Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

Understand the right way to reform health care… with short podcasts!

CBO says that the total cost of Obamacare is 1.3 trillion over 10 years

CBO says that the total cost of Obamacare is 1.3 trillion over 10 years

Source: The Heritage Foundation

The problem with health care today in the United States is that medical care and services cost too much. Now, everyone seems to think that the only solution to this problem is to go with a single-payer system like Canada or Cuba. Only one problem: there is another solution that no one is talking about: consumer-driven health care. And this is the only solution that actually works.

At lunch yesterday, I went to the Chinese buffet and started to read a new book on this issue by Regina Hertzlinger, a professor at Harvard University who specializes in health care policy. So now I understand it a little more. And I managed to round up a few podcasts that can explain her idea of consumer-driven health care to you, too. (I listed them in a sensible order)

Consumer-driven health care:

Health Care: Fostering Focus Factories
with Dr. Regina Hertzlinger
(8:46)

Choice, Competition Should Drive Health Care Reform
with Dr. Michael D. Tanner
(5:21)

The Republican Plan (“Patient Choice Act”) is consumer-driven:

Obama’s False Health Care Choice
with Rep. Paul Ryan
(10:39)

Ideas for Free-Market Health Care Reform
with Rep. Paul Ryan
(8:30)

Obamacare, Medicare, RomneyCare and CanadaCare are all garbage:

Competing with the Government
with Dr. Michael F. Cannon
(7:34)

Medicare: A Model for Reform?
with Dr. Michael D. Tanner
(4:34)

Lessons from Massachusetts Health Care Reform
with Dr. Michael D. Tanner
(4:18)

The Canadian Health Care Experience
with Sally C. Pipes
(7:45)

Puncturing the Myths of American Health Care
with Sally C. Pipes
(about 8 minutes)

Check out this article from the Wall Street Journal entitled “Universal Health Care Isn’t Worth Our Freedom”. (H/T Club For Growth)

This is the key insight that everyone must understand:

Many Americans would willingly pay for insurance to protect them against the exorbitant cost of treating their own leukemia. But how many Americans would willingly pay for insurance to protect them from the expenses of treating their own depression?

Everyone recognizes that the more fully we wish insurance companies to defray our out of pocket expenses for our car repairs, the higher the premium they will charge for the policy. Yet foregoing reimbursement for trivial or unnecessary health-care costs in return for a more suitable health-care policy is an option unavailable under the present system. Everyone with health insurance is compelled to protect himself from risks, such as alcoholism and erectile dysfunction, that he would willingly shoulder in exchange for a lower premium.

Liberty means choosing the right amount to pay for your own health care, based on your own lifestyle choices, and your own risk assessment. Anything less is tyranny.

Along those lines, people who are sexually promiscuous or who abuse drugs will be paying the same medical premiums as everyone else, under Obama’s health care plan. Your lifestyle decisions are irrelevant to the amount you pay and the amount of coverage you get.

Excerpt:

Under the terms of the health-care reform bill approved by the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, the legal use of tobacco products is the only vice for which insurance companies will be able to charge their customers higher premiums.

…In other words, a person could have been admitted to hospitals three times for heroin overdoses, or been pregnant five times out of wedlock, or been treated for venereal diseases at least once per year for the past five years, but none of these factors could be used to charge that person a higher insurance premium.

This is a massive transfer of wealth from clean–living, productive citizens to citizens who are not minimizing lifestyle risks and who are not productive. This is nothing but a massive incentive for people to stop working and stop being moral. What would be the point to restraining yourself? Someone else will pay for your mistakes anyway, right? And that’s just what the compassionate, progressive secular-leftists want. To abolish income differentials and the privileges of moral living. So everyone will be the same, and no one will feel bad for being lazy and immoral.

And as if that wasn’t bad enough…

Investors Business Daily is reporting this scary story.

Excerpt:

It didn’t take long to run into an “uh-oh” moment when reading the House’s “health care for all Americans” bill. Right there on Page 16 is a provision making individual private medical insurance illegal.

As Ed Morrissey explains in this Hot Air article, the government has a track record running health care programs already, such as the Indian Health Service. This is a single-payer system run by the federal government. Click through to the article and find out how good of a job government does of running anything. People are dying. Government-run health care is an inefficient system that allows bureaucrats to decide how health care is rationed.

