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Oh teh noes! Health care

So, it looks like the newest political pixie dust we’re having shoved upon us is fixing health care. The arguments presented by advocates are largely bogus because of the way they frame the debate. You see, they use terms like health care and health insurance interchangeably, which is misleading. The great thing about America is I have access right now to all the health care I can buy. Just Saturday, I got bit by a critter. Being a weekend and a holiday, my doctor’s office was not open. I went to a local walk in clinic, said how much, they told me, and I gave them money. They then gave me health care. Amazing. People will sell something that you’re willing to buy.

Now, someone comes along and says You’re just mean. Some folks can’t afford it. You’re right. Some folks can’t afford it. And I am mean. But just like some folks can’t afford houses and food and cars, some folks can’t afford to pay a doctor. That’s the way the world works, some times. But it does mean that, at least, you realize that we do have health care and the conversation you want to have is about who is paying for it. And you want me to. That’s the first step.

And, it turns out, we have a health insurance program in this country to benefit those who cannot afford it. It’s called Medicaid. And it’s broken. You want someone to take your silly give everybody free stuff and fluffy puppies pipe dream seriously, fix Medicaid. Because we can’t afford to pay for anyone else.

Meanwhile, a look at socialist health care in other countries.

8 Responses to “Oh teh noes! Health care”

  1. Sebastian-PGP Says:

    We all end up paying for it anyway, as people without insurance just wait till they’re reallllly sick and then go to the ER where treatment is really expensive because of advanced conditions…and that cost is passed on to the rest of us.

    We already have socialized medicine…we just don’t think about it.

  2. SayUncle Says:

    We already have socialized medicine…we just don’t think about it.

    No. We have medicine that is regulated by the .gov in bad ways.

  3. Brutal Hugger Says:

    Tying health care to jobs is a systemic failure with persistent and pervasive bad effects. We need to decouple the two, and there aren’t a lot of options for doing that except by regulation and government action.

    As for chipping in on my less-well-off neighbor’s medical bills, I’m ok with that. There is a social and economic apparatus that has trained me, employs me and keeps me in relative prosperity. I am a beneficiary of an awful lot of public resources. That apparatus needs care in return, and I’m willing to accept that health care can be more of a communal, pooled-risk area.

    Reducing the number of people whose lives are severely disrupted by unexpected catastrophic expenses is surely a social good because it generates benefits in social stability and general welfare. That’s reason alone to consider spreading health risk across society.

    Our economic system is predicated on the notion that we’re going to have winners and losers. Without the losers, we wouldn’t have a system that lets me be a winner. That, to me, justifies the social safety net, including restructuring health care so middle-class families are better situated within the system.

    Even when I think of my friends that are under-employed, that choose to forgo high-earning jobs so they can take a subsistent (but happier) path through life, I don’t resent chipping in on their health care.

  4. Sebastian-PGP Says:

    Seems a distinction without a difference…we’re all paying for it one way or the other.

  5. karrde Says:

    The idea may not be bad.

    But the implementations put in place by our politicians tend to help lawyers, politicians, and bureaucrats at the expense of everyone else.

  6. Brutal Hugger Says:

    karde, that could be said about *any* government program or agency. They’re not all 100% bad. The FDA, for all of its bumbling and corruption, is, on balance, a positive force for health in America. It’s all in the execution.

    Even given that politicians are going to steal and that there will be some fraud and waste, I think a generation from now people will think we’re better off. A 2003 gallup poll of Brits and Americans found that Brits are usually happier with their healthcare than Americans:

  7. ATLien Says:

    that’s because americans haven’t had care in the UK, and they haven’t had care in the US. otherwise, that whole tune would change.

  8. Manish Says:

    If I’m not mistaken, one of the basic problems with Medicare is that it covers the really poor, but it doesn’t cover the somewhat poor, creating an incentive for sick people to go on social assistance.

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