Make it Eight, eh?
March 22, 2010

Don’t be fooled…the U.S. healthcare bill, if made law will end up killing more people than it will save.

It won’t matter if pre-exisiting conditions are covered when the limits are so low, the sick will be dead long before they become a burden on the system…..the only “pro choice” inclusion is the ability to choose death (by abortion).

It’s 1976 –  are you old enough to remember seeing the movie, Logan’s Run?

It was a long time ago, but it was enough of a memorable movie to have impacted enough of us. So much so, that a modern remake is in the works (Logan’s Run 2012). A twist of fate that the year of the remake is 2012? The limits on care remind me of the movie, where you are given only a small window to life.

The proposed U.S.  Healthcare Bill apparently slashes $500 Billion from Medicare for the elderly. It also increases taxes by $500 Billion. Apparently it adds 32 million individual health care recipients to the numbers.

While President Obama stresses what should be a good point – that people who were refused care because of pre-existing conditions before, cannot be denied coverage now –  the overall picture does not add up. Those in need will not be given extra consideration for the much greater annual costs of treatment. It is therefore a dummy benefit. Sounds good, but the reality will be far different.

I have been a life and benefits insurance broker, in Canada for the past 22 years. I analyze need and match product for a living. The long and the short of it is the insurance industry in Canada is guilty of “product pushing” at the expense of what sometimes makes sense.

Where this becomes most evident is in medical and dental coverage that is sold individually. While hospital and doctor visits are covered by the government, medical  (drugs) and dental are not.

Often, people without coverage will go looking for private coverage not heeding the economics of it, or if it is truly going to benefit them if a costly medical tragedy should strike.

The premiums are high relative to the risk to the insurer. The result –  high insurer profits and low insurer risk. Statistically speaking, only a small percentage of the people will need coverage, and the limits are low enough to not make an impact on the health or finances of the insured!

And, in Ontario, for drug coverage, we have a form of welfare drug coverage known as the Trillium Drug Program. In short, if you develop a medical condition that would financially cripple you, the government would step in, and you would only have to pay a small portion of cost geared to income.

It’s interesting that Obama mentions the Canadian Healthcare System as he discusses the “process” that the U.S. healthcare system will undergo, in stages to get to the type of system we have in Canada.

I would argue Canada is getting a bad rap in some media – our program makes a lot more sense than the “startup” plan the U.S. is trying to ram through Congress and the Senate. Rightly so, no Republican in their right mind would vote for this plan.

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The reason is simple in my mind. Insurance is the same no matter what the type. It is designed to cover the few that are left with a huge problem. The U.S. plan is not meeting that basic insurance need. Let me explain.

High premiums and taxes; low risk and per patient benefit….Catastrophic insurance protection is missing!

The Medicare system will be hit with cutbacks. The seniors are the group that will be hardest hit because they are the ones in the greatest risk of health issues.

The inclusion of  “death panels” that will effectively decide a patient’s health funding are an excuse to literally pull the plug on grandma. Is it suggesting older people are not worth it? Have they outlived their usefulness as might have been described by Bernard Shaw? Didn’t he say if you cannot work, you cannot be of much use? What happened to honouring those that have paid their dues? No, it would seem the greatest savings to the healthcare system and the insurance companies come in the form of stripping those in need from the coverage.

I humbly suggest that the primary purpose of this system change is to cut cost by imposing life and death decisions that families will no longer have at their discretion. This is not the case in Canada. You are given healthcare for as long as you want – there is no death panel nor should there be.

In Logan’s Run, you were allowed to live it up until the ripe age of 30, and then had to be blown up in a ceremony of life called “Carousel”.  You see, there were not enough jobs to sustain the economy and the people. Similar to eugenics that protect the earth, suggesting there are about 2 billion people too many now, this is eerily similar to the global mission of today. How is that job growth working in the European Union and the U.S. these days?

In Logan’s Run, those that did not want to accept their fate were known as “runners”.  Today, I think they are known as Patriots or Tea Partiers.

The U.S. healthcare reform reminds me of this scenario – there is a proposed lack of choice. The people have lesser and lesser rights. And what do you suppose will happen to grandma if and when the health spending budget gets tight and funds get shorter? How will the aged and the sick fair? Not well I would assume. And the insurance companies profit margins will grow at the expense of life and the people. For shame indeed.

People will also not be given a choice who their physician will be, and be limited to 8 doctor visits a year. And, they would be limited to $10, 000 in hospital treatment a year. If premiums are based  on this model, the insurance companies will do very well indeed – most people will never need the $10,000, but the premiums will still be collected, won’t they? But, the people who truly need the coverage will suffer tremendously once the limit is reached. And, from what I understand, $10,000 does not go far in U.S. hospitals.  Here is a report from Tenessee, where the $10,000 state cap will stay unchanged:

Remaining, for now, however, is the most controversial measure: a $10,000 annual cap on hospital stay per enrollee – although the state is now proposing both an exception for transplant patients and a cap on the number of days rather than dollars that state officials say will likely stand at seven.

Again, the government will add a tax disguised in the health premium, and the government and the insurers will be the winners. The at risk per patient amount is controllable as the government will establish health panels to decide if chronic and terminal health issues are “worth” funding. Is it a wonder the insurance companies stock prices soared?

So what if Obama says there is no lifetime maximum – it is a bastardized, empty promise. At the rate the system will be denying coverage, people will die much before they would otherwise collect on their “so-called lifetime maximum”. Welcome to “Carousel” indeed.

Who stands to gain? When this bill was introduced the insurance companies stocks all rose. It is them that will gain. The losers will be those that need it – the sick and the elderly.

To compare the U.S. thrust to “universal healthcare” should not be confused by the Canadian model.

In Canada, at least currently, we do not tell people who their doctor can be, and we do not limit care.

The elderly still have value, and it had better not change any time soon.

If you live in the U.S., fight this will every ounce of your being.

Incidentally, those in Logan’s Run who were “Runners” were looking to break out of the dome and find a place called “Sanctuary” ( the place untouched by government control and corruption). Can we think of  ”Sanctuary” as any State that will stand up and not succumb to the imposing powers of the Federal Government? And, can we assume too that those “Runners” who are caught may end up in a FEMA camp of sorts?

We must all stand up for the right to our own sanctuary, wouldn’t you agree? Freedom to make choices.

And finally, it is odd that President Obama would be “pro choice”only when it results in more death; namely babies by abortion. Food for thought indeed.

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