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healthcare Truth

BOOK REVIEW: The Powerful Case for Free Market Healthcare

By Rod Thomson

The power grab from leftists during this pandemic requires an answer. Dr. Julio Gonzalez provides it in his new book, The Case for Free Market Healthcare, that builds the powerful case for free market healthcare to solve our challenges from drug costs to available physicians to lower costs.

An orthopaedic surgeon, attorney, former Florida Representative and author of The Federalist Pages, Dr. Gonzalez draws on his rich and varied background and meticulous style to deliver one of the strongest and convincing cases ever for the free market available.  In this new book, you don’t just get the answers, you get the full background and reasoned case for why the free market is indisputably the best solution for healthcare delivery.  In Dr. Gonzalez’s telling, it is not enough for the reader to know that free market healthcare is the best option, he also wants you to know why in such a way that you can not only understand it, you can use it to convince others.

Personally, I’m hoping that policymakers will take the time to sit down and read this book. My gosh, it would enlighten them and tamp down some terrible ideas being discussed. The timing could hardly be more relevant.

Dr. Gonzalez makes the case for health savings accounts; not the meager program politicians have created, but a robust one that essentially transfers the power over healthcare back to Americans.  Physician shortages, he discusses opening American opportunities to Americans.  High drug prices? The primary reason for them, Gonzalez demonstrates, is the destruction by Medicare of those very forces that naturally work to keep those prices down. Too much government — not too little.

The drug shortages plaguing America’s healthcare providers? If he hadn’t given you citations that you could easily access from your computer, you wouldn’t believe what he reports.  Epinephrine, lidocaine, bicarbonate, and elemental intravenous antibiotics are just a few examples of medications American hospitals struggle to keep in their stocks.  You wouldn’t know about this dire situation unless you’re a hospital pharmacist, maybe a doctor with hospital privileges as Dr. Gonzalez is — or unless you read it in his book. I sure didn’t.

But it’s in the arena of rationing where The Case for Free Market Healthcare really overwhelms. Of course there are the contextual discussions of outright rationing through mandates and prohibitions like you see in Japan and some of Europe.  But did you know the extent to which government-directed rationing takes place in the United States? In meticulous detail, Gonzalez shows you the myriad of market manipulations the federal government is undertaking to steer you in favor or away from certain treatments to the point of making access to some prohibitive. That is rationing, my friends.

This book is a must-read for anyone caring about the country’s healthcare future. By going through the materials, you will be in a much stronger position to ward off the attacks from the big government left and to recognize why their arguments are so hollow.  It is one of the best reads you can undertake during this time of quarantine — and beyond.

Rod Thomson is an author, past Salem radio host, ABC TV commentator, former journalist and is Founder of The Revolutionary Act. 


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Government healthcare Truth

Overweening Government: Scottish Docs Now “Authorized” To Prescribe…Nature

by Julio Gonzalez, M.D., J.D.

If you’re looking for a doctor to prescribe medical marijuana, you might find one in Florida. But if you want a doctor to prescribe a calming walk in the woods, or a visit to the beach to touch the sea and feel the cool salt water, then your government-run doc is in Scotland.

Yes, Scottish physicians have now been authorized to prescribe nature!

Of course, the benefits of “nature” on mental and physical health have long been known and espoused. Conditions such as hypertension, depression, pain control, and immune disorders have been found to benefit from outdoor explorations and attempts at relaxation.

So, how can you possibly prescribe nature? You can’t take it.  You can’t swallow it.  (Or probably shouldn’t.) You definitely can’t administer it rectally (or again, really shouldn’t!) So then: How can you prescribe it?

The fact is you can’t. You can only recommend that a patient undergo outdoor activities for all of its benefits. I suppose you can make recommendations for particular activities at certain locations and seasons, but requiring those recommendations in the form of a prescription, one that is in need of being authorized by government, goes to both the danger and the absurdity of bureaucrats running medical care.

So here’s the overarching question and the point that really struck me about this story: If you can’t take it home with you, if you can’t buy it, if you can’t possess it, then why would a health care provider need authorization to prescribe it? The concept defies credulity, doesn’t it?

