I am really sick (heh) and tired of what calls itself health care debate. The ‘reform’ that we’re looking at now is really no more than a stopgap; shuffle the money around a bit and everyone stays happy for a while. When most insurance comes through employers, mandating insurance coverage becomes nothing more than a tax on the poor and lower-middle classes.
The real issues facing health care in the modern world are as follows:
‘Basic’ care is too expensive. Somehow, care for common ailments has become prohibitively expensive for ‘everyman.’ I have a few friends who went this season to get tested to see if they had the flu. Cost: between $500-800. Ridiculous. Embarrassing. There are hundreds of other basic care needs that people simply cannot afford on their own. There must be a way to provide basic medical and pharmaceutical diagnosis and care to people so that it doesn’t cost hundreds or thousands of dollars per treatment. And I don’t mean, shift the cost to an insurance company, I mean that the amount of money changing hands for basic care should be affordable to a basic person. Anything else is a scam.
Access to all possible treatments for everybody is held up as the standard, and it shouldn’t be! The garbage earlier this year about Obama’s ‘death panels’ clearly illustrates the bizarre sense of entitlement we all seem to have about receiving medical care. No matter how you parse it, at some point a choice has to be made about whether or how to treat various conditions. Not everyone is entitled to everything no matter what the expense. It may be a hard concept to grasp, but at some point treatment for illnesses becomes prohibitively expensive, and sometimes it’s right to focus on quality of life remaining rather than extending life.
If a super-rare disease actually costs millions of dollars to treat, then maybe we shouldn’t be treating the person who has it. We will all die of something eventually, and I am not entitled to everything that will prolong my life.
I’m not sure what the solution to these issues might be, but as long as someone continues to spend the massive amount on health care that we do in this country, the problem needs to go away. We need to cut the expense of health care dramatically, not merely change who is paying for it.