A friend recently opined to me about his increasing frustration with those who are unable to distinguish between politics and religion, particularly those for whom politics is their religion. This describes statists of all stripes, I think. Folks either want to use the power of the state to abscond with the property of others in order to better complete “the Lord’s work,” or they justify the state’s trampling of individual rights in the name of “the greater good.”
The fascist, Joseph Goebbels had the following to say: “My party is my church and I believe I serve the Lord best if I do his will, and liberate my oppressed people from the fetters of slavery. That is my gospel.” Or how about this one from Mr. Goebbels: “I am only the instrument that God uses to sing his song. I am only the vessel that nature smilingly fills with new wine.”
It is no mistake that Germany’s national anthem is entitled “Deutschland uber Alles.” The supremacy of the state and the individual’s role in feeding this parasitic institution are unapologetically clear in the writings of men like Goebbels, while more subtle, but no less fascistic musings and thoughts surround us today.
Here is a quote from Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg: “Frankly I had thought that at the time Roe was decided, there was concern about population growth and particularly growth in populations that we don’t want to have too many of.” Actually, that isn’t very subtle at all, is it?
While the German fascists claimed to hate the socialists, Hayek’s “Road to Serfdom” shook everyone who read it by the collar, pointing to the central planning that characterized both of these economic and political systems. Ginsburg’s quote indicates that she sees herself as someone who knows who should be born and who should not, perhaps who should be allowed to stay alive and who should not. I cannot say that I have ever met anyone smart enough to wield that level of power.
What does any of this have to do with health care? My old friend Lawrence Huntoon writes in “AAPS News,” August 2014 this: “According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, insurance companies are paying oncologists $350 per patient per month for strict adherence to treatment protocols-which are geared to cost containment. It is very predictable. Obamacare forces physicians into accountable care organizations (ACO’s), and then strict cost-containment protocols are implemented. In the realm of cancer care, these are death panels.”
Combining health care with government invariably results in the individual’s interests versus the state’s interests scenario playing out. Guess who has historically won this battle? Once the “state” is paying for healthcare, the “state” determines what health care will be paid for-even what qualifies as meeting the definition of health care. After all, “public” resources are distributed by popular vote and that’s not good news for the sick minority. That the federal government is mandating the collection of virtually everyone’s health information and data should be of great concern to anyone who has followed any history of what government’s typically do with information. They desire this information simply because they intend to use it. To ration.
Those same folks who claim to want all of this data for our own good, those same folks who mandate vaccinations to ostensibly prevent the spread of communicable diseases are the same ones who just brought the Ebola virus into Georgia. Doesn’t square, does it?
About the author: Dr. G. Keith Smith is a board certified anesthesiologist in private practice since 1990. In 1997, he co-founded The Surgery Center of Oklahoma, an outpatient surgery center in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, owned by 40 of the top physicians and surgeons in central Oklahoma. Dr. Smith serves as the medical director, CEO and managing partner while maintaining an active anesthesia practice.
In 2009, Dr. Smith launched a website displaying all-inclusive pricing for various surgical procedures, a move that has gained him and the facility, national and even international attention. Many Canadians and uninsured Americans have been treated at his facility, taking advantage of the low and transparent pricing available.
Operation of this free market medical practice, arguably the only one of its kind in the U.S., has gained the endorsement of policymakers and legislators nationally. More and more self-funded insurance plans are taking advantage of Dr. Smith’s pricing model, resulting in significant savings to their employee health plans. His hope is for as many facilities as possible to adopt a transparent pricing model, a move he believes will lower costs for all and improve quality of care.