Books I am reading about health care

Right now, I’ve picked out 3 books on health care to help me learn about the issue.

Who Killed Health Care?: America’s $2 Trillion Medical Problem – and the Consumer-Driven Cure
by Dr. Regina Herzlinger

The Cure: How Capitalism Can Save American Health Care
by David Gratzer, M.D.

The Top Ten Myths of American Health Care
by Sally C. Pipes

The latter two books are by Canadians intimately familiar with the Canadian single-payer system.

Filed under: Podcasts, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

10 Responses

  1. ECM says:

    I daresay that dentists could teach us a thing or two about consumer-driven health care…

  2. ECM says:

    Alright, I know you’re trying to save some bucks on health care, but I don’t think you should be visiting Dr. Doolittle even if he does give you a nice treat after he’s checked you over for worms.

    • Not for me! I am just using it as an example of how privatized care works fine – no line-ups, reasonable costs. But we could still improve it even more by allowing voluntary insurance plans selected from anywhere in the country. And publish all the prices up front, and the previous outcomes from other customers. We need to make health care purchases like Amazon.com purchases.

      Listen to Regina’s podcast, it explains her idea more.

  3. Clint says:

    “Someone else will pay for your mistakes anyway, right? And that’s just what the compassionate, progressive secular-leftists want. To abolish income differentials and the privileges of moral living. So everyone will be the same, and no one will feel bad for being lazy and immoral.”

    One, I don’t think it’s fair to say that privilege comes from “moral living” — a lesson we’ve been re-learning thanks to Wall St.

    Second, I think your view that humans need coercive economic motivation to live moral lives contradicts your adherence to freedom, as opposed to tyranny. If my free state of being is immoral, why should I be free? Shouldn’t you want to restrain me?

    I wrote a piece reacting to Sasz, here, if you’re interested.

    • One: so long as a person chooses to finish high school, refrain from pre-marital sex, and to work at any minimum wage job, then they will not be poor. That is what I mean by the privileges of moral living. A few good decisions leads to prosperity. (This is from economist Walter Williams)

      Two: Humans need no external coercion or motivation to make those 3 decisions. They need to be informed about what life is like by their parents, and they must face the consequences of failure, if they choose not to make those decisions rightly. That is all they need. They need to be coerced by real life, not by me.

      And we are doing young people NO FAVORS by riding in on a white horse with some productive taxpayer’s money to bail them out when they are 20, because that’s the way they will be when they are 40 unless they learn the hard way when they are 20. I am in favor of charity, but I like to be asked. (I gave away $700 this week, for example) Trust me, we have a 40 year-old TV-watching layabout in my own family – he was coddled by everybody.

      As long as I do not have to transfer my wealth to fix the problems caused by failing to make those 3 decisions correctly, then no other restraint of individuals is needed.

      Great challenge. I am a little strained right now, sorry if this came out wrong. You were awesome, though.

      • Jerry says:

        working a minimum wage job will not let you propser, it will let you subsist, believe me – I grew up in the foster care system with only foster parents (i.e., orphan because I was never truly adopted) – I left the sytem for many reasons when I was 16 and worked mostly minimum wage jobs. I never had enough money in the bank account if something big were to come up. I drove a very cheap vehicle (all I could afford) that only needed the bare minimum insurance, I did all the work myself, I didn’t have a phone or cable, health insurance, my clothes were all walmart and only when worn out – you forget about things like rent, electric, water, food (a big one unless ironically you buy junk food), auto insurance, auto gas, auto maintenance (routine – oil, gas, wipers, fluid, tires). This was all when minimum wage was 5.25 – which it still was a decade later until a year or so ago. 5 * 40 = $200 – 50 (taxes) = 150 a week – it’s not much. Any major thing goes wrong – think you need to have your vehicle towed, a cold winter, you fall down the stairs and break a wrist because you try to use as little electric as possible…I think you get the point

  4. Jerry says:

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/31777054/ns/health-health_care/

    It’s a great idea a group of doctors in seattle are doing – everyone just pays a monthly premium to this group and they can go as often as they want – think of it as belonging to a medical club! You still need to get catastrophic medical insurance (heart attacks, etc), but most of your medical needs are met by this small monthly premium – it’s very innovative and I think very effective. Much better than the medicine Obama’s pushing.

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