Thursday, July 23, 2009
Health Care Reform on Life Support
Barack's latest Hope Crusade: Healthcare Reform. Funny how we call things like this Crusades. The original Crusades started with seemingly good intentions of a pious and religious nature. But when the Crusaders actually went Crusading, they raped, pillaged, killed just about anyone they could. And in the end, only the First Crusade succeeded, with the following 7 failing (and as its supporting Crusades failed, the First one was also essentially a failure). And that's what Barack's Healthcare Crusade will be. Even if it "succeeds" it will only fail in the long run.
Healthcare's expensive, and the Uberliberals hate that. Who doesn't hate that? And being liberals, they think that Government can and should solve every problem in the world.
Healthcare is costly for many reasons. But here are the main ones:
1. It's very good, and very high tech.
MRIs, EKGs, blood work, and that's just the basics you'd get at a routine physical. Microsurgery and all the not-so-regular stuff is even more expensive. Then there are drugs, which take billions of dollars to research and develop. And no, you shouldn't make all drugs generic, because then drug companies would stop making them (no profit potential=no research)
2. We live longer
A 60 year old man needs healthcare much more than a 40 year old man. And a 20 year old man needs the least care of all. As the Baby Boomer generation grows old, they need more care. Which costs more money.
3. We're not healthy
Obesity overtook cigarette smoking as the #1 cause of death in this country a few years ago. Obesity leads to countless heart problems, diabetes, nutritionists, muscle problems, back problems, and so on. All these are extremely expensive to care for.
4. Insurance is no longer a form of risk management
Why have health insurance? In case you fall down the stairs, break all your ribs, you don't want the hospital to break your bank account to pay for the treatment. So you pay small monthly premiums, so just in case the worst happens, you don't have to pay crippling medical bills. In fact, you HOPE to lose money on insurance in the long run. You hope to pay more into your insurance than your medical expenses warrant. But these days, routine and regular visits to the doctor, as well as tests and prescription pills, are very expensive. Yet they're paid for by health insurance. That's not risk management, it's a payment plan.
So how does the government solve problems like our healthcare being so high tech and so good? By making it worse? Lower tech? Leeches were cheap, MRIs are expensive.
How does the government fix the problem of people living so long? Put little diamonds in their palms and kill them when they turn 30?
And what about the problem with the general health of Americans? You can't FORCE people to lose weight, quit smoking, and exercise. You can't make it illegal to be fat. I wouldn't have a problem with the government funding free public gyms and stuff like that, but it's unconstitutional to force people to be healthy.
Then there's that whole insurance/risk management thing. Now there's something the government could solve. You wouldn't expect an auto insurance policy to pay for your oil change, so why should health insurance cover physicals and other routine appointments? Perhaps this area of healthcare should be reexamined.
Is having health insurance an inalienable right? No. Absolutely not. Americans have the right TO BUY health insurance, but it's not something that should be given out by the government. It's not a necessity of life. Before the 1860s, no American had ever had health insurance. Modern health insurance didn't come about until the 1920s.
How did mankind survive before health insurance? Who knows? Scholars maintain the explanation was lost hundreds of years ago.
I do think healthcare could use some reform. But it's important to stay true to that word "reform." An overhaul is not reform. A complete 180° is not reform.
Malpractice law needs to be adjusted so doctors and hospitals are not overly targeted. Doctors should only be held responsible for death or injury if it can be proven that they were negligent or grossly incompetent. They shouldn't get sued for simply making a mistake, which is what humans tend to do. Malpractice insurance is a massive expense built in to health care. But of course, Nanny Liberals think that if someone goes to a hospital, but dies, then it's governments job to somehow fix the problem. And that's where you get frivolous malpractice lawsuits, which are very costly even when won.
There are too many lawsuits in this country as is.
Universal health insurance is not the answer. And I'll give an anecdotal reason why. Currently, government provides us with a free education through high school. Let's say a high school senior, who doesn't legally have to attend school, isn't trying, and fails all his classes. He's kicked out of school.
Now let's say we had universal health insurance. Some person isn't trying to stay healthy, weighs 400 pounds, has diabetes, heart disease, smokes 4 packs a day, and drinks a gallon of Jack Daniels every night. Shouldn't this person be ejected from a universal health care system? Does this person deserve public funds to be spent on their hugely expensive medical costs?
And if you think this grotesque kind of person is a rarity, then you've never been to Alabama.
Alabama Man - Watch more Funny Videos
Universal health care is a nice, pretty, happy idea. But like having a tea party on railroad tracks, it's a pleasant thought that inevitably will be destroyed by the harsh realities of life.
Government organizations are inefficient. This is because the best employees are snatched up by the private sector, and because most politicians are where they are because of who they know and/or how much money they have, not for any real merit.
Furthermore, our government IS DESIGNED to be inefficient. It's called checks and balances. It's an intentional obstacle to quick change. The people have to really want something in order for it to happen.
Adding government bureaucracy to healthcare will make it slower, more expensive, and of lesser quality.
I'm selfish, so I don't want to pay for people I don't know and don't care about to see their doctor. But maybe I'm in the minority. If so, why not put a checkbox on tax returns. Ask the taxpayer "Would you like to donate $x,xxx into the National Health Insurance Program?" See how many people check "Yes!"
Or we could just get the rich to pay for it. Tax from the rich, redistribute to the poor. I thought Barack was from Chicago, not Sherwood Forest.
Taxing the rich is great! And fun! They probably inherited their money anyway. Or if they didn't they schemed it away from people some other way. Then again, these are the people who invest in small businesses. These are the people who buy cars, giving the car salesman a job. These are the people who add guest rooms to their mansions, giving the contractor and painter and plumber and electrician a job. These are the people who hire accountants, lawyers, nannies, maids, butlers, and so on. These are the people who go out to dinner, give their kids $100 to go to the mall, and so on.
Rich people, unlike what liberals think, are not like Scrooge McDuck. They don't keep their money in vaults to swim around in. They do two things with money: spend and invest.
I have no qualms about taxing the rich to improve the public school system, or even heavily taxing inheritance to encourage people to spend more while they're alive. But it's very stupid to view the rich as a neverending pool of potential revenue for endless amounts of entitlement programs.
Social security is faltering, so tax the rich!
Healthcare is expensive, so tax the rich!
Red Sox tickets are too hard to get, so tax the rich!
So be careful what you tax the rich for. Rich people create jobs, just like Ted DiBiase created a job for Virgil.
Posted by rob at 2:00 AM