Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Health Scare – Crying “Wolf” yet again

I think that Health Care is only in crisis when democrats are in power. I really don’t remember talking about Health Care over the past 14-15 years, not since the utter failure of Hillary-Care in the early days of the Clinton abomination. All of a sudden Health Care became an issue again as Barack Obama started running for office. I don’t buy that it is a crisis just because Obama says so – virtually nothing else that he has said has come true – so why this?

Deroy Murdock had a really good piece in my beloved Washington Times on Sunday that is well worth a read: Why not try ownership? Reform bill too ambitious for real problem

Of course the essence of the issue is that the democrats have completely misidentified the problem. Everyone except a hardcore liberal knows that the number of uninsured Americans (that has inextricably risen dramatically in the last 6 months) – 47 million – is a load of crap. So that really isn’t the problem. Having Congress (a group that couldn’t run a restaurant on a budget) weigh in to run Health Care is utterly absurd on the face of it.

So what is wrong with Health Care – sure it cost too much, but government is part of that problem’s equation. I like Murdock’s question about why we couldn’t treat Health Care as we do car insurance. For routine maintenance (new tires, oil change, safety inspections, etc.) you drive to your dealer or the local mechanic and pay to have your car repaired. You are only insured against a catastrophic event like an accident. We need to get away from the government and push store front Health Care – “Doc-in-the-box.”

If we got the insurance companies AND the government out of routine health care, prices would drop dramatically. If you walked into the doctor with an ailment, he treated you, you went to Wal-Mart to get your prescription filled, and you paid for it all – prices would collapse. If we had a pay-as-you-go system and only relied on insurance for the big stuff, the reduction in the preparation, transmission, analysis, and confrontation over paperwork would be radically reduced.

What we do need the government to do is crack down on fraud, waste, and abuse. Estimates are that more than 10% of the cost of Medicare and Medicaid are lost right off the top to fraud and waste. Add to that the cost of a huge government bureaucracy and you have monumental waste. The Congress should immediately strap on tort reform to prevent people from winning the lottery when their doctor makes a mistake. Cap lawsuits at $3 million and for those who bring frivolous lawsuits, have a loser pays the court costs of the winner system and prices would plunge further still.

We might have to toughen up a bit as a Nation and tell people who game the system that they can’t use our emergency rooms as their personal physicians. While I suppose it is wrong to reject people from emergency rooms because they don’t have the ability to pay, we shouldn’t absolve them to the requirement to pay for that service in the future. We may have to actually expect people to exhibit a little personal responsibility. I don’t begrudge the people that need help, but we have to reject the free-loaders.

This isn’t rocket science – write your representatives and demand that they reform and not take over our Health Care.

Conservative Resistance – Day 260

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