Sunday, October 18, 2009

Health Care Reform -- Bribes and Punishment

All you need to know about the corruption of Washington DC, and the danger of allowing the Federal Government to meddle in our private affairs, can be found in a Washington Post article (Sunday, October 18, 2009), mockingly headlined "Medical Device Makers Court Unlikely Allies". I say "mockingly" because the facts reveal something more of a shotgun wedding born out of spitefulness, hatred, and anger rather than mutual respect:

But the two camps have come together to defend a powerful home-state industry in the political doghouse: medical device firms.

The companies, whose products range from $3,000 heart stents to $30,000 implantable defibrillators, refused to offer direct financial concessions earlier this year to help pay for health-care reform, unlike drugmakers, hospitals and other health- care players.

The move angered Democrats on the Senate Finance Committee, who view the industry as a key contributor to soaring health-care costs, and led the panel to approve a $40 billion fee on device makers over the next 10 years.

So a private industry providing useful services to the people of our country was "asked" to "voluntarily" change what they charged for their product, and they rightly told the feds to stick to their constitutional authority.

And the democrats got ANGRY, because someone dared to stand up to their authority. And they decided to punish those who made them angry, by using the power of government to tax them, thus driving up the costs of the medical devices to the people who need them most.

And what will those taxes paid for by the citizens be used for? To pay off those other industries who bowed down to the democrats and did what they were told.

This article also reveals the inconvenient truth about rising health care costs. Our costs are going up not because things are getting more expensive, but because we have businesses offering NEW treatments and NEW hope for people with medical problems.

In the case of the medical device manufacturers, their devices are making people's lives better, and people are willing to pay money for the new treatments. Nobody is forcing anybody do pay for this, you could always pretend it was 10 years ago and the devices weren't available. But why wouldn't you pay money for something better? Well, the democrats don't think that makes any sense at all:

The industry's efforts are made more difficult by evidence that the push to sell pricey medical devices, from artificial joints to magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machines, has been a significant contributor to skyrocketing health-care costs in the United States. One manufacturer, New Jersey-based ReGen Biologics, has come under fire for aggressively lobbying the Food and Drug Administration to gain approval for a knee-surgery device.

It makes it sound like we don't need or want these devices. But another dirty little secret -- state governments force medical insurance plans to cover things like this, because of lobbying pressure, and then since it "doesn't cost anything", doctors will approve the devices.

But instead of actually reforming how we deliver health care, the democrats are pushing more regulation, more distortion of the costs. They don't care that medical devices may be unnecessary -- instead they are going to TAX them, which means the government will be MORE LIKELY to include these devices in health insurance requirements, because the government will need the tax dollars.

Steven Nissen, chief of cardiovascular medicine at the Cleveland Clinic, called device makers "a Wild, Wild West" industry that uses aggressive marketing, including confidential payments to doctors, to drive up demand for its products. "Given the way they have encouraged overutilization, it makes sense that some of that should be given back to help bend the cost curve," he said.

Why not ban "confidential payments" to doctors? Because the suggestion that doctors are doing unncessary surgery against their patient wishes simply because they get bribes has already been shown to be false -- it's just a canard used to argue that there is a problem that needs to be fixed.

This is the democrat's message. You can't trust your doctors, they area on the take. You can't trust the companies that have made life-saving drugs for you, they just want to make money. You can't trust your insurance company, you can't trust your nurses, you can't trust the hospital.

But you CAN trust 58 democrats in the Senate to do what is right for you, because they would never act out of anger to punish their adversaries. Oh wait, they just did.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am a health insurance agent in Utah and run two websites that sell insurance and I mention this because in Utah it would be great to have a guaranteed public option to put people that the private insurers will decline for health conditions. Plus the way Weiner discribes the public option, it will be priced competitively. So what this means in my industry (I've been at it 18 years) is that all my unhealthy clients that get charged more or declined can be put onto the public option now. All my healthy clients can stay on the private option. Hmmmmm follow me yet???? How long can the public option stay affordable?? Who is going to pay for the losses of a big sick pool of people....taxpayers?????