Monday, May 5, 2008

Government Reform - If You Think Health Care is Expensive Now

On Fox News Wednesday, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton told Fox News' Bill O'Reilly, "If we don't get universal health care, we will continue to bleed money." Funny. The more Washington politicians promise to control health care costs, the higher they go. As humorist P.J. O'Rourke famously said, "If you think health care is expensive now, wait until you see what it costs when it's free."

Clinton and Sen. Barack Obama both promise to provide access to health care for all Americans by mandating that employers provide or contribute to the cost of health plans for employees. Clinton would mandate that all uninsured adults buy health care, Obama has no "individual mandate." Both candidates would offer health care for all children and subsidies for adults, and would require insurers to cover everyone, regardless of health.

Somehow they propose to offer and subsidize more health care without raising costs for the majority of Americans who already have it.
What next? Consume more calories, weigh less?

Debra Saunders, “Paying for Health Care – Who and How?” San Francisco Chronicle, May 4, 2008

“If you think health is expensive now,” he was said to decree,
“Wait until you what it costs when it’s free.”

So spake humorist P.J. O’Rourke,
who was speaking of government pork,

Maybe was referring to soaring Medicare cost,
which has thrown the federal budget for a huge loss.

Or maybe he was simply trying to be funny,
about being free with other people’s money.

When you promise something for free,
People tend to go on a non-buying spree.

Just ask those poor automobile makers of Detroit,
Where unions first dollar coverage did exploit.

Or ask executives of health maintenance organizations,
who first promised comprehensive care for all well patients.

But soon found the young and well get old and sick.
And give your best-laid budgetary plans a nasty kick.

But when you’re a politician,
You can be a bit of a magician.

You can wave your rhetorical wand,
Of which you have grown fond.

And you can say you will keep everybody healthy,
By not spending their money but the cash of the wealthy.

No doubt in a perfect world health care ought to be a right,
The cost will not be light, a boomer’s budget blight.

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