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The most cost effective health care solution is you and I

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POSTED July 25, 2009 2:02 a.m.
“We have met the enemy and he is us.” – The much quoted line from Pogo comic strip from 1971

Is the price of universal health care plan being cobbled together in Washington, D.C., really worth the tradeoffs?

There is a wild assumption in the deck of cards that a lot of people are making. Just because the government essentially takes over health care doesn’t mean health care will improve or there will be access for all to life saving procedures.

The folks who believe the government should take over what is equal to about an 11th of the economy need to try and understand first why it has gotten that huge. They point to drug firms, hospitals, insurance carriers and more as making tons of money off the pain and misery of the masses.

Guess again.

The reason why health care is so costly is because of you and me. We no longer accept allowing an extremely premature baby die. We insist that every possible step be taken to prolong the life of a loved one who is in their late 80s. We want a magic pill to solve many health problems that are created by our own choices whether it is smoking, eating unhealthy foods, excessive sugar consumption, or an itinerary of other acts we undertake to weaken our bodies.

We refuse to get our kids immunizations that counter debilitating diseases even if the government offers them at free or low-cost clinics because we don’t have the time to be bothered which is in stark contrast with those in Third World countries who know the true score.

We concede control of our children’s lives to TVs, computers and video game instead of insisting they take part in physical activities of some type. The adults among us aren’t much better.

Some of us definitely refuse to wear seat belts or helmets when required and then bemoan the fact that we can’t get all of our health care needs covered when we are critically injured in an accident where a simple click of the seat belt could have made a major difference in the severity of injuries.

If anything, the end result of our follies will prove even more crippling financially for us if the government takes things over. If you doubt this, consider what happened to all of the people who were suing General Motors contending design flaws or defective faults caused serious injuries. The Obama administration didn’t care too much about the health care of those individuals or even the merit of their cases. They protected specific voting blocks – the labor unions and corporate America -  and rushed GM through the bankruptcy court in record time forcing those with pending litigation to end up accepting pennies on the dollar if they end up prevailing.

We want medical care not just to be error free but to completely trump nature.

The mortality rate of everything from child birth or simple surgical procedures such as hernias were off the charts 60 plus years ago. Now if a death occurs we sue everyone to smithereens.

The Obama plan doesn’t bother to address one of the biggest components of health care costs – litigation – which means it is still open season on health care providers even for the smallest transgressions.

Everything we demand today comes at a price.

Uncle Sam can’t simply wave a magical wand and give us everything we want. The government will define needs. The government will define who is eligible for what procedures. The government will define the level of care.

If you think it is going to be carte blache, even Uncle Sam doesn’t have pockets that deep.

Perhaps we deserve this for all of our excesses whether it is risky behavior or poor eating habits.

There is one thing certain – we will no longer be in complete control of defining acceptable health care on a personal level.

That will be decided by a bunch of people who are federal bureaucrats with better health care plans – along with elected officials – than the masses.

Of course, you could just keep your current health care plan. That assumes, of course, after they are through taxing business to kingdom come that you still have a job.

The solution? It’s simple but it isn’t easy. We all have to start acting more responsible and treating our health for exactly what it is – the most precious thing we have short of life itself.
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