Well that’s exactly what has happened in Scotland, another European country where one-payer and provider government healthcare has taken hold. The Health Board for Shetland, Scotland, just authorized its doctors to be able to prescribe nature.

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One must wonder what preceded this that required government intervention in the form of authorization, and why it would be needed. Were doctors irresponsibly telling their patients to take a walk in the woods or enjoy a babbling brook or ocean waves? Were doctors actually not doing it because when government bureaucrats run the show, no one feels safe or motivated to do anything beyond what is required and covered in “the book.”

Sure, this is sort of funny. But it’s also an eye-opening object lesson.

If it doesn’t alarm you that a governmental organization would have such overwhelming control of your health care that it can decide when your doctor may or may not prescribe something as all pervasive as nature, then I don’t know what will.

I’m a practicing physician and I am sure of this: Whatever you do this November, fight for your healthcare. Don’t let your government take control of it. It just might decide that you need authorization just to access nature.

Dr. Julio Gonzalez is an orthopaedic surgeon and lawyer living in Venice, Florida. He is the author of The Federalist Pages and cohost of Right Talk America With Julio and Rod. Dr. Gonzalez is presently serving in the Florida House of Representatives. He can be reached through www.thefederalistpages.com to arrange a lecture or book signing.


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Categories
Government healthcare Truth

Healthcare Debate Gets it All Wrong

by Jim Ley

In my former career, I administered the acquisition of healthcare coverage for more than 5,000 employees at a cost of more than $30 million annually. It was one of the fastest growing components of our budget and competed directly with our ability to provide raises to our employees. So I dug into the associated dynamics, looking for strategic leverage to keep some downward pressure on cost growth.

I have some educated sense for this issue. And the problem is not what political leaders have been talking about.

Obamacare or Trumpcare? I don’t care what you call it; only the naïve or those afflicted with partisan bias believe that either has anything to do with better healthcare. Whether it is the Democratic approach or the putative Republican attempt, there is one thing that is so clear that it is hard for me to understand why it is not talked about more.

Insurance is not healthcare.

This 10-year conversation is about the movement of money to the benefit of one interest group or another – it is definitively not about my healthcare.

Both “solutions” are nothing more than attempts to increase the amount of federal influence over the movement of money within one sixth of the U.S. economy, the maintenance of the status quo as to how that money flows (at best) and efforts on behalf of a variety of interests to advance the status quo — that is, the flow of money — on their behalf.

If this were about actual healthcare, the patient and the service provider would be the chief interest being served and talked about. That is the system that would be targeted for reforming to the best results. But they are rarely discussed except in some rhetorical fashion that suits the politics of the blabbering head that spews the rhetoric.

 

Special interests drive the healthcare laws

The real interests that gain from the healthcare laws, in their rough order of influence, are as follows:

  • The health insurance industry
  • The pharmaceutical industry
  • Trial lawyers
  • Congress
  • The hospital industry
  • Medical equipment manufacturers
  • The federal health system (Medicare and Medicaid)
  • (With Obamacare) the State Medicare oligarchy
  • Health experts
  • Those elevated to the status of poor by Obamacare’s Medicare expansion

The interests that are hurt by the healthcare laws, from least to most:

  • Doctors
  • Safety net Medicare patients
  • The employed but uninsured public dependent on the private market
  • Workers insured through their employer

Limited space keeps me from commenting on each of these interests so I’ll just pick a few as examples.

At the top of the heap sits the insurance industry, hiding behind their self-produced rhetoric of risk associated with instability in the system. Not only did they benefit from Obamacare’s requirement that everyone must buy insurance, but in 2009 their industry lobbying arm created enough fear in the political realm that they leveraged a $165 billion subsidy from the Obama administration. No appropriation was ever made by Congress, and to date, this administrative act of appropriation has been declared illegal by the courts.

Note that all you hear on TV is “instability” in the system and the need to maintain an insurance industry subsidy — working hard to include in law what is currently judged illegal. Their talking points, emanating from the mouths of Congressmen and Senators, once again lead the debate and harken for the need for the feds to further mine the taxpayer wallet and remove risk from insurance companies; making them the big winners.

