Friday, July 10, 2009
Freedom Friday 07.10.09
Freedom Friday is back! Welcome.
If you're new here, you can check out the Freedom Friday links over there in the sidebar to read how it got started and what it's all about.
Today's topic is...
I've been reading about the history of the American health insurance industry but before you stop reading, I am NOT going to bore you with it. I would just like to say that I think the problem with today's health system was created by the unintended consequences of excessive government regulation.
In a nutshell, during World War II, wage freezes imposed by the government actually accelerated the spread of group health care. Unable by law to attract workers by paying more, employers instead began adding health care to their benefit packages, resulting in our current employer-based health insurance system. This also proves once again that despite government's good intentions, they more often than not create more problems than they solve.
Government programs to cover health care costs began to expand during the 1950s and 1960s. When the government created Medicare and Medicaid programs in 1965, private sources still paid 75 percent of all of the health care costs. By 1995, individuals and companies only paid for about half of the health care with the government responsible for the other half. I think that this government intervention contributed to the notion that health insurance is a "right" and also contributed to increased health care costs to the insured. Once again...say it with me...Government's good intentions created more problems than they solved.
So, what makes us think that government can fix it this time?
No, really. THIS time they'll get it right.
I believe that the health care plan(s) being discussed in Washington will lead to lower-quality health care, fewer medical personnel entering the profession, and more government control of what should be personal decisions between you and your doctor. In a word, DISASTER!
So, Lisa, what's YOUR solution?
I think ideally the solution would be market-based where individuals are responsible for purchasing their own insurance. Elimination of government intervention and meddling in health care would lead to greater competition which would lead to lower costs.
I know, the idea of individuals actually being responsible for themselves is shocking. But you know, I pay for my own auto and homeowner's insurance. If I chose not to and I crashed my car or my house burned down...well, it would suck to be me. Why should health insurance be any different?
How do we get there in today's political climate?
I don't think we can.
Which is one great reason to get actively involved in changing the political climate! Government IS the problem. Or more to the point, the two-party system IS the problem.
I know, I KNOW, I've just greatly over-simplified a very complex subject. But hopefully this will serve as a starting point for you to begin thinking about government's role in health care.