Health Care Reform: The Need For Critical Thinking   Leave a comment

Health Care Reform: The Need for Critical Thinking

 

A high school friend has pointed out to me some of the issues that may have an effect on how public opinion may be influenced in regard to government involvement in health care.   I have heard these statements before but had not seriously thought them through critically.   I wish to thank my former high school colleague for bringing these issues back to my consciousness in order that I might think through them more fully.

The statements are:   The United States Postal Service (USPS) is losing money, medicare and medicaid are in the red and in danger of running out of money and, there are some states that are going bankrupt or on the verge of bankruptcy due to their involvement in a state health care system.   The implication of these statements is that government can not and should not become involved in a national health care system.

 Yes, the USPS is losing money and has been for a number of years while private business has been successful.   I will concede that this is a true statement.   Let’s see if we can determine some of the reasons why this may be the case.   The USPS services the entire United States six days a week regardless of “rain, sleet or snow”.   This requires an extremely large work force as it is labor intensive.   As you may know, federal employees are well paid with better than the average benefits including a federal retirement.   This is expensive.   The USPS services those areas that are sparsely populated which is not profitable under any circumstance.   It is inappropriate and unfair to compare the USPS with private delivery services as they are not competing on a level playing field.   The private enterprise is motivated by profit while the USPS is foremost service oriented.   Therefore private business does not and is not required to service unprofitable areas.   If they do deliver to a sparsely populated area, they are not covering the entire area, only the address to which they have a paying customer.

 It is my opinion that the reason that the USPS is losing money is not because of poor management or ineptness, but because they are service oriented, have an extremely large service area and deliver to nearly every home and business six days a week.   Do we wish less service in order to make the USPS more efficient and cost effective?

 Medicare and medicaid are always in the red and will run out of money in the year ….(you can fill in the year).   I will concede that this too is also a true statement.   Let’s analyze why this may be true as well.   It’s no secret that health care costs are rising faster (you have heard how much faster) than the rate of inflation.   When health care costs go up for the private sector, they also go up for the public sector.   Medicare and medicare struggle with rising health care costs the same as the rest of the county.   This is actually a good reason why health care reform is so critical.   In previous blogs I have addressed other points in regard to medicare and medicaid and I would invite you to read those as well.

There are a few states that have a form of a health care system in place and they are struggling to remain solvent.   I would concede that this statement, too, is true.   It is my opinion that 50 individual state health care systems would be extremely inefficient and confusing.   Also, I would guess that there would be some who would move from state to state in order to obtain health care coverage or better coverage if states offer different plans.   It is also probable that for those few states that already have a health care system in place, there have been some citizens move in from other states because they were, for some reason, uninsurable or uninsured.   This would cause strain on any state.   This is another good reason why a national health care system is so important.

 While we hear claims, counter claim, statements and innuendos, it is incumbent upon us as individuals to think through these issues critically.   To take these statements at face value without looking into the reasons as to why they may be true, we are doing ourselves and our nation an injustice .

 I liked some points that Matthew Bolton made in a recent article that was run in the Independence Examiner this past weekend. “…people in the US often say, ‘yeah, well, those countries have to pay higher taxes.’ to a certain extent, this may be true.   But in democratic countries taxes are not money completely lost – we get something in return from them.”   He also quotes figures on how much we pay per capita for health care compared to other nations and how poor value we receive for that cost.   Another quote that I thought quite insightful is, “Certain problems are simply solved better by the public sector than private business.   This is not socialism – just common sense”.   If you are able I would encourage you to find this article and read it. It was published in the weekend edition over September 25-27.

 In the final analysis we need to realize that comparing the private sector to the public sector is like comparing apples to oranges.   They have different goals and objectives.   The private sector is motivated primarily by the bottom line of profits…for themselves and for their shareholders.   The public sector is primarily motivated by the need to serve its people.   I encourage you to think through this and other important issues that face our great nation with critical thinking and a desire to find plausable answers.

 Thank you for visiting my blog and taking the time to read it.   Now, critically think about what I have written and leave a comment…agree or not.   We need ideas from everyone in order to make our great nation even greater.   Blessings –

 

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Posted October 2, 2009 by terryflowersblog in Health Care

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