Distorted Responses to Medicare – Slide Toward Socialism Op Ed

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I just knew my opinion editorial in the Salt Lake Tribune would bring out the more radical leftists from their closets to misconstrue my comments about how socialized medicine began with Medicare. (Which it did, by the way.)

John Neville wrote a quick response similar to Eric Nielson, apparently one of my neighbors from my town of Holladay, Utah, who has taken issue with my assessment that medicare started this slide to socialism. Next time, the writers might want to give me a call first or do some homework before making so many false assumptions.

John and Eric both obviously love socialism and want Medicare to grow and Medicaid to expand. The fact also cannot be denied that Medicare/Medicaid has complicated the health care delivery system and created regulations and layers upon layers of bureaucracies that have increased costs and lowered the standard of delivery from doctor to patient.

Who will take care of all these Medicare and Medicaid patients. Per capita we have more on welfare today with increasing poverty. We give people food stamps for more than the essential food they might need. And we provide 90 weeks of unemployment compensation. What did we ever do without all of this? Well, frankly, gentlemen, we took care of what government did not. In the private sector. And we did it better and more compassionately.

When my father was still alive and practicing, doctors were allowed to give charity care to their patients and even rewarded for it. He often wrote off patients’ office visits and care if they could not afford it. Expenses were minimal back then. Office visits were at $10 a visit but after Medicare that jumped to $20 because of the added expense to cover all the increased paperwork government required, including the ambulance chasers suing doctors for malpractice. This $10-20 was the real cost – before co-pays and insurance – for regular care and check-ups. Not so today. In fact, it’s considered fraud to provide charity care for Medicare and Medicaid patients.

It is also a fact that we will run out of other people’s money if we continue to expand health care. The writer neglected to address that point. Recently I received the letter from my insurance company that my premium would more than double if I wanted to take “advantage” of the ACA benefits – meaning the company must protect itself somehow with the influx of all the pre-existing cases it is now forced to take into its risk pool. Thank you, President Obama.

This writer accuses me of throwing grandma off the boat and wanting to immediately eliminate this government welfare program that has become so “popular” with our Senior population. It’s popularity also cannot be denied.

But that I propose to immediately end Medicare is totally false and unfounded. If the writer had ever attended any of my events when I was running for US Senate and Congress he would have known that I proposed a methodical plan to phase out Medicare so that no one currently in the system would be harmed, and so that future generations would be protected from a system that is going to crash and burn at some point in their lives. The demographics do not lie. We simply do not have enough younger workers to support the growing senior population. That’s bad news for everyone. Seniors will be triaged and care will be rationed. And the younger workers will be bilked out of their hard-earned incomes to care for the Senior population, with nothing left behind for them. This is one giant Ponzi scheme.

I do support a sound concept that future generations need to return to self-reliance and to plan for their own senior insurance options by setting up HSA’s, annuities and other options that bring a much higher return on investment. A bit of Dave Ramsey’s road to financial freedom might be advised. Medicare and Medicaid should be narrowed only to those who truly have no other options, family support, savings or extenuating circumstances. It was never meant to be a welfare program for the rich.

The writer also assumes that I was raised with some kind of silver spoon in my mouth and that I have lived a life of advantage ever since. It is true that I was fortunate to be raised in a home that did not suffer financially, but my parents were extremely frugal. And my life has not always been idyllic or perfect. I was a single mother for several years and worked three jobs simultaneously to make ends meet. I was without health insurance for several years. Recently, the economy has hit our real estate internet marketing company hard. We are not among the super-wealthy. We are normal, every-day, hard-working people that hope to survive this depression along with so many others.

It is true that I am a citizen lobbyist. However, unlike the lobbyist culture that dangles carrots to buy votes, I am not paid a dime to do what I do for the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons. I simply represent hundreds of Utah doctors who are very concerned about the quality delivery of medicine and the kind of attention and care they will not be able to give their patients if socialized medicine prevails.

n Eagar Tea Party Goddess 2
Cherilyn Eagar, Tea Party Goddess 2013
Mr. Nielson asked what I propose as a solution. In my presentations I have been giving to a variety of groups throughout Utah I provide a list of what we ought to be doing, among them is a charity care proposal that is already working in another state. Dr. Alieta Eck, past president of AAPS, and her husband started a charity clinic in New Jersey and it has grown to five. You can watch several videos about why ObamaCare is immoral and how Dr. Eck’s clinic is thriving. It is my hope that groups of doctors will adopt these principles here in Utah to restore true charity care to medicine.

As for Mr. Nielson’s claim that I’m a tea party “extremist” … Well, actually I was tea party before tea party ever was, and I proudly ranked myself as a Reagan supporter when many in the Republican party thought he was too conservative and also called him an “extremist.”

But I’ll take Paul Rolly’s promotion he gave me this summer and will gladly embrace it. He called me the “Utah Tea Party Goddess.” Bless his heart. This photo is dedicated to Paul Rolly and is my special thanks to him for the honor he so generously bestowed on me.