(If you’re just joining this series, feel free to read the previous installments.)
Check Your Health Care Premises (Part 2)
In the previous article, after establishing that our current healthcare system is indeed broken, I asked that we check our premises and, instead of knee-jerkingly blaming the Free-Enterprise System for our healthcare woes and asking for a government solution (which is what Universal Health Care would be – the government in complete control of your and your children’s health care – though solution would certainly be an incorrect word), that we go back and look at its true cause.
The question is: 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. Many towns had free and low cost clinics where doctors and nurses volunteered several hours per week. And, hospitals? Well, if you recall, practically every major city had at least one charity hospital. Not too shabby, right?
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. Did you notice last year’s Presidential Campaign? Candidates Clinton, Obama, Edwards, Romney (yes, Republicans, too; plenty of them) and others. They all had the government 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? Sure, they’ll give us crutches and 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.
Again, let’s think about this. Government caused the problem, and we want government to fix the problem that they caused? Does that make sense?
In the next article, we’ll take a look at Universal Healthcare and see what kind of results we could expect, based on the experience of other countries that have tried it.