Friday, November 9, 2012

A Blog Argument about Obama's Victory and Implications re: Healthcare

David --some people can't stand contentious discussions--but you and I are not insulting each other--we just have differing ideas about this president --and both feel strongly. Otherwise, you are an admirable Christian chap --and I hope you think I am. In fact, I hope I am wrong about Obama -and that he pulls to the center instead of the left and will consider seriously how to get us out of our financial pickle without caving to communistic and socialistic strategies. I hope he'll stop disarming us and do better with foreign policy. I hope you can say to me in 2016: "There, now THAT wasn't so bad after all, was it?" And I will be thrilled if you can say that then. 

Meanwhile, Obamacare IS socialism--it IS power to Big Gov't over the people, power over the religious institutions on birth control and abortifacients, power over too many industries, over our incomes and business strategies. 

In healthcare, Gov't should work to curb malpractice lawsuits instead of individual initiative. Do you know that lawyers make huge money off of doctors by just initiating lawsuits? They don't have to win the suits. They don't want legislature to take away their cash cow, the doctors, with tort reform. All they need to do is bring a suit --then the docs settle out of court because it's more cost effective to do so! less risky and time consuming. They might sue for a million and get $100,000 just for suing and not proving anything. The risk is the pity the jury feels for a man with health problems --and they figure they aren't hurting anyone by giving the patient a million dollars from the insurer for his misery. They don't need to be convinced the patient was mal-treated; just that he is suffering. A doctor worries that if he fails to document that he gave advice to a pt., that the pt. can deny he was advised --and then the doc gets sued and can lose all his savings/pension if insurance fails. So the record-keeping is costly, painstaking, and designed to be "defensive medicine" --defending against lawyers and nuisance suits --and the gov't. Then the increased costs of malpractice insurance are passed to the docs --and to the patients --and the insurers and the gov't. Ohio had a cap on lawsuits thanks to a supreme court --but they just lost one of the judges (Cupp) who saw the sense of the legislatures cap on malpractice settlements. Where John Edwards had practiced malpractice law, his state lost its malpractice insurers and doctors for awhile because the costs were out of sight. He argued and won cases he should've lost. 

Government's OSHA fined an MD $20,000 in Perrsyburg --because his worker laid a sandwich on a counter in the office lab. That's unnecessary confiscation. $100 would make the same point --but OSHA inspectors (like the IRS) have to justify their own department's gov't salary with fines.

 In Canada, my husband says the docs are paid so much for so many hours of work --there is no compensation for working your butt off as he does. And so everyone has long waits to get anything done. He doesn't do it just for income--but to get the work done in a timely manner, to do Christian service to the ill --no man works harder or longer hours than he does --he got along on 4 hours of sleep most of his career --and he is compensated well enough as far as he's concerned. But work and continuing education and tests are constantly over his head. He sits with 2 foot high stacks of test results and charts every weekend, until midnight Sunday --at least. 

 Gov't had to start compensating family docs more --as only 2% of medical grads wanted to slave away for gov't pay and even the insurance pay for family practice. They were all going into the specialties --so legislature or whoever determines compensation through Medicaid and Medicare, upped the pay for family docs--which was good. 

My husband  is a hilarious giver too (biblical term) --likes being able to be generous. Because his family was rather poor growing up --lived with the grandmother in her house --and his mother finally got a teaching degree and that helped. His father had epilepsy which affected his ability to hold a job. Because of Jon's hard work, the gov't hasn't had to pay for our kids' education. Not everyone is blessed with the ability to work like he does --I couldn't do it --and though I read and write better than he, I have read the med school level texts and known I could never have comprehended the boring text books with their extreme complexity--it's not just about identifying disease and finding a remedy --that would be easy (except for the volume of diseases and remedies to memorize!) It's the deep deep scientific understanding that underlies medical education that is just beyond me. And the nerve to sew up some real messes in an ER --and to pull a stake out of a guy's leg! Even if I worked at it as he did, I don't think I could've ever passed the national boards in the end! nor have his stamina. He undergoes extreme stress for testing and always has. Such initiative and drive are rare, I believe --it didn't come easily to him as probably to some others in his field --though it's not easy for any doctor. His grandfather prayed daily that Jon would have a "gift for diagnosis," and I really think he does. 

About our concerns for the future --we have a pension plan that is taxed when we draw it out. We have not stashed away nearly as much as we could've --we spend and give and enjoy both --without living lavishly and eating bon bons in the mediterranean! which would be fun, I think --but we don't want Obama to tax us to death in retirement. It costs $6000 a month for a nursing home now! And Medicare won't pay until we are broke. So if one of us has a stroke and Obamacare won't give us surgery--into the home we go --and there goes our pension and any estate we would want to have to help our grandchildren. We'd like to be able to have both cash and care --and who wouldn't. But these are belt-tightening years for all --and we all should take responsibility for ourselves --without failing to be compassionate to the needy and suffering.

 But it is just wrong and divisive to foment class warfare as obama did to get votes -- to encourage the "have lesses" to begrudge the "have mores" the fruits of their labor the way this president does. He convinced the poor that if the "rich" "pay just a little bit more" it would solve our deficit crisis. Well, it won't. There aren't enough rich people to make it happen by taxing them his "little bit more." Or even a lot more. As it is, the top 1 per cent of income earners pay 37% of all income tax; the top 5% pay 59% of the tax and the top 10 percent pay over 70 per cent of the tax. the top 25% pay 87% and the top half pay 98 percent of the tax. The bottom half making less than 32,300 per year pay 2 1/4 % of all income tax (and probably qualify for Earned Income Tax Credits --getting money back that they didn't put in.)

 We have to stimulate the economy with incentives --free enterprise --job creation for profit. E.G. when Jon took the risk of hiring a P.A., it improved everybody's pay in the office because it brought in more patients. He has more responsibility to supervise his PA 's work --but he also can get away and still keep the office open. He took three 4-day vacations this summer with kids from the church bus ministry, taking them tubing, etc. Spent 4 days at the lake with grandchildren, 2 or 3 at my brother's, and 4 days in Michigan with his Mom, 91, and Rob taking her to Macinac --he could do that because he hired Joel as PA. It was REALLY hectic the years he delivered babies --and he only quit that in the year when the malpractice rates for ob-gyn shot through the roof.
"God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance and have eternal life."--the Bible

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