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Friday, August 7, 2009

Intentions and Outcomes

The road to Hell is paved with good intentions.
If you talk to a supporter of universal health care, one who hasn't had the training by a union or a leftist interest group, the core arguement for the program is based in the intention of the program: to give everyone affordable health care.

There is nothing wrong with the intention of UHC. In a perfect world, everyone should have good health insurance and be healthy and live a long life. In a perfect world, there wouldn't be HMOs, there wouldn't be state restrictions on insurance, there wouldn't be strict FDA rules that monopolize markets for a select few drugs; there wouldn't be anything that would make people fat, sick or disabled.

But there is. It's called reality. In this crazy world known as reality, cheap food is made with cheap ingredients, life-saving drugs cost a lot because that's how much they actually cost, people get hurt, people die, insurance costs a lot because the federal government has slowly chipped away at the free market so that now it pays nearly 50% of all health care costs.

In reality, nations who have a single payer health care system end up with rationing. The UK denies drugs based on cost. France's state run system, intentionally or not, lets thousands of elderly die because it is so inefficient and inhumane. Canada, while not as horrific as Europe, still has to deal with sudden closing of local hospitals and ER doctors who are under supplied or under staffed to the point that no one can be served at all if a single person comes in with a major trauma.

America researches and creates the most modern drugs and the most advanced procedures due to the ability to profit from the hard work put in. This isn't evil, it's moral. Should your labor be taken away solely because someone thinks they should have it without cost? There are, of course, certain things every government structure, including libertarian, does for the people, like police or fire, but health care, for hundreds of years, has been a private matter. If we are to help people get better, if we are to help people get insured, why not allow them the CHOICE of insurer or the CHOICE of doctor, if they want it at all? Out of the overused 47 million uninsured, a good THIRD can afford it but don't want it and another THIRD who qualify for government assistance DON'T USE IT. Tell me why we should force these people, along with the labor of hard working doctors, based on good intentions that, as evident, have less than good outcomes?

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