After all it is easier to “sell” you a product with less concern as to a buyer’s normal demand for quality for his/her dollar spent, when someone else, in this case the federal government, creates a product and demands its use without ever having to pay for it. The only worse situation would be if the feds actually paid for a product — with other people’s money in the form of taxes — that they would never use themselves as a consumer. In economic  transactional terms, that is called a third party system, but we would know it as the single-payer proposal.

The most value laden economic transaction is when you buy something for yourself with your own dollar. In that way you consciously make the decision between the quality of the purchase and the dollar spent. These third-party purchasing transactions, read as “single payer,” always produce the least value for the highest cost in any economic transaction. But they do produce some degree of certainty for those interests capable of positioning themselves correctly within the flow of cash.

 

Broken Medicaid is the example of single payer

Another lunacy created by Obamacare, and now wanting to be protected jealously by state governors who hungrily ate the poison apple, is the expansion of Medicaid.

Here you have what is supposed to be a safety net system, which is indeed structured as a safety net system, trying to become a system of normal healthcare access for an expanded group of consumers who have now been declared “in need.”

The craziness is that — aside from the taxpayer who is paying for this system out of general revenues, unlike Medicare which is supported by a specific tax — the person getting hurt the most is the truly indigent patient who has no other recourse than to use Medicaid.

Medicaid is such a broken system that over half of the doctors in the country will not take Medicaid patients. Adding more patients to an already broken system only ensures that those most in need will be those most hurt. All that the Medicaid bureaucrats can be glad for is that there is another broken federal healthcare system, the Veterans Administration, which sucks up all of the outrage oxygen when it comes to poor patient treatment.

Despite this track record, the Medicaid budget for the U.S has risen from 2% of the federal budget in the early 90s to almost 10% today — a 400% rise. It is often suggested that Medicare works well, and is a good example of a single payer system. Proponents of single payer don’t want to admit that the real model would be Medicaid.

 

How to know when it is about healthcare

You will know when there is a serious healthcare discussion when patent protection and generic drug time-to-market is seriously discussed. When tort reform is seriously advanced as a necessary component of healthcare reform.

When Medicaid decision making is granted to the states — where healthcare is most efficient and most constitutionally accomplished. When efforts like Health Savings and Health Savings Retirement Accounts are supported by tax credits. When healthcare benefits provided by employers are taxed if tax credits are not given for the Health Savings Accounts. When the days of the $300 aspirin disappear because more first-party purchase transactions keep the system transparent.

Why do you think that it costs dramatically less in inflation adjusted dollars for cosmetic services or veterinary services than it did 30 years ago? Simple, because they cannot hide behind the market-killing fog of second- and third-party transactions as means of obfuscating the corruption in the healthcare pricing system.

When those with preexisting conditions are supported by all of us, through risk pools managed by the states, possibly funded by taxes on employer provided healthcare benefits, you’ll know we’re really talking about healthcare for Americans.

The more that we move toward a direct relationship between the doctor and patient, the better the system will be.

The rhetoric and fear mongering that you hear screaming at you from your TV, radio and newspaper are nothing more than talking points from special interests seeking to prop up their position in this complex system. They are fighting tooth and nail to maintain themselves — not you — as a winner in the movement of almost $3 trillion.

Jim Ley has more than 35 years in public service, the last 25 of which were in top level administrative positions in two of the more dynamic counties in the U.S. Jim served two terms as President of the National Association of County administrators and was a leading “small government” voice in the profession. His administrative focus has been on financial sustainability and accountability to the taxpayer.

 

Related Healthcare Articles in The Revolutionary Act
Both Parties Want Federal Government Control of Healthcare
A True American Healthcare System
EXPLAINED: Government Healthcare is not Christian
HEALTHCARE REFORM: Freedom Is Its Own Indispensable Goal
Categories
healthcare Obamacare Politics Truth

Both Parties Want Federal Government Control of Healthcare

By KrisAnne Hall

As the political drama over federally mandated and funded healthcare drags on and on, citizens are left scratching their collective heads, wondering why there seems to be little political energy or consensus even among Republicans to do what they said they would.

They promised to repeal this massive piece of legislation that reportedly gobbled up one sixth of the nation’s economy, pushed many premiums to record levels and removed personal choice from patients as never before — none of which the federal government has any enumerated authority to do since this is an issue reserved to the individual states to solve.

