Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Reform Starts at the Top

For some reason the idea of our government providing the citizens with health-care became connected with communism. The United States is the only industrialized nation that does not have a system of nationalized health-care in place.

Our current Congress is trying to "reform" health-care.

This is a bad idea.

People who are in favor of nationalized health-care believe everyone should have access to relatively inexpensive (or free) health-care. People shouldn't have to worry about going bankrupt because of health issues.

Those against universal health-care think the government will probably screw up the system just like they do everything else. They're worried we'll lose our spirit of medical innovation and become bogged down in delays waiting for routine procedures. They're worried taxes will rise to pay for medical treatment. They're concerned they will have to pay for abortions, boob jobs, and lung-cancer treatment for smokers.

Maybe paying for boob jobs isn't so bad.

I'm here to dispel a few fears.

1. Health-care is already the most bureaucratic system in the country. Would government control really make it worse?

2. Health-care is already very expensive. Have you looked to see what your employer pays in premiums? Assuming you have employer provided health insurance.

3. The bureaucrats are already making decisions about providing care. Not everybody gets what they think they need.

4. There are vast inequities in the quality of care around the country. If you happen to live in a suburban area, you probably have access to good quality care and services. If you live in a rural area or inner-city, you're probably out of luck.

The problem with reforming health-care is that we're trusting Congress to do it.

Bad move.

I'm starting to think our system of government is much more effective at creating waste, obstructing, and pandering to special interests. Congress is elected by the people to represent their voice in Washington. Unfortunately the voice with the most money shouts the loudest. Democrats and Republicans are no different.

So Congress starts crafting a piece of legislation that is a mess. Every Congressman and Senator has to put their own little twist to the legislation. The result costs a lot of money and will never achieve its intended purpose.

If they really wanted to enact health-care reform they would enact legislation appointing a non-partisan blue ribbon committee containing various people in the health-care industry - Doctors, nurses, hospital administrators, economists, consumer advocates, academics, even a lawyer or two.

This committee would study various health-care systems from around the world. It would craft a plan containing the best aspects and present this plan to Congress. Congress would then have the opportunity to accept the plan or reject it. No changes.

If we could keep the 535 members of our legislative branch from getting their grimy fingers on our health-care, we might achieve something.

It's never going to happen.

Unfortunately, the nationalized health-care ship in this country probably sailed sometime in the Fifties. The system is too large and too entrenched to change.


Anonymous said...

Great post Tim.

Just did our taxes today. 22% of our gross income went towards medical expenses. We are insured but can't hardly afford it.

With the health problems I have I see no light at the end of the tunnel. Costs are out of control. Doctors and hospitals can charge at will. Insurance companies profit off sickness.

I am so disillusioned with whole mess right now. Reform? Please. You are right we need a complete, total overhaul. I suspect I will take up permanent residence at Fountain Grove Cemetery before universal coverage comes to America.


MOSQUITO said...

EXCELLENT IDEAS! Nice to see a blogger with wit and brains! God bless you!