I can imagine the perfect health care system. You are given a card, and if you get sick or injured you go to a doctor or emergency room and present that card and they give you whatever examinations, tests, treatments, surgeries, therapies and/or medicines you need to get better.
There are no co-pays, deductibles, billing statements or any red tape. The doctors provide care to patients based on their own judgment without worrying what some bureaucrat or bean counter thinks. Doctors and other medical professionals are fairly compensated for their work commensurate with their education, skills and experience.
It goes without saying that all doctors are both honest and competent, but if they occasionally make a mistake the patient or his/her will be fairly compensated for their injuries and economic losses without needing an ambulance-chasing shyster trying to win the malpractice lottery jackpot.
Everyone in the country is covered under the same plan, and everyone receives the best medical care available in the whole world. Coverage will be a tax-free employee benefit for everyone who works 10 or more hours a year and/or fully deductible for the self employed. Poor people will of course pay nothing.
If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor. Everybody gets a pony.
And we shall call it “Single-Payer”.
Now doesn’t that sound perfect? Okay, obviously that idea is unworkable. There is just no way that everyone is getting a pony. But that other stuff is cool, right?
I admit I was once a big-government liberal. Obama soured me on the Democratic party but it was Obamacare that made me realize that big-government liberalism DOES NOT WORK.
First of all, big-government liberalism (aka “Progressivism”) is utopian. It is premised on the idea that we can use government to make the world a perfect place. When the people are properly enlightened the whole world will live together in peace, harmony and prosperity without the need for religion. Once 100% enlightenment is achieved government will be obsolete, but until that day come government needs to guide people to enlightenment. To each according to his ability, from each according to his need.
In order to create a system of universal, affordable-for-all healthcare you need to have government involved even if they are not in control. Some people can’t afford healthcare. Some people cannot afford all the healthcare they need. Others can afford more health care than they need. A lucky few can’t afford healthcare but don’t need any.
Socialized medicine is where the government runs health care. All the hospitals and clinics are owned collectively by the people (i.e the government) and all doctors and other health care professionals are public employees who work for the government. (Obamacare is not socialized medicine. It’s even worse than that.)
In theory, Single-Payer is not socialized medicine because the hospitals and clinics are privately owned and the doctors and other health care professionals are either self-employed or they work for private medical companies. In practice you still have a government-enforced monopoly controlling health care.
We can, thru government, force those who can afford to pay more to subsidize those who can pay less or pay nothing. Socialized medicine and Single-Payer both do that. So does Obamacare. On the other hand, so did the system that existed before Obamacare.
And that is the dirty little secret of healthcare reform.
The problem was never really the availability of healthcare and/or healthcare insurance. The problem with our healthcare system (then and now) is COST. We spend too much money for the amount and quality of healthcare we receive. WAY TOO MUCH of the money we spend on healthcare goes to things other than providing healthcare.
Obamacare DOES NOTHING to control healthcare costs. It doesn’t guarantee you will be able to find a doctor nor does it do anything to ensure that if you find a doctor you will receive proper care.
Obamacare GUARANTEES healthcare insurance company profits.
END OF PART 1