Sunday, October 14, 2012

How Government Destroys Health Care

     Over the last 50 years, health care insurance has become a more important issue than the actual delivery of health care.  There has been a deliberate attempt by those on the left to create anxiety over the purchase, coverage and cost of health care insurance. And yet, the more government has injected itself into the health care market, the more costs have risen and the more difficult the delivery of health care has become. This attempt to transfer the individuals responsibility for their own health care to government, has been done so to increase government's role in the lives of individuals. The more control government has over the decision-making process of a free people, the less personal liberty those people have.
     When I was a child, my parents didn't carry health care insurance on me and my siblings. This wasn't because we were poor, but because health care expenses were covered out of pocket. This was made possible because most families operated this way and health care providers had to operate under the rules of the free market. A good example of this is car insurance. Car insurance covers the individual in the case of an accident or theft. If car insurance operated as health care insurance, i.e., covered every aspect related to the automobile, oil changes would be $1000.00. When expenses are the responsibility of a third party, those expenses will necessarily rise. As government's roll in health care has expanded, through medicare, medicaid and other programs, so has the cost of health care for everyone. It artificially skews the market, as it did with the housing industry the last 25 years, leading to the financial melt-down in 2008.
    The government expenditures for health care is not the only way that it has destroyed the health care market, but regulations have also had a deleterious effect. To each government regulation there is an associated cost borne by the industry being regulated. This is best illustrated by the financial industry, which spends 1.2 man hours being compliant with regulations to every 1 man hour they spend performing the other functions of their business. Now, I'm not saying there is no roll for government regulations, but when regulations consume over half a businesses expenditures, it creates an environment that is cost-prohibitive for smaller firms to compete or even exist. This is the real dichotomy of the left, they want an ever-increasing government in size and scope, which hurts the very people they claim to help, the little guy.
     As people have become less responsible for their own health care costs, it has engendered an attitude of entitlement which leads people to have no qualms about spending 20 or 30 thousand dollars on a car or a recreation vehicle, but they kick and scream about having to spend a couple hundred dollars on medication which will save their life. Why should I pay for someones health problems who has spent decades stuffing themselves with butter, sugar and high fat foods, living a sedentary life and taking risks. When there are no consequences to the bad choices individuals make, it allows government to force others who have not made those choices to bear the cost of those choices. The answer is more free-market solutions and less of the Liberal sacrament of replacing individual responsibility with collective guilt.

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