Saturday, October 31, 2009

Man-Hating Government Health Care

You don’t have to be an expert on health care to know that government is already a major force in the industry. As a general rule, government always causes more problems than it fixes. Look at history. In fact, all government programs are ineffective by default because they are nothing more than re-distribution schemes. But this coming Health Care Bill has a very specific charge that few others have had. This Bill declares that man is evil by nature.

How can people who think that man is immoral ever solve human problems? Remember that President Obama has repeatedly accused doctors and insurance companies of doing immoral things for the sake of profit…without a shred of evidence. How can he do this? He thinks in the depths of his soul that man is imperfect, immoral and a thief. This is the extent of his value system when it comes to mankind and it exposes why he is leading us into dictatorship and why he is engaging in almost unimaginable and unnecessary spending. He sees it as a foregone conclusion that all men, even educated doctors, are shysters and charlatans who must be controlled by government in order to do the right thing. To his mind, it is time for every man to step up and sacrifice for the sake of others and, one way or the other, he will make sure this happens; at the point of a gun if necessary. Don’t ask him how he knows that man is evil and that human sacrifice is the solution. You won’t get an answer. He’ll only tell you that Jesus preached it and it is one of our traditional values. He won’t tell you that he just feels it; like he felt it when listening to other Marxists in his past.

When businesspeople are free to function they will seek improvements in products or services to increase profits. Yet the President tells us that the pursuit of profit by insurance companies, doctors, drug companies and medical equipment manufacturers has broken the health care system. He believes that people who have no profit at stake (government employees) will do a better job in providing health care services. Yet, we know that a private company is subject to losing customers and must constantly improve in order to keep them.

In fact, profit-seeking is the engine of improved services, products and lives. Free markets increasingly improve outputs and constantly better the lives of customers. In a free market health care economy, every day millions of transactions take place, the goals of which are to save and/or improve lives. Lowering costs and improving services are the methods for these improvements. Each day, thousands of people in free industries come up with ideas on how to improve their respective outputs. New product ideas, new business processes and new cures come about each day because one individual somewhere, multiplied a thousand times, has come up with a better way to do something. All of these new ideas lower costs, increase profits and weed out previous costly practices.

Capitalism is based upon a conviction that individuals are the engine of improvement, that individuals, using reason, can find a better way; and especially that freedom works. The Founding Fathers believed that man is good; that he is capable of reason. This conviction made our society one of the most advanced in history because it left men free to make their own decisions and advance their own lives through production and trade. Affluence was the outcome of freedom. Better health care was also one of those outcomes.

When government takes over an economic process such as health care, the inexorable movement toward improvement is frozen. Progress stops. Any government program, regardless of how many thousands of pages describe it, can only cause stagnation and decline. If you want to innovate in a system run by the government, you must ask the government, apply for a grant and get approval. But who wants to innovate in government when that innovation might lower costs, reduce a bureaucrat's power and reduce government jobs? Who in government wants to put himself out of a job? In government there is every incentive to do things more slowly, less efficiently and in a more costly way. If something is being done efficiently in government, the incentive is to find a less efficient way to do it in order to justify bigger budgets. When the government owns health care, the innovative individual will lose his ability to contribute to better health care services.

The government tells us that we must be realistic about allowing unregulated private industry into such an important area as health care. This viewpoint is the tip off that they are lying to you; that they want to find fault with capitalism in order to create a new re-distribution program. The argument that we must be “realistic” about capitalism’s failings has been used on many other issues to justify government "fixes" that made things worse. This argument obfuscates the fact that government programs violate individual rights – they require coercion against individuals. You can dress it up as some sort of benign service; but it is force and force destroys; the threat of force restricts; and the only result of force against individuals and businesses is more problems for government to blame on capitalism.

In fact, the astute analyst of the administration's economic policies will notice that the administration is "acting in reverse", so to speak. It is systematically, consciously and deliberately attempting to remove from our economy every factor that would solve our economic problems and leaving in place the coercive factors that are responsible for those problems.

When government no longer protects individual rights, incompetent people who cannot function in a free market go into government to vent their hatred of profits and businesspeople. They want to force people to do what they consider is the right thing; which is to sacrifice for others; the result is government programs implemented by force and run by incompetent people. The chief incompetent today is President Obama. He is the leader of this movement to destroy capitalism and freedom. He says he is making things better. He knows he’s just taking over.

