Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Part FOUR - So Called Market Based Healthcare Fix Rhetoric Sounds Good, til You See What They are Promoting

Commentary by Kirby Harris


You may have heard the ads running on your local radio station by “A Healthy Virginia Works” (AHVW), a project of a coalition of various business organizations and hospitals, touting a so-called market based solution.

They claim they want to reform Healthcare in Virginia in five areas: Increasing Access to Health Care, Reducing Costs for Patients, Controlling Costs for Businesses, Keeping Our Hospitals Strong and Reclaiming Our Federal Tax Dollars.

Sounds great and very conservative or libertarian right? Well yes on the surface it does, but if you read on further beyond the talking points its not.

So, I will look at their five claims point by point using the information from their website in a series of five articles.

Read all Five Articles:   Part One   Part Two   Part Three   Part Four   Part Five

** Make sure you read the not very limited government, articles the AHVW promoted on their Facebook and/or Twitter Below **

Part Four

AHVW Point Four:
Keeping Our Hospitals Strong – The Affordable Care Act eliminates $300 million each year in federal funding for Virginia hospitals, which puts a significant strain on hospitals' ability to provide affordable, quality care to all patients. Closing the "coverage gap" through the Medicaid 'Private Option' will offset these federal cuts and allow hospitals to remain financially strong.

My Counter Point:

This sounds great to solve the problem of Hospitals losing their Federal funding, until you realize its circular logic, and its only continuing to keep our wheels spinning and keeping us stuck in the mud. Stuck sending Washington our hard earned money, then watching them cut the current Federal funding, then promising us OTHER federal money earmarked for Medicaid to replace it.

This doesn’t sound like a conservative/libertarian or free market solution at all, other than the monies eventually go to a business. Instead, this sounds like it comes from a liberal who doesn’t understand that its ALL our money being re-funneled to others aka wealth redistribution.

They want you to believe that robbing Peter to pay Peter, while calling him Paul, then giving it to a business/healthcare company to pass it on to the Hospital. Or it would be like forcefully taking it from Bob Cratchit to give to his young son Tiny Tim to then give it to Scrooge, so he can give it to the orphaning, instead of letting Bob Cratchit keep it and spend it directly on Tiny Tim instead of another child. Or its like cutting a section from the bottom of a blanket and then re-attaching it to the top and thinking it makes us have more blanket. Its new math.

This of course this isn’t a Free Market solution at all. It is a crooked path that diverts the funding from just the patient directly to doctor, and allowing each extra party to get a cut of the monies along the way. Why add a fourth and fifth party (the Federal Government and State Government) to the mix, when you only need two or three parties? Let’s allow it to be directly between the patient and doctor, or if the patient chooses from them through the insurance company to the doctor.

You might say isn’t this exactly the same thing that we are doing now when an individual is giving it to a business/healthcare company?

No, the big difference is that when we keep our own money we can choose to give it to an insurance company or not, and its us paying for our own Healthcare not another's. To follow their solution keeps us on the diverted crooked path where many players dip their fingers in the pie as they take it from you and give it to your neighbors.

This thing they keep referring to as the “Medicaid private option” is only a “private option” as far as it gives to our tax dollars sent to Washington to “private” business only after DC sends us back a small fraction of what we sent them.

Is this even a smart or sensible solution?

No! Instead lets pass real reform by allowing people to buy cafeteria plans, buy plans across state lines, buying Healthcare Savings Plans or making laws to stop price gouging and collusion in the industry or many other truly market based solutions.

Full disclosure, form what I have researched and understand I fall into the “coverage gap”, but this isn’t about me. Its about principle, fairness and doing the right thing.

Articles that “A Healthy Virginia Works” have posted on their Facebook and/or Twitter:
  • I title this article: “A Big Government Democrat and Big Government Republican Team Up”  -  Read Article
  • I call this article: “So-called Republican Elected Officials Caving in on their Conservative Principles to for Perceived Political Gain”  -  Read Article
  • I call this article: “Virginia General Assembly Republicans Caving Again - This Time Not on Taxes (read here), but on Medicaid Expansion in Guise of Pro-Market Healthcare Solution”  -  Read Article
  • I call this article: “Virginia Republicans FAIL in their Duty to Scale Back Big Government in their Districts”  -  Read Article

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