I found this local Doctor’s opposition to Obamacare, Pelosicare, Reidcare and any other incarnations of Romneycare to be instructive. Dr. Wayne Kawalek writes:

Healthcare reform must be based on sound principles and truth, not on side deals made with special interest groups. As it is said, “a halber emes iz a ganser lign,” or a half-truth is a whole lie. The principles include:

• Medical decisions need to be made by doctors (not administrators) and their patients, not bureaucrats, attorneys, politicians or managed care entities

• No legislation should become law without serious tort reform. We spend $400 billion a year for coverage, representation and settlements.

• Insurance can be made more affordable by eliminating state monopolies and allowing the portability of health insurance across state lines. Competition is the only true way to drive down healthcare costs.

• Transform the reimbursement and billing systems that are strangling our practices. Managed care administrative costs are 35% of their operations and are spuriously raising premiums as these costs are being passed to patients.

• End the National Practitioner Data Bank and other entities that are censuring doctors without due process.

These proposals have been formulated to save and preserve the system that 85% of the American population, who is satisfied with their present healthcare, deserves.

We must reform the system but not at the expense of patient care and the doctor-patient relationship. The legislators I visited told me their constituents’ voices and wishes do make a difference.

Do not allow bad and restrictive legislation to destroy America and your family now that the House bill has passed. Urge your senators to vote against legislation which encompasses a public option, does not address the concerns above, and transcends medicine to impinge on your constitutional rights and ultimately your freedom. Healthcare reform must be based on sound principles and truth, not on side deals made with special interest groups. As it is said, “a halber emes iz a ganser lign,” or a half-truth is a whole lie. The principles include:

• Medical decisions need to be made by doctors (not administrators) and their patients, not bureaucrats, attorneys, politicians or managed care entities

• No legislation should become law without serious tort reform. We spend $400 billion a year for coverage, representation and settlements.

• Insurance can be made more affordable by eliminating state monopolies and allowing the portability of health insurance across state lines. Competition is the only true way to drive down healthcare costs.

• Transform the reimbursement and billing systems that are strangling our practices. Managed care administrative costs are 35% of their operations and are spuriously raising premiums as these costs are being passed to patients.

• End the National Practitioner Data Bank and other entities that are censuring doctors without due process.

These proposals have been formulated to save and preserve the system that 85% of the American population, who is satisfied with their present healthcare, deserves. We must reform the system but not at the expense of patient care and the doctor-patient relationship. The legislators I visited told me their constituents’ voices and wishes do make a difference. Do not allow bad and restrictive legislation to destroy America and your family now that the House bill has passed. Urge your senators to vote against legislation which encompasses a public option, does not address the concerns above, and transcends medicine to impinge on your constitutional rights and ultimately your freedom.

The only point that I think the Doctor misses are the disincentives introduced by an insurance system that covers everything. It’s like having your car insurance cover oil changes and scheduled maintenance. John Mackey, the CEO of Whole Foods, offers further suggestions that would reform the US system without turning the US system inti the appallingly bad British NHS system. He deals with the disincentives:

• Equalize the tax laws so that employer-provided health insurance and individually owned health insurance have the same tax benefits. Now employer health insurance benefits are fully tax deductible, but individual health insurance is not. This is unfair.

• Repeal all state laws which prevent insurance companies from competing across state lines.We should all have the legal right to purchase health insurance from any insurance company in any state and we should be able use that insurance wherever we live. Health insurance should be portable.

• Repeal government mandates regarding what insurance companies must cover. These mandates have increased the cost of health insurance by billions of dollars. What is insured and what is not insured should be determined by individual customer preferences and not through special-interest lobbying.

• Enact tort reform to end the ruinous lawsuits that force doctors to pay insurance costs of hundreds of thousands of dollars per year. These costs are passed back to us through much higher prices for health care.

• Make costs transparent so that consumers understand what health-care treatments cost. How many people know the total cost of their last doctor’s visit and how that total breaks down? What other goods or services do we buy without knowing how much they will cost us?

• Enact Medicare reform. We need to face up to the actuarial fact that Medicare is heading towards bankruptcy and enact reforms that create greater patient empowerment, choice and responsibility.

• Finally, revise tax forms to make it easier for individuals to make a voluntary, tax-deductible donation to help the millions of people who have no insurance and aren’t covered by Medicare, Medicaid or the State Children’s Health Insurance Program.

Many promoters of health-care reform believe that people have an intrinsic ethical right to health care—to equal access to doctors, medicines and hospitals. While all of us empathize with those who are sick, how can we say that all people have more of an intrinsic right to health care than they have to food or shelter?

Health care is a service that we all need, but just like food and shelter it is best provided through voluntary and mutually beneficial market exchanges. A careful reading of both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution will not reveal any intrinsic right to health care, food or shelter. That’s because there isn’t any. This “right” has never existed in America.

Even in countries like Canada and the U.K., there is no intrinsic right to health care. Rather, citizens in these countries are told by government bureaucrats what health-care treatments they are eligible to receive and when they can receive them. All countries with socialized medicine ration health care by forcing their citizens to wait in lines to receive scarce treatments.

Both the Doctor and CEO are offering great advice to our politicians. It is sad for the country that such well qualified people are being completely ignored by our political class.

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