By Paul Bremmer
The Supreme Court has tossed aside the interests of the American people in favor of an all-powerful government-business coalition, charges the former president of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons.
“The guys in the black robes have chosen statism over freedom once again,” asserted Lee Hieb, M.D. “How can people be free when they are dependent on the government for their very health?”
On Thursday, the Supreme Court released its long-awaited decision in the King v. Burwell case, which had challenged the legality of taxpayer subsidies in states that did not set up their own Obamacare exchanges. In a 6-3 decision, the court ruled in favor of the Obama administration and the health law’s supporters, declaring the subsidies are legal and may continue.
The court determined that the law’s reference to exchanges “established by the state” includes exchanges established by the federal government.
But to Hieb, the ruling is not a benign act of generosity that will allow 6 million Americans to keep their health care. Rather, it is an affirmation of an unholy alliance between government and large private industries.
“Let’s call this what it really is – fascism,” Hieb said. “Fascism is by definition an economic arrangement wherein government partners with private industries, choosing winners and losers.”
Hieb, author of “Surviving the Medical Meltdown: Your Guide to Living Through the Disaster of Obamacare,” noted hospital stocks rose 8 percent immediately after the Affordable Care Act was upheld. She also said she received a notice a few weeks ago from Blue Cross Blue Shield that her health premium was going to increase 24 percent after it had jumped about 30 percent just the year before.
Hieb sees this as evidence hospitals, insurance companies and drug companies are “in bed” with Obamacare and expect to profit from it.
“Big Pharma benefits as medicine prices rise astronomically,” Hieb charged. “Even my cat’s vet noted that the medicines he uses on animals have increased vastly in cost. In the case of a sedating agent, one he has used for decades, the price went from $8 a vial to over $40 a vial. If he can get it at all.”
Humans and animals alike are seeing shortages and price increases because the government has scrapped a free market in favor of Obamacare, which is a “government monopoly on medical care,” according to Hieb.
Because of all the powerful parties who stand to benefit from Obamacare, Hieb was not surprised by the court’s ruling. Neither was Jane Orient, M.D., executive director of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons.
“I think we’ve sort of come to accept the fact that the U.S. Supreme Court is very politicized,” Orient told WND. “It’s not going to uphold the rule of law.”
Orient would not join Hieb in implicating the insurance and pharmaceutical industries, but she did imply the case was not decided on law alone.
“Certainly clear logic and the clear meaning of the U.S. Constitution as well as the statute were overridden by other considerations,” she said.
In its majority opinion, the court declared that subsidies for those on the federal exchange must be valid because if they were not, a “death spiral” would ensue and the entire law would collapse.
Orient said it’s part of a left-wing effort to bend the law to fit its purposes.
“I think it’s part of the entire left agenda that they want the law to mean what they think it should mean, not exactly what it says,” she argued.
The justices may have worried about an insurance “death spiral” occurring if subsidies were taken away from millions of Americans, but Orient said the medical industry is in a death spiral anyway.
“The insurance is unaffordable to many even with the subsidies, and it makes medical care unaffordable to many people, because while they’re getting catastrophic coverage at first-dollar coverage prices with the help of the taxpayers, many of them cannot afford medical care because of the high deductibles,” she said.
Hieb, for her part, foresees an even more dire future for American patients. She pointed out 75 to 85 percent of hospital income comes from the federal government in various forms, and those dollars come with many strings attached. In her view, it’s the perfect setup for a socialist-type, health-care system.
“The one difference between Obamacare and Medicare is that Medicare was socialism by stealth,” Hieb argued. “But the Obamacare architects make no bones about their desire to see a one-party National Health-type payment system, a la Britain or Canada.”
Such a system necessarily rations care on the basis of age and productivity, according to Hieb. She predicts a day when the government will no longer pay for hospitals to transfer 90-year-old patients to higher-level care. Then maybe they will lower the age to 85. Hieb hopes hospitals will refuse to accept such a directive if it ever comes.
“Will hospitals just keep going along with all this to get along and stay afloat?” she asked. “Or will they recognize that this is not just about money and regulations but they and their actions have moral consequences? Will the CEOs and CFOs stand on principle for their patients? I see no evidence generally of the latter.
“In today’s world, when the choice is compliance with money coming in, or non-compliance with the money drying up, hospital systems continue to bed with the government to the detriment of quality health care.”
Hieb wishes all doctors would continue to abide by the oath of Hippocrates – to put patients first. But she knows the lure of government money may get in the way. She implores her fellow doctors, as well as patients, to reject socialized medicine.
“We must recognize the inherent evil in medical utilitarianism wherein I can sacrifice your care for the greater good of more or younger people,” Hieb pleaded. “We must not ask the government for health care or any other subsidy but instead restore freedom by saying no to government schemes, by unelecting the oligarchs, and again embracing the principles of free market economics in medicine and in all facets of life. It’s now or never.”