Why can’t they seem to move in a Constitutional direction? Because federal control of healthcare has been a hobby and goal of the federal government and both political parties for a long, long time.

The following historical timeline offers devastating evidence of the bipartisan support over the decades for federal mandates and more in healthcare.

 

History of both parties supporting mandated healthcare

• 1974 Comprehensive Health Insurance Plan proposed by Republican Richard Nixon that every employer would be mandated to offer all full-time employees a Comprehensive Health Insurance Plan.

• 1975 Democrat Paul Rogers declared: “Today the Subcommittee on Health and the Environment begins its consideration of national health insurance — a concept which was articulated more than 25 years ago by President Truman…”

• 1986 The Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act, or EMTALA/ COBRA, passed under Republican Ronald Reagan, mandating hospitals provide emergency care for all, including illegals.

• 1989 Stuart Butler of the Republican think tank The Heritage Foundation, proposed a plan he called “Assuring Affordable Health Care for All Americans.” Butler’s plan included a provision to “mandate all households to obtain adequate insurance” using the justification of seatbelt laws and car insurance.

• 1992 The Jackson Hole Group led by Paul Ellwood, Alain Enthoven, and Lynn Etheredge created a policy proposal (Managed Competition) which included an employer mandate and subsidies.

• 1991 Mark Pauly and Patricia Danzon of the Wharton School of Business and the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics, at the University of Pennsylvania; Paul Felstein, University of California-Irvine, Graduate School of Management; and attorney John Hoff created a proposal for Republican George H.W. Bush called “A Plan for Reasonable National Health Insurance” that included an individual mandate.

• 1993 Democrat Bill Clinton combined the Jackson Hole Group’s managed competition with Canada’s single payer system in his Universal Healthcare proposal, sometimes referred to as Hillarycare.

• 1993 Health Equity and Access Reform Today Act (HEART) was introduced in the Senate by Republican John Chafee and co-sponsored by 19 Senate Republicans, including Christopher Bond, Bob Dole, Pete Domenici, Chuck Grassley, Orrin Hatch, Richard Lugar, Alan Simpson, and Arlen Specter. The HEART Act proposed subsidies and an individual mandate.

• 1993 Republican Phil Gramm proposed Medical Savings Accounts to allow individual choice and to fight against the idea of mandates.

• 1993-2011 Republican Newt Gingrich supported individual mandates. “I’ve said consistently that we ought to have some requirement that you either have health insurance, or you post a bond, or in some way you indicate you’re going to be held accountable” Gingrich said in a May 2011 appearance on “Meet the Press.”

• 1994 Republicans Don Nickles’ and Cliff Stearns’ proposed the Consumer Choice Health Security Act mandating a federally defined minimum level of health insurance coverage, with 24 Republican co-sponsors, including Newt Gingrich.

• 2006 Republican Gov. Mitt Romney with Heritage Foundation Director of the Center for Health Policy Studies Robert Moffit and Heritage Senior Fellow Ed Haislmaier developed Romneycare, which included individual and employer mandates.

• 2008 Democratic Presidential candidate Barack Obama denounces mandates.

• June 2009 “I believe that there is a bipartisan consensus to have individual mandates,” said Republican Chuck Grassley

• 2009 Romney healthcare advisers and experts, Jonathan Gruber, Jon Kingsdale, John McDonough frequent the White House to help develop Obamacare.

• 2010 The Affordable Care Act passes. Exempt from the new health insurance law: president and family, Congress and families, justice department and families, Supreme Court justices and families, federal judges and families and 1,200 corporations and unions.

• March 2010 Jonathan Gruber tell the Boston Globe “Obamacare would never have passed had Romney not made the decision in 2005 to go for it. He is in many ways the intellectual father of national health reform.”

 

Tough Obamacare questions for all Washington

Why does it seem that we are stuck with the federal government in our health choices for the foreseeable future? Why do we get so many excuses? Remember the multiple votes to repeal Obamacare when the GOP knew there was no shot at it succeeding? Where’s the fire now that there is a shot at it succeeding?

