The Reality of Socialized Healthcare

The last time I wrote about our country’s trek towards nationalized healthcare was December 2013. The journey was just beginning and opinions were bandied about by pundits and opponents alike, both sides thinking they might have some say in the final decision.

We’re three years down the pike and it hasn’t turned out the way many of its proponents thought it would. Many still staunchly defend the concept while they decry the actuality that is the higher deductibles, loss of their chosen caregivers, and escalating premiums. Lucky for them, the party line they keep a firm grasp on gives them the insurance companies to blame. Unfortunately, this is a red herring. The companies have been forced to comply with specific requirements by the government and offer coverage that is overly comprehensive to every person willing to pay for a policy. One example is women well past the child-bearing age who are still paying for prenatal care. They’re paying for it, of course, for someone else.

Just an aside: If you have never watched the movie “Idiocracy”, you should. You’ll laugh, until you realize what you are laughing at. Like this little tidbit…a doctor of the future.

 

Yes, insurance has always been based on the theorem known as the “law of large numbers“, which has always been said to purport, mathematically, that the larger the pool of those included (in any activity, not just insurance), the more accurately an outcome can be predicted. It’s why insurance companies want as big a share of whatever market they are selling to, be it for auto, home or health insurance. So what bigger pool could there be than the whole of the country?

Why, then, do some companies go under anyway? Is it because they don’t get a big enough share, or is it the human factor, in the end, that does them in?

I’ve been in the insurance business for thirty years now and there has been a huge shift in the attitudes of customers. Back in the beginning, I would explain how insurance worked and it made sense to most of them. Nowadays, they may listen as I explain, but most simply don’t care. It seems like a purposeful obtuseness that I come up against more often than not anymore. You’ve heard the saying, “the squeaky wheel gets the grease”?  These days, the rude, nasty, wheel gets what they want.

The designers of the Affordable Care Act believe they can circumvent the human factor that might cause their socialist crazy train to derail. Fines for not purchasing coverage are going up and there’s talk of forced sign-ups of the uninsured during emergency room visits (which have not decreased as predicted). The rub is this: you can’t deny human nature. Any time you try to force human beings to do something they don’t want to do, they are going to find workarounds.

hard_reboot

We were recently looking at job offerings with our child who is about to graduate from college. There were a number of great positions being offered that seemed to suit someone new to the job market. Yet, as we read the job descriptions, we realized many of them ended with the same notation: 19.5 hours per week. These were not fast food jobs. They were not offerings for a summer job. These were good, entry-level positions with well-known companies, the type of job that could lead to a career. And yet, the hours they offered were just under the limit at which they would have to offer healthcare. Imagine that. How can that happen, you say? Because an employer can’t ask you if you have your own health coverage and then hire you for, let’s say, a forty hour week. If you work for twenty hours or more (full time), and they employ more than fifty people, they are required to offer coverage to 95% of their FULL TIME employees.  Here’s a breakdown of the penalties they now face if the fail to do so. Did the founders of forced health care not imagine that this would be one of the results of the ACA? I know opponents of the law predicted something like this happening. Remember the chatter about how many jobs would be lost because of the ACA?

Perhaps this is the new paradigm. Our young folk will spend time getting that college degree and then fight over entry-level part-time positions while they continue to live at home. These positions will become the new probationary period for employers. As the years tick by, those deemed worthy of that pricey permanent position with benefits will be moved up as the retirees on the other end move out. And those who don’t make the grade? Well, I’m sure the single payer system we’re headed for will take care of that.

My guess is that, eventually, we will see new laws put in place that speak to this issue. The thought of what those might look like frightens me more than the ACA itself. Think Anti Dog Eat Dog Rule and 10-289. If you haven’t read Atlas Shrugged yet, you should. Think it can’t happen? Think again. How long before this type of thinking is applied to health care? How long before it’s applied to something else? When do we say enough is enough?

Rave ended.

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The #Chattanooga Gunman – NOT a “Typical American Kid” – a blog post

Another terrible shooting occurred yesterday. A 24 year old man riddled a military recruiting station with bullets and then killed four marines and wounded many others at a Chattanooga, Tennessee naval base. Once again we are mourning lives lost and trying to make sense of a murderer’s actions. My thoughts and prayers go out to the families of those killed or injured.

