Melissa Clouther, who knows a thing or three about health care, has some sage words of advice:
There is one thing you should know, yea two things that should make your decision: One, we simply cannot afford government-run health care. Period. That idea should be the foundation of any plan you see. If a plan involves the government disbursing even one penny, know it is a plan that is unworkable because the Fed already lacks funds. Two, doctors and patients already hate government-run health care. Think VA, Medicaid and Medicare. They are in debt. The care sucks. Patients wait for doctors, if they can find one. Necessary care is not covered. Doctors get paid jack and are about to get paid less if Congress and the Prez have their way, which will result in more doctors quitting as providers causing more misery for patients.
I ran into a gang of government health care aficionados on Twitter last night, and I asked them two questions. The first was, “Do you think you have enough control over your own health care?”. The second was like unto the first, “Do you think that the government will truly give you more control over your health care?”
The truth of the matter is that we have surprisingly little choice over what health care we get and when. Most people, I dare say up over 90 percent, have no idea what a routine doctor’s visit actually costs or what their policy really costs. We get the care we are allowed to have by their doctor and health insurance company (or, worse, by the government).
More importantly, the policies our government have put into place ensure that your health insurance company doesn’t see you as a customer but as an expense.
This article on employer-provided insurance is a good place to start, so at least skim it before you go on.
After you’ve gone over that article, ask yourself if you bought you health insurance plan. If you have insurance through your employer, the answer will be no. You didn’t buy your plan and you have little to no power to influence the price of your plan of what it does and does not cover. Until that changes, health care will continue to be expensive, no matter how much the government controls. The truth of the matter is that, thanks to government intrusion, we have little choice or control over our own health care and Barack Obama isn’t going to make that any better, no matter what he says. Only when the government gets itself out of the health insurance business will you get back the power you need to bring costs down and get better quality care. Nothing else is going to do it.
(Cross-posted at The Greenroom)