Is national health care in our future? The most talked about national health care plan is the single pay version that would cover everyone. Premiums would be paid on a sliding scale according to income. There would be no bills, co-pay, deductibles, and no insurance company denials of health care. It sounds like a simple system to provide every citizen with national health care coverage. Is this really a good idea?
Forty-seven million people in the United States have no health care coverage. Millions more have only basic medical coverage. Costs continue to rise faster than the rate of inflation. More and more people are being priced out of the health care system. Employers are reducing benefits or charging employees more in premiums. What is really happening to health care in America?
The health care system in this country is a mess, no doubt about it. Many assume that America is one of the healthiest nations on earth. That is not true. Many countries are now healthier in terms of life expectancy than America. Our real problem is not a lack of health care for everyone. It is a lack of a healthy lifestyle. Creating a full coverage national health care plan for everyone will not fix the problem of irresponsible health-related living. In other words, the solution is to create a healthier nation. Not for the government to pander to those who take no responsibility for their own health.
Introducing a national health care plan is all fine and dandy on paper. How does it give anyone the incentive to live a healthier lifestyle? You can continue to live a detrimental lifestyle with the knowledge that you will always be able to get free health care. Is there any personal accountability in this country anymore? You might have the right to get free health care in a national system, however, are you willing to take responsibility for living a healthier life? Will you say to yourself that it doesn’t matter how I live my life because the government will be their to give me health care?
Another argument for national health care is the case against health care provider profits. Many argue that health care companies, drug companies and hospitals make billions of dollars in profits. This is true. They do make billions in profits because we live in a free enterprise system. The proposed national health care plan would strip those profits away. Meanwhile, all the fast food, cigarette, alcohol, and processed food companies will get to keep their profits. Are any of these companies responsible for contributing to the unhealthy lifestyles that so many Americans freely engage in?
When talking about the proposed national health care plan, no one mentions the army of government employees that will be needed to administer it. Anybody working in the health care system knows first hand how “records and forms” intensive it is. There are documents for everything. Do you really expect the government to do a more cost-effective and accurate job of administering health care to 300 million people? Take a look at the postal system. It has improved, but costs still continue to rise. What about the IRS? This government operation is certainly one of the most efficient systems ever invented. And, it is so easy to understand and is certainly fair to every taxpayer. Wouldn’t you agree?
Corporations are under fire today for paying their CEO’s ungodly sums of money. The top 12 HMO executives pocketed about $223 million in compensation for 2005. Is this any different than the earnings of the top 12 professional athletes or movie actors in America? When was the last time an athlete or movie star created anything to help save lives? At least, the CEO’s of health care companies are trying to provide a valuable service. They are creating more wealth by providing jobs for health care workers. Will a government run national health care plan create wealth for anyone?
The national health care plan promises free health care for every citizen. Who will pay for it? Those who will need it the least will pay the most for it. If you are poor, you will pay nothing. If you are rich, you will be gouged with a 5-10% direct tax on your earnings. Every employee will see a 3% payroll tax added. All stock and bond transactions will have a fee added. A $5,000 transaction will have an extra fee of $125 added to it. This will occur when you buy and sell. This plan might as well be dubbed the “Robin Hood Plan”. It clearly steals from the rich to give to the poor. Once again, American socialism to the rescue. You can certainly plan on a much heavier tax burden in the coming years. Taxes will have to be increased to pay for Medicare, Social Security and now a national health care plan. What will happen if the incentives to become richer are lessened? Costs will increase over time and the economy might not be able to grow enough to cover the costs without raising taxes even more.
If the present system cannot provide adequate health care now, what will happen when an additional 47 million people suddenly demand top notch health care services? Many of these people will not be paying into the system. If you are a health care professional, will you be happy with a cut in pay? It does not make much sense that the government will be able to keep wages as high as they are now. What about the need for even more health care professionals to service all the millions off new people who will now want health care?
As a person who has not had any health care coverage for over 10 years, I still do not support the national health care plan. As a nation that is growing older and unhealthier, this plan, as structured, is not the answer for me. The main reason that our health care is expensive, is because we as a people are not living healthy lives. Our life styles create the “syndrome” disease of the week. We are creating more sicknesses and diseases than we can find cures for. It is much to easy to live with little regard for future health care needs. I feel it is my responsibility to live as healthy as I can. The best solution is the creation of healthier life styles which will reduce the need for health care altogether. The national health care plan will not help in this regard. It will create dependency on another government handout. It will give people fewer reasons to be concerned with taking responsibility for their own health.