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The Natural Remedies Encyclopedia - Home remedies for over 500 diseases and disorders. Back in the old days, the pioneers were practical-minded people. They knew how to make-do with what they had. They combined folk remedies from centuries earlier in other lands, with herbal formulas borrowed from the Indians. Since then, even more has been discovered about physiology and nutrition. You will find a lot in this disease encyclopedia. Read more...

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The Healing News Network

A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

Health Care Reform Bill Exposed

By Victor Agaronov February 01, 2010

H.R. 3200, also known as the Health Care Reform Bill, is one of the biggest controversial topics in American society. This bill promises to turn the United States into one of the best providing countries of “free” public healthcare. Proponents of the bill shout: “People should be able to afford insurance! No one should go broke because of an ailment! No one should be denied healthcare!” But little do these promoters know what the plan truly entails and how its passing would affect those it promises to save.

When looking at key points the health care bill promises sound almost too good to be true. Once a person picks up this thousand page plan and looks past judging it by its cover, a picture is painted where the road that goes through grassy hills with flowers and birds chirping leads straight to a castle of communistic dictatorship. This essay will dissect H.R. 3200, exposing how it will affect the sick, how it will affect the healthcare system, its employees, and its impact on the nation.

In a nation where chronic diseases such as coronary artery disease, various cancers, and diabetes (among a slew of others) are rising at an alarming rate, the main goals should not be aimed at disease management. It should focus on prevention. The promotion of unhealthy fast food eating, soft drink substitution of water, a sedentary lifestyle, alcoholism, and smoking leads to not only more hospital visits but greater burdens on the Nation’s finances.

Should an overweight, unhealthy person pay the same amount for coverage as a health conscious individual? Lets take this analogy: If you ignore traffic rules and drive recklessly, shouldn't your insurance rise quickly to match the risks created by your behavior? Eventually, by continuing these endangerments, you will be unable to get insurance and will not be able to drive legally. This is common sense and no one complains that the system is unfair. But if you recklessly drink, smoke, and eat to excess without regard for basic rules of "operating" your own body, then how is it your "right" to get cheap insurance coverage without being penalized for your own conduct in the matter? Even mentioning this is unthinkable. Yet according to this health care bill, the whole Nation should balance these offsets and everyone should pay higher taxes to fund the system.

Because the increase in hospital visits and financial burdens are unavoidable with our current and proposed health systems, the demand will outweigh the supply. Eventually the supply will become insufficient to meet the demand. Once this occurs, rationing of healthcare is inevitable (page 29). Government will decide what treatments patients will receive, and will regulate who gets treated or who will not (eventually these decisions will be based on cost; page 30 sec 123).

This will lead to huge waiting lists of months or even years like in other socialized systems of Great Britain and Canada. According to the Fraser Institute publication, “Waiting Your Turn: Hospital Waiting Lists in Canada”, the waiting time for an orthopedic surgery is 5 months. Neurological surgery is 3 months. Heart surgery is 1+ month(s). The significance of these findings is that if your primary doctor discovers you have extremely occluded coronary or carotid arteries needing immediate surgery to avoid death, you would have to wait over a month for approval by the government before being able to have the procedure performed. Death by heart attack or stroke becomes an imminent possibility. This is why so many Canadians travel to the US for healthcare. Their socialized system is full of complications.

Another major flaw of HR3200 is that the medical procedures a physician recommends have to go through a governmental review panel for payment approval. If the review panel see’s the recommended advice of the physician as not appropriate (or too costly) then they will deny payment and essentially deny the procedure. (pg 30 sec 123)

One of the many problems with this review system is reviewers are not physicians directly treating the patient, know the detailed extent of the patient’s medical condition, know the patient's full history, or truly understand the importance of the recommended procedure. Although documents need to be submitted explaining the importance of the procedure, it's highly unlikely that reviewers will accurately understand a full situation of the patient that a physician recommending the procedure would understand. Also, since this entire medical system will be influenced by cost and/or rationing, committee decisions will be based not only on necessity of procedures but on cost savings to the government as well.

“There shall be no administrative or judicial review of a payment rate or methodology” (page 124). Its amazing how such a statement has gotten itself into a governmental plan. This not only reeks of dictatorship, it shows the direction and goals of this healthcare reform bill. Price fixing and decision making are two areas the previous statement addresses. Not only is HR3200 implying that no one can sue for additional payments, it also states no one can sue for denials of payment (denials of procedures).

Not all “identical” procedures are in fact identical at all. These “identical” procedures vary greatly with different patients, complications experienced during the procedure, and technology used. One cannot put a fixed price on anything that is prone to such variables. It’s also quite ridiculous that a physician cannot appeal a denial of payment or even sue for the denial. This country is based on freedom. When a government takes away the right to have a third-party review it's doing nothing short of dictating how one breathes, sleeps, or eats.

