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Socialized Medicine


Interesting commentary about compulsory health care from Powerlineblog.com.

"Forcing Young People Into the System

"The least-acknowledged fact in the present debate over health care is that many millions of Americans have no good reason to buy health insurance. This is especially true of single young people, above all single men. They rarely become seriously ill, and they know that if they are unlucky enough to be in an accident or contract a serious illness, they will be treated anyway. So, quite properly, they see no reason to pay for health insurance or--the same thing--place a high value on health insurance as an employment benefit.

Pizza Hut learned this a few years ago when it pioneered a program that made health insurance available to its part-time workers at remarkably advantageous rates. To the company's surprise, few of its part-time employees--fewer than ten percent, as I recall--signed up for the plan. Even at subsidized rates, the vast majority of young, single employees had no interest in spending money on health insurance.

Thus, the crocodile tears that are shed over "the uninsured" are by no means entirely genuine. One of the basic purposes of just about anyone's "health care plan" is to find a way to force those millions of young, single people to pay for the health care required by their elders.

Hillary Clinton confronted this issue today on ABC's This Week, and made news with her willingness to garnish wages to force Americans into unwilling participation in her health care system:

Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton said Sunday she might be willing to garnish the wages of workers who refuse to buy health insurance to achieve coverage for all Americans.

The New York senator has criticized presidential rival Barack Obama for pushing a health plan that would not require universal coverage. Clinton has not always specified the enforcement measures she would embrace, but when pressed on ABC's "This Week," she said: "I think there are a number of mechanisms" that are possible, including "going after people's wages, automatic enrollment."

Clinton said such measures would apply only to workers who can afford health coverage but refuse to buy it, which puts undue pressure on hospitals and emergency rooms.

Of course, acknowledging that a great many Americans "refuse to buy" health insurance makes a mockery of the Democrats' constant attempts to equate a lack of health insurance with a lack of health care.

The need to force participation by people for whom health insurance is a bad investment is not unique to Hillary Clinton's plan. Any system that tries to achieve universal health insurance will require compulsion. Mitt Romney's web site describes his plan to make private health insurance available to everyone, but doesn't say what he will do about those who make a rational choice not to buy insurance. I believe I've heard Romney say that we have to be prepared to refuse such people treatment at hospital emergency rooms, at least for non-emergencies; if I'm misquoting him, his campaign can correct me and I'll publish an update.

There is an analogy between the compulsory aspects of the candidates' health care proposals and Social Security. A young man or woman would be crazy to participate in the Social Security system if he or she had any choice. If anyone saved 12.4% of his earnings over a lifetime, he would not only have far more money in retirement than Social Security can provide, it would, equally important, be his money, to invest and dispose of as he sees fit. But the government needs young people's money to support their grandparents' retirements, so Social Security is forced upon them. The same thing, in essence, will happen with health care if any comprehensive "reform" plan is adopted.  "


Entry #773


jarasanComment by jarasan - February 5, 2008, 2:12 pm
This is true and makes so much sense. Thank You.

I've paid for health, dental insurance since my twenties, the only one I really needed was the dental, the health was rarely used.
konaneComment by konane - February 5, 2008, 2:35 pm
Thanks Jarasan!

Too many laws are being hatched in back rooms legally forcing us to pay for too many things.
Rick GComment by Rick G - February 6, 2008, 9:16 am
Compulsory health insurance is not the answer. If frivolous lawsuits and excessive liability damages against health practitioners, hospitals, and drug companies were eliminated, we could cut our health insurance premiums dramatically.
konaneComment by konane - February 6, 2008, 9:25 am
Thanks Rick G!! Yes and health care costs are skyrocketing today propelled by malpractice suits and being bled dry by illegals not paying into the system but being paid by the system. Rant could go on for pages. Our kids have enough to pay for already.
Rick GComment by Rick G - February 6, 2008, 10:08 am
Konane, think of how much easier it would be for a congressional subcommittee were to sit down and hammer out reasonable caps in malpractice suits than it would be to overhaul the whole system. There is nothing wrong with the system, it's the cost and the increased cost is directly related to excessive malpractice suit awards and subsequent increases in liability premiums for health care providers.

This should be the first line of attack but I haven't heard any of the candidates address it in their health care reform packages. Congress is too busy addressing steroid use in baseball to be of any use in the solution. So we're getting the typical government knee-jerk reaction of throwing the baby out with the bath water.

Speaking of lawsuits in general, you could cut those in half if the losing party had to pay the winning party's legal fees and associated costs of going to trial.
jarasanComment by jarasan - February 6, 2008, 11:20 am
RickG you are spot on!
konaneComment by konane - February 6, 2008, 11:34 am
Yep, yep, yep agree totally. Common sense does not exist in government because it's run by lawyers looking out for their own.

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