Put the feds in charge of my health? No, thanks

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This is in response to David Browning’s Letter to the Editor, Jan. 11, 2017.

First off, it was the Democrats who single-handedly polished this [piece] of legislation called Obamacare; no Republicans voted for the bill. There was no “watering down” of the healthcare bill to appease Republicans; the Dems didn’t need the Republican vote in order to pass it. And so the Democrats did. The Democrats had the majority and in the infamous words of Nancy Pelosi, “But we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what’s in it ….” Scarier words have seldom been spoken.

Do we go with for-profit medical care and insurance or do we go with Uncle Sam’s Medicare running the show? Neither is optimal, but in my thinking I would much rather have the power of individual choice of my own doctor and my own health plan  — both promised by Prince Obama and the ACA — than have something so important as my healthcare left in the hands of government minions and the whims of Congress.

My faith in our government took a heavy hit when my personal information was compromised during the hack of the Office of Personnel Management. And for that I get free identity theft protection for the next three years. No.

I’ve seen and dealt with government employees and while some are good there’s more than many just consuming oxygen. No thank you. You can keep your Medicare for all. As an adjunct, look at all the potentially beneficial medicines denied use in the U.S. because the FDA has (yet) to put their stamp of approval on it after years of languishing in their bloated and slow certification process.

I’ve had for-profit healthcare through my employer for the past 30 years and while it has gotten more expensive — like everything from cars to garbage pickup — I felt it amply and correctly satisfied the needs of myself and my family. I’ve never had any issues with claims or co-pays.

Here lately I’ve gone the HSA (health savings account) route and this is a great way to control personal medical costs. It may not be for everyone but it’s a smart way to address present and future medical costs on an individual and independent basis.

While we’re talking about costs, in none of this Obamacare hoo-hah was tort reform ever mentioned. The constant run of multi-million dollar medical lawsuits in this country has done more to jack up the price of healthcare than any supposed corruption or collusion in Congress or elsewhere. Doctors and hospitals consistently practice CYA medicine, ordering countless unneeded tests and procedures “just in case.”

The entire medial community is under constant threat of onerous lawsuits. Liability insurance, on the scale needed for even your family doctor, is staggering. All of which is passed on to the patient and adds greatly to the costs of medicine in these United States.

Then there’s America’s love affair with obesity. Being overweight and having to spend time in a hospital bed or undergo surgery increases all manner of risks and care regimen, which adds to the overall costs. Everything from beds and wheelchairs to the number of staff needed to physically move overweight/obese patients adds to healthcare costs. With 36 percent of the adult population in this country overweight or obese, these numbers are a significant factor in rising healthcare costs.

From the CDC website: “The estimated annual medical cost of obesity in the U.S. was $147 billion in 2008 U.S. dollars; the medical costs for people who are obese were $1,429 higher than those of normal weight.” Throw in diabetic care, heart care and any number of ancillary issues that arise from being chronically overweight added to the normal healthcare of 36 percent of Americans, you have significantly increased healthcare costs for everyone.

And let’s not forget about the ACA itself. The program relies on the redistribution of wealth — through health. Obama, et al, held hostage your good health, especially our nation’s young people, by forcing everyone to buy an ACA policy, even healthy people who don’t need health insurance or for whom a simple, inexpensive catastrophic policy works.

Anytime you have to “fine” people to join up for something, you have to wonder is this really in my best interest? And the answer is no. And what of those policies? Have we forgotten? They are a one-size-fits-no-one policy, which is why so many insurance companies are dropping ACA policies like the hot potato they’ve become.

Every ACA policy must have riders for pre- and post-natal care, abortion care, drug and alcohol addiction rehab and a host of other very specific “boutique” riders most people don’t want or need, and this drives up the cost of these policies.

And that’s how this Obamacare thing all works: you pay for stuff you don’t need and aren’t going to use. All so the alcoholic, single-mother on unemployment with five kids can get healthcare courtesy of the rest of us. There’s a better way.

This is where Mr. Browning and I come close to terms: the ACA isn’t much of an improvement. I would say the ACA is worse than what we had before and, most assuredly, Crowne Prince Obama should not have signed it. But then it is — I mean, was — his “legacy.” And he didn’t read Obamacare either.

Having the federal government be in charge of my healthcare? No, thanks. I’ve seen the private sector for a long time and I know the feds couldn’t do any better. Costs are being driven more by a constant barrage of multi-million dollar lawsuits and the subsequent liability coverage medical entities must carry than any kind of Congressional collusion. Overweight Americans are also having a significant effect on health costs in this country.

It’s easy to blame Congress, and I know they have a hand in it to some degree, but they are not the root or only cause. Interestingly, Mr. Browning on the one hand states, “I don’t trust them (Congress) not to sell us out for the business interests.” And on the other hand states, “Only the U.S. Government is big enough and powerful enough to administer it” (Medicare for all). Hmmm.

Mike Mahoney
Fayetteville, Ga.