Monday, September 21, 2009

What the healthcare

These days, opinions about healthcare in America are a lot like genital warts. Everybody's got one, and they're all ugly.

While I've pretty much stayed clear of the public debate, we've had some discussions on the subject in the emawkc household, including one heated argument where my Supermodel Wife's Supermodel Sister pulled a switchblade and threatened to perform a DIY tracheotomy.

I've watched some of the president's remarks in press conferences and talking heads shows. I tried to sit through the infamous address to congress, but I get too impatient with all of the standing ovations (when will politicians realize that if every ovation is a standing ovation, then standing ovations have no meaning).

So, yeah. I'm about as frustrated as anybody on this. There's plenty to be frustrated about.

After I gave up on Congress' Standing Ovation to the President, I decided to just go get the propaganda straight from the horse's website. So I hit up www.whitehouse.gov to see what the president's plan entails.

The answer? There is no plan.

Like pretty much all of Obama's campaign proposals, what he considers a plan is merely a list of goals. A set of preferred outcomes.

There's no actual plan. This is your plan? This? Hell, Wile E. Coyote had better plans for how to catch the Road Runner!

Anyway, it's all beside the point because 95 percent of the national discussion about healthcare has been about how we can get everybody covered by insurance. So right there we've already gone off track.

Insurance coverage isn't the root problem in healthcare. Yes, it is a problem. But it's not the problem that needs to be solved.

The problem we need to solve is prices.

The president has given passing attention to the problem of prices, but it's always been in the context of "eventually bringing down the price of healthcare" -- like it's a long-term goal that will happen someday if we let the government take care of everything.

In my view, it's the one thing that we can do something about relatively quickly that will have an impact. When you get a medical bill that charges $90 bucks for a 70-cent IV, or $129 for a mucous recovery system (that is, a box of Kleenex) you know it's bullshit.

These unreasonable and unrealistic prices are why people need insurance in the first place.

Look, an MRI doesn't cost $5,000. Hell, it doesn't even cost $400. In Japan, you can get an MRI for about a hundred bucks.

So fix the issue of prices, make them more in line with costs, and you eliminate a big chunk of the need for insurance because most people will be able to pay most of their bills without help from the government.

Yeah, we won't need the government to take our money from us in order to take care of us...

... which means less for the government to do, which means less control of the citizenry at large which is why this entire post has been a complete waste.

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1 comment:

crustybastard said...

Absolutely the best thing I've read on the topic.

Well said.