Healthcare, single payer of battleships, the non market of the elderly. My buddy tackles Obamacare

“It won’t work.”

Simply put, as he often sums up things in a concise manner.  Obamacare is a nightmare we cannot seem to wake up from. The illegal acts of the administration only compounds the foolishness that was the compiling of so many adverse and contradictory polices and agendas.  And it won’t get better.

However, that said my friend pointed some very real facts that fly in the face of many popular fallicies pushed by both sides.  One is the lie that caring for the elderly is an actual viable market that can be made profitable for private enterprise.  Nothing could be farther from the truth according to my friend.  The trouble is the elderly absorb such much more care and cost than they can be expected to offset with fees or premiums.  We know it, they know it, the professionals know it. That is why you can’t buy large amounts of life insurance cheaply when you are seventy-five.  There’s no profit in it, because you are liable to die LONG before your premiums pay off for the company.

Health insurance and care is much like that.  Nobody will insure an elderly person for a full benefit package for a reasonable price knowing full well a heart surgery or hip replacement will drive that deal into the red like a rocket.

So what to do?  In reality, as it was pointed out and I agreed, this is not a market issue or an economic issue.  This is a moral, ethical, civilized societal issue. And if the Republicans were smart, they would drive this concept home every day.  In a nutshell this is how it should go.

“As a civilized society we make, and keep, certain promises to our fellow citizens. Among them is the promise to care for and protect the elderly, infirm and innocent who cannot take care of themselves. Healthcare for these people must be guaranteed regardless of cost. The quality of life in America must be protected. It is not a right, but a decision made by fellow citizens to protect those who cannot protect themselves.”

Now you couple that with the “if you are young we aren’t messing with your healthcare. If you are ablebodied and on welfare, you are going to need to find work.  If you are a third generation welfare queen, you need to teach your children you may be the last generation of such a thing. We’ll help you walk to your destination, but we won’t carry you any longer.”

There is no market for caring for our elderly. That is a cost we absorb, the end.  The way we save ourselves is to allow the younger people to do what they want and offer them competitive programs and free market approaches. If a person reaches an certain point and they are wealthy (think Rush Limbaugh) they handle their own expenses and/or pay for catastrophic care insurance. The rest are taken care of, WITHOUT the issue of cost savings.

That said, it seems the government is hell-bent on driving us into national healthcare. It won’t work, it will kill people (outside those ABOVE it like the “cardinals” of the Senate such as Feinstein and Schumer), and it will bankrupt the nation further.  However, if a single payer system is on the horizon, we all worry it will literally destroy private healthcare companies. My friend said this.

“Single payer battleships.”

What does he mean?  Well, simply put the government provides funds for a number of privately owned companies, under contract, to provide a service for the government. In the case of the Navy, the government asks companies to build them combat ships.  The government says they want certain basic requirements met when building the ships and are willing to allow research and development to occur. If the government were to find itself providing the funding for healthcare in America it could conceivably follow the same approach.

I pointed out my concern. While that method may or may not work (there are horror stories within the area of military contracts on both sides) the problem occurs when the government decides it doesn’t want to pay for something the sailors may need, like an extra armored bulkhead or lighter, but more expensive material that makes the ship faster.  If the bean counters figure the chances of the ship getting hit by a Silkworm are small, then it would make sense not to armor it.  Translated to the medical care field, you would find companies crippled by government bureaucrats who would decide on their own whether or not a certain procedure was fiscally viable or if a piece of research is necessary.   Right now, companies like Lockheed are being paid to develop better weapons by the government.  Are we feel comfortable the desire to find new things in medicine will receive the same level of encouragement?

The answer lies in politics. Note that in England there is a growing blowback towards the bureaucratic mess that is the NHS.  Yet, the government tah-tahs the critics, knowing full well they OWN the farm and nothing said can change that.  In addition, you have to ask yourself which gathers more potential problems, a couple hundred elderly people being sedated to death in a home or a 24hr stream of stories on the news cable shows with video of a burning, sinking, cruiser with bodies around it and the headline, “No armor meant certain death” and the resulting Congressional hearings like we see today?

There is no good answer here, IF you are a politician trying to keep or gain power, which is why this whole thing is a mess. The reason is they aren’t doing the right thing, they are doing the political thing.

And won’t get better.

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