Reprint from July 2009: Celebrate Diversity with Alternative Medical Care

Health and Happiness
Health and Happiness: Uninsurable

Here is what I wrote in 2009 about the so-called Affordable Care Act

Don’t let the government take over health care and force you to buy “insurance”–it is the biggest scam ever threatened by the U.S.Health insurance is not the solution, but part of the problem. It causes enormous overhead costs for filing, etc. See the STATMed philosophy, which appears at the end of this article.

Americans have been conditioned, by big industry, to believe that health-care does not exist without insurance. This is simply not true, and is an intrinsically unhealthy attitude. In fact, some Muslim cultures outlaw “health insurance”, because it is tantamount to gambling.

Paying enormous premiums amounts to betting against yourself, because that money will only be “used” if you get sick. And who can afford them anyway?

The Obama health-care scam will slap a fine of $1,000.00 a year per person on those who do not buy into its “insurance” plan. These fines will, in the current administration’s mind, offset their trillions in unauthorized political give-aways known as the Stimulus Bill. Call your congresspeople and senators now, and tell them to leave the health-care system alone. Alternatives are cropping up all over the United States, such as Wal-Mart’s $4.00 prescription plan, and non-insurance-based clinics, all of which can provide remedies without paying thousands into the insurance-gambling schemes.

Many doctors will offer you a steep discount if you are not “insured”, because the money that they save by not having to deal with the insurance companies is colossal. And the government now wants to get into the health-insurance racket–since when have they ever succeeded in causing anything but pain to citizens? If President Obama’s health-scheme comes true, with the aid of an unwitting congress and senate who, once again, will not have time or ability to read the outsized bill–the largesse of doctors and clinics towards those who don’t have insurance will come to a screeching halt, because any such activity will be prohibited. A citizen will have no choice but to participate in one of the most corrupt, corrosive systems in history.

For now, there are clinics, such as STATMed, that offer health-care at reasonable prices for those who are not fortunate enough to have an employer arrange their “insurance”, and for we who simply cannot afford to gamble on the insurance schemes.
~~Copyright M-J de Mesterton 2009


The STATMed Philosophy
In the past 5-7 years, the cost of medical care and medical insurance has escalated to unreasonable levels. Many working people can no longer afford medical insurance–and it’s not a matter of being cheap, it’s just insanely expensive. Every year the premium costs have increased 10-20%, regardless of how much you, personally, used your insurance. The person who is healthy and seldom goes to the doctor, pays as much as the person who is always sick and saw the doctor 30 times that year. There had to be a better way.
The answer was to go back to “old-fashioned” medicine where you paid the doctor for your care. It’s pretty basic, but we’ve lost track of that concept since insurance came into existence in the 1940’s and now has grown to a multi-billion dollar industry. Now we are made to think that what’s important is for everyone to “have insurance”, rather than everyone should have access to affordable medical care. The key word being affordable. There are a lot of hidden costs in a traditional doctor visit, and some of them we can’t escape–like the ridiculous cost of malpractice insurance, reasonable wages for employees (since we can’t outsource to India), rent, utilities and cost of supplies, but one cost we can eliminate completely- the cost of dealing with insurance companies.It costs a doctor a lot to file your insurance for you. Think of how many plans are out there, and each one has a different system, a different form, different co-pays and pre-approval requirements, different addresses and different paying cycles. It’s a nightmare. To manage this nightmare, the doctor needs additional staff, and not just any staff, but specially trained staff who know the intricacies and details of how to code for an office visit so the insurance company will pay for the visit. Because this staff has special training, they’re paid more too, and that gets expensive. Not only that, when a doctor agrees to accept an insurance plan, the insurance company wants a discount–since they’re providing the benefit of access to this huge group of people. The discount varies, but can be as high as 40%. Who do you think makes up for that discount? YOU–the cash paying patient since you have to pay the “rack” rate–and not the discounted rate the insurance companies get. Not only is there the discount, there’s the game the insurance companies play of denying payment on a claim “until further information is provided”, which usually turns into “until the doctor finally gives up and takes the loss”. Or, the insurance pays a partial amount of the claim and then makes the doctor file an appeal to get the rest, which they deny until the doctor gives up. All of these loses have to be made up somewhere, and we all pay the price.It’s all a game, and STATMed doesn’t play it. We believe that if we take the insurance company out of the middle, we can give you excellent medical care at its true cost–and we’ll give you our best estimate of the cost before you agree. There are no hidden costs, and no further billing after your visit. It’s a new “old-fashioned” idea and we think it can work.

