Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Fool Us Twice, Shame on US! -or- How We've Taught the Washington Weasels That We'll Put up With the Same Shit Over and Over Again.

It is said, that we will get the government we deserve.  And when we don't keep an eye on things, we do indeed get what we deserve.

Well this is the latest reiteration of the great social security scandal... now foisted upon the public in the name of "the common good" in order to "do something" to help all those millions of uninsured people gain access to healthcare.

     "But we have to do SOMETHING!"

Now don't get me wrong: I'm NOT opposed to fixing healthcare.  However, when a car has a flat tire, you don't have to get a new vehicle.  Change the damn tire.  The 2000-page health bill monstrosity proposes a complete overhaul.  And this particular "something" is NOT better than "doing nothing."

Actually read the bill.  It's full of goodies.  Taxes starting 3 years ahead of the 'benefits.'  Hmmm... and it's called "deficit neutral" over the next 10 years even though we will be getting a running start on the costs by starting to pay 3 years early.  How does that work? That means, that after the first 7 years - assuming that the goverment cost estimations are correct- it will be adding to the deficit.  And seriously, really, when has the government been good at managing cost estimates?

I know~ Mail.  The Post Office.  Nope, broke.
What about mortgages and financing?  Fannie. Freddie. Indy.  All broke.
And yes, that unbustable fail-proof institution, the FDIC? Now totally broke too. 
What about auto industry stimulus, cars?  Yeah! Cash 4 Clunkers!  Nope, broke ahead of time and actually helped cause tremendous problems because they didn't pay the participating car dealers in time.
Retirement?  Oh yes.  That was Social Security.  Broke.
Transportation.  Yes. Transportation is easy.  We have Amtrak.  Has never operated except at a loss.
Well.. uh... I know!  The stimulus saving or creating a million plus jobs!  Nope. Did you check out the problems?  Lookie here: Jobs Created or Saved in Districts that Don't Exist (ABC News)

Oh c'mon.  Don't be such a doomer-gloomer. This is healthcare. It's different.

Okay then... let's look at actual examples of how well the government handles medical-related programs.

I know, Mediare.  Oops, nope. It's broke.
Ah, Medicaid.  No, no, broke too.
Ooh, ooh- Veterans Administration Hospital system.  Ever been to a VA hospital?  'nuff said.
Socialized Medicine Experiment at the state level: I present the state of Massachussetts.  Romneycare. 1 year into their grand experiment and already rationing.  Yes, indeed- yet our politicians don't bother to look at all these examples.

Statistically speaking, remember HillaryCare?  Remember what a huge bust that was? Well *this* current proposal is even LESS popular than HillaryCare.  The American public does not want this.  Yet our politicians are charging forward.  Well, except for Joe Lieberman (Yay Joe!) who is standing firm on his "NO."

Damn.  That pesky math again!

Goverment healthcare, mathematically speaking, is a self-draining system.  Again, that pesky math.  When it is "free" people will "drive it like a rental."  And there's no cost control built in because people have no accountability and very limited control over their medical decisions.  It simply isn't going to work.  Additionally, think of all the additioal layers of administration and internal systems involved in this entire process... how can we "save" money when we have added 30+ boards and oversight committees and all the employees, infrastructure, administration, and operating costs associated with these?  Think of government forms.  Paperwork.  Seriously- follow this down the road just a bit.

It simply doesn't make sense.

Percentage profit in the healthcare industry:  3.4 %.  That's it.  Really.

"Overall, the profit margin for health insurance companies was a modest 3.4 percent over the past year, according to data provided by Morningstar. That ranks 87th out of 215 industries and slightly above the median of 2.2 percent. By this measure, the most profitable industry over the past year has been beverages, with a 25.9 percent profit margin." 

[source: US News & World Report, "Why Health Insurers Make Lousy Villians" Aug 25, 2009, Rick Newman]  

And you actually believe that the govermnent is capable of running MORE efficiently than private industry?  Remember, even if the goverment adds a 3.5% overhead, (aka: 3.5% less efficient than private industry) we see increases in costs.   Think of the efficiency at the DMV.  The Department of Transportation.  Amtrak.  Any government agency and how these institutions are the model of efficiency, precision, customer service, accountability, and initiative.

The math doesn't work.  Government cannot, has never, and will not operate more efficiently than private industry.  This is why this healthcare bill will cause prices to go up. 

Government doesn't answer to a board of directors or earnings-per-share committees, stockholders.  Therefore, they don't make the smart business decisions that are made in the private industry.  They don't have to.  And so they don't.  

And when the costs go up, either quality goes down or taxes go up to compensate.  Probably both.      

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