Sunday, August 2, 2009

"Health Care" really is Health Insurance

Which one of these is unlike the others?

None.  They're all the same.   Each is an element of personal responsibility and personal choice.

After you finish struggling and fighting your way through all the obfuscation, mis-direction, mis-information, outright lies, ideological positions, naiveté, historical ignorance, fact avoidance and  political rhetoric, if one has grit and  perseveres, you may finally get to the core issues about what the "Health Care " debate is actually all about....and it ain't about Health Care.  It's simply about insurance and who pays for it.

A couple of data stakes need to be put in the ground right here in the beginning.....

-The best overall health care in the world exists here in the US.... period.  
-Everyone in the U.S. has access to health care, even if you don't have insurance, are a vagrant, or are an illegal citizen....just show up at the hospital Emergency Room.
-90% of Americans have health insurance, either through their employment, Medicare, Medicaid, or self-payed.  The other 10% consists of people who are eligible for coverage (through employment Medicare & Medicaid) but have chosen not to take advantage. The rest are illegal aliens.
-More is spent on health care per capita in the U.S. for a number of reasons: more advanced and newer methodologies and medicines available to us; higher medical litigation and concomitant CYA testing; a significant amount of our population (90%) which is relatively price insensitive because its health care is paid for by a third party (either private insurance or the government through Medicare/Medicaid ). 

Think about it.  Until 1965 and the enactment of Medicaid, we didn't have any societal issues about who paid for any one else's medical treatment, outside of indigents.  Everyone else took responsibility for paying the freight for their own medical issues, as they took responsibility for their own housing, food, auto insurance, house or apartment insurance, etc.

Here we are in 2009, debating about how we'll communally pay for everyone's medical bills, regardless if they've taken care of themselves, or been totally irresponsible about their own health issues.  And, when you drill down a little more, the discussion actually is about how to get someone else to pay for our medical bills. And, once that's settled, I guess that as a society we'll go to the next issue:  how to get someone else to pay for our housing, and then our food. (wait a minute, we've already done a lot in those areas already).

The truth of the matter is that while the Democrats are attempting to socialize the cost of health care, the Republicans are only attempting to argue over how much to pay and who to tax.  WRONG ARGUMENT!

Despite what some may feel is a harsh stance, we're not communally responsible for each other's health, happiness, life's pleasures, or expenses. The Constitution does not mandate equality of outcome, just the freedom of opportunity to pursue our own individual wealth and happiness.

I implore the Republicans, especially people such as Senator Chuck Grassley, who is working feverishly on a misguided mission to forge a bi-partisan pastiche of a Health Care Bill with the Democrats, to cease and desist!  That's not what's needed.  What is needed is legislation that will open up the health insurance market to nationwide private health insurance carrier competition, just as we have for auto's, homes and life insurance - that will drive the cost of insurance down dramatically; the elimination of State mandates on coverage requirements, such that my wife (who is beyond child bearing) will not have to be covered for maternity benefits, and other such asinine mandates- that will also drive costs down significantly; tax relief for private health insurance purchasers that puts them on the same tax and cost  footing as employee / employer purchased plans; and meaningful tort reform so that we can eliminate a huge amount of medical cost overhead due to outrageous medical claim awards. Doing that  will significantly reduce the resultant and related CYA testing practices, and their related high costs that malpractice litigation engenders.

For that small percentage (10%) of the population that is not currently enrolled in a health insurance plan, after you sort out the people who are already eligible for Medicaid and Medicare, and the people who just don't want to buy it now (mostly younger people), the rest are illegal invaders, who we have no economic responsibility for - send them home.

Once we've done that, we can go back and sort out Medicaid and closing those misguided enterprises down.  If Medicare enrollees were given the tax advantage that corporations currently have, and if health insurance pools could be structured nationwide, as opposed to the State boundaries currently constructed, they would be able to afford effective levels of insurance that would cover their major risk issues.  The following chart demonstrates the clear differential in spending on health when individual s have a stake in the responsibility for covering the cost.

We need to get back to arguing principles of personal responsibility....not who and what we'll tax in order to pay for our own needs.


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