Part Three: Dr. Chartrand on the HealthCare Summit

Posted on: January 24, 2011

By Staff

Fighting Only the Tips While Ignoring the Icebergs Will Surely Sink the U.S. & Her Constitution

Q: Hello, Dr. Chartrand. So much has happened since our last interview…

A. Paul, it almost seems strange that we’re up against an even more formidable final push toward ObamaCare today than when we visited this topic earlier, until one stops and realizes the reasons why this threat came about in the first place.

We have known for some time, and it is increasingly more obvious, that what we are dealing with is not a drive to improve healthcare, but instead a drive to concentrate power and control in the federal government. But it goes further than that, and this is the point I hope to drive home today: The threat we now face on all fronts — healthcare, energy, economy, religious freedom, education, culture, the list goes on — are merely pieces of a much larger push to destroy the U.S. Constitution and the freedoms it grants.

Q. What about the recent HealthCare Summit, which seemed so carefully engineered to present President Obama and the Democrats in the most favorable light while “tolerating” opposing voices?
A.  Like many individuals, I watched the five-and-a-half hour staged play billed as “The Bipartisan HealthCare Summit.” The President gave his much anticipated oratory of distortion, disingenuity, and emotional appeal and did his best to squelch any opposing arguments. I was embarrassed that a man of that level of power in the world could display such arrogance and treat with such disdain the arguments of those who are considerably wiser and more experienced on such matters.The Democrats, led by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, presented their usual fact-challenged arguments in favor of a government takeover, as well. But the biggest disappointment came from the Republicans who had a rare opportunity to present the real threats to freedom and to the citizens of this nation. Instead, they tiptoed around the elephants in the living room and allowed the opposition to go essentially unchallenged.
Q. So, you felt the Republicans had an opportunity to do much more than they did in this media-controlled exercise? In what ways?
A.  Well, I will preface this by stating that I felt that many of the arguments presented by the Republican Senators were well reasoned and actually quite good … as far as they went. But they tiptoed around the much more important reasons that this monstrosity should be stopped. Had they brought out the most salient and disturbing issues relative to ObamaCare, enough of the public would have likely turned against it that we would be seeing headlines proclaiming defeat of the erstwhile measure by now.  For instance:
• The National ID Card provision stipulates that citizens’ financial assets and property will be made accessible to the federal government, in case of unauthorized use or overutilization of government-approved healthcare services. Put into practical terms, this means that the federal government would have the power to reach into one’s bank account without permission and withdraw funds anytime they feel you stayed in the hospital too long or if your doctor decided to save your life without first consulting the governing panel ahead of time. Few citizens would willingly hand over that kind of power and control over their lives to the political class. But after it becomes the law of the land, their disagreement to this kind of chicanery would be meaningless. This is perhaps the most onerous of all provisions of ObamaCare, because it is a direct assault on individual liberties — privacy, due process, and private property. Yet this terrible threat to the citizens of this nation was not brought up once during the so-called healthcare summit.
• There will be government appointed “panels” to decide which age groups, populations, and conditions receive public resources. This will, by necessity, lead to both rationing and passive euthanasia. The “death panel” analogy painted by Sarah Palin is very much a real part of ObamaCare when it finally takes over and ultimately destroys private healthcare. In reality, such panels in limited form now exist in both MediCare and Medicaid. With ever-dwindling resources relative to demand, their mission is to decide length of hospital stays, limits of care, and approved treatment regimes based on cost (not quality). Transposed into a “universal” program designed to drive out private market competition, these panels would hold life and death control over what treatments individuals are allowed to receive within their purview. Otherwise, what would be the purpose of such oversight panels?
• Public-funded abortion will become the law of the land, no matter the show of opposition staged by a few politicians now. From past experience, we expect to see this administration and legislative leaders bribe, threaten, and otherwise pressure fence-sitters into voting for this bill. Saying anything and doing nothing that was promised, this administration is pulling one fast one after another to remake this nation into their own or their masters’ image.
• Obama & Congress pretend that they have legal authority to sweep away hundreds of state regulations and mandates. However, States Rights are still very much the prevailing law of the land, except in well-defined cases of interstate commerce. Where are the governors in all this? By simple decree almost any one or two governors can stop Congress from overstepping that which is within the purview of state government! We should be challenging state governors to take back states’ rights and powers in this debate and tell the federal government that it has overstepped its constitutional authority.
• The most important aspect of true reform would be in incentivizing good health practices and an emphasis on individual responsibility. Instead, ObamaCare carefully shields the consequences of poor diet, lifestyle, and personal choices from consideration. Republicans could have cited important studies on the positive behavioral changes that routinely occurred under the Medical Savings Account model. Under such shared employer/employee plans (and their private counterparts), workplaces become safer, workers make better health and lifestyle choices, quality of care improve, and the cost of healthcare plunges. Instead, Republicans allowed unchallenged Obama’s scoffing disdain toward “high-deductible insurance” (which is not the MSA model!) to carry the argument.
• Other consequences of ObamaCare will involve en masse closures of private hospitals, rampant job loss and job dislocation, sharp reductions in eldercare services and certain specialty services, such as cochlear implantation to deaf adults, etc. These all add up to loss of freedom, reversals in scientific progress, and loss of empowerment for the most debilitated individuals in our society. It is and has always been the private sector that has given us innovation and advances in healthcare.
Likewise, with up to 30% of physicians vowing to retire if ObamaCare passes, we will see an almost instant shortage of physicians, reduced quality of care and accessibility. It is pure fantasy that ObamaCare or any modification of it will enjoy a smooth transition without having gut-wrenching effects upon the economy.
• Cost-shifting from public short-pays to the private-pay sector is the main reason for the recent private market premium increases. In the past, each time there is “reform” to control runaway Medicare, VA, and Medicaid costs, short-pays shift over to the private sector. Now the private sector of health care has shrunk to little more than 40% of the entire U.S. healthcare system, so that the vast majority of cost overruns, waste, fraud losses fall squarely in the lap of the public sector programs—and if Obama and Company have their way there will be no place for these inherent weaknesses of politically controlled healthcare to go. Senator Coburn’s (R-OK) suggestion to send out undercover patients to entrap unsuspecting physicians was a serious error. After forcing All-ObamaCare-All-The-Time onto the private market, the next step would be to eliminate the political opposition by unleashing a small army of undercover agents to put them out of business.• A final point is that many Republicans are well aware, as are the Democrats, that the push for socialized medicine has nothing to do with improving or genuinely bringing down the costs of healthcare. Instead, it is all about loss of freedoms, all-powerful central government, and is ultimately about merging this nation into a one-world government structure much like what has happened to Europe and the Mediterranean nations. This last point may be seem outlandish to an uninformed observer. But everything we have seen for some time now, efforts to destroy the U.S. currency, exploding foreign ownership of U.S. assets, killing of private sector jobs in the face of exploding jobs in government, and a drive to regulate everything but government spending and behavior, all point to a destination that ultimately leads to a loss of Americanism and the rise of One-worldism.
Q: Wow, these are serious points to consider! And you did not even touch upon the central themes brought out by Republicans.
A. No, I didn’t. The more peripheral points were fairly well stated by Republicans during the so-called summit (i.e., competition across state lines, tort reform). But, while excellent points, these only constitute the tips of the proverbial icebergs lurking below the surface. The fact that the President and liberals in Congress are still pushing ObamaCare in the face of the most opposition in public opinion in recent memory to any bill of the past should inform any astute observer as to the purpose behind such a push. Taxes will by necessity rise by more than $100 billion per year, large fines will be imposed for non-compliance (except for the governing elite and their union supporters), and there will still be millions of uncovered individuals. It is amply obvious that the purpose behind tearing up the current system is to: 1) make a free people less free, 2) destroy private sector employment and commerce, and 3) make the population more dependent upon the federal government for everything, cradle to grave. Passage will also promote the bankruptcy of U.S. currency (and enable it to be “saved” by joining an international currency). To do all of this, of course, they must first destroy every vestige of the United States Constitution and its clear delineation of rights and powers.
Q: What do you suggest for citizens to defeat Obamacare?

