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Thu

13

Aug

2009

Decoding Health Care Reforms For Complete Idiots
Thursday, 13 August 2009 05:39
by Stephen P. Pizzo

Frankly it really pisses me off that I even have to waste our time discussing these non-issues. But, if you have one of these right wingnuts in your family or on your email list, send them this cheat sheet.
The Advanced medical directive euthanasia trap – “Sign here and Die”
Of course. Who could possibly doubt it? Killing bothersome and expensive oldsters is just a really, really, really, really late-term abortion, if you stop to think about it.

Which is exactly what people who believe this nonsense are not doing... thinking.

In fact the Advanced Medical Directive (AMD) is just the opposite of what these airheads are claiming. AMDs are not post-dated suicide notes. No one is taking your choice to live or die away, but rather memorializing that choice.

Say you want doctors to do all they can to keep you alive if you code out. Fine. Say so in your AMD and that's what you'll get. If you want them to pound on your chest until you're so tender the mortician stamps, “USDA Top Choice” on your forehead, the docs will do just that. They'll even bring in "the machine that goes 'BIGN.' If you want them to defibrillate you so many times with the zappers that you start picking up high-def TV channels in your head, they'll do that for you as well. But only if it's in your AMD.

But, if you're one of us who simply want the hospital let us pass away quietly, unzapped, un-tenderized, un-intubated, no one dragging you back from “the light” just to run up more billable procedures, and you have those wishes all signed and notarized in your AMD, then you'll get to slip away unmolested.

That's it. There's no “death panel,” there's no government plot to euthanize anyone, of any age, for any reason, including Sarah Palin's baby.

In fact, the only places where medical people can legally use medical procedures to kill people is in our prisons. And conservatives think that's just as it should be.
We Don't Want Bureaucrats Getting Between Us and Our Doctors
Well, bureaucrats come in many flavors. There's your basic government bureaucrat, who follows federal, state and local laws, rules and ordinances. They're inflexible, myopic, often not terribly bright and almost always annoying.

Then there's your corporate bureaucrat. You know, the bean counters, the guys and gals who spend their work days combing spreadsheets for... hell, who knows what. Corporate bureaucrats have ice-water in the viens. And they too have their marching orders, orders they enforce with even greater tenacity since, unlike federal bureaucrats, corporate bureaucrats can be easily and quickly fired.

Now, which bureaucrat do you prefer involved in your health care?

Neither, you say. Oh, sorry. “None of the above,” was not one of your choices. You get one, or you get the other, or you get a combination of the two. Right now most of you have the insurance company's corporate bureaucrat between you and your doctor. You will never see them, or for that matter probably ever have any form of direct contact with them. The only evidence they exist comes when your doctor returns to the exam room shaking his or her head and announces, “Sorry, Burt, but your insurance doesn't cover that... (. fill in the blank – medication, procedure, hospital stay, treatment. )

That decision was made by an insurance company bureaucrat while you where sitting in that cold exam room doing your damnedest to keep the back of you exam robe closed. The denial of service was made either over the phone or computer with your very own insurance bureaucrat. It's sort of like the old movie Harvey... you have your own invisible insurance company bureaucrat who follows you where ever you go... if you go anywhere near the health care system.

So, how's that been working for you? If you like it, fine, keep it. But don't pretend that the current system doesn't inject a bureaucrat between you and your doctor.

One more observation: if replacing that corporate bureaucrat with a government bureaucrat is so socialistically awful, then why aren't you and your fellow morons out there demanding an end to Medicare? "Hell no, we won't take Medicare!"


And let's not forget the Veterans Administration. Let's make all those former soldiers go out and buy health insurance like everyone else, the little leeches. Right? Well, either that's right or you're wrong about the public option.
The Public Option is Socialized Medicine
“Paging doctor Marx, Dr. Marx, Dr. Engels needs the communal anal-thermometer, stat..”

Look you knuckleheads, we already have socialized medicine. Every time you figure out what you're paying for health insurance every year, add to it approximately $1100. That's what you're paying to cover the 50 million un- and under-insured Americans. Yep.. you're paying for all that “free government” health care that has to be provided by hospitals by law.

