Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Healthcare Reform Media Surge

Today, everyone keeping up with the news has been bombarded with stories about the Senate's first cohesive healthcare reform bill, and the alleged desire of the uninsured to have a public plan. The liberal, tyrannical, fact-twisting nature of it all makes me absolutely sick! Here's a little breakdown of some of the goodies we can expect if the bill passes:
The bill by Baucus, Democratic chairman of the Senate panel, would make major changes to the nation's $2.5 trillion health care system, including requiring most people to purchase insurance coverage or pay a fine and prohibiting insurance companies from charging more to people with more serious health problems.

Consumers would be able to shop for and compare insurance plans in a new purchasing exchange. Medicaid would be expanded, and limits would be placed on patients' yearly health care costs. The plan would be paid for with $507 billion in cuts to government health programs and $349 billion in new taxes and fees, including a tax on high-end insurance plans and fees charged to insurance companies and medical device manufacturers.
Clearly, this will hurt people who are presently uninsured and don't want insurance. The new bill will require people to purchase insurance or pay a fine. For some odd reason, I thought that this bill was designed to help the poor, underprivileged, uninsured people, not subject them to spend more of their hard-earned money on things that they may not want, or can't afford. Also, the bill has the nice added bonus of raising taxes and fees. This will likely start putting major pressure on medical providers. With the limits on yearly patients' health care costs, medical providers may not be able to make ends meet. I would not be surprised if an implementation of this bill leads to more medical bankruptcy filings, as we've seen with the flurry of business bankruptcy filings in other sectors of the economy.

Not only is the present bill absolutely horrendous, but both the media and the government have joined forces to spread deception and propagate the message that it is downright immoral that medical providers are profit-seeking companies, since peoples' health is on the line. Of course, any Austrian economist knows that a competitive medical market consisting of for-profit companies can provide cheaper and higher-quality healthcare than any government-run system, but the gatekeepers of public information would rather disseminate lies in order to gain more money and power than they would even lift a finger to try to, God forbid, benefit people's lives. This story encapsulates the attitudes and stances of our liberal media. The headline says, "Uninsured Americans hope reform brings health coverage." In it they quote a 32 year old, former music teacher:
"No insurer will cover me because of my condition," Baty said. "I don't know what Americans feel they would be giving up with a public option. But just from a philosophical standpoint you will never convince me that someone making a profit from my healthcare would make the best decisions on how to treat me."
It's sad that they have to stoop to interviewing people who are philosophically and economically vacuous to present their viewpoint. Anyone who properly understands economics knows that having people competing to take care of you better is a good thing and will result in better care. For-profit companies are personally invested in your well-being, because their financial success depends on them providing quality care at a reasonable cost, so that you, as the consumer, don't take your money elsewhere. Any other sort of company or organization is not personally invested in your well-being, and therefore feels no obligation to provide you with the best. From an economic and philosophical standpoint, I am completely convinced that someone who needs my money to make a profit will do everything in their power to obtain and keep my business.

Regarding lowering the cost of healthcare there is one thing that liberals either forget or conveniently ignore. Liberal agendas are always very tempting and attractive to uninformed citizens because they promise people what the people want. What do people want? Here is a hierarchy of desires, from most desirable to least desirable:

1. Free stuff
2. Cheap stuff
3. Ordinarily-priced stuff, as long as it is affordable
4. Expensive stuff, on rare occasions

Therefore, when liberals offer people free stuff, or cheaper stuff, it all sounds good. Those who neglect one basic principle will happily vote for more free and cheap stuff. The principle is:

Nothing is ever truly free.

The corollary to this principle is: Cheap stuff is either cheap for a reason, or it is not truly cheap.

In the BraveNewWorldOrder that liberals are promising, everyone will have everything they want provided for them by the government. But, there is a reason why conservatives, libertarians and intelligent people are actively opposing this push toward more free stuff. It is because the price tag is much higher than it appears. Someone has to pay for everything. Either someone has to pay for it now, or we can do it on credit and pay tomorrow. But, one way or the other, the price must be paid. For this reason, the present incarnation of the bill has almost zero Republican support. As the news story says:
In the end, Democrats believe Snowe may be the only Republican to support the bill, though she wasn't ready to commit her support.

"This partisan proposal cuts Medicare by nearly a half-trillion dollars, and puts massive new tax burdens on families and small businesses, to create yet another thousand-page, trillion-dollar government program," said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. "Only in Washington would anyone think that makes sense, especially in this economy."
I quite agree with that last statement. Only in the land of the corrupt and the power-hungry does it make sense to penalize those who can't afford or don't want health insurance. Only in the land of delusion and fool's gold does anyone believe that higher taxes, more fees and artificially capped costs will ever result in a better life for its inhabitants. But, with the American zeitgeist of entitlement no-one wants to be told that they can't have more free stuff!

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