A letter to the editor in today's Las Vegas Review-Journal, titled "Hand Out",
got me a little riled up and I simply had to respond:
To the editor:
I want to thank Paul Gwin, of Las Vegas, for pointing out, in a very clear and concise manner, what is wrong with America today. In his letter to the editor, posted this past Sunday, September 6th, Paul quoted Richard Secrist, of Mesquit, NV.
Apparently, in a letter to the editor, Mr. Secrist wrote, “You can call it socialized medicine if you want, I don’t care. Just give it to me.” Mr. Gwin adds, “Me too!”
Just give it to me. Messers Secrist and Gwin could care less what you call their hand out, just give it to them.
The source of Mr. Gwin’s enthusiasm is the contention by Mr. Secrist, and the rest of the me-first progressive movement, that “there is no doubt the government can do it cheaper.” Cheaper for whom? Our heroes obviously don’t care who pays for their hand out either.
Then there’s this laugher: “The rest of the civilized governments are supplying all of their citizens with medical care at far less cost than our private insurance companies do for fewer than two-thirds of our citizens.” Fewer than two-thirds?
Even if you use the highly inflated Census Bureau number of, 47 million uninsured, it works out to 85% of Americans with access to affordable health care. Of those, polls show 90% are satisfied with their health insurance and care. Two-thirds? Oh, I know, facts are such inconvenient things the left.
If you throw out the millions who already qualify for health care hand outs and, for what ever reason, don’t sign up, illegal aliens who should go home and petition their own government for healthcare handouts, and you end up with about 10 to 15 million people without insurance. For this minority of can’ts or won’ts we should allow the government to control all aspects of healthcare? Really? There’s no better way to get these folks covered? Which, we DO NEED TO DO, by the way. Just not this way.
We should reduce government’s involvement in healthcare, not increase it. Government regulations which prohibit shopping for insurance across state lines, drive up cost. There are large areas of the country covered by only one or two providers because of these laws, which eliminates competition and creates minor monopolies. Eliminating these intra-state restrictions would cost us ...nothing! And, it would reduce costs dramatically.
Eliminate mandatory coverage’s. Let consumers decide what they want covered and what they don’t. What if we all had to pay for full coverage auto insurance, whether we needed it or not? It would drive up cost. What if we all had to have certain levels of life insurance coverage? It would drive up costs. Why should I have to pay so you can have your Viagra? And, eliminating mandatory coverage’s costs, …wait for it…, that’s right, nothing!
Eliminate the need for the billions of dollars spent on defensive medicine by enacting reasonable tort reform. Even a simple move to a “loser pays” system, would reduce unreasonable malpractice suits. Putting a reasonable cap on punitive damage awards, would also bring down costs, without denying patients the right to sue for legitimate claims.
Mr. Gwin goes on to ask, “Is it socialized medicine if democratically elected congressmen control it? We can vote them out in the next election if we don’t like how it’s handled. What control do we have now…?”
Exactly how many of Presidents Roosevelt and Johnson socialist handout policies have been voted out of existence? Social security? No it’s just going broke, and Washington has its collective head in the sand. Medicare? This knee slapper of a policy from President Johnson’s administration should be the example for why we don’t want government running healthcare. It was sold to us the very same way as the current public option forty years ago, and is a warning for what is to come if we let the government expand Medicare to cover the whole population. It already has over $30 trillion in unfunded liabilities!
The British Healthcare Service employs something like 1.3 million people. It is the third largest employer in the world. Remember, these public servants are “in” the system, and probably get much better access to healthcare than regular Britons. Do anyone really think those folks are going to vote their jobs out of existence? Really? Would you?
Yeah, we can change our minds later. Mr. Gwin, I have some beach front property for sale near Ely…
Mr. Gwin would do well to realize that the reason we don’t have more individual choice and control of the cost and quality of health insurance, is because the government has intruded in the marketplace. If they had not, health insurance would not be an “employment benefit.” This “employer benefit” was created by progressives in the 1930’s to lure reluctant workers into wage controlled industries (which they had destroyed through regulation). If they had not interfered, Mr. Gwin would be able to choose from all of the thousands of health insurance providers throughout the country, instead of just two or three (if you’re lucky). If the government had not interfered, the insurance companies would need to compete for his business with better service and lower prices because of the shear volume of competitors. If they had not interfered, Mr. Gwin would be able to custom tailor his health insurance policy according to his families needs and budget. He wouldn’t be forced to buy the coverage that the government currently mandates. Real competition would mean that companies who dropped sick customers would not be able to attract new ones. Companies that restricted access to care unreasonably would not survive.
But, even with all that interference, he’d still have choices. He can choose to opt out of any health plan. He can pay for routine care (read: oil changes) out of pocket, and buy a much cheaper catastrophic policy for the serious stuff. He can start a medical savings account. He has choices, but he’d have many more if he trusted the market place a little more and the nanny state a little less.
What choice will Mr. Gwin’s beloved “public option” provide? When he disagrees with the Comparative Effectiveness Panel about the medical treatment they will allow, who will he go to? He could probably appeal the government’s decision to the government, but… Sounds kinda fruitless, doesn’t it? He can drop his “public option” and go back to a private insurer. Oh wait, there won’t be anymore private insurers, and if there are, the current law being proposed mandates that they be identical to the “public option” in every way. Well, he could just pay for the treatment that he wants, out of pocket. BUUUZZZZZZT!! Wrong again, that’s not allowed either under the current proposals. What to do, what to do? He’ll suck it up, and get in line with the rest of his comrades and wait patiently for his government hand out.
But none of what I’ve written matters one whit if your approach to life is:
“I don’t care what you call it, just give it to me!”
Anyway, that's my story, and I'm stickin' to it!