It almost makes you think those votes were just a show. It almost makes you think that the game is politics and this is how it’s played: Oppose it when you can’t stop it, don’t stop it when you can. Talk tough during re-election, but play it safe and keep your job (a.k.a. pension, luxury, benefits, celebrity status, power…)

Now that repealing Obamacare is a real, viable possibility, where are all those Republicans who were singing the songs of gloom and doom in 2010? Where are all the Republicans in Congress who said, “Never Obamacare!” Why does it look so much like they are fighting each other, yet they always end up at the same end goal? Why does it seem that we are stuck with some form of Obamacare no matter what?

Well, look at their history. Judging from their words and actions, the answer is because both parties, to one degree or another, have always wanted Obamacare.

Click here to see who voted against Obamacare in 2010 and compare with their position on repeal today. 

And here, Forbes Magazine lays out the tortuous history Republicans have with healthcare mandates.

KrisAnne Hall is a former biochemist, Russian linguist for the US Army, and former prosecutor for the State of Florida. KrisAnne also practiced First Amendment Law for a prominent Florida non-profit Law firm. KrisAnne now travels the country teaching the foundational principles of Liberty and our Constitutional Republic. KrisAnne is the author of 6 books on the Constitution and Bill of Rights, she also has an internationally popular radio and television show and her books and classes have been featured on C-SPAN TV. KrisAnne can be found at www.KrisAnneHall.com

Categories
America Constitution healthcare Truth

A True American Healthcare System

By Rep. Julio Gonzalez, M.D., J.D.

As Obamacare continues to reveal itself as an economic and policy disaster, it strikes me that in undoing this healthcare mess, we are not following the path forged for us by the Framers of the Constitution.

For them, the overarching, driving concern was the protection of the liberties of the nation’s citizens from the intrusions of an excessively powerful government. Translated to healthcare, this would mean protecting patients and their doctors from government interference in their most private and personal dealings.

The Framers accomplished this by creating a national government of specific and enumerated powers that was prohibited from directly regulating the actions of the American people. This latter authority was retained by the states, and specifically not given to the federal government.

So, under this strategy, what would the nation’s health care system look like?

 

Protecting freedoms, not relying on government

In a truly American healthcare system, the responsibility for funding one’s medical care would fall squarely upon the treated individual. In cases where the cost of receiving treatment became excessive, the individual would be aided by his or her family, local churches, and community charitable organizations dedicated to helping those who couldn’t help themselves.

More importantly, healthcare would be delivered in a society where God and worship played a central role in human interaction. And no, not because the government demanded it, but because the people spontaneously shared this unyielding resolve in a state where an environment encouraging public worship existed and the family was viewed as society’s foundational building block.

It was a milieu where people were continuously reminded of their direct relationship with God and of His greatest commandment; that each person love God with all his might and that he love his neighbor as he does himself.

If the healthcare system needed to be more formalized so that hospitals and healthcare could be regulated or a risk-diverting network could be implemented, then such a structure would be generated and executed by the state, not by the federal government. In fact, if the Constitution were properly interpreted, the courts would hold that the federal government was prohibited from directing the states on creating, implementing, or administering a health care program, or taxing the people directly for the purpose of creating a healthcare insurance company.

 

Healthcare not part of limited federal government

Other than Dr. Benjamin Rush, who voiced his concern for the potential of healthcare being used as a tool in support of a dictatorial regime, it is likely that the Founders gave little thought to the design of the new nation’s healthcare system. Not only was it orders of magnitude beyond their primary concern of building a functional system of government, but they would have clearly maintained that such was not the role of the new federal government. In fact, they did. It was no enumerated, as mentioned above.

If asked, the Framers would have undoubtedly agreed that the solution to the nation’s healthcare challenges lay not in the acts of politicians, but in the moral compass provided to the people by their Creator and in the unyielding pledge that each and every person had instinctively made to his or her neighbor through his or her faith in God.

It is within these concepts that the true solutions to our healthcare woes is to be found, not in the machinations conceived by politicians or bureaucrats.

Hopefully, we as a nation will recall and apply these self-evident truths before we irreparably tarnish our Great Experiment and make true the warnings of Dr. Rush some 240 years ago.

Dr. Julio Gonzalez is an orthopaedic surgeon and lawyer living in Venice, Florida. He is the author of The Federalist Pages and serves in the Florida House of Representatives. He can be reached through www.thefederalistpages.com.