Two reasons better public healthcare is impossible
by SuperCameron, Sat May 30, 2009 at 10:19:59 AM EDT
Better public healthcare cannot be afforded. This is true for many reasons, but I'll only list two here.
1) We heavily subsidize sugar, red meat, and dairy fat--more than we subsidize healthy foods. As a result two thirds of Americans suffer from chronic medical conditions. They are expensive to treat and ultimately deadly. As "treatment" for them improves, the costs of those treatments increase exponentially.
When you increase food production among populations where family planning is not adequate, you wind up with exponentially more hungry people. By the same token, providing long-term chronic treatments to a population awash in fattening foods has given us (and will continue to give us) exponentially higher healthcare costs. Sorry if it sucks to hear, but this is the real world.
2) In our legal system, anybody can sue anybody and blackmail them into a settlement. We need a system where losers pay all the legal costs of the winners. Some argue that this kind of system benefits big business. The current system is already abused by big business against the less affluent.
Go out to the nearest playground during baseball and football season and you'll see a little league practice going on. You'll see coaches and players--and fifty parents, bored to tears, waiting for it to end. They don't want to be there, but their kids can't play unless they watch the practices. Not just the games. The practices. Stop by the local karate studio and you'll see the same shit.
When I was 12 I could ride my bike to ju-jitsu practice. I was poor as fuck, but I'd help clean up the studio afterward so the owner gave me a break on tuition. My foster parents did not have to sit through the sessions. If they'd had to, I would not have been able to attend.
The reason parents have to be there is to reduce the price of liability insurance. If the parents are there and see what's going on, the courts are much more likely to reject a lawsuit. It amounts to a difference of tens of thousands of dollars a year in liability insurance premiums.
Parents do not have the time for this. They have to work. They have to do housework. We have the least parent-friendly society on the planet. As a result, kids get less organized playtime. They eat subsidized foods. They watch more TV. They get fat. They become life-long Golden Geese to the pharmaceutical industry. Public healthcare costs increase, exponentially.
We can talk all day long about the importance of subsidizing and reducing healthcare costs. I agree that we can and should. Unless we end the current policies that appear to be designed to increase those costs, it's merely a game of kick the can.