As we watch our president address the many problems facing our society (though not so much the Iranian one), the latest "crisis" that needs his immediate attention is our health care system. And why not? We all pay too much for health care. Some 15% don't have health insurance. And in the words of his Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel "you never want a serious crisis to go to waste. And what I mean by that is an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before."
So (surprise!) the solution is for government to vastly expand insurance coverage. The government will somehow get more people covered for the same cost and with the same level of care. But aside from being mathematically impossible, it's just the start. The eventual track of government's further intrusion into the health market will be the destruction of private health care, replaced completely by government. Government will always win since it makes/enforces the laws and can always run a deficit. And you think private monopolies are bad?
The bottom line is that the Democrats' proposals lead directly to a health care system that would entrust all personal health information with the federal government, who would then determine what care you receive (or don't) and actually stands to gain (by controlling the terms/level of estate taxes) when you die.
Are you kidding me? This is not a trivial conflict of interest! This doesn't scare you?
First, you would think the privacy advocates would be decrying the centralization of medical information with the federal government. As I recall, they were all over the previous administrations' effort to look into library and phone records to prevent terrorism - somewhat less important/personal information. And aren't there currently some issues with identity theft?
Then, you would imagine the “futurists” and deep thinkers would ponder the effect of government being completely responsible for our very life and death - from cradle (if you get that far) to coffin (which you certainly will). The premise that a bigger single payer (i.e. government, who by the way already spends some half of all healthcare dollars) will make the system more efficient is asinine to most of us. But regardless it will lead to cost cutting (public money must be used wisely), rationing (prices are no longer able to help allocate), and overall health/lifestyle intrusions (poor choices burden others).
For example, do you really think when government pays for all healthcare they:
** will allow women to choose to have (even potentially) sick babies? It would be inefficient (and unfair) to have a baby that costs the system too much. Hey, but no more Down's Syndrome.
** will permit you to fully choose what you consume? They will increasingly promote and eventually require “prevention and wellness” programs since poor health decisions (whether eating, drinking, or smoking) cost the system too much. (And someone needs to alert those hypocrisy watchers given the President's recent anti-smoking bill.)
** will let your doctor determine the best course of care? Only government approved “most effective therapies” will be allowed.
** will provide you care at all once the costs exceed the benefits of providing it? That would be inefficient for the taxpayers! Historically, the "top" (sickest) 5% receive half of the spending, which of course isn't fair to the "bottom" 95%. Sure, those in government and assorted VIPs will get to the front of the line, but you won't.
** will not be tempted to look at the financial gain from taxing your estate? Any efficiently run organization would weigh that into its decisions. For example, your treatment will cost the system $200,000 and you may only live for a year, but if somehow you die (God forbid) your estate taxes will provide $5,000,000. Let's not imagine what might happen when your politics are out of favor. Thanks big brother Cain.
Finally, you would at least expect those so concerned about "fear mongering" (see previous administration's critics) to be wary as President Obama threatens of a health care "time bomb!" Especially after his previous dire warnings of catastrophe if we didn't immediately pass a stimulus bill to address the "worst economy" since the Great Depression. And his upcoming energy takeover to stave off world destruction from global warming, or is it cooling (and completely cripple our economy.) Hey, at least we can kill two "birds" with one stone when we pull your plug! Talk about efficiency! (sorry PETA.)
This is hope? Sadly, I think Dante said it best - "Abandon all hope, ye who enter here."
Speaking of hope, we hopefully can take the time to actually debate the real underlying reasons for our health care problems since we all agree issues need to be addressed. I would argue that the biggest one affecting the system is the third party nature of it, but also the corporate tax deduction for health benefits, the prevalence of lawsuits and resulting use of overly defensive medicine (and escalating cost of malpractice insurance), and the high cost of new lifesaving technology (including drug development). Of course, none of that will change (for the better) with the proposals currently being rammed through by the Democrats. What will certainly change is your right to choose. Whoever is paying is deciding - and it won't be you.
So where does this end? At what point do you realize this actually is a time bomb, but lit by the left and threatening our most fundamental rights - the rights to life and to liberty. The man who claims he doesn't want bigger government wants to control who gets care, how you get it, and when you won't.
A "crisis" may be a terrible thing to “waste” in your opinion, President Obama. But so is our freedom. At least some of us still think so.