56586291redcrossbandaidI am against government controlled healthcare.

The reasons are very complex and very simple at the same time.  The reasons are simple because they all come down to this:  I believe our government should do those things which we cannot do privately as individuals or businesses, and only those things.  That means national defense, interstate highways, standards and oversight for interstate commerce, education and justice, etc.

The reasons are very complex because I believe that a lot of the abuses that occur in our system of health care delivery are created by government intervention in the market.  Let’s look at just one portion of government intervention in the healthcare insurance market, mandated coverage.  In some states, health insurance providers are mandated to include in every health care insurance policy the following: hormone treatment for transexuals, infertility treatments, gastric bypass surgery for diabetics, payment for midwife services, etc.  I will not, here, argue against any of these mandates since that is a different debate.  I will argue that they greatly increase the cost of healthcare insurance (also see here).  I will argue that it is unfair, unwise financially, and an irresponsible act on the part of my government to require me to pay more for my insurance so that you may have a lower cost for your hormone therapy.  It takes from me without benefit to me.  It lowers the cost of therapy for you (the mandated coverage cost is spread to everyone) and therefore changes decision making for a very costly health choice (encourages you).  It raises the cost of healthcare coverage to everyone not effected.  In other words, by mandating something to sooth the feelings of a minority and its lobby, everyone else pays more for their coverage.  Some can’t pay the ever increasing cost and therefore go without coverage.

The reasons I am against government controlled healthcare are also very simple in that I believe that the government has no business in the healthcare delivery business.  In my view healthcare is something we can provide for ourselves as private individuals or private businesses.  Until there is a profit motive for a government system, care will be mediocre and providers will have few consequences for poor performance.  Think the Army mess hall vs. your favorite family owned restaurant and you begin to get the idea.

I am in favor of healthcare reform.  Like most things, our system can be improved.  I have stated what I believe are the problems.  I will provide a few suggestions for solutions in a future post.

On a lighter note, I just received the following from a friend.  I liked all of it except the last line:

Apparently the American Medical Association has weighed in on the new economic stimulus package….
The Allergists voted to scratch it, but theDermatologists advised not to make any rash moves.
The Gastroenterologists had sort of a gut feeling about it, but the Neurologists thought the Administration had a lot of nerve.
The Obstetricians felt they were all laboring under a misconception.
Ophthalmologists considered the idea shortsighted.
Pathologists yelled, “Over my dead body!” while thePediatricians said, ‘Oh, grow up!’
The Psychiatrists thought the whole idea was madness, while the Radiologists could see right through it.
Surgeons decided to wash their hands of the whole thing.
The Internists thought it was a bitter pill to swallow, and the Plastic Surgeons said, “This puts a whole new face on the matter.”
The Podiatrists thought it was a step forward, but theUrologists were pissed off at the whole idea.
The Anesthesiologists thought the whole idea was a gas, and the Cardiologists didn’t have the heart to say no.
In the end, the Proctologists won out, leaving the entire decision up to the assholes in Washington.