The healthcare debate in this country today has nothing at all to do with care or health and everything to do with control over who, how much and when to pay for each of our own office visits, chronic treatment needs, medicine prescriptions, surgeries, hospital stays and insurance coverage. There are only two perspectives being considered and their both missing the mark.
The two political sides from standpoint of our major political parties are polarized:
- DNC believes government should provide for all and that means income of all citizens must be subject to taxation at rate determined by government to cover what the government determines the minimum coverage, access and treatment we are all entitled to, without regard for free market principles of supply, demand, competition, cost and availability.
- RNC believes the individual should provide for and determine for themselves what coverage, access and treatment they will seek. That means the individual should keep more of their money tax free to set aside for their health and well being and they should be able to make their own market based decisions for themselves.
The fundamental disagreement centers on “Freewill” and because of this neither is focused what’s truly wrong with healthcare today so until they do we will not get a resolution that works for the people. Instead we will hear more about this nebulous group of 22million people will be harmed or better served by one of these two choices. Let us be very clear about the politics of it, simply put we will never get a bill that both sides will endorse because their beliefs are mutually exclusive.
Let’s break down the real problems that neither party is willing to address because doing so would force them to abandon some elements of their platforms.
1) Supply is not driven by actual demand it is muddied by abuse and corruption driven by government guarantees, subsidies and regulations. Patients are not educated or behaving responsibly for their own health or care because they don’t have to. Insurance, pharmaceutical and medical providers are all to often taking advantage of government subsidies and regulations and preying on uneducated and irresponsible patients.
2) Demand, the same thing can be said for demand, although we cannot ignore the truth that foreigners routinely travel into the US each year at escalating rates or treatment options not available in their home nations. Take our neighbor to the north; boasting a single payer system, Canada’s methods of rationing, its facility shortages, and its very long waiting lists for certain services and treatment drive Canadians to the States by the thousands each year.
3) Costs, coverage and quality of service are out of control because insurance, pharmaceutical and medical providers do not have to operate in a market place where competition, supply, demand, quality of service, or most importantly where patients robustly exercise their power of purse. Providers simply do what they can get away with because the patient has no power.
4) Health and responsibility – People in general are shortsighted, simply put people today are not behaving in responsible way about their health and wellbeing because they don’t have to. If every person were responsible for themselves like we used to be we might not have this mess. Imagine if for example people lived healthier, and set aside their income for healthcare just like we do for retirement. They’d have to apply market based principles when deciding how to spend their money, it would become something we seriously considered and treated with respect.
5) Government – Congress is unfettered from the will of the people. There are no term limits, we are not willing to give up our partisan loyalties to concede when our team is wrong and they know it so they take advantage of our vote. Further they provide for themselves and their families a far superior medical coverage so not to be subject to the mess they’ve created with ACA. All of congress routinely receive campaign contributions, income for speeches and donations to personal causes and countless other perks from Pharmaceutical, HMO’s and Insurance companies so why would they want to give up their lavish gifts.
Does anyone really think congress would be willing to sit down and address these problems which would improve the US healthcare system? Are they willing to let people have more choice and control over who they see, how much they pay and for specific treatments? Are they willing to push back on the lobbyists for big pharma, HMOs and Insurance lobbyists? Are they going to vote to let people have more of their income tax free at the risk of losing money for pet projects in their States? At the expense of their own self-importance we can rest assured congress will not act in our best interests to remedy these problems. The only solution is for the American people to let the system completely fail, and to replace old guard in congress. We cannot afford to be naïve any longer people, it has nothing to do with the arguments being made in the CBO or the media it’s a case of government gone wild.