A friend (who shall remain nameless, let us just suffice it to say that he has created almost all postings up to this point) and I were discussing the viability of a truly universal health care system last night. His argument was that everyone needs to be covered (which I agree) by insurance and that serious changes need to occur in our health ‘system’ in this country (duh?). A major point of contention in our discussion was how universal health care would be paid for. His belief is that everything is too expensive. insurance, medical technology, salaries for physicians, etc. My point of contention with this argument is this: People respond to two things in life: 1. Fear 2. Greed.
Now, I realize that I am going to have to play the bad guy here for a minute and risk my credibility (of which I have little) going up in smoke, but I believe that the high level of ‘sick care’ that we are able to provide in this country is a direct result of health care’s partially private system that offers inventors of technology and medical devices, providers, and managers an economic incentive to provide health services that are second to none (for those that can afford it). Postulating on what might have happened if things had been different and there had been no economic incentive to provide health care is called “counter-factual history” and is highly suspect and unprovable. I am merely inserting my opinion and asking that others do the same.
No matter how you cut the cake that is health care, in the end the money used to pay for cake is coming straight from our (Americans’) pocketbooks. Whether it be in the form of lower wages from employers trying to cover the health insurance they offer their employees or the money that people have to shell out of their own pockets for private insurance, or the taxes we pay that go to cover (very necessary) programs like Medicare and Medicaid, in the end the money that pays for our ‘sick care’ comes from us, and only us. I don’t know about you, but if (God forbid) I come down with a serious illness, I want the best physicians working with the best equipment used in conjunction with the most recent and advanced technology to be working to make me better. Would that be possible in a system where the prospect of economic gain is non-existent?
I put it to you to decide. For my part, this was just a rambling, jumbled, thinking-out-loud kind of post intended to raise more questions without providing any solutions or answers.