Although this plan prevents private insurance companies from denying health coverage due to a preexisting condition, nothing in the bill prevents them from increasing enrollment fees so that the sick simply cannot afford insurance. So far, two major reasons exist that would cause private insurance companies to raise their fees to all consumers:

Another area that government will dictate in this plan is a patient’s end of life treatment. When a person is on their death bed it is crucially humane to apply and tailor their last moments to personal preference (as much as is practical); whether this preference is expressed by the patient, written in the patient's advanced directive, or suggested by the family. Not doing so and treating the departing experience impersonally with a standardized manner could make the patient feel uncomfortable and depressed. It could also make the family look down on the health care experience as well as the health care personnel. In HR3200, the government does just that. It will provide an approved list of end of life resources (page 425), will mandate a program that orders end of life treatment (page 427), and government will decide what level of treatment patients will have at their end of life (page 430). This level of dictatorship is a bit excessive, especially at the end of a person’s life.

Senior citizens, low income individuals and others reliant on Medicare will also suffer greatly. This plan includes over $400 Billion in cuts to Medicare (see list at end of article for breakdown). This will not only make it impossible for people reliant on medication, equipment, and services to maintain their health. It will also greatly increase the number of hospital visits due to flare-ups of preexisting conditions with injuries due to lack of necessary equipment.

An increase of hospital visits creates a great burden on healthcare employees that ultimately decreases the level of service by creating such an overwhelming strain on the personnel. An even greater reason for a decreased level of service comes from the bill’s regulation of payments.

Hospitals and physicians are paid at Medicare rates (page 121) which are below actual cost. Physicians are paid a flat rate regardless of specialty (page 127 lines 1-16 and page 241 lines 6-8). One might look at this system and see nothing short of Communism. Should a brain or heart surgeon be paid the same as an E.N.T. specialist or gynecologist? One can argue that although the underpaid specialist would perform the procedure effectively, that physician might not perform their best potential, leading to a recovery that’s far from the patient’s pre-injury level of function. Should our healthcare system provide poorer levels of service as a trade-off to cost savings? Absurd!

This plan also sacrifices innovation for additional savings. In a private system, the rate of medical progress is tremendously high, leading to an increase in effective treatments and cures for life-threatening diseases. In a socialized system, there is no incentive for innovation. In fact, highly bureaucratized government health care greatly discourages innovation, seeing it as initially costly and wasteful, failing to recognize its long-term benefits. After all, new drugs and treatment methods have a high initial likelihood of failure. An already strained socialized healthcare system will be highly resistant to bearing those costs.

In a free market, private companies can choose to personally bear the risk of their innovations failing, allowing for improvement and advancement in healthcare and medicine.

Obviously funding is a major concern as it’s the backbone for such a program. How would the government pay for coverage of the estimated 30+ million people this reform would cover? President Obama stated that this bill would not further put our nation into debt, yet there has also been no mention of how this program is going to be fully funded, outside of investing the $400 billion that would be cut from Medicare.

The Obama administration has not only just increased borrowing but also foreign aids, military spending, an $800 billion bailout, etc. making it highly unlikely that there will be any extra funds from other sectors. This funding would have to come from somewhere. The only two logical sources would either come from the Federal Reserve Bank loaning more money and/or the government greatly increasing taxes to levels of other socialized nations.

Think of how expensive it is to live in Europe. With the previously proposed increase in hospitalizations, one can easily see how this system is going to become a great burden on this Nation’s finances and put the United States further into debt while paying more for daily living costs.

This program allows illegal aliens to hitch a free ride on the health care train while hardworking citizens are being forced to pay increased taxes. Under this plan illegal aliens are exempt from paying their taxes (page 170), therefore not funding the system. It also states that “all healthcare and related services covered by this act shall be provided without regard to personal characteristics” (page 50), basically stating that everyone is going to be covered. Illegal aliens mostly work “under the table”. They are paid with cash and don’t have to pay taxes. Doing so forces those paying taxes to be charged even more, covering the illegal's It also hinders our economy as large portions of illegal's' incomes get sent back to their home land.

Under this plan, businesses are required, by law, to enroll both full-time and part-time employees in this system, paying for a majority of their coverage (page 145). As small businesses are burdened with these costs, they either stop hiring or are crushed out of business. The nation’s economy is thus destroyed from within.

One can easily see the direction this Healthcare Reform plans to take this country, from bringing Communism into the workforce of healthcare employees, causing below standard patient recoveries, to establishing a bureaucratic dictatorship that ultimately results in an increased number of hospitalizations while halting medical advancement. The Nation will dwindle further into debt while the hardworking citizens pay greater taxes. There are many explanations and summarizations of this bill stating that nothing bad can come of it and its existence is to only better humanity. Do not be misled by misinformation and do your own research. Mayo clinic, a well established medical organization stated in a conference on July 20th 2009 that “the proposed legislation misses the opportunity to help create higher quality, more affordable health care for patients. In fact, it will do the opposite… The real losers will be the citizens of the United States.”

Main sources of Medicare cuts

Works cited / References

111TH CONGRESS 1ST SESSION - H. R. 3200 - IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES JULY 14, 2009 - To provide affordable, quality health care for all Americans and reduce the growth in health care spending, and for other purposes. Click here for online PDF file - over 1000 pages...

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