Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children.
- President Dwight D. Eisenhower

Friday, September 04, 2009

Joe Cwik

All right. So, blogger does not allow more than 4096 characters in a comment. This post is a response to a Video that Joe posted. Here's the video.

His overall point is that of cynicism and defeat.

Even though every other industrialized country has good public schools, ours fail because they are publicly funded.

The post office is not bankrupt. It can't become bankrupt. It is a public corporation that cannot operate at a loss. The advent of e-mail competition from privately operated mail services, and the tanking economy is why it did, in fact operate at a loss last year. Claiming that as "bankruptcy", a legal term with specific criteria is disingenuous if not an act of outright deception.

We certainly do not want the federal government paying for food, housing, and clothing for everybody. Why? Because those essentials are better governed by the free market. Health care is not like other essentials. We have, as a society, decided that if someone is naked, we will clothe them. We have plenty of clothes. If they are hungry, we will feed them. We have plenty of food. If they are homeless... well, we seem to be falling down on that one.

If someone is ill, we need dedicated professionals with years of training to treat them. I can make a hungry guy a sandwich. I can't cure someone of tuberculosis.

In the case of "taxation = force", There is no such thing as a free lunch. You, Joe, right now, are paying for Michigan's 1.1 million uninsured with your higher health care premiums. Every time an uninsured person gets catastrophically sick, you pay for it, because the money has to come from somewhere. In this case, whether you are taxed by the government or if you pay a private corporation, you are still picking up the tab for those people that cannot afford to pay.

Arguing that advertisement and administrative costs are a good thing in the face of out-of-control price increases and 14,000 people losing their insurance every day is an insult to the intelligence of anyone with an I.Q. over 90.

The only reason the insurance companies are lobbying congress is because socialists are lobbying congress as well? How much were you paying in premiums in 1999? How much are you paying now?

Profits in the case of health care, are not essential. Everyone needs health care. We do not need market forces to let us know that people get sick, and don't want to die, and will go to a doctor to get well. We do not need market forces to let us know that when a house catches fire, the occupants of that house will call the fire department to stop it from burning. We do need market forces to keep people from getting unessential procedures that cost everyone and do not improve overall health. Some doctors... are paid per patient visit, per procedure. Some doctors are paid on a salary basis. Guess which health system has better results?

Lampooning "investors" as the bad guys in this whole debate is wrong. Hell, my savings account is an "investment" in Bank Of America.

"Wealth" is a plastic term. There is absolutely no possible way the CEOs of health insurance companies perform such a vital service that they get paid the per capita income of Americans per year... in a single day. There is no public oversight on the salaries of private health insurance employees. I'm dying to know... how does spiraling costs, loss of customers, and the threat of government takeover equal a salary of 17.5 million dollars?

Equating pre-existing conditions to car accidents is being deliberately obtuse and exceedingly callous. People get laid off, lose their health insurance, and then get hit by a bus. People that drive about without car insurance are taking a calculated risk.

Farmers are government subsidized. Supermarkets bring farm products to market on public roads.

As for everywhere that government run health care is being used is awful, that is simply not true. Germany has the oldest version of socialized health care in the world. Otto Von Bismarck started it in 1883. The life span of the average German is 78 years.

Medicare is not broke. It is a government funded program that is immune to the forces of the market. Unlike the post office, medicare can run in the red, because there is no black. There is only the green of the American taxpayer, and most of us want to live to be sixty five.

As for whether or not private care is "better" than Medicare, most seniors don't want Medicare to be changed. Elder poverty has plummeted since the advent of social security and Medicare. Medicare is immune to market forces, saves the lives of our elders, and spends two cents out of every dollar on administration.

As for "overhead does not equal better outcomes", you cannot compare private elder care to Medicare because quite frankly, there is no private elder care to compare to Medicare that would be in any way statistically significant.

As for whether or not government run health care is constitutional, Medicare is a federal system administered by the states. There is "Maine Elder Health Care", and "California Elder Health Care". The costs of either system do not affect the other. The constitutionality of the Medicare program is settled. Any "National Health Care Plan" would be constitutionally administered in exactly the same way.

The fire fighting retort is laughable. Who buys the firetrucks? Who pays for the firehouses? We pay, that's who.

Throwing out a wage control factoid does not change the fact that we need reform.

There is no such thing as a free lunch. We need fire protection. We don't need competition to drive down the cost of fire protection. Fire protection drives down the costs of home insurance.

Universal preventive health care would drive down the costs of health insurance. You know how I know this?


Any way, thanks for reading this.


Joe C said...

I haven't read your post yet, but the whole reason I posted the video was not the topic, but the fact that I think it's hilarious that the guy edited his own version to try and make his point.

Just sayin'.

Peaj said...

Hey Mark, I don't read your posts often but I like this one. I agree with your ideas. The only thing I have to add is there is no cure for Tuberculosis, :P

Seriously though in the section where you discuss the uninsured, about 6-7 paragraphs down, in the long run yes we end up paying for the uninsured. By them not paying it increases our premium costs. But with Medicaid there is a set payment they will make to a hospital for a procedure or "stay of care" If that patient is there longer or is there being treated for something that they are not actually admitted for that all comes out of the hospitals pocket. Which in turn, again, in the long run increases hospital costs that really can only go to private insurances. But even these insurances have limits on what they will pay. For example my diabetic supplies they will cover at 80% once I met my yearly deductible, at the agreed upon price that they have set up with the company I go through not at the out of pocket no insurance cost. I would like to see our medical be reformed for the simple fact that I believe everyone should get the same and equal health care at the same "cost". I don't see why I deserve my supplies at that price when someone with no health insurance has to pay full price. Which in turn just leads everything back around in a circle because that uninsured person is more likely to not use the supplies as intended, get sick and end up in the hospital, not be able to pay that bill and add to the increasing cost of health care.

My statement might seem really confusing, I have a hard time writing what I am trying to say but basically what I am trying to say is yes, I am in complete agreement with your post and ideas :) ~Paula

bassman said...

Because those essentials are better governed by the free market. Health care is not like other essentials.

WORD UP! With you all the way!