Saturday, October 03, 2009

Grassley: The Imperial Clown is at it again

Yesterday, I received an email from the Grasshole's office expounding on how he was doing everything he could to keep the healthcare reform bill from becoming government run healthcare.

Nowhere does it say that it isn't the governments purview to manage healthcare. In effect, with this bill, with or without a public option, the government will in effect be managing some of the healthcare system in this country.

It baffles me how politicians can make the distinctions between evil and evil light. Such are pragmatists that both want to show they are doing something for us and also controlling more and more aspects of our lives. Such a transfer of personal sovereignty also leaves me baffled as well.

According to Grassley, the healthcare industry makes up one sixth of the us economy. If this is true, LEAVE IT ALONE! The best he could do would be to reverse policies that have been set forth that have increase insurance premiums and forced insurance companies to ration healthcare and increase rates. He won't do this or even suggest it because there is nothing to offer or a matter of consideration for us. Again, bribery takes front seat.

One thing that should be done is allowing insurance companies to compete across state lines. Having a blue cross of Iowa and of NY makes no sense. It should be one company that competes for the who pot. Any insurance company should be able to compete in any and every state.

Another thing is pre-existing conditions. Making insurance companies insure regardless of pre-existing conditions raises rates. In fact NY has a pre-existing condition clause that when compared to NJ, which doesn't have one, the rates in NY are 2x what they are next door.

Yet another contention is the labeling. Lets be clear here: It's not healthcare we are talking about, but medical insurance. Moreover, it's about who pays the medical bills. Honestly, people have become to accustom to cadillac plans that cover everything. If anything, this should serve notice that socialization of medicine doesn't work, as it causes over utilization of the system because "it's free" and it takes the free market force out of the equation. People should be able to pay for regular doctor's visits out of their pockets and before any senior citizens or alleged poor rail against that statement, let me say, no one owes you anything. Services rendered should be paid in the standard currency. This will lower costs because doctors have to compete with other doctors based on cost, and it also reduces a doctor's overhead as they would have much less insurance paperwork to process .

Where medical insurance does make sense is for what it was originally intended: For catastrophic care. The cost of catastrophic care would bankrupt people and insurance is a reasonable way to mitigate that. It would also be cheaper than plans that offer to pay for everything.

Are we done yet? Clearly not. Pharmaceuticals are another area. Many people glorify countries that price control drugs. Really? Guess what? This raises the costs here. What most people do not realize is that American is the preeminent country for developing drugs and treatments, and by a multiple factor. It costs money to do this and even with patent protections, it takes years to develop drugs and years to pay for that development. Throw in the price controls and we end up paying for the cheap drugs in other countries and let me be clear here: Drug companies are there to make a profit, and that is a good thing. If you want cheaper drugs, everyone has to pay the same. This will bring down costs, as would extending the patent period by a couple years.

So what is the Grasshole offering?

During Finance Committee consideration of amendments, I won unanimous approval for an amendment that will improve access to medical care for seniors in Iowa and other rural parts of the country.  It’s getting harder and harder for seniors to find doctors serving in rural areas.  A large part of the problem is Medicare’s reimbursement policies that shortchange rural states. They act as a disincentive for doctors to serve these areas.  My amendment would remedy a problem that occurs today when  physicians in different parts of the country are paid different amounts for the same service or procedure.  This amendment addresses one aspect of the geographic disparities in physician payment, the adjustment for physicians’ costs in running their practices, by requiring Medicare to use more accurate and reliable data.  An accurate formula will provide more equitable physician payment because the differences in payments will be based on real differences in the physicians’ practice expense costs.  Part of providing greater access to health care is making sure doctors in rural areas are able keep their doors open to seniors in need of care.

First off, the bribe here is to seniors and I suppose rural doctors. How is paying doctors more in rural areas going to improve healthcare for seniors? Is a doctor going to refuse to treat someone based on reimbursement rate? Doctors may have differences in costs related to things like malpractice insurance rates and costs associated with doing business in that particular state. If Grassley wanted to really help, he's promote a low flat income tax for everyone, as well as tort reform to lower malpractice premiums. Such isn't forthcoming. 

The real problem here is that Grassley has not changed very much is a bill that is over 1000 pages long. The public option is still on the table and here he's trying to save face (pun intended) by trumpeting some bullshit provision for seniors that won't make a hill of beans of difference to anyone, and anyone with an IQ over 110 should see this like blaze orange against a green background. He is still stuck in the we have to pass it just because we can't stop it so I'll throw some BS provision in it that will make my constituents think I am doing something for them when in fact I am not. Thanks mr Grassley, but again, you are feckless. Just like when you voted for TARP. Are you still looking for bankers to commit seppuku?

The problem here is we have a career politician who is more interested in being a politician than doing what is right. He may know that this fabian socialist fantasy of a bill is what it is, but he won't stand up. Well Chuck, it's time to go then and in 2010, I surely hope so. The only way to make Obamacare right is to kill the bill. If you can't, then help make people understand what it really means. May be that is the problem: Not even Chuck has read the bill. Unbelievable. How and why we elect these snake oil salesmen, I'll never understand. 

Thank you for reading this blog. 

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