Sunday, April 20, 2014

On Health Care

Written on January 20th, 2011
Edited in April 2014

   There's a difference between nationalized and socialized health care. Why should the federal government deal with it? Why have centralized management when the states could deal with it on their own without getting so bogged down in bureaucracy? That would be a socialized health care I could get behind, a localized socialized health care.

   "Health care" is a misnomer anyway. This bill primarily deals with health insurance, not care itself. Medical insurance doesn't save lives the way medical care does. As P.J. O'Rourke says, "When your house starts on fire, who are you going to call, the fire department or Allstate?

   First Lady Michelle Obama helped create a program at the University of Chicago Medical Center which steers mostly poor, mostly black medical charity cases to community doctors to make more room for people who have health insurance.

    Ron Paul, who is a doctor, wants people to be able to deduct medical expenses from their taxes, and believes that encouraging doctors to donate surgery (which his son, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, has done in his ophthalmology practice) would pick up the slack. Rand Paul supports keeping or increasing payments to doctors because he opposes mandatory decreases in payments.

   Furthermore, Obama is lying when he says that everyone who likes and wants to keep their insurance policies will be able to. This health care bill amounts to price-fixing. It's not about minimum standard of care, it's about minimum standard of insurance. It's a cartel, just like the minimum wage. Just as people who don't deserve the minimum wage have trouble finding a job, people who don't care about doing what's necessary to keep themselves healthy don't deserve that minimum standard of health coverage, and should have to pay more accordingly.

   It's not necessarily anti-American, but it's certainly anti-capitalism. Even Ralph Nader has come out in opposition to Obamacare, and he's about as socialist as prominent modern American political figures come.

   It’s not that people who can’t afford to see a doctor “need to die”; there are doctors who negotiate with low-income and poor patients to treat them at reduced fees or through charity. I believe that charity solves poverty better than the government can. Individuals and the government donate to evil charities just as often, but government-subsidized charity just adds to the bureaucracy and decreases the amount the charities themselves actually receive.

   If people who do make reasonable incomes, but don’t necessarily take great care of themselves, want to pay more for better care, they should be able to, and Obamacare opposes that. This is why Ann Coulter says she resents having to pay for medical treatment for drug addicts, which is why she supports the drug war and opposes much of social welfare.

   If social welfare programs were managed by states independently, Ann’s rich state of Connecticut could implement its own program, see how well it works as compared to other states, and give the chance for other states to observe the way Connecticut makes it work (if it is, indeed, successful). That way, Ann at least wouldn’t complain about footing the medical bills of drug users three thousand miles away from her, and her efforts to improve her community would have more of an impact on her pocketbook.

   Canadian and other "socialized" (i.e., nationalized) health care programs are far from perfect. Some Canadians have to wait over a year for expensive surgeries. Making it free doesn't necessarily make it available.

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