Maine Health Care Reform 1-0-1, or, 1-0-none

Posted: 23/05/2009 in Uncategorized
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Health care reform has been a big ticket in any theater that feeds the patrons to the lions lately, and for my money, it’s a load of crap. The United States doesn’t need Health Care Reform. What we need is Health Cost Reform. Why the heck should we reform health care when we clearly have the best health care system in the world? We don’t really need the reform. But in reality, the political players call it that because it adds an aura of distress to the cause. It makes one sense there is an urgency to the situation. A problem that needs to be quickly solved. Or, as is more often the case, another catastrophe in the wings, created by the Liberal Left to provide yet another opportunity to legislate us into submission to the New World Order.

An article in regards to this issue at MPBN [1]by a Josie Huang disturbs me greatly in light of the current economic trend for Maine. It’s bad enough we get beaten up regularly in all of the statistical studies that suggest Maine is a lousy state to start or operate a business in, but the Superintendent of Insurance, Mila Kofman, says “Maine doesn’t want businesses in Maine.” That’s a not-truism of course. She didn’t really say that, but the suggestion is there when Josie Huang writes “In her decision, Kofman described Anthem’s 3 percent profit margin, before taxes, as excessive…” 3% is nowhere near excessive for a profit margin. I work in retail, and most retail operations would be thrilled to get 3%. Wal-mart, as huge as they are only managed to turn 3.7% for the last quarter, according to some sources [2].

So why shouldn’t an insurance company make a profit? After all we go into business to make money, and if there is no profit, no money. No money, no business. Is this what Comrade Baldacci and the rest of his cohorts in August want? Could it be that they want legitimate insurance companies to be forced out of Maine so that their pet project Dirigo can take the place of these insurance companies? Looks like another conspiracy theory to me!

The fact that the request by Kofman is so out of line with past actions of prior insurance commissioners lends credibility to that thought. Huang also writes “This is the first time in recent memory that the Superintendent has actually decreased the requested rate increase by such a significant amount,” says Joe Ditre, Executive Director of Consumers for Affordable Health Care, which opposed the Anthem rate increase.  “In the previous years, for at least the past six, seven, maybe eight years, when Anthem has requested rate increases, the Superintendent denied the initial rate request but then only reduced it by about one percent. So for example, there have been some years where they’ve requested 20 per(c)ent and got 19.”

So what are we to think? Is a new trend to accelerate the extinction of business in Maine underway? Unless of course that business complies with the New World Order requirements for doing business, that is. We’ll see what happens shortly as Anthem only has thirty days to respond to that request by Kofman.

Another relevant article was a piece found at the Cato institute on Obama’s health care reform by Michael Tanner. In the piece he lays out eight items that he feels may be included within the greater scope of the coming proposals in Washington for this so called health care reform. Tanner sums up by writing “Taken individually, each of these proposals would be a bad idea. Taken collectively, they would dramatically transform the American health care system in a way that would harm taxpayers, health care providers, and — most importantly — the quality and range of care given to patients.”

In my own horrendous experience with the health care system I feel I can honestly say that instead of going after the insurance companies we really need to be going after the health care providers. And not just a few, but all of them. That is where the cost comes from, not a measly 3% profit at Anthem. The hospitals, for the most part, are making tons of profit even though they are supposed to be non-profit. I bet if we were to stop subsidizing them and threaten to take away their tax exempt status we’d see an abrupt change in the health care costs in this nation.

Some of the stuff I’ve seen would make any business owner seethe with rage. Waste and stupidity seems to be the main operational model the medical professionals use to run their hospitals. It is time we start putting the blame where it really lies in this debate. And it lies not with the insurance companies, but with the providers of health care. And that includes the drug manufacturers as well. Have you seen some of the freebies the reps give out to the doctors gatekeepers? High priced pens and advertising gizmos just so they can peddle some new treatment to the Doc.

In an executive summary from the Heritage Foundation[4] we read “Senator Barack Obama (D–IL) has unveiled an ambitious health care plan that is comprehensive in scope, sparse in detail, and therefore uncertain in its cost and savings estimates. His proposals focus on three stated objectives: offering affordable, comprehensive, and portable coverage; containing spiraling health care costs and improving quality of care; and promoting and strengthening prevention and pub lic health. These key goals would appeal to most Americans, but the coercive means to accomplish them will be far less attractive.

Very little in the Obama health plan is new or original. Many of its policy initiatives are recycled from the ill-fated Clinton health plan of 1993 and the Kerry health plan of 2004 and strongly resemble a detailed proposal by the Commonwealth Fund, a prominent liberal think tank. In general, the Obama plan would give the federal government even more control of health care dollars and decisions—accelerating the federal domination of the U.S. health care system.”

This paper is from October of 2008, but it reads as though it was written today. Obama has grand designs for his administration, and they all center around three basic ideals; bigger government, increased taxation and more legislation that controls our lives. And he doesn’t seem to be wasting any time getting around to imposing his ideals upon the nation he was elected to represent, does he?

 

 

[1]Huang, Josie, Anthem Plots Next Move In Wake of Rejected Proposal MPBN

[2]   Kavilanz, Parija B., Wal-Mart profit ticks up, but sales slip,
http://money.cnn.com/2009/05/14/news/companies/walmart/index.htm?postversion=2009051408 CNNMoney.com

[3]
Tanner, Michael D. “Obamacare to Come: Seven Bad Ideas for Health Care Reform.” May 21, 2009. http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=10218 (accessed May 22, 2009).

[4] Moffit, Robert E., Ph.D. and Owcharenko, Nina, The Obama Health Care Plan: More Power to Washington, http://www.heritage.org/Research/HealthCare/bg2197es.cfm, The Heritage Foundation, 15 October, 2008.

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