Capitalism does not work in health care today because of past government interventions. Programs like Medicare and Medicaid were previous efforts to fix health care. Their costs, restrictions, rationings, rules and compliance procedures have caused a decline in health care services and an increase in costs. This is the problem the government says it is trying to fix. Add to this other onerous regulations that mandate poor business practices for the insurance industry; the efforts by government to under-pay doctors (in Medicare and Medicaid) and you have a situation where there are too many patients and not enough doctors.

Private insurance companies are in the cross hairs of the administration and the Democrats. This is because private insurance companies make profits. And they typically pay more from premiums than do government programs. Many hospitals would not be able to stay open were it not for these insurance company payments. The comparison with government inefficiency and rationing is too stark; insurance companies, as shackled and controlled as they are, keep doing a better job than government. This is why you hear in polls that most people are happy with their private insurance programs and why you hear the government criticizing the profits made by them. If they can convince you that those profits are evil, then they can drive the insurance companies out of business through the Public Option.

For the President, profits are the problem. This idea drives him and the Democrats on this issue and it moves them to cripple and then take over the companies responsible for health care services. This is the intent of the Health Care Bill; to cripple health care so it can be taken over.

An economy like ours is not just a bunch of levers that can be manipulated at will. If you try to impact one element of the economy by pulling one lever, you increase pressure somewhere else and that might cause the entire economy to collapse. Look at the sub-prime crisis for an example where government tried to manage one element, home ownership, by demanding that banks increase loans to poor people. This almost destroyed our economy because another element, the need to qualify loan applicants, was ignored. The result was huge losses of capital in the financial services industry. Re-distribution was the goal here, and sadly, it happened on a massive scale thanks to Bush, Obama and their friends.

What lever is the government pulling on health care? It is the complaint that costs are too high. This is the same lever it tried to pull with Medicare and Medicaid before; yet costs are still too high. We are missing the proverbial forest for the trees here. The solution is not to artifically drive costs down through massive infusions of tax payer money and increased regulation of the industry; that is a short-sighted view. Pulling that lever through government would only cause an increase of patients which would still drive aggregate costs up and threaten the system even more.

Another clue to the government's perverse thinking here is to recognize that if there were enough profits in health care, no one would be complaining about a broken system. Everything would be humming along just fine and health care would keep improving. The real solution to the health care problem is to get the government out of health care; to stop its incessant pulling of levers. We must provide the incentive for millions of people, industry wide, to reduce costs. That incentive is the profit motive. Only the profit motive can reduce costs and allow for the innovation that will increase profits. This new Health Care Program is not a fix; it is a smashing of the system, the destruction of it. President Obama has created a man-hating government health care bill...the result will be more people dieing younger.

Government programs have decimated the medical professions and hospitals for decades. Private insurance companies, to a large degree, have been good for doctors and hospitals, because they do not under-pay to the extent that government does. Government sees the destruction of the private insurance industry as a way to take over those payments made by private companies and transfer them to the government. They plan to use these profits to pay for the massive costs of the government program. But, metaphorically speaking, they are killing the goose that lays the golden egg; these profits that the government is expropriating from the insurance companies are not going to be realized. They will just go away along with the benefits and options they offered to patients. Likewise with Medicare Advantage policies; these private programs have improved medical services for seniors and given them valuable options not available through Medicare. When the government puts Medicare Advantage out of business, as it intends to do, the savings and benefits to seniors will go away. Remember, government does not create values. Because it is an agency of force, it can only prevent or destroy them. Whenever it tries to re-distribute values, the source of those values dries up.

Let's look at how the whole industry will be impacted by this bill. With health care, the drying up of the industry would happen at every level.

