hole tape" or "The Patriots are an unstoppable Cat 5 Super Team" in the list of things said with certainty that turned out not to be true. ;-)

    There is definitely some truth in all the bluster above. But just like this, lets call it Health Care 'Access' legislation; isn't going to be the magic pill that will solve all the poor's healthcare problems; neither is it the sinister, contract with Satan that assigns America's soul into communist servitude.

    The billion dollar insurance lobby sponsored campaign of rhetoric,hyperbole and fear mongering voiced mostly by the pompous douchebags on Fox News so clouded the oppositions argument that it was impossible for anyone to hear the intelligence in it.

  9. Well written, Czabe! Asshats who get their info from Michael Moore can cry about Fox News all they want, but they got their "free healthcare", they will pay the price in November!

  10. Scaling back first-dollar coverage and emphasizing high deductible catastrophic plans are the 2 biggest things that could control costs, and this debacle moves us in the opposite direction on both.

    But I would actually have no problem with a better implemented mandate. I think it's pretty consistent with the very conservative principle of personal responsibility. My issues are with the way that this law enacts it. It requires most people to buy far more insurance than they'll ever need. And the low penalty paired with guaranteed issue means that you might as well just pay the fine and wait till you get sick to get insurance (especially since you can't just buy the basic catastrophic policy you need).

    But you incur the risk of getting sick by being born. No, you didn't choose to incur that risk, but you can't choose not to incur it either (without a call to Dr. Kevorkian anyway). Unless we're gonna start turning people away from emergency rooms, then I think we better make sure people insure against that risk. Fine if you want to let people instead prove they have the financial means to self-insure -- but how many people have the cash to cover years of cancer treatments or a heart transplant?

    It's also another good cost cutting measure, because a huge reason for the ridiculous costs in the ER and the rest of the hospital is cost-shifting from the indigent patients to the patients with insurance.

    There's plenty to hate in this so-called reform law, but I don't have a problem with the mandate. The uninsured are currently free riders on YOUR plan -- aren't you tired of paying for them?

  11. Some very excellent posts here, thank you for that. The "auto insurance" comparison is laughably easy to obliterate.

    Lenerd1 makes an intriguing side-angle attack on it, however, by pointing out that by just living, you are incurring the risk of getting sick. And as such, shouldn't people be mandated to insure against that risk?

    In theory, yes. But I know from personal experience, that many people simply can't, or won't. And there's no way to force them to.

    I don't advocate turning away the sick, so that's a cost drag that is simply going to always be there as a compassionate country.

    Yes. We are compassionate. Extremely.

    Finally, there is this. Many people are TERRIBLE "drivers" of their own health. I have an extended family member, who was diabetic, smoked, and overweight. Family members who loved him dearly, tried like hell for years to re-direct this course.

    Sadly, they failed.

    Did he deserve a "one-price-fits-all" no-questions-asked insurance premium?


    If he were a driver, we would have revoked his license. But he's a human being, so what do we do? Put him in "bad lifestyle prison" until he gets his health in order?

    But more importantly, this must be repealed on PROCESS alone. There are merits to mixed approaches on health care reform, but you cannot RAM through stuff in this manner.

    It's beyond outrageous. I'm frankly shocked nobody has been seriously hurt yet.

    It will not stand. It cannot stand.

  12. "What they should do is tax the hell out of twinkies, beer, tobacco, and McDonalds to pay for this."

    YES! As an occasional tobacco user (usually when partaking of adult beverages) I completely agree with this idea.

    If the affordability of junk food like twinkies, fast food and soda are the main reason that irresponsible obese people are racking up the health care costs then let's make the cause the solution. maybe upping the costs of these items won't totally cover these costs but it will surely help defray some of them.

    There is one thing i LOVE about this law. In 2014 all chain restaurants with over 20 locations will be required to list caloric content on their menus. I'm looking at you, McDonalds, Burger King and Wendy's. Maybe when people see how many calories that double cheeseburger has they won't be so quick to order. I know i wouldn't be!

    Czabe, great job as usual. We disagree on a few things but all in all i really enjoy your views.

  13. Czabe:
    As an independant and current military officer I agree with alot of what you say regarding the bill but at the same time you are off regarding the possibility of a similar system working.

    There are states (Hawaii where I'm stationed currently) that have "universal health care" that know how to manage it and make it work. I believe that one should never reinvent the wheel and instead of coming up with thousands of pages they should have used the best parts of the systems in place, kill the pre-existing conditions and a few other things and go from there. But well...

    Still your rhetoric was interesting and I do agree on some things. Too bad you never spoke like this about good ol' GWB and his screw ups, like Iraq; not against the troops since we go where we are told to go, but against the over 3 Trillion dollars we have spent in a place we shouldn't have gone in the first place. BTW, do you know that Iraq has a budget surplus because about 70% of what we spend there goes to reconstruction. We better get some cheap oil out of this deal.

    Keep up the good work.

  14. Miss you on the magic radio Czabe.

    The rub here is that there is a lot of good in the new HC Reform law (eliminating rescission, lifetime caps, pre-existing conditions, etc). We needed this bill to pass to get something done. Now let's go fix it & tweak it as needed.

    Were we really expected to wait for the GOP to pass their version of HC reform?!? Since I have been voting (late 80's), the GOP has taken every opportunity to shoot down any reform proposals while introducing none of their own. Please GOP, don't piss on my head and tell me it's raining.

    And if the Dems get the boot in November, so be it - This week, they left an indelible and positive mark upon these United States and I for one applaud them.

