Monday, March 8, 2010

Another good idea

The last great idea was that every on should own their own home. Sounds good but it was quickly determined that there several inconveniences on the road to making it happen. There were pesky requirements such as having to make a down payment, having sufficient income, and having a history of paying people back for money owed. Not everyone could qualify for a mortgage. The simple fix was to do away with the requirements. Banks were encouraged to make 100% loans with little other checking. It was an idea that didn’t work out very well.

The current great idea is that everyone should have medical coverage. Another idea that sounds good but there are always those inconvenient practical matters.

The first inconvenience encountered on the road to this version of utopia was that not everyone can pay for health care. Easy fix. The government (that has no money) can subsidize those who can’t pay by taxing those who can.

Some people don’t want to pay for it? Easy fix - Fine them until they do.

Don’t want to add all this to the Federal Budget. Easy fix – unfunded mandates to the make States (who have no money) pay for most of it and hide some of it in the Medicare trash bin.

Projections of future savings don’t work? Easy fix – make up an overly optimistic economic future that no one really believes.

History shows that the estimations of the cost of such government programs (Medicare, etc) are wild understatements. Easy fix. Keep repeating that this Administration is for Change. It will be different this time.

The government’s track record of efficient management is not good (Medicare, Post Office, Military procurement, Congress, etc). Easy fix. Use the Change thing again.

Polls show that most people don’t want it. Easy fix – Ignore them.

Modifications to the health care system are necessary. Costs are increasing to soak up the available money. Look at the process for most people:
People get medical treatment; doctors/hospitals/drug companies charge for their services; insurance companies and the government pay the bill. The only group in the loop who is (profit) motivated to control the cost is the insurance industry. The simple issue is that most people really don’t care what it costs. They pay their co-payment and they are out of it. No one shops around for a good deal with a competent doctor. There is no reason and no ability to do so. In the only instances where they can shop (elective Lasik and plastic surgery), prices have gone down.
The jackpot solution is to get people who buy the services to have some interest in what the service costs and make providers compete for the business based upon price and service.

According to President Obama’s overstatement is only 10% of the population is outside of this system and that group needs to be addressed. Changing the entire structure of the best medical system in the world in order to service 10% of the people is just silly.

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