Thursday, October 29, 2009

Guest Post on Healthcare Reform by Dr. Michael Schneider, founder of Vail Valley 9.12 Project

Speaker Pelosi announced today (10/29) that a (1,990 page)Healthcare Reform Bill was on its way to the Senate. It includes a public option and will finally insure 90+% of the people in the United States. She claimed that it will cover the 36 million uninsured in this country. Is it 36 million, 47 million, or 50 million? How about 20 million or 12 million? I know that the number is somewhere in there...maybe.

Speaker Pelosi's televised announcement was followed by another televised announcement by President Obama speaking to, what was said to be, a representation of small business owners from across America. He told us once again that “if you like your insurance, you can keep it without any changes to coverage.” He told us that there will be insurance pools from which you can choose an insurer if you do not already have insurance for your business employees. I interpreted this to mean that businesses will be mandated to cover their employees. President Obama said that this reform will pay for itself.

Well... I thought... if this is so then I have been oh-so-wrong in my assessment of what the financial impact and reduction of quality healthcare on Americans, our children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and..on and on will be if the Congress passes this healthcare reform bill. If what Speaker Pelosi and President Obama said is true then I am “on board” with the whole program and I will issue another “mea culpa”. Oh! ask...what if that old adage that if someone in authority tells you something (not factual) to your face enough times that you will actually believe it? Well then...if that is the case...I am on board with Rep. Joe “you lie” Wilson.

The President has told us that cracking down on Medicare and Medicaid fraud will be a large part of the savings in paying for healthcare reform. My question is, "has the crackdown begun?" If not, why not? 60 Minutes televised a special recently in which a convicted felon admitted stealing over $20 million from Medicare through fraudulent claims. That person said that it was a no brainer and is being done every day.

Once again, the truth is that government has never successfully run any type of program. I know you all have heard it before, but let me refresh your memories. There is Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, U.S. Postal Service and Amtrak, all of which are broken and broke. If the government competes with private insurers the private insurers will disappear. Those who know me know that I have no love lost for the private insurers, but this is the United States of America. The home of capitalism. The greatest republic* in the history of civilization. That being said, there is great room for health insurer reform starting with portability and the ability for individuals and businesses to purchase insurance across state lines. All the government has to do is print some more money to compete and the competition goes away and the quality goes down.

President Obama also neglected to remind us of the $500 BILLION cuts to Medicare and the pending 21.5% Medicare cuts to physician reimbursements in 2010 if this bill gets passed. If you would like to read the bill you can download it at:

I wonder if all of our elected House of Representatives officials have read it.

* Benjamin Franklin said “I give you a republic if you can hold on to it”. By definition a republic is a political unit governed by a charter (The U.S. Constitution and Declaration of Independence are U.S. Federal Charter Documents), while a democracy is a government whose prevailing force is always that of the majority. One of the difficulties in defining these two words, democracy and republic, stems from the fact that many people consider them to be synonyms, which they are not. They are no more alike than Nancy Pelosi and Puff the Magic Dragon, and yet they are often used interchangeably

Dr. Michael Schneider

“Real Change” in 2010
Vail Valley 9.12 Project

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