I was reading the paper the other day and ran across an article about the health care profession. It said that nearly half of U.S. primary care physicians said that they would seriously consider getting out of the medical business within the next three years if they had an alternative. They said they are overwhelmed with their practices, not because they have too many patients, but because there’s too much red tape generated from insurance companies and government agencies. Sound familiar?
With insurance companies already running the country and government agencies choking on a plethora of regulations, it’s a wonder the country can function “legally” any place. When small businesses, like motorcycle shops, close their doors because of government persecution, mandated by the insurance companies, it rarely generates a blimp on the news radar screen. But when it starts to affect the general population and revenue for the insurance companies, it becomes big news.
I don’t think anyone would disagree that we are in a depression right now. Most diseases stop short of killing the host, knowing it’s suicidal. Years of evolution taught even a simple mindless organism not to take too much. Unfortunately, insurance companies and government agencies lack the basic brains of an amoeba.
Businesses are folding left and right due to unprecedented taxes, ungodly regulations and nonsensical red tape. Not to mention the insurance policies that embed themselves into regulation; how convenient. And when the industry still struggles to survive, there’s always “law” to help kill any evidence of life, like the laws in Daytona Beach, Myrtle Beach and Sturgis. Laws created around events to extinguish the very events that pay their high premiums; laws that only apply to our industry, motorcycles, more specifically, choppers/bobbers.
Save the Shylocks
The Government embraced a laissez faire approach towards business, but once again, embraced something it didn’t understand. You can’t have laissez faire when business is good and profits are rolling in, then switch gears to a socialistic approach when businesses fail. That’s the price you pay for running a business. I don’t expect tax money to bail me out if I start to lose money, but that’s exactly what big business expects, a government insurance policy. If they squander profits and mismanage corporate revenue, they lose, plain and simple. Why should Wall Street get my tax money twice; once from investments and again from tax dollars? What part of the Constitution guarantees Wall Street from failing by taxing small business even further, driving them out of business to pay for big business? Why don’t you and I have this insurance buffer, generated by tax dollars? Why do Wall Street Executives get immediate relief while physicians are considered more expendable by the Government and insurance agencies?
The medical profession is laced with problems, no doubt about it, but the United States has always taken pride in health care, even if it’s not always affordable. Patients can’t afford the health care without employer sponsorship and doctors can’t afford the insurance premiums unless they charge unaffordable rates. To manage their daily work schedules, many physicians report making changes. With lower reimbursement from insurance companies and the cost of malpractice insurance skyrocketing, these health professionals say it’s not worth running a practice and are changing careers. May I suggest not to consider opening up a motorcycle shop? Some physicians are opting for so-called boutique medicine, where they charge patients a yearly fee up front and don’t take insurance. Not taking insurance? That’s like not paying taxes. If there’s not a law against it, there will be soon. Law makers will be called on the carpet by the insurance companies and forced to regulate these renegades, these “insurances evaders.”
Some physicians are limiting the type of insurance they’ll take and the number of patients on Medicare and Medicaid. Over a third of recent doctors surveyed have closed their practices to Medicaid patients and over 10 percent have closed their practices to Medicare patients. Ummmm… Try getting insurance for a bike with an assembled title if you can, and see how much it costs. If you want “affordable” insurance, you have almost no choice but to buy from the factory, unless you’re savvy, which most of you are, which is why you’re reading The Horse. So small shops that build a bike from the ground up have a hard time selling their fine works of art because the insurance companies make sure that you can’t afford to insure those bikes. And when small shops close their doors because they can’t make a living, who’s going to help them? No one, not if the insurance companies have anything to say about it, and you know they do.
What we need is a government with balls. We need sweeping changes in the way local agencies create laws to target bikers, like in those areas I mentioned. Local and county government should not be able to deviate from state law and single out a segment of society, during certain times, just to enforce their brand of law, which is fascist at best. Daytona Beach is a perfect example of local agencies out of control and corrupt. That’s right, the more corrupt a state, the more numerous the laws, and Daytona has laws against anything and everything, especially during Bike Week.
Then again, the genocide may not be entirely orchestrated by the insurance companies and their employees, state and local government. I pulled this off of Cyril Huze’s blog this morning regarding the “Rebirth of Daytona Bike Week Riverfront Park On Beach Street”: “Then, it all went away because of the city unfriendliness approach with our gathering and the decision of Bruce Rossmeyer to open Destination Harley in Ormond Beach. But now I learn that Bruce has engaged one of his companies, Biker Threads, to enter into an agreement with the City of Daytona Beach in order to bring back the activities that made motorcycling events fun on Beach Street. So, the Beach Street’s Riverfront Park is back to become again one of the main focuses during the next Bike Week (with Ormond Beach & International Speedway) with a Vendor Village, Custom Bike Builders and OEM Displays, Live Entertainment, Beer Gardens, Stunt Shows, Parts Installation Areas, food court, etc.”
So Rossmeyer pulled out of Beach Street, opened up Desperation Daytona down in Ormond Beach because the City of Daytona Beach was unfriendly. But now he has struck a deal with this unfriendly agency, the ones who try to impound everyone’s bike without due process or cause, and will bring back the days gone by via one of his companies. Does Rossmeyer own the town or what? Does he have control over the government agencies so now they won’t hassle you if you attend his Beachfront event? If so, you have to wonder about the “unfriendliness” to begin with. Who stood to pro t off the genocide of bikers in Daytona Beach? Maybe it should be called the Desperation Daytona Refugee Center? Hell, the only place I feel safe and welcomed at is Willies Tropical Tattoo. I’ll bet even doctors feel welcomed there.
I just received my property taxes for 2008. They are based on the State’s Equalized Value, which went up, even though the value of my home plummeted. Sure, I can fight it, and have about 20% chance of winning, but why should I have to fight for something that flies in the face of logic? Only here can the government tax you beyond your means, then lower your means even further as they tax you higher. And of course, insurance rates keep going up. Which reminds me, with all the businesses going “out” of business, like banks, small shops and even the Big Three almost left the city, how many insurance companies do you know went out of business? I don’t recall any, do you? Doctors are leaving their practices, banks are collapsing, small shops are folding but yet, insurance companies are doing quite well. Are they all coconspirators? Is there any truth to the rumor that insurance companies call their government agencies together for meetings at Desperation Daytona?
Bikers may not have a lot of money as individuals, but collectively, we come together and generate a lot of revenue. Revenue that benefits those that are generally against us, like the local government agencies in Sturgis, Daytona and Myrtle Beach, to name a few. I personally won’t spend a dime at Desperation Daytona and only go to Daytona Beach to support Willie and his show. If they want a total genocide of bikers, I say give it to them and take our business elsewhere. Unlike the medical profession, we have the option to help one another, support those that support us, but if we chose to feed the mouths of corporate greed, then we have no one to blame but ourselves.
Founder of The Horse BackStreet Choppers Magazine