In trying in recent weeks to put my finger on exactly what it is the single worst feature about the Obamacare proposal, there are many things that come to mind… massive government control, exploding deficits, very real possibilities for abuses in the area of abortion and euthanasia… to name just a few off the top of my head.
However, it seems to me that the place to start is with the fundamental underlying premise – that we just have to do “something” about the uninsured. While I don’t accept the inflated figure so often tossed around of “45 million without healthcare” (particularly since a large percentage of those simply lack health insurance, not health care … many of these by their own choice) , it is probably reasonable to say that there is some number uninsured through no fault of their own… likely in the range of 10-15 million. Using the high end of that range for argument’s sake, that works out to approximately 4.25% of the US population. This would seem to be in line with a number of national polls that show 80-85% of Americans as generally satisfied with their own healthcare. (There always seems to be 10% who complain about everything!)
So, in essence, what we’re talking about doing is tearing the entire system apart and remaking it for the sake of 4.25% of the population. Maybe that makes sense in Obamaworld, but it makes absolutely no sense to me. Judging from the huge numbers of people showing up at Congressional townhall meetings to speak out against this plan, it seems that it doesn’t make much sense to a very large number of others as well…and is further demonstrated by the absolute freefall the plan is experiencing in national polls.
In trying to capsulate this into an understandable illustration, I came up with the following: Suppose that my house has some serious plumbing problems. There are a number of approaches I can take to relieve the problem: fix it myself (not likely), find a friend with more knowledge to tackle it with me or pay a professional to fix it. One thing that I’m not likely to do, however, is burn down the whole house so that I can build a new one with better plumbing! I’ m particularly not going to try this approach if my neighbor tried it a few years ago and is now facing bankruptcy because of his giant mortgage on the new house…and his plumbing still leaks!
In a nutshell, that’s what I see the idiots in Congress doing – burning down the whole house of one of the best healthcare systems ever devised. Is it perfect? Of course not! Nothing built by human beings ever is. But there are plenty of ways of improving it without destroying it in the process… tort reform to stop frivolous lawsuits, allowing medical insurance to be sold across state lines, greater use of medical savings accounts, to name a few.
Like I said, fix the plumbing…don’t burn down the house!