Your doctor is now a government employee...happy?

July 3, 2012
Michael J. Hurd, Ph.D., is a healthcare provider residing in Rehoboth Beach.

With the recent Supreme Court decision, Obama and the advocates of socialized medicine have won.

But have they, really?

I was talking today with a friend who is a waitress. She asked me, "Can you explain, in terms that I'll understand, what Obamacare actually means - to me?" I told her, "Imagine if you went to work tomorrow and your boss tells you, 'Your tips have been set at a certain level. You'll be getting the same tip from every customer, every time, no matter what sort of service you give them.' Your doctor is now in that position. He’s now playing by the government's rules."  She paused and then her eyes lit up. "Oh my, I totally get it."

Proponents of Obamacare sold their idea on a promise. The promise was that healthcare will be as good, or better, than ever - only now, for everyone. But the federal government is already $15 trillion (that’s 12 zeros, folks) in debt because of Medicare and Medicaid. Now that trillions more will be spent on Medicaid and Medicare in another few years, the debt will grow exponentially.

Government will have to cut costs - somewhere. How can there be no consequence to your personal medical care?

Many doctors have chosen to refuse Medicaid patients. Many more, including myself, are considering dropping Medicare as major cost cuts loom. Nobody likes to work for less than they are worth, so exactly how does it benefit "everyone" to be covered if there are no doctors willing to treat them?

There are those who foolishly believe that this is all about "coverage." Everything will be the same, only more people will be "covered." This is like saying, "The government is going to take over the manufacture of cars. There will be no more competing automobile companies. Government will decide what kind of cars people will drive, how often they'll drive them, and everyone's car will be the same (except for the politicians and otherwise connected, of course). The good news? Everyone will have a car!"

This would never sell, not even in today's America. But it's no different than what’s happening to your healthcare. Everyone, at least on paper, now has a doctor. Government guarantees it, by forcing some to pay for it.

Supporters of Obama's socialized medicine scheme, upheld by the Supreme Court in a 5-4 vote, are calling this a "victory for everyone."

Everyone?  Try telling this to employees whose health coverage will be cancelled in 2014. In a survey last year, 30 percent of companies that currently provide health insurance coverage for employees plan to drop this benefit. Why? Because Obamacare guarantees government Medicaid to anyone without health insurance. So why should businesses pay for health insurance when they know employees can get it “for free” through the government? And as time passes, that number will be much higher than 30 percent.

Tell this to people who currently pay their own health insurance premiums.

Premiums will skyrocket as Obamacare increases regulation which, in turn, increases cost. On top of this, the supply of health insurance will shrink relative to demand. A good example of this is private schools. Private schools are too expensive for most people because there aren't enough of them to meet the demand. Why? Because government provides schools “for free." It will be the same when Medicaid and Medicare become the mandated coverage for the majority of the population.

Tell it to anybody (outside of a former president or a congressman/woman and family) who, at some point, will be a medical care patient. Decisions about your healthcare will be subject to annual congressional budgets along with a National Health Board. And think about the regularly threatened government shutdowns. Every time Congress is responsible for passing another two-month extension on a budget, there's talk of a government shutdown as part of childish political squabbling.

Now you can watch as members of Congress fight over how many mammograms are "too many" and whether people over 70 should be treated for brain cancer. (Women, take note: The rationing of mammograms is already happening under government control. Will you be lucky enough to qualify?)

Tell it to people who work hard to pay for their own health insurance while now paying even more in taxes so that those who do not work won't have to pay anything for their “free” medical care.

The Supreme Court decision is sort of like a mini-9/11. It's shocking, but not surprising. Few expected a conservative chief justice, appointed by George W. Bush, to uphold all of Obamacare. But weren't you listening when George W. Bush claimed, during his presidency, that he wanted "compassionate capitalism” (translation: socialism), and that he wanted to be like Democratic icon Franklin Delano Roosevelt? Democrats have always set the agenda, and conservatives have always implemented it.

Socialized medicine a victory for all? Sure. As long as you don't have to pay for it. As long as you don't care about having a quality doctor. As long as you don't care if your doctor works for you, at a profit, or for the government, who’ll pay him either way. As long as you never get sick, and you're willing to entrust the administration and practice of your personal medical care to the same idiots in Congress whom 95 percent of Americans don't even respect.

The people who passed this legislation in our government are nothing more than power-lusting, self-conscious, do-gooder narcissists. Think I'm exaggerating? Clip this article and put it in your sock drawer. Then pull it out around 2015. And you’d better stay healthy.

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