National Health Care … Kinda

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November 20, 2008 @ 22:11 UTC

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Countries:
none
Candidates:
Barack Obama
Issues:
Health Care
 

In what is doubtless a move to preempt moves by the new Obama administration to enact some form of national health care, a consortium of health care insurers have kindly offered to accept all applications for health care coverage.  The price of this largess would be a Congressional mandate requiring everyone to purchase health care coverage. 

Even critics of “socialized” health care systems should be able to detect the trick here — the health care industry is seeking to maintain the ability to set prices and is hoping that the government will step in to pay the potentially high rates that would be charged to those with pre-existing health problems or high risk behaviors.  On the other hand, the proposal would provide coverage for those who cannot receive it now as well as providing flexibility for those caught in “job lock” where they dare not change jobs lest they lose their existing health coverage and are unable to obtain new coverage.

Of course, the alternative of maintaining a health care system where costs are elevated by uninsured people who delay seeking health care until the problem is so severe as to require emergency room treatment is not viable either.  A government limitations on the cost threaten to stifle equipment and research investments much as similar mandates have done in countries like Canada.

There are no easy solutions to the health care dilemma.  Demogogues on the left will continue to decry the obscene costs of modern health care and lament the plight of the uninsured while ignoring the problems of research and equipment costs.  Demogogues on the right will continue to cry “socialism” to object to any national system while ignoring the elevation of costs charged to the government after the uninsured seek emergency treatment.  The countervailing demogogury results in stasis where both sides receive political benefits from the issue, but don’t actually do much to address it.

©2008 PoliGazette. All Rights Reserved.

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