I have been watching the presidential candidates for the last couple of months. Their view on this, or that, and one view that scares the crap out of me is most candidates view on healthcare.
For instance, Senator Hillary Clinton says she "wants universal health-care coverage by the end of her second term." Not even elected and she is already planning her second term.
Now I don't want to pick on Ms. Clinton – none of the Democratic candidates get it, and most of the Republican candidates get it, either. Ron Paul gets it, well, he will do the right thing for the wrong reasons (he just wants the Government out of most things, including healthcare).
Most of the candidates want "universal healthcare." Actually, most want everybody to have health insurance, and they think this will solve the healthcare problem. When I was young and was not offered healthcare at work, I went without for a while. I was young and healthy, and I didn't go to the doctor. Also, I did not have enough money to rub together for anyone to come after, so I did the irresponsible thing. Does this describe many of the 46 million without healthcare? Oh, I did get a cheap healthcare policy after a while – it was inexpensive because it paid nothing for the first several thousand dollars. Then it paid everything (or almost everything, as I probably did not read all of the small type). I had a friend who got in a car accident – similar circumstances as me, and although she did not have insurance (or much money), it took her a while to crawl out of the paperwork associated with bankruptcy. So my $30/month was more like hassle insurance.
Enough about me.
Health insurance acts as a buffer between the producer (doctors, hospitals) and the consumer (patients). The Clintons were pointing to a Kaiser Permanente system that worked well in the 80s but was starting to crumble in the early nineties. For instance, more people died waiting for a kidney transplant than received them in one eighteen month period. Health insurance was invented not for the consumers – it was created for the employers (to keep people at work). And it sort of does that – and in some instances, keeps them employed because of the health insurance. I have met several people who work at jobs they hate because they have a special needs kid and love the insurance.
One page can't really explain my thoughts. Think of it this way – when I was involved in one accident, I took my car to a body shop, and they billed the insurance one amount. If I were just taking the car into the shop for the same stuff without insurance, it would be actually cheaper because the body shop uses market forces to set the price sans insurance. With healthcare, it is actually the opposite – they charge way more for healthcare of non-insured (or self-insured) people because they don't expect to be paid and will hound, garnish or otherwise collect some of what they are due.
Anyway, if everyone has health insurance, overall costs for health insurance will actually increase. I have heard quotes from lots of people saying, "I want to vote for this candidate or that candidate because they will give me health insurance." If you get something from the government, it is coming from somewhere. Sure, the government prints a heck of a lot of money, but the US's budget is not a Ponzi scheme. Actually, it is sort of like a Ponzi scheme in that future people are paying for what we are using today.
Oi vey. I think I am going to be sick. Good thing I have health insurance. For a $10 co-pay, I can see a doctor for just about anything. And they have to listen to me.