Frameshop: Socialized Medicine

There is little that is more nonsensical than the argument against universal healthcare coverage that goes, "We don’t need socialized medicine in this country because…" As if the system of healthcare we currently have isn’t ‘socialized’. We have a ‘socialized’ medical system in this country already. It’s just a crappy, peicemeal, unequal ‘Socialized’ system. The choice this county has to make is not between ‘socialized’ medicine and ‘private’ medicine (the only people who have private medical care in this country are the uninsured, and they would prefer almost anything else), but between efficient, lower-cost, equitable ‘socialized’ medicine and ever-more expensive, bloated, profiteering ‘socialized’ medcine that leaves millions of Americans out.

‘Socialized’ means under group control. Specifically, in this context, the word is a proxy for ‘government’ control. In either case, it denotes a mechanism of shared benefits and control in order to spread risk. That is exactly what insurance is. Our current system is ‘socialized’ to the core through the mechanism of insurance.

Recall that Social Security is insurance. Workman’s Comp is insurance. Unemployment Insurance is, of course, insurance. Most of the social programs that insulate American families from risks both catastrophic and chronic are insurance programs at base. We simply allow private insurance companies to extract a profit from their management of people’s health insurance policies.

Using the private market to manage people’s insurance is surely more efficient than having government do it, right? Well, not so much. The overhead costs of private health insurance, including management, infrastructure, wages, and profits, averages about 25% of revenue. Government run Medicare/Medicaid/SCHIP programs? Less than 5%.

How does an industry that is comaratively so grossly inefficient stay in business? By spending millions to lobby against the expansion of more efficient government systems.

But surely there is a good reason to have private companies in the insurance, i.e. ‘socialization’, of certain risks?

There is. Moral risk.

When a loss is insured against risk, there is a tendency of people to treat those risks in a more cavalier fashion, either by neglecting to take reasonable steps to avoid the risk, or to positively use their insurance against risks to take unreasonable, or even fraudulent risks, knowing they have nothing to lose.

A classic example of a moral risk meltdown due to poorly overseen insured risk is the Savings and Loan Bailout of the 1980’s. The GOP significantly reduced government regulation and oversight of how these institutions managed the risks the government insured them agaist. The result of was taxpayers left holding a 100 billion dollar tab.

Private interests have a stronger incentive to police such moral risk to ensure that they don’t lose their money, cause they can’t print more.

But moral risk is not a major factor in health care insurance. People don’t choose to get sick or have accidents. Fraud does occur, but it is usually a conspiracy between providers and patients which private interests are in no better situation to detect or punish than the government.

People really don’t want to take pills, or be shut up in hospitals, or have major surgeries. Moral risk is just not a major factor in health care insurance, any more than it is with flood insurance; people don’t flood their own properties on purpose all that more frequently than they choose get hit by a bus on purpose. Flood insurance is thus a good moral risk, increasing the productive use of areas that might not be developed fully if private insurance had to be underwritten. Likewise, universal government insurance allows the full development of human capital that private insurers might consider to not be worth underwriting.

The flip side of moral risk is a problem in health insurance, however: bad faith. Bad faith is when an insurer withholds payment for an insured risk without good cause. This tends to happen a lot in health insurance: it’s the reason you likely hate your HMO.

The reason it happens is because the private profit incentive combines with people’s natural aversion to medical treatments to produce the bureaucratic hurdles and hoops that cost a large chunk of that 25% average overhead. The result is predictable; people just give up trying to get needed medical services because it’s such a pain in the ass and, well, they often really aren’t all that excitied about having the service in the first place.

The government, having no incentive for bad faith, and no need of profit, thus comes in at a svelt 5%.

The result of all this bad faith is a failure to invest in what might be called epidemiological risk. Large numbers of people simply don’t take very good care of themselves. Discouraged from engaging in preventive care by tightfisted private insurers, and lacking substantial investments and motivations to make needed lifestyle changes on a massive scale, people suffer poorer health outcomes because there is no single insurer with an incentive to reduce costs by addressing such risks.

The solution is, of course, to have just one main health insurer, the government, who will be empowered and encouraged to create wise policies to reduce epidemiological risks, thus reduce costs to the insureds (the taxpayer), and improving Americans’ standard of living.

