Archive for March, 2010

Where to Begin?

March 23, 2010

I don’t know what I can say about healthcare that hasn’t already been said countless times by a number of people. I don’t know of a concise and satisfactory way of explaining all the problems that were just placed on us.  I have several questions for those who were for the legislation.  I refuse to call it “reform” as that word has too positive a connotation.

My first question is if the main problem is uninsured people, why did my insurance have to change?  Why not just give them insurance?  I’m sure it would be cheaper than creating cumbersome bureaucracies to enforce regulations and personal mandates. Why am I and everyone eventually going to be forced to buy a product we may not think we need?  I’m not even talking about being forced to by something called “health insurance”, which is extremely wrong  in and of itself.  Why am I being forced to buy health insurance with no limits? What if I don’t want to pay for that much?  You are taking away my freedom by forcing me to buy something and by limiting my options.  This is unethical  no matter how good you may think it is for me. Do you have any idea how much more it is going to cost for the additional insurance? Niether do I, but I don’t want to pay it, and I don’t want anyone to buy it for me.

Modern health insurance didn’t even exist 100 years ago, and it’s suddenly my right to have it? That doesn’t make any sense. It’s like saying everyone has a right to an iPhone, so everyone else has to purchase it for those who can’t afford one . It’s my right to use my own free will, and this legislation takes that right away, and it doesn’t give me any new ones by forcing me to buy (or forcing someone else to pay for) some company’s product.

The other problem this legislation is supposed to fix is high costs. Health care costs so much because the demand is so high and supply is limited; plus the extremely sophisticated advances in technology were not created for free.  This legislation creates much more demand and arguably less supply.  This means prices will rise astronomically unless the prices are capped (which this legislation allows for).  Capped prices will mean a shortage, like the gas lines in the 70’s, which means longer waits and thus more avoidable complications and deaths.  Prices act as a rationing tool which allocates the resources most efficiently. The legislation will ultimately ration on a first-come-first-serve basis, meaning the most desperate will not necessarily get care. Some will argue that the rich unfairly jump the line, but this will still happen.  As unfair as it seems, the high profits of the health industry is the reason modern medicine has developed so quickly and improved everyone’s lives, no matter how poor. The legislation will lower profits and slow this rapid development, if for no other reason than it entrenches the current businesses through regulation and reduces competition by driving  small companies out of business. Why else was big PHARMA so keen on the legislation?  I thought they were some of the worst companies around.

I’ve taken the legislation to it’s logical endpoint.  If it doesn’t ultimately cause these things by itself, it will instead create the problems that will lead to legislative “solutions” which will bring us further in the direction I described. I hope the future allows us to cut off at the knees the consequences of this legislation  if not outright abolish it.  There are much less extreme ways to get better results. Don’t let a moral imperative to help those in need cloud the moral imperative for each of us to keep our freedom.