Jeannie raised the question of socialized health care a couple days ago, and Bones sent me a link to a recent Michael Moore blog on the big three automakers. (Although I guess we’re going to have to stop calling them that, since they are turning into the little three, since they keep churning out massive size pick ups and SUV’s that no one wants to buy.)
Now don’t get me wrong: I love my Vipers, ‘Vette and Challenger, as a card-carrying Detroit muscle car aficionado. But I don’t have to make a choice between filling up my tank and buying groceries, as millions of people do today. Ford, GM and Chrysler has been completely oblivious to the market and continued to run their companies like a drunken sailor on shore leave. Now they think the government should shovel them billions of dollars of taxpayer money to prop up their bad management decisions.
Michael Moore (who really does mean well) has a different idea. He thinks the U.S. government should just buy all three! How frightening. Just think about the bureaucracy, waste, and fraud of the government now, and then imagine them building the cars you drive your children to school in.
Then take it to health care. Imagine your mother or grandfather needing open heart surgery and trusting it to the same people that bring you the post office and drivers license renewal agency.
Socialism health sounds great. But if you’ve ever been to the countries that provide it, you’d see why anyone with the means to do so leaves those countries to get anything serious done. Sure I’d love to have Hillary pay for my doctor visits and Obama to handle my mortgage. But the price you pay in the end is far from free.
We’re going to have to start putting Bob Burg on the payroll soon, as he has contributed so many great insights to the blog and the Rants. He’s actually a sales trainer, but a brilliant guy and true critical thinker. Today I’m including an article he wrote about a year ago that was published in “The Atlasphere,” which is a great publication you should subscribe to if you want to learn more about Objectivism and the Libertarian philosophy. http://www.theatlasphere.com/ Enjoy what he has to say on health care.
Check Your Health Care Premises
By Bob Burg
Perhaps the greatest gift I received from reading Ayn Rand was an admonition that has helped me think clearly and logically whenever I felt the heat of emotion carrying me to a faulty conclusion. And that was:
“Check your premises.”
In other words, things don’t happen in a vacuum. Typically, not only is there a reason for something, but that something happened further back than the emotional decision point. So, first, check your premises; go back to the beginning and make sure you are basing your solutions on that correct premise.
Case in point: Universal Health Care is now the big topic of the day. The mainstream democratic politicians are totally for it, and even republican politicians are getting there. Heck; former Republican Governor Romney instituted a forced (er, I’m sorry; a much nicer word is “mandatory”) state-run healthcare system in Massachusetts as did Republican Governor Schwarzenegger in California.
Michael Moore’s newest movie, “Sicko” will soon be playing in theatres throughout the country. Most likely he’ll introduce us to Americans who have no health care insurance and are being left to suffer, or worse; to die.
And, you know what? When I see those people onscreen I will feel terrible. My heart will break for them. Indeed, like many others, I’ll ask myself why – in this most abundant of nations – should we have anyone without healthcare? But, before I go running to our federal government to set things right for us . . . I’ll check my premises.
Before asking government to be the solution to our “ills” (something they’ve proven not to be proficient at in most areas), I’ll first ask, “why are we in this position in the first place?”
Well, I know how what most politicians, what Michael Moore, and, unfortunately, what most Americans would answer: “The Free Enterprise System has let us down.”
The reason I know this is because I hear it constantly. I only wish that before people – especially those of high influence – would utter these conclusions, that they would first take Ms. Rand’s advice and check their premises.
So, is it the Free Enterprise System that destroyed our health care system?
Let’s take a quick look back about 50 or so years ago. At that time, our U.S. healthcare system was basically market-driven. What were the results? Well, let’s see; practically all Americans who wanted health insurance had it. It was affordable. Doctor’s offices weren’t reminiscent of Grand Central Station. In fact, doctors actually were known to make house calls. People who were less fortunate financially could always find a doctor or hospital that allowed them to pay via sliding scale. And, hospitals? Well, if you recall, practically every major city had at least one charity hospital.
Was anyone ever left out in the cold? Unfortunately, yes. Utopia – even in our great country – has never been an option. However, when it came to our Healthcare system, it was pretty darn close. Certainly more so than at any other place and time in history before or since.
