Posts Tagged ‘basic right’

Dear Flaco,

So, I need to letcha in on a little secret.  As a conservative, it’s not my goal to make the rich richer or keep the poor poorer.  I don’t think it’s okay to ignore those in need, ignore those who require help.  I really really wanna make the world a better place for as many people as possible.  And really, that means that I want the world to be better for more people tomorrow than it was for people yesterday.

In short:  You haven’t cornered the market on touchy feely, needs of the people, make the world a better place.

However, you and I do differ in one key  quality:  I don’t think that you can change natural law.  You, on the other hand, do.  Imagine my folly, when announcing that I would love to fly–like Superman-I learned that gravity was not subject to toggling “off”.

Back to health care, just for a second try to stay with me here.  Let’s use our favorite topic of all time–beer.  Good ‘ol faithful beer.  So, here is something that we love like and feel that we really kinda need want.  With me still?  Okay okay, sorry.  Go grab a beer.  I’ll wait.

Come one….you don’t need a glass!  Just get back over here!

Alright, back to it.  Beer.  In demand.  As in, really in demand.  So, why don’t they just raise the price of beer?  I mean, why bother with making beer that people wanna drink, just go out and raise the price.  Budweiser, in their annual meeting,  should simply decide what kind of revenue they would like to make and simply raise the price of their beer to accomplish that goal.  Serious.  These CEO’s are so wicked and evil, why should they allow the price of beer to dip to the levels that a working Joe <there’s Palin again–gotta love her> can afford it?

Ya wanna know why?  Because as soon as they do that, other beer companies come in and say, well, hell, I’ll charge just a dime less, steal all his customers.  And the rest, you see, is just an excercise in supply and demand.

So now, back to health care.  When a doctor puts out a shingle, he is proud, takes a picture and sends it to his mom!  He should be, big day, champion day!  And why not?  He’s worked hard, struggled hard to finish school, and boy did he, years and years of it.  And now, finally, he has his own—-wait, umm, yeah, about that med school.  Our hero has some bills to pay, and they ain’t no small kinda bills.  So now, he nervously looks at his shingle and, oops, notices he’s the only one on the sidewalk!  No sick people yet.  But, by God, he’ll make his money.  Oh yeah, he’ll make his.  But they never come.  Why?  Cuase he charges too much!  Nah–couldn’t be that!  That’s free market crazy talk!

But it’s true.  Even evil doctors have to obey the law of the market.  And in the end, they will only charge what the market will bare.

And I hear it already–sigh–.
The INSURANCE companies are the ones that are billing us, not the doctor!!!  When we sign up for insurance we are forced to see a doctor, can’t see another one, and he is now free to charge whatever he wants!!!  Damn it, damn it all!!  Evil evil rich!

And lets not forget, shall we, that precisely because of this free market system, all of us victims of the evil rich health care machine are the healthiest people in the history of the planet.  Ever.

But, alas, I have to admit it.  Here, I think, you are right.  The prices we pay ARE too high.  The system does need work.  We can remove costs from the whole process just about everywhere you look.  But the dirty secret is that the best way to do this is NOT by increasing government.  It’s by decreasing government.  It’s by allowing new players to enter into the market.  Allowing new insurance methods to be invented and refined.  It’s about letting customers, US, demand lower prices and higher quality by giving us the biggest hammer known–choice!

So you see, in the end, we are the same.  We both want Molly to be able to go see a doctor and walk away with good service and care at a fair price.  We just differ in the method.  I wanna let what has worked in every other niche of the market work here.  You wanna give this responsibility to the government, so wildly successful as to create this monster: Medicare.

Medicare wastes more money than any other federal program, yet its strong public support leaves lawmakers hesitant to address program effi­ciencies, which cost taxpayers and Medicare recip­ients billions of dollars annually.

For example, Medicare pays as much as eight times what other federal agencies pay for the same drugs and medical supplies. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently com­pared the prices paid by Medicare and the Depart­ment of Veterans Affairs (VA) health care program for 16 types of medical equipment and supplies, which account for one-quarter of Medicare’s equip­ment and supplies purchases. The evidence showed that Medicare paid an average of more than double what the VA paid for the same items. The largest difference was for saline solution, with Medicare paying $8.26 per liter compared to the $1.02 paid by the VA.

Does it feel good to have the people we elect do things that seem to help us?  Sure, hell yeah!  But when we start letting the government do things that it wasn’t created to do, we run into the danger of having that government run programs whose end result is not, in this case better health care, but rather is more votes.

Serious.  DMV.  You don’t think that in FIVE minutes you couldn’t positively affect the wait time and reduce it by 50%?  5 minutes.  And you want these people to run your health care.

You.  Are crazy.


Read Full Post »

Dear Flaco,

daschleAs the Blessed Leader is now looking at his third failed major cabinet post, we should review perhaps the biggest blow so far; the failure of Tom Daschle.  You see, this post was his for the taking.  In fact, if there was a man that was made for Team Obama to head up Health and Human Services, it was Mr. Daschle.  He was the majority leader in the Senate and had the respect of his peers.  Then, when he was kicked out of office by his voters left office he became a public speaker, and champion of a new Federal Health Care system; a reform if you will.  He was, in short, ready to step into the job of a lifetime.  A job that would transform the way in which health care is distributed in this country.  A move that would take it from where it is now, in the hands of the private sector, and move it into the realm of the State.

