Wednesday, October 13, 2004

What is wrong with Bush's Health care plan?

The danger is, Bush’s plan threatens to dismantle the employment-based health-care system we've had since World War II. As the healthiest workers leave for the individual market, traditional plans would be stuck with the most expensive, sick patients, driving up premiums for those who stay.

Oh wait I think that is a good thing. Anything that we have had since WWII cannot be that great. Anytime you can cut out the middle man that is a good thing.

But let’s say you’d consider becoming a health-care shopper. Ask yourself this question: Do you like your chances of negotiating a better deal from a health-insurance giant and its army of lawyers? Remember, we're talking about life and death, not fender-bender deductibles.

Here the writer tries to preempt the "car insurance argument", by first telling you that health insurance is different than regular insurance and that you cannot fight the health insurance battle alone (and since Superman is dead I guess the government will have to help you some how).

Why do most people not speed? So their insurance will not go up. Will most people would not smoke, not get pregnant,not drink,not get fat, run a bit more because they don't want their insurance to go up?

Meanwhile, John Kerry would build on the traditional system, which gives his plan a better chance of working sooner and for a lot more people. He'll expand federal-state funding for hospitals and community clinics, vaccination and other programs to cover almost all children and more uninsured adults. He expects 27 million more people to get health insurance.

interesting, bush is the liberal one here (pushing for change) and Kerry is the conservative one (pushing for it to stay the same).

Under his most daring idea, the government would pay for catastrophic treatments over $50,000 and pass the savings from lower premiums to workers and employers. A word of caution: Any treatment is not guaranteed. You might have to fight a medically trained government mediator to get it, but I like those odds better than going up against an insurance company tightwad.

So now of mediating with a company that wants you business, and would like to keep it. You are mediating with a group that has no incentive to keep you business and a person that cannot be fired. So instead of dealing with a regular insurance company, I will be dealing with a medically trained person who has the mindset of the IRS.

If you're young and healthy and never plan on getting terribly sick or injured before you retire, go for Bush.
If you're merely mortal and care about the health of an entire nation, go for Kerry.

Hah hah, I don't have anything to say about this.


1 comment:

Dave Justus said...

The simple truth is that health care as to be 'rationed' in some fashion. There is no way that we as a society can afford all the health care that people will desire. So, either we allow you to get the health care you can afford to pay for, or we allow the government to choose what health care we all get.

It seems to me that George Bush acknowledges this reality, while John Kerry strive to obscure it. So on the basis of that alone I would tend to support George Bush in this.

Certainly one could, and many have, make the argument that health care is a 'basic right' and all people, rich or poor, should recieve the same health care. That would, I suppose be fair, much like any socialist plan tends to be 'fair' but I don't think it would be very effective.

For one thing, as you alluded to, it would disencentivize people to take responsibility for their own health care. More signifigantly though, I believe it would stifle medical innovation. Innovation is done on the leading edge, the point where medical procedures cannot justify their cost. Private individuals will often choose, if they can afford it, to have these procedures done even though they are very expensive and their is a low chance of success. A public funded and run health care system could not make that same choice, because it would not be 'fair' to undertake such procedure for some and not for all. Eventually though, this leading edge research is often refined, imporved and made affordable.

For example, heart surgery was once leading edge medicine with a very low chance of success. Now that is not the case, a friend of mine had an angioplasty this summer and it was an out-patient surgery.

I want medicine to improve over time, and I think that a government run medical system is unlikely to be able to provide this sort of improvements.