The Least, First

Monte Asbury's blog

Nurses: If you ever had to see a sick child turned away because they had no healthcare coverage…

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This ad, called “Nurses,” premieres on Sunday.  “Patients aren’t the only ones crying out for health care reform,” it says.
The initial buy for the “Nurses” ad begins Sunday, July 26 and will continue on networks and cable through July 29th.
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What kind of a nation turns away sick children in order to protect profits?

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Written by Monte

July 24, 2009 at 4:44 pm

5 Responses

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    • Derin: I don’t know where to begin. This story is so profoundly distorted in every detail that debunking it would take days. But every detail is a fraudulent representation of what the strategy document contains, written with cynical speculation designed to play on fears of government control. It is utterly groundless.

      As to the opening question: What should the motivating factor be? We have 50 million un-insured Americans in the USA. 18,000 of them – mothers, dads, grandmas, grandpas, children, friends – die prematurely every single year from lack of care. 18,000 Americans die! I’d call that rationing!

      The reason is that the motivating factor is profit. Since the days of Harry Truman, the insurance industry has succeeded in stopping reform in its tracks – now, at the cost of 18,000 lives a year.

      The industry is among the most astonishingly inefficient ever created. 1 dollar in 3 that it gets – actually 37% – is spent on overhead, including private jets, CEOs with salaries of up to $30M, and gold plated flatware. Read the story of the former CIGNA exec who left the industry in dismay at what people’s premiums were buying at Someone’s premiums paid for my dinner on gold-rimmed china. $800 billion, some estimate, is squandered by this industry.

      Medicare, by contrast, has an overhead that is merely a fraction of that. And Medicare users rate their experience much higher than do those who are privately insured. And Medicare, unlike private insurers, don’t have departments charged with finding ways to deny care to their insureds, nor do they keep their stockholders happy by dumping people who are really sick.

      Further, 94% of the health insurance markets in the USA are virtual monopolies, dominated by one or two larges companies that give no competitive options, and charge whatever they wish.

      Right now, these companies are spending $1.5 million of excess premium profits every day disseminating information like the article you quote. I wonder how many patients’ $2M lifetime limits have been exhausted during this campaign. The industry employs 350 former congressmen and former congress staffers to lobby Congress every day. Many of the leaders in Congress – including our Senator Grassley – have the healthcare industry as the largest single funders of their election campaigns. Chairman Baucus receives more re-election money from the industry than he receives from his home state! The industry is spending tens of millions of our premiums on making sure that Congress allows them to keep on overcharging us.

      The insurance companies profits have risen 450% since 2001. During the same period, our premiums have increased 85%. Why have our premiums gone up at all when their profits have risen so dramatically?

      This is a scam that gets people killed by the thousands for one reason alone: excessive profit.

      And the tool they use to mask this demonic scheme is fear of government – yet government’s track record is a world better than theirs.

      Study those articles, Derin – demand substantiation, not opinion. Disregard language that implies evil motives without clear facts. These are the same tools that have kept America sick and insurance companies fat since Harry Truman was president, and bucking them off is far harder than resisting anything government does. Follow the money.


      July 28, 2009 at 10:18 pm

  1. 1. What should the motivating factor be? 2. Is the government the best entity to act upon that motivation? 3. Let’s be careful what health care plan is passed:

    Written by Dr. Dave Janda
    Thursday, 23 July 2009

    As a physician who has authored books on preventative health care, I was given the opportunity to be the keynote speaker at a Congressional Dinner at The Capitol Building in Washington last Friday (7/17).

    The presentation was entitled Health Care Reform, The Power & Profit of Prevention, and I was gratified that it was well received.

    In preparation for the presentation, I read the latest version of “reform” as authored by The Obama Administration and supported by Speaker Pelosi and Senator Reid. Here is the link to the 1,018 page document:

    Click to access AAHCA-BillText-071409.pdf

    Let me summarize just a few salient points of the above plan. First, however, it should be clear that the same warning notice must be placed on The ObamaCare Plan as on a pack of cigarettes: Consuming this product will be hazardous to your health.

