It looks like Our Fearless Leader will get his way and ‘health care reform’ will soon be the law of the land. Heaven help us.
Health care reform–the campaign promise–was intended to address a practical problem: it costs too much. It costs the government; it costs private insurers (who pass the cost along); and woe unto that poor soul who gets seriously ill without insurance. He’ll end up broke: lacking the clout to negotiate a better deal, he will have to pay full price.
Imagine a community beset by monsters, who come out at night, wreck buildings, eat the cows and chickens, and the occasional small child.
To deal with this obvious danger, the government mandates that everyone carry monster insurance. It works like this: when monsters attack your home, you call for help, and within three minutes, the Monster Insurance crew arrives at your home in a truck with a tank of strawberry-flavored Ensure. The monster is hosed down with Ensure; he licks it off his belly; and contented, he slinks back into the night.
What will this do the population of monsters? They’ll find it easier to feed, and grow stronger, and reproduce in greater numbers. The Monster Insurance crews will need bigger trucks, and premiums will go up. Moreover, when the monsters get tired of strawberry-flavored Ensure, the crew will have to bring other flavors.
‘But wait!’ I hear you scream. ‘We’re not talking about monsters, we’re talking about medical treatments that save people’s lives!’ That’s true. But what kind of life is it if all you’re going is earning money to pay for health care? And what happens when all your taxes–if you’re healthy enough to earn a living–go to pay for other people’s health care… and the government still can’t balance its books? (We’re closer to that in New York State than most people care to admit.)
Right now, health care is about one-sixth of the economy, considerably more than in other industrialized countries. I’ll predict that if health care reform passes, within ten years, health care will be at least one-quarter of the economy, and the cost will still be bankrupting all of us.
Now is the time to face the monsters, rather than figure out better ways of feeding them.