I’m going to make a little prediction.
In a few days, Michael Moore’s latest mockumentary, “Sicko,” will release nationally.
It is an indictment of health care in the U.S. and a paean to systems in worker paradises like Cuba.
But given the notoriety and box-office success of some of Michael Moore’s other agitprop fare, I predict it will be rapidly followed by the introduction of major federal legislation that will, in effect, attempt to nationalize and socialize medicine in the U.S.
In my own meager effort to pre-empt this well-orchestrated plot, I would like to bust a few of the myths that are already being spread about health care in America.
The big scare figure bandied about by the Moore-style alarmists is that an estimated 25 million to 35 million people in this country have had no health insurance for a year or longer.
Keep in mind that is just about 10 percent of the population. So, another way to look at this equation is to say 90 percent of the population has made responsible choices with budgets to make health insurance a priority. Considering that at any given moment about 5 percent of the population workforce is unemployed, is it really shocking that 10 percent is without health insurance?
Furthermore, I know some of those people – perhaps as many as 1 or 2 percent – are very wealthy. They don’t bother with health insurance. They simply pay their doctor bills as needed. So now we are talking about 8 or 9 percent of the population without insurance.
Does that mean they don’t get health care?
No, it does not. In America, no one – insured or not – is turned away from emergency care.
Now let’s reintroduce another hot topic into the equation – illegal aliens. We are told there are 12 million in the country at any given moment. I strongly suspect that figure is too low by half. But let’s use the figure the amnesty advocates themselves use – 12 million. If we subtract just that number from the total of uninsured, we’re back down to the unemployment level of about 5 percent.
Keep in mind with an unemployment figure at 5 percent, very few people are chronically unemployed. Economists would explain that this figure largely represents transitions from one job to another. About 5 percent of the public is between jobs – meaning they recently left one and are seeking, and likely to find, another.
Again, is it surprising that the percentage of uninsured would roughly correlate with the number of unemployed? It is neither shocking nor a crisis.
Another claim of those who would trade your freedom for their empowerment is that health-care costs are out of control. They explain the current system is inefficient and involves enormous administrative costs.
For once, the alarmists are actually right – to a point.
The system is broken. Administrative costs are too high. And this is a direct result of the inroads the health-care socialists have already made with programs like Medicaid and Medicare. Even private insurance programs result in radically higher costs for medical care because patients themselves are not paying the piper. Patients choose to have procedures and tests – necessary or unnecessary – they might not have if they had to pay the bill themselves.
But understand this: Further socializing the system, making it less accountable to the consumer and spreading the costs around will only send health-care fees through the roof.
This may sound cold and cruel, but it is nevertheless true: Health-care insurance is affordable for every single working family in America today. It’s simply a matter of priorities.
Let me put it to you this way. Does the average American family spend more money on food or health-care insurance? The answer, of course, is food. Now, why is it that food costs are not skyrocketing like health-care costs? The answer is because food producers and retailers have to answer directly to the consumer. Health-care providers do not.
If you really want to bring down the cost of health care, insurance programs would provide only for catastrophic illnesses and injuries. Routine doctor visits and hospital treatments would be paid directly by consumers. Government would be taken out of the equation altogether.
The more you spread the pain, the more pain there will be.
That’s why the real Sicko is the one who promotes government control of health care.
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