"He who does not think himself worth saving from poverty and ignorance by his own efforts, will hardly be thought worth the efforts of anybody else." -- Frederick Douglass, Self-Made Men (1872)
I don't understand why conservatives are so offended by the idea of trying to provide affordable health care for everyone. Who cares if health care isn't a right? It shouldn't be a luxury either. Capitalism exists to distribute resources and it seems pretty obvious that in the case of health care, it isn't doing a very effective or efficient job of it. We are already paying more for less than many other countries and we don't even have universal care. If the market isn't working to meet the demand that exists, then that suggests that their are elements in the market which are exploiting it. That is the justification for the government to intervene by discovering exploitation and providing tools by which to bring the market back into efficiency. The way I see it, health care really could lead to a market failure down the road unless something is done.
Lack of health insurance is not the only or even the primary reason Americans health are so poor. We are fat and lazy. We eat junk third world countries would not eat. The best way to lower our health care cost is to start living healthy. This would make a much greater impact than any reform bill by a Democrat or a Republican.
Federal Reserve policy is continual price increases. Prices, including health care, continue to rise in part because of Federal Reserve policy. Even if Obamacare is passed. A government option is created. Health care prices will continue to rise. No one is even addressing this issue at all. The last thirty to forty years has seen the slow destruction of the middle class. Prices have risen faster than wages. The destruction of the dollar has impacted citizens ability to pay for a lot of things, including health care.
Government standards and the idea that health care is right increase costs. For example, as a kid I got bronchitis every year. Both my parents were smokers. Every year the doctor gave me medicine. Every year it would run its course. When I got older I stopped going to the doctor. Guess what. It lasted about as long as it did with medicine. Finally I moved out of my parents house. I no longer get bronchitis at all.
You see, my parents had good insurance from the military. My mom didn't want me to feel sick. So she took me to the doctor. The doctor didn't want to tell her that it would pass in time. That I would be OK. So he game me some bubble gum tasting antibiotic. It was unnecessary.
The point I'm trying to make is this. There is difference between someone dying in the street because no one will treat them and our health care system tending every bump, bruise, cough or cold. My mom thought nothing of taking me to the doctor. Why? She didn't have to pay the full cost. So every sneeze or sniffle was a trip to the doctor. She isn't the only one that behaves this way.
Contrast that to my father who grew up poor. He never went to the doctor. Hell, he got kicked in the chest as a kid. He laid on his parents couch for days hurting with every breath. He never went to the doctor. To this day his chest is concave. That is an extreme example, but you get the picture.
Increasing health care cost should be an incentive for Americans to take better care of themselves. If those with insurance were required to pay for unnecessary or excessive care. They might reevaluate their health as well. Government standards would require health insurance companies to pay for doctor visits. If it costs families so little. Why not run to the doctor every time you have a problem? Why eat better and exercise? When you can get that heart surgery at 45 for a $1500 deductible. No, no. These health reform plans don't address the real problems. They socialize the costs of care. Spreading them among the populace in what politicians feel is a more balanced way. The truth is that you cannot escape the costs of your lifestyle nor that of your neighbors. The poor, middle class and wealthy all will pay for health reform. You aren't saving those less fortunate a dime. You are simply changing the way they pay for it.