Hello. Dr. Keith Smith with you – Surgery Center of Oklahoma. Thank you for joining us in this video blog series. Let’s keep going with the scams: Medicare and Medicaid.
That sounds crazy for me to call those scams, doesn’t it? But it might not sound so crazy if we review the history of the times these programs were enacted. Just prior to Medicare and Medicaid being enacted, there was a bill in the 1950’s called the Hill-Burton legislation. This resulted in the construction of government-owned hospitals all over the United States.
And just like every other arm of government, these hospitals could not seem to get their hands on enough money. They weren’t satisfied with billing and collecting from the patients they were set up to ostensibly serve. They preferred to plug directly into the taxpayer trough. The government gave them this plugin with Medicare and Medicaid. This has been a disaster. It’s been a bankrupting disaster for the entire country. Because the free market has been thwarted and prices make no sense.
This was the beginning of the real troubles in healthcare, I believe. And I believe it’s no mistake that Medicare and Medicaid were enacted just very shortly after these government hospitals were built all over the country. I don’t believe it’s a coincidence.
It’s also important to remember that the vast majority of the poor could actually pay their bills. The bills you would see for the hospitalization of a woman who was giving birth, these bills were very affordable. They were not that high. It wasn’t until Medicare and Medicaid and the big insurance carriers came along that we saw prices soar. That is the effect, typically, that insurance has in any industry.
It’s also a fact that the vast majority of people who we’d call elderly actually had some form of health insurance. So the idea that there were elderly and poor people that were not receiving care, that were dying in the street and only the government could rescue them, was just as flawed then as it is now.
Medicare and Medicaid were scams, I believe that were foisted on the American people by the hospitals who wanted to basically plug directly into the taxpayer trough. They have been very, very successful and have become very wealthy at the expense of the American taxpayer and of the sick.
Thank you for joining us this series. There are more scams coming.