Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Sense and Nonsense in Policy Making

The right rages and rants on the healthcare hobbiehorse, but it's not helping me much. They are busy blowing buzzwords out their betooshkas. I haven't dug in deep to the data. I am working too hard just to keep my head above water. But here is what I hear, out of the corner of my ear, and I don't like it much.

Socialized medicine
This is apparently the horror of all horrors. Unfortunately it is rather bloblike, with a clearly undefined shape. No one seems to want to explain what they mean by it, or why it is bad. It is socialist, though. That seems to be enough. But...are the proposals on the table REALLY socialized medicine? No one seems to be able to tell me.

Health Care will be Rationed
OK, it is rationed now. My insurance company has some strong opinions about what they will use my premiums for and what they won't. I'm not saying this is a bad thing. That is how insurance works. But why shout as if everyone has indiscriminate access to medicine now? It ain't so. Should it be so? Maybe. Maybe not. That's a different question.

Bureaucrats will make your healthcare choices for you
Again, they already do. It's just that they are paid by the insurance companies, not by the government. And again, I'm not saying that's bad, but you can't talk like there aren't hundreds of thousands of pasty faced cubicle dwellers checking off forms to determine what procedure they will or won't pay for right now.

Government ruins everything it touches
Could the gummint be more efficient? Sure. Could the gummint be more effective? Sure. Is there a tremendous amount of waste, boondoggle, porkbarrel and earmarking? Absolutely. But seriously, if we had anarchy -- no government at all -- do you really think that life would be better? Like the Israelites shouting for a king, all human societies must organize somehow. Tribes or Kingdoms or Nations -- every society forms some kind of government. Ours is actually pretty sophisticated and just compared to what history has served up. Without the government we have - flawed as it is - we would not be enjoying the freedom and prosperity we enjoy today. Sure, keep governmnet in check. That's wise. But don't go around blathering about how government is by nature the greatest evil, and must never be trusted with the public welfare in any form. That's just ignorant manure coming right out of your mouth.

Healthcare Reform will Balloon the Budget
I think it already is. So we can't just sit still. This is not to say that would should adopt something that would be financially disastrous in the long run just because it is politically expedient now. Nevertheless wouldn't it be better to do SOMETHING about it, even if it is less than perfect? Obstructionism is not going to get the budget under control.

So I don't want to know what horrible apocalyptic fate will befall us if we actually do the tiniest smidgen of what Mr. Obama has in mind. Don't rail prophetically about the awful desolation that will be post-healthcare reform America. Tell me how YOU would fix it. Present private sector solutions that will work. Give us counter proposals. The antithesis to the thesis of a proposed bill is not to scream hysterically at the congressman. The antithesis is to present your own bill, with different solutions. Then lets pick something that looks like it might actually solve some of the problems, get it passed, and move on.

Stop bloviating. Start renovating. Give me fewer bumperstickers and better ideas. Stop throwing those sticks and stone. Let's use them to build us something useful.


Anonymous said...

My argument: The feds would do ok to insist on auditing what the private and state insurers are doing and crack heads for wrong doing. I would be fine with that. In fact, that is what the goverment ought to do.

The problem is that once the goverment is in charge, who can ever crack heads again?

Look at Enron, Aig, Chrysler or any private company that has folded due to corruption, incompetence or unions, er, I mean or both. They are nothing compared to Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. Nothing compared to Medicare and Medicaid. Nothing compared to Social Security. Nothing compared to Publice School systems in large cities.

The only differences between an Enron and a goverment run business, is that the government has the power of taxation and they exempt themselves from the laws everyone else follows.

I am no anarchist, I just want government limited to the powers that the constitution enumerated.


Dubbahdee said...

Yup. I agree. But that's not the thrust of my argument. I'm not arguing for either limited government or expanded government. I'm saying that the straw man that I seem to be poking is not of my creation. In fact, he seems to be the main lobbyist for the Conservative/Republican Complex. These terms that I am criticizing seem to be the central planks of the Obama-critics platform. And it's all bullshit.
You make a legitimate point - is the proposed healthcare reform constitutional? That's a huge point that NO ONE is talking about. How can we improve the current situation WITHIN THE SCOPE OF THE CONSTITUTION? Beautiful. Love to hear it. But all we get is someone shoving a nice wet cowpie on our ears.
I'm just saying I'm tired of it and I want to start hearing real conversation on this very important topic.