A Wall Street Journal commentary on 8/27/12 states the following:
Meanwhile, another ObamaCare godfather, the surgeon and influential New Yorker magazine writer Atul Gawande, has further instructions for the medical masses, this time from — believe it or not — the Cheesecake Factory, the chain restaurant.
Dr. Gawande’s point is that medicine would function better if care were delivered by huge health systems that can achieve economies of scale, like commercial kitchens. Care ought to be standardized like preparing a side of beef, with a ‘single default way’ to perform each treatment supposedly based on evidence, with little room for personalization.
This is proof positive that Obamacare is based on the same principle as communism: Command-and-control; central planning.
It’s well documented how this centralized government planning did not work out in Soviet Russia, Communist China and elsewhere. Of course, this presents no worries for the Americanized ‘small c’ communists of the Obama Administration, and the majority of Americans who either support them, or react with helpless indifference. The article continues:
No doubt health care could learn a lot about efficiency from a lot of industries, but to understand the core problem with assembly-line medicine, recall that ObamaCare actively promotes medical corporatism. The reason isn’t to encourage business efficiency but for political control.
Liberals believe in health-care consolidation because fewer giant corporations are easier for Mr. Orszag’s central committee to control, and more amenable to its orders. [Mr. Orszag was President Obama’s health care official who promoted the Affordable Care Act.]
Another word for ‘medical corporatism’ is economic fascism. Economic fascism refers to government encouragement of the consolidation of big business, so that government may control it. A few favored by Big Government are permitted to make Big Money in a Big Business model, not because they have earned it, but because they are the ones the politicians favor.
It’s a perfect ploy. Problems can be blamed on the profit motive. Politicians will always say they’re the good guys, trying to make ‘quality health care available for all.’ They pull the strings behind the scenes through arbitrary edicts and regulations. They tell the profit-makers in the fascist enterprises that if they don’t comply, they’ll lose their profits or, worst case, go to jail. Yet the politicians can tell an inattentive public, ‘We’re doing what we can to get profit out of business.’
This is how much of the American economy now works. It’s erroneously called ‘capitalism’ but genuine capitalism is nothing of the sort. Under genuine capitalism, there is no government interference, other than playing policeman and adjudicating civil or criminal cases. But government should have no interest in certain parties winning economically and others losing. Nor should government ever judge any one company as ‘too big to fail’ or too anything to fail. This is ultimately up to the people who run the companies and/or the people who choose to purchase, or not purchase, those companies’ products or services.
Many people — at a minimum, about 47%, give or take — don’t grasp any of this, but they should. When someone says, ‘Should there be a law to force companies to do such-and-such?’ the answer is almost always ‘yes.’ The reason for this is that ‘such-and-such’ is usually something the person being asked thinks is a good idea. But there are consequences to every action. The most common one is that every time government forces private enterprise to do something that enterprise has found unnecessary in order to please customers, prices unnecessarily go up. I say ‘unnecessarily’ because if these changes or requirements in fact had been necessary, consumers would have demanded it, and business self-interest and profit would have required it.
This isn’t rocket science, but the vast majority of people don’t grasp it. Every single time government forces business to do something it doesn’t want to do or doesn’t need to do, prices go up. Should government force business to do these things? ‘Yes!’ cries the overwhelming majority. Should government lift the controls and stop making them do these things? ‘No!’ Should prices go up because of these things? The vast majority also whines, ‘No.’ In fact, they want prices to go down and why do these big companies need all that profit anyway?
This is why democracy is killing America. Majority vote should not apply to the economy. Majority vote should apply to selecting the officials — president, Congress — required to protect individuals’ real rights to be free of force and fraud. Democracy should not be used to force companies to do things against their will, things they didn’t find necessary to please customers and only power-hungry politicians find necessary.
Economic fascism is a charade. It’s a means of total government control, not unlike Communism or ‘democratic’ socialism, but with the outer trappings of profit-making and business as a facade. It’s a sham, and it’s arguably the most phony, pretentious and evil government control of all.
Economic fascism has come to America, and it’s coming to health care in our time. Case in point — the article continues:
Thanks to ObamaCare, Cheesecake Factory medicine is already becoming a reality. Irving Levin Associates, a research firm that tracks health-care mergers and acquisitions, reports that M&A hit $61.2 billion in the second quarter and the highest annual levels since the 1990s. Three of five hospitals now belong to a parent company’s network, while more than half of physicians are employed by hospitals or systems, not independent practitioners.
What’s amazing is that the people who promoted and passed this “Affordable Care Act’ did so in the name of attacking corporations, big business and profits. They did so in the name of insisting that the ‘moral stench’ of profit be removed, or at least minimized, in the field of health care. I remember Obama and his wife glorifying doctors who work for selfless service, not for money, saying that laws must be passed to mandate more of that kind of doctor.
Think about it: A doctor who doesn’t get paid, and who experiences no personal benefit from his or her life-saving, mind-consuming work. Do you really want the kind of doctor or surgeon that Michelle and Barack insist is the best kind? The kind who cares nothing about his own interests? Who has no life, who is miserable and financially/emotionally depleted while doing the bidding of some bureaucratic wonk? If your answer is yes, then I ask you what kind of brain-dead world you’re living in. If your answer is no, then why do so many people tolerate and keep electing leaders like this?
