The Debate for Affordable Health Insurance is a Red HerringSubmitted by RobHino on Fri, 10/19/2012 - 23:29
Is it the role of the Federal Government to provide a "safety net" for Americans? Too many people believe that if the Federal Government doesn't provide a "safety net" like Social Security or Medicare, that a "safety net" would not naturally exist. Nothing could be further from the truth. Safety nets would be better and more efficient than any government jobs program posing as a "safety net" could ever hope to be if the government just got out of the way and let good people help others.
People have been steered away from the real debate. We're arguing over HEALTH INSURANCE rather than why HEALTHCARE COSTS are so high.
President Obama and Mitt Romney both agree that ALL Americans should be FORCED to purchase HEALTH INSURANCE (a product). Romney just wants to allow private insurance companies to benefit from the federal insurance mandate, and he wants the mandates to be enforced by each state while Obama wants the Feds in charge. Americans who believe in small government are screwed because the guy that is supposed to represent us supports the same mandate under the guise of free market competition and personal responsibility.
Romney supporting insurance mandate 2006: http://youtu.be/Lmihmlb1LBY
Romney supporting insurance mandate 2007: http://youtu.be/0GlRr4--mmg
Romney supporting insurance mandate 2009: http://youtu.be/kYR5JCe55X8
Romney supporting insurance mandate 2011: http://youtu.be/DF2Gc5MipMA
Romney supporting insurance mandate 2012: http://youtu.be/3t5LrxJdhjI
Steering the debate to whether or not everyone should have access to affordable health insurance is a red herring intentionally and openly discussed to distract the public from asking and debating real questions like:
"Why are healthcare costs so high?"
"Why are prices in all industries rising?"
"How did the healthcare industry operate prior to extreme government intervention?"
"Where did all the charity hospitals go?"
"Why are most hospitals named after Saints or Universities or philanthropists?"
"Do most doctors go into the medical profession for the money or because they want to help people?"
"Is it moral to FORCE people to be charitable?"
"Is healthcare a 'service' or a 'right'?" (Hint: Is food a 'product' or a 'right'?!)
"Are medical patents a net positive or negative?"
"Is it really the role of the Federal Government to provide a 'safety net' for Americans?"
Romney talking about forcing "free-riders" to have to pay for their healthcare is also a distraction and a strawman argument. His Republican opposition is not saying we want to allow free-riders to NOT have to pay for services rendered. We're arguing that the whole system is messed up!
There is currency manipulation which makes your dollars buy less and less while your wages stay the same.
There is central planning in Washington which assumes that people in suits know what's best for every person, in every state, in every county, in every city, in every neighborhood, and in every home. Their regulations take time and resources to comply with which means that time and those resources must be diverted from actually helping the sick....that means less sick get helped by the way.
There is medical licensing which restricts the supply of doctors, nurses, and health service providers. "Licensure is the practice of restricting entry into a market by forcing practitioners and providers to seek permission before doing so. A common fallacy is that medical licensure protects consumers — yet having a license is no assurance of the ability of a person to practice medicine. Some who have received their license decades ago may no longer be fit to practice, demonstrated either by incompetence or lack of continued education."
There are government agriculture subsidies which encourage over-production of corn thus bringing rise to new industries to use the surplus of corn. The growth of corn-based sweeteners is a direct result of the government's farm policy, which subsidizes corn production. The obesity epidemic in American can directly be tied to government intervention in the farm industry.
There are medical patent laws. "Holders of pharmaceutical patents are free of the strictures of competition when deciding the price at which to sell the drugs they produce. This means that drug companies are able to charge significantly higher prices than they could in a market free of government intervention. Patents are not a natural outcome of the free market but are government-granted monopolies on production. Contrary to conventional economic wisdom, patents are not an unequivocal benefit in fostering the development of ideas. The existence of patents is, on the contrary, a clear contributor to the high cost of medical treatments available to American consumers."
Then there is the whole employer-provided insurance issue which makes consumers much less likely to discriminate on cost. "Beyond the deductible, the employer pays the cost of medical procedures through an insurance company." Just like when you get a steak instead of burger on your company card, people will always seek more care than the minimal amount that may have sufficed. Doctors also charge more because they know the insurance company will pay.
The universal healthcare as a "right" and a national "safety net" vs. free-market healthcare is an important debate to have. I think ultimately both sides want to help as many people as possible and have as few people fall through the cracks.
I don't believe, however, that it is the role of the Federal Government to be involved at all in the healthcare discussion. Promises that were made should be kept as best as possible but in order to pay for those currently dependent on government assistance, all foreign spending should cease immediately! Bring the troops home, and divert some of those resources to help ween Americans off the government teat. Younger people should have the opt-out option. If you want to pool your money together into a government run insurance scheme, please go for it. But please don't force me to join in!
This post originally started off as a FB response/repost of Judge Napolitano's video about Social Security being ponzi scheme!
...but it turned into a rant! Most of the content was lifted from this great article on what's really wrong with our healthcare system. :)
My main point was to point out that "safety nets" would still exist without government. What are your thoughts? Share your best ways to show how the free-market would handle medicine and charity for those that can't picture a non-statist society!
FYI - Check out what I'm making! They're in production now and should arrive around mid-November! Get one while they're still available!