This whole “healthcare reform” debate is making me crazy. Mainly because of all the disinformation provided, as well as the alarming sound bites played by the media. The truth is that our healthcare system in America does NOT need “reform.” Yes, there are some good changes that could be made, but we do not need massive changes because the system is really not broken.
Take the issue of “uninsured” people in the United States. This is presented as the biggest tragedy of all. Yet it’s not the tragedy the media would have you believe. The figure of 45 million uninsured people is thrown around as proof that our system is broken. In reality, it’s not proof of that at all.
Here’s how the 45 million people shake out: The number sounds worse that it is because it is a figure that includes anyone who was without health insurance at any time during 2007. Many of these people could have been without insurance during a job change or other temporary situation. 26% of the total (11.7 million people) qualified for public coverage but didn’t use it. 21% (9.5 million) were non-citizens, many illegal immigrants. 20% (9 million) made over $75,000 per year (more than enough to buy insurance).
Subtract those groups of people from the total, and you’ve got about 14.8 million “real” uninsured people. In a country with a population of over 307 million, that means that over 95% of our citizens have or could have health insurance.
And it’s also critical to remember that lack of health insurance is NOT the same thing as lack of health care. The lefties would have you believe this is the case, but it is not. Those without insurance still have access to plenty of healthcare in this country.
Yes, health insurance can be very expensive. But it has gotten this way because of government mandates, consumer misuse of the system, and unrealistic expectations for insurance. Just 30 years ago, health insurance covered catastrophic events like hospitalization. Day-to-day health care was paid for out-of-pocket, as it should be. Got the sniffles and want to see your doctor? Pay for it yourself. Need some medicine for an infection? Go to the pharmacy and buy it. This type of system promoted responsible use of health care money.
More importantly, though, is that it required consumers to be responsible for themselves. Our healthcare situation is currently one big “let someone else pay for it” system. Whether it’s an insurance company or y our employer (who pays for or provides your insurance) or the government…. people seem happiest to let someone else pay for their health costs. And that’s not the way it should be!
I don’t mind helping out those who need help. But insurance is supposed to be more of a safety net than a catch-all. People should have money set aside for medical needs and should pay for it themselves. Comparing health insurance to auto insurance provides a very nice illustration. What if your auto insurance had to pay for every set of new brakes, new tires, inspections, and basic repairs? Auto insurance would be extremely more expensive. Instead, we have a system through which car owners pay for their own upkeep and maintenance, and auto insurance only covers the big emergencies like accidents. That’s what our health insurance needs to be!
All this to get ot the real point of the article. This opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal did a fantastic job of summarizing how even our President doesn’t know what he wants or what “healthcare reform” should look like. He’s constantly contradicting himself in terms of what his program should do or provide.
- We can’t keep this system: We can’t “keep the system the way it is right now,” he continued, while his critics are “people who want to keep things the way they are.”
- We can keep the system: “I keep on saying this but somehow folks aren’t listening,” Mr. Obama proclaimed in Grand Junction, Colorado. “If you like your health-care plan, you keep your health-care plan. Nobody is going to force you to leave your health-care plan. If you like your doctor, you keep seeing your doctor. I don’t want government bureaucrats meddling in your health care.”
- No government takeover: Mr. Obama couldn’t be more opposed to “some government takeover,” as he put it in Belgrade, Montana. In New Hampshire, he added that people were wrong to worry “that somehow some government bureaucrat out there will be saying, well, you can’t have this test or you can’t have this procedure because some bean-counter decides that this is not a good way to use our health-care dollars.”
- A government takeover: Mr. Obama merely wants to create “a panel of experts, health experts, doctors, who can provide guidelines to doctors and patients about what procedures work best in what situations, and find ways to reduce, for example, the number of tests that people take” (New Hampshire, again).
- The government did Medicare right: “The only thing I would point is, is that Medicare is a government program that works really well for our seniors,” he noted in Colorado. After all, as he said in New Hampshire, “If we’re able to get something right like Medicare, then there should be a little more confidence that maybe the government can have a role—not the dominant role, but a role—in making sure the people are treated fairly when it comes to insurance.”
- The government didn’t do Medicare right: The government didn’t get Medicare right, though: Just ask the President. The entitlement is “going broke” (Colorado) and “unsustainable” and “running out of money” (New Hampshire). And it’s “in deep trouble if we don’t do something, because as you said, money doesn’t grow on trees” (Montana).
If Obama can’t even keep his story straight as to what his plan is and is not, how are we to believe that the government will do well running our healthcare system?
As taxpayers and citizens, this should alarm us all! We are being sold an extremely expensive bill of goods that is not going to solve any of the perceived problems in our healthcare system. All it will do is make care even MORE expensive than it already is (or is perceived to be) and the quality and access is likely to go down.
ObamaCare is not the way to “fix” the system. It will be left more broken, and our economy will suffer even more because our government will be taking even more money out of the economy via even more unfair taxes. That money will go down the black hole of government bureaucracy and we will have nothing tangible to show for it. Just a more broken system (if you can even consider our current system broken).