What If We Did Nothing

As I write this, the House just passed the health care reform bill. It’s not the bill I would have liked to have seen passed [there were way too many compromises and it’s structured differently than it should have been], but it’s a step in the right direction.

Critics say it’s not good to let government control our health care. Proponents say it provides needed competition to the private healthcare industry. Both sides will never come to an agreement, mostly due to political lines. But at some point, those without access to affordable health care should be taken care of. In fact, I’ll go so far as to say they need to be taken care of. Need? Why would they need to be cared for? Why should we pay for other’s health care? Everyone should fend for themselves. No government assistance. Just go to the doctor and get treated when you are sick.

So what would happen if we did nothing.

  • Those that have no coverage would end up paying the entire bill each time they went to the doctor or hospital
  • Those that can’t pay their bill may end up leaving a balance due
  • The doctors and hospitals can’t write off every single debt
  • They cover these losses by increasing their costs to those that are insured
  • Each year, private insurance companies raise their rates, using the phrase “due to increased costs” as the main reason
  • A human is no different than an automobile. It needs regular maintenance.
  • Unlike an automobile, a human can’t simply be abandoned for another model that works
  • For each child born into an uninsured family, the costs are increased
  • The first years of a child’s health care needs are critical to ensure a healthy start to life
  • Those that require certain prescriptions will go without if they had to pay full price
  • Not every person that works is covered by a employer subsidized health care plan

I could go on with this list. The point I’m making here is this: One way or another, health care costs are going to go up. The private industry has no competition. They charge pretty much what they want, without much regulation to stop them. With a competitor, and with proper regulation, they will be forced to keep costs down. They can’t rape and pillage those that are covered. Those without coverage will have coverage. Instead of going without, they can be treated.

It does come at a cost. This isn’t going to be cheap. Those that fight for smaller government are completely against this. But yet, doing nothing will continue the monopoly and political slighting that goes on in the private health care industry today.

As I said above, this plan is not perfect. But if we waited for the perfect plan, we would never have one. You have to start somewhere and sometime. And that time is now.

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