So if you want the flabby, hyper-expensive, ‘socialized’ medicine that most Americans can not participate in, and that suffers of massive bad faith and out-of-control epidemiological risks, then don’t change a thing about the American healthcare system.

If you want ‘socialized’ medicine that is lower cost, administratively efficient, operates in good faith to insure every American, and addresses epidemiological risks aggressively to improve the health of all Americans, you want ‘socialized’ universal government run healthcare.

If you really believe that ‘private’ healthcare is better, drop your health insurance coverage now and join the over 40 million Americans who are currently enjoying the benefits of ideologically pure medical care.

0 responses to “Frameshop: Socialized Medicine

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  5. David H. Marshall

    Socialized Medicine? THE U. S. SENATE BACKGROUND.

    Laymen Administrator medical decisions underlie the DOD & VA, U.S. Government Health Care System, e.g., HOW IT IS DONE.

    Despite the efforts of some, in 2008 the U.S. Congress still has not been accountable for the DOD “to harm” human experiments! [8] As now by BARDA conducted on you. [11] This is for the from 1944, 1994 U.S. Senate Report’s, now ongoing 64 years of: INTRODUCTION A. “During the last 50 years, hundreds of thousands of military personnel have been involved in human experimentation and other intentional exposures conducted by the Department of Defense (DOD), often without a servicemember’s knowledge or consent.”, B. “most Americans would agree that the use of soldiers as unwitting guinea pigs in experiments that were designed to harm them, at least temporarily, is not ethical.” And FORWARD C. “The findings and conclusions contained in this report are those of the majority staff and do not necessarily reflect the views of the members of the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.” Chairman.. Under its, “III. Findings and conclusions” is “K. DOD and DVA have repeatedly failed to provide information and medical followup to those who participate in military research…” and “N. Participation in military research is rarely included in military medical records, making it impossible to support a veteran’s claim for service-connected disabilities from military research.” [8] In 2008 continued is a of a version of the DOD Project 112 biological lessons learned. [9] On 19 December 2006 established was the civilian “Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA)”. [11] Under the cover of its “NATIONAL SECURITY MISSIONS” withheld from the civilian “guinea pigs” are the results of its “Biomedical” Research and Development (R&D) Projects.

    ALL IS IN THE RECORD!

    Each Executive Branch (DOD, CIA & BARDA) Project completes the R&D process. The prior lessons learned are reviewed. The then Scope of Work defines what the experiment is “designed” to do. The how, where, when and who is identified. The conducted RESEARCHED cause and effects are closely followed. From the results are DEVELOPED safe production, use, the needed for treatment and protection, e.g., the DOD manufacturers handling of hazardous materials such as Depleted Uranium, Agent Orange, the biological agents of Project 112 [9] and the jet-engine noise levels of Project 7210 [2]. All is in the Executive Branch record! Under the cover of national security the revealing treatment evidence: 1. Is not cause identified in a subject’s Medical History, so that they never the wiser become. The deceived victim’s “to harm” effects are not Medical History recorded, therefore not addressed! Prevented is any follow up by independent civilian and Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) physicians. And 2. For veterans’ the resulting 64 years of experiment specific injuries are not in the VA “schedule of ratings for disabilities” [7] !

    CONGRESS 19 YEARS FROM ORDER IGNORED, NOT KNOWN?

    From 1953 the U.S. Senate “to harm” lessons learned were in direct disobedience of the DOD Secretary’s TOP SECRET, right to say no order. [4] Then known by the Secretary’s of all Services, Joint Chiefs of Staff, and their R&D Board. It was “UNCLASSIFIED” on 8/22/75. Nineteen (19) years later, during the U.S. Senate’s reported past 50 years, most of the “to harm” service records were destroyed in a 1973 National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) fire. Those that survived had all witnesses censored by Congress’s 1974 Privacy Act! The “Veterans Right to Know Act” was proposed in the 2005 and H.R. 4259 [109th] 2006 Congress. It never became law.

    THE U.S. SUPREME COURT DID NOT KNOW?