So, another hard choice confronts you: Do you want to change the law, or change the system? Want to just deny medical care to the uninsured? "Let'em eat camomile!"

Or we can change the system to enlarge the actuarial pool by making insurance affordable to 98% of Americans. One way to do that is to inject a low-cost public run plan into the mix, forcing down costs, creating real competition for private insurance companies for the first time, and sparking a revolution in medical industry efficiency, technology and delivery.

If you don't want to do that, then maybe you should reconsider your opposition to forced euthenasia, not for Sarah Palin's baby or granny, but uninsured patients.
They Will Ration Medical Care
Whatsamatta bucko? Were you born with an ugly nose? Got Gucci-size bags under your eyes? Want bigger, perkier boobs? Well if so, you're right. You're not getting them paid for.

If you really want your beak chopped and lowered, your bags emptied or your boobs hydraulically lifted, you're going to have pony up the dough yourself.

So, if that's what you mean by rationing of medical care, you're right.

Oh, and one more thing. You think there's no rationing right now? Just try to stick your private insurance company with those kind vanity procedures and see how fast they tell you to get used to your body the way it is.

Another one more thing. This isn't part of any of the reforms I've read about so far, but ought to be. We Baby Boomers are about as self-indulgent bunch as you'll ever meet. In our 60's now we insist on trying to do the same things we did when were 25. Which has meant we're two-legged ATM machines for the orthopedic industry.

Ortho docs see the same guys over and over, coming in for another knee job because they're still out there on the basketball court trying to slam dunk with the kids. Or the gal with her fourth torn rotator cuff from playing tennis. They come in with one demand, “Fix me again so I get back out there on the court.”

If I were medical tsar I'd have a rule: One rotator cuff, one knee tendon, one ankle, one elbow fix, one sports-related fix per geriatric patient. If they come back in again, with the same problem, due to the same age-denying stupidity, they get handed a cane. At least that will keep them off the court, for good. Fixing the same people, over and over again, for the the same self-inflicted wound, is not good medical care, it's enabling. And we simply can't afford it. Some would call that “rationing.” I call it tough love.

(Yeah, yeah, I know..."what about smokers and over-eaters." Hey, give me a break. I can't fix everything in a single column.)
The public option will destroy private health insurance
Last year the health insurance biz pocketed $12 billion in profits. They're not going anywhere. And here's a big reason why.

We Baby Boomers are just now seeing our body-odometers turn 250,000 miles. Our parts are starting to wear out. (Trust me on this you youngsters.) Prostates swell to the size kiwi fruit, hemorrhoids deserve their own athletic supporters, the old ticker misses beats, and the plumbing... don't even ask.

We Baby Boomers are going to be worth trillions upon trillions of bucks to the insurance industry over the next thirty years or so, and they're not about to cede all that gold to some government option.

What they will do is what all capitalist enterprises always do when conditions change – adapt. They will find ways to compete with the public option. And if history is any gauge, the private sector usually does pretty damn well when it's main competitor is a public entity.

But the insurance industry claims that a public option would be non-competitive, and would destroy the private insurance system. (Before they made that claim they should have asked themselves if any of us would care, in the first place.) But what they really mean is that they want to talk about competitiveness, not actually have to compete against a worthy and capable opponent. To which I say, tough nuggies, assholes. You brought it on yourselves. You fouled your own nest. You killed your own golden goose in search of platinum eggs.

So, either compete or retreat. Either way is just fine with us.

Despite their threats of mass suicide, private insurance companies will compete. And they will compete hard against the public option. They will compete on service, which will result in better service – for both public and private plans. They will compete by charging more for plans that cover “boutique” treatments and services the public plan doesn't cover – and probably shouldn't anyway.

And they will suddenly "discover" ways to insurance some of those 50 million folks they once refused to cover who might now be attracted to an affordable public plan. They will do so by offering all kinds of “ala carte" and budget plans they now swear they just can't do.


Now, if you guys out there disrupting town hall meetings want to know who misled you to get you there, watch this video:



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