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Yahoo News, Now Serving the KoolAid

I thought I could let this pass. It’s not as though I should be surprised. I think the wham-bam is what got me. So I just have one simple question.

Yahoo, have you lost your mind completely?

Here’s the wham: Story number one:

presanddau

An attorney from Kenya, a Mr. Felix Kiprono, age unkown (I’m afraid to ask, actually) has offered our President Obama fifty cows, seventy sheep and thirty goats for the hand in marriage of his sixteen year old daughter Malia: a young lady he admits “falling for”, from afar, when she was ten years old.

Holy freeholies, Yahoo. This is not a feel-good story! On the creepiness scale, this one not only rings the bell, it blows it clean off and clear across the carnival. He wants to BUY our President’s child! Not only does he want to buy her, it doesn’t sound like he thinks she should have any say in the whole transaction. And he decided he wanted to be her husband when she was still playing with dolls. Disgusting. My favorite line in the story? Continue reading

Saul Alinsky, Communism & The Things We Hold Onto

A relative sent us an email today. It’s one of those well-traveled internet memes of unconfirmed origin seeking to engage us, albeit briefly, and illicit enough emotional response to prompt forwarding. Compelling at first, the newspaper clipping is supposed to have been saved “in a bible” by someone’s mother for many years. Mom, it said, was a teacher and “believed in prophesy” (sic) so “she always kept up on issues”, evidently by tucking them away in the good book.

oldnewsarticlecommunistrules

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On Election Day, What Would Ayn Rand Do?

Did you really think we want those laws observed? said Dr. Ferris. We want them to be broken. You’d better get it straight that it’s not a bunch of boy scouts you’re up against… We’re after power and we mean it… There’s no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What’s there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced or objectively interpreted – and you create a nation of law-breakers – and then you cash in on guilt. Now that’s the system, Mr. Reardon, that’s the game, and once you understand it, you’ll be much easier to deal with.”

(Ayn Rand, from ‘Atlas Shrugged’ 1957) Continue reading

A Soldier’s Independence Day – A Blog Post

I was going to write a post today about the 4th of July holiday. It was going to be cute and flippant, and reference that everywhere I go today, the question is “any plans for the holiday?” I know it’s a day off for many, a long weekend filled with grilling and chilling. And that’s great. But do we really understand why that’s so great? What we are actually celebrating? Most folks don’t try to analyze it because the freedom we have is taken for granted.

Instead, I’m re-posting this. My cousin, who just returned from Kuwait, wrote this poem. I honestly think it speaks for itself. Here is his post in toto:

vincent

I jotted this down one year when I was working for the school district back in PA. I am no poet or philosopher. I was trying to express an emotion I had to deal with when individuals flippantly disregard our service to our people and our country. Not sure if I nailed it but I came close. I forgot about this, I was going through old emails and came across it and thought I would put it out there again.

Medals on my chest:

I wore medals today.
Not the full sized ones they handed me,
those will probably never see the light again.
But I wore my medals today
the mini-medals I bought for just such a day.
They added some color to my dull blue uniform and
they offset the shiny badge on my chest.
I wore my medals to school today.
The kids looked and looked again.
Some asked me what are they?
I told them these are what you wear when brothers don’t come home.
I wore my medals to work today.
Some shook my hand some said thanks with a hug.
Those that once passed with noses high now passed with heads down or mouths agape
But I wore my medals today.
One child asked “Why would you? Why should you?”
I told the child: because I could and I would.
We said we would stand against all comers wherever or whenever we were called.
We said we would stand for others who could-not or would-not stand with their brothers.
I wore my medals today.

by
Vincent Provenzano TSGT USAFR
6 years US Navy (two wars)
7 years Air National Guard
3 years Army National Guard
3 years US Navy Reserves – Seabees (activated)
9 years and still serving US Air force Reserves (two deployments)

Happy Independence Day
Remember who gave up all so we can be who we are now.