….or why you should trust a street game of three-card monte more than government run healthcare.
When discussing healthcare, there are two issues that are frequently conflated. They should not be. They should be as clearly separated in discussing the politics of healthcare as two issues can be. They are:
1) The medical care itself which is the diagnosis and treatment of human illness; e.g. cancer, heart disease, a broken bone, hay fever, depression, diabetes, etc.
2) The economic or financial means to obtain #1 for yourself or family on the consumption side and the delivery of the same on the supply side. It is always a two way transaction with somebody consuming the goods and services and somebody supplying them.
In spite of what you read in the newspaper or Michael Moore says about Cuba, the #1 available in the United States of America is the best in the world. So let’s go through what #1 is again. It is the diagnosis and treatment of the ailments, diseases and injuries that affect all human beings at some point in their lives. Diagnosis usually consists of a doctor examining you and tests that help the doctor decide what the problem may be. Once the problem is nailed down, treatment is begun. Diagnosis in the United States is the best anywhere in the world. Treatment is the best too. These are not idle statements. They have been demonstrated over and over and over again in the medical literature (1). Why does the United States have the best? Because we have the best training and the best gizmos used in diagnosis. That is correct. All the best, most advanced gizmos are here in the United States. So are the best treatments whether it’s the most advanced cancer fighting drug, directed energy beam related treatment, clot busters, hip replacements, etc. The list is very, very long.
#1 is both a service and goods. The service provided is as personal as it gets. This is, after all, your physical and mental self that gets attended to. The people doing the servicing usually go by the names doctors and nurses. As far as #1 is concerned, it is no different than any other good or service. The most rational means of obtaining and delivering #1 is through Free Market mechanisms; i.e. it is a personalized service that should be tailored to personal wants or needs. When shopping for groceries or you have to buy shoes for the kids….do you pay some guy out in front of the store who promises to buy the groceries or shoes for you and then takes a cut for himself along the way as he delivers something different than what he promised along the way? Leaving you somewhat shocked and annoyed that you got so little for what you paid out? Of course you don’t. But that is what happens in today’s market when you pay a third party (whether it is the government or an insurance company) when you buy healthcare.
Never, ever trust politicians to provide #1. The politized delivery of #1 leads to what sorts of things? That is correct….the sorts of things that result with the politized delivery of any good or service. (A very good example is what happened with the Housing Debacle. The housing debacle resulted from the politicized delivery of credit to buy houses.)
To emphasize….the United States of America already has the best #1. What we argue about (or should argue about) is #2. Why argue about #2? Because there is no arguing over #1. It’s the best. What is really, really unfortunate is that the quality of #1 degrades over time the more #2 becomes socialized.
To be continued…..
1. In Excellent Health, Setting the Record Straight on America’s Healthcare; Atlas, Scott; Hoover Institution Press; Stanford; 2011