By Dave Funk
As we move closer to the demise of this awful healthcare bill President Obama and other Democratic leadership are pushing harder and harder to publicize their fear mongering and play off our emotions as opposed to using fact. There seems to be no burden of proof needed to fight for a $1.2 trillion healthcare bill. One of the lies I’ve noticed recently is that Obama plans on controlling healthcare costs by monitoring premiums to ensure none are excessive in cost. Then of course, he would offer a public alternative in those cases where we could not afford private insurance premiums.
If Obama took even 30 seconds to look at the supply-chain of medical care he would quickly realize he’s thinking backwards and that insurance premiums have absolutely nothing to do with the cost of healthcare. Insurance premiums are the conduit for insurance companies to pay our bills in a profitable way. Based on the profitability of the insurance industry the accusations of price gouging are not credible and I don’t give heed to team Obama’s claimed frequency in which gouging occurs.
Instead of focusing on the real costs, they maliciously attack insurance companies to sway American voters in the voting booth. Starting out with manufacturers of healthcare technology and pharmaceuticals, the costs are already out of control. These manufacturers incur costs doing pre-clinical trial research. They then go through three clinical trials and move on to final FDA approval. After which, post-trial marketing and distribution adds even more to these costs. While there is a lack of global competition in terms of pharmaceuticals, in the US their patents are so short that after testing they often have less than a decade to recoup the costs of hundreds of millions of dollars and more.
Then we move on to the facilities that deliver the care and utilize this technology and pharmaceuticals in treatments. These facilities are forced to treat millions of illegal immigrants every year costing billions. The healthcare practitioners are only a lawsuit or two away from going bankrupt so they spend millions on defensive, unnecessary medical treatments on top of their incredibly expensive malpractice insurance. They have to do this AND make a profit so the US can continue to offer the best healthcare in the world.
Now we arrive at the insurance companies. They now have to pay for our healthcare consumption and turn a profit so they stay in business. These companies have some great HSA high deductible plans and then they have "pre-paid" medical expense plans. As Americans consume more and more healthcare, these companies have to try to cover our costs while still making a profit. Yet, we are the ones increasing demand, not the insurance companies – so who is to blame for increased healthcare costs? We are.
When you look at the supply-chain and delivery of healthcare in our country, attacking premiums is NOT the way to fix healthcare. The New York Times had an article March 8th talking about this very thing. Obama wants to block excessive premiums as defined by a government agency.
"Federal officials will focus on holding down premiums while state officials focus on the solvency of insurers, the ultimate consumer protection.
Economists say that holding down premiums does not necessarily hold down the cost of care, which reflects the prices charged by doctors and hospitals and the volume of services."
All team Obama will do here is undermine the solvency of insurance companies. I don’t think Obama is a stupid person, in fact, he’s very educated. So I can only assume he fully understands that blocking premium hikes as demand for services increase will be the defining moment for the demise of health insurance companies. Leaving no one but the government to carry the burden and power. While I don’t allege to know Obama’s reasoning or plans behind this obviously negligent choice, I do know he is completely disregarding the foundation of our economy, the constitution and our Republic.
Don’t be manipulated by these malicious attacks. Nothing they propose will either control costs or improve care. On the contrary, they will increase costs and decrease care. We cannot afford to let them win.
Dave Funk is a Republican candidate for Iowa’s Third Congressional District Seat.