socialized healthcare – implications, reality, and solutions
in President Obama’s latest weekly address, he basically claims that insurance companies are not standing up to their end of the deal and paying for certain medicines/surgeries/care that they are obligated to. I contend that, if this is the case, why not hold them liable in court, as we do in every other sector? for example, if a dealer sells me a new car that breaks the next day, and they don’t uphold the warranty, should I expect the government to fix it for free? no, I would take the company to court so that they must uphold their contract. the health industry should be no different. it’s important to note that the courts must actually impel the company to fulfill their obligation – companies breaking the law should be fined accordingly until it either bankrupts them or they start behaving. if the courts do not do this, the onus is on them, and they must be reformed – but it should not lead us to lean on The State to fill the gap.
on the other hand, if the reason that insurance companies don’t pay for certain medicines/surgeries/etc is that they are NOT obligated to, then they are running their business as they should – just as a car insurance company would not be contractually obligated to pay for a home that was destroyed. therefore, the individual is responsible for knowing what their insurance plan does and does not cover, and then deciding whether they wish to continue paying for that plan.
now, since I suspect that many times the reason insurance companies don’t pay for certain things is because they are NOT obligated to, socialized (single payer) healthcare does an interesting thing – it passes that obligation on to you, me, and other taxpayers. it comes to your house and says, “hey Calen – this man needs care he can’t afford – so you’re going to pay for it. that’s right, cough up the money! what’s that? you don’t want to pay for him? how’s prison sound! what’s that? you don’t want to go to prison? BANG. YOU’RE DEAD.”
of course that sounds dramatic, but in a nutshell, that’s how it actually works. my point is this: accountability and responsibility should be on the individual needing care (or their family if need be, or charities, or the Church), but not on The State, which is really just the rest of the taxpaying People. one citizen should never feel entitled to another citizen’s property, and when you look at socialized healthcare (and Medicare/Medicaid) in a cut and dry sense, that’s exactly what you have.
a lot of people argue that hey, many people have a pre-existing condition and can’t get health insurance now. we can equate this to buying a car and driving it around uninsured for a few years. finally you get in an accident, and you’re stuck with the bill. you could try to get insurance on the car at this point, but good luck finding a company to take you up on that! insurance is not supposed to be this thing that people run to when they need healthcare and it magically hands out medicine to them. it is a hedge against your odds of eventually needing it – you pay in when you’re healthy and it pays out when you’re sick.
now, the only logical way to afford socialized healthcare is to tax the People (or borrow and increase the debt, or print money, both of which are hidden taxes). neither of these is desired, or, at this point, affordable. the solution is to keep The State’s hands totally off of the healthcare industry (other than to enforce contracts, as stated above). when this happens, the People who are for using their taxes to help the poor can instead donate the couple hundred dollars to a charity (or individual) of their choice, if they so choose. in this way, we put accountability and responsibility on the People (where it belongs), we preserve choice, and we endorse freedom of contract, the strongest base of a free Republic.
If you protect a man from folly, you will soon have a nation of fools.
– William Penn