I agree that single-payer would resolve many recalcitrant issues, but at what cost? What health care system would we be left with? A guillotine is an effective treatment for a headache, but most of us would rather have the disease than the cure. Single-payer may also kill the very patient it is trying to save.
Single-payer cheerleaders are shrewd strategizers. They know that we choose shampoo based on the shape of the bottle and the color of the contents. Similarly, they are trying to package their panaceas in the most palatable manner possible. You’ll never hear any of them use the term socialized medicine or medical rationing as they advocate for a government run health care. Instead, they will use a bland description such as National Health Program.
Even a sanitized label, however, cannot disguise their health care vision for America. (I’m tempted to use the lipstick on a pig line that Obama used in the presidential campaign, but I will refrain in order to preserve the dignity of this blog.) Let’s look at another government run institution that we all know well. Do we want our health care system to have the same high level of quality and customer service that we enjoy at the Division of Motor Vehicles? Keep in mind that health care is probably more important than the quality of our drivers licenses and vehicle registrations. The DMV experience is what is it because the incentives of the government and those they serve are not aligned, and the public has no recourse whatsoever. Does this sound like a prescription for a better health care system?
Every breathing American knows that we face complex failings in the current health care system. We need thoughtful reform that will achieve and preserve outstanding health care for all of us. Government has a role and an obligation in this process, but ultimately it should not hold the entire world of health care on its shoulders. With the exception of the military, I don’t think that government runs things particularly well. In general, I think that the private sector does it better. For those who think otherwise, I have a great financial tip for you. Invest in General Motors today since the government now owns 70% of the company. This is a Cadillac opportunity for all savvy single-payer investors to strike gold. I predict, however, that the lines of investors will be much shorter than those at the Post Office, the DMV or at medical clinics and hospitals in England and Canada.
Socialized medicine, I mean single-payer, is really a new application of Obama’s cap and trade environmental policy. Costs are capped and medical quality is traded for mediocrity.