Read about Non-Insurance Alternative Clinics in Seattle

A Vietnam Immigrant’s Gratitude and Exemplary Attitude

VIETNAM IMMIGRANT   Saturday, July 24th, 2010 the town of Prescott Valley, AZ, hosted a Freedom Rally. Quang Nguyen was asked to speak on his experience of coming to America and what it  means. He spoke the following in dedication to all Vietnam Veterans. Thought you might enjoy hearing what he had to say.

35 years ago, if you were to tell me that I am going to stand up here speaking to a couple thousand patriots, in English, I’d laugh at you. Man, every morning I wake up thanking God for putting me and my family in the greatest country on earth.  I just want you all to know that the American dream does exist and I am living the American dream. I was asked to speak to you about my experience as a first generation Vietnamese-American, but I’d rather speak to you as an American.   If you hadn’t noticed, I am not white and I feel pretty comfortable with my people.  I am a proud US citizen and here is my proof. It took me 8 years to get it, waiting in endless lines, but I got it and I am very proud of it.  I still remember the images of the Tet offensive in 1968, I was six years old. Now you might want to question how a 6-year-old boy could remember anything. Trust me, those images can never be erased. I can’t even imagine what it was like for young American soldiers, 10,000 miles away from home, fighting on my behalf.   35 years ago, I left South Vietnam for political asylum. The war had ended. At the age of 13, I left with the understanding that I may or may not ever get to see my siblings or parents again. I was one of the first lucky 100,000 Vietnamese allowed to come to the US. Somehow, my family and I were reunited 5 months later, amazingly, in California. It was a miracle from God. If you haven’t heard lately that this is the greatest country on earth, I am telling you that right now. It was the freedom and the opportunities presented to me that put me here with all of you tonight. I also remember the barriers that I had to overcome every step of the way. My high school counselor told me that I cannot make it to college due to my poor communication skills. I proved him wrong. I finished college. You see, all you have to do is to give this little boy an opportunity and encourage him to take and run with it. Well, I took the opportunity and here I am.   This person standing tonight in front of you could not exist under a socialist/communist environment. By the way, if you think socialism is the way to go, I am sure many people here will chip in to get you a one-way ticket out of here. And if you didn’t know, the only difference between socialism and communism is an AK-47 aimed at your head. That was my experience.   In 1982, I stood with a thousand new immigrants, reciting the Pledge of Allegiance and listening to the National Anthem for the first time as an American. To this day, I can’t remember anything sweeter and more patriotic than that moment in my life.  Fast forwarding, somehow I finished high school, finished college and like any other goofball 21 year old kid, I was having a great time with my life. I had a nice job and a nice apartment in Southern California. In some way and some how, I had forgotten how I got here and why I was here.   One day while at a gas station, I saw a veteran pumping gas on the other side of the island. I don’t know what made me do it, but I walked over and asked if he had served in Vietnam. He smiled and said yes. I shook and held his hand. The grown man began to well up. I walked away as fast as I could and at that very moment, I was emotionally rocked. This was a profound moment in my life. I knew something had to change in my life. It was time for me to learn how to be a good citizen. It was time for me to give back.   You see, America is not a place on the map, it isn’t a physical location. It is an ideal, a concept. And if you are an American, you must understand the concept, you must buy into this concept, and most importantly, you have to fight and defend this concept. This is about Freedom and not free stuff. And that is why I am standing up here.   Brothers and sisters, to be a real American, the very least you must do is to learn English and understand it well. In my humble opinion, you cannot be a faithful patriotic citizen if you can’t speak the language of the country you live in. Take this document of 46 pages – last I looked on the Internet, there wasn’t a Vietnamese translation of the US Constitution.   It took me a long time to get to the point of being able to converse and until this day, I still struggle to come up with the right words. It’s not easy, but if it’s too easy, it’s not worth doing.  Before I knew this 46-page document, I learned of the 500,000 Americans who fought for this little boy. I learned of the 58,000 names scribed on the black wall at the Vietnam Memorial. You are my heroes. You are my founders.   At this time, I would like to ask all the Vietnam veterans to please stand. I thank you for my life. I thank you for your sacrifices and I thank you for giving me the freedom and liberty I have today. I now ask all veterans, firefighters and police officers, to please stand. On behalf of all first generation immigrants, I thank you for your services and may God bless you all.

 Quang Nguyen
Creative Director/Founder of Caddis Advertising, LLC

(Notice that he referred to himself as an American, NOT Vietnamese-American. How good it would be in America if EVERYONE felt like Quang Nguyen.)