Author/contributor: G. Keith Smith, M.D.
At a physician’s roundtable years ago, I asked Senator Orrin Hatch why I couldn’t punch out of Social Security, happy to leave all that I had paid “into the system” on the table. Why couldn’t anyone, I asked, willing to leave behind all they had paid in, be allowed to walk away from these entitlements, as long as they were willing to forgo a future claim to these “benefits?”
He wouldn’t answer me. The answer is obvious, though, isn’t it? Without the current “contributions” of the young (and yes, draws on the credit line of the unborn), the current beneficiaries would discover that these programs were bankrupt.
Virtually all of the legislators that brought us Medicare are dead and gone now. All of the legislators who brought us Social Security are dead and gone. This is no coincidence, for these men realized that it was politically much more popular to give away government goodies paid for by the young and unborn than to tax the very same people who were to “benefit” from their “ideas” and “programs.”
Dead now, these criminal politicians have largely escaped the harsh judgment they deserve for buying votes with property that would belong to future generations. Currency depreciation (“inflation”—the current political class’s favorite way to rob the young for the benefit of their current constituents) has the same effect on future generations.
This is the essence of a Ponzi scheme. That is a fraudulent investment scheme that pays investors not out of profits but out of money paid in by later investors.
If you think about it, all government programs are Ponzi schemes. It is becoming increasingly clear that the same can be said about the [Un]Affordable Care Act. I call it the UCA, instead of the ACA.
UCA can’t let young people out for the same reason that Social Security can’t. Young workers aren’t paying or saving for their own benefits, but for older, sicker people.
UCA rules force insurers to charge them more than they actually cost to help offset the higher cost of insuring older and sicker people. If the young don’t sign up, premiums for everyone in the insurance pool will dramatically increase, as will the cost to the government.
People generally don’t volunteer to be overcharged so that strangers can be undercharged. Hence the individual mandate, and tax penalties.
Young adults are beginning to see the reality as the UCA takes shape, and understand how they wind up losing from every angle. Hence the $600 million advertising campaign and multimillion dollar Navigator program to steer people into the program as quickly as possible. UCA promoters know how hard it is to take away an entitlement once people are trapped in it.
The idea is to entice people with subsidies so they won’t notice how outrageous the premiums are. When enough are lured away from private insurance—the “crowding out” effect shown so well with the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)—private insurance will collapse. Like Medicare beneficiaries now, all Americans will be without options for major medical insurance.
The success of the UCA hinges on the successful fleecing of the young people. This is the same immoral basis for Medicare and Social Security, “programs” that are still alive because participation in these Ponzi schemes is involuntary. With Bernie Madoff, at least people could take their lumps, having learned their lesson and move on. They didn’t have to continue to give him money after they learned what he was up to.
I am optimistic that today’s young people will reject the shackles that many of their elders have embraced.
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.
Dr. Smith resides in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.