Digest: Why the Health Care Reform Bill Should Be Scrapped

Thus I inaugurate what may become a staple of the blog—the Digest. The basic theory is that a real post should be well-reasoned and explanatory, probably with a lot of links. I have ideas for these kinds of posts. Generally, they grow more and more consuming and the related Google Reader tag gets longer and longer until the post would require countless hours of writing, several editors and a publishing agreement. The Digest is where I rattle off some of those ideas with minimal explanation, perhaps returning later to further explain a point. In other words, I just dump my thoughts out and let you run with them. Go ahead. Run.

  1. It’s not health care reform. It’s health insurance reform. While this may seem a minor complaint, it’s actually the key source of the problem. And it’s being ignored.
  2. No one has ever died for lack of health insurance. Despite all the claims of death-by-lack-of-insurance, it’s a bogus notion. Ask yourself when was the last time you saw an EMT carrying a briefcase full of insurance contracts or an obituary lamenting the lack of a signature on the appropriate form. People die from lack of health care. (cf #1)
  3. Forcing participation in a broken system doesn’t fix it. The current health care system doesn’t work. Insurance companies, rather than spreading costs and leveraging their size to lower prices, have become middlemen that complicate processes and raise costs. Throwing money at those companies (or forcing the citizenry to do so) doesn’t solve the problem. It’s simple, really: expensive faulty system + tons of money = really expensive faulty system.
  4. Socialized health care has the potential to work. Ask Europe.
  5. Socialized health care has the potential to fail. Resurrect and ask the USSR or just ask a real, live Cuban. Or rate the quality of care in China.
  6. But this isn’t socialized health care. It’s socialized health insurance. (cf #1)
  7. Insurance |inˈ sh oŏrəns| noun; a thing providing protection against a possible eventuality. (The New Oxford American Dictionary, 2nd Edition)
  8. It’s impossible to force a company to provide insurance for pre-existing conditions. That’s not providing insurance; it’s paying for health care. (cf #1 and #7, noting especially the term possible)
  9. If you think health care costs are too high and insurance companies are crooked now, imagine the state of affairs when everyone has coverage. Insurance involves risk. Insured people are gambling they will require expensive medical care; insurers are gambling they won’t. When it’s mandatory, it’s not gambling.
  10. Insurance is inherently wasteful. Think about this: insurance companies make money. They’re like casinos. Sure, some people win and the company pays out, but they’re still in business. That means lots and lots of people are losing. So let’s make the party bigger. And require yearly trips to Vegas while we’re at it.
  11. Taxing of cadillac health care plans is backwards. We have special taxes on cigarettes and alcohol not because they are privileges, but because they are dangerous. This is the opposite. People who pay out the nose to have every possible medical need and wish attended by young, handsome/beautiful doctors and pseudo-medical personnel are actually taking care of themselves. Now they need punished?
  12. I oppose robbing the rich to pay the poor. While I’m all in favor of those with means helping those in need, it should be a choice.
  13. Remember the American dream? People use to think America was the land of opportunity. Now they think it’s the land of ease and plenty. Everyone’s a socialist until they pull in an above-average income.
  14. It’s worth losing a year of legislative work to protect centuries of history and whatever future we have.
  15. (Oh, and I believe deficits actually matter.)