By: Guest Authors
By: Greg Halvorson
So, Barack Obama, in selling his health care scam, promises that he wonâ€™t sign a bill that will add to the deficit (â€œnot a single dime, now or in the futureâ€) and, furthermore, says that to perform this stunt, heâ€™ll cut billions of dollars in waste from â€œthe system.â€ Medicare is his target and, according to Obama, $500 billion in extractable inefficiencies (overlooked till now) are waiting on a platter. Sounds great. It isnâ€™t…. That a boondoggle projected to cost $1,000,000,000,000 will be funded by cutting waste from a boondoggle is something you might hear from a con, and it goes without saying that naivetÃ© fills the air. There was once a time when America esteemed honesty, expecting, if not demanding, integrity in its leaders, but gone is the era, and with it common sense. The acceptance of lies, couched simply, is foolish. Why, an educated voter might ask, do we not PREVENT waste? The answer is that programs become wasteful as they increase in size and power. Fraud and waste are INEXTRICABLE, inherent to bureaucracies and the people who run them.
Indeed, they are prevalentâ€”myriad entities bilk Medicare daily. In 2003, Abbot Labs settled D.O.J. suits for $382 million. A division of the company offered kickbacks to federal agents to purchase Abbot products, then happily encouraged fraudulent bills. In 2006, Tenet Health Care settled $900 million in D.O.J. suits after (allegedly) submitting fraudulent claims. The conduct included excess billing, inflation of charges, unnecessary treatment, and medical kickbacks. (â€œTenet,â€ incidentally, means â€œa doctrine or principle held as being true.â€) In March of this year, Miami physician, Keith Russell, was sentenced to 90 monthsâ€¦. In September, Pfizer settled the largest fraud case in history.
You get the point. According to Steve Malanga, of the Manhattan Institute, experts estimate that abuses in Medicaid account for 10% of costs, amounting to over $30 billion annually. Medicare DOUBLES that score. It would be easierâ€”and more efficientâ€”to de-vine the Amazon than de-fraud Medicare; yet the president refuses to add to the deficit?
Please. Itâ€™s enough that he insults our intelligence, must he also pick our purse? Pie-in-the-sky liberalism is synonymous with loose â€œfacts,â€ but experience tells us that government is insatiable and largely aloof to the taxpaying citizen. Last week, the increasingly Clothes-less Emperor followed-up, saying that reform will lower costs, raise quality, and hold insurers accountable. â€œLack of reform,â€ he claimed, â€œis costing the nation jobs…. Reforming our health insurance system will be a critical step in resurrecting our economy so that entrepreneurs can pursue the American Dream and small businesses can grow and create new jobs. That is precisely what the reform legislation before Congress will do.â€
I have to shake my head. For Obama to trot out the American Dream and attach it to an entitlement program is crazy. For him to invoke â€œentrepreneursâ€ and small business in a claim that each will thrive as taxes increase and government expands defies logic. Clearly, he believes in â€œcharm before truth.â€ Notice he didnâ€™t say that under-reimbursement by the government inflates costs (doctors charge more privately) to insurers, making them less competitive. He didnâ€™t say that private businesses will choose the 8% penalty, which is less than their current costs, and place employees in the government plan. He didnâ€™t say there will be rationing and less innovation as the program bloats under federal mandates. He didnâ€™t say that survivability will decrease and weâ€™ll look back in shame and regret at what we did. Instead, he appeared on five Sunday talk-shows, saying on one of them: â€œAbout two-thirds of what weâ€™ve proposed would be from money thatâ€™s in the system but just being spent badly. This isnâ€™t about me making wild assertionsâ€”you always hear about waste and abuse in Washington, and usually it doesnâ€™t mean much because nobody ever finds where that waste and abuse is.â€
Let that sink in.
It doesnâ€™t mean much because NOBODY EVER FINDS IT? Who are nobody? People who game the system and promote waste and fraud? Pardon my disrespect, but if the president is going to act like a swindler, he is one. Claims that heâ€™ll exhume what no one can find, make it mean something, and create â€œefficiencyâ€ are absurd. What next? A promise that 95% of Americans get a tax cut? A vow to cut spending? The elimination of pork?
The predictability is egregious. More disturbing is the rhetorical propaganda. A German named Goebbels once said of lies:
“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic, and/or military consequence of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the greatest enemy of the State.”
Goebbels, of course, was a book-burner sans restriction. That said, his words inform. This White House has a thing for â€œfishy e-mail,â€ right-wing pundits, and conservative bloggers who thwart leftist aims. Cass Susstein, the â€œregulatoryâ€ czar, and Mark Lloyd, the â€œdiversityâ€ czar, are puritanical muzzlers, while journalistic phantoms provide a nice shield. Between failed education, the war on Jesus, and the demise of virtue, America is in declineâ€”medical â€œreformâ€ merely marks an inflection. Indeed, if you tell a lie big enough and repeat it, it will stick. Obama is a master. Goebbels would be proud.