I'll try to keep this short because VFC has been accused of rambling at times.
The health care debate has been plastered all over the news of late as the President tries to advance his budget-breaking agenda through the Congress and Senate.
Critics of the White House plan point out that sub-standard treatment and long wait lines are trademarks of nationalized health care in other countries that have it, but there is one point that is NOT being made by critics- citizens who receive nationalized health care in those countries that the President uses as models often don't want the nationalized coverage; they just that they have any other choice but to use it.
In those countries, mainly Europe, those who can afford private care pay for it while those who receive nationalized care wish that they could afford private care. Why? For the reasons you hear on TV- long lines, (sometimes) substandard care and no choice in doctor. You get what you're given and that's it.
Let's say that again, citizens in nations with nationalized care would choose private care if they could afford it. It's not like these nations boast populations that are proud of their medical care, they're just satisfied that they have something for those that do not have the money to pay for private care.
That brings to mind what this administration should be doing- which is trying to RE-WORK the private health care industry in order to make it more affordable for everyone rather than trying to RE-CREATE the wheel and create a new system.
That brings me to my next point: the President is ignoring one HUGE factor that is one of the largest contributors to the health care expenses in America; the cost that Doctors must incur to pay for insurance.
One of the main reasons why health care is so expensive is because Doctors have to pay so much for insurance, and when Doctors have to pay so much for insurance, who swallows the cost of that business expense? Right- the customer, or in this case, the patient.
Let's face it, Americans will sue ANYONE at ANYTIME for ANYTHING. Because of all of the frivolous lawsuits that are allowed to see the light of day - combined with the amount of money that the judicial system allows to be paid out to victims - the costs of Doctors to insure themselves is very expensive.
Don't get me wrong, there is a place for lawsuits in society, but we take it way too far in this country.
During a recent trip to Germany, I remember seeing that people were surprised that a victim received as much as $5,000 in a medical malpractice suit. That's a chump change amount in America, but while the President will say that European countries manage to afford nationalized care, he won't tell you that possibly the biggest reason why they can is because they don't allow the massive lawsuits payouts that we do in America.
By both allowing nationalized health care and frivolous lawsuits in America, the taxpayer is going to get the shaft twice. Once with the tax increases that will be needed to pay for the national program and then again when taxpayer money is going to be used to pay off the lawsuits, if the Doctors end up working for a federal system, that is.
If Obama wants to control health care costs, he's going to need to control the amount of money being paid out in medical malpractice lawsuits. Period. If he doesn't take that simple step that alone would significantly reduce the cost of health care then why are we to believe that the plan is geared towards the citizens of the nation and not the lawyers who benefit most from the lawsuits?
That's where it gets tricky. The President doesn't want to piss off his lawyer-lobby buddies. Do you remember when the President got booed by the Doctors of America earlier this year when he stated that he would not control the costs of malpractice lawsuits? The Doctors booed him because they all know that the first step in controlling health care costs is capping the amount of lawsuit payouts; because that would reduce the costs of insurance for the Doctors.
When politics and ethics collide; satisfy the lawyer-lobby buddies or satisfy the patients who can't afford health care? That is the question and so far the President has failed to stand up to the lobbies. The unions made out most with the auto industry bailouts and the lawyers, because they still have free reign to milk a doctors insurance company for everything they have, are getting hooked up with this whole health care fiasco.
Change? Nope. Just another politician spewing a smooth campaign line.