Friday, March 19, 2010

Single payer is not the answer (Wayne Deschambeau, CEO/Wayne Health Care)

The healthcare reform bills in Congress are a mess. There are thousands of pages of words, but no real solutions. In addition they include the so-called “Louisiana Purchase” and the “Nebraska Compromise”, coupled with a deal to exempt all union members from a tax on high cost insurance packages make the plans to be, both ineffective and pork laden.

The issues of cost and access have been major drivers in the reform discussion. We are told that somewhere between twenty and fifty million people do not have insurance. Costs escalate at a level that is more than double the inflation rate on an annual basis.

I submit that these are only the results of the real issue. The real issue is the American attitude towards personal healthcare. Many millions more than the fifty million uninsured see healthcare professionals or go to hospitals only when they get sick. Drugs, alcohol, smoking and poor diet choices, go along with an increasingly sedentary lifestyle. We know that a larger part of the American population is obese when compared to other nations throughout the world. Obesity and chronic disease is running rampant throughout our pre-adult population.

The lack of insurance does not prevent access to a hospital or a healthcare professional. Hospitals all across the country are required to care for people with “urgent” or “emergent” conditions. Free and low cost physician clinics exist throughout America. Unfortunately, like many things that are “free”, we either do not use it because it is free or we abuse it when we choose to use it. Fully one third of all American people eligible for Medicaid choose not to get signed up until they have some kind of medical emergency.

America ranks in the high teens among nations around the globe in infant mortality. Why? It is the chosen lifestyle for many mothers-to-be, not the lack of insurance for them. Pregnant women on crack cocaine, alcohol abuse, smoking, and other activities generally associated with infant mortality do not access prenatal care because they do not want to be confronted with dealing with their problems or they just do not care. Neonatal units throughout America have costs of tens of thousands of dollars for every baby for every day they are being cared for. A very large percentage of the mothers of neo-natal babies had little or no pre-natal care and/or ignored physician recommendations. Despite heroic actions by doctors and nurses, some of those babies die. If you take out the infant mortality rate associated with inadequate pre-natal care, America suddenly becomes one of the top nations in the world in lowinfant mortality.

So, what do we do? Forcing the American public to have some form of healthcare insurance will do nothing to lower costs or increase access. Americans like incentives to make decisions. There are hundreds of ads every day on billboards, on TV, on the radio and in the newspapers. The focus is why buying a product or service from the advertiser is a smart purchase for the consumer. Sometimes it is to look better or appear smarter, but mostly it is some economic advantage to buying from the advertiser. So, let’s provide incentives for making good healthcare choices. Allow a tax deduction for being part of a health insurance plan. Provide additional tax incentivesto use preventative care provided by a healthcare professional. If the person does not pay taxes, either write them a check or provide the incentives in the form of a healthcare savings account that can be used for future healthcare needs, not covered or only partially covered by the person’s insurance plan.

Another area in which the government can provide assistance to the American public is in insurance reform. They can start by providing some sort of risk pool insurance for those denied access to healthcare plans due to preexisting conditions or anticipated extraordinary costs due to congenital abnormalities or chronic disease. Requiring insurers to provide insurance to high risk people at up to 300% of everyone else’s cost will not work. Many people with chronic disease cannot afford insurance due to all of the other lifestyle costs associated with their chronic conditions. Tax all Americans to cover that limited sized group, so they do not go bankrupt. Also, even if the person ends up bankrupt, the cost of their care still is borne by the hospital and doctor. In turn they raise rates to cover the losses.

The final area is allowing insurance access across state lines. This is a problem because it is an issue of state’s rights and management. This will have to be considered an interstate commerce issue for the Federal government to act. Opening health insurance up is a great idea, in my opinion.

In case any of you think that a single payer government is “THE” answer, there are some facts to consider. 1.) Government payers, Medicare and Medicaid cover about fifty percent of the healthcare bill for hospitals. 2.) Those same government payers pay twenty-five per cent of the charges. 3.) Hospitals cost shift the unpaid portion of the government bill to the private sector. 4.) If government takes over one hundred percent of the healthcare, they will need a massive tax increase or ration healthcare. 5.) EVERY Western government that provides nationalized healthcare rations healthcare. 6.) In Canada, if you are 45 years of age and have an arthritic hip, you can wait up to two and a half years to be treated surgically. 7.) If we do not choose to improve our health status independently, the government will take over and they will ration care.


  1. I am against this “rush through” Healthcare Package that President Obama and his groups are trying to force on us taxpayers. Somewhere along the way, people began thinking that every “Nichol-dime” thing should be paid by someone else. I remember when “Major Medical” was the important part in an insurance policy and we expected to pay something for our illness or injury. We paid for doctor appointments, medicine and dentist visits.

