Obamacare Is Dying? It Never Lived

Obamacare Dead

Fox is trying to bang the drum again, but once again the media ignores the real reason that Obamacare isn’t succeding and never could:

Some people insist ObamaCare is here to stay.


President Obama is dismantling it himself, lawlessly hacking off provisions as they become unpopular in order to minimize Democratic losses in the fall election.

Health reform be damned.

There was no “health reform.”

Health reform would have been taking out the monopolies throughout the medical system, from the pharmaceutical companies to hospitals to insurance concerns to various physician practices such as MRI centers and similar.

It would have been repealing the exemptions from the Sherman and Clayton acts that all of these firms use and exploit, making clear that every one of the violations of those statutes from that day forward was going to be vigorously prosecuted and violators would be asset-stripped to their underwear and then imprisoned.

It would have been applying standard consumer protection laws in the States to the practice of medicine from top to bottom, including demanding that non-discriminatory pricing occur irrespective of how you pay, that prices be given before procedures are performed whenever possible and that when not possible due to exigent circumstance that you got the same price as someone who came in for the same procedure under non-exigent circumstances.  Such enforcement of the consumer protection laws would be complete with what is, in most states, treble damages for violations, making it ruinously expensive for a medical provider to try to screw the consumer.

It would have meant applying the “first sale doctrine” to every sort of medical commodity, no matter where purchased, so that if some hospital thinks they can sell scorpion anti-venom for $30,000 a dose while the manufacturer sells it for $100 a couple hundred miles south of thereanyone can go get in their car, buy a trunk-load of the stuff and undercut their pricing, putting them out of the scorpion antivenom business.  If they tried to conceal such a mark-up see the previous paragraph for what happens to them.

It would have meant applying the principle that one is free to buy insurance but if you do so you must be buying actual insurance and someone selling anything that isn’t, but claims to be, goes to prison as well.  Actual insurance doesn’t have to be paid for any more once the adverse event happens.  That is, you buy homeowners insurance because you can’t cover the cost of a fire, tornado or other similar calamity at your home.  If there is a tornado, however, you no longer have to pay premiums; the company is now obligated to pay you without any further obligation from you to pay them.  “Health insurance” today is not insurance because not only are you obligated to pay once the calamity occurs on a continuing basis there is nothing preventing the company from increasing the cost of your coverage after the calamity occurs if you require continuing treatment!

The practice today of collecting a “co-pay” for a prescription that often exceeds the cash price of the same or similar medicine would end.  Today,having insurance can actually cost you more as a consumer when you get prescribed a medication than not.  Antibiotics are just one example of this, but hardly the only example.

Such actual reform would have dropped the cost of medical care to a fraction of what is now paid for virtually every procedure, drug and device.  There would be exceptions — but those exceptions would be both rare and exposed to market forces.

And by the way, let’s put a number on “a fraction” — costs would drop to in the neighborhood of 20% of what it costs now for virtually everything medically-related, making it entirely reasonable for most people to choose to simply pay cash except for true catastrophic events — and insurance against those events would be cheaper to buy than your car insurance is today.

That might mean that some drugs, devices and procedures would cease to exist, as they would be uneconomic to supply and nobody would demand them at the offered price.  Either the drug, device or procedure would have to adapt to the reality of what the market would bear or it would cease to exist.  Those who claim that medical care generally would disappear are dead wrong.  Proof of this exists all over the world; you can literally buy virtually any medication you want over the counter in Mexico, for example, for a fraction of what it costs here in the US, even though the drugs are made in the same facilities by the same companies.  You can buy a procedure at The Surgery Center of Oklahoma for cash at a price that is often one fifth (yes, that’s 80% less!) than the same procedure in a hospital and you know exactly what it will cost up front because their pricing is posted — online.

None of this was done in 2009 and has not been proposed since by either Democrats or Republicans. It was proposed at the time by myself and a few others, although I’m one of the few who has consistently banged that drum, complete with dozens of examples, for the entirety of the five years since.

The reason none of the Democrat, Republican or even Libertarian parties have not grabbed onto this agenda is because none of them have any interest whatsoever in Health Reform.

What they all are interested in is maintaining a legal framework that allows the entire medical industry to rob you by threatening you with bankruptcy, death or both if you do not buy into their model.  Your only defense up until Obamacare was to tell them to stick it and accept the risk of getting sick and being bankrupted, along with (if you so decided) choosing to live your life in a form and fashion that would minimize the need for medical services of any sort.

When the medical industry ran out of people they could talk into accepting their scheme they then got both political parties to ensconce into law a “mandate” that you consent to this act of financial rape.

That is what we have in America today when it comes to “Health Care”, and it is why Obamacare cannot die — because it was never alive.

The Market Ticker

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