Healthcare in the U.S. is the best in history, and the best in the world. The only problem is that costs are too high. So, say Congress allows Uncle Sam to get his fingers on our healthcare system, what might happen?
Here is what you might expect in the near in the distant future with nationalized healthcare, either with the bill that's passed or the slippery slope created:
- Congress will tell you the government's goal is only to create a plan to compete with private companies, and to give those without insurance an option. However, while they say this with fingers crossed, they will know no private company can compete with the fed.
- Those who remain on private insurance programs will drop their current plans for the so called "free" government plan (just as what happened with government run schools). This will in turn increase the # of people on the government dole, and increase government costs.
- Non U.S. Residents with no insurance will qualify for the plan, increasing costs even more.
- To limit costs, the Fed will institute price controls on medicine and prescriptions
- Drs and hospitals will get one fee for all the services they do, regardless of how many services are done. Therefore, this will be an incentive for Drs to order fewer tests and cut back on waste (fewer useless breathing treatments). It might also mean your cancer isn't discovered early when it can be treated (not so good).
- With the government controlling costs, Drs will make less money and fewer youngsters will have in incentive to head out to medical school.
- Current Dr.s will decide it's not worth working as hard for less money.
- Many Dr.s will be irritated that their medical judgement is overruled by bureaucrats in Washington and quit.
- Many doctors will quit because they are against performing abortions on demand.
- Intelligent college age students will decide it's more lucrative to become a dentist, vet, or engineer rather than becoming a doctor.
- With fewer doctors, the cost of going to med school will rise to make up for the deficit. This will be yet another incentive for youngsters to clear clear of this profession.
- With few kids going to med school, standards for getting into and passing med school will be lowered, diminishing the quality of medical care.
- Fewer doctors will mean longer waiting lists to get into the doctors office (this is one of the biggest complaints in Britain and Canada, who often come to America for quicker service)
- Because price controls will cut into pharmaceutical profits, and reduce the incentive to spend billions on studying and researching new medicines, there will be fewer new meds available for diseases such as COPD and asthma.
- To cover the always higher than expected cost of government run programs, your taxes will have to go up. That's right: free healthcare is not free.
- With higher taxes, many businesses that sit on the bubble will close shop and this will in turn raise the unemployment rate.
- Many other businesses will have to make up for higher taxes by either raising prices (inflation) or laying off workers (increasing unemployment).
- To cut costs even more, the Fed will make it mandatory that every American get a yearly physical, making the waiting lists at already crowded hospitals even higher.
- To cut costs even more, the Fed will create a program where if your Body Mass Index is above a certain percentage you will have to pay more taxes, or see your benefits decreased.
- To cut HC costs even more, and make more money in the process, the government will impose a sin tax on all foods it considers unhealthy, such as cola, candy, birthday cake, ice cream, alcohol, and more. They've already done this with cigarettes.
- Perhaps somewhere down the road as healthcare costs continue to skyrocket despite the above efforts, all residents over the age of 60, or with terminal illness, will have to meet with a psychologist and local health care czar every five years to determine if it's even necessary to continue efforts to save your life at the expense of the younger, healthier generation.
- The Fed will then decide to create a quota for which diseases get treated and which one's do not.
- Since no one will be able to afford to sue the Fed, Dr.'s will won't have to worry about getting sued and therefore the less qualified underpaid physicians may get lazy.
- Since all Dr.s will be paid the same, there will be no incentive to specialize in high risk jobs such as heart surgery, lasik surgery, neuro surgery, etc. Why would doctors go to school 10 years to do those jobs when they can be a less stressful ER physician and make the same money.
- Since HC is perceived as free, people will rush to the ER for every nick and scrape instead of using common sense and already crowded ERs will be even more crowded.
- Despite overcrowding, since hospitals are underpaid by the Fed already, there won't be an incentive to expand.
I never was a fan of Pat Buchanan as he was running for president, but in a recent column he wrote something that made a whole lot of sense to me:
"Taxes drove the American Revolution, for we were a taxaphobic, liberty-loving people. That government is best that governs least is an Americanism."
Sticking to the topic of healthcare, if you think the healthcare system is messed up now, just wait until Uncle Sam gets his fingers upon our health care system. Yet, as always, I could be wrong.