    The 1987 U.S. Supreme Court STANLEY decision [5] extends the coverage of their 1950 FERES Case that a death by a military barracks fire was an “incident to service” [1]. STANLEY treats the 1958 DOD “experiments…designed to harm” disobedience of the 1953 order [4] as also an “incident to service”! The next year was the U.S. Congress’s few 1988 Veterans’ Judicial Review Act. Established was the Veteran’s Legislative severely restricted, Article I Court. “The court may not review the schedule of ratings for disabilities or the policies underlying the schedule.”, i.e., the “to harm” R&D experimental effects and their causes! The Veterans Court Chief Judge’s no teeth statement with his noted VA ignoring of the Court’s decisions! [7] The Secretary of the VA was given FINAL DECISION authority on these issues. [10] Included is the power of NO APPEAL to this LEGISLATIVE Veterans Court or to the independent U.S. Judicial Branch Courts. If allowed an APPEAL, it is not part of the record at the Article I Veterans Court. It’s also missing at the next appeal at the U.S. Judicial Branch Article III, Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

    HOW IT IS DONE.

    AN “IN HIS SERVICE RECORD” EXAMPLE!

    A 1952-1956 USAF Jet Aircraft Mechanic. A picked “volunteer” member of a special F86-D Flight Test evaluation group. The prior to 1949 researched and developed ear muffs, flight line noise protection was not available. An exposure that resulted in an 8 day 1953 sick & dizzy (nausea & vertigo) hospitalization. After there was Aviation Cadet training. During which was the USAF Physician’s 1954 Cadet Wing Commander washout exam’s, “Had some trouble with hearing while working on warm-up crew for F86-D with very high noise levels.” This is an unprotected, repeated exposure to its PROJECT 7210, J47 jet-engine, from a 60 decibel (dB.) normal hearing base, 158 dB. to over 176 dB. afterburner noise level. [2] An American Medical Association (A.M.A.) 87,381 to over 699,051 sound pressure multiple (X). [3] Reassigned back to the same base and Flight Test position. A USAF Physician’s 6 months after the washout exam get him off the flight line memo! Then the year later 1955 USAF Physician’s do not expose to “loud acoustic trauma”. The 1956 Separation from Service recorded perfect health with the 1953, 8 days sick & dizzy (nausea & vertigo) as an in-hospital “4 DAY COLD”.

    In 1957 was the VA Rating Board 10% hearing loss only. Administrator overlooked was the in-service evidence. It resulted in the to-date VA Administrator also overlooked, “MPerR PERMANENT” “SURGEON HQ ARRC JUN 25′ 58 MEDICALLY DISQUALIFIED FOR MILITARY SERVICE”! After which is the “disqualified” ‘must have been a mistake’ by the 1959 DOD Administrator “Honorable Discharge” with its “Recommended for reenlistment – Yes”!

    Acting on the advice of HMO Physicians the veteran returned to the VA in 1991. Observed was that the VA Physician exam records were incomplete. In 1994 a VA Criminal Investigator noted as misplaced the original VA 1957 received records. Then a 1995 VA Adjudicator’s 699,051X (176dB.) jet-engine sound pressure 1957 award as an all in the mind “perceptive type hearing loss”! In 1995 a VA Hearing Officer “certified” the veterans retained copies as part of the disability file. Both the VA and veteran records survived the 1973 NPRC fire and Congress’s witness censoring 1974 Privacy Act. On 2/2/96 a VA Hospital Attending Physician determined in-service Menieres disease. A 6/27/96 Supplemental Statement Of Case Adjudicators medical decision of no “competent medical evidence” denied all. It referenced the 2/2/96 hospital physician’s in-service determination by, “It appears the examiner was relying on the veteran’s history to make this statement.”, i.e., the “certified” copies of VA original, misplaced records. Included were two HMO Physicians 1994 Menieres disease diagnosis and 10 prior years of its symptoms. In 1999 the VA ENT Chief stated “the Veterans signs and symptoms of Meniere’s Disease clearly are documented in his” [USAF 1952-1956 “certified”] “service record” with his “A STRESS REACTION MAY PRECIPITATE AN EPISODE (OF MENIERES DISEASE) AND CYCLES MAY REPEAT ENDLESSLY”! For which “THERE IS NO RELIABLE TREATMENT”. It is these in and after service “stress reaction” nausea and vertigo attacks that resulted in the loss of a third generation medical practice, business failures and unemployment. In 2005 the VA rediscovered their original Medical History! In 2006 VA locally awarded was a 100% disability. Cited was the Social Security Administrative Law Judge 1996 early “disability benefits solely as a result of his service connected condition.” This is for the 50 years later continuing consequences of 1952-1956 “loud acoustic trauma”! Not known is the A.M.A. for each 6 dB. increase sound pressure doubles, beyond 699,051X (at 176 dB.) unprotected afterburner over pressurization!

