March 22, 2017
Steven F. Hotze, M.D.
Publisher, CRTX News
The only thing that will save medicine is a good dose of free enterprise. Government regulations, entitlement programs and HMOs and PPOs have led us down the road to socialized medicine. Obamacare, with the collusion of the Medical Industrial Complex, made up of the pharmaceutical companies, health insurance companies, hospitals and organized medicine, has wrecked the health care system.
The Medical Industrial Complex views you and every American as a cash cow to be milked dry. Americans, which make up 5% of the world’s population, consume 42% of the pharmaceutical drugs manufactured worldwide. Yet, America ranks number 12 out of the top 14 industrialized countries in cardiovascular disease. Diabetes has become an epidemic. 68% of Americans are overweight, and 34% are obese. Obesity is associated with a dramatic increase in diabetes, hypertensions, cardiovascular conditions, cancer, degenerative arthritis and kidney disease. America spends more per capita on medical care than any other country in the world, yet the results are pathetic. We are an unhealthy people.
In 1960, only 21% of personal medical care expenditures were paid by the government, 24% by insurance companies and 55% were paid by consumers out of their own pockets. Today, the government pays for over 50% of all medical expenses while consumers pay for only 15% of care out of pocket. HMOs and other insurance schemes pay the rest.
When my wife and I had our first baby in 1969 at St. David’s Hospital in Austin, the total cost, which we paid out of pocket, was $250 for three days in the hospital and $250 for the obstetrician. When adjusted for inflation, this would equal $2500 today. Yet the total cost of a delivery today, including hospital and doctor, has increased 8 times to approximately $20,000. What has caused this dramatic increase?
Private medical practice is being choked by corporate socialism, which is the cooperative effort of insurance companies and government to destroy competition and replace it with central planning called “managed care.”
At the heart of capitalism is the voluntary exchange of goods and services for money between two individuals. Private enterprise encourages businesses to compete for consumer dollars. This system of independent economic actions, freely taken by millions of consumers and businesses, has proven to produce the highest standards of living in every country where it has been adopted.
Free enterprise capitalism is the soil in which liberty flourishes.
Socialism opposes free enterprise and private property, seeking to govern the economy through central planning. All activity is planned by government bureaucrats and must be enforced by laws and funded through legalized theft of the productive citizens. Everywhere socialism has been tried it has discouraged innovation and led to shortages and rationing of goods and services.
Socialism is the drought in which liberty wilts and dies.
Socialism undermines the doctor-patient relationship. If you are covered by an HMO, PPO, Medicaid or Medicare, then your doctor no longer works for you, but for whoever pays his bills. Your doctor must agree to follow their rules and medical protocols in order to receive his fees. This is why you may feel that your doctor is not listening to you or doesn’t seem to care. Your physician can only serve one master and it’s not you. “He who pays the piper, calls the tune.” You can be assured that the insurance company is calling your doctor’s tune.
The solution is to return to a free enterprise system for medicine with doctors charging a fee for service, just like any other business. Treatment is consumer-based and permits the patient to choose how to spend his money. This can be easily achieved through the use of a Health Saving Account (HSA) coupled with a high deductible catastrophic insurance policy. Ask your business to offer this option, which is tax free, just like an IRA. What you don’t spend you can save.
Beware of politicians who promise to lead you into the Promised Land by giving you universal health coverage, which means government controlled, socialized medicine.
CRTXNEWS. All rights reserved www.crtxnews.com