Before I start I want to state that I do believe that our healthcare system can be improved. I just do not believe that having a Nationalize or One Payer system will work. This is for several reasons that I will outline below, but to sum it up theory of that type of system just does not cut the mustard when you look at it rationally.
First there are two main points that those that promote this system point to. They are reducing cost and better care for all. Both of these can not come about in the model they promote, because the model does not allow for either of them to be achieved. The last fault with the current model, that people stress to rationalize the government take over of healthcare, is that profit is part of it and that in of itself makes the system evil. That is not backed up by facts or history as I will also show later.
To start this discussion lets look at the four and there are only four ways that healthcare can be paid for. The reason for this is that there is two parties involved in getting and paying for the healthcare service. There is the person receiving the healthcare and there is the person paying for the healthcare. So if you are both the person paying for the care and receiving the care, you have a desire to get the best care for the least cost. That is situation number one, and you can see it makes good sense. You as individual want the most for your money. Now let us say that you had to pay for the care of a stranger. This person would not mean much to you, so your primary concern would be to hold down cost. You would not want to waste money on someone you did not know. I know that sounds bad, but you have groceries to buy and you need a place to live. For the third scenario, let say someone offered to pay for your care, all you had to do was go to the doctor. In that case you would have no concern about the cost of the care, you would just want the best you could buy. This would be great, but unfortunately we all can not be that lucky. Lastly lets look at you paying for a stranger’s care with another stranger’s money. At that point you have no desire to either search for the best for the least cost. You most likely, especially if you had to do it for thousands of people, would find the solution that you would have to work at the least to implement. Come on you have to leave at five to watch “American Idol”.
Now how does that apply to what we have today. Right now our healthcare is primarily funded using the second model, except you are the stranger. The insurance companies, out of the premiums we all pay them, pay for our care. So they have a desire to keep cost down, while we have a desire to increase the quality of care. This is what is creating the conflict today. I will get into the reason why they do not cause us more problems, then they do, later. The plan that is being discussed falls into the fourth model. The bureaucrats in Washington are not going to care about the care you receive or really how much it cost to treat you. All they are going to care about is getting their paycheck and going home at five each day. Hey they want to see “American Idol” to.
Now lets look at the second reason nationalized healthcare is promoted, improved quality. I believe that what I have pointed out above has already put some holes in that theory. But there is other factors to consider, but to put more holes in it I will have to discuss that evil item called profits.
You remember how above I said that I would talk about why the insurance companies do not cause us more problems then they do now. Well it is because of profits, think about it. If you have a heart attack, which would be cheaper for the insurance company. Save your life, or let you die. It would to let you die. Well you could try to sue them, but have you tried suing an insurance company, good luck. No the main reason why they do not allow this to happen is because you would not buy heath insurance from a company that regularly withheld treatment, and they know it. If you do not buy their product then they do not make money or what is commonly referred to as profits.
So let us look at the Government plan, in this light. First you would have not choice. Yes you might start off with choices, but keep in mind the government will be using your tax dollars to subsidize the plans it offers, even if you are not using them. Also they are not concerned with profit; if you don’t believe me just look at the balance sheet of Amtrak or the Post Office. So you tell me how long the insurance companies are going to stay in the health insurance business. So in truth you will not have a choice, you will be on the government plan with no other option. So they do not have to really worry about a how they look to the public, because you would not be able to leave. So they let people die on the table because they are 60 and had a heart attack. What are you going to do about it? You can not go elsewhere for your healthcare.
The lack of profit is also going to make the availability of healthcare worse. Lets take an example, of a community that has a MRI machine. Now lets say that they can image 200 patients a month in that machine, but 300 patients need to be imaged a month. Under a profit model, since the hospital will make more profit on 300 images then 200 images, they will invest in the new machine. It just makes businesses sense. But under the government controlled healthcare system, buying that new machine is nothing more then a cost to the government. It will cost them money for the machine, and then they will have to pay for the additional 100 images a month. Who in their right mind would make that decision. No it would be better to just ration the use of the one machine. Also there would be no incentive to upgrade it with a newer unit or replace it when it breaks down. Both of those actions would be nothing, but a cost to the government. Under a profit model, they both would be money makers.
The only payment model that I outlined above that works is the first model. Where you pay for your healthcare out of your own pocket. But you say what about those on the lower economic scale, how are they going to afford healthcare. That is the genius of this model, it forces cost to go down. The free market system, which is what I am talking about forces cost to go down.
Let just say I am a billionaire that wants to have a procedure done. Now I can pay any asking price for the procedure, but I am still going to pick the doctor that can give me the best service for the least cost. If another doctor is going to want my services, he will have to be better, cheaper or both. This will force the price down, over the long haul. If you do not believe me look at cost for medical procedures in the two areas, where health insurance plays a minor or no role at all, plastic and Lasik surgeries. The cost of both of these specialities has gone done and the quality has gone up. This is because people that want those services, want the best deal for their money and to get the business the doctors have to give it to them.
Is the first system the best that we can imagine? No the best we can imagine is to step into a box, come out perfectly healthy and it not cost us a thing. But we know that is a dream. The first system is just the closest we will be able to get, because the second model is not working. Also we know there is not enough money in the world to implement the third model, except for Congressmen. And the fourth model is a total disaster as I have shown above.