Yet instead of the allegedly superior ‘selfless doctors,’ we’re actually getting more big business. It’s not truly business, of course, because it’s fascist in nature. But therein lies the falsehood. Politicians such as Obama who are against capitalism and profit on moral principle are more than happy to have business and profit around — when it suits their purposes of power.
We hear not a whimper from the American population. As of this writing, we don’t know if Mitt Romney will be elected, and if so he may or may not follow through on his promise to repeal the Obamacare law.
If he follows through on that promise, he may or may not muster up the votes in the U.S. Senate. Even if it happens, it won’t be due to the pressure of average Americans. Why? Because most are simply not paying attention. They trust and hope that government will somehow get it right, even though overwhelming majorities, in poll after poll, indicate they don’t trust government to do much of anything.
More examples from the article:
On the insurer side, too, incumbents are demolishing their smaller rivals. Aetna is buying Coventry Health Care, a company that administers Medicare and Medicaid benefits, for $5.6 billion. WellPoint made the same play in acquiring Amerigroup for $5 billion in July, while last October Cigna laid out $3.8 billion for HealthSpring.
This bureaucratization will amplify everything patients and businesses despise about the current system: The unintelligible $103,234.61 bill for a turned ankle, the doctor who can’t take a phone call because of how the hospital schedules his shift.
Obamacare, the ‘Affordable Care Act,’ will tighten the grip of arbitrary government control over Medicare (whose funds will be cut) and over the rest of medical care as we know it.
If you think Obamacare is unpopular now (a slim majority still oppose it), just wait until it goes into action over the coming 5 years or so. The question will then be: Who gets the blame? The blame will likely go to ‘profiteers’ who rake in all the money for an ever-deteriorating quality of care, not to mention impossible existence for any doctors who take third party reimbursement (the vast majority).
I suppose at that point, the only ‘reform’ left will be that of outright and literal communism. In other words, profit will have to be outlawed, not only for insurance companies but for doctors and hospitals as well.
This would lead, quite literally, to the savagery and despair of health care in Cuba and North Korea, and as it was under communism in China and Soviet Russia.
Will Americans permit all-out communism applied to their health care? It seems unlikely. But after the fascism of Obama’s health care becomes clear, perhaps even after he’s out of office, it’s the only choice we will have left, other than the implementation of a completely free market in medicine, in which all controls, regulations and subsidies are privatized or removed.
Nobody will support a free market now because it’s considered profit-based and therefore immoral and impractical for medicine, even though it’s perfectly moral and practical for groceries, restaurants, electronics and automobiles. The same people who would be frightened to drive a car made by the government, i.e., manufactured by employees who can’t lose their jobs and who face no competition, are seemingly happy to accept this state of affairs in medicine— so far.
If and when the era of privatization of medicine begins at that painful time in the future, it will be fair to ask: Why didn’t we embark on this road back in 2012? Lastly, the article asks:
Why aren’t mom’s eight specialists aware of each other’s existence? Why is health care mostly conducted via a pad and pen, and beepers and fax machines, in the iPhone era? Why are there so few geriatricians when the first wave of Baby Boomers is already turning 65? Why is it still so hard to find usable information about quality and prices?
The reason isn’t a lack of hospital administrators or technocratic experts. More often than not it’s that patients aren’t the true consumers. The government is, and medical providers inevitably serve the paymaster.
The Wall Street Journal article hits the nail on the head. Health care, despite the advances in technology coming from the freer fields of science and technology, has lacked innovation and modernization. There’s no excuse for that, and it would never have been so in a free market. If health care had been allowed to remain as free as the technological fields, there would not have been the problems we have come to see.
Health care is mostly paid for by third parties. These third parties are primarily Medicare and Medicaid, and will become more so in coming years. ‘Private’ insurers cover the rest, but these insurers are heavily regulated at the state and federal level, keeping them from operating as competing entities normally would in a genuinely free market. Also, people came to depend on third parties in the first place because of discriminatory taxing polices, going back to World War II, in which the federal government refuses to tax anything health insurance related as it would anything else.
In all the debate leading up to and since the passage of Obamacare, nobody raised the question, ‘Wait a minute. We already have almost completely socialized medicine. How well has that worked out? Shouldn’t all the historical failures we see be proof of the need to reverse course to a free market, not continue the socialism/fascism that clearly hasn’t worked?’
You would think that the advocates of ‘change’ and ‘transformation’ on the issue of health care would belong to the Republican, conservative or free market side, not the liberal leftist and Democratic side. Without a doubt, Obamacare simply gives us more of the same fascism and political control that we’ve had for many decades, and that has failed patients and doctors so badly. Granted, America does have the best health care services and technology in the world, but that’s primarily thanks to the benefits of freedom in other sectors of the economy that are relevant to medical practice; primarily technology.
Capitalism worked in those fields, and capitalism could also work for medicine, if only given half a chance. The mental laziness and deliberately misleading attitudes of what passes for political ‘leadership’ (in both parties) have brought us to this point. The good news, if you want to call it that, is: Reality and facts will continue to assert their will, regardless of how people attempt to evade or distort them.
After another couple of years, when the effect of this legislation begins to affect people personally (and it will), everyone will finally see that Obamacare is a disaster. They will look back to 2010-2012 and understand just how badly our Supreme Court, Congress and president failed us. The moment of truth will come.
A vote for Obama is a vote for Obamacare. Make damn sure that’s what you want.
Source: ‘Cheesecake Factory Madness,’ The Wall Street Journal, 8/27/12.
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