Tuesday, September 15, 2009

What Healthcare “Reform” Is Really About.....

Sometimes It’s Hard to Know Who’s Really Smarter: The leaders or the followers. Take the biggest current political issue, for example:

It’s Not About Healthcare Reform at all. It’s about reforming healthcare insurance.

The Whole Purpose of the Debate is to find a way to remove the rationing, the bureaucratic rationing that stands between us and our doctors. At the same time, we don’t want to put the tens of thousands of insurance company employees out of work.

The Last Thing America Needs Right Now is to kill off another industry—or to make taxpayers foot the bill for another bailout. And so Congress and the White House are working  to see if we can’t find a middle way.

The Thing Is, We No Longer Have a “Middle” Way in America. It’s right or left, blue or red, “my way or the highway,” with not much agreement on anything between.

Meanwhile, the “Tea-Bag” Party-Goers are out there, complaining that our government can’t seem to get much of anything right. On the one hand, it’s hard to argue with the evidence of congressional and presidential failure. On the other hand, this business of government is clearly a lot harder than it looks....

We’d All Like Somebody to Take Charge—like a CEO, a dictator, or a king. If only we could do it without giving up our “inalienable rights.” Such as the right to more services and entitlements, with lower and lower taxes.

But When Government Tries to Transition from the inefficient insurance mess that we have now, to something that puts capitalism’s “profit motive” back in the medical industry where it belongs, and people throw tantrums about it all—

What Can We Expect?

Do Any of Us Really Want Our Insurance Company deciding that our doctors’ care costs too much? Do we really believe that insurance companies should decide when to pull the plug on the medical care that’s keeping our loved ones alive?

But What’s the Alternative? How many of us have any real idea about the universal coverage programs that the rest of the developed world has? All I hear about is Canadians crossing the border to get cosmetic surgery without having to wait three months. And how good Japan's healthcare is, and how bad England's is. And how they all cost too much.

Thinking in terms that Adam Smith, the founder of capitalism through The Wealth of Nations might use:
  • Doctors provide the labor, in exchange for wages.
  • Investors provide the capital stock, for the development of new drugs and equipment, as well as for hospitals and clinics.
  • Patients provide the profit through their self-interest in purchasing the medical-care products.
  • Insurance companies provide.......What?
Call Me an Old-Fashioned Capitalist Without His Tea Bag. But I don’t see what insurance companies add to the mix. I do see the profit that they remove from our ability to pay for needed medical care. And I see the government insuring our costliest, least-profitable patients—through Medicare and the VA and the prison systems—and doing a fine job.

So Go Ahead and Have the Tea Parties. Go ahead and protest to defend the current rationing of medical care that is killing millions of Americans, with stress and with denied coverage, because you can’t tell the difference between the world’s finest “healthcare system,” and the worst “healthcare delivery-system” currently dysfunctioning in the developed world.

Pride in America Ought to Be Based on Something besides the belief that my ability to be angry makes me better and more-right than you.

It’s Time to Reform Health Insurance. After that, we can wave signs and complain about government in Washington all we want. Maybe we’ll shake up Congress a little bit after all. Lord knows they can use it.

But Come On, Citizens!

At Least Lets Try Not to Be Too-Stupid about It....


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