Posts Tagged ‘private insurance’

Mayo Clinic Realizes ObamaCare A Total Disaster, Stops Accepting Medicare

January 1, 2010

What we have here is a very cute and clever title for a very disastrous development.

Mayo Says: Hold The Medicare
By Ed Carson
Thu., Dec. 31, ’09

The Mayo Clinic will stop accepting Medicare patients at one of its primary care clinics in Arizona. Why? The government doesn’t pay enough:

More than 3,000 patients eligible for Medicare, the government’s largest health-insurance program, will be forced to pay cash if they want to continue seeing their doctors at a Mayo family clinic in Glendale, northwest of Phoenix, said Michael Yardley, a Mayo spokesman. The decision, which Yardley called a two-year pilot project, won’t affect other Mayo facilities in Arizona, Florida and Minnesota.

Obama in June cited the nonprofit Rochester, Minnesota-based Mayo Clinic and the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio for offering “the highest quality care at costs well below the national norm.” Mayo’s move to drop Medicare patients may be copied by family doctors, some of whom have stopped accepting new patients from the program, said Lori Heim, president of the American Academy of Family Physicians.

This is nothing compared to what might happen under Democratic health overhaul plans, which would slash Medicare spending by nearly $500 billion over 10 years. As Medicare actuaries recently pointed out in understated fashion, such cuts “may be unrealistic.” But, if Congress actually carried them out, about one in five hospitals, nursing homes and home care agencies could lose money, they warned in their report.

As a result, such providers could drop Medicare, leaving seniors with less access.

This is now only going on at one Mayo clinic – but it is going to spread.

Don’t think for a second that this isn’t directly related to the disaster known as ObamaCare.  Democrats are gutting Medicare reimbursements and blocking the essential “doctor fix” from their bill to create the contrived and bogus illusion that their boondoggle will provide “deficit neutrality.”  They are playing all kinds of games and gimmicks, such as taxing for ten years and only providing benefits for five, to support that illusion.

It will fail, and a lot of people will die.

Alan B. Miller, an expert in the field of health care, wrote:

Medicare reimbursements to hospitals fail to cover the actual cost of providing services. The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC), an independent congressional advisory agency, says hospitals received only 94.1 cents for every dollar they spent treating Medicare patients in 2007. MedPAC projects that number to decline to 93.1 cents per dollar spent in 2009, for an operating shortfall of 7%. Medicare works because hospitals subsidize the care they provide with revenue received from patients who have commercial insurance. Without that revenue, hospitals could not afford to care for those covered by Medicare. In effect, everyone with insurance is subsidizing the Medicare shortfall, which is growing larger every year.

As much as Obama and the Democrats have demonized private insurance (before co-opting them in the current version of ObamaCare – what is it, ObamaCare version 6.0 by now?), the higher prices paid by private insurance have been all that has allowed doctors and hospitals to continue to accept Medicare and Medicaid at a loss.

And so, what do you think will happen when Democrats cut the reimbursement rates?  People who have commons sense know: hospitals and doctors will begin to see fewer and fewer Medicare patients, as a matter of simple economic necessity.

That isn’t a “reform,” but a disaster.

And this stuff is why the dean of the Harvard Medical School gave ObamaCare a failing grade.  It’s why the California Medical Association recently came out strongly against the bill.  It’s why more and more state governors – Democrats as well as Republicans – are beginning to scream that ObamaCare merely turns Medicaid into a giant deficit-creating unfunded mandate on the states (again, to create the illusion of being “deficit neutral”).

Enough with illusions.  This bill is absolutely terrible.  It’s more than 2,000 pages long, nobody understands it, and it has changed again and again, yet actually seems to be getting worse and worse.

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Health Care: Why ‘Public Option’ A One-Way Trip Off A Cliff

August 13, 2009

Alan Miller, chairman and CEO of Universal Health Systems, provides about as damning a diagnosis of the Democrat’s health care fiasco (I mean, “reform”).