    The underlying method of cutting costs throughout the plan is based on rationing and denying care. There is no focus on preventing health care need whatever. The plan’s method is the most inhumane and unethical approach to cutting costs I can imagine as a physician.

    The rationing of care is implemented through The National Health Care Board, according to the plan. This illustrious Board “will approve or reject treatment for patients based on the cost per treatment divided by the number of years the patient will benefit from the treatment.”

    Translation…..if you are over 65 or have been recently diagnosed as having an advanced form of cardiac disease or aggressive cancer…..dream on if you think you will get treated…..pick out your coffin.

    Oh, you say this could never happen? Sorry…. this is the same model they use in Britain.

    The plan mandates that there will be little or no advanced treatments to be available in the future. It creates The Federal Coordinating Council For Comparative Effectiveness Research, the purpose of which is “to slow the development of new medications and technologies in order to reduce costs.” Yes, this is to be the law.

    The plan also outlines that doctors and hospitals will be overseen and reviewed by The National Coordinator For Health Information and Technology.

    This ” coordinator” will “monitor treatments being delivered to make sure doctors and hospitals are strictly following government guidelines that are deemed appropriate.” It goes on to say…..”Doctors and hospitals not adhering to guidelines will face penalties.”

    According to those in Congress, penalties could include large six figure financial fines and possible imprisonment.

    So according to The ObamaCare Plan….if your doctor saves your life you might have to go to the prison to see your doctor for follow -up appointments. I believe this is the same model Stalin used in the former Soviet Union.

    Section 102 has the Orwellian title, “Protecting the Choice to Keep Current Coverage.” What this section really mandates is that it is illegal to keep your private insurance if your status changes – e.g., if you lose or change your job, retire from your job and become a senior, graduate from college and get your first job. Yes, illegal.

    When Mr. Obama hosted a conference call with bloggers urging them to pressure Congress to pass his health plan as soon as possible, a blogger from Maine referenced an Investors Business Daily article that claimed Section 102 of the House health legislation would outlaw private insurance.

    He asked: “Is this true? Will people be able to keep their insurance and will insurers be able to write new policies even though H.R. 3200 is passed?” Mr. Obama replied: “You know, I have to say that I am not familiar with the provision you are talking about.”

    Then there is Section 1233 of The ObamaCare Plan, devoted to “Advanced Care Planning.” After each American turns 65 years of age they have to go to a mandated counseling program that is designed to end life sooner.

    This session is to occur every 5 years unless the person has developed a chronic illness then it must be done every year. The topics in this session will include, “how to decline hydration, nutrition and how to initiate hospice care.” It is no wonder The Obama Administration does not like my emphasis on Prevention. For Mr. Obama, prevention is the “enemy” as people would live longer.

    I rest my case. The ObamaCare Plan is hazardous to the health of every American.

    After I finished my Capitol Hill presentation, I was asked by a Congressman in the question-answer session: “I’ll be doing a number of network interviews on the Obama Health Care Plan. If I am asked what is the one word to describe the plan what should I answer.”

    The answer is simple, honest, direct, analytical, sad but truthful. I told him that one word is FASCIST.

    Then I added, “I hope you’ll have the courage to use that word, Congressman. No other word is more appropriate.”

    Dr. Dave Janda, MD, is an orthopedic surgeon, and a world-recognized expert on the prevention of sports injuries, particularly in children. His website is

    Derin Beechner

    July 28, 2009 at 4:17 pm

    • The primary motivating factor of any health care deliver system should be caring for the health of the people who entrust their lives to it. Period. (BTW, I’m married to a medical doctor myself, and he’s more than willing to take a pay cut to see that become a reality.)


      July 29, 2009 at 4:42 pm

  2. Good question. I’d say the answer is one suffering severe cognitive dissonance. Do you ever watch Star Trek, The Next Generation? I love what they do with the Ferengue (sp?), a hostile misogynistic species whose primary focus is profit. I’m all for responsible capitalism, but there are some industries (education, health care, perhaps energy) that simply should not have profit as their primary motivating factor.


    July 28, 2009 at 8:02 am

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