So What SHOULD We Do About Health Care?

When I was a kid, my father would always wake me up for school (even though I was quite the reluctant child).  One of the first things he would always say to me is; “What do you want for breakfast?  You can have anything you want, as long as it’s cereal or oatmeal.”  I’d always laugh because even at that young age I recognized the joke.  He was saying that I had the illusion of a choice.   Sure, I could pick between the two but that was it.  I couldn’t say bacon and eggs now could I?

Well, when my government starts telling me the same thing, I wish I could smile and let them know that I recognize the joke, but, sadly, they give me a puzzled, innocent look and say, “what joke?”  The federal government continues to limit yours and my freedom to make our own choices but keep it under the never ending illusion.  What am I talking about?  Well, this article from the Associated Press should shed some light on it.

So the president and his congress comes up to you and asks; “What do you want to do about your health insurance?  You can do anything you want as long as it’s the public option, private insurance or you pay a fine.”  Ah, the illusion of choice; the taking away of freedom.  The democrats in Washington keep going back and forth between which of their reform set-ups they want to go with, but each one has a limitation of our freedom as American citizens.  Some are more obvious, like fining those who choose to have no coverage, and some are gradual, like a public option that will eventually drive all private insurers out of business.  How would it do that, you ask?  Well, just listen to this quote directly from the AP:

Some experts consider the $900-billion price tag a relative bargain because the country now spends about $2.5 trillion a year on health care. But it would require hefty fees on insurers, drug companies and others in the health care industry to help pay for it.

Like I’ve always said, if one of the teams makes all the rules, they eventually win out.  How can private insurance companies compete with something that can impose rules, fines and fees on them?  They can simply tax and fee them out of existence, and you KNOW it would happen!

So then no public option, right?  Well that leaves fines for those who don’t have coverage.  Senator Baucus of Montana justifies it by saying that we require car insurance so why not health insurance.  Well, Mr. Baucus, there is a small problem with that ideology: you can choose not to have a car!  How do you opt out of mandatory health care—do you just choose not to live?!  Like I said, every turn they make is just another limitation on our freedoms and our capitalist economy.  Either way, the government is taking too much of a controlling stake in our lives.

So what do we do then?  The system IS obviously broken; we can agree on that.  How do we fix it but still uphold the values of free market capitalism?  Well here are some of the ideas the Republicans have been floating around (on their over eight bills that the media just never seems to remember to talk about).

1)      Give people health care credits that they can use to buy the coverage of their choice.  Think of it like a cash-for-clunkers program for your health (without the part where Washington gets to legally take over your computer).  You get a credit of $X that you put towards buying whatever policy you want.  Imagine what would happen!  If all these insurance companies know that everyone is going to suddenly have all this money to spend on coverage, they will naturally want that money to go to them.  What ensues—competition!  Competition between the companies for those credit dollars naturally improves care and lowers costs!

2)      Remove current restrictions on health insurance companies.  President Obama and the congress keep telling you that premiums are constantly going up, however, they keep neglecting to mention the fact that those increases are mostly due to government regulations already in place.  Insurance companies can’t compete over state lines, meaning they have to have separate branches in each state in order to conform to each state’s different government regulations.  That leads to prices going up!

Of course, all these changes in Washington will mean nothing if we don’t change what is most likely the fundamental cause of this whole fiasco, the attitudes of Americans.  People want the government to cover their health care costs because they can’t afford it.  If you are one of the people who thinks this way, I want you to do me a favor.  I want you to take a day off and go hang out at your local Walmart for a few hours.  Stand up front and just watch what people buy.

You want to know what you’re going to see?  Well, you’ll see at least four flat screen T.V’s leave the store.  You’ll see a bunch of DVD’s, CD’s, video games and video game systems and Goddess knows how much alcohol and tobacco.  Now, keep a tally of how much people are spending on their “needs” versus their “wants.”  The numbers may surprise you.

You know what, I don’t have cable or satellite television.  My T.V. is pretty crappy and I haven’t bought a video game for my Wii in about a year.  However, I have health insurance and DAMM GOOD health insurance at that.  People know they need food, water and shelter but they seem to think their needs stop there.  If health insurance is so vital, why don’t people cut some of their perks and get it?!  Most of the people that have told me they can’t afford health insurance HAVE NEVER EVEN SHOPPED FOR IT!

Look, we aren’t asking the government with food and housing for all Americans so why are we sticking them with the bill for our health needs?  We live in America, the freest nation on Earth where we are responsible for OURSELVES.  The changes can end in Washington, but they need to start at home, otherwise we’ll never be out of this mess.

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