    MISPLACED?

    Misplaced records prevent medical, administrative and judicial “ACTIVITIES” that “WOULD BE DETRIMENTAL TO THE ACCOMPLISHMENT OF…MISSION.” This is by the still in 2008 reasoning of “IT WAS NECESSARY TO CONCEAL THESE ACTIVITIES FROM THE AMERICAN PUBLIC IN GENERAL, BECAUSE PUBLIC KNOWLEDGE OF THE UNETHICAL AND ILLICIT ACTIVITIES WOULD HAVE SERIOUS REPERCUSSIONS IN POLITICAL AND DIPLOMATIC CIRCLES AND WOULD BE DETRIMENTAL TO THE ACCOMPLISHMENT OF ITS MISSION.” U.S. Supreme Court 1987 STANLEY Case; Footnote 4, Page 688 on its proven 1958 CIA experiment on U.S. Army personnel. [5]

    “RIGHT TO KNOW”.

    There now is no 64 years later “Veterans Right to Know”. After they complete Honorable Service despite the efforts of some Congress has not given back to veterans their rights. Revealed would be the few’s corrupt for the greater good of all. Accomplished by the end justifies the “designed to harm” means. Carried out under the cover of our nation’s wars! A few key members in Congress, have dishonored those that serve. Prevented is injury treatment and correction! Lost are those prior to service rights that convicted rapists and murderers keep! [6]

    HOLD RESPONSIBLE.

    NOW BARDA EXPERIMENTS CONDUCTED ON YOU! PLEASE, HOLD YOUR MEMBERS IN THE U.S. CONGRESS ACCOUNTABLE! THESE U.S. SUPREME COURT AND U.S. SENATE DOCUMENTED FACTS ARE INTERNET CENSORED. [12] PASSING THIS ON TO OTHERS SO THAT THEY MAY DO THE SAME WOULD BE APPRECIATED. THANK YOU.

    David H. Marshall

    REFERENCES:

    [1] U.S. Supreme Court, Feres v. United States, 340 U.S. 135, 146 (1950).

    [2] USAF PROJECT 7210 “A COMPILATION OF TURBOJET NOISE DATA”, BOLT BERANEK & NEWMAN, INC. CAMBRIDGE 38, MA. Sound pressure levels for all jet-engines in-service. Conducted at Wright Patterson Air Force Base (WPAFB) DAYTON, OHIO in 1952. 1954 logged in as the 401st report for that year published as REPORT 54-401 July 1956.

    [3] American Medical Association (A.M.A.) Family Medical Guide Third Edition pages 364-366 with the for each 6 dB. increase sound pressure doubles and the 60 dB. Normal hearing level.

    [4] DOD Secretary’s 26 February 1953 NO non-consensual, human experiment’s Memo pages 343-345. George J. Annas and Michael A. Grodin, “The Nazi Doctors and the Nuremberg Code; Human Rights in Human Experimentation” (New York: Oxford University Press, 1992). In REFERENCE [8] as NOTES 72, 168 & 169.

    [5] U.S. SUPREME COURT, JUNE 25, 1987, U.S. V. STANLEY, 107 S. CT. 3054 (VOLUME 483 U.S., SECTION 669, PAGES 699 TO 710). In REFERENCE [8] cited in NOTE 169.

