When will They Stop Lying about Healthcare?
In my oath of office as a United States Marine, I was asked if I had any moral hesitation or moral purpose of evasion to honor my oath. It was a clear question. It was concise. The question was understood. There was no question in my mind of what was expected and what was intended by that oath.
Kathleen Sebelius, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, despite repeated questions from congressmen, found it extremely difficult to answer a very simple question about whether or not she would be willing to participate in the Affordable Care Act exchanges. In fact, her first response that it was "illegal" for her to use the exchange was not "just" deceptive, it was absolutely false.
She knew full well the implication of the question. Would she, as a federal employee, be willing to subject herself to the same system that she feels so comfortable inflicting on the American people? With the help of her advisor she uttered a technically legal response to a very moral question.
This deception by elected and appointed leaders reflects an ever-increasing trend on the part of politicians to lie, deceive, and distort reality. At the same time, these same politicians react indignantly to questions posed by citizens about the laws inflicted on us.
In a similar vein, the president has consistently maintained that under the new healthcare law no Americans would lose their current coverage. Even as an estimated 2 million Americans are expected to receive health insurance cancellation notices, the President's tone has merely shifted to a "you will receive better coverage" commentary.
From the president, to the secretary of Health and Human Services, to the White House press secretary, the lies and misperceptions continue unabated and virtually unchecked by the media.
The problems associated with not holding an elected official to their pledges for such a critical piece of legislation as the Affordable Care Act are disgraceful.
If a businessman or bank had engaged in such misrepresentation they would be held accountable for fraud and imprisoned for their duplicitous actions. We should expect nothing less from those in Congress and in the White House.
The president's pledge that you could keep your current coverage when the bill was debated very likely allowed this bill to pass in the first place. To attempt to cover up his duplicitous actions by spinning his commentary is irresponsible on those perpetuating and participating in the fraudulent spin of Washington, D. C.
As someone who has been on the Board of Directors of a healthcare institution for almost 2 decades, I believe that the American people will soon find that how much their healthcare has deteriorated under this flawed legislation.
First, any attempt to spin that healthcare will be more affordable for the most people is pure spin. Both Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement rates are generally not sufficient to cover the cost of the treatment with the result that private insurance rates for those currently with coverage will continuously escalate to cover the shortfall. Today, anyone with private insurance through your employer is subsidizing both Medicare and Medicaid care. The situation will be even more aggravated with exchange provided insurance.
Second, reimbursements to physicians and healthcare professionals are declining since the advent of this bill. A substantial portion of the funding for the Affordable Care Act originates in these reductions. It is extremely disingenuous to assume that those who work for healthcare institutions should be not be paid fairly for the investment that they have made in their education. This administration seems to understand all too well that autoworkers and teachers should be protected but have no concern for the welfare of nurses, nurse practitioners, physician's assistants, or doctors.
Third, the increasingly expensive cost of healthcare education, with the concurrent reduction in reimbursements and income for healthcare professionals, will result in a critical shortage of doctors and nurses. As more baby boomer healthcare professionals retire, the shortage will become readily apparent.
Fourth, sooner or later, the American people will come to realize that they have received insurance but little, to no, healthcare. Our government will have substituted higher payments for less healthcare and will have created a two-tier medical system in this country such as exists in Great Britain and Canada! Only those with significant personal assets will be able to get the type of treatment that they feel they need because of this degradation of the system caused by the Affordable Care Act.
Fifth, Supreme Court Justice Roberts indicated that Congress has the right to tax people. The Affordable Care Act has been described as a tax. Yet, the Supreme Court conveniently ignored the Origination Clause, Article 1, Section 7, of the Constitution in upholding the ACA as a tax since it was the Senate which originated this onerous tax.
That tax will be paid by the very people who were deceived by this administration and the Supreme Court into supporting a bill that the administration knew was deceptively flawed from the outset.
It is absolutely essential that politicians be held to the same standards of fraud, and misrepresentation that all citizens are subjected to. The criminal nature of those misrepresentations is just that: criminal!
The Republican congressmen who challenged Secretary Sebelius as to whether or not she would participate in the insurance exchanges have the solution to this mess we are in because of the president's fraud. Every person who is in Congress and in government should be immediately required to participate in the same exchanges that all of us have been forced to accept. Perhaps then meaningful legislation will be enacted to correct this mess created by this administration.
Col. Frank Ryan, CPA, USMCR (Ret) and served in Iraq and briefly in Afghanistan and specializes in corporate restructuring and lectures on ethics for the state CPA societies. He has served on numerous boards of publicly traded and non-profit organizations. He can be reached at FRYAN1951@aol.com and twitter at @fryan1951.