The problem with healthcare is not the “uninsured” or that people aren’t getting the care that they need. On the contrary, people are getting care whether they’re insured or not. They are getting some of the best care in the world.
But our system has evolved in a way that hurts us all. It’s evolved in a way that causes consumers to be careless users of the system. And that careless use costs us all money. Pair that up with the widespread belief that healthcare should be “free” for all, and you’ve got a recipe for disaster. Free care isn’t free at all. Someone has to pay for it, and everyone would prefer that someone to be someone else.
Then of course, there is government involvement. Please show me an example of government intervention that isn’t costly and inefficient. Our government is ineffective at almost everything it does, so it’s no wonder that when our government gets involved and starts making all sorts of mandates about health care and insurance, the result is horrible. (Ususally higher costs, lower efficiency, and less effectiveness.)
DownsizeDC.org offers a wonderful analysis of our current healthcare system:
A survey by The Physician’s Foundation finds that nearly HALF of primary care doctors plan to reduce or eliminate their practices in the next three years!
The survey also gives the reasons . . .
* Too much non-clinical paperwork
* Difficulty getting reimbursed
* Too much government regulation
* Lack of time (caused by the above problems) to form patient relationships
These problems exist because the government has corrupted the nature of health insurance.
* Insurance is supposed to cover rare but expensive procedures
* But various government policies have made health insurance cover the medical equivalents of oil changes and tire rotations
* This means that most medical care is paid for by the government, or by insurance companies, and not by the people actually seeking the care
* This causes people to over-use medical services, and doctors to order questionable procedures
* That causes both insurance companies and the government to limit their costs by second-guessing every decision your doctor makes
* This burden of regulation leads to piles of non-clinical paperwork and difficulty getting reimbursed
But it gets worse. Health care prices are actually set by the government . .
* The government funds HALF of all medical care
* This gives the government huge clout as the largest purchaser of health care
* The government uses this clout to limit what it’s willing to pay for every medical procedure
* The insurance companies use these government prices to set their own prices
* If these fixed prices are too low, shortages result, AND DOCTORS VANISH!
But that’s only the beginning . . .
If your health insurance is tied to your employer — if you risk catastrophe because losing your job means losing your health insurance — you can thank the government for that. Federal tax policies created the incentives that caused your health insurance to be tied to your job.
But if you don’t have employer-provided health insurance, and find coverage too expensive to buy on your own, you can thank the government for that too. State and federal laws mandate that insurance policies cover everything under the sun, making it hard to buy affordable major medical coverage.
The politicians could easily fix these problems by . . .
* Providing tax refunds for all health care expenses, including insurance premiums
* Allowing insurance companies to compete with different policies at different prices by ending mandates on what all health insurance must cover
* Funding Health Savings Accounts for Medicare recipients so they’ll have more incentives to be frugal
The solution to our health care problems is less meddling by the politicians, not more. The case of the vanishing doctors isn’t mysterious. The politicians did it, and they want to do more of what caused it!
And in case you’re still not convinced that we should just “give government-run healthcare a try” and see what happens… (After all, what’s the worst that can happen?)
Remember that we have given it a try. It’s called Medicare. It sucks. For consumers and for care providers. I’d even go so far as to deem it a massive failure. Why add to the failure? Why allow our government to further destroy our healthcare system. I want good care, and I want it for decades to come.
Let Obama run it all, and you might be surprised at how bad things will get. There will be no incentive for innovation or the development of new treatments. You’ll be lucky to get the basic care you need in a timely fashion. Stand up against the government officials who want to take over yet another aspect of our lives.