    [6] U.S. State Dept., “U.S. Report under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights July 1994, Art. 7”.
    [7] CHIEF JUDGE FRANK Q. NEBEKER, STATE OF THE COURT FOR PRESENTATION TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF VETERANS APPEALS THIRD JUDICIAL CONFERENCE OCTOBER 17-18, 1994. In the Veterans Appeals Reporter. http://www.firebase. net/state_of_court_brief.htm Annual Judicial Conference Transcript. http://www.goodnet.com/~heads/nebeker

    [8] U.S. Senate December 8, 1994 REPORT 103-97 “Is Military Research Hazardous to Veterans’ Health? Lessons Spanning Half a Century.” Hearings Before the U.S. Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, 103rd Congress 2nd Session. With NOTES 1 to 170. COMMITTEE PRINT – S. Print. 103-97.

    [9] “Project 112 (Including Project SHAD) Home” chemical and biological experiments; www. 1.va.gov/shad/

    [10] United States Code (USC) Title 38, 511. Decisions of the Secretary; finality. http://www.law.cornell.eduhttp://www.law.cornell.edu/

    [11] “Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA)” S-3678.

    [12] From: MAILER-DAEMON@n7.bullet.ukl.yahoo.com Subject: failure notice. Date: Mon, 26 Nov 2007 19:43:22 -0000 Sorry, we were unable to deliver your message…. Remote host said: 550 SC-001 Mail rejected by Windows Live Hotmail for policy reasons. Reasons for rejection may be related to content with spam-like characteristics or IP/domain reputation problems. And From: MAILER-DAEMON@n5.bullet.ukl.yahoo.com Sat, 12 Jan 2008 18:52:58 -0000 Subject:failure notice Sorry, we were unable to deliver your message to the following address. XXXX
    Remote host said: 554 The message was rejected because it contains prohibited virus or spam content [BODY]

  6. Right now I have Pacific Care Secure Horizons covered under part A&B Medicare, which adopted part D, with-out ANY ACTION ON MY PART!

    I went to Walgreens to have my prescriptions filled with the same drugstore,same Doctor,same Prescriptions. I was told by Walgreens Drug at Tangerine and North First Ave. that “I HAVE NO INSURANCE , MY DOCTOR DOES NOT EXIST, AND THEY REFUSED TO FOLLOW UP WITH THIER CONTRACT WITH “PRESCRIPTION SOLUTIONS” WHOM ADDRESSES THESE ISSUES AND JUST SENT ME ON MY WAY!”

    Millions of People on A&B are telling the same story and it is not getting into the press because of BIG ADVERTISING CONTRACTS WITH ALL CONCERNED!

  7. And if you think that it is only the uneducated or ignorant who are avoiding regular medical procedures because of the pain of insurance, think again. Even your health care professionals avoid it.

    My mother is a twenty-five year veteran of the medical field, with a Masters in Sociology and a whole lot of respect from her fellow Registered Nurse colleagues. She also never goes to the doctor because of the threat of getting involved in an insurance fiasco. And she is almost 70 years old.

    Last month, she collapsed while working and was found passed out on the floor several minutes later. She was taken down to the emergency room and monitored for several hours. The doctor then discharged her and sent her home with us, since she was instructed not to drive.

    We took her to her primary care physician the next day, in order to get a referral to a cardiologist. Whoops! Her doctor no longer takes her insurance, so he cannot refer her to ANY cardiologist.

    The next day, she felt dizzyness and chest pains and was taken by ambulance to the hospital. She remained there three days to undergo tests and consult with the cardiologist on call. She was discharged when the monitoring was complete and she was done with the course of IV fluids. There was still no firm diagnosis.

    A week later, she was on medical leave and could not drive. She received a letter from the HMO, stating that they would only cover the first 6 hours of her hospital stay, since the rest was “not medically necessary”. My mother is a very strong woman, but the thought of paying tens of thousands of dollars for her hospital stay was – well, you can imagine the outright terror. She called up everyone she knew to find out what to do. I eventually calmed her down saying that “all insurance compaines do this.” We would have to jump through a set of preset hurdles and drag every doctor along with us. I felt my stomach turn as I realized the fight ahead of us.

    Luckily, my state has an external appeals process, as of 1999. However, there is an awful lot of work to do before then for a sick, 70 year old single woman taking care of an old rural farmhouse and running up and down the hospital floors 10-12 hours per day.

  8. Yes! Outstanding post, spot on!

    Thank you!