THE INEQUALITY OF EQUALS: Everyone will be equal, but some will be more equal th

The residents of the White House and members of Congress
will continue to enjoy health coverage (and pension coverage), not available to
the teeming masses of taxpayers. Elected officials would also continue to
enjoy taxpayer support of their expensive parks.

An enlightening example of how Congress provides for its
taxpayers can be seen in the current Medicare program. Social Security
benefits are reduced by deducting payment for basic health coverage. With the
remaining Social Security stipend, more funds are required to purchase
co-insurance and medication coverage. Yet more funds are used for monthly
assessments and co-payments. If no generic form of a medicine is available,
much higher charges are allowed. And if Medicare-approved pharmacy benefit
managers decide not to cover a medication, the taxpayer can pay the entire
purchase cost with still more personal funds. A striking example of this is
the 2007 decision by SilverScript (a Medicare prescription drug plan) not to
pay for a long-established heart-blood pressure medication. Since there was no
generic equivalent replacement to reduce the cost, SilverScript decided to
cancel its previous authorization for the medication, and let the entire cost
be the additional responsibility of their insured. After a delay, a letter was
sent to the insured with notification of the opportunity to let a personal
physician submit a written appeal of medical necessity.

Another example of how the federal government will affect
the quality of health care is the current instruction to reduce Medicare
compensation to physicians by a minimum of 10% in 2008. How would your repair
service be affected if the service provider were paid 10% less next year, even
though the costs for him to provide such services rose by 10%? Would you
expect the quality to be improved?

When I was a full-time department chairman practicing
medicine in a Veterans Hospital, we attempted to construct an addition to our
facility. For several years, we had a number of allocated appropriations for
construction. The bureaucracy in Washington never approved the construction
bids in a timely fashion. After missing a number of successive deadlines, it
became apparent that it would never be possible to accomplish the project. The
addition was never built, and a fine hospital facility eventually became
obsolete. However, hospital department chiefs were offered large sums for
expenditures, if purchases were made in a very short period, before the fiscal
year ended.

As the commercialization of medical care services has grown,
enormous numbers of dollars have been taken away from doctors and patients, to
provide outrageous salaries for administrators of enterprises who take control
of deciding on expenditures. Many patients have dealt with the problem of
medical decisions being made by inexperienced and untrained third parties. An
example of an untrained third party is an insurance company employee whose job
gives them authority to approve or deny medical benefits. In many situations,
a reviewer without medical training decides the service was medically unnecessary,
even though the physician had documented its medical necessity. The patient
must pay personally, or not receive the service at all.

Another very instructive study in contrasts, relevant to
those who stand to benefit from the concept of government managed health care,
is that of a presidential candidate and of a practicing physician. Former
Senator John Edwards is a presidential candidate advocating the enactment of
nationalized health insurance. Before entering politics, Senator Edwards
amassed great wealth as a private practice attorney, specializing in negligence
cases. He won some large medical malpractice awards, with cases that relied on
his significant verbal skills as a trial lawyer, but were also noted for the
absence of actual scientific evidence. His most lucrative award was an
extremely dubious corporate liability claim, helping his move to a 10,778
square foot main home. The main home is connected to a l5, 600 square foot
complex of outbuildings housing a gym, a pool, two stages, a racquetball court,
a private lounge room and a four-story tower on a secluded 102 acre estate. In
a 2003 financial disclosure, Senator Edwards revealed that he paid himself
largely through subchapter S corporate dividends, rather than salary, thereby
utilizing a tax-law loophole that avoided the payment of $591,000 in Medicare

In striking contrast is a physician practicing in Rochester,
NY, Dr. Gordon Moore. After 8 years of employment by a hospital-owned medical
practice, he could no longer tolerate the concept of seeing more than 30
patients per day, with 15-minute appointment times. He recently quit his job,
and took out a bank loan to finance a bare-bones office setting, without the
benefit of a secretary to manage his telephone calls. However, this new
setting allowed Dr. Moore to schedule longer appointment times, be more
thorough and to get better acquainted with his patients and their medical
issues. Dr. Gordon continued to pay his share of Medicare taxes.

Should Americans trust our government bureaucrats to make
health care decisions for our families? Would we trust the government in
Washington to provide meals for our children with the same care that a loving
parent would? Would we entrust others to nurture our children as we would?

We can choose whether to keep our tax dollars in our pockets
to care for our families – or pay higher taxes to a bureaucracy that will
decide what medical services are appropriate for us. Your voice is your vote.
Your vote will decide.