Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Socialized health insurance should not be conflated with Socialized Medicine

Just a note on the state of our health care system.

I frequently speak of socialized health insurance. Some, especially those opposing anything with the word "social" in it conflate socialized insurance with socialized medicine.

The two are mutually exclusive. Both may travel together like they do in the British health care system, but they are not required to do so.

Socialized health insurance doesn't make doctors or hospitals employees of the government, whereas socialized medicine does.

My advocacy of socialized health insurance derives from a serious and significant problem common in capitalistic systems: Externalization of Costs.

Our current health care system externalizes the cost of providing care to poor and under-insureds to the rest of the system. They do this by increasing costs to those that can pay.

My position on health care has a moral component, but more importantly is economic. Morally, is it proper to harm a segment of the population and to charge the remainder more for health care than is necessary? I think not.

The costs of providing health care cannot be avoided forever and to best deal with those costs, it is better to manage them from a proactive stance of socializing them rather than using the current ad hoc approach.

Ad hoc approaches are not cost-effective due to inefficiencies that inevitably creep in. Ad hoc approaches still socializes the costs, so why not get control of those from the outset rather than letting the chips fall where they great and unnecessary expense?

If we can reduce by 20% or more health care costs for the country as a whole through socializing insurance for basic and preventative care, then we're doing everyone a favor. It's the fiscally conservative thing to do.

My proposal allows people to maintain private insurance and allows doctors and hospitals to work for themselves instead of the government.

I challenge anyone to call my plan socialized medicine. It isn't.

I also challenge anyone claiming to be a fiscal conservative to continue advocating a system that adds upwards of 20% to the cost of health care for no apparent reason other than to give windfalls to doctors and hospitals while letting insurance companies off the hook.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I actually started a blog once. Lasted about three days. Apparently I'm opinionated AND lazy.