And, then, a funny thing happened on the way to our healthcare system breakdown . . .
Government got involved. Really involved. I mean, really, really involved. As usual, they decided they knew more about how the market operates than . . . the market.
So, between excessive regulation of private health insurance, coverage mandates, lack of price competition for medical services, Medicare, Medicaid, government-forced reliance on third-party payers, more rules, more regulations, more taxes, etc. we have been driven into a system in which far too many American families go without any kind of health coverage because they simply cannot afford it.
Was this government’s purpose? Surely not. It’s just what they do. They take either non-existent, slight problems, or even legitimate problems, and they turn them into national disasters.
So, now, government is being asked to come to the rescue, and they will gladly oblige. Just listen to Hillary, Barak, Edwards, Romney and others. They all have the solution to your healthcare woes.
Irony Break: putting this into healthcare vernacular, could we not say that government has broken our legs and is now being asked to fix them? Hmmm, they’ll probably then say, “See, if it wasn’t for us, you wouldn’t be able to walk.”
The point: Free Enterprise did not give us our current “Sicko” healthcare system; government intervention did.
Now, let’s look at the solution of Universal Healthcare. Basically, this means that Americans would be taxed even more than they currently are, however, at least everyone would have coverage and access to “free”* health care.
Except that what I just said is not completely true. In fact, it’s far from true. Note the italicized word, “Access.” Actually, what people will have is access to a waiting list. They will have access to having a bureaucrat who doesn’t know or love them deciding if the ill they (or their children) are suffering rates a visit to the doctor, an operation or treatment of any kind. There is nothing “conspiracy theory-ish” about this. We know it’s true because we see it regularly within those countries that have Universal Health Care.
There is a huge difference between access to a list and access to actual health care!
In a recent column in the Los Angeles Times, Michael Tanner and Michael Cannon wrote:
“Simply saying that people have health insurance is meaningless. Many countries provide universal insurance but deny critical procedures to patients who need them. Britain’s Department of Health reported in 2006 that at any given time, nearly 900,000 Britons are waiting for admission to National Health Service hospitals and shortages force the cancellation of more than 50,000 operations each year. In Sweden, the wait for heart surgery can be as long as 25 weeks, and the average wait for hip replacement surgery is more than a year. Many of these individuals suffer chronic pain, and judging by the numbers, some will probably die awaiting treatment. In a 2005 ruling of the Canadian Supreme Court, Chief Justice Beverly McLachlin wrote that ‘access to a waiting list is not access to healthcare.’”
Interestingly enough, in Canada, where by law they cannot pay for private medical treatment, the only option for those who either must have an operation or die is often to travel to America.
Of course, once our system is as socialistic as is theirs, that will no longer be an option for them.
Speaking of our friendly neighbors to the north, a very key point is that Canada is currently looking at massive changes in their system because, while the citizens are in an uproar due to long waiting lists, the costs of the system are completely out of control.
Question: is this really what we want? Are we so anxious to blame a not-guilty party – The Free Enterprise System – that we will actually throw away still another freedom; the freedom to care for ourselves and our loved ones the way we see fit; not the way some faceless bureaucrat sees fit? Do we want our children getting the same expert and loving medical care as did our wounded vets at Walter Reed and similar government-run hospitals?
And, would we really rather see everyone suffer through Universal Healthcare (except the politicians, of course – they’ll never have to wait on some list) instead of helping everyone by getting the market driven (and very healthy) health care system back?
The solution is actually quite simple. Get the government out of our healthcare system and let the free marketplace, private charity and loving-kindness do what it once did; provide us with a healthcare system that really works.
Please, everyone; don’t buy into this government and politically-based nonsense. And, don’t buy into Michael Moore; as well intentioned as he probably is.
Please don’t let emotions make this decision for you.
Instead, check your premises.
*The word, “free” was in quotation marks because nothing is free; you’ll be paying more for your own healthcare as well as for those who couldn’t otherwise afford. Yes, more for your own because it will be run in the typical governmental fashion of high waste, where approximately 70-75 percent out of every dollar will go to administer the system rather than to health care itself. This percentage of waste is within the norm for all government programs.