Wednesday, May 06, 2009

"Stop the Insanity"

Rush Limbaugh---Alan Colmes---Sean Hannity---Ed Schultz---NPR---Sports---Country Music

I just gave you the complete line-up of our local AM radio station minus the stuff they put on while I'm in the office and can't listen.

Good Lord! From one hour to the next, you're assaulted by the extremes from one side or the other pulling in opposite directions making your head burst at the seams.

NEWSFLASH!!! They're all full of crap. Well, maybe not the sports guys, but then again, they've picked losers over winners so I guess they have their FOC days as well.

My major beef today comes from Ed Schultz who said (and I'm paraphrasing here), "There is no constitutional right for these medical and insurance people to make gratuitous profit."

You know? I gotta say that he's right. In as many times as I've read the Constitution from tip to tail, there is nothing about gratuitous profit and the medical profession in the same breath.

What I DO see is this:
Amendment IX, The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
I also see in Article V,
"...nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken without just compensation."
Let me ask this question to all of you Constitutional Scholars out there. Where in the Constitution does it give anyone the right to make any profit in any endeavor? Should we restrict this as well?

Where in the Constitution does it give the right to individuals to receive Government provided Health Care? Child Care? Government Education? What does it say about the Federal Government's "right" or empowerment to redistribute wealth? You see, these are different from the previous questions. These questions deal with the powers of government to confiscate your earnings and to spend them where the politicians see fit. In our Constitution it has a section which deals with this topic. It is called the Tenth Amendment and it reads like this:
"The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people."
Who the H is Ed to say what is gratuitous and what is not? In this whole push to get national health care, the doctors and insurance companies have become the new evil. We're supposed to hate them right alongside "Big Oil". Want to talk about people who make money and do not give back? Check this out.

Now because I happen to get my medical service provided by the federal government through the military, I have gone through the civilian side of the medical gauntlet as well so let me give you my humble report.

When I was in the Marines the first go-round, I broke my wrist off the coast of Turkey. I was flown from country to country, military hospital to military hospital as each tried to fix my wrist. A FULL MONTH I went through this. By the time I got back to the states, they had to cut open my wrist, vacuum out the bone fragments created through the grinding of resetting and resetting which occurred at each of those other hospitals, they placed in a plate, two pins, three screws and part of my hip. After the surgery (general anesthesia by the way) I was dying for some real food and knew there was a fast food joint downstairs. I muscled into the wheelchair because my hip was not up to walking, and jostled myself out of the room and to the elevator with one good arm before getting an offer of assistance as I approached the restaurant.

That was government care. That was free to me. I only had to devote my life 24/7 to receive this.

I got out of the Active Duty side of the Marine Corps in 1999 and went into the private sector. I worked for a period of time as one of the fictitious 9.5 million without healthcare (which includes illegals, temporarily uninsured, and people like me who just thought I'd be fine without and wanted those monies to go elsewhere) and I did fine at that for a while as I was getting settled into a less temporary working condition.

I moved on to another job which had better benefits and wound up on the private healthcare side of the house just in time to cut off my finger with a circular saw. I think I remember that as being painful. Being that I was in either extreme... wait, no... EXTREME pain or on morphine and other drugs (perscription) for that time, I do not remember that much from it, but as I sit here I can tell you my finger is paid off (yay, they're not going to reposess it!) I was covered through a co-pay system, the debt I encurred from anesthesia to x-ray to occupational therapy to surgery to every other branch of medical care I received was paid. I was dilenquent at times and it was rough living for a little while. I kept in contact with the creditors and let them know my intent to pay and worked out schedules with them, I paid them what I could when I could. We cut back and it all worked out.

Without asking how I was going to pay, I got immediate (and hospitable) care. My credit was not hurt. (By the way, the credit side of the matter is on your individual State. If you want people to be protected financially from their medical debts, contact your State Representative and have them change it on their level.)

Of the two incidents, which would you choose?

Now, for non-emergent care:

In the military, we've had three children. During my time in Raleigh, NC, my wife was to go to Fayetteville, NC to receive care, treatment, follow-ups, and delivery because the hospital was within 50 miles, as the crow flies, from our home. Appointments after the birth? Guess where those went. Now guess how many people were willing to accept what the government was willing to pay for the service. Now guess how long the wait was for an APPOINTMENT. (P.S. To those doctors who charge patients for being late to the appointment, have you ever returned a portion of the fee you charge to those you make late by running over the clock on your side?) This was a mostly free birth. There were inconsequential charges here and there which we were capable of paying... It was mostly free. This was government care.

I don't get "doctor sick" that often, so for private insurance years, this section has a little less to pick from so I'll give you the worst of it. I had to get my wisdom teeth removed. I called an orthodontic surgeon and told him of this and he told me I could not make that determination and that I had to get a referral from a real dentist before I could schedule the removal. I made an appointment with a dentist for this purpose and sure enough, he said they needed to go. I went to the surgeon again and he said I needed a pre-appointment... I scheduled and when I was "seen", I waited 30 minutes past the scheduled time, was given cartoony pamphlets about getting teeth removed and was charged $50 and made an appointment to have the real thing finally done. I never went back. I was so frustrated with the whole ordeal. I finally went back into active duty and had them removed while on a ship crossing the Atlantic Ocean enroute to Kosovo where I was given Motrin for pain and swelling, and my stitches finally came out on the mess deck while I was eating mashed potatoes.

Which care would you choose? This one is harder to pick from. I wish I had more examples and I might once J reads this. She has a better memory with when our family was sick. I'll try to get another one for you.

What I'm saying is this. With all of this push toward a National Health Care Program, are we looking at the reasons drug prices are so high to begin with? (How long does it take for a drug to hit the market? How many lawsuits? How much government bureaucracy and intervention?) Are we looking at the Canadians crossing the borders to receive healthcare? Conversely, how many Americans go into Canada to get an MRI?

Finally, can we expect this government health care system to be run as efficiently as the US Postal Service or the DMV? Have you had to go to a government office to apply for a license recently? How long did that take? (Interesting side note, when I went to get the marriage license for J and I, I was advised that the fee raised to twice what it previously was because of a "mandatory donation" to the NC Home for Battered Women. How nice of them to pick my charity for me.)

Government is a fine thing. I'd hate to live without one. But "rules is rules". What our Federal Government is not given the power to do by the Constitution, it does not have the right to do. These rights are reserved for the States and their peoples. It's right there in the Tenth Amendment. Do people read the rules? Or are we making this up as we go along?

Freedom, Republic, Liberty... these are not cliches or words to be trifled with. These are cornerstones to our country. Statism, Oligarchy, Despotism, Tyranny... these words are the enemies to our nation. These are what we fled from, what we fought against in the establishment of this Federal Republic. Hold true. These are not antique, inconsequential principles. Both the positive and the negative forces are still alive and fighting against one another. Choose a side.

I've quoted it before, and I'll quote it again:
"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience."
-C. S. Lewis

1 comment:

Just John said...

If those crooks in suits in D.C. do manage to push through socialized health "care," you can forget about care, since there probably won't be any doctors around; they don't work for peanuts.