Friday, July 13, 2007

Government healthcare

Just yesterday, I had a discussion with a coworker about "free" health care. His position was that a .gov run health care system was needed, because some people could not afford to get the health care they wanted.

My position on this is threefold:

1 Practicality- the .gov is not going to make health care cheaper, it will simply spread the costs of the care, in addition to the government's costs in administering the system, around. This means that health care will be more expensive, and the people who need less health care will subsidize those who need more. The only way for the government to keep costs affordable is to either tell doctors what they can charge, or ration out the care. (or both)

2 "Fairness" - The other argument for government health care is that the poor do not get the same care as those with more money, and only way to make this "fair" is for the government to run it. I guess the government NEVER shows favorites. Not only that, the rich will still get better care, they just will be paying higher taxes at the same time, because they are busy paying for the care of others.

3 The moral reason I oppose this plan, is that I have a hard time seeing how you can call a system "fair" when you are charging me a mandatory tax (read as taking my money by force) to pay for something that someone else wants. I EARN my money, and just because you work in a menial, unskilled job that pays poorly and offers no insurance because you smoked pot and slept instead of paying attention in school is not my problem.



Turin said...

Found you via AD.

Here's my take on 'free' govt health care (backed up by some Harvard Medical school studies):

Get rid of all the 'eligibility requirements, billing justifications, all that crap. And the people who do it. Now we have health care workers who actually provide health care, the only documentation they have to do is recording what they did. 25 years ago this was much simpler, it could be again.

Then send the bill to Uncle Sam, instead of private insurance/medicare/the patient.

Give any one who shows up what ever care they need, any time, any clinic, ER, what ever. Its all being paid for by Uncle Sam (well, really our tax dollars, but we already know that).

Here is the kicker: this is cheaper then Medicade/Medicare is right now. We save money (our money) and every one gets all the healthcare they need. Maybe they will even stop using the ER as a primary care facility.


Divemedic said...

what happens when expenses spiral out of control? It will be inevitable, as patients seek more care (it's free, right?) and providers seek to perform more care (we make more money the more we do, right?) the costs will skyrocket.

The government will either have to:

1. raise taxes
2. control costs by rationing health care
3. control costs by dictating prices (and thus ensuring fewer doctors, as the field will be less lucrative- all the risk of law suits, the expense of education, but none of the profits)
4. all of the above

So, higher taxes, rationed care, price controls, fewer doctors. How is that be better than what we have?

Oh, yeah- we stuck it to those damned "rich" people.