However, more interesting than the man is the concept.  Universal Health Care.  Socialized Medicine.  Whatever name it goes by, it won’t go–well, away.

Economics:  The study of the use of scare resources which have alternative uses.

This is the definition of economics in a pretty basic book by the name “Basic Economics”.  Fascinating read; I suggest it.  But when you think of that definition, it kind of, or should, strike you what we are dealing with here.  It doesn’t have to be money.  It can be the study of how a teacher runs his classroom.  He only has so much time and resources and, much of it, has alternate uses – he could something else for another child.  Or, you could use it in game theory.We use it everyday in working through our “Honey Do” list….in fact, all of life, really, is a study in economics.  Scare resources; time.  And alternate uses; drinking beer or painting the baby’s room.

health-careAnd so it is with health care.  We have a scare resource; medicine, doctors, nurses and beds.  And all of it has alternate uses.  A nurse could instead choose to become a lawyer, a doctor a fighter pilot.  Money or land spent to build a hospital could be used to build an apartment, or an office building or a football stadium.  It’s all there, this — this study of things.  This demand for something that we don’t have enough of.  And in the end, that’s where we are.  We have a demand for medical services and we don’t have enough supply.    And if we can agree on that, we have agreed on one of the most important aspects of this debate.  An aspect that no politician, Mr. Daschle himself in fact, will ever admit.  Because, you see, when we have less of a thing than we want, we have to somehow hand it out so that someone doesn’t get everything that they want.

Please, please make sure that we are in agreement on this.  We have more need/want than we have supply.  There are more peope that want to see a doctor of some kind that we have ability to see.  And that might be because we have too few docs, or beds or simply time in the day.  Whatever, there is more need/want than supply.

This is important for this reason.  Once we agree on the supply demand thingy, all that’s left is to determine how we ration it.  Once we agree that we simply don’t have enough, all we have to do is determine how we will figure out who won’t get what.  And ya know what?  The single best system for determining that is the market.  Free market.  People will automatically regulate themselves and adjust so that supply meets demand.  It does everywhere else.  The best recent example is gasoline.  Consider this:

I love my bride.  We wake at 06.30 am and get ready for the day together.  Then, we take the kids to school and we go to work where we spend the next 8-10 hours toiling away forspouse the man no more than 50 feet apart.  After work, it’s dinner, the kids and bedtime.  Serious.  From midnight to 23.59, I am withing shouting distance of my wife 95% of the time.  That’s a LOT of  time dammit!  And so it is, that while we work at the same place, eat at the same place and drop off/pickup kids at the same place, I insist that we do NOT carpool.  Brotha needs his minutes yo!  But when gas starting running $3.50 to $4.00 a gallon, I relented.  I would work VO while she went to the office!  hehehe, but you get the point.  I self adjusted as the price became to much to bear, as did the entire market, and low and behold, gasoline went down.

So it is with the health care market.  I have been over the numbers before.  Many many of the “47 million uninsured” are uninsured due to choice!  They choose NOT to obtain that insurance.  Some can afford it but have decided not to obtain it.   Others, LOL, others have the government assistance available to them but refuse to do the needful to get it.  Point is, many Americans don’t WANT it.

And so, we have people come and say that they are going to offer some panacea of Nationalized Health Care.  It sounds good, it does.  But how, when we have accepted that we don’t have enough of it, are we going to provide it to everyone?  How are we going to ration this scare resource so that it gets distributed to people?  The answer, if the state is involved, is through political favors, bribes, wait times or “cost effective” measures.  None of which are better than the system we have today.

Look, is there room for improvement?  Yes.  Most certainly that improvement comes in the form of LESS government and not more.

Read Full Post »


Everyone should have access to medical care.

you wrote..”And just like a big house, cool car, rockin’ job or college education, health care is something that has to be earned.  And that is my philosophical side.”

Here’s how I translate that… F*^& the poor.

and then.. “My practical side is “Are you freakin kiddin’ me?!?!?  You think that I am going to rely on the government to provide health care for me and my family?  That somehow government is going to be able to certify doctors, certify treatments and then be able to deliver the same to me at the exact time I need it, in the form I need it and by whom I need it from?  Insane!  There is NO WAY that any person capable of becoming elected in this country has the ability to set aside politics to get to where they need to be to assist me in my health.  None.”

(And you accuse me of ranting…)

How do I translate that gem…  (read the title of this post.)

So…     At its root, the lack of health care for all in America is fundamentally a moral issue.  The United States is the only industrialized nation that does not have some form of universal health care (defined as a basic guarantee of health care to all of its citizen).  While other countries have declared health care to be a basic right, the United States treats health care as a privilege, only available to those who can afford it.  In this sense. health care in America is treated as an economic good like a TV or DVD player, not as a social or public good.

Currently, the United States spends twice as much as other industrialised nations on health care, $7,129 per capita.  Yet our system performs poorly in comparison and still leaves over 45 million without health coverage and millions more inadequately covered.  This is because private insurance bureaucracy and paperwork consume almost one-third (31 percent) of every health care dollar.  Streamlining payment through a single nonprofit player would save more than $350 billion a year, enough to provide comprehensive, high-quality coverage for all Americans.

How old were you when you first starting paying for health care?

18 or 30?

respectfully, flaco

Read Full Post »