If you don’t read anything else, at least read the section in red font:

AUGUST 12, 2009, 7:30 P.M. ET

Medicare For All Isn’t The Answer
My company ran a hospital in London. We don’t want to go the government route.

By ALAN B. MILLER

With Congress now in recess, the debate over health-care reform has moved to each member’s home district. The American people have rightly been asking elected officials many probing questions. While few Americans deny we need health-insurance reform (too many people lack adequate coverage), most believe we receive the best quality health care in the world and do not want to see it compromised.

Several advocacy groups and members of Congress want a single-payer insurance system, modeled after Medicare, to cover all Americans. They say Medicare works to provide health care to seniors, so government should extend the program to Americans of all ages. Others want to create a government-run plan, sometimes called a “public option,” which they say would compete with private insurance but would only be two steps away from a single-payer system.

There are more than 1,300 insurance companies competing for business without unneeded competition from a federal government plan. Backed by tax dollars, a government-run option could offer artificially low rates without regard to profitability, or even meeting operating expenses. That would push businesses to move employees to the public-option plan, ultimately putting private insurers out of business and leaving only a single-payer system run by the government.

A single-payer system may appear attractive to some. But as someone with more than 30 years of experience running a leading hospital company with international operations, I have firsthand knowledge of the hidden costs.

Medicare reimbursements to hospitals fail to cover the actual cost of providing services. The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC), an independent congressional advisory agency, says hospitals received only 94.1 cents for every dollar they spent treating Medicare patients in 2007. MedPAC projects that number to decline to 93.1 cents per dollar spent in 2009, for an operating shortfall of 7%. Medicare works because hospitals subsidize the care they provide with revenue received from patients who have commercial insurance. Without that revenue, hospitals could not afford to care for those covered by Medicare. In effect, everyone with insurance is subsidizing the Medicare shortfall, which is growing larger every year.

If hospitals had to rely solely on Medicare reimbursements for operating revenue, as would occur under a single-payer system, many hospitals would be forced to eliminate services, cut investments in advanced medical technology, reduce the number of nurses and other employees, and provide less care for the patients they serve. And with the government in control, Americans eventually will see rationing, the denial of high-priced drugs and sophisticated procedures, and long waits for care.

My company’s experience with health care in the United Kingdom illustrates the point. In the 1980s, we opened The London Independent Hospital to serve the private medical market in the U.K. The hospital had not been open long when representatives of a 1,000-bed government-run hospital located a short distance away approached us to borrow high-tech equipment and instruments. Because people were ill and needed procedures the government hospital could not provide, we provided that hospital with the help it needed. But that experience convinced me that under a single-payer system hospitals do not receive the money required to purchase advanced technology or provide quality care.

Advocates of a single-payer system say that hospitals would survive if they learned to operate more efficiently. While we are always looking for ways to improve efficiency, the economic conditions of the past few years have already forced most institutions to reduce expenses and increase efficiency as much as possible.

The reality is that Americans have come to expect the best health care in the world, and to provide that, hospitals must continue to invest in advanced medical technology, salaries for well-trained nurses and technicians, and state-of-the-art facilities. If hospitals were required to operate solely on revenue from a single-payer system, they could no longer afford to provide the care that Americans deserve.

Single-payer systems have proven to be wholly inadequate in Canada and the U.K. Most people in America are satisfied with the care they receive, so it is important that we take the time to fix only the parts of our system that need repair. Let’s not destroy a system that works well for most Americans. Let’s judiciously change only the areas in need.

Mr. Miller is chairman and CEO of Universal Health Services Inc.

The Democratts’ health plan won’t provide far better coverage for far less money.  What it will ultimately do is provide greatly INFERIOR coverage for far more money.

This isn’t about being a Republican or a Democrat or a conservative or a liberal.  It is about deciding whether or not we want to put big government ideology over common sense.

