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Hypocrisy And Health Care PDF Print E-mail
Written by Allan Besselink, PT, Dip.MDT   
Sunday, 16 August 2009

Before we even get into this discussion, a quick definition is in order:


“Hypocrisy is the act of pretending to have beliefs, opinions, virtues, feelings, qualities, or that one does not actually have. Hypocrisy is thus a kind of lie. Hypocrisy may come from a desire to hide from others actual motives or feelings.”


We’ve come a long way since March 5, 2009. That was the day of the first “summit” on health care reform. Oh, I remember it well. All the stakeholders, all the players, were so excited to be a part of the summit, a part of the process.


It was an exciting time. Until the stakeholders realized that the promise of reform was for real.


The stakeholders that have the most to lose are now spending millions of dollars to cover their reform-exposed asses. I think the last number I read was $1.4 million per DAY from the big money stakeholders. It’s Big Pharma … Big Insurance … Big Hospitals … Big Medicine …


…regardless of who owns the Big, they are all out in full force to get the public to believe that health care reform is the next closest thing to communism, that health care reform is going to prevent grandma from getting the care she needs, that health care reform is leading to “death panels” and other ridiculous diatribes … yes, it gets more and more ludicrous day by day. Fear is the word of the day when it comes to the high stakes lobbying going on. Unfortunately, that same lobbying has nothing to do with your care, and lots to do with comfort zones and profit margins. Please, please stop telling me otherwise.


For anyone who will listen … we ALREADY HAVE “socialized medicine”. Your insurance company limits your care right now by limiting your choice of physician or other provider and then limiting the provider’s options for care. It exists RIGHT NOW. In other countries that have universal health care, they actually have the right to choose any provider they want – without having to jump any insurance hoops. Your premiums are rising to pay for all of the emergent care of those that don’t have any care at all. Funny thing is that emergent care is about three times more costly than simply giving all of these people health care in the first place. So if you think you’re afraid of “socialized medicine”, then you should be afraid NOW. You’re already there. Oh, and by the way, you’ve been there for a few decades now.


The hypocrisy in this issue is like peeling away the layers of an onion. Once you remove one layer, you see the next ugly layer. It runs rampant. The populace can talk about the “best health care system in the world”, yet the DATA would refute this. The providers tell us that reform will prevent you from getting the care you need – but of course they tell us this, because providers are currently paid by procedure and not outcome. Outcome-based medicine forces providers to be competitive – by getting paid for their outcome, not just the fact that they have done more tests. The insurance companies tell us that a public option isn’t fair – but of course that’s their story, because it would only force them to create a competitive product (something that they’ve not had to do over the years). Did UPS and FedEx have a problem competing with government-run USPS? Nobody seems to be concerned about THAT competition! And for crying out loud, aren’t we in a country in which we WANT competition?


And the hypocrisy extends to the people – regardless of party affiliation. This is not a party issue – this is a people issue. The same people that are out there denouncing the cost of health care reform are also the same people that gladly put a trillion dollars (and growing) into the war in Iraq – which was built on premises that we now know were blatant lies to the US public. Somehow, people are ok with spending billions and trillions of dollars on this, but not on something that might actually help the overall well-being of the US populace within our own boundaries.


Now we’re seeing the ugly underbelly of all of the health care reform discussion. Discussion and debate is great. It’s a necessity. But going to a town hall meeting to simply cuss out the President? Using symbolism of hammers and sickles and swastikas? That is downright ignorant. According to widely published reports, when the President spoke at the American Medical Association’s annual meeting, many of the attending booed. Yes, they booed the President. Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.


Perhaps we could actually get some valuable discourse on the issue – if people would sit down and discuss the issues rationally. Better yet, if they would make their legislators accountable for representing their constituents. Even better yet, if we had lobbyist reform so that this issue can’t be bought by the “powers-that-be” with their hands in the pockets of legislators and the budget to instill fear in the heart of all Americans.


For all of those that are afraid of spending the dollars now, guess what? Have you seen the graphs on the rising cost of health care over the next decade? “We can’t spend the money” meets “By the way, if you don’t do anything, the current system WILL bankrupt us”. No ifs, ands, or buts. We know it now. But good golly, we can’t spend the money and leave the debt to later generations – no worries, they will be spending what is expected to be 50% of the GDP by 2020. I am sure they will prefer that option [please insert sarcasm here].


So the next time you ponder the health care reform debate, consider one thing: we have the minds in this country to put a man on the moon in less than a decade. Surely we can sort out a better solution, a solution driven by great US minds, with health care as well. We can use what works elsewhere, learn from it, build a better product on a foundation of knowledge that we already have, and make life better for everyone and save money in the meantime. But to do so, we have to get past the hypocrisy … and get down to business.

Last Updated ( Sunday, 16 August 2009 )
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