Ron Paul – The Revolution: A Manifesto – Page 84 through Page 89

Page 84: It is impossible to allow unfettered immigration and provide free welfare benefits to the public. There is no way to pay for it. This situation creates animosity towards immigrants. They are perceived as getting free benefits while Americans are struggling. However, if the economy was in better shape, there would be less hard feelings. The sad state of the economy can be attributed directly to governmental action. The welfare state has also reeked havoc on traditional American culture. People are less willing to help out those in need because they see that as the government’s job.

Quote (Milton Friedman): “You cannot simultaneously have free immigration and a welfare state.”

Page 85: The welfare state makes it easy to ignore the hardships of our fellow man. Since the government already offers programs, we feel morally justified in turning a blind eye. Before Medicare and Medicaid it was very common for doctors to provide free care to those who couldn’t afford to pay. It later became much more difficult for doctors to offer free or discounted care to those in need. New laws and regulations caused the cost of providing healthcare to skyrocket and forced physicians to protect themselves from lawsuits. Americans can no longer visualize how a society without big government would operate.

Quote: “Before those programs came into existence, every physician understood that he or she had a responsibility toward the less fortunate, and free medical care for the poor was the norm.”

Quote: “We have lost our belief that freedom works, because we no longer have the imagination to conceive o how a free people might solve its problems without introducing threats of violence – which is what government solutions ultimately amount to.”

Page 86: According to historian David Beito, before the welfare state existed people used to form themselves into private fraternities. The fraternities provided services and used the power of numbers to negotiate lower healthcare costs. The US healthcare system used to be the best in the world by far. Private charities provided healthcare for the poor and emergency rooms didn’t turn people away if they didn’t have enough money. Health insurance was for emergencies only. Patients paid cash for routine appointments.

Quote: “Something has obviously gone wrong with the system when we need insurance for routine visits and checkups, which are entirely predictable parts of our lives.”

Page 87: Most people now have insurance through Health Maintenance Organizations, Medicare or Medicaid. The result of this transformation is more expensive healthcare. The bureaucrats and accountants responsible for cutting the checks for treatment have an increased say in what treatment patients will receive. For their part, doctors no longer have incentive to keep costs down. They no longer pay for the procedures that they order and there is a greater risk for lawsuits. More Americans are now going to other countries to receive good, affordable healthcare.

Quote: “The result of all this is that doctors and patients cannot simply decide what tratment is appropriate. Instead, they constantly find themselves being second-guessed by HMO accountants and government bureaucrats.”

Quote: “In all other industries, technology has nearly always led to lower prices – except in health care, thanks to the managed-care system that has been forced upon us.”

Page 88: HMOs were instituted as a result of government intervention. Now the same politicians who gave us HMOs are blaming HMOs for our problems and want to intervene again to solve the problem that they were responsible for creating. The tax code only makes healthcare costs tax deductible when an employer pays the cost. The HMO act of 1973 forced most companies to offer insurance through HMOs to their employees.

Quote: “The story behind the creation of HMOs is a classic illustration of what economist Ludwig von Mises once said: government interventions create unintended consequences that lead to calls for further intervention, and so on into a destructive spiral of more and more government control.”

Quote: “The combined result was the illogical coupling of employment and health insurance, which often leaves the unemployed without needed catastrophic coverage.”

Page 89: The best way to cure our healthcare problems is to get the government out of healthcare. Healthcare was better and cheaper before the government got involved. Another, more politically viable, solution is the encouragement of medical savings accounts. Under this scenario patients would pay no tax on the money they earn that goes into the medical savings account, as long as they spend the money on healthcare costs. This would give patients more control over their healthcare decisions and cut HMOs out of the picture. Some physicians have found creative ways to opt of America’s dysfunctional healthcare system as well.

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