Obama Health Care Plan Is Backdoor To Nationalized Health Care

June 16, 2009

This is SO not surprising:

[Youtube Video]

I came across this by watching Glenn Beck.  He credited Verum Serum for the video, and then improved it.  Only for some reason my browser doesn’t access Fox News video.  Just to give full credit to where it is due, and to direct attention to what may be an even better damnation of the liberal-Obama agenda on health care.

Some great quotes:

“A public option will put the private insurance industry out of business and lead to single-payer” – Rep. Jan Schakowsky (to wild applause).

“Someone once said to me that this is a Trojan horse for single-payer, and I said, ‘Well it’s not a Trojan horse, right?  It’s just right there!  I’m telling you!  We’re going to get there.  Over time, slowly, but we’ll move away from reliance on employment-based health insurance – as we should – but we’ll do it in a way that we’re not going to frighten people into thinking they are going to lose their private insurance” – Dr. Jacob Hacker, New America Foundation.

“This is not a principled fight.  This is a fight about a strategy for getting there, and I believe we will” – Rep. Jan Schakowski

We see that there is no intention of telling the American people the truth; rather, the idea is to keep the American people from realizing what is happening until it is too late.  And the people who are running this deception-campaign don’t give a damn about principles, but only about the ends they are trying to impose.

Verum Serum is on top of this: they also have videos revealing that prominent Senator Russ Feingold sees the ultimate goal of the health care plan to be a single-payer universal health care system.

They have a very good article to show that there is a clear agenda to sell a “public plan option” while smuggling in universal health care by poisoning the health insurance industry.  That article includes this statement by Rep. Jan Schakowsky with a corresponding video.

Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) and co-sponsor of HR-676 answered criticisms from single-payer advocates. She said the public option is not a compromise, but a strategic step toward the single-payer system and the elimination of the private insurance industry

schakowskyThe public option is simply the opening salvo against the private sector, Schakowsky and other speakers said.

Both Schakowsky and McNary stressed the need for solidarity among health care reform activists, in order to build mass support and momentum toward the goal of a single-payer system.

Liberals such as Schakowsky are literally boasting at liberal rallies for Obama’s healthcare initiative that their government-provided healthcare plan will put private insurers out of business – ending any privatized system.

The American people need to wake up and realize that they are NOT choosing any sort of compromise between a private system and a more government-controlled system, but that the Democrats are determined to usher in a total-government controlled nationalized socialized healthcare system based on the failed European model.

We have frankly known this was coming since the so-called “Stimulus” bill was passed.  And even back then, we learned that the bill would ultimately create a rationing system that would result in the premature death of senior citizens as bureaucrats determined that their care was too expensive.

Aged-based health care rationing will be the cornerstone of any Democrat universal healthcare plan.  You can count on it.  Bottom line: it is a fact that the largest consumption of health care resources occurs in the final six months of one’s life.

The problem is that there is no way to know exactly when that “final six months” actually is.  Take a 75-year old woman with cancer: she may very well die in six months without treatment; but she might well live another 20 years if she HAS treatment.

What you need to do is decide RIGHT NOW whether you want a bureaucrat making that assessment based on a chart in some office in Washington, rather than you and your physicians.

D. James Kennedy made a prophetic statement:

“Watch out, Grandma and Grandpa: Because the generation that survived abortion will one day come after you.

And that day of reckoning is coming under the first president to come from that very generation.  Unless we stop him.

As a PS, Obama in his speech today claimed that 46 million Americans are uninsured.  That claim is false, and in fact is an implicit statement as to his intention to cover illegal immigrants.

My mother – who is nearing her mid-70s – has been undergoing treatment for an aggressive form of breast cancer.  The oncologist repeatedly said that the chemotherapy mortality studies did not even include women in her age group.  In hindsight, I reflect on those words and realize how easy it would have been for some bureaucrat to deny her lifesaving treatment.

And when I realize that my mother – who I would throw myself under the path of an oncoming bus to save – might well someday be denied essential treatment so that someone who doesn’t even belong in this country can gave full access to our medical system, I am enraged.