A. First and foremost we should become well informed about this and all such legislation against the backdrop of the U.S. Constitution. One will quickly find that at least 75% of today’s topics of legislative discourse are straw men, for there are simply few legitimate federal solutions for these real or imagined problems. One will also find that most of the serious problems of the current healthcare system (lack of personal responsibility, rampant fraud and waste, and politicization) exist primarily because of federal programs. So, the only reason for pushing for more of the same are blatant attempts to concentrate even more power in Washington.Secondly, once informed, we become obligated to act. Awakening family, friends, and community is a good place to begin. Share all of the FFS interviews by this author, and The Marxist Attack on the Middle Classby G. Vance Smith and Tom Gow, as well as Don Fotheringham’s excellent essays on the Constitution found at www.freedomfirstsociety.org. Never has there been a time in our lifetime when so many people are so receptive to the hard truths of today’s drive for all-powerful government.

Third, keep an open public discourse on relevant topics and issues in letters to the editor in local and regional newspapers and publications.

Fourth, while Obama, Reid, and Pelosi are asking legistlators to commit political suicide, I feel these legislators would much prefer to go on living (politically). Write and call them—there are a number of websites now that feature direct links into congressional offices. Even though few of the emails received are actually read (some are), all are tallied into “for” and “against” columns on each issue.

Finally, we must stay focused. One’s greatest influence is local. Typically, legislators take more seriously letters from their constituents, editors are more likely to print locally-generated letters in newspapers, and those with whom we may have the greatest influence are those who know and trust us within the community.

Q: Any parting thoughts?

A. It is entirely possible, after all our best efforts, that this legislative nightmare may pass in the present Congress. We should never underestimate the depths of legal, ethical, and, yes, criminal activity that will be expended by those intent on forcing such sweeping control over the citizens of this nation. If they do succeed in passing ObamaCare, we must work hard toward throwing the rascals out of office and drive this and other bad legislation into the repeal process. In doing so, we may find welcome support from many of those we know.

Dr. Chartrand serves as professor of behavioral medicine, and is a widely published author, and health researcher. He is also a Constitutional conservative who advocates workable, free market solutions to the current problems within the U.S. healthcare system.

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