Re: Health Care Reform?
Perhaps I’m lucky in that I lived in a small community where healthcare was not overly monetized. The docs and the tiny hospital charged everyone the same amount, regardless of insurance, and you pretty much had all the time you needed to discuss your issues with the doc. If someone couldn’t afford their treatment, then mutually-equitable deals were worked out. Fund raisers were held 2-3 times a year to make specific improvements to the facility or to pay for specific treatments for specific individuals… i.e. "we need to send Johnny to the city for a kidney transplant, won’t you please buy a cupcake?" Conversely, the community had fund drives to help pay tuition for the practitioners… i.e. "Peggy just got accepted to med school, won’t you please buy a raffle ticket?". This community-based system worked quite effectively, everyone got reasonable health care at reasonable cost and the hospital ran in the black without being excessively reliant on government, pharma or insurance programs. To the best of my knowledge, it’s still going strong and still operating pretty much the same.
This makes me think of one of my favorite quotes from these forums (I think from pir8don): "The big fix is dead. Long live the little fix." Government, in my opinion, defaults to a big-fix mentality, which never seems to sit well with me, for whatever reasons.
Admittedly, I do not understand the details of all the options described in this thread, but from a layman’s perpective, this situation described by Plickety can only happen when the gov’t stays out of the equation. It seems to me that such a thing would only become more rare as gov’t involvement becomes greater, if for no other reason than enforcement of standard pricing and level-of-care structures and added system complexity/overhead.
Also, the whole street-lights, police, and fire service argument has always been interesting to me. (The movie Sicko harps on this as well). I’d like to know others’ thoughts on:
A) The street-light example isn’t working for me. People will have medical-related services done, even if they might not have otherwise opted to, because it is inexpensive, or even free (or perceived as free). I have seen this for myself. What I have not seen or heard of is someone spending more time sitting at or driving through street lights just because "it doesn’t cost them anything." i’m not being funny…I’m really looking for what I’m missing here.
B) The police/fire argument seems more compelling. Why is police/fire service different than health insurance? (in other words, why not just buy police insurance…if something happens and you don’t have it, you’re out of luck. But if nothing happens, you saved yourself a bunch of money!)
Specifics of the issues aside…perhaps I am naive, but I find it mind-blowing sometimes that I can spend 30 mintues reading through a health-care thread on PeakProsperity.com and feel like I’ve learned more than I had from decades of Main-stream media exposer…truly mind-boggling when you think about it.
I really appreciate all the views on this so far, and the level of detail. Thanks.