Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Declaration of Health Care Independance

Yet one more time, President Obama repeated the falsehood in his state of the union address that Republicans have not brought any suggestions on health care reform to the table. In fact, several GOP reps and the Tea Party Patriots have created the following "Declaration of Health Care Independence" that lists their grievances with the current Democrat health care reform plan and gives several strong suggestions on what should be in any legislation to improve health care in America.

Declaration of Health Care Independence

In order to retain the Blessings of Liberty as secured to us by our Founding Fathers and as expressed in our Constitution, We the People reject the imposition upon us of a new, Washington-controlled system of government-run health care. We demand Constitutional protection of the right to make our own health decisions and our own health care choices free of government denials, bureaucratic red-tape, and greater intergenerational debt. A Washington takeover of American health care will
  • Deny fundamental personal and economic liberties and indisputably violate the Principle of Limited Government as established by the Constitution;
  • Impose increased costs and taxes upon individuals, families, and businesses, as well as taxpayers at the federal, state, and local levels;
  • Irreparably cripple the American economy, at the cost of jobs, businesses, productivity, and quality of life;
  • Create an inescapable new tax by imposing individual and employer mandates;
  • Institutionalize a massive, ever-expanding federal bureaucracy that is impersonal and impractical;
  • Empower bureaucrats to interfere in the doctor-patient relationship, undermine the quality of care, limit choice, and increase the cost of health care.

We have appealed to the decency of the elected majority to respect the rights of all Americans, but their leaders have been deaf to the Voice of the People. We are appalled by their cavalier disregard of the Constitution and of the demands of the People. We are repulsed by their blatant political bribes and kickbacks.

We, therefore, the People and Representatives of the United States of America, do solemnly Publish and Declare that health care reform, as a matter of principle must
  • Protect as inviolate the vital doctor-patient relationship;
  • Reject any addition to the crushing national debt heaped upon all Americans;
  • Improve, rather than diminish, the quality of care that Americans enjoy;
  • Be negotiated publically, transparently, with genuine accountability and oversight, and be free from political favoritism;
  • Treat private citizens at least as well as political officials;
  • Protect taxpayers from compulsory funding of abortion;
  • Reject all new mandates on patients, employers, individuals, or states;
  • Prohibit expansion of taxpayer funded health care to those unlawfully present in the United States;
  • Guarantee Equal Protection under the law and the Constitution;
  • Empower, rather than limit, an open and accessible marketplace of health care choice and opportunity.
Click here to sign this declaration

Thursday, January 21, 2010

US Ranks 37th in Healthcare? Not Quite...

Many liberals justify scrapping our current healthcare system for a socialist one by citing a World Health Organization study that ranked the US poorly against other countries. A closer look at the study and its criteria, however, shows that it is grossly misleading and should NOT be a reason to move towards socialized medicine. Here are 10 reasons why:
1. The ranking was from 10 years ago and is not considered valid any longer (although I would bet that the ranking is still similar). Even a WHO representative admitted it was outdated.

2. The WHO took from 2 different collections of statistics, neither of which have both Canada AND France in the top 10; there is no ranking in which Canada is better than 10 while the U.S. is 37th. In the one with the U.S. at 37, Canada is 30th. The WHO took the US's lower rankings in each of these to base our status.

3. The WHO doesn't do the ranking based on its own investigation, but with numbers that were submitted to them. When they weren't provided with data, they made it up based on their own determined parameters.

4. Non-emergency doctor visits skewed numbers. For example, waiting a few days longer for a non-emergency doctor appointment was rated worse than having to wait months for chemotherapy.

5. Some of the criteria, such as infant mortality rate, did not take into account some crucial common sense factors. For example, if a baby is born alive in the US and dies 6 months later, that counts against our rating whereas a baby delivered dead (which was actually more common in some "higher ranked" countries) didn't end up counting against them.

6. Medical cost is not apportioned equally in this country i.e. "financial fairness". The pharmaceutical industry is heavily profit oriented and not many limits are put on that. Also, some people choose not to buy insurance, which skews the outcome numbers. Financial considerations made up a significant portion of this rating. When they were removed, the US ranked substantially higher.

7. The typical US diet is horrendous and we don't exercise resulting in obesity and chronic disease. This is a lifestyle problem, not a healthcare deficiency. This was counted against our healthcare system when it should reflect more on consumer choices.

8. The US healthcare system has refined itself in giving very good, but very expensive care in emergency situations and chronic degenerative conditions, but has not put much money towards prevention. This is an issue of financial priorities, not the quality of care delivered.

9. The WHO was being run by a socialist when the ranking was being decided.

10. There are too many differences in culture, government style, economic policy, healthcare philosophy, moral code, lifestyle, etc. to accurately compare and rate over a hundred countries' healthcare against each other.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Just $42 per month for great health care? YES! (if you are in Congress)

In both the House and the Senate, Democrats have struck down Republican-created amendments to require congressmen and women to use the same health care they are planning for the rest of America. What's the matter Pelosi and Reid? Don't want to mingle with the unwashed masses?

No Debating Congress' Lavish Health Care (CBS)
24-Hour On-Site Care, No Coverage Limits; Congress Gets It All - But You Pay for It

As members of Congress debate a "public option" for health care coverage, they remain safe and secure in their own generous health plan.

CBS News correspondent Sharyl Attkisson reports it's subsidized by millions of your tax dollars annually. The government doesn't even keep track the total cost.

What exactly does Congress get? Sen. Lindsey Graham agreed to show CBS News first hand, flashing his Blue Cross Blue Shield insurance card.

Blue Cross Blue Shield is one of five plans offered to members of Congress. Most Americans, 74 percent are offered only one plan - if their employer offers insurance at all.

And members of Congress earn $174,000 a year - triple the income of the average working-age household. Yet their premiums are about the same.

For them, there's no coverage limit - a major factor for the American families bankrupted or thrown into poverty by health care costs.

Pre-existing conditions? No problem for congressmen and women. The rest of us are out of luck.

And the elected officials get still more perks most Americans can only dream of. Got a cold? You probably have to take time off work and wait to see a doctor.

Not Congress.

"We're able to access that health care 24 hours a day when we're in Washington," Graham said, leading us to the Attending Physician's Office, a clinic inside the U.S. Capitol. They don’t even have to leave the office.

About half of the members of Congress, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, use the Attending Physician benefit. For $42 a month, they can get all the primary care they need - physical therapy, X-rays, minor surgery, specialists and a pharmacy for emergencies - no appointment needed.

They also get VIP hospital treatment from the best doctors at Bethesda Naval Hospital. And they have a reserved spot at the elite Ward 72 at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, where the late Sen. Strom Thurmond spent a lot of time.

Outpatient care is free. Well, free for them. Your tax dollars pick up the cost.

Graham says in the current climate, it's just not fair.

"If we pass a law that says a public option will be made available, I think people like myself should get out of this plan and go into the public option," he said.

That's unlikely. Congress has voted down all proposals that would switch them to a public option.

Even if you're mad enough to vote out your representatives, they still won't have to stress over health care. Their plan is portable. Until Medicare kicks in, they can keep the generous coverage for themselves and their families at the same low cost, still subsidized by your tax dollars.