Here is the second installment of the series on health care from “someone in the trenches”:
The second argument is that insurance companies take advantage of people and make windfall
profits. However, we must first realize that Americans are EMPLOYED by these companies. These companies were first set up because someone decided it was a profitable way to offer a service to someone in the case of catastrophic events. It was originally a service. There was
once was no health insurance, and then there was. Someone made the investment to offer someone catastrophic coverage by collecting premiums from a group of individuals. It is a business. And they hire employees, paying them money from their profits, to help run the
company. The profit margin in the health insurance company is extremely small- somewhere around 2-3 percent, I believe. Surely, fraud exists. Surely, businesses weasel out of paying claims in order to stay their profit. And surely they ought to be prosecuted. But, I do not believe this is commonplace. And, why should an insurance company take a risk on an individual with pre-existing conditions, from a business perspective? That makes no sense. The insurance
company would lose money and would be able to cover no individual. SO, this leads to the fact that people would be RIGHTLY left out of healthcare insurance- as they are today. This sucks! What if I am the one who was born with Type I diabetes? If I can get insurance, my premiums are sky high! I did nothing to deserve being born with the disease! But, it also makes no sense for the insurance company to cover me, and others like me…it would bankrupt the company! And if the government paid for it, it is still not free! Someone has to pay! Taxes! Taxes! Taxes!
So, this leads to the obvious belief that if we want to cover everybody, we must develop nationalized healthcare. However, I do not believe this is sustainable either.
When an individual bears no burden for their healthcare, they care nothing of the cost. If I had free gas and a free car given to me, I would never choose to not drive to a location. I would drive every time. I would drive fast. I would think nothing of gas conservation. I would think nothing of accelerating quickly and treating my car like crap. After all, I didn’t sacrifice anything for it! It has little value to me. And, I would look at others around me using their cars and their fuel provided freely to them by the government and would use it all the more. Why should I sacrifice for the common good when my neighbor is abusing it? I would think. In the same way, cost would definitely go up in a nationalized healthcare system. And this is why the governments that already employ nationalized healthcare must ration care. Waiting times are longer. Services are denied. Someone else decides when a problem deserves a solution. There are many criticisms of nationalized healthcare that I could go into, but I’d rather not right now- this is not what is being discussed in Washington right now.
The truth is that someone has to pay for the services rendered. The nurses, the clerks, the receptionists, the supplies, and the practitioners who provide the care must all be paid for. The rising costs are also a problem! This is because healthcare is a growth industry. It is innovative. We now have CT scanners and MRI machines in every hospital. We now have robotic surgeries and laparoscopic surgeries with less morbidity and mortality rates. We now have drugs to treat cancers and diseases that were once deadly. HIV is no longer a death sentence-HIV is a life-long manageable disease with a life expectancy into the 60s and 70s. People used to only live for 10-15 years max after being diagnosed until the last decade. AND, ironically, I believe that Medicare has been the growth engine for escalating costs. This is because individuals are indirectly paying for their care through their Medicare taxes taken out of their check until their eligibility age. This entitlement is run by the government, but it is a limited program. This program only pays for a limited population of a certain age-, which also happens to be a very
large voting percentage group. And people feel as if they own it because they paid for it. It is distinct and different. And, by the way, it is unsustainable at its current form. Medicare will be
bankrupt soon at the current spending/collecting rate. And if you ever work in public health- as I have- you’ll notice the problem with Medicaid. The program is great in that it helps individuals get healthcare who cannot afford it. It is bad in that it is not progressive- one qualifies or one does not. AND, the free healthcare benefit is worth so much more than the money earned that
disqualifies most individuals. People will quit work for fear that they will no longer be eligible for Medicaid. And, these individuals are often the ones most predisposed to a lack of a work ethic to begin with. The reasons that certain people have a lack of work ethic are numerous and multifaceted. They may see a lack of work ethic in their parents-, which leads to second generation Medicaid families-, or they may have had life TOO easy and never learned to earn anything for themselves. Either way, most individuals fall prey to the trap of Medicaid. They see their entitlement as AN ENTITLEMENT! The worst patients are the Medicaid patients, most of the time. They come in demanding their services and are grateful for nothing. I remember listening to my brother complain and complain and complain when they were receiving FREE healthcare for Rachel and (now) Emma. Nothing was ever good enough. The doctors never did enough. They were so ungrateful. They EXPECTED so much. They took their entitlement for granted.
I do not believe that government-involved healthcare is financially sustainable. And Great Britain is experiencing this too. Fortunately, Great Britain and France are smaller countries with
smaller immigration rates. They can manage their healthcare systems with less overhead. But even still, their healthcare programs are always in financial trouble and this is the top issue when politicians run for office over there. It is also reasonable to assume that the U.S. cannot afford government-involved healthcare because of our multiple other duties/obligations around the world. We are the world police, the world benefactor, and the world’s rescuer. We fight off
terrorists for everyone else, we help in humanitarian missions, we send money in food aid, we support the U.N. financially, and we are the world’s support system. France has not participated in any meaningful way in the world’s problems. Great Britain has only to a small extent been a player in worldwide terrorism despite attacks on its own soil. France focuses solely on itself- this is why it is able to fund its healthcare program. However, these countries do NOT have the same
economic productivity, growth, and leadership that the U.S. has…and this is because France has such a high income tax rate. It squelches businesses and the jobs that those companies produce.