Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Goal of Government Health Care

Here are the first two paragraphs of New Mexico Senator Tom Udall's response to an e-mail urging him to vote "No" on the health care bill presently before the Senate:

"This past weekend, the Senate took an important step toward providing quality, affordable health coverage for all Americans by voting to begin debate on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. This bill is a solid foundation for debate and I'm confident that it will save lives, save jobs, save money and save Medicare.

"This reform will provide the help that the one in four New Mexicans without health insurance so greatly need. And not only is it fully paid for, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office analysis of this bill shows it will actually reduce the federal deficit by about $130 billion over the first ten years."

This is a typical instance of how politicians respond to constituent's communications---and what they reveal about their own goals.

The Senate did indeed take "an important step." What is the goal of that step?

Senator Udall claims that government health care provides "quality, affordable health coverage." But it has been well documented that under government health care, medical quality declines and research stagnates. Medical professionals become over-loaded with work. They are crushed with fatigue and mind-stultifying paper work. Performance suffers. Improvements in techniques, procedures and medicines slow, eventually to cease. Similarly, the long lines, the postponed treatment, the uncertainty of being able to obtain proper treatment, the anxiety attendant upon being forced to trust those one has not chosen, affects patients deleteriously. The "quality" of government health care will be poor.

Is poor health care the goal of the Senate's "important step?" Most people in poor health do not have much physical or mental stamina. It is difficult to focus one's mind on one's work and plans---let alone cultural problems---even when one has a bad cold. That difficulty increases drastically when one is in seriously poor health. But surely politicians do not really want to impose poor health upon Americans. Do they?

Let's see. The government produces nothing. It earns no money. Its notion of "affordable health coverage" means stealing from those who have earned their money and giving it to those who have not. But those stolen dollars do not go to the medical professional. It goes to bureaucrats and politicians who dole out medical services by pull and favor. Meanwhile, medical professionals will be forced to work for less than their skills deserve. Mr. Obama has said, he will decide what doctors are paid.

What does this do to a mind that must focus on complex procedures, weigh scores of variables, examine dozens of possible avenues to solve a medical problem? How long can a mind accept such injustice? Will it be rendered malleable under such duress? Does over-work kill one's capacity to protest such an invasion of one's life and work? Is this the goal of politicians' "important step?"

Udall claims that government health care "will save lives, save jobs, save money and save Medicare." How does one save Medicare by cutting it drastically and adding 30 million more patients to its rolls? Certainly, government health care will save politicians' lives since they will be exempt from it. It will save politicians' jobs, too, since Americans will be legally prohibited from refusing government health care. We can't hold them responsible if we break the law. The jobs of politicians will not be threatened. Ours will.

Government health care will surely result in more money for politicians. The more bills passed, the more politicians will rake in money from bribes, deals, extorted sums and lucrative favors. This could be construed as "saving" their money. Is that the goal? To control our pocketbooks?

Think again. The working of your mind is the motor that earns your income. Your income pays for your food; so, any regulation on what you earn is in effect a regulation on your mind. Regulations on your health choices and preferences are of the same kind. That is the goal toward which politician's "important steps" are taken. And that is what government health care is all about. It is about control of you and your choices, i.e. your mind.

Mind control? No. What is happening today is not a matter of some injection that overrides your mental functions. It is an attempt to control your actions, which are the result of your thinking---or lack of it---by making you think that government health care is "helping others." Senator Udall states that government health care will "help . . . one in four New Mexicans without health insurance [they] so greatly need."

You've been taught ad nauseum that helping others is vastly important; so, you might forget that Americans are the most generous people on earth. They have the most charities, philanthropic organizations, foundations and free clinics. You might also forget to ask about the other three New Mexicans who will be forced to pay for that one. Why must others fork over their paycheck to provide him with coverage he either doesn't want or need?

Senator Udall claims government health care "will actually reduce the federal deficit by about $130 billion over the first ten years." This is a lie. The present Medicare program shows that government health care increases costs and spending. A $898 billion health care plan cannot reduce a deficit. One cannot reduce one's debt by increasing one's spending.

Come 2010, such politicians as Udall on every level must be swept out of office.

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At November 29, 2009 at 2:41 PM , Blogger Jeffery Small said...

At least your Senator is going to save $130 billion with this plan. My senator, Patty Murray, only plans to save $127 billion. Maybe she and a few other Senators are planning to pocket the remaining $3 billion for all of their hard work for our benefit?

Of course, I agree with everything you say here.

At November 29, 2009 at 8:56 PM , Blogger Minuteman said...

