Note: Today I welcome Dr. Robert Johns as a guest blogger. A longtime friend and chiropractor extraordinaire, Robert is a doctor at Johns Family Chiropractic in Birmingham, Alabama.
In yesterday’s post, Stupidity Abounds, Ron talked about the absurd idea that government is charged with protecting people, en masse, from themselves. It’s the kind of thinking that, by itself, seems wholly preposterous to even consider. Until…
Obamacare, universal healthcare – whatever you want to call it – is the other end of this nanny state. Let me explain why.
If you’ve been alive for the last thirty years, one of the topics that was a big component in every national election was Medicare. Everyone recognized the situation. Medicare is going bankrupt. Those who were brave enough to want to make changes decades ago were labelled “mean-spirited” and put the voting elderly in a terrible spot. Those who were politically successful, were able to put off making hard decisions a little while longer.
Let’s fast forward to 2001. The same year that is marked forever by the stink of terrorism, is the same year that healthcare spending in the US reached $1 trillion for the first time. The GDP in 2001 was $10 trillion. For those of you keeping score, we spent 10% of our nation’s productivity on healthcare.
Fast forward 10 years to 2011. The GDP has increased to $15 trillion. Healthcare spending has increased to $2.6 trillion. That’s 17%. The percentage of GDP spent on healthcare in the US has almost doubled in ten years.
As the economy continues to stall, you may expect that trend to accelerate. The baby boomers are getting older and as a result are putting more strain on the system that they were promised and have made themselves dependent on. When 2014 arrives, the requirements for Medicare eligibility will be expanded, further adding to the financial gravity.
All along, medicare payments are being reduced to providers. As a provider, I can tell you that Medicare reimbursements have been declining to the point that after you factor in collection and delivery costs, there is almost nothing left to pay the provider. Those hardest hit are the general practitioners, who have been fleeing into better paying specialties, retirement or cash practice.
If you think that banning the size of soft drinks is an assault on your personal liberties, can you imagine the leverage that will be wielded by a single-party payer system that must get care costs under control and who will have the means to control the distribution, quantity, quality, and type of care you qualify for? Oh, and it’s enforced via the tax code, so any due process is already questionable, at best.