Sunday, August 02, 2009

Government Healthcare

Do you want to know what really bothers me about the government taking over health care?

I have worked for local government most of my adult life. I have seen the various attitudes of civil servants; they range from super conscientious to out right lazy frauds. Most lie somewhere in the middle. Not that they are bad mind you, but they are all subject to civil service-itis. You do what you need to do to get by. Sometimes in order to get by you don't have to do much at all. Just keep your supervisor happy (that can be another problem!) and don't do anything outrageously stupid.

But there is one thing that a bureaucrat wants above everything else - stay gainfully employed. Let's face it. Real go-getters do not go into government for the most part. Many bureaucrats are less than ideally situated for service type positions and the standards for government employees are also less than ideal, even more so with minorities.

I am sick of talking to idiots that you can barely understand. I am sick of dealing with bureaucrats that put you on hold and pass you off to someone else because they are too damn lazy to actually do something for you.

Several years ago it took me three days of constant phone calls, two and a half hours a day, to finally get someone in the IRS to help me recover a $1,000 refund that the IRS would not send me. I was literally a shuttlecock in a bureaucratic game of badminton. I have never had to talk to so many surly, useless assholes in my life.

I do not want to have to go through the same thing when an life saving operation or medication is denied me by some jackass in Washington with a GED who knows nothing about medical procedures but plenty about petty-assed rules and regulations. I want my doctor to be making those decisions.

This is the rub. Bureaucrats do not work for you. They work for the government and if the government/politicians wants to cut health care cuts by 25%, all the bureaucrat has to do is deny one quarter of all the claims that cross his desk. It's simple. No consideration is needed other than a scrap of paper with a running tally of the day's calls. Every forth caller gets screwed and the desk jockey is a hero. That desk jockey is hundreds or thousands of miles away. He is insulated by thousands of other office monkeys just like himself. If you get real pissed of and threaten them or mock them or make them feel uncomfortable, you'll have your ass hauled off before a federal magistrate. It is happening already.

And bear this in mind:

It will take thousands upon thousands of brand new government employees to handle this juggernaut.

All of them brand spanking new bureaucrats to run one-sixth of the US economy. And guess who will be hired? ACORN type idiots. If Obongo can't get his Brownshirts one way, he'll get them another. Government databases can and will be used to filter requests - this will just be another way of controlling an unruly population. Piss off the government types and your prescription for beta blockers goes south. Criticize a congressman and you'll never see that stent. But full speed ahead for abortions and transgenderized freaks who want both types of plumbing and tits on their front and back to entertain their friends. Sorry about that image. Back to business.

As of January 1, 2009, there were 1.9 million civilians employed by the federal government, not including 1.4 million sworn personnel in the military. Go here to find out how many federal employees and retirees are in your state and county as of 2008. Then perhaps increase it by who knows how much if Obongo and the democrats have their way.

Let's see how much.

I looked up the open job categories in the US Dept. Health and Human Services. I selected a low level Accounting Technician (GS-0525-5) that starts at $30,772/year. Even if just 10,000 new clerks are needed (low ball) that is still a cost of over $307 million. Factor in another 25% (again low ball) for fringe benefits and we are now considering reoccurring personnel costs of over $375 million a year without providing a single additional aspirin.

Say that we only need half that amount - 5,000 clerks; that's still a start up personnel cost of almost $190 million and you'll still need probably two or three hundred supervisors at twice the cost of an account technician; that's an additional 15 to 23 million dollars.

And where will these people work? New construction? Rent out existing structures for 5,000 workers? For crying out loud, 5,000 people need toilets - who is going to clean them and replace the soap and paper towels?

What is the cost going to be for desks and chairs and telephones and utilities and parking and janitorial services; data processing/computer/application program support cost?
And where will the feds find these people? Unemployed billing clerks who lost their jobs when Uncle Sam became Dr. Sam?

This US Dept. of Labor website lists the number of billing and postal clerks associated with the health care industry. I did some thumbnail addition for "Billing and posting clerks and machine operators" for all employer types that would most likely come under government control once we have socialized medicine.

In 2006 this number was over 112,000. That is slightly over twenty percent of all billing/postal clerks in the nation. And lets not forget that this does not include the billing/clerical/accounting positions already existing in the Federal government.

In physicians' offices alone there are over 92,000 billing/postal clerks (in 2006) who mostly handle insurance claims. That's what my wife does every day (medical billing) for a small group of doctors. Now factor this: the feds will most likely not hire enough clerks to handle the volume of claims.

Remember, those 92,000 clerks in doctors' offices all over the country will be calling and faxing and emailing claims to the federal government (not including hospitals and clinics and pharmacies, etc.). This is where the delays will come in. Nine months to get permission for an MRI? A year and a half before you are notified that your request for brain surgery has been denied? Sounds an awful lot like the UK and Canada to me.

Do the math. This is the government who cannot give you an idea about the effect of providing medical services to millions and millions of illegal aliens, but can tell you the location of every cow on every farm in the country who may have some kind of bovine disorder.

This is going to be a real cluster.


KARMINA said...

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


FORGER said...

Over the weekend I read something, I forget where or who, that sums up the Mongolian Clusterfuck that is a gov't. run operation...

Any government program, even if conceived by absolute geniuses, will be administrated by absolute morons.

sig94 said...

Why thank you Karina. That's very kind of you to say that.

Forger, amen to that. Nothing conceived by man is idiot proof. The trump card is always the lowest common denominator.

USA_Admiral said...

If the government runs it long enough it will fail.