I blog about free markets in medical care and transparent pricing.

 

Political Theatre: Starring the Usual Suspects

United Health Care has announced that regardless of the Supreme Court’s decision regarding the constitutionality of the Unaffordable Care Act (UCA), as a company they will honor some of the provisions provided within the legislation, including the elimination of lifetime benefits on medical care and “no cost” preventive screenings.  You can read the LA Times version of the announcement here.  

Lew Rockwell has a section on his great website (LewRockwell.com) called “political theatre.”  One of my favorite parts of his site, this serves as my regular reminder of how D.C. politics serves primarily the role of a distraction, the purpose of which is to conceal the exchange of bribes and favors by the power brokers behind the scenes.  I have recently written that I didn’t think the proponents of the UCA cared whether it was overturned by the courts, as the UCA was, like most laws, simply a distraction necessary to conceal the transfer of massive taxpayer money to government cronies.  United Health Care was one of the proponents of the UCA.  Having dealt with United Health Care as a physician, I can assure you their “honoring” certain provisions of the UCA regardless of court action, is not a touchy-feely extension of their love for all of us poor, sick folks.  My guess is that they are keeping their end of the bargain, a bargain meant to completely destroy the private insurance industry.  You see, “honoring” these provisions is part of the equation that will cause an unsustainable increase in insurance premiums.  United and others will charge more and more and more (this stuff they are “honoring” isn’t free, you know!) until “the people” cry out to their D.C. goon for relief from “rising health care costs.”  The result will be a complete government takeover of this industry, the administration of which will be left to United and the other biggies.  

Just as unsurprising is the “high five” given to United by Arthur Kellermann of the Rand Corporation.   In the same LA Times article linked to above, Kellermann takes his hat off and bows to United for this promise to “honor” certain provisions.  He should bow and perhaps grovel as United is one of the Rand Corporation’s largest donors!  You can check that out here.  Interesting that the Rand Corporation (no kin to Ayn Rand) has shacked up with the usual suspects, especially since their famous study in the ‘70’s and ‘80’s indicted HMO’s as insurance products likely to be over-utilized.  The study also concluded that the focus on preventive care did not improve patient outcomes.  You can read about their study here.  Now they are funded by the giant medical corporations for which they gladly provide cover.  So much for their objectivity.

Keeping Rockwell’s “political theatre” distraction model in mind and Rothbard’s “cui bono”(who benefits?) makes it easier to see through the curtains, I think.  Think about it.  No matter what happens to the law, the insurance companies are going to proceed as if it is in effect.  Who’s kidding whom?

G. Keith Smith, M.D.

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