no third solution

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National Healthcare: Because It Can’t Get Any Worse

July 20th, 2009

If the industry supports national health care, “for the good of the consumers”, first follow the money, because politicians are great at colluding with big business in order to steal from the rest of us.

There was a fluff piece in InsuranceNewsNet this week, written by an insurance company executive (but no by-line) that attempts to alleviate people’s fear of government health care, and casting arguments like those I’ve put forth in the past as “scare tactics”.

[People] still fall prey to the scare tactic that nothing — but nothing — could be worse than a government takeover of the system. How things could be worse than they are now, I cannot imagine.

The industry is in love with the idea of nationalized health care, and Cohen is a shill.

Take a look at the real-world examples of national healthcare, and point to one which is not an epic fail. Look at the data for the cancer survival rates in Britain and Canada as compared to the cancer survival rates in the U.S. Or the months of waiting for routine medical procedures! Sure, some of these procedures might be “more expensive” on paper in the U.S. than they are elsewhere, but if you’ve only got 6 months to live, and the (free) life-saving procedure has an 18-month waiting list, it might as well cost a trillion dollars, because in either case, you’re not going to get it.

Most—if not all—of the problems with the current “system” (and I use the term loosely) in the U.S. stem directly from government interference. The health-care family of industries, including primary care provision, pharmaceuticals, insurance, etc., is more heavily regulated than any other industry in the world, with the possible exception of Finance, which has ironically been imploding for the better part of 18 months.

The writer describes a recent (and from the sounds of it, awful) experience with a local emergency room, and concludes that “The emergency room is the great leveler of American life. Everyone gets miserable treatment.”

Recall the last time you went to the emergency room and ask yourself if the government could possibly do a worse job. If the answer is yes, then you might need medical attention more than you realize.

Recall the last time you went to the DMV to renew your license plate or get a new photo ID or the last time you went in to the Post Office to mail a package. There are a dozen windows, each ostensibly belonging to one clerk but mysteriously, there are only three clerks working.

There are four people in front of you and it takes 40 minutes to complete your 30-second transaction. The only other place this happens to you is at a bank — except there you have the option to use an ATM. Now ask yourself if any business could do a worse job at providing these very basic services, than the government does?

I’m sure I could find dozens stories similar to Cohen’s (I’ve linked to several in the past) from the UK, from Canada, or this pathetic story from Japan about a bicyclist-hit-by-car who was rejected from 14 hospitals before he died, or from anywhere else national health care has been attempted.

Cohen just shrugs and says, “it can’t get any worse.”

I beg to differ. This is the same government that spends billions of dollars a year on roads that are constantly under construction or repair. The same government that, in an effort to forestall a financial shitstorm, took all of your money and gave it (no-strings-attached) to Goldman Sachs and Citigroup. The same government that used to spend $436 on uni-directional impact generators hammers.

The same government that, as primary provider and funder of education in this country, has presided over skyrocketing college and university tuition, increasing per-pupil costs at public schools, and steadily declining standardized test scores. America is spending more on education than she ever has at any time in the past, and kids are coming out of that factory dumber, and dumber each day.

And Cohen thinks that we’d be better off by putting these criminals in charge of our health? He is either a liar, a buffoon, or a thief.  (Guess where my money is?)

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no third solution

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