Any physician worth their degree will tell you that it is better to prevent disease than to treat disease. Better to treat the cause rather than the symptoms. You only do the latter when you have no other choice. And any doctor not looking to get their license revoked would never argue that you should have more of what is causing your problems.
ObamaCare however is the exact opposite of all this sound medical advice.
For instance this photo has made it to my facebook pages several times in the last few days via several of my friends.
Here is the thinking. She had a major medical problem (although tumors is actually a very wide medical term ranging from benign growth to stage 4 terminal cancer…I can assume this was somewhere in between as it appeared she had time to wait for the passage of ObamaCare) and the solution to that was medical care. The problem with medical care was that it cost too much out of pocket. Her solution, pass a massive government intrusion into multiple private industries to help her pay for costs. This was treating the symptom: The cost is too high, someone pay for the cost.
Did anyone bother to ask what caused those high prices? Well first she couldn’t afford medical insurance (so we assume…her house/apartment looks nice, her glasses look newish and her clothes also appear to have not been bought at Goodwill. These are assumptions I will admit…but I wonder could she have scrimped somewhere and bought private insurance? In which case why do I have to pay through my tax dollars because she didn’t want to sacrifice any of her creature comforts…but let’s assume she was living month to month and honestly couldn’t afford insurance. So what caused insurance costs to be high? First that would be because the federal government passed laws that says insurance companies can’t cross state lines. If you removed those barriers overhead for insurance companies would drop right away since they would not need 50 different corporate offices in 50 different states. Second their prices would continue to drop as they would have massive new amounts of competition from each other. (Remember how Freakanomics detailed how life insurance costs dropped just when people had information to compare costs, think about how much those costs would drop when you add competition into the mix). Of course, Democrats wouldn’t even consider this cost cutting measure…why? Oh that’s right they’re in the pocket of insurance lobbyists. (I can’t blame the insurance companies playing the game politicians set up, I can blame the politicians for playing this game where they unconstitutionally interfere with the economy and prevent competition).
So the high costs are partly caused by government interference. But I’m sure this was a one time thing, more government interference will make things better.
Why else are the costs high?
Well partly, it costs a lot to pay surgeons. They have years and years of training where they’re earning next to nothing and gaining more and more school and personal debt, they have to get paid enough to make that worthwhile. So why do they have high debt? Well because the government artificially inflated the cost of their college tuition through college loans and artificially inflated the cost of their house through their idiocy in messing around with loans and Freddie and Fannie and they artificially inflated the prices of most of the things you buy through tariffs and subsidies and whatnot. Yeah sure, if the government got out of the economy and the housing market and the school loan business prices across the board would drop and doctors would be able to maintain their standard of living with much lower costs. (Now I want a liberal to come back and say that doctors should just charge less and get used to a lower standard of living…yeah, I’m sure everyone gives up 4 years of college, 4 years of grad school, 4 years of residency, and another couple of years in training to be a specialist—pretty much giving up their 20’s and most of their 30’s to live at only a lower middle class standard of living…I’m sure you’re going to find lots of people rushing to be doctors then. And if you have fewer doctors then the law of supply and demand tells me prices are going to go up again). Oh hey and if the government got out of the economy, housing, and college, then doctors wouldn’t have to charge insurance companies so much, so insurance would be cheaper. But that’s only two ways government helped drive up the cost medical procedures, I’m sure those are the ONLY two ways; more government is clearly the answer.
So why else are costs of medical care so high? Well partly because the doctors, the anesthesiologists, the pharmacists, the nurses, and the hospitals are all paying astronomical costs to their own insurance companies in case some one sues them. Why do they need to pay such high premiums? Because people are sue happy and people sue their doctors not just for legitimate malpractice (oh by the way most states don’t have legitimate ways of reviewing doctors who have numerous claims of malpractice because they’re in the pockets of medical associations…if states did a better job making sure the people who hold medical licenses are not quacks, you know an actual legitimate function of government, medical costs would go down). Now if we had federal tort reform, it would stop a lot of the frivolous cases, drop doctor’s insurance premiums and thus drop doctor’s costs, which makes them drop their bills which makes it cheaper to get medical treatment (oh and the insurance companies will have to pay less so they can then charge less). But the Democrats stop tort reform at every chance they get because only the SEIU, AFLCIO and NEA have a stronger grip on the collective gonads of the DNC.
But only those three, it has to only be those three ways government drives up costs of medical care and medical insurance. Surely it’s only those three ways and those are the exceptions…more government will solve the problem.
