(The health-care legislation is focused on increasing government control. But the reasons for spiking costs are easily explained. By addressing the issues below we will begin to reduce those costs.)
A famous doctor recently said in a speech that there are now 6,000 different drugs available along with 4,000 separate procedures that may be combined to cure 13,000 identified human maladies.
So is it any wonder that health care costs are out of control?
The reasons are simple. Here they are, without obfuscation:
1) Today we can mend diseases and conditions that would have killed the patient 50 years ago. Or even 10 years ago. And now that we all have become accustomed to seeing every malady treated, we expect it. Indeed we are probing deeper and deeper into every corner of human health, at higher and higher cost. For instance, we are spending large amounts of money on research and treatment for “orphan” diseases that affect very few people. This is wonderful, but the monetary return on research and treatment per person cured is very, very low. And we all pay that cost.
2) At the same time, we are living longer and longer, and retiring younger and younger and spending more of our lives consuming health care rather than producing the wealth to pay for it. Thus the costs per person go up and up and up.
3) Insurance payments are a third-party system. People generally do not pay their own health-care bills. Often they do not even look at the bill. And so they do not scrutinize how much they are being charged and there is no consumer brake on costs.
4) Then think about the black teenager gang-banger who gets shot and sits in a hospital for a month getting well. Uninsured, the rest of the consumers of health care pay his bill. Millions of people have no insurance and we who pay must account for them. No wonder the costs are going up for us who pay the freight.
5) Then think about the 90-year-old man who needs a heart operation. Fifty years ago, that same operation was not available to even a 40-year-old man to help him live and be productive for the next 25 years of life until his retirement. Yet today, that 90-year-old man could get an expensive surgical procedure that may extend his life by just two years, showing very little return for the investment. And we wonder why health costs are spiking.
Then bleeding-heart liberals counter, “You are hard-hearted, thinking about everything in terms of return on investment.” To which the rational conservative replies: “Isn’t that what the entire debate is about – costs?”
6) Think about the poor, uninsured, unmarried teenage girl who goes into a hospital and has her child delivered for free. Free to her, that is. While the rest of us pay for it. And the child’s father gets off scot free and never sees the child and then goes off and impregnates another young, poor, uninsured girl. And another. Then we wonder why health-care costs are going up, up, up.
7) Think about the accident victim who gets 30 surgeries and hundreds of hours of physical therapy to get well. This is a large amount of expensive health care consumed by one single person. And somebody has to pay for it. Which we all do. Or think of the rich athlete who gets hundreds of thousands of dollar in care for injuries sustained on his/her ‘job’, which we all pay for.
8) Think of all the elderly people who are summoned over and over again to the doctor’s office, often unnecessarily, just to enrich the doctor from insurance plans, for repetitive treatments and checkups that do little to improve health. Many of these doctors are big-time, money-loving liberals.
Or think about old people who report to the emergency room for every ache and pain, when for millennia they ignored those aches and pains as simple old age. And it all must be paid for. Today elderly people in the last years of life consume an astonishingly large percentage of health-care dollars because we are afraid to say the truth, which is “No, you cannot have it all. It simply has become too expensive.”
9) Think about preventative medicine which Obama claims is going to solve our health crisis. In fact, it makes things worse. Because millions of people end up getting treatments and tests that are unnecessary and costly.
10) Then we have liberalism, which says that somehow we must cure everything, that every last malady, no matter the economic status of the patient, is to be fixed, that even the indigent and idle poor deserve a heart operation, that even a sleazy drug dealer is entitled to emergency room treatment when he overdoses on his own drugs or is shot on the street corner. And we all pay for it.
What we need are separate hospitals for the poor and uninsured so that the uninsured do not undermine our existing hospitals, which is what is happening today. And these “poor hospitals” can be manned by liberal doctors and nurses who tell us how much they “care”. And then we will see how much they really “care”.
11) Then we have the trial lawyers, who are 98% Democrat. Every single practitioner in the field of health care from doctors to nurses to therapists may double up or triple up on tests, treatments and procedures just to cover themselves so they won’t be sued. Sky-high malpractice insurance costs are passed on to consumers. And as these lawyers get rich and give their campaign contributions almost exclusively to the Democrat party, they are pushing up the cost of health care dramatically. And the Democrats protect them. No wonder the cost of health care is out of control.
12) SEIU, the Service Employees International Union, organizes millions of health-care workers. These workers get artificially high wages, pushing up the cost of care because those wages are paid by the consumers of health care. You and me. The basic cost of labor is one of the driving forces in the cost of any product. No wonder health costs are spiking.
13) Think about Democrat busybody legislators all over the country, in every state, making laws that say that health insurance policies sold in their state must cover this, this and that, maybe 100 different conditions or more. This takes the choice out of the hands of the consumer and pushes up prices.
Why should a person pay to insure for blemish removal or toenail treatment if he/she does not want that coverage? Why not let insurance companies compete across state lines and sell people exactly the policies they want with only the coverage they want, like car insurance or homeowner policies? Why can’t an insurance company offer any person in any state a huge deductible policy like $30,000 or $50,000 to cover only catastrophic costs. The policy would save consumers huge amounts of money.
Because if insurance should cover one thing, it should be catastrophic costs, not everyday costs. But under the current system, under laws implemented by Democrats, insurance must cover every doctor visit from a headache to a broken arm to cancer. Thus costs are pushed through the roof because every transaction has a fixed bureaucratic cost built in – also known as insurance company paperwork and doctor paperwork. And the more transactions, the more insurance costs. Imagine, ideally, if the number of insurance transactions dropped dramatically, for instance only for catastrophic costs, while the rest of the bills were paid directly by the patient to the doctor. That would bring down costs dramatically.
14) Homosexual males have the highest rates of disease and death than all other Americans because of their lifestyle. This is paid for by all insured people. Why shouldn’t homosexuals pay much higher premiums than even cigarette smokers do, to cover their much higher risk? Answer: Because Democrats and the media are covering up the truth.
15) The media promote endless health-care scare stories, planting anxiety into the minds of the people, leading them to seek our more and more health care unnecessarily.
We can easily solve the crises in our health-care system just by being honest about what is driving up costs. And the time is right to start today.
Please visit my website at www.nikitas3.com for more. You can print out for free my book, Right Is Right, which explains why only conservatism can maintain our freedom and prosperity.