Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Blah Blah Blah Health care Blah Blah Blah

I got into a bit of a row yesterday with some people over on Facebook concerning the state of American health care; although it's usually topical news items that set me off, some of the inanities spewed in this discussion are definitely worthy of a gripe from Gryph.

"...my in laws are Canadian.They have never come to America for treatment. My mother in law just got both knees replaced-they did a GREAT job-she waited one month from the day she asked for surgery."

I don't want any other person besides myself, or my next-of-kin if I am incapacitated, making health care decisions for me. A single-payer system takes those sorts of decisions out of my hand. And after having said all that, hooray for your mother-in-law -- the plural of "anecdote" is not "data."

"I work in a college of medicine and we spend a lot of time on this
issue. Try [link removed by blogmaster for for brevity] to see how US compares to other nations in % GDP we spend. You can find our mortality data, infant mortality and other stats easily using whatever site you want -- reality is we spend far more for far less by any public health measure, despite leading in low smoking rates. I'm always confused by people who have orthodoxy about free market when it fails. Why not match best system to problem? Some problems addressed well by free market, some not. The "move to Canada" knee jerk response may feel good, but fails to acknowledge complexity of our problems. Why not face that our system is failing and think up solutions -- like some used by countries that spend less and get more. Step 1: Figure out which outcome you want -- mortality? infant mortality? cancer rates? Heart disease rates? countries that succeed in prevention?..."

Can we burn the straw men here, please? Obama's goal is universal health care, which will be de facto taxpayer funded. Bill Gates is going to have his health care paid for by the taxpayers, people. We're not going to have a choice. As I've alluded to before, health care was not on the political radar before the post WWII era, and only then because of wartime government wage and price controls.

Some things leave no room for compromise, and I believe this is one of those settled questions. Health care is not a fundamental right. When the government grants you civil rights by diktat, they can take them away just as quickly. If I am to err, then I will err on the side of God-given freedom.

I don't need government raping and pillaging my pocketbook for money for anything, least of all health care (which, incidentally, I've chosen to remain uninsured for).

Why is this discussion framed as a quality-of-care issue? We in America are absolutely second-to-none by any statistically significant measure. If, as Obama seems to think, this is an availability-of-care issue, rest assured that we are the most generous nation in history, as well; no one who's life is on the line will be denied lifesaving care. Those countries that can say the same (and there are few, if any) are our equals -- not our superiors.

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