A lot of costs for hospitals, medical suppliers and doctors comes from Medicaid and Medicare insurance. Like stores that need to raise their prices to account for what is lost through shoplifting, the medical industry needs to raise theirs. Medicare fraud is $60 Billion a year. Medicaid is about the same. So over $100 Billion A YEAR! We could put in higher levels of fraud control, pray that government could be more efficient, and lower it…but the fact is that these programs waste more money than they do good (because that’s just fraud, let’s not even talk about wasted government overhead). So again government drives the costs up. Do you know why a lot of doctors don’t take Medicaid or Medicare? Because those two wonderful programs refuse to pay full price. So if something costs $50 and those programs only pay $40…where is that doctor going to make up the difference? By charging insurance companies and paying customers that $10. That’s right, you pay for Medicaid and Medicare and what they don’t pay for…and your own bill. You think if we scraped these worthless programs, letting states come up with a leaner version (or heaven forbid telling people that they are actually responsible for their own lives and health) that costs might go down. Yes, yes. . (Oh, and while were on the subject of government paid for healthcare…do you remember every month or so hearing about the hospitals that have to close down because they’re broke from treating so many illegal immigrants who never pay…gee I wonder if the government could institute some kind of sane border control and immigration policy).
Okay that’s another way that government interference drove the cost up. But that has to be the last one. Right? Clearly after that more government interference will certainly help.
Oh wait, another reason that costs are so high is because of agencies like the FDA. Which calls for endless upon endless trials of drugs and procedures. Why is it that new drugs and procedures come to Europe and Canada before they come to the U.S.? Because even these socialist nations understand that, hey, pharmacology to some degree is a bit of a crap shoot. You can test for years and years and years and never find out that if you mix drug A with drug B for a person with condition C then it causes D (for death). Yes we need testing, but not the near decades long insanity. A near decades long process that can drive the costs of R&D up higher than it should be and limit the amount of time a company has the patent for that drug, thus they have to recoup not just the R&D for that drug in a few years, but the R&D for all the failed drugs, being sued by class action ambulance chasers because the drug had an unforeseeable side effect (but there is that tort reform thing again) plus enough profit to attract new investors. Yes don’t forget that if there isn’t profit there aren’t investors—and if there aren’t investors then there are no new drugs, no new cures, no treatments, no progress. If the government reduced regulation and bureaucracy to put our testing on par with the rest of the industrialized world thus reducing costs across the board. Since this would cut a few years off testing just to be safe let’s just put the following on every single prescription bottle “(warning just about any drug can KILL you given the right circumstances. Be sure to discuss this with your doctor and pharmacist and tell them what conditions you have and what you’re taking. It’s a crap shoot, but you wouldn’t be taking it if the benefits didn’t outweigh the risks.” Of course my favorite thing is when the FDA forbids terminal patients from willingly trying experimental drugs or treatments because there could be unforeseen risks….um….they’re terminal, what’s a bigger risk than death? Learning what does and doesn’t work? Yes, yes, we understand that you want to do this, you know the risks, and quite frankly there is no way this can harm you since you’re already effectively dead…but you can’t do it because we’re the government and know more about what’s good for you than you do.
But that’s the last way that government drives up the costs of medical care…right?
Um…well there is the fact that a lot of those hospital costs come from corrupt unionization of nurses and other hospitals staff. Unions like the SEIU come in, bully, harass and threaten employees to vote to join a union and they are never, ever, ever given a choice to take another vote to disband the union. EVER. Because unlike any other contract, going union isn’t joining an organization it’s selling your soul apparently. And this is all done under the auspiciousness of the federal government. And then you will immediately find that employee costs go up and productivity goes down (which means you have to hire more people to pick up the slack). And those costs are passed onto you the person who needs medical attention or to insurance companies who then have to up their premiums.
But that’s the last one right?
Well…if you don’t count that Americans are the most generous people on Earth. In fact there are numerous charitable organizations that give money to people who can’t afford surgeries (in fact a lot of doctors lower or waive their fees when a patient can’t afford to pay)…I wonder if she tried looking to private charities before she looked to Obama to help her? But what would get more people to donate more money to charities? Well having more money. Basic common sense is that people give to charity when they have more money (in fact percentage wise the richer you are the more likely you are to give to charity and the more likely you are to give a higher percentage of your income, as shown in Arthur Brooks’ book Who Really Cares) so what hurts people having money? Well, first taxes (income, water, property, sales, phone, electricity, gas, I could go on) there are dozens upon dozens of ways the government is bilking you. Then of course there is their constant economic interference (like ObamaCare) which retards recovery or growth.
Okay, but just because the government drives up the costs of medical care through trade barriers, interference with the housing and college market, the lack of tort reform, insane FDA regulation, being beholden to unions, messing with the economy and having high taxes…that doesn’t mean that more government won’t help us get out of the problem government created. After all it works so well in Canada (no, really watch this one…it’s 20 minutes but it’s worth it) and Britain.
Or maybe, just maybe, if the government got out of the economy, passed tort reform, removed the barriers and let the free market work, costs for both paying out of pocket and your insurance costs would be at a level that everyone could afford.
So let’s see, government causes medical and insurance costs to be so high in at least 7 ways…but the solution is more government? That’s like going to a doctor and being diagnosed with arsenic poisoning and being prescribed a massive quantity of arsenic. Huh? I don’t think I’ve ever even seen the House try something that crazy…but that’s exactly the solution that Obama, the Democrats and their supporters want. More of the disease will cure the disease. Of course.