Thursday, July 16, 2009

Healthcare Reform

Health care insurance is an issue that is important to me. As a heart transplant recipient, I went through many years of suffering prior to being transplanted. I know firsthand how difficult it is to get health insurance. It's virtually impossible for someone with a pre-existing condition. If you're lucky enough get coverage, the cost is very high. Mr. Obama and Congress are working to implement his campaign promise of universal health care for everyone. Estimates are that over 47 million Americans lack health care insurance. However, the estimates may be inflated. These include about 10 million people who are only without coverage for part of the year, about 10 million people who are not citizens, and another 10 million eligible for public health insurance that have not enrolled in it (source The estimated cost of universal health care is about $1 Trillion over 10 years, and if you look at the proposed plan only 17% of that will be spent in the first five years with the other 83% being spent in the last five years. I'll tell you why that's important later.

Canada and England have universal health care. In England, cancer patients are dying because the government will not pay for life-saving cancer treatments. New life-saving technology is not being developed because the government will not pay for the research. The Canadian Supreme Court has said that Canadians are dying waiting for care. Their average wait times are :
  • over a month to get a CT scan after seeing their primary care physician (PCP).
  • over two months to get an MRI after seeing their PCP.
  • over four months to see a specialist after a PCP referral - double from 15 years ago.
  • over 8 months for neurosurgery and 9 months for orthopedic surgery after PCP referral.
Much of Canada's medical equipment is old and outdated including :
  • 21% of bone densitometers (used to measure bone density in osteoporosis patients) are over 10 years old.
  • 28% of SPECT units which are used to take 3D images of the body are over 10 years old.
  • 33% of gamma cameras used in nuclear medicine imaging are over 10 years old.
  • 25% of angiography and cardiac catheterization labs for heart ailments are over 10 years old.
  • Of the few lithotripters available to fight kidney and gall stones, 33% of them are over 10 years old.
Old equipment can lead to break downs during treatment and give doctors faulty information leading to misdiagnoses. The U.S. currently has a form of socialized medicine, Medicare, and it's a disaster that is currently going broke due to mismanagement by the Federal government - the same people who will manage universal health care. Plus, the benefits are lousy.

I told you earlier that 83% of the estimated $1 Trillion cost of ObamaCare will be in the last 5 of the first 10 years. It's because the cost of the confusing government bureaucracy created (see chart - source ( will increase as the program goes along because the government mismanages everything it touches. Obama wants to pay for this plan by raising taxes on anyone making over $350,000 per year. As the costs increase, Congress will probably lower that. First to maybe to $200,000, and then even lower until eventually everyone's taxes are raised. The increase will raise taxes on most small businesses who will have to pass those along to customers in the form of higher prices. The government will begin rationing care at some point to try to lower costs leading to them deciding who gets treatment and who doesn't. It already happens in Canada and England. Basically, they play God deciding who lives and who dies. In England and Canada, care is often rationed based upon age. Often, the elderly do not get the care they need and are allowed to suffer and die. In fact, Sen. Tom Daschle, author of part of the bill, recently said that under ObamaCare "healthcare reform will not be pain-free. Seniors need to be more accepting of the conditions that come with age instead of treating them." What ?? Are you kidding me ?? Is he a doctor ?? Does he think he's God ??

Guess who's exempt from ObamaCare ?? Yep, you guessed it. The plan's namesake and members of Congress. Why ?? Because they've got their "own plan". The question I have is if ObamaCare is so great, why won't they enroll in it ?? Could it be that it's not so great. A resolution is currently being circulated in Congress asking it's members to sign and pledge to enroll ( We'll see how many sign it.

As I said, I can relate to the many that have no health care. It is a problem. However, I do not believe putting the government in charge is the answer. The U.S. has the greatest doctors, nurses, medications, medical technology, and equipment in the world. People from other countries come here for medical care because it's so good. That will change if ObamaCare becomes reality. Our quality of health care will go down considerably. I believe there is a better way to get more Americans covered through things like incentives or tax breaks offered to private insurance companies that will encourage them to offer affordable health care to all, including those with pre-existing conditions. Many say the private insurance companies are making too much money and their executives are paid too much. Not true. shows that less than 1% of health costs are due to insurance company profits. Furthermore, only .005% of health care costs are due to CEO salaries. We've put Americans on the moon, defeated tyrants in two World Wars, invented the automobile, and perfected many other technologies with Amrican ingenuity. I'm sure we can figure out a health care solution without putting bureaucrats in charge. I believe that if we had universal health care, I would be dead today. The medicines and devices that kept me alive for 11 years and the heart transplant that ultimately saved my life would not have been available under a government run plan. I want to encourage you today to look at the information and watch the videos available at :
These websites are where most of the info I have shared came from. After looking them over, please contact your Senators ( and your Congressman ( and tell them to vote NO on Obamacare. We need health care reform to some degree but a government run plan is not the answer. Remember, when they start talking about "free universal health care", it isn't free. Someone will pay, and it will be you and I, the sheep, in the form of higher taxes, poor quality health care, and very possibly our lives. I'm not willing to pay those prices. Are you ??
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