July 22, 2009

The Health Care Conflict of Interest

Over time I will have a lot more to say on Health Care and Health Care reform. Right now I want to focus on the conflict of interest that exists in the current system. The very nature of the For Profit industry conflicts with the needs of the insured. A For Profit organization has the inherent goal of bringing in money and spending as little of it as possible. In this case, the Insurers sell policies to pay for medical costs. When the customer uses the policy, the Insurer pays out, lowering the profitability of that policy. The conflict of interest has been set in motion.

In order to maximize profits, the Insurer will resist paying out benefits and leaving the customer with expenses that they expected their policy insurer to pay. We have seen more and more Insurers decrease coverage while raising rates. They then deny coverage to those most in need of medical care because it hurts their profits.

The primary way in which Americans receive health care insurance is through their employer. When people change jobs, there is often a delay in receipt of new coverage from the new employer. Many times there is no coverage for "pre-existing conditions" that were treated under the old policy but not covered by the new insurer. Many employers don't offer health care to their Part-Time employees at all. There is also a dearth of privately available policies, and these come with higher rates and are harder to get if you have any health issues.

This formula has lead us right into the current health care crisis. We have millions of Americans who can not afford health care or are not offered it through their employer. It is not in the interest of the Insurer to cover those most in need. This conflict of interest can only be stopped when primary health care is no longer under the control of a For Profit provider. These providers are not interested in what benefits the customer, but only in what benefits the company.

This is why a public option is the only real option for serious care. When medical decisions are made solely between the patient and the doctor, with no interference from a third party company who stands to lose money, then care is genuine and beneficial. When all Americans can receive care, we will have a healthier nation more able to function and increase performance in the work place. When we reduce the cost of medical care to the people there is more money for savings and, ultimately, to spend. It also allows people to have greater freedom in pursuing better employment because health care is no longer a consideration.

Whenever a company has a conflict of interest with its customers, the company benefits and the customer loses. Health care is not just a service, but a vital part of our national welfare. We can not afford any conflict of interest in keeping our people healthy and well.

Obama isn't a citizen?

I am incredulous that this belief is actually growing. What is more shocking to me is that the scope of the conspiracy believers is growing. At this point they have to actively believe that the Great State of Hawaii is in on it and that a local news paper that announced the birth of the eventual President was in on it, 50 years ago. Never let the facts get in the way of a delusion.

With Lou Dobbs of CNN giving these "Birthers" credibility by joining them, we are only going to see a rise in the number of people who have been tricked into believing this. I don't want to say that it's racial bigotry that is the source of the belief, but given that this is an extension of the non-sense we saw during the campaign about the President being "a Muslim" it is clear that it is.

While I doubt it is likely that any Birther can have this non-sense cleaned out of their heads, I think it's worth giving it a try when you find one who isn't utterly hysterical. After all, there is a bill in the House to require all future Presidential candidates to publish their birth certificates. A few tools to fight this idiocy would be very helpful.

There are two principles that are used to decide citizenship. Some nations use one, others use both. We are a nation that uses both. These are the "Rule of Soil" and the "Rule of Blood." The Rule of Soil says that anyone born on a nation's land is a citizen of that nation. The rule of blood says that the child of a citizen is a citizen, regardless of where in the world they were born.

Most of these Birthers are fixated on the Rule of Soil. They consistently tout that the President wasn't born in America and therefore can't be an American. This is utter non-sense but you can't argue with them because they believe there is a conspiracy to make it look like he was born in Hawaii. Using the Rule of Soil as the basis of an argument will never work. They willingly disbelieve the facts. So we need to move on to the second rule.

Much has been made of the President's paternal heritage, especially the fact that he wasn't an American. After all, if his daddy wasn't red, white, and blue then he must not be. Foreign imposter, they proclaim. But what about his mother? There can be no argument that she was an American woman. This is a detail that got some discussion when talking about how the President was a bridge between worlds. The Rule of Blood states that the child of an American citizen is automatically an American citizen himself. Where in the world the child was born is not a factor. It's that simple. His mother was an American, so he is an American. It's automatic.

Now, I'm a bit ashamed to have to even write about this, because it's nothing more than distraction. This is another method of turning the American People against themselves and directing their attention away in a sleight of hand effort that can only be used against us. It serves to enhance the polarization in this country that undermines the welfare and value of the People. I hope that by being able to articulate a solid argument that destroys this Birther Conspiracy non-sense that we can take a step towards turning the People away from this self-destructive behavior. We can not allow ourselves to be turned against each other by a controlling elite. To do so would mean our enslavement.