Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Socialist Health Care in California

The governor has proposed a new health care plan. I found an article on the topic, an article with which I completely agree. Since my long-time readers know that I'm against socialized medicine, and socialism in almost any other form, the fact that I agree with this article will not be surprising in the least.

Before I get into what I hope to be a well-reasoned and economically sound discussion of Arnold Schwarzenegger's new "universal health care" plan, please bear with the following outburst: Arnold's plan is some of the most muddle-headed, idiotic, socialist crap I have ever seen from a serious politician, much less from a Republican...

The idea that somehow health care (or any other big industry) is somehow immune from market forces and human nature has been so repeatedly and dramatically disproved over the past few generations that it is truly shocking and depressing to see serious people still arguing for socialist policies...

Health care costs are high and rising fast, but it is not because the private market doesn't work. It is because, like the California electricity crisis, the government doesn't let it work. In health care, there is a massive disconnect between consumers and suppliers...

Imagine what the effect would be if car insurance were A) mandatory, B) subsidized, and C) covered even the most minor damage with low deductibles, and D) routed through employers. People would go get the smallest scratches repaired, driving up demand and cost for car repair. Employers would hedge to continue to take on the liability, especially with prices "artificially" high because of the implied tax required for the subsidies. They would look to hire people without cars. The equivalent of all of these things is already happening with health care, and Arnold's proposal will only exacerbate the problem...

Health care is not a Constitutional right. It is an individual responsibility. The closer we get toward socialized medicine, the further we get from the best medical system we could have. Just imagine when California has to implement a rule like England has: A mandatory minimum waiting time for someone to see a doctor, because the government can't afford the health care system to move any more efficiently...

As long as we have politicians who believe that it is the proper role of the state to redistribute money, interfere in private contracts, and use their power to reward their favored constituencies regardless of the cost to taxpayers, we will never be safe from the dead hand of government. When even Republicans are willing to legislate as Communists (and I do not use that term as hyperbole), there is little reason to have hope.


Sadly, the author's correct on all points.

OK, so maybe you don't trust that author or the site on which he posted. Then how about the Wall Street Journal?

Gov. Schwarzenegger writes a prescription for disaster...

If a version of Gov. Schwarzenegger's plan passes, the only thing certain is that there will be more regulation, more government spending and more taxes.
Update, 1/12/07: OK, so this is hopeful:

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is taking on just about every major interest group in California in his audacious effort to bring universal health care to the nation's biggest state: unions, small business, doctors, hospitals, insurance companies, conservatives.
Update #2, 1/18/07: A federal appeals court has struck down a similar law in Maryland.

7 comments:

Polski3 said...

Hey, don't forget, our Governator is in orbit around the Kennedy clan.....some of that Liberalism/Socialism is bound to rub off......

California would not be in the financial straits that it is in if the Feds did their constitutional duty to protect, defend and control our borders. Arnold cited one hospital he visited in LA that spent 60 million helping the "uninsured". I wonder how many of those folks who went to that hospital were undocumented immigrants? health expenses for these people is one of the biggest expenses for the taxpayers. We pay for their anchor babies and every little sniffle anchor baby suffers.......

From humanitarian point of view, I can see not denying someone in a life-threathening medical situation than can be readily delt with, but I am sick of paying the ever rising cost of my family health insurance to help cover those who won't pay their way or believe they are f'ing entitled to it regardless of who else has to pay for it. For the record, over the past three years, I have personally paid about 15% out of my own pocket to cover health insurance costs over and above what my school district will contribute......
( Darren, regarding your comment on my blog about my feeling/opinion that our quality of life is declining: that is part of what I see as a decline in quality of life, I can afford less than I used to and my family has had "less" as a result. For example,I'd like to replace at least one of our ten and 8 year old vehicles.....)

Darren said...

I took your comment to mean that you thought the standard of living of the entire country is dropping.

