Anyone else there have an opinion on the fairly new Health Care Reform Law that is often called Obama-Care? I have been mulling this one over in my head for some time, considering various aspects of it as I thought it through and finally have some comments to make about the law. I have to admit, the libertarian part of me really gets a bit riled up about this one when I think about another thing the government is going to force me to do whether I want to do it or not. I get even more riled about it when I think about the folks that will then get coverage at a discount when I consider all the years in the past that I have paid for health insurance and scarcely used it. I will grant, the larger portion of that health insurance was picked up by the employer most of the time, but still, my pay would have in theory been more if not paying for it, right?
I do not want to be taken wrong on this, I think that every one of us fine citizens should have a basic minimum health care option. However, I am just not sure this mix of private and government is going to work out very well, especially when it is already seen to be such a cantankerous issue at this early stage of the game. The whole concept of everyone has to have something by law or we are going to penalize you just irks me. And of course the basic concept behind that is if everyone is getting the health care then it will be so much more affordable that everyone will be able to get it. I am going to call bull crap on that. I think it will go just like two other government sponsored programs that are having their own difficulties these days.
The first one I will pick on is the financial assistance that has been made available in several forms over the last forty or so years to just about everyone for secondary levels of education, or in other words, college. Yes, the money is made available in a number of different ways that includes various kinds of grants, loans, and even some tuition/loan forgiveness. The fundamental idea behind all of these different approaches has been to increase the educational level and number of people of education beyond high school across the country. The increase of both aspects of course is supposed to occur because the education itself, through the means listed above should become more affordable.
There are so many place one could point to on this as to how it has failed. A couple of these failures are obvious, but just to refresh for folks, our educational system is no longer number one in the world. In fact, depending on whose numbers you want to use we are from around eight all the back to near twenty. Next is the simple fact that as those methods have become more and more available to make education more affordable, one could similar plot out the explosive increase in all expenses related to education, but especially tuition. In fact, tracking it almost from the time the biggest of these when in effect, typical college cost has increased by roughly ten times when the average cost of living has only increased by two and a half. And that does nothing not consider this whole, mostly new group, of private technical/business colleges and the way they often have students graduate only to find jobs at roughly the same or a small percentage greater in pay before taking on usually huge amounts of student loans (another sour subject for me). Bottom line is this, as easy money has become available for this secondary level of education, the cost has increased, dramatically, compared to other costs instead of having come down as would have been predicted based on the health care model.
Second government mandated program that has major issues combines both social security and Medicare/Medicaid. We all have deductions from our paychecks for these programs. In theory we are paying into the program and it is going to be invested and held for us to take care of us when we get to the age or time in our lives that we needs such assistance. Reality is, going back to when it was first set up those paying today are really providing the bulk of benefits for those qualify for the benefits today. If someone where doing this on Wall Street it would be called a Ponzi scheme by the way. All of these programs are flirting with being bankrupt at any given time, especially as a large group is getting set to start drawing on those services like never before. Another point that could be made is the Medicare/Medicaid portion of this service has also allowed and even encourage/promoted expenses in those medical fields to rise out of proportion compared to the general cost of living, at least in the last thirty years – as medical expenses are six times what they were again compared to only two and a half for overall cost of living.
Clearly on this health care issue I would like to see something done, but I just do not like being told that I have to do something and agree that is questionable for a constitutional aspect. Further, I have doubts about the piecemeal approach with the proposed system and its mix of government control on one side with out the necessary check on the private on the other side. I would like to say maybe we should consider a social medicine system like that of Canada or something, but then again I am not fond that idea either. Bottom line is, when I had the minor issues I have had insurance in one or another I was paying for and when I had the one major issue called appendicitis without insurance – well, no one stepped in to cover my medical expenses for me. Thoughts?
** – Image from Time.Com.