It was March 2010 and I had just come home to have lunch. I flipped on the TV and there was Sander Levin, acting Chair of the US Ways and Means Committee after Charles Rangel had stepped aside during his entanglement with the House Ethics Committee. President Obama was in the process of signing the Affordable Health Care. Obama had asked the Ways and Means Committee to once again to review the economics of the bill. A reporter stuck his microphone into the face of Levin, “Have you considered universal healthcare?” Without pause, Levin responded, “I don’t think that the US Economy could handle the loss of five million jobs.” He snapped around, in military fashion, and marched away.
The loss of jobs comment startled me. What jobs was he referring to? That is when I started to research how health payments were made in the US. Most Americans don’t have a clue about the economics of healthcare and I certainly didn’t. It turns out that he was referring to health insurance jobs. Here is Trump’s dilemma in trying to appeal Obamacare. The loss of jobs versus providing a health plan for Americans that they can afford and that will not crash the economy. Consider that healthcare accounts for almost twenty percent of the US economy.
Nancy Pelosi’s comment about eighty-five percent of insurance payments going toward health treatment is just a big fat lie. No insurance company or any other business for that matter could stay afloat if it had to pay out eighty-five percent of its income for external cost. The real number for the percentage of payment for treatment and pharmaceutical cost is close to fifty-five according to a Yale social economist. In other words, for every dollar that you give to an insurance company, only fifty-five cents is paid to providers and pharmaceuticals.
The health insurance business then falls into the category of a protection racket. The mob comes into your place of business and asks for twenty percent of your sales so that you will not have any break-ins. Compare: Give me twenty percent of your GDP and I’ll assure that you get health treatment. All of this with the protection of the US Congress. How many of you would like to have Congress tell your clients that they must buy your product? How many of you would like to have a monopoly in a state for your product? Only health insurance and Major League Baseball have monopolies.
Health insurance allows you to be “ill at ease.”
How did we get into this mess? It is a long and boring story of government treating its citizens like cows to be harvested for income. Consider that a cow has its greatest value when it reaches its maximum weight. Just like cows, we have our largest value to insurance companies when we reach end-of-life health cost at our maturity. Most people think that health cost is bad for insurance companies. It is just the opposite. The larger cost of healthcare means a larger amount of sales for insurance companies. I had the opportunity to play golf with a CEO of a large health insurance company. I said to him, “I had about eighty thousand dollars in health insurance payments for treatment of my back pain over the last decade. Does that mean you had about one hundred sixty thousand in sales to cover that cost?” He replied in the affirmative. My research numbers were confirmed.
Manufacturing jobs build wealth. Insurance jobs are not service jobs and do not build wealth. It only takes away from the wellbeing of the population long term, just like other protection rackets. Government has sent our manufacturing jobs elsewhere while replacing them with insurance jobs. If we do go to universal healthcare quickly, we would plunge the economy into recession, if not economic depression. This is the present dilemma for Congress as they try to determine what to do with the failed Obamacare. How would you replace five to eight million health insurance jobs (The number of health insurance jobs have grown under Obamacare which was the intention of the bill)? Other economically similar countries all have universal healthcare that was started in the 1960s when Lyndon Johnson threw us into an economic storm with his “Great Society.” Universal healthcare is why countries like Canada have healthcare cost that are almost half of what it is in the US—no health insurance jobs.
“Bernie Sanders, firmly for universal health coverage, goes into a bar at a large hotel that is filled with insurance agents there for a convention. Hoping to create as many problems as possible he yells; insurance agents are all crooks. If you have a problem, just come up here right now. A man came up and stuck a finger in Sanders’ face and told him to take it back. Sanders asked him if he was an insurance agent. The man replied, no I’m a crook.”
I am firmly a capitalist, but there are some things that I don’t think the large invisible hand of Adam Smith should be allowed to control. That is anything that does not build wealth or health. Health insurance and other protection rackets fall into this category. We have had our freedom of life and pursuit of happiness taken away from us for our Government’s version of security. We have neither. Sustaining institutions at the cost of the individuals they serve is evil (M. Scott Peck, “People of the Lie”). Maintenance and growth of a large market is necessary for continued business growth. With health insurance, the sicker the population, the better for business. Government has colluded with health insurance companies through campaign contributions to pass laws and manipulate agencies under HHS to assure this happens. HHS’s moto is “Markets before Mandates.” Just consider now that we know through science that there would be one thousand less deaths a day the US through the elimination of vitamin D deficiency. This is to say nothing about the significant reduction in chronic disease. Government has not acted because a reduction in this significant portion of GDP would send us into recession.
There is a way out, but media outlets must start telling the truth. The reason that they do not is because advertising is how they maintain income. If they embarrass their health sector advertisers, business would be bad. Our free press is necessary for our version of government to work. The first thing that should happen is to set term limits for congressmen. If congressman acted for the people they represent instead of maintaining institutions, a lot of the ethics and moral issues would be resolved. As congressmen vote for the people, then news stories would have to explain why, regardless of what their advertisers thought.
A survey was just recently published that put US life expectancy (an indicator of health) at 34th. This is a result of manipulating science and economic forces to sustain the US economy at the cost of the health of its citizens. In addition, there is moral decay because of all the pain citizens are suffering. If we pay twice as much for health as any other country, why do we not have the best health in the world? Evil . . . —Pandemic Survivor