Thursday, October 15, 2009

Reagan on health care

Here is a terrific audio about the dangers of socialized medicine. Reagan was really quite prescient on this issue back in the 60s. Listen to and hear the echoes of the same old same old recycled from years ago in the current administration’s agenda for health care. The real issue is not how this kind of thing starts but what it will lead to. Democrats may have good intentions for socialized medicine but they are missing out on potentially dangerous consequences to liberty and what might be loosely described as the American Way.

Obama says he wants competition but if he was really interested in competition, he would seek to remove the AMA from the regulation of medical education and would engage tort reform before any of this other nonsense that he is peddling. A one thousand page document that very few of these voting senators will ever read—let alone the public—that will cost billions and have consequences we can barely imagine--this is lunacy of the first order. There are better ways of reforming health care that are consonant with democratic principles.

The real issue is that there is a lot of greed, self interest and inefficiency in the medical industry that would likely be better managed with a carrot and stick approach than a top-down government program. The inefficiency of having different medical reporting standards state-to-state and the lack of portability are all dinosaurian residues of system that has grown up topsy-turvey over many years. What is needed is intelligent pruning with an eye on the ball, so to speak.

The government can help prune the system with thoughtful incentives and national standards for medical records—that would go a long way to reducing expenses, estimated by some to be as much as one third of all medical costs. Couple that with real tort reform (the kind that has brought medical costs down in Texas, for example) and loosening up the stranglehold that the AMA has on medical education and costs might have the opportunity to come down with little money having to be spent by taxpayers.

I find it very interesting that my doctor, who belongs to a group medical practice, offers me a 30% discount if I pay in cash, check or credit card. Why? Because it costs them roughly 30% to process the paperwork and they don’t have to wait for the money.

In my opinion, much of the driving force behind the reform of health care is politically motivated and linked to increasing the power base of some sectors within our national government. The concern that Obama evinces for his fellow man is just smoke, in my opinion, for public consumption. I’ve never seen such a power hungry administration. He makes George Bush and the Republicans look like boy scouts.

A government strong enough to grant you what you want is also strong enough to take away what you want. –Jefferson (paraphrased)

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