Health Insurance has never been more important to have than it is today. The days of going to your local GP for a few bucks are over. Growing up in the ’50s and early ’60s, I do not remember my Mother ever paying more than ten to twenty bucks for any doctor visit. Health insurance was routinely paid for by employers as a benefit because it was relatively cheap. But times have certainly changed.
Medical science has taken great strides in treating and curing diseases. Lives have been greatly enriched thanks to advances in the treatments of disabilities, whether physical or mental. But these advances and their allocation have resulted in ever-increasing financial costs. We can cure more diseases, mend more broken bodies and minds, extend life expectancy into the eighth, ninth, and even tenth decade. But the financial realities of paying for these miracles of science have placed those wonders beyond the reach of some who need them most.
I don’t think anyone disagrees that we need to get more people insured but where we disagree is just how to achieve this goal. Putting it entirely into the hands of the government would be a mistake. The taxation necessary to fund such an endeavor would be ruinous to the economy. But that’s just a part of it. Relying on the government to run something as complicated as three hundred million people’s health care needs should give you pause.
Consider the government’s history in programs it already runs. For that matter, look at what it does with the vast amounts of money it already collects from US taxpayers. The budget deficit is now measured in trillions of dollars. If we stop adding to it today, Our grandchildren’s great-grandchildren will still be paying for it. As currently proposed, government-funded healthcare has no workable self-funding system other than the rather silly tax the rich mantra.
Much can be done within the current framework of health care to reduce costs, cover more people with insurance, and assist those who cannot afford to purchase it on their own. I truly believe we can do this without blowing up the existing system and taking the lazy, unimaginative, and simplistic course of dumping in the government’s lap. It’s been done before in other countries. Before we become too enamored of these systems, we should be willing to assess the genuine problems both fiscally and the delivery and quality of the care.