  15. All I want to know is why Gary Coleman was at Obama's side when the bill was signed?

  16. Yes Morty, from now on we have a 51 vote senate just as partisan as the House. You must be bursting with pride.

  17. Regardless of what you feel about whether this was the "right" move or not, I simply can't get past the fact that the government can't effectively run anything - and they print money.

    I believe I can “fix” the health care industry in a manner that will not cost the government or anyone else, any money. It’s so simple that I can’t believe I’ve never read of this anywhere else.

    I came up with this concept when my son had his tonsils removed. The PA came into the room and stated “the doctor charges $1024 for this procedure.” I said “that’s great, but how much will be covered by insurance? How much will the hospital charge? How much will the anesthesiologist charge?” Of course she had no reply. I then called the insurance company. I was informed that they couldn’t tell me that information until they saw a bill.

    In discussing the situation with my neighbor, who is a physician, I was informed that his contract are with the insurance companies. Legally, he doesn’t even have to discuss billing amounts with his patients. I was amazed. Here’s a service that I’m receiving, that I’m responsible for the payment of, but have no idea how much this is going to cost me!

    I cannot think of any other product or service that I can consume that even comes close to the complete lack of information surrounding the entire process. A very distant second is purchasing a car. You never know the dealer’s true “cost” due to factory hold backs and incentives based upon volume. But even then, I can compare apples to apples.

    My plan involves 3 steps:

    1. Require health care providers to publish their rates. This would not be an undue burden on them as they already have this information in the form of their billing codes. So, now when they require you to sign the statement stating you will pay the bill, you at least have an informed idea of what you’re getting yourself into.

    2. Require insurance companies to consolidate these amounts, so that when I login to my insurance company’s web site, I now can see what my net cost will be. Again, they already do so. They simply don’t allow me to see it.

    3. Require health care providers to produce an itemized bill. No one tells stories of the $200 Tylenol any longer because we are not given that level of detail in the bill. It’s merely “Please pay X amount” My same son broke his arm. The doctor took two sets of X Rays because the technician didn’t take the correct view. Was I charged for the first set? I shouldn’t have been, but I can’t answer that question.

    Opponents of my plan will suggest that it commoditizes health care. I submit it’s that way already. An ancillary benefit of my plan is that if a doctor is really good, he or she can charge more and you’ll be glad to pay it. If I blow out a knee and want the same guy that Tom Brady had, I can have him if I can afford him. Now, there’s no real reward for a truly gifted and caring doctor. He/She gets the same “usual and customary” charges as an incompetent physician.

    The only practical way to implement this would be to set a date and require all insurance companies to be in compliance by that date. Insurance companies are concerned with the secrecy of discounts they’ve negotiated with the various health care providers. If Blue Cross gets a 45% discount while United Health Care has negotiated 50%, that difference is an area of immense concern in terms of costs.

    A common element in the bills presented thus far to Congress has been that by consolidating all of the uninsured and underinsured persons on the government plan is that we will achieve greater discounts. If you were a health care provider and you wanted to maintain your margins, what would you do? You’d increase rates to cover the deeper discount percentage. In so doing, we’ve ultimately fixed nothing. We have simply made the situation bigger and therefore worse. The only way to control the spiraling costs is to provide visibility into the amounts being charged.

  18. John, the 51-vote Senate is nothing new, it's about 234 years old. Or did your selective amnesia kick in and make you forget about Cheney's deciding vote in '03 on the enormous tax-cut bill? That bill used both reconciliation and the VP's tie breaking vote to push it through.

  19. Great blog post, Czabe. I graduated from a top-ranked school and currently live in a big city full of Obama zealots. The way people are mindlessly celebrating the passage of this abomination makes me ill. It's good to see that there are sentient beings out there who are as outraged by it as I am.

  20. “Health Insurance Entitlement Expansion.”

    The truest form of a "false sense of entitlement", is thinking you are somehow entitled to better health than anyone else on the planet.

    You're not Czabe. You're not special, Im not special, we're just a couple guys who are products of where we came from.

    If you ask me, everyone is freaking out because the poor are about to be on a more level playing field. I dont think the tax increase is the real issue at all.

  21. Bravo, sir....Bra-vo...

    I love my kids, but having them on my insurance when they are 26? WTF? I left home when I was 17 and all is well! What happened to the concept of PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY??? Is that a completely unreasonable concept these days?

  22. Czabe, you need to get a show on Sirius/XM Patriot! That would rock! Anyone else see the irony in the way they demonized Insurance companies and then pass a law mandating we buy insurance from them? That'll teach those "greedy bastards". (sarcasm=on) And don't worry about the taxpayer funded abortions. There will be a 15-month wait to see the abortionist anyway...

  23. As a poor non-insured American I am happy that something is being done for people like me. I am not fat or lazy etc. I have chosen not to work and to raise my 3 kids and help take care of other family and friends who need help. I am the only one in the family without health insurance. And no, no one is on Medicaid or any form of welfare either. I also don't got to the ER and have your tax money pay for it. I go without. The sacrifices I have chosen to make will help ensure that my boys grow up to be model citizens so that they won't be a drain on society. Unless something "catastrophic" happens to them they won't need your tax money to build bigger prisons, more social programs etc. They will be the ones paying taxes to help people like me.
    Many insurance companies are making requirements and/or giving incentives to overweight people. This in turn will cut down on the expense of health care for the obese. Also, I read somewhere that the new health bill won't cover abortions anyway.
    Maybe if everyone stopped worrying about "how much is this all going to cost me" and were willing to help out someone that is a good, honest, decent person the country wouldn't be in this mess. I'm not saying there aren't going to be low-lifes who will take advantage and get a free ride. But why should all of us suffer because of them.