adventures in dysthymia

Monday, November 12, 2012

Conservative Health Care

In the aftermath of the elections, it would appear that the Obama health care program will go forward as planned, despite ‘conservative’ opposition.

But ‘Obamacare’ is, in many respects, a conservative concept. It is not socialism in any sense nor is it even liberal. It requires everyone to purchase health insurance from private companies so no one gets a free ride by showing up at the emergency room seeking care. Insurance companies will still make their profit. It’s no wonder that it was the system promoted by Mitt Romney in Massachusetts (Remember that MR said he wanted to repeal it on the national level — he never said he was against states implementing such a policy.).

What liberals wanted, by and large, was ‘single payer’ health insurance — essentially everyone on Medicare. We do sort of have that for the poorest individuals under the Obama system. I think it’s a better approach, over all, than the private insurers concept. An insurer is, after all, the same thing as a casino owner, taking in the players’ money and paying out when one of them wins.

But the house always wins in the long run. And we don’t even get to look at any showgirls to distract us while we play.

Then there is the socialist approach to medical care. That would be for the hospitals and clinics to belong to the government. In a truly socialist country, a sick person would simply walk in and be treated, and no payments would change hands. Although I am generally not in favor of socialism, per se, I don’t think that is such a bad idea. It’s the way hospitals were run for a very long time when they were operated by churches and such.

I don’t particularly like the idea of the government actually running hospitals, aside from the VA institutions and that sort of thing. Government funding and oversight of hospitals run by nonprofits or churches is another thing. It provides a better balance of responsibility and independence.

We are doing that in a roundabout way, as it is, via insurance payments. So why not cut out the middle man?

No comments: