Chapter One: Health Care Spending and bankruptcy: An externality of the insurance industry.
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Externality: a secondary or unintended consequence: like health care, pollution and other externalities of the corporate business model of washing its hands of a problem they create. This brutal concept is the underlying concept of the health care industry. You'll clearly see why after I have laid out a list of facts and inconsistencies in this blog.
My first brush with politics came in the late fifties when I would wake up to the alarm clock radio and listen to the morning news cast. I remember hearing the newsman describe a new bill being discussed in the state legislature and thinking how incredible the ideal sounded. A few days later I would find out the bill had been voted down. Being a little naive, I couldn’t understand why such a good idea would not get overwhelming support. It would be decades before I would start paying attention enough to learn about the two prevailing ideological parties and the nonsensical logic used to win their battles.
The prevailing thought was that we were all in this together. The ultimate check and balance system. I really thought at one time that no one would ever pass a law that would adversely affect themselves or their families, now or in the future. In my view, this concept would be one of the top three laws of nature. The sadder truth is, one: some don’t want to be lumped in together with anyone, and two: I’m liberal.
One of the more bizarre conservative concepts is the need for a debate, for debates sake. Or, when a debate really isn’t a debate, but still is anyway. When Republicans are confronted on an issue, they immediately complain the opposition commentary is an attempt to silence them. Health care provides a perfect example.
The Health care debate is a fallacy driven by special interests and ideologically motivated politicians. If just the facts, stories and histories of other industrialized countries were reviewed and totaled, the end result would be conclusive: A single payer health care system works.
But, in an age where everything is now relative, the ideological opinions of the conservative agenda and corporate self interests motivated by profits have obscured what would have been a simple solution. This ploy of complicating the discussion has worked amazingly well in manipulating public opinion. Throw in a few idea’s that supposedly empower the individual, and one can see how threatening it would be if a persons personal choices were taken away and handed over to a governmental collection of citizens.
Author and political radio host Thom Hartmann summed it up best when he clearly defined conservative and liberal. “Conservatives believe that people are essentially evil at their core. If you were to survey the vast majority of people you’ll find that more than half of them were evil. And liberals believe that the majority of people are good. And everything flows out of that.”
Health care is a private sector industry. Even though businesses big and small get to shop for the best insurance plan, many are finding it difficult to find coverage they can afford. Free market advocates continue to claim competition will hold prices down. But if that were true, we wouldn’t be looking at 8 to 15 percent increases in premiums every year. So if one were to honest about the rising price of health care coverage, competition isn't working.
Despite evidence to the contrary, in state houses across the country, Republican legislators are saying they can solve the health care crisis by making it even more private than it already is. Impossible but true.
What they really mean by “more” private, is the removal of pesky government mandates, that require minimum standards of coverage. That translates to a lot fewer covered treatments and medicines. You can save big time though.
Incredibly, conservatives believe you can pick your disease and favored drugs to purchase, and lower your premiums considerably by not being forced to pay for those rarely acquired diseases like cancer or diabetes.
This discussion takes everyone's eyes of the real problem. According to a government report published in the February 26 2008 online edition of Health Affairs, spending on health care in the United States could double by 2017, amount to over $4 trillion and account for nearly twenty percent of the nation's gross domestic product, nearly one-fifth of the economy.
And there will be a major shift in health care spending from the private to the public sector.
The report speculates that disposable income will decrease during this ten year period, playing a part in the slowdown in private health spending.
Amazingly, the obvious is merely an opinion by liberals to give us socialized medicine. All this while legislators and congress people enjoy taxpayer paid health care.