I’m convinced that government intervention is never the answer, even in the short-term, as the long-term consequences ultimately are always much more painful.
Let’s consider the reckless actions taken by our government to uproot our healthcare system. What we are now facing is not the product of intelligent, well-researched, comprehensive reform that enables the private sector to right itself. Rather, privacy, treatment variety, and economic feasibility have been tossed aside in favor of governmental controls and personal constraints.
Early reports confirm the ‘Affordable Care Act’ to be long on regulations and short on efficiency. Will our overall quality of care improve as costs reduce? Not a chance – the plan is simply not designed to accomplish what it ‘reportedly’ set out to do!
In particular, how is it that TORT reform never made it onto any of the 2,409 pages of the healthcare bill? It’s a real shame, considering the number of ‘lawyer-politicians’ in public office (approximately 46% Legislative and 100% Executive and Judicial Branches = 82% of the overall governing body) who had a hand in promoting this legislation. They are those ultimately responsible for pushing the ACA upon a resistant American majority while malpractice litigation remains a large contributor to the high costs of healthcare in this country.
Why should government decide if a medical procedure is necessary for a particular patient? Sounds to me like there will be room for cost-oriented denials and that an ultimate determination will be made based on a patient’s pre-existing condition (translation: death panel). Instead of solving the problems of pre-existing conditions, aren’t they just back-ending the denial?
We’ve over-diagnosed the problem and hindered the prospect of an effective long-term solution.
Ultimately, whenever government gets its hand in something, sooner or later, it turns out bad – real bad. A prime example is the rising costs of higher education over the past few decades or so. Here’s an article by Mary Kate Cary that was featured in US News & World Report that perfectly illustrates the problem (despite some well-intentioned Federal legislation that looked to give as many people as possible a chance at a good college education) -
The more money the federal government pumps into financial aid, the more money the colleges charge for tuition. Inflation-adjusted tuition and fees have tripled over those same 30 years while aid quadrupled; the aid is going up faster than the tuition. Thanks to the federal government, massive sums of money are available to pay for massive tuitions.
This has nothing to do with costs. According to Neal McCluskey’s research at the Cato Institute, it costs roughly $8,000 a year to educate an undergraduate at an average residential college. Yet the average college bill—including room and board—charged at a private four-year university is $37,000, and $16,000 at a public one. For a long time, college tuition has been rising faster than the inflation rate, which certainly has hurt middle-class families. Colleges can raise tuition with impunity because colleges know they’ll get paid no matter what.
I understand the desire to foster opportunity – to give everyone an equal shot – but at what price? Often, we wind up hurting more than we’re helping. The ends does not justify the means.