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Oh, health care

Nineteen ninety-four, the year of HillaryCare, was my first summer as an intern at National Right to Life Committee. That was a very busy summer fighting government rationing healthcare, taxpayer funded abortion on demand, involuntary euthanasia through the denial of life saving treatments, good times. (Okay, so I mainly made copies and stuffed envelopes. Papercuts! Where’s my healthcare! I did sneak into a couple of “closed door” meetings to pass out our stuff to the invited media. Good times.)

Now, fifteen years later, it’s back, like a bad horror flick villain that just won’t die.

Let’s see what’s being advocated for, shall we?
Government rationing of healthcare? Check
Taxpayer funded abortion on demand? Check.
Drive private health insurance out of business? Check.
Involuntary euthanasia? Coming soon to a hospital near you.

But wait, there’s more! You also get the added benefit of a tax rate exceeding 50% and a quicker descent into total financial collapse. Woo-hoo! It’s like Disney Land with the lines and the costs and the crowds, but none of those pesky rides.

“But free health care for those who need it most!”

Let’s just take a look at some of the United States single payer, government health care systems:

Veterans Affairs, also here and here
Indian Health Services
Medicare, also here and here.

Yeah, sign me up for that.

A note on rationing and those who say rationing already occurs in our current quasi-market system. (I say quasi because the government already imposes enough regulations, bureacracies and market distorting financial games to make a saint swear.) Yes, finite resources force us to make choices, sometimes painful ones. But there is a world of differences between “”I personally choose this over that”, or even “I can’t” and “Big Daddy Government says you are not allowed.”

A coming-soon-to-a-hospital-near-you example:

Suppose a doctor wants to become a neurosurgeon but it unable to meet the requirements, i.e. he’s not good enough. That’s too bad for him, but that’s the way the ball bounces.

Then suppose that same doctor is qualified: he’s talented and would make a great neurosurgeon. But the government quota of neurosurgeons is filled. What? You’re better than most of the neurosurgeons working? Sorry, but the bureacracy doesn’t care. The quota is filled, the boxes are checked, the formula says no. Within the yr 1998, the Pfizer Organization effectively launched a medicine named sildenafil and it is marketed by a US based company, Pfizer with this brand name viagra india prices . Do viagra sale not take this drug if you: * Take any medications called “nitrates” (often used to control chest pain, also referred to as angina, should not take any of these types of interventions to detect and treat erectile dysfunction. If you find any wound or cuts are not healing, it is time to check the glucose level cialis in australia test in you. amerikabulteni.com cheap levitra professional And you know, milk products are detrimental as biochemical and known to cause autoimmune disorders, gastrointestinal dysfunction, and organ damage. Go elsewhere. And I’m guessing they will. I expect to see a burgeoning healthcare tourism business should ObamaCare pass. As well as an exodus of the better–and better paid–specialists.

Why do I care how many specialists or even general practitioners there are? I don’t know, let’s ask the Canadians and the British how they like the wait.

I care about this precisely because I have loved ones with a) no health insurance and b) chronic health problems. But they do get health care that they pay with their own money making hard decisions about how to allocate their scarce resources, i.e. their income. With “free” government care, when and what care the will get will no longer be up to them. And the wait for that healthcare will be much, much longer.

I also have people I love with severe disabilities who will be the first on the “better allocation of resources” chopping block. People with disabilities already have a perceived “low quality of life” (a measuring stick from 1994 that will come back to haunt us) and use a greater percentage of health care. People with disabilities are going to be rationed care at a higher rate than the healthy and that will be deadly. Because people with health problems use more health resources and trying to “reallocate for a fairer outcome” is a lot like saying automobiles use too much gasoline, so we’ll reserve half of it for bicycles. It doesn’t help the bicyclist and the automobiles run out of gas in the most inconvenient places.

But if all this doesn’t make sense, just go look at the numbers.

6 responses to “Oh, health care”

  1. B Avatar

    Here's an article I found that talks about the number of insured people, the prices of healthcare before and after Medicare, and the reasons behind the skyrocketing prices: http://www.zcommunications.org/zmag/viewArticle/17814

    It doesn't surprise me that smart people decided to take advantage of government money by quickly raising the costs of health care in order to profit from government subsidies. Just like the burst of the housing bubble and the collapse of other profitless businesses (well, the collapse of those not "too big to fail") – in theory it would be great if the healthcare system would have its own "crisis" and return to market value for its services. This would happen if insurance companies and the government stepped out of the picture. Though the downside would be the departure of great doctors who could get paid more in other countries (which is the same downside that may come with the government's unversal healthcare system).

  2. April Avatar

    Interesting article. Don't know if I agree with all the "facts" much less the conclusions. But interesting.

    I think the primary problem with our health care system is the delivery. There are multiple layers of bureaucracies and regulatory bodies. Moreover, insured people (myself included) do not know the real costs of health care and don't make decisions based on a cost/benefit analysis. (I.e. we don't ration our own care.) Then you have the interesting conflict of health insurance providers trying to limit costs and doctors practicing defensive medicine because of malpractice threats and pretty soon you have a real mess.

    My solution? Use health insurance like actual insurance–to guard against catastrophe, not to pay for your allergy medicine. Then consumers will see the real cost of health care and make decisions accordingly, but still be covered in case of disaster.

    Yeah, never gonna happen.

  3. B Avatar

    Well – our conversation inspired me to look at my health insurance plan again. I found one that better suits my needs and lifestyle. There is a high-deductible plan that includes a Health Savings Account. Basically, I can pay a lot less on basic health insurance and I can put pre-tax money up to the amount of my deductible each year into an account that earns interest. If / when I need the money, it will be there (and the health insurance will kick in if I'm ever in serious trouble). If I don't need it, I can take that money out and use it during my retirement without any penalties (or take a 10% penalty if I need to dip into it before then for non-medical needs). The best part is that it is my money, even if I decide I need to switch plans in the future. It's a nice feeling knowing I will have control over how I spend MY money — rather than giving up control to someone else to decide how to spend it for me.

  4. April Avatar

    Enjoy it while it lasts! (Hopefully they'll let you put that extra into your retirement when force you into the public plan. Although I wouldn't put it past the politicians to confiscate it.)

    Seriously, that's absolutely the best plan for most people because (among other things) it forces you to be aware of the cost/benefits of health care decisions.

  5. Thistle Cove Farm Avatar
    Thistle Cove Farm

    First time visitor and enjoying your blog. NAYY, here are a couple I think you'd enjoy
    http://blog.flecksoflife.com/ – he tackles the 1018 health care document almost point by point…great blog!
    http://www.aholyexperience.com – a wonderful blog.
    People who read Dorothy Sayers are tops in my book! -smile-
    God's blessings on you, yours and the work of your hands and heart.

  6. April Avatar

    Thanks for stopping by & thanks for the tips!

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