  • First, doctors will not want to work if their practices cost more to operate than revenues will cover. With government constantly reducing payouts, refusing treatments and questioning tests, many doctors will retire early. Also, fewer young people will become doctors if they know that they will have to deal with a government quagmire once they establish practices. This means fewer doctors caring for more patients. Eventually, something will have to be done to lower standards for doctors entering the profession or to increase their pay. In other words, all doctors will work for the government. But no real doctor of ability will work for meager pay; the call to sacrifice will fall flat. Some types will heed the call - charlatans who see an opportunity to make big bucks by taking advantage of gullible patients.
  • Pharmaceutical companies will not be able to make profits due to government forcing revenues under margin. They will have less money for research and development and not enough money to ensure the quality of those medicines they make. The government will bail them out to keep them in business...if they support the right candidates.
  • Companies making health care equipment will also lose profits due to government rationing and driving down of revenues. This will kill innovation and reduce the quality of the machines and lengthen the time of their use. Those companies that pay homage to the right candidates will be bailed out with tax payer money.
  • Hospitals will not be able to keep up with ever decreasing government payouts and will be forced out of business. The government will nationalize all hospitals and install government appointed czars to run them. These czars will be ruthless in demanding cost-cutting measures and will ration care and rooms.
  • Finally, the tax payer who sees his taxes jumping through the roof to support all of these struggling businesses will revolt and demand cost-cutting measures and lower taxes. This last will start the cycle of decline all over again making things worse.
  • Did you notice the patient in this scenario? I'll let you draw your own conclusions, except to say that his voice will be a whimper. He'll be told, "That's just the way it is. What can you do when you have to deal with government." Get the idea? They want you to die. If your health problems are a drain on the treasury, they want you to die.

There are a number of other issues relating to health care, not the least of which is the portability issue that limits the number of private insurance companies that can compete in a state. This reduces competition, raises prices and harms policy holders. Add to this a number of “mandates” on insurance companies that force them to operate in violation of sound business practices, and you can see that the problem in health care is not the profit motive. The problem is the government.

I might be one of the few people to warn about other coercive practices that are sure to come out of this Health Care Bill. Whenever a bill this large (over 1900 pages) is presented without the people being able to read it; when it is voted upon by elected representatives without even they reading it, you can be sure that many boondoggles and coercive measures have been smuggled into it. Only a charlatan would hide his real intentions in a 1900-page document.

But the real problem is another issue; and the answers to these questions provide the clue to the fact that the government does not care about patients at all, not even high costs. How can government address high costs in health care when it is trying to eliminate profits in health care; the very profits that would enable health care companies to deal with high costs? Why would it be trying to impose a system, the likes of which, has destroyed health care in virtually every country in which it has been tried? I know it, you know it, the government knows it. Why then does our government want it? What is the point here?

The point is altruism. The Health Care Plan is not about better health care; it is about expanding the level of sacrifice being done by Americans. The President is a committed altruist, more committed than any President in our history; so committed that he believes man MUST sacrifice for others. In his view, not only are profits evil, wasteful and theft, they are also the cause of all human problems. Of course he believes that only sacrifice will solve those problems. Somehow he has connected all good to sacrifice and all evil to capitalism and profits (Yes, I know, he's Harvard educated, but I suspect that his real influences come from his mother and his surrogate fathers). He believes, from the depths of his soul, that sacrifice is man's imperative; there is no choice, there is no other option, there is no argument, there is no advisor and there is no logic that would convince him otherwise. For him, there is nothing to discuss, altruism is the answer for all questions. This is why his government health care plan is aimed at destroying the profits of hospitals, doctors and private companies. This is why he is the most dangerous President in our history.

If I were to imagine the mind of an altruist speaking what it really believes, it would be something like this: "The only thing that is important for you to understand is that YOU WILL go along with what we tell you; you MUST accept our dominion over you, you MUST live for your fellow man, not some time, not occassionally, but ALL the time; every minute of your life. You are base, evil, filled with original sin, you are the scum of the earth, you are a filthy creature that does nothing but consume the planet and all of its precious life. You are the enemy of life on this planet. Your existence on this planet is the problem and your desire for industry, profits, rights, protections and consumption is nothing more than your petty self-glorification which, today, has come to an end. Here is the gun that says so. From now on, there will be no such thing as profit or the desire for a better life. The day of self-interest is over. The day of thinking you are special is over. This is the time, for the first time in history, where sacrifice rules. Forget your petty self. Rights? Rights are just words that you use in order to exploit people. We won't have any of that. And that you MUST understand. There will be no getting out of the absolute requirement that you WILL sacrifice. Are there any questions? If so, shut up. Now get in line."

