Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Universal Healthcare system

Health Care and Bureaucracy, comment from USAToday:
I've been hearing for years that government intervention in health care will lead to "some bureaucrat telling you what to do."

Here's the choice: a private sector bureaucrat whose interest is in the bottom line of their employer, and would just wait it out until you move on to some other health plan, or a public sector bureaucrat whose interest is in your long term health (so you'll cost less), and is answerable to congress and regulators.

When it comes to health care, federal bureaucracy is cheaper and it yields better outcomes than corporate bureaucracy. Medicare's administrative costs are peanuts compared to the average private health plan. When they instituted private competition for Medicare under Medicare Advantage they found that they actually had to pay them more to get the same results as the boring old government version.

Putting morality aside, universal care is the only way we'll ever get costs under control. The healthy have to subsidize the sick; the rich the poor, the young and the old. You can't spread risk any other way. Insurers have to have a long-term stake in your well-being or else they'll spend their money on corporate jets denying your claims until you turn 65 and become the government's problem.

Looking at the economy, imagine of all the entrepreneurs who stay in their middle management positions because they're afraid to go it alone, hire a few people and start a small business for fear of them and their families being uninsured. Think of all the million dollar American ideas gathering dust in some cubicle for a lack of health security.

If it's politically expedient to include private insurers, so be it, but it's got to be on terms that serve Americans first and shareholders second. Since we need to have some kind of universal system, it may be the leanest, most well-coordinated one out there.
Many are the times that I've heard people who rail against government waste profess their true love for Medicare. I say let them have it. Let all of us have it.

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