Two reasons better public healthcare is impossible

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.

Your thoughts?

Tags: food, Heathcare, law (all tags)

Comments

4 Comments

Not true for item 1

Sugar, red meat, and dairy fats are not unhealthy. Certain quantities and ratios may be, but the food themselves are healthy and beneficial. And tasty.

by STLSignes 2009-05-30 02:44PM | 0 recs
Re: Two reasons

As a diabetic, I can tell you that you are 100%wrong. Pure cane sugar has no healthy affects. We get enough sugar from fruit naturally, and othe rcarb laden treats like bread. Red meat's (Beef, lamb, etc.) advantages in protien and iron as WAY offset by it's cholesterol and potienital hear problems. Dairy fats (cream) provide you with nothing more than lactose and a quick path to diabetes.
The 'quantities and ratios" that you are talking about that makes these foods safe? Almost NOBODY in America is eating right now.
I mean, the average american eats three hamburgers a week. WTH?!? The OP has a point!

And btw, I'm 6 feet, 37 y/o, 225# and a 38  inch waist. I am about as far from these skinny guys jogging around  everyday that you can get and still be reasonably healthy.

by xodus1914 2009-06-01 08:01AM | 0 recs
Re: better public healthcare is impossible

When you increase food production among populations where family planning is not adequate, you wind up with exponentially more hungry people.

Malthus hasn't been taken seriously for the past 150 years or so, but you'll occassionally come cross people who don't know that.  The point is that you can generally predict the birthrate of a country by what their food supply is, and it's the opposite of what you're suggesting.  The higher the agricultural and industrial output, the lower the birth rate.  It's only in countries where food is in seriously short supply that the birth rate is explosive.  Why, I don't know, but that's the way it is.

But forgive me if this is dismissive, but that's almost more reasoning than your argument merits.  Public healthcare systems in countries with a similar food supply and legal system as ours are at least as common as private healthcare systems, and most objective measurements have them providing better healthcare for more people than what's available in the US.  You may as well write a diary about how heavier-than-air flight is impossible right after we've all been watching an air show.

by Jess81 2009-06-01 08:56AM | 0 recs
by architek 2009-06-03 05:11AM | 0 recs

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