Perhaps you think that altruism is about helping people voluntarily, being nice and empathetic. Hopefully you will reconsider this view. The truth is, if you consider altruism to be the right philosophy, you must insist that man not allow the existence of self-interest in any manner whatsoever. You must support Barack Obama totally. And you must practice what you preach. You must be the first to sacrifice your whole being to his cause.

All of the concepts, principles and ideas that we hold dear, ideas that are espoused in our Constitution, will have to go away; they will be discredited in order to make way for the one man who can bring about the triumph of total sacrifice. You'll have no problem about destroying the Constitution. As a dutiful citizen, you will be free only to advance the cause of sacrifice. Even though you may have joined the cause voluntarily, you will insist that the government force dissenters to join; those who refuse to join must be killed. Why compromise when total altruism is at stake? In fact, we know that many people from the last generation, particularly the older ones, had a stake in capitalism and self-interest. Many will pretend to be with you and others will secretly work against the cause...perhaps you'll think that we should just kill them all in order to purify the nation and make the way clear for a proper altruism. This coercive, insistence on sacrifice must be your most precious heartfelt desire. For the first time in history, an altruistic utopia is within your reach. Forget those stale ideas such as reality, cause and effect, the lessons of history, coming doom and other such drivel. Those are the lies of evil reactionaries. You will be impatient with anyone who wants to discuss old ideas. This is your time. You are on the verge of creating the first truly "moral" world in history.

Is this what you want? Do you not see that we are not just engaging in a liesurely debate about whether we should help others or not? The critical issue of our time is whether a once free people will recognize that total sacrifice has been imposed upon them without their choice. That is what Barack Obama has been doing. He isn't the first to try it.

You must realize that Obama stands for your slavery. This is why he refuses to work with "the opposition"; this is why he believes Tea Party protesters are fascists and wrong; this is why he talks in flowery words and eloquent phrases about a new America of sacrifice; this is why he advocates mandatory service for every citizen (proposed by Rahm Emanuel); this is why he apologizes to the world for things America has done; this is why he took weeks to criticize Iran while the people rioted in the streets; this is why he supports a potential dictator in Honduras against a Constitutional government; this is why he is spending more than all Presidents before him combined; this is why he fires executives of private companies, this is why he bails out companies and unions that supported him in the election, this is why he disenfranchises investors and violates the sanctity of contract, this is why he supports Cap and Trade that will virtually destroy American industry; this is why he supports card check for unions, why he supports net neutrality, "diversity" in broadcasting, this is why you hear reports about Marxists and other totalitarian types in his government; this is why he has no problem shoving oppressive and expensive programs down our throats; this is why he supports a Health Care Bill that will destroy health care. He does these things because he believes we must sacrifice. He won.

If you know of a system or philosophy other than altruism that more thoroughly destroys freedom, affluence, happiness, idealism and a respect for man, then I'd like to know what it is. It does not matter to President Obama that your life is destroyed through his massive spending programs. It does not matter that you will be forced into virtual slave labor to accomplish his vision of total sacrifice by all; in fact, when the time is right, he will have no problem sending the cops to arrest you for refusing to participate. The only thing that matters to the President is that you, the formerly selfish American, will pay with your hide for the privilege of living in his America. You will be made to suffer for all the evil done by capitalism in the world. You can complain about your hunger and strife but that is your just reward, he thinks. This is the real soul of Barack Obama. Is it yours?

The question before us as a nation is a simple one. Are we going to stand for self-interested freedom or altruistic slavery? If you want better health care, or even a better America, stop this so-called “Health Care” bill. It screams out that man is evil and must be stopped from making a profit. It screams out that your life will soon be the property of the government. It screams out that dictatorship is what you can expect from the future. If you value life, you will do everything you can to insist that this bill be resoundingly defeated. If you value life you must dis-value this government.*

*For a rational treatment of the Health Care Issue, read “Moral Health Care versus Universal Health Care by Lin Zinzer and Paul Hsieh at The Objective Standard:

To learn about altruism and its sinister intent, Read Atlas Shrugged.

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