Friday, September 18, 2009

The Health Care issue..

Once again, an online dispute has forced me to put into words how I feel about the current debate.

This time, it's health care.

To provide setup, the first claim was that Michael Moore's movie Sicko, claimed Cuba has wonderful health care. My response:

It's propaganda. It's well documented. When the U.S. visits Cuba, they go to the clinic that Michael Moore showed. The average Cuban citizen has a much more dismal health care experience:

Then we got into a debate on health care in general:

It's not the government's job to met out health insurance any more than they should be handing out candy on corners for all kids...

All it takes is someone being competitive and offering a better solution.

When the government runs a place from stem to stern, this is what happens:...

The government should not be assisting anyone out of anything, save breaking up monopolies preventing barrier of entry for new businesses.

Health care is not a basic need. Air is a basic need. Food is a basic need. Water is a basic need.

Health insurance is a luxury. It's exactly what the name implies: insurance in the event of a health issue.

Life insurance is not mandatory, renters insurance is not mandatory, car insurance is only mandatory if you elect to drive....

In any case, the government, when left to run things, does not do a very good job. The Post Office, DMV, etc. should be enough proof.

Depending on the government for any aspect of your well-being or happiness is a recipe for disaster. The only thing the government has proved time and again that it can do well is blow things up, and waste money. And even then, it needs help to blow things up. I should know, I have worked as both a Federal Employee, and now as a Defense Contractor.

This person then brought up the familiar "Health Care should be as basic a right as firefighters, police, libraries, etc.", which is a common argument. Here's how it went down:

All those programs were sold to the American people, then left to rot. As a former Federal employee, I can tell you with absolute certainty that your money is being wasted.

What seems to be not understood is that the money for these programs was taken from the people that may or may not use it.

If you were earning twice what you are earning now, would you invest in health care for yourself and your family, or would you simply say, " car is getting kind of old..."

People choose to invest in Health care for themselves or not.

There are low-cost clinics available in almost every town.

Emergency services are available everywhere.

Health care is available for those that choose to invest in it.

As for the other list of "necessities", they could all be improved by forcing them to compete with rival companies.

Do you think the cops would be beating people indifferently if they were paid by the number of convictions of the people they brought in?

All the examples you have given me are for "services" that are supposedly "free", but in actuality have been paid for by people who dare to try to excel and further themselves.

My friend has a saying, "Americans are born free, but taxed to death". (Ed.  Thanks, Paul!)

As for the drug companies, if people cannot afford their products, they would be forced to lower the rates at which they sell it.

Ironically enough, the massive amounts of money that people pay into health insurance artificially props up the market so they can sell pharmaceuticals and emergency services at massively inflated prices.

And once again, I can say this with definity. I used to work at [A major US Health Care insurance provider]. Only 10% of the company is for dealing with medical issues. The other 90% is dealing with how to invest the truckloads of money that businesses and people pay them every month.

If people abandoned Health Care as an insurance, and dealt with it on a case by case basis, the price of health care would go down massively.

But we have been sold a bill of goods that health care is something we need to be making monthly investments in.

We are screaming to be taxed further, which is simply insane.

Think about this...what if, everyone could simply elect at tax time whether or not they wanted to fund things, and how much.

("Do you want to fund firefighters? police? Military? libraries? Pell Grants?")

No, nobody would volunteer. Why? Because it is YOUR MONEY. You earned it.

People are screaming for the government to save them as a substitute for taking care of the issue themselves.

If you feel strongly that you want to fund something on a monthly basis, set up a co-op with a doctor's office and your neighbors. Start the change now, but don't complain when EVERYBODY ELSE isn't funding something YOU want.

It really boils down to two schools of thought:

Should the federal government's role in the lives of Americans be to simply maintain the basics? (Military, Roads, and Business Regulation) This would allow people to venture out on their own, earn, and keep what they make. It puts the economic decisions of what to fund back into the hands of the people, and makes for a strong middle class that people can easily get into.

Or should the government be a "nanny" and provide for people from cradle to grave, punishing its most productive citizens to pay for services to the underperforming ones. At that point, the question becomes, "why work?" Everything is being handed to you simply by being in the US and breathing. California has had a long history of doing just that, and is paying for it, with businesses finding it is just too expensive to be in California, and moving to Nevada, Texas, and Arizona.

As for being in France and Norway, that's nice, but, last time I checked, they haven't had nearly the high innovation rate of the U.S., precisely because there is no increased incentive to be an entrepreneur.

In those two countries, the company is forced to pay massive amounts of taxes and benefits for the employees (health and otherwise).  This, combined with the fact that if you employ anybody, it is EXCEEDINGLY difficult to fire them if they underperform, results in virtually no motivation for your employees to work hard or be clever.

When there is the possibility of massive reward, you will be more inclined to take more risk. If nothing is certain in terms of job, you will work hard to make sure you stand out and are rewarded for hard work. Increased taxing on those that work hard only leads to a nation of slackers, regardless of the perceived benefit for "all".

Then there was the "I'm a Christian, it's all God's money, we should give it all to a government-run communal pot that claims it will help the poor" argument:

I am a Christian, but I take comfort in the parable of the ten talents. God did not end the story with the last person getting bailed out. He called the lack of financial gain "wicked and lazy".

It is the job of CHRISTIANS to provide for the poor, the downtrodden, etc. It is not the job of governments. As we are not a country that has corporately put themselves in line with Christ, it is not right for us to demand Christian motivations out of the government. Remember the two heathens who tried to call out the demons in Christ's name? The demons laughed and beat them savagely.

It is up to us as individuals to do what Christ would do. If we demand it from our government, we have replaced government for God.

I accidentally didn't complete a thought that I will put down here:

The sheer amount of new technologies that we have put forth from our efforts as entrepreneurs due to decreased taxing allows us the medical breakthroughs that we have today.

I agree there needs to be change. But, like I said before, it should take the form of business regulation, not taxing the productive members of society.

1 comment:

overeducatedgal said...

To paraphrase Dennis Miller, "85 percent of Americans are happy with the health care they have (or don't have). Find me ONE other issue that you can get 85% of Americans to agree on. Why are we going to revame a whole system, at an expense of billions of dollars, in an attempt to increase the satisfaction of 15% of the population. And, after the fact, how are those 85% going to rate the system?

After reading the bill (not every word, but most of the 1038 pages), I realized that, as an employer, if my payroll ever looked to be reaching the threshold (150k? 250k?) for mandatory provision of health care, I'd tell my employees and clients "We're shutting down until next year"... Or, instead of paying the 9% of payroll for health care, I'd take the penalty for not complying (8%) and let the employees get their own from the government (or pay the $10,000 penalty for not getting it themselves).
If you like the way the federal government runs things, how'd you like to have your health care managed with the same diligence and urgency you find when you're at the post office?, or the DMV? or the compassion you feel from the IRS?