By G. Keith Smith, M.D.
When asked why he robbed banks, the famous bank robber Willie Sutton supposedly said, “Because that’s where the money is.” I suppose that a Keynesian economist would say that Sutton stimulated the local economy by spending much of this stolen money on booze, restaurants and machine guns.
Using the same logic, spokesmen and sycophants of corporate health care are declaring that Obamacare, with its “exchanges” and Medicaid expansion, is “pro-business.” Amy Dunn writes in the Dec. 15 edition of The Oklahoman: “As a commercial real estate broker, I’m interested in the health of Oklahoma’s economy.”
What would expanding Medicaid do? Dunn says, “It would create high-paying jobs and prevent rural hospitals from closing. It would stimulate our economy.”
Later in the article she reveals that she serves on the board of Variety Care, a Medicaid-dependent business. I guess she thinks that folks won’t connect these dots.
In fact, Medicaid is a cash cow for the Big Hospital/Managed Care cartel, which intends to “mine the Medicaid gold,” as explained in the January issue of AAPS News. While some of the money trickles down to medical care for the poor, vast sums come off the top for opulent headquarters, CEO salaries and big not-show-a-profit hospitals that buy up smaller hospitals and physicians’ practices.
I actually have more respect for a guy like Willie Sutton who actually assumed some risk with his looting activities, than someone like Dunn, who has benefitted from the Medicaid loot, claiming all the while that it’s good “for business.” It’s good for her business. What is the difference between Sutton, who stole depositor’s funds from a bank, and the “crony capitalist” who has an intermediary steal depositors’ funds for them?
I would argue that the depositors are less harmed by Sutton’s actions. Their accounts, if insured, retain the same balance! On the other hand, a stick-up by Uncle Sam (in the form of an expansion of Medicaid as advocated by Dunn) will have a noticeable effect on your bank account.
When you hear someone say that accepting the stolen property of Medicaid would stimulate the economy, remember that on a balance sheet this statement looks no different than Willie Sutton splurging at a Mafia restaurant with stolen bags of bank notes.
Amy Dunn is just the latest to bash Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin for refusing to drink Uncle Sam’s MediKool-Aid. Refusing the crack cocaine of federal money in the form of this Medicaid expansion was and is the right thing to do, a courageous decision that those in corporate health care, thirsty for this loot, deplore. I think that those in the “business” community who are big fans of Obamacare and this Medicaid expansion should wear a scarlet “O” to distinguish them from those in the legitimate business community for whom this legislation represents ruin.
The government doesn’t have any money that it first didn’t acquire at gunpoint or borrow on our backs. To take more and more of this loot from a bankrupt federal government simply places our children and grandchildren in a more indebted position, destroys the purchasing power of money we do have and erodes what few liberties remain, because with government money comes government control.
Declaring the acceptance of Medicaid loot to be the spark of an economic stimulus is no different than promoting bank robbery for the economic benefit the robber’s spending spree will provide. Focusing only on how the loot is spent discounts the damage done by the theft itself.
Those receiving this stolen property are no doubt benefitted. I think we should deliberately identify those in corporate health care promoting this theft as the intended recipients of stolen property and discard their false and twisted reasoning that somehow this theft benefits us all.
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, 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.