You might think with an incentive like that, Republicans would immediately, joyously and completely rescind Barry’s nationalization of medical insurance. But, being Republicans, they’ve threatened instead to replace it. Thank God these bozos aren’t doctors: they’d cure cancer by infecting us with bubonic plague.
Swapping a Republican for a Dimocratic plan in which politicians control medical insurance — and us — meets that hackneyed definition of insanity: repeatedly doing the same thing while expecting a different result. American governments have interfered in both the medical and insurance marketplaces, with prices skyrocketing and patients losing autonomy and choice, ever since 1849: that year, New York State passed the first law regulating insurance. The bill seemed innocuous, even beneficial, as initial legislation usually does: it “authorized” the “State Comptroller … to require the companies to submit annual financial statements and to deny a company the right to operate if capital securities and investments did not remain secure.” More to the point, government had wedged its foot in the industry’s door.
“[M]ost medical care in the U.S.” throughout the 19th century remained “basically medieval — a bunch of potions that did nothing. Luckily, though, they were cheap potions. Health care was a trivial part of the average person’s annual budget. In 1900, the average American spent $5 a year on health care ($100 in today’s money). No one had health insurance, because you don’t need insurance for something that costs $5 a year. … [H]ospitals were poorhouses where the indigent went to die.”
But with the advent of more effective, modern drugs, “reform began around 1910, based on the Progressive philosophy of ‘scientific management’ of human affairs. …[A] ‘muckraking’ report called for closure of all medical schools that did not meet a certain scientific standard, and for licensing laws. … As many as 22 percent of existing medical schools closed or merged including all but two of seven schools for blacks. The number of medical students declined from 28,142 to 13,798 between 1904 and 1920. The immediate outcome was a dramatic increase in medical prices — and in health care disparities. Access to care in rural and poor areas was especially problematic.”
Fortunately, given that diminished availability, consumers who “proved willing to pay for care when they were really sick” spurned “checkups” and treatment of “survivable illnesses. By the late 1920s, hospitals noticed most of their beds were going empty every night. They wanted to get people who weren’t deathly ill to start coming in.” Dallas’ Baylor Hospital “started looking for a way to get regular folks … to pay for health care the same way they paid for [other luxuries] — a tiny bit each month. Hospital officials started small, offering a deal to a group of public school teachers … to pay 50 cents each month in exchange for Baylor picking up the tab on hospital visits.
“When the Great Depression hit, almost every hospital in the country saw its patient load disappear. The Baylor idea became hugely popular. It eventually got a name: Blue Cross.”
Amidst today’s caterwauling about medical attention’s being a “right” rather than a luxury, remember that previous generations considered doctors and hospitals so needless that the industry had to create a market for itself. How necessary are the procedures, tests, and drugs it dispenses now, especially when we could avoid most maladies by shunning processed food and grains?
During WWII, the new industry enjoyed an inadvertent boost from the “1942 Stabilization Act, a work of Congress designed to limit wage increases during wartime. The point of it was to combat inflation, which, in the words of the act itself, ‘threaten[s] our military effort and our domestic economic structure.’ The effect, though, was that employers — needing to recruit workers at a time when many able-bodied men were overseas — began offering more generous health benefits.”
Nor was that the only unintended consequence of the Stabilization Act: under it, “health premiums deducted by employers — while still considered part of compensation for the purposes of labor negotiations — don’t count as income, and, as a result, workers don’t pay income or payroll taxes on those benefits. The result was an incentive for the employer, rather than the employee, to make health insurance arrangements, and the era of third-party health insurance was fully underway.”
The political meddling reached its zenith under Barry Hussein. Like all federal programs, Obummercare has failed miserably at its stated purpose, i.e., “improv[ing] access, affordability, and quality in health care for Americans.” Indeed, its many victims can attest that it’s done precisely the opposite: “U.S. health care spending reach[ed a] new peak” in 2016 of “$10,345 per person” — the highest increase in 32 years and “faster than wage growth in America.”
Contrast those results with how successfully the “Affordable Care Act” has achieved its actual mission: bringing 17 percent of the American economy under even more governmental control. And then consider how few of the uninsured “benefitted” from Obummercare: only “20 million people gain[ed] health insurance coverage between the passage of the law in 2010 and early 2016.” Moreover, “prior to implementation of the ACA, over 47 million Americans — nearly” — we might more accurately say “merely”— “18 percent of the population — were without health insurance coverage.” Far from the dire emergency politicians portrayed, 82 percent of Americans carried insurance before Dimocrats nationalized it. Nor did the industry face any crisis other than too much governmental regulation (such as “mandated benefits,” legal hindrances on selling on across states’ lines, etc.).
With Obummercare, as with all their other “solutions,” rulers ginned up a problem and then exploited it to grab further power over us. Yet “House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.)” claims, “‘The law is failing while we speak’…”
Not with regard to its true objective.
— Becky Akers