Obama's "Prescription For America": Cyanide

I watched a portion of ABC's Obama love-fest, Prescription For America.

Can you say “Handpicked, softball questions?” Sure you can.

The dead give away was the question asked by one young woman that started with an outright and verifiable falsehood: “Knowing that the health care systems in European nations are much better and less costly....”

Ask anyone in Europe if their health care is better than that available in the US and the likely answer is “no”, and that's because access to a waiting list in order to be treated for what ails you is not the same as actually being treated.

The contention that US health is somehow inferior is a convenient lie being used by those wishing to make sure we end up with an inferior and ineffective single payer system, i.e. socialized medicine. It is the inefficiency of providing treatment that is the problem, not the level of care or quality of treatment that is the problem.

The American health care system is in need of reform. It's inefficient, its costs are rising at unsustainable rates and it leaves too many people uninsured. But for all of that, most Americans do get something for the fortune they pour into health care — pretty good treatment, at least compared to the rest of the world.

Some will try to point out that the 'free market' system isn't working when it comes to medical care, but their assumption is false. For the most part health care is in no way a free market system. The various medical facilities and practices are not charging what the market will bear nor setting the prices for their services. Instead the costs of various treatments and medical procedures are being determined by insurance company or the government care program (Medicare and Medicaid) bureaucracies. Such a set up can in no way be called a free market system.

The only 'free market' medical care is concentrated in two specialties: plastic surgery and ophthalmology (specifically LASIK). Their costs have continuously gone down because health insurance doesn't pay for such surgery unless it is reconstructive, such as after traumatic injury or cancer surgery.

Another free market medical practice making inroads: walk-in medical clinics that provide basic primary medical care. They are usually located in pharmacies, large retail operations (like Walmart), or store front locations. Their costs are low because they don't take insurance. It's cash or credit card. There are also a few medical practices, mostly family medicine, that also do not take insurance. Like the walk-in clinics, they post their prices right in the waiting room. They provide basic primary medical care at low costs because they don't have the excessive costs associated with handling and filing insurance claims. (John Stossel has covered this topic a number of times.)

If Obama really wanted to reform health care, he would move to do away with health insurance except for that covering catastrophic or chronic care. But we know he won't do that because it means the government will not be able to take over the health care system.

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