Sunday, November 01, 2009

Why I No Longer Fear Obama Care (as much)

My wife (The Good Democrat) is disappointed in me that I am not that happy with the coming Health Care "Reform." Part of it is that it was originally supposed to insure the 47 then 30 million people who are without health insurance. Sure, the numbers were problematic, but there was at least 10 million people who desired health insurance but were unable to obtain it. Somehow, we have turned the problem around, and it has become greedy insurance companies that make 2% profit, and greedy doctors who are pulling tonsils or amputating feet just so that they can pay for their country club dues. The net result is that we will still have around 17 million people without health insurance, and most of us will lose ours as employers figure out that it is cheaper to pay an 8% payroll tax than to maintain employer based health insurance. Using the government to implement the new Democrat mantra of choice and competition, (which will result in neither) made me fearful that eventually we are going to have the equivalent of medical sick call for the military, but without the benefit of an abnormally healthy population that will be calling for services.
When I mentioned to my wife, that I had less trust that the government could perform these functions well, she accused me of having "no faith" that Obama would solve the problem. And she is right. I pointed out to her the government's failure to provide the H1N1 flu vaccinations, and that her experience working for a lawyer in getting workers social security disability claims. She always is complaining about the arbitrary and ridiculous rules that the government puts in the way of obtaining what is legally theirs. My wife just dismisses my complaints because this time, it will be different.
Definition of insanity anyone?
But the more I thought about it, maybe it won't be such a bad thing if Obamacare is passed. Think about it, We will have employers dumping employees onto the public option as soon as they can. More people will be showing up starting on the day of passage demanding their "free" healthcare, only to be told that it won't be available until 2013. Then, once 2013 hits, people will find that there are a whole bunch of doctors who will refuse to see them under the public option, because the reimbursement rates will be too low to make practicing medicine anything but a losing proposition. Sure there will be those doctors who can't make a living because they are terrible, and they will gladly accept the government checks, and with some careful padding, they will probably make a fairly decent living.
But honest and ethical doctors are going to drop out of the system.
So, you are asking, how is this a good thing? Easy. Assume for a minute that the conservatives take control of both houses of Congress by 2012, never mind the Presidency. If they do, the first legislation that they should pass would be to remove state by state restrictions on the purchase of health care. Second, they should also institute a law that says punitive damages go into the state coffers, not to the individual or his/her lawyer. Punitives are not necessarily bad, since they make it inefficient to do wrong. But it is in society's interest that the money go to the state rather than just the innocent wronged. Since the lawyer will no longer have a one third to one half interest in the amount of punitives, there will be less of them requested, and thus lower malpractice rates. By removing the restrictions on sales across state lines, I will be able to buy whatever policies fit my needs, and not those that are determined by some agency that knows nothing about me.
By enacting these changes, you will now be creating two classes of medical coverage: One that is substandard and free but riddled with ignorant and useless bureaucrats and rules and run by the government; and the other which would be a free enterprise driven system without the non-payers and the uninsurable, who will now be on the government dole.
While it seems selfish, rational self interest certainly would recognize that it is in no one's interest to participate in a government run system that is doomed to the level of quality of the IRS when they can pick another plan that suits their needs.
I realize that this is the "So long, Suckas" philosophy, but since so few people seem to be willing to look at the long term, it's every person for themselves.
So Long, . . . Oops.

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