I have a cousin who is a year younger than I. My cousin decided early in life that he wanted to be a doctor. He applied to med school but was not accepted. He applied again and was rejected. After his third application he was advised to stop applying and select another profession. Without any thought of accepting defeat he left Michigan and moved to Mexico City, learned to speak Spanish and when his fluency was adequate he applied to med school. After years of studying and learning the skills of a doctor, in a foreign language, he returned to the US where he successfully passed all certification testing to practice medicine here. My cousin went on to choose a specialty as a Pediatric Ophthalmologist and surgeon. He has taught at prestigious hospitals such as Henry Ford Hospital. Today, his surgical skills are in great demand for such things as repairing eye trauma suffered by children. His time is booked months in advance by people from far and wide who desperately need his skills to protect and restore the sight of their children. He works impossible hours while still raising a family, coaching youth hockey and constantly improving the knowledge and skills of his profession. This is the most dedicated man I know. He let nothing stop him from achieving his goal to become a doctor.

Why tell this story? Think about what kind of person this is. Do you think that you'd like to find skills such as his if your child suffered traumatic eye injury? If your grandchild had a degenerative eye disease would you move mountains to get an appointment with such a passionate and skilled physician? Do you think a mind and spirit such as his can exist in an health care environment where the government calls the shots? Would he have undertaken his incredible journey of unrelenting dedication if, in the end, he could expect to enter a bureaucratic nightmare on a daily basis just in order to practice whatever medicine the state would allow?

Where do those who favor a fascist health care system expect to find a doctor? You make a man a slave then command him to save your life? Really?

At December 4, 2009 at 2:12 AM , Blogger 五月天 said...

Better late than never................

At December 17, 2009 at 3:00 AM , Blogger shelbylmoorhead said...


At January 17, 2010 at 5:05 AM , Blogger American Egoist said...

I don't think it matters which States get more and which less.The whole point is that in order for the government to "give", it first must "take". Since the nature of government is "force" and not malevolent equalizer & provider this "must" then result in less freedom/right to action for individuals, thus for residents in "every" State, Nebraska to Alaska, surviving & thriving becomes X amount more difficult.

At January 19, 2010 at 2:07 AM , Blogger 娃娃 said...


At February 9, 2010 at 2:14 AM , Blogger 20111 said...


At February 11, 2010 at 2:54 PM , Blogger Ottens said...

Dear Sylvia,

Sorry to use the Comments function for this purpose but I couldn't find another way to contact you. Could you drop me an email at perhaps? Thanks!



At February 20, 2010 at 7:05 PM , Blogger Michael said...

Rather than decry one group or another and reveal a decidedly weak ethno-centric viewpoint, or to attack the benefits or weaknesses of a particular piece of legislation, how about stepping up and offering some solutions?

It's easy to be the critic, anyone can sit on the sidelines and talk about how things could be better, it takes real courage to step out there and make a positive change.

Let's examine some core components of the issue, not label people or place blame, but rather acknowledge systemic problems and find ways to address them:

1. The fundamental economics of private healthcare, the rationale that "a patient cured is a customer lost" is a poor model (yes, I know, financing private healthcare with government dollars doesn't make healthcare public)

2. The supposed advantage of private healthcare is greater efficiency due to the economic incentives to cut out waste from the system

3. Most of the advantages of point 2 are undermined by the insurance structure, legal system (ridiculously high and frequent lawsuits against doctors), and government regulations present in the US

4. The objective of any healthcare system should be to provide the best quality of care to the most people for the lowest cost

Just before I go on, I'd like to address some of these questions about quality of care. Having experienced numerous healthcare systems I can tell you the experience of healthcare in the US is one of the most pleasant. On the other hand, let's take a look at the statistics:

Infant Mortality 2009:
United States = 6.22
Cuba = 5.82
EU = 5.72
Italy = 5.51
Canada = 5.04
UK = 4.85
Israel = 4.22
Germany = 3.99
France = 3.33
Japan = 2.79
Singapore = 2.31

The US, the only country without universal public healthcare has literally twice the infant mortality rate as many other developed countries.

Life Expectancy at Birth:
United States (#49 in the world) = 78.11
EU = 78.67
UK = 79.01
Germany = 79.26
Italy = 80.20
Israel = 80.73
France = 80.98
Canada = 81.23
Singapore = 81.98
Japan = 82.12

With supposedly "better" healthcare, the average lifespan in the US is a full 3 years less than Canada.

- Source is CIA World Fact Book

All of this in spite of the fact that the US spends more per capita on healthcare than any other country in the world as well as a higher percentage of her GDP.

This would seemingly counter the argument that a private system is either more efficient or more effective. But rather than tackling private vs. public, let's tackle the very nature of efficiency and effectiveness combined with some other factors that are critical to determining a better course of action:

1. Assumption 1 - Health is primarily government not by the quality of healthcare, but by quality of lifestyle

2. Assumption 2 - Efficiency is not directly linked to cost (a more efficient system where people are paid much more could still cost more)

3. Assumption 3 - Reducing corruption, and bureaucracy, invariably reduces costs

What role can healthcare take in improving lifestyle to decrease costs?

If you were to develop an ultra efficient healthcare system, how would it function?

How can we create economic incentives for efficiency within the system?

I'll leave those questions for now.

At March 4, 2010 at 7:41 PM , Blogger 請吃飯 said...


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