How to reform the U.S. "health care" system is a continuing topic in the news. I put that phrase in quotes because it's a misnomer. You don't insure your health – that can't be done.
How to reform the U.S. "health care" system is a continuing topic in the news. I put that phrase in quotes because it's a misnomer. You don't insure your health – that can't be done. You can only insure that the costs of medical care, if your health fails, will be covered. Saying "health care" makes people think that someone else will magically assure their health, which is impossible. Collectivists like to use the phrase as part of their continuing war on what words mean, and how people think.
Health is something you do for yourself with proper diet, exercise, and lifestyle decisions. Medical care is something very different; it's what you need for acute trauma or disease. People want good health, but all insurance can give them is hospitals, doctors, and medicines – all of which are scary.
In any event, there does seem to be universal agreement on two related matters. One, that Americans are overweight, underexercised, and overmedicated. Two, that the U.S. medical care system is "broken" and something needs to be done. I have a radical proposal, even though there's not a chance in hell it will ever be adopted or even discussed in public.
Here it is: Not only should there be no form of national medical care, but Medicare, Medicaid, the FDA, and all laws regulating anything to do with medicine and health should be abolished. Why? Because they are the actual cause of the crisis.
These schemes and bureaucracies will, in fact, eventually disappear. But not in a controlled or planned way. They're going to disappear for the same reason the Soviet Union did – because they're inefficient, uneconomic, and unsustainable. Although the U.S. medical system is technologically excellent, it's long been way too overloaded with paperwork and legalism. Obamacare made it much worse, and ensures that the collapse is going to be bigger, sooner, and with more widespread consequences.
That's the bad news. The good news is that you don't have to be sucked into the maelstrom with everybody else.
The national "health care" controversy isn't about a technical issue, like how to provide medical care cheaply. It's about basic ethics. Do you have a legal or moral obligation to pay for the consequences of some stranger's bad habits or bad luck? I'm not, therefore, going into statistics or throwing out reams of numbers about costs. That only serves to distract from the essence of what this is all about.
It's said to be a tragedy and a scandal that millions of Americans don't have medical insurance. My first reaction to that is: So what? A lot of people feel they don't need insurance because they're young, healthy, and risk-oriented. Others don't want it, because they can afford to self-insure. Insurance is not a necessity; it's just a financial planning tool. Up until the 20th century, nobody on the planet had health insurance.
The whole issue of medical insurance basically arose during World War II, when the government locked the country down with strict wage and price controls. Employers couldn't legally induce workers with cash money, so they offered benefits, prominently including medical coverage. This was an especially rich benefit during the high-tax war years, because it was tax-deductible to employers while tax-free to employees.