"In my opinion, the standard of living in the US, at least for the hoards of us not in the higher socio-economic levels, has already plunged, at least from my perspective."

I can understand your personal example, truly I can. However, I don't see that any *group's* standard of living--in any economic stratum--has declined in our lifetime. Apparently, however, you and I are talking two different things.

But back to health care. I don't know where the governor is getting his ideas from, but they're not coming from what I would consider the "Reality-based Community." What shred of evidence is there, anywhere in history, that would allow us to think his program could succeed?

La Maestra said...

Ahh, finally something on which we disagree. I knew I was still a liberal!

I've been finding myself agreeing with Ah-nuld a lot lately, and I thought I was just becoming more conservative, but I think he's just becoming more liberal. (Or perhaps we're meeting in the middle...) I'm 100% in favor of socialized health care. I have close friends from countries where socialized health care exists (Canada and New Zealand) and they've only ever had nothing but positive things to say about it (and they're highly-educated, gainfully-employed, tax payers) and nothing but negativity toward the American health care system. One of my friends is a Canadian citizen married to an American--she's lived here for around 25 years now. She has excellent health insurance through her job--doesn't pay a single penny out of pocket for her chronic health condition, and she still wishes she was under the Canadian system rather than the American one.

I also have a friend who is a GP (incidentally, he's my physician, and since this is a small town, I've also taught his children.) He runs a medical office where he is the only doctor--he has two nurse practitioners, other nurses and medical assistants, and a two full-time employees just to handle the billing. Because he is a small town GP, he does birth, death, and pretty much everything inbetween, and I love picking his brain because the depth of his knowledge is absolutely incredible. He and I have had the socialized medicine discussion a number of times, and he has always maintained a pro-socialized medicine stance. I figure that because he is not only a physician but also a businessman, he knows a hell of a lot more than me about how the system works, and that alone adds a lot of weight to my beliefs.

I flipped on the news this morning while I was getting ready, and I was thrilled to hear Arnold's announcement. I'm glad he's taking this huge step, and I'm hoping the old maxim holds true about "as California goes, so goes the nation."

Darren said...

While I'm sympathetic to the argument that what we have isn't working, I'm not at all sympathetic to socialism. It doesn't work. Despite what your friend says, the Canadian system is a shambles--which is why the supreme court in Quebec ruled that citizens *could* get their own health insurance and care, because too many people were dying waiting for government health care.

Darren said...

Maloney's got the videos!

http://www.onthefencefilms.com/movies.html

"Dead Meat is a short film which shows the reality of health care under Canada's socialized medical system: Canadians wait ... and wait. And sometimes - they die while waiting for free government health care. This short premiered at the Liberty Film Festival in West Hollywood, CA on Oct 21, 2005."

"A Short Course in Brain Surgery shows the callousness of "single-payer", government-run health care systems as practiced in Ontario, Canada. The film highlights the plight of Lindsay McCreith, an Ontario man with a cancerous brain tumor who went to Buffalo, NY to receive the timely medical care that is rationed in his home country."

allen said...

The really nasty secret at the heart of socialized medicine is that it's explicitly a two-tiered system. It's just that the coin that pays for price of treatment changes from cash to political influence.

Consider, no one would expect the prime minister to wait some months to see a specialist. After all, this is an important person on whom the operation of the government depends. Of course, the prime minister's spouse would get similarly high-quality treatment and have similarly short waiting periods to access specialists. The question then becomes, at what point does the value of political influence end?

How far up the elective, appointment or career hierarchy do you have to be to ignore the waiting periods and other restrictions that "the masses" have to put up with? What's the potential for mischief when political influence is the price of first-class medical care?

Walter E. Wallis said...

Since I came to California in 1936 I have never heard of anyone being refused needed health care. There were clinics, County Hospitals, Charity and religious hospitals.
Arnie's bill will establish another bunch of civil service jobs overseeing insurance. I shudder to think what will happen when arnie discovers that car insurance does not cover oil and gas.