Alarming Developments in Health Care – What They Mean To You
Get ready for a health care police state. There are many trends that you need to know about, and that I find alarming. A recent article (The Bakersfield Californian, Wednesday, December 7, 2011) highlights a few of the more alarming developments.
A school district in Bakersfield is attempting to cut costs by having other employers pick up the tab for their personnel if they are married. Here's how it works: If your spouse has benefits through Aetna (picking a name at random), you would be required to get coverage through that plan.
Does that sound reasonable to you? Think about it for a moment. The school district would have to dig into an employee's personal life to determine whether the spouse is employed, by whom, and whether he or she has coverage. Privacy concerns, anyone? Furthermore, what about co-habitors or domestic partners?
Another big trend, which is in the news everywhere – not just in Bakersfield, is the institution of "wellness" programs. Exactly what does that mean? The terminology is unremittingly perky and positive. Employees are "encouraged" to be "proactive" with regard to their health. However, the devil is in the details.
In Bakersfield, one big insurer that covers 1800 people is introducing this program and will begin assessing all employees and covered family members for weight, blood pressure, cholesterol and lifestyle choices, such as smoking, "among other things." Hmmmmm. Makes one wonder just how far this will go, doesn't it?
What the insurer is planning is that if any covered individual has any "risk factors," they will be moved into the "wellness" program, where they can either participate or pay extra for their benefits – as much as an extra $60 per month for employees at the lower end of the salary scale.
In other words, unless you take their drugs for hypertension and cholesterol, you will be punished. This goes a long way towards removing all of your personal choice and putting all the power in the hands of insurance companies.
If you have been following my newsletters, you know that there is no evidence that cholesterol-lowering drugs affect the incidence of heart disease or extend lifespan. And, they entail serious risks of heart failure, dementia and muscle destruction. All of these draconian measures are being imposed in the name of "cost savings."
Many people in this country are anti-smoking; and, we have been acclimated to punishing people who smoke. But, that excuse is being used to get the camel's nose under the tent.
What if you are overweight? At what point does the punishment begin if you refuse a lap band surgery or weight loss drugs? What if you ride a motorcycle? That is inherently dangerous, particularly here in Southern California. How much will your insurance premiums rise? Where will it end?
When presented with the risk to personal liberties these "wellness" programs entail, the CEO of the insurance company mentioned above acknowledged the danger, but stated, "Health care costs are skyrocketing and employers have to do something, otherwise everyone's ability to be covered is threatened. We're all in this together."
This is only one of the many dangers presented by mandatory, universal health care. We are giving away our personal freedom in the name of "public benefit." Unfortunately, that leaves us in slavery and there is no "benefit."
(Source: The Bakersfield Californian, Wednesday, December 7, 2011)
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