Thursday, May 14, 2009

Health Care Reform or Musical Chairs?

A regular reader (making him or her one of the more intelligent people on the Internet) passed on this link which is remarkably balanced considering its source.

It seems that our grand elected officials are going to go out and reform health care to provide universal coverage for all. It's a truly noble idea - which means that it has to be coming from the liberal leaning side of the isle. And, as with all noble ideas from the left, its going to cost a fortune and we aren't going to worry about paying for it.

I, for one, would actually really like to see universal coverage. A couple of years ago, I had the opportunity to do some consulting work in an area where I thought that I could maybe carve out a nice little niche for myself and start my own thing. Realizing that if I left my company at the time, that my family would be without health coverage, I asked a friend who is a building contractor about what he was doing for health care. "Paying out of my a**!" he grumbled back. I got the lowdown on the coverage and its cost and that pretty much put an end to my attempt to go solo. Maybe if there were universal coverage....well, I'd probably be in the soup line, but that is another story.

I listened to President Obama give a speech today on the issue, while my co-workers debated back and forth about what we could do to fix the system, and just about all of us had different ideas, but the person who made the most sense said, "If we could just take the politicians out of it and get a team of industry stakeholders together to hammer out a workable plan...." No, that makes too much sense. One Kool-aid drinking liberal came up with, "The rich should have to pay for all of us," which is simply brilliant except that the rich are already the ones funding the health insurance that most of us have along with $4 trillion worth of other government spending. Rich as they are, they only have so much money.

The problem with the government getting mixed up in this mess is: 1) Its the government and we are facing another Social Security/Medicare disaster; and 2) The private sector - the people who actually profit by improving the system will be crowded out of the market and things will get worse. Its going to be like a giant game of musical chairs. The music will start and all of the stakeholders in the industry, including the insurance companies, drug makers, the doctors, the patients, the tax payers, employers, the illegal aliens, the lawyers who sue everyone else, etc. will walk around in a big circle and then the music will stop and only some of those people will get a chair and life will be rosy and everyone else will get seriously hosed. Here's guessing that Nancy and Harry will save a seat for everyone who votes for the Democrats. Great, you say, if you are a Democrat. Well, not exactly. Cause anyone who understands rudimentary economics knows that when the government picks winners and losers, we get these little things called 'externalities', or the negative side effects that pop up as a result.

Do we hose the drug companies and make them slash their prices? Well, who is going to pay for the research, development, and clinical trials needed to bring a drug to market. Do we slash the doctors' incomes? Well, who is going to go $250K in debt for education and training for 10 years to make as much as a school teacher? Do we burden all employers with mandatory coverage? Well, how many small businesses do we drive out of the marketplace. Make any sense? Personally, I'd like to kick the lawyers out, but we do need defenders for malpractice, and well, the trial lawyers support the Demos to the hilt, so they ain't going nowhere. Hmmmmm....who can we stick it to? Guess what, my friends, when the music stops, the only sure bets in the bunch are the currently insured and the taxpayers. If you fall into one of those two groups, look down at the little red laser dot jiggling around on your chest. That's Congress taking aim at you. Take it to the bank - Citizen Zane


  1. Excellent writing! The general concept is a good one.We are in need of change, However, countries with it have done it wrong. Elderly aren't treated,they are considered close to death,treatment is a waste.Cheap generic drugs are what is available, nothing up to date. Drs.are controlled in the treatments they are allowed to administer according to costs.Surgery & hospital stays are for special people or the wealthy only. Lines are long,& appts can be months in getting. I have been there, seen it in action. Taxpayers will be penalized for keeping whatever plans they now have by being taxed for them, in addition to paying what ever taxes they have to in order to subsidize for the ones receiving the universal. All in all,the losers are: pharmaceutical cos.(no more research), along with small ins. cos.,(they are going out of business) Drs, hosps.,& most of all taxpayers again!! Winners=government & big insurance (we will be left with Blue Cross/Shield, Aetna, United HC). The bottom line is cost;cheap, cheap, cheap.Good Drs. will go elsewhere to practice. Care will become substandard. We must stop this and somehow come up with a program that works.

  2. Nirts626,

    thank you for your kind words and excellent insight. I suspect that you are right - we will end up with a two tiered system whith the best doctors serving the wealthy and important and the rest of us tossed into the social medicine pile. Please post again - Citizen Zane