Saturday, August 15, 2009

Health care too important to have 'cost control'

I'm getting tired of this stupid point:

"I don't want my health care rationed... and that's what will come of this plan."

"This plan will not ration health care.."

"Let's not play games... the government will have to choose allocation schemes for limited health care funds."

"Okay fine... but we're already doing that... it's just up to private insurers right now!"

I've heard this refrain many times now... but currently our health care is only 'rationed' in the same sense that food or housing are rationed. Yes.. you pay for it. If this isn't the opposite of 'rationing', then I really don't know what is.

I was ambivalent about the proffered massive health care reorganization before.. but now I'm back to square one with "show me it's broke before you tell me yer gonna fix it."

I now believe this is an attempt at a 20th century solution to a 21st century problem. Health care is now closing in on *the* top priority of Americans. Most people have housing and food... and with those factors above subsistence levels for most people, our health now becomes a priority. Unfortunately we currently spend a very small fraction of our income on health care, and people are already whining about it.

Sell your house.. or your extra house... or your weekend boat... to pay for that operation... the housing market will go down, the health care market will go up... and before long, the markets will reflect where the priorities of Americans truly lie.

"But I don't want to have to sell my boat or move in with my children just because I got sick and need an expensive treatment."

... then don't get the treatment... reduce the value of health care by sapping demand... and increase the value of houses and boats by opting for these things in preference to life extending health care treatments.

The point of "health care costs are causing bankruptcies" should be answered with "What is more important than health care such that bankruptcies should be caused by something else? Why is housing allowed to be a leading cause of bankruptcies without nationalization but not health care?"

The crux of the matter is that our society is beyond the basic needs of food and shelter... we can get it for really cheap... it just might not taste too good as food or be really cramped as housing. This rearranges our priorities, as before, who really cared about their health care when a) doctors couldn't really do much anyways, and b) extending life through medicine doesn't make sense when the next war or famine will likely kill you anyways.

People now place much more emphasis on health care, and as a result, anybody attempting or expecting 'cost control' while we're spending more on housing, cars, food, and leisure items, is just deluding themselves.... and that's really the scariest point of this movement.


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