Is Government Healthcare Another Oxymoron? (Who Heals Corrupt Government?)

Doctor WaitWe recall childhood diseases — measles, chicken pox, mumps, –that every child old enough for school was expected to encounter. These were not feared so much as resignedly expected. Any child’s parents had already survived them. No treatment was available; the child was kept at home until the infectious period was past and the child had recovered enough energy to return to school, often to the intense relief of the mother. A rite of childhood passage. Attended in most cases by a visit from (not to) the doctor for a diagnosis. And rural doctors were unsurprised to be compensated with chickens or eggs on occasion.

A doctor then was likely to be in addition to M.D.’s, an osteopath, a chiropractor or if you were a Hispanic, one we might call a witch. They all shared about the same success rate with childhood diseases. Why not? There weren’t any real treatments after all but the child’s immune system, a cure that had been operating for millennial

But two things changed: One was political, the other, technological. Politically, the big bucks invested in M.D.s organized and lobbied for government-bestowed monopoly of health care; the other, science began to provide real understanding and remedies for medical practice. It gradually dawned upon the citizens that M.C.s cured things that others did not. And lawsuits discouraged those “others” from trying, as did criminal prosecutions.

With a monopoly, doctors earned more and so medical schools with their own monopoly on M.D. degrees, charged more. Eggs and chickens didn’t do it anymore, even in the countryside. To bridge that newly created affordability gap, insurers stepped in to share the higher costs among a larger base, making care affordable again since everyone paid a little and only a few were sick.

However, politicians continued to be lobbied by folk envious of the M.D. monopoly; government regulation appeared to “assure fairness and honesty.” That’s reminiscent of hiring the Mafia to keep retailers honest, right?

Once government had control, a government takeover was assured; too much money and power was  involved to be ignored. So today, nobody can afford healthcare, including the government. It, after all, has only taxpayers’ money to spend, in the end. Nor can aspiring MD.s afford medical education; they graduate under indentures called “student loans” that keep them economically enslaved for decades. Unless of course, they are black.

Today, in the wake of the triumph that is called: “Obamacare,” nobody can afford healthcare at all; it is functioning upon borrowed and fiat money that has no real existence. Prior to Obamacare, Medicare, Medicaid and the rest were operating in deficit; adding coverage of the 20 to 40 million (depending upon whom one believes) unprotected folk has vastly multiplied that deficit.  And the Feds have, while imposing price controls upon insurers, also guaranteed them financial protection using taxpayer funds. The joke is of course, that the guarantor government lacks the money with which to make good upon its guarantee. (Pause for laughter.)

The developing government response to what it has created is taking visible shape around us. First, encouraging abortion reduces future demand for expensive healthcare. And it is cheaper to administer, as well. Second and now peeping over the horizon as: “end of life planning” is euthanasia. It too is cheaper than expensive treatment of economically unproductive elderly. And finally and foremost: rationing of services, mostly via lengthy waits and required approvals. And add to those, refusal to provide high cost services (unless of course, one is a Congressman.)

Americans are just transitioning into the joys of the latter conditions; it will be a while before they are as appreciated as they already are in say, Canada, whose citizens that can afford it come to the U.S. for rationed treatments or in the U.L. where the tabloids are still somehow able to report medical horror stories.

We have watched U.S. medical care evolve in the hands of politicians. It was handed them by practitioners seeking advantage to the point that the gears are gummed up, almost immovable from the pouring in of red tape and its inevitable companion, corruption. (Medicare fraud is enormous.)

It will likely take very few years for Americans to notice that they have fallen for a swindle. We are reminded of the Western Saloon scene wherein the cowboy steps up to the bar, saying: “When I drink, everybody drinks!” And he is followed by a rush of folk seeking the free drinks. After tossing down his shot, he then says: “And when I pay, everybody pays!”

That old story doesn’t report what happened after that, but those living in (Your choice: Socialist, Communist, Social Welfare, Senescent Democratic, Progressive) places may watch and see. It’s not as though it has never happened before, after all. Calling upon government to hold off competition and maintain your monopoly is as old as government itself.


About Jack Curtis

Suspicious of government, doubtful of economics, fond of figure skating (but the off-ice part, not so much) Couple of degrees in government, a few medals in figure skating; just reading and suspicion for economics ...
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4 Responses to Is Government Healthcare Another Oxymoron? (Who Heals Corrupt Government?)

  1. Great post, you’ve really nailed it there. In the “olden days,” less then a decade ago, we still had those friendly family doctors and we often paid cash for most things, at a great discount, because no chickens, no eggs, and no insurance billing was much appreciated. That’s all gone now. Today we have a huge healthcare conglomorate, bracelets attached to you with easily scanned bar codes, and you are literally an overpriced piece of produce. We will definitely reap the whirlwind with Obamacare.

  2. An excellent piece! As a survivor of those dreaded childhood diseases (well, two out of three – I avoided the mumps) I was wrly amused at the gasps that ensued from the recent measles “outbreak.” I think back to Grandma’s treatment for almost every ailment I experienced as a child. Some chicken soup (and she wasn’t Jewish) and a piece of freshly baked bread, slathered with butter and several cloves of crushed garlic, delicately baked in the oven to a toasty brown. And an hour later, an enema. I enjoyed the first two of these – the third not so much, thinking this was punishment rather than curative. It was not until I was a young adult that I was speaking with a friend in med school at the University of Chicago who said that an enema is the fastest way to lower the body’t temperature. Who knew?

    If I were to add anything to your post it would be with reference to phamaceuticals. In my view, today’s doctor is little more than a prescription writer. And it is well documented that physicians are often compensated for recommending a specific drug – whether or not it is effective. The problem with prescription drugs is that ninety percent of them merely treat the symptoms of a disease rather than eliminate the underlying medical condition – thus providing a lifetime annuity for the drug company that manufactures it. The fact that 200,000 Americans a year die from the effects of prescription drugs where there is no interaction with other drugs they are taking is very telling – and alarming. That is the equivalent of three full loaded jumbo jets crashing per day, every day of the year. Were that to happen, I suspect some heads would roll at the FAA – although that might not happen under this administration.

    It is rather telling that if you go enroll for Medicare, one of the first things you see is a blurb that encourages you to enroll in Medicare Part “D” – the prescription drug program. And to alert you that if you don’t immediately enroll, the cost per month for this “insurance” will sibstantially increase when you decide to take advantage of this program. Is there any relationship between big pharma’s being one of the two industry’s that has ranked at the top of the list of those spending money each year for decades on lobbyists? (The other is big oil.) Your thoughtful reader can make his or her own judgment on that.

    We do not now, under Obamacare, nor did we before it have a health care system in the United States. We have a “disease maintainence” system – and it is very lucrative for all the parties involved. And the American people pay the price – both through diminished health abd out of pocket costs. With the amaount of money involved, that is unlikely to change any time in the future.

    • Jack Curtis says:

      Hmnn … I trust that you keep an eye out for unmarked drones overhead … It seems to me that doctors evolved from professionals into mid level bureaucrats some time ago. They sold out for a government assured monopoly, as have so many. Wasn’t Esau the original model?

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