We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
President Obama says that if his health care program doesnít pass Congress by this summer, itís dead.Itís dead already among Americans, but that hasnít yet penetrated the heavily Democrat Congress or the liberal majority of boosters among the major media, seemingly determined to proctologically ram it in.
Single-payer health care sounds good and it sounds free. It works out to single-buyer health care (in economic jargon, monopsony). A single buyer can theoretically set the price because there's no other market to sell to.
The single-payer system in actual practice has led to poor allocation of health care dollars, long waits, loss of innovation, and perhaps premature deaths. The taxes that pay for single-payer are commonly buried under the price of gasoline, the VAT, or a hike in income taxes.
Single-payer also drives resources out of the health-care market because people may not become doctors, technicians or nurses when the compensation falls. If reimbursements are low, it's hard to replace plant and equipment. Military health care in the U.S. shows some of the advantages and disadvantages of single-payer plans. The military healthcare system would founder without the civilian health system.
Our health care costs have risen primarily because we do more health care -- we treat cancer patients instead of waiting for them to die, we renew people's joints so they are more comfortable and mobile, we re-attach limbs in case they will recover enough to function. There are other factors but I doubt that they are all that important compared to new expectations about what we can do.
Healthcare is different from other economic goods because it's expensive to provide and it's utterly necessary at times. You might put off getting a new car but you're going to have your appendix out when it goes.
As far as I'm concerned, all the folks who are worried about the uninsured should be setting up charitable agencies to co-pay insurance for those who can't pay for their own. Use your money for your charity and I'll use my money where I want to contribute.