Friday, July 27, 2007

Ah, Logic #13

Here is an excellent article for those who think the U.S. should go the way of socialized health care. I reiterate, submitting health care to the market will drive prices down and change the quality for the better. I am also glad that someone is willing to point out the big problem of socialized health care: distribution. How do you decide who gets treatment when? A centralized system is not a workable solution. Such a system would not be able to sell pencils properly. I do not think our third party payor system is good either, I just do not think centralizing is the answer. Decentralizing and allowing health care to stand up to the market would work so much better. We as consumers would know who the good doctors are and we could decide how much we wanted to spend on health care instead of having to go where someone else tells us to go and spend what they say we can spend. Since most of us agree that the government is woefully inefficient with its spending I would ask how anyone expects it to be able to deal with an issue as complex as health care? Furthermore, I have worked in health care. I have dealt with Medicaid, Medicare and many commercial companies. I still prefer the way the commercial companies do things to the government subsidiaries of Medicare and Medicaid. But freedom to choose health care options would definitely work better than the commercial insurance companies can.


Steven said...

My wonderful liberal friend, define a public good for me. Then define a private good for me. I then ask you, which definition is more applicable to health.

One of the best healthcare systems in the world is Cuba's. This is despite all the restrictions that country operates under.

I'd also love to know the differences in life expectancy between places like California, Utah, Louisiana and New York.

Don't know why I can't comment via my Wordpress account

Esther said...

The wordpress one will not work because I do not allow anonymous comments. Sorry about that, I had too many anonymous annoyances a while back.

Not sure why you're calling me liberal, unless you mean it in the sense that I want change.

I'm also not sure about the public vs. private good point you're making. Still, I'll answer it. Public good: what is good for everyone (a.k.a. common good). Private good: what is good for a few. Medicaid and Medicare and waiting in year long lines to get chemotherapy: what is good for no one.

It is morally wrong for government to take people's money and give it to other people. As I like to say, you would not hold a gun to your neighbor's head and tell him to give you all his money would you? Eh. No. But most people will let the government do that for them. As soon as government starts deciding who deserves what money when they have exceeded what I consider to be their responsibilities (i.e. protecting life, liberty and property). I did not say I was against health care, I said that I am for better health care. And I think that better health care will come not from socialism but from a market arrangement. In such a system people would have the ability to choose which hospital they want to spend their money. Furthermore, hospitals and doctors would be forced to compete with one another to provide better care. That's the only way they would get patients.

Privately owned business has a history of higher quality in every area. Even when it comes to health care in the U.S. We haven't had any scandals where a private hospital had mold growing all over the walls etc. But one of our VA hospitals had exactly those deplorable conditions. Even the small amount of free enterprise we have in our system is better than government owned and operated health care. The article noted that in Canada the government is allowing not entirely legal private health care organizations to develop in order to deal with waiting lines in their inefficient system.

Here's the other thing I don't get. People always assume that in socialized health care they do not have to pay for health care. Yes, you do, it's called taxes.

As for Cuban health care, it's only good if you're not a Cuban. They let foreigners in there real quick and take care of them. But ask a real Cuban, they have waiting lines, and don't get everything they need.

Now, you tell me what you have against a market economy. Why won't that work in the realm of health care when it works everywhere else? Also, in the article it talked about life expectancy and how that can be skewed -- we have more murders and car accidents in the U.S. these deaths usually factors into life expectancy and decrease the number. Health care is not the only variable in life expectancy. As for Utah, you can't sue the doctors as easily there as in most states so they have legendarily bad health care. A market system would eliminate that problem because the doctors would have to be good to attract more patients.