    I remember when everyone who was able to work worked… If someone lost their job, friends, family and churches helped the family until another job was found. Today many find welfare a way of life… and have no embarrassment living off what they feel is entitled to them. Not only live a lifetime of entitlement, but they don’t even want to watch their children, instead feel that they are entitled to have free childcare, they are rewarded to have more children, by giving them a bigger monthly check. These folks live a better lifestyle than a lot of the hard working Americans.

    All of these so called entitlements have to be paid for by the American taxpayer, because the government has no earning power, only taking power. They say that a worker works through June each year just to pay the taxes each year. That’s 50% of your earnings, but the government was slick setting up income taxes, forcing your employer to withhold it from each paycheck. By doing it this way, come April 15th, everyone becomes so thankful for a refund check. Making you almost believe the government is giving you a bonus check.

    Your employer (those that work) has to pay close to 30% for every dollar of payroll paid. Stop and think about that… you pay around 50% of your earnings in taxes… and your employer pays another 30% or so… The Government still cannot survive with the 80% taken; they are still trillions of dollars in the red. They still want more than 80%, not to reduce the deficit, but to build a bigger government, more programs, and more entitlements.

    America, Workers, Taxpayers… when are we going to say enough is enough?

    A Frustrated taxpayer…

  2. Who's Nichol Dime and will she be at the HYPE meeting?

  3. Wayne says "It is the chosen lifestyle for many mothers-to-be, not the lack of insurance for them. Pregnant women on crack cocaine, alcohol abuse, smoking, and other activities generally associated with infant mortality do not access prenatal care because they do not want to be confronted with dealing with their problems or they just do not care."

    Which is the case is it that they have addicions, or could it possibly be that hospitals have turned them away because they don't have insurnace?

    Accoding to Wayne, "The lack of insurance does not prevent access to a hospital or a healthcare professional. Hospitals all across the country are required to care for people with “urgent” or “emergent” conditions."

    Is pre-natal care considered "urgent" or "emergent"... NO! so the hospital sends the mother to be on her way with no treatment. Most people know that ahead of time and so they don't even bother.

    If the health-care system in the U.S. is so good, why did we have people going to Canada on tour busses to buy perscription drugs at a discount? That was only a couple of years ago. Why did Sarah Palin take her child to British Columbia for specialists?

  4. To darke citizen, No in most cases pre-natal is not urgent or emergent. If it was the hospital would treat the patient. It is not the fault or responsibility of taxpayers to pay for others health care cause they are not smart or responsiable enough to protect themselves during sex. If you do not have insurance then do not get pregnant. How many people claim they cannot afford insurance but they smoke and drink (alcohol) and have cable with their big screen tv and the gaming systems. Insurance is not important to them cause someone else is footiing the bill, that would be us taxpayers. Even if you work and have no insurance, stop useless spending and save. I wish people would get it in their heads YOU ARE NOT ENTITLED TO CRAP!!!!! Also there is more people coming to America for medical procedures than Americans going to other countries. Yes I have medical insurance for my family and its good insurance. I work for it and do not ask for hand outs.

  5. How much money would this country save if we just send all the illegal immigrants back where thay came from??? Who pays for all of their free treatment?? The tax payer! And we just let them keep right on coming in.

  6. How much money would this country save if we just send all the illegal immigrants back where thay came from??? Who pays for all of their free treatment?? The tax payer! And we just let them keep right on coming in.

  7. I really hope for everyone's sake... that you never get sick (and I mean really sick, not just the sniffles or the flu) while under our current health care system. I have had the unfortunate experiences both personally, and with family and friends, of watching treatment be dictated to doctors by what the insurance company is willing to, or not willing to pay for. I have seen and experienced insurance companies deny coverd claims multiple times before paying just to see if we the insured just give up the fight and pay the bill ourselves to protect collections from being put on credit reports. When we have a system that rewards share holders and corporate profits for denying legitimate claims there is a problem. If you have never experienced any of this, then you have been very fortunate and blessed, but talk to anyone who has really had to use health insurance for any legitimate illness (again, not just the sniffles) and see what their experinces have been with health insurance companies. Why are medical debts the leading cause of bankruptcy in the same nation that has the best health care system in the world? Let's not just focus on illegal aliens and far out examples that are being used as a fear mongering tactic to scare people away from possible progress. Ask a friend or neighbor right here at home who has had to use our current system, and see what is really going on right here in the heart of the USA.

  8. Has anyone read the proposed fix by the House Democrats????? The Louisana Purchase is still in the bill according to THE PRESIDENT. There are many things that need to be corrected to improve our health care system but the current bill approved by the Senate is not the answer. I agree that insurance companies including Medicare should not dictate health care....physicians should but can you tell me that the present health care bill is going to do this? Anyone on Medicare should be outraged! Cutting billions out of Medicare to fund new entitlements when Medicare is already scheduled for bankruptcy is certainly not the answer. And further why should those on Medicare Advantage Plans in the state of Florida be allowed a special exemption to continue on their present plans while all those in the other 49 states will see these plans cancelled. And THE PRESIDENT promised no one would lose their present health insurance. WHAT A FARCE!!!! WAKE UP AMERICA BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE!!!!

