Monday, March 08, 2010

Health Care Insurance for Dummies part two

I neared the end of my first installment with this:

I know the government of the United States should not be involved in the health care industry and I hope that the people of this country will rise against this administration and his party in their attempts to bring health care under government control. Why?

I answered the why with three points.
  1. The Constitution of the United States says nothing about health care. Health care is outside of the power of the federal government.
  2. Whenever the government tries to do something that is done by private enterprise, it costs more for the government to do it.
  3. If the government gets involved with health care like they are proposing, you will lose more of your freedom.
Those were very fundamental analysis of the situation based on the one aspect of government control. However, more could be said in criticism of the direction President Obama is taking the country on this issue.

One philosophical viewpoint of the Obama administration, it seems, and most in the Democrat Party, is that health care or health insurance is guaranteed by the Constitution, that is, a fundamental human right or civil right. The Constitution does not include health care in its bill of rights. The American people are under no obligation to provide free health care to every one of its citizens. That viewpoint is wrought with many difficulties and destructive consequences, one of which is the sense of entitlement it engenders that will bankrupt our nation. It is necessary for our country to require its citizens a large degree of personal responsibility, including the taking care of one's own health.

When we take away individual responsibility in the area of health care, just like we have with our social security, the health of people will not improve. People will more likely be willing to abuse their health with the assumption that the government will rescue them when they do so. That is already a sad result of the bureaucratic nature of group HMO (health maintenance organization) type of health insurance. Everyone is charged the same amount for his insurance no matter what kind of lifestyle practices he chooses. With a guarantee of health care for everyone, the government will take away the incentive to live a healthy lifestyle. Health will actually decrease and the care will become more expensive because of that loss of incentive.

Lowering Costs

If our concern with health care is about costs, we will not lower prices for everyone by providing health insurance for free for the uninsured. Adding 30 to 40 million uninsured will ask the rest of the population to shoulder the cost for these extra people by either paying more or by rationing their own care. The number of doctors will not increase, so the load on doctors will not become easier. The same number of doctors will be required to take care of that many more patients.

Is the Obama administration really concerned about lowering costs for people? Or is the present president of the U. S. mainly about strapping even more people into a mindset of government entitlement and guaranteeing the growth of the Democrat Party by creating that many more government dependents? I think the latter. One strategy in the Democrat playbook is to demonize the profits made by insurance companies. The idea is that a vote for Obamacare is a vote against the health insurance companies, which is an age old Democrat strategy of class warfare. I believe that Lamar Alexander made a very appropro statement concerning the cost lowering strategy of targeting the profits of the insurance companies:

Now, some say we need to rein in the insurance companies; maybe we do. But I think it's important to note that if we took all the profits of the insurance companies, the health insurance companies, entirely away -- every single penny of it -- we could pay for two days of the health insurance of Americans, and that would leave 363 days with costs that are too high. So that's why we continue to insist that as much as we want to expand access and to do other things in health care, that we shouldn't expand a system that's this expensive; that the best way to reduce cost -- to increase access is to reduce cost.


We will not save much money by removing the profit that insurance companies make for doing business. The demonizing of health care providers makes sense in whipping up support for the health care bill, but it won't do much to lower costs, especially seeing that this industry is 86th nationally in profit margin at 3.3%. Who President Obama chooses to attack are private businesses. The attack on private industries results in what? The loss of jobs. The loss of jobs seems to be a Democrat Party specialty.

Tort Reform

What would save a lot more money would be reform in tort laws related to medical malpractice. That alone would save hundreds of billions of dollars in medical costs every year. Why? It would reduce the money paid out for expensive, frivolous lawsuits every year. It would reduce the amount of money spent on defensive medicine by doctors because of fear of lawsuits. Last, it would shrink the amount of medical malpractice insurance that doctors are required to pay that is passed along to us the consumer.

But who does the present malpractice laws benefit? Again, follow the money. They benefit defense attorneys, the largest contributors to the Democrat Party. That's why the laws do not get changed. Until President Obama starts getting serious about tort reform, he doesn't care about lowering the costs on the average American citizen for their health care. This really is just more about government control and power, which will be for us an increasing loss of freedom.

More to Come

2 comments:

THE OLD GEEZER said...

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CD-Host said...

The savings on health care via. universality come from reduced costs for catching certain procedures early and the effects on public health.

Lets look at the analogy for cars exaggerated a little:

Option A:
Everyone gets automobile replacements and fixes for major damage at a flat cost of $3000. However routine maintenance is an out of pocket expense.

Option B:
Routine maintenance is free. People who fail to maintain their car pay a $500 fine per 6 mo. Everyone gets automobile replacements and fixes for major damage at a flat cost of $3000.

While more things are covered under Option B than Option A, it is pretty clear that Option B will be much much cheaper for the government to provide.