I know, most of you have already figured out why I oppose national health care. In a nutshell, I hate the poor and want them to die so that all my rich friends can use their bodies as mulch for their diamond ranches. But y'all keep asking, so here goes the longer explanation. . . .
I'm afraid that instead of Security Theater, we'll get Health Care Theater, where the government goes to elaborate lengths to convince us that we're getting the best possible health care, without actually providing it. . . .
It's not that I think that private companies wouldn't like to cut innovation. But in the presence of even rudimentary competition, they can't. Monopolies are not innovative, whether they are public or private. . . .
[T]heoretical innovation is not the same thing as product innovation. We tend to think of innovation as a matter of a mad scientist somewhere making a Brilliant Discovery!!! but in fact, innovation is more often a matter of small steps towards perfection.
The one industry where the government is the sole buyer, defense, does not have an encouraging record of cost-effective, innovative procurement. . . .
At this juncture in the conversation, someone almost always breaks in and says, "Why don't you tell that to an uninsured person?" I have. Specifically, I told it to me. I was uninsured for more than two years after grad school, with an autoimmune disease and asthma. I was, if anything, even more militant than I am now about government takeover of insurance.
But you can also turn this around: why don't you tell some person who has a terminal condition that sorry, we can't afford to find a cure for their disease? There are no particularly happy choices here. The way I look at it, one hundred percent of the population is going to die of something that we can't currently cure, but might in the future . . . plus the population of the rest of the world, plus every future generation. If you worry about global warming, you should worry at least as hard about medical innovation. . . .
These aren't just a way to save on health care; they're a way to extend and expand the cultural hegemony of wealthy white elites. No, seriously. Living a fit, active life is correlated with being healthier. But then, as an economist recently pointed out to me, so is being religious, being married, and living in a small town; how come we don't have any programs to promote these "healthy lifestyles"? When you listen to obesity experts, or health wonks, talk, their assertions boil down to the idea that overweight people are either too stupid to understand why they get fat, or have not yet been made sufficiently aware of society's disgust for their condition. Yet this does not describe any of the overweight people I have ever known . . . .
The elderly are also wasting a lot of our hard earned money with their stupid "last six months" end-of-life care. Eliminating this waste is almost entirely the concern of men under 45 or 50, and women under 25. On the other hand, that describes a lot of the healthcare bureaucracy, especially in public health. . . .
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
More Excellent Analysis of the "Public Option"
Straightforwardly erudite Meg McArdle of the Atlantic offers today a superb blog posting on her personal objections to "National Health Care." We SWNIDishly deem the reasoning pristine and the rhetoric highly amusing. On the latter point, we offer a generous sampling: