Central planing has worked out so well, therefore we just need better planning! And more centralization.
We are two-thirds of the way into the most incompetent presidency in our history. People everywhere are fed up. Even many of the so-called liberals who propelled Barack Obama into office have stopped defending him in the face of an unprecedented number of scandals coming at us one after the other like hideous monsters in some non-stop computer game.
And now looming is the monster of monsters, ObamaCare, the healthcare reform almost no one wanted and fewer understood.
It will be administered by the Internal Revenue Service, an organization that has been revealed to be a kind of post-modern American Gestapo, asking not just to examine our accounting books but the books we read. What could be more totalitarian than that?
Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal warns the costs of ObamaCare are close to tripling what were promised, and the number of doctors in our country is rapidly diminishing. No more “My son, the doctor!” It doesn’t pay.
And young people most of all will not be able to afford escalating health insurance costs and will end up paying the fine to the IRS, simultaneously bankrupting the health system and enhancing the brutal power of the IRS — all this while unemployment numbers remain near historical highs.
No one knows how many have given up looking for work while crony capitalist friends of the administration enrich themselves on mythological clean-energy projects.
Doctors are government employees.
I’m not talking about only the doctors that work in the Department of Veterans Affairs or the hospitals run by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. I’m not talking about the training centers known as county hospitals, where students learning the practice get to make mistakes on poor people prior to actually going out in the real world.
I’m talking about all doctors—because the government contributes about 50 percent of all health care dollars to physician pay. And 40 percent more is contributed by third-party payers that are themselves highly regulated by government and routinely follow the government’s lead in pricing.
People in the United States don’t need to have it explained to them why FedEx and UPS do a better job than the U.S. Postal Service (USPS). They know why they stand in long lines when they use the USPS and face surly unpleasant employees behind the counter. It’s a government monopoly. For years, the post office I frequent had a number dispenser, like at a deli. You’d wait for your number to be called. I would typically walk in, pull the number—say, for example, 57—and find they were currently calling 13. Recently, this technique was discontinued. I asked the postal employee why, and he explained studies showed the system made people feel they were waiting too long, so the Postal Service got rid of the number dispensers—not to speed things up . . . just to make it harder to know how long you had to wait.
Big government likes big providers. That’s why ObamaCare is gradually making the local doctor-owned medical practice a relic. In the not too distant future, most physicians will be hourly wage earners, likely employed by a hospital chain.
Why? Because when doctors practice in small offices, it is hard for Washington to regulate what they do. There are too many of them, and the government is too remote. It is far easier for federal agencies to regulate physicians if they work for big hospitals. So ObamaCare shifts money to favor the delivery of outpatient care through hospital-owned networks.
The irony is that in the name of lowering costs, ObamaCare will almost certainly make the practice of medicine more expensive. It turns out that when doctors become salaried hospital employees, their overall productivity falls.
It is estimated that by next year, about 50% of U.S. doctors will be working for a hospital or hospital-owned health system. A recent survey by the Medical Group Management Association shows a nearly 75% increase in the number of active doctors employed by hospitals or hospital systems since 2000, reflecting a trend that sharply accelerated around the time that ObamaCare was enacted. The biggest shifts are in specialties such as cardiology and oncology.
Unfortunately, it seems that the future Aldous Huxley predicted in 1932, in Brave New World, is arriving early. Mockery, truculence, and minimalist living are best, then enjoy the decline. However, we do need a Revolving Door Tax (RDT), learn what Members of Congress pay in taxes, and prosecute politicians and staff and their “family and friends” who profit from insider trading.