  9. I don’t think anyone is saying our current Insurance System does not need an overhaul. I’m not even saying some of our costs within the medical system doesn’t need looked at. But to throw the entire system out, or put it under the control of the Education Department is plain insane. If their new plan is so fantastic, why aren’t they (elected officials) included in it? Why are Unions exempt from penalty if they have a “Cadillac Plan” but a regular worker who elects to buy a so called “Cadillac Plan” is penalized?

    I’ve had friends and family who have had major illnesses and use the current Insurance System, and yes the expenses out of pocket were large. But with the help of family and friends it worked out without filing bankruptcy. The care they received from the medical field was second to none. My wife had a ruptured gull bladder, and yes we paid money out of pocket, but with a little tightening the belt, we got through it just fine. I broke my leg not long ago, yep had to pay some out of pocket, again we survived the additional medical cost.

    I have no problem re-vamping the Insurance system, but I do have a “rush to pass” plan these folks are trying to ram down our throats. Even they are saying this plan will need a lot of changes, but lets get a plan then fix it. I’ve always been taught… “If you are going to do something, do it right”. Also I do not believe the American Worker should have to bear the cost of Health Care for the entire “Entitlement Group”.

  10. John: You are fundamentally mistaken about the facts. Health care will not be under the control of the Education Department, you do not pay 50% in tax and employers do not pay 30% on top of that and, even if they did, that does not mean that 80% of wages are taxed. I'm not saying you need to change your opinion but your facts are WAY off. It is difficult to let it slide when someone says 2+2=5 and then goes on to tell us why 5 is a problem.

  11. SO PLEASE BEWARE OF WHAT YOU READ & BY WHOM ~ DON'T BELIEVE EVERYTHING YOU READ. Why should anyone listen or believe you Anonymous
    March 19, 2010 1:01 AM. You can't even put your name down. Your a dumbass for thinking the republicans have had any say in this bill. They have been shut out from the beginning. The president can't even tell you everything in the bill. I heard him yesterday on the radio say this is MY health care reform. If it is his then why dosen't he know whats in it?

  12. Anonymous March 19, 2010 9:47 AM:

    I know that the Health Bill is not under the education department, however there has been talk by the congress about putting within that department, and talk that it would take 150,000 new jobs to administer it.

    By the time you pay all of the taxes required to pay over the course of a year, not just income tax, it has always been suggested that the average worker works until June 30th to earn enough to pay those taxes.

    As an employer within the construction industry, here in Ohio, by the time we match Social Security & Medicare, by the time we pay un-employment taxes and workman’s comp… it is real close to 30% of every dollar we pay in payroll.

    I’m sorry if I confused you, it was not my intent. The point I was making was the Government, local, state and federal are taking an exorbitant amount of money from the normal worker and are still running a deficit. Oh, I agree… 2+2 does not equal 5

  13. Mr. Fuller you are another example of why this country is in the mess it's in. Instead of civilly attempting to debate the issues you go for the personal attacks and name calling ... 99% of people are ANONYMOUS for a reason, we don't want folks like you to attack us physically at our residences or places of business, your VERBAL ASSAULTS are one thing but your mind set is pretty scary so Anonymous is why most post on here and thats the reason there is that option ... welcome to America!! Next time, Charlie how about being respectful and a little civil & actually attempt to debate the issues at hand instead of the old fashion typical Republican fear, smear & attack campaign "some of you folks" are so infamous for ?

  14. Anonymous March 20, 2010 12:39 AM, you are so full of crap. Just cause i said you were a dumbass you jump to the thinking that i would physically hurt you. That is absurd, i can call you a name with no intent of physical harm. For your infomatiom Mr. perfect dem, i have not been in a violent situation since i played football in high school. Your statement was stupid and i called you on it. You are the one who is trying to smear me, accusing me of being violent. You are not anonymous cause you are scared to be physically attacked. Its because you know that your liberal, anti-America thinking is not popular with true Americans.

  15. Thanks Mr. Fuller for further providing additional evidence to prove my point! I think perhaps you may be upset because a African American won the election overwhelmingly over that of YOUR choice McCain - Palin ... which is even more scarier than YOU are!

  16. Yes - 12:06. You are the worst of the worst. Somebody disagrees with you, and you accuse them of being violent and a racist. The country is in the process of rejecting liberalism right now, and that includes your guy McCain.

  17. LMAO -OMG so now I am "the worst of the worst" okay whatever you wish to believe so glad you know me so well! I said nothing about Mr. Fuller being violent I said the possibility was present due to his anger and hostility and I said absolutely nothing about race! I suggest you go back to basic 101 journalism because you my friend are the POT CALLING THE KETTLE BLACK! My guy McCain???? A little slip of the tongue perhaps - LOL...I will call Tim Gade I think he has a double room for both you & Charlie to share!


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