Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Is The Health Care System "Broken"?

Democrats keep repeating that the health care system in America is "broken". But nothing is further from the truth.

Let us begin with a couple of simple, undeniable facts:

1) America has the best, highest quality health care in the world, and

2) America has the most expensive health care in the world

What this tells us is that the health care in America is not broken - it is just expensive.

The Democrats want to tear down the entire system, radically change it, and hopefully make it affordable in the process while putting it under government control.

Republicans on the other hand, have offered a plan that deals with the expense, while leaving our great health care untouched.

Historically, the government has never - I repeat, NEVER - successfuilly run anything except wars. So it is unlikely that the Democrat plan would succeed, and would only serve to reduce the quality of our health care to that of Canada or the UK.

But although the Republican plan makes more sense, and would likely have the desired result, the Democrat-controlled Congress will not even allow it to be presented for a vote.

So much for bipartisanship.

In the Democrat plan, there is much more than meets the eye. You have all heard about the sections that say a bureaucrat will determine who gets what care, based on life expectancy and usefulness versus cost. But there is a tremendous amount of other poison in that 1000 page bill. For example, in section 440 the government would be permitted to have their social engineers enter your home and "teach" you how to raise your children, and teach them the "right" values.

That is but one small part of this bill. But what it all boils down to is this: the liberals now controlling this nation want to create a nanny state, dictating our lives from cradle to grave. This would give them everlasting power and control. And health care is the only method of achieving that. Under a health care bill, they can dictate what is best for us. Teach our children their own values. Choose who will live, who will die. Who suffers, and who gets treatment.

Think about it - any government that controls the health of its citizens CONTROLS THOSE CITIZENS!

Do you recall that science fiction show where one alien race got another alien race addicted to a drug, then used that to control the race to fight their wars for them? If they fought, they got their fix. If they did not, they would die from the withdrawal. That is the power of government health care.

The republicans, on the other hand, want the folks to be able to better control their own health. This would be done with legislation designed to bring down costs. How?

As an example, it would include tort reform. One of the reasons health care is so expensive is because fear of lawsuits force doctors and hospital to order many tests and treatments that are not necessary, so they can say they tried everything. In addition, the excessive cost of malpractice INSURANCE adds to your health bill. And that cost is so high because the current laws have no cap on judgements.

Ergo, tort reform could reduce medical costs by up to 20% without affecting the quality of care.

Another cost-cutter is health savings accounts, particularly if they are coupled with a co-op. If you have ever joined a grocery co-op, you understand. By pooling resouces, you can get the care you need for less. And with health savings accounts, you reduce your taxes accordingly while building up cash to pay for future medical costs.

Most folks need catastrophic insurance, to cover major issues like cancer, or surgery. And because coverage is limited only to catastrophic care, which only a small percentage of folks need, it is much cheaper than full coverage. Therefore, the average person could have catastrophic insurance provided by employers (or a credit given to self-employed people), while their health savings account covers everything else other than catastrophic care. And YOU control it.

All in all, the result would be to reduce medical costs by at least 40 percent while leaving the quality and availability of healh care untouched.

Some folks, however, think health care should just be free, paid for by the government. But that is not realistic - there is a price for everything, and nothing is free. We would still have to pay for it one way or another, through taxes, and it would result in government control which, as pointed out earlier, would reduce the quality and availability of care.

And there are those, among the Democrats, that believe insurance for all is the answer. It is not, and here is why: insurance is the problem, not the solution. Think about it - if you have 100% coverage, you will be more apt to run to the emergency room for every little discomfort, since you are not paying for it. If uninsured, you would think twice before incurring ER costs to deal with a minor cut on your 5 year old's knee.

And all that abuse and demand on the health care system drives up costs. But with health savings accounts, you would be more prone to conserving that money and not waste it.

Do you need proof that insurance is the problem? Test it. Call your local hospital and tell them your doctor is prescribing a colonoscopy, and you want to know how much it will cost. They will ask if you have insurance, because they charge differently if you do. If insured, the charge can be as much as 300% higher. So, tell them you have Blue Cross/Blue Shield - what would be the charge. It will likely be around $1500.

A few days later, using a different name, make the same call. This time, however, tell them you have no insurance and this will be self-pay, in cash, and you need to know how much. Chances are they will quote a cost around $500-$800.

And that is why insurance is the problem - the health providers screw insurers, resulting in much higher-than-necessary insurance premiums.

Are you getting the picture?

The health care system is not broken. It is simply expensive. And that can be dealt with easily, without jeopardizing the quality or availability of the care, and without entrusting it to a government that could not even run the "Cash For Clunkers" program efficiently.