MHA member hospitals are sending out newsletters and letters from hospital Presidents encouraging a “NO” vote on Prop C. Why? Because they contend you and I and other supporters of Prop C will drop our insurance so we can be covered by “others”. That is we will become “freeloaders”! The laughable thing is that all of us could do that before Obamacare.
The MHA hospital positions indicate that our freedoms depend on saving money. Again, I would admit that the more government and their allies like MHA take from our pockets, the less freedom we have. However, mandating I buy a policy that may not fit my needs or pay a tax penalty is not freedom. MHA hospitals have lived so long under a government handout system that they have lost any real world connection with what freedom really is.
But really, why would you spend a reported one-quarter of a million dollars to try to defeat a freedom protecting proposition like Prop C? Dues paying associations like MHA don’t spend that kind of money unless they believe there is something to be gained. In this case, it’s more money!
As you probably know, the deceptively named “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act”, it’s neither patient protection nor is it affordable, is allegedly the answer to covering the uninsured in America. Randy Tobler, MD, practicing doctor, radio show host and all-round good guy aptly points out “…doctors are solidly against Obamacare. It’s (an) assault on patient-doctor autonomy, doctors’ bottom lines (just being brutally honest here)…Worse, they are already retiring early, the best and brightest are not entering medicine. Hospitals will succumb to an underwhelming quality and quantity of skilled professionals. Do they really want that?”
But you say, what about the uninsured? It’s been well established that the majority of uninsured are uninsured by choice not by lack of opportunity. The largest portion of the uninsured are the invincible, the 20 somethings that don’t need insurance, according to their thinking. Under Obamacare, most of them will either wait until they need it to buy insurance or they will pay the penalty as it is cheaper than buying the insurance.
When all is said and done, only about 14-15 million people are really uninsured not by choice. So for about 5-8% of the population, the federal government is attempting to force 100% of us to buy something they have no authority to mandate. It will cost far more money than the current system and will not make sure everyone has insurance!
MHA hospitals provide a substantial amount of what is know as “uncompensated care”. Now before you feel too sorry for them, keep in mind that most of these hospitals are supposed to be tax deductible, charitable organizations who are supposed to be providing “charity” to their communities.
Hospitals would contend that they agree with that but the level of “uncompensated care” exceeds the legitimate level of charitable care they should be expected to deliver. I think that is an arguable point but let’s say they have some basis for it.
Hospitals get what are known as Disproportionate Share Hospital (DSH) payments. DSH adjustment payments provide additional help to those hospitals that serve a significantly disproportionate number of low-income patients. These are big dollars to hospitals. They also get various other benefits, not the least of which is the 501(c)3 protections for their “uncompensated care”. All in all, they don’t do too badly for a charitable operation.
So, along comes MHA trying to make the argument that by passing Prop C, we will be increasing our insurance costs to cover those who choose not to buy the mandatory insurance program. The reality is, nothing will change from what happens today!
The other reality is that you do not hear MHA or the hospitals say how much they will be lowering their costs if Prop C fails. It only stands to reason that if everyone is forced to have insurance, the hospitals don’t need to spend a lot of their time trying to collect from individuals and therefore don’t have to raise their prices to cover them and our insurance premiums should remain steady or even go down! YEAH RIGHT, like that’s gonna happen!
IF you think of it, hospitals are really arguing at cross purposes. On one-hand they argue they have to raise their prices to insured people because they provide so much “uncompensated care” yet on the other hand, if they receive more from insurance because of the uninsured then why do they claim it’s “uncompensated”? I think if we removed the veil of 501(c)3 from most hospitals we would be very surprised at what we would find.
Bottom line is this. Freedom is not purchased, kept or otherwise obtained through government mandates. Mandates sound good but everyone of them takes away a bit of our freedom and for what? All so that we can say “we care”.
The continued loss of freedom will result in nobody caring who cares because there will be nothing we recognize to care about. We will be just another nation in the world. Thank goodness Great Britain is beginning to wake up!