Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Frog-marching us toward socialized medicine

Former Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean circulated an email Tuesday afternoon containing one of his favorite talking points for socialized medicine:

"The fight to guarantee healthcare for all depends on giving every American the freedom to choose between keeping their private insurance - if they have any - and a universally available public healthcare option like Medicare."

Funny he should mention that. Lexington attorney Kent Masterson Brown is preparing now to be in U.S. District Court in Washington D.C. on May 22 for a hearing in his case Hall, et al. v. Johnson, et al, in which the plaintiffs seek to force the federal government to let them opt out of Medicare.

Lead plaintiff Brian Hall stated in a court declaration:
"If I am forced to enroll or forced to remain enrolled in Medicare, Part A, I will be forced to accept healthcare services that are inferior to those I could obtain privately. I will be forced to limit my choice of providers and physicians to only those who participate in the Medicare program. I will further be forced to accept health care services that are now rationed, and will, in the future, be increasingly rationed because of budget constraints. I further believe that I will be forced to accept the undermining of my maximum privacy in my health care decisions and records."

12 comments:

Hempy said...

Medicare is not socialized medicine. Alleging that one gets inferior service from providers who accept Medicare is bogus.

Doctors who don't want to accept Medicare patients, form a group, that levies an annual fee, for example, $1,500 a year. If you have Medicare, they'll take it, but take from your $1,500 the difference between Medicare's allowable amount and their charge.

At the end of the year, if you haven't used up your $1,500 it's forfeited.

It's like a co-pay collected at the beginning of the year, each and every year.

This tactic is used to limit the number of patients a doctor wants to see. Often, it's used by doctors who are nearing retirement age and want to wind down their careers. They usually are not the most up-to-date practitioners, and you probably ought to look elsewhere for younger doctors who take Medicare, and are more up-to-date, and better skilled in their fields.

David Adams said...

It's the difference between making your own health care decisions and having the government do it for you.

Hempy said...

Under Medicare, you do make your own healthcare decisions. They government doesn't do it for you.

You don't understand Medicare.

David Adams said...

I understand Medicare is a huge money loser. At the rate it is going, widespread rationing of care is not a matter of if, but when.

Anonymous said...

The only people who do not understand that Medicare IS socialized medicine are those who do not practice in the field or those who are blinded by the radiance of an increased census obtained through the admission of Medicare patients when there is a private insurance drought.

I, on the other hand, and others like myself witness and must advocate for those most vulnerable and often most fragile patients who are passed on to the "Medicare" docs.

These doctors are referred to as desperate for a dollar, not tactical.

I challenge and would like to see research or other facts that support the written comment that "Medicare" doctors are the most up-to-date practitioners. Certainly there are physicians whose primary source of income is based on Medicare payments however these folks are infrequently found in the field as I know it.

My colleagues and I have literally begged for other physicians to be assigned to or take over the care of patients of these "Medicare" docs.

Might I recommend a few doctors for your loved one?

Melissa

Hempy said...

You neither understand the cost of an uninsured population such as we now have, nor do you understand anything about proportional taxation much less promote it.

Tax fairness is not one of your agendas.

Hempy said...

Melissa:

You clearly don't even understand socialize medicine.

No, I wouldn't want your recommended doctors. I have good doctors who accept Medicare.

Their services are as good as anyone's.

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I will be forced to limit my choice of providers and physicians to only those who participate in the Medicare program. I will further be forced to accept health care services that are now rationed, and will, in the future, be increasingly rationed because of budget constraints.