Monday, December 21, 2009

Nationalizing our Health Care

In case you're living in an information void (doubtful, if you're reading blogs), or missed the news, or can't apply basic logic to current events, the Democrats succeeded in the major hurdle to socializing health care in the US today. All it took was a few hundred million in corrupt payoffs in taxpayer dollars (who am I kidding, newly-printed money) to various fence-sitters and other scum; I guess the value of thirty pieces of silver has increased a bit with inflation. It's pretty much a done-deal now; just a few rubber-stamp procedures and a great big holiday present for a Socialist rulers.

Instead of focusing on the negative, though, I thought I'd focus on the positive aspects of this unmitigated disaster... but I couldn't find any. So instead, I'm going to extol, once again, what I think is possibly the most valuable thing we the voters could try to accomplish to prevent atrocities like this from being perpetrated by our government in the future.

It seems to me that the root of most of the evils our government brings upon us lies in the perversion of the federalist ideal; that is, when the government consolidates money and power, and then gives it out to states/people on a preferential basis. Without this ability, corrupt payoff legislation wouldn't be nearly as feasible. We wouldn't have as many subsidies for failure states, we wouldn't have government mandates and dictates backed by the threat of reduced federal funding, we wouldn't have preferential handouts of federal funds to states to buy votes; in short, if we can manage to cut of the money to the scum in Washington, the system would get a whole lot better.

Now, granted, that wouldn't be easy... but fighting enormous evil monstrosities never is. What we, the US, needs, is a return to a limited-government, in the sense of scope of role and funding thereof. There would be no debate about how best to nationalize health care if the federal government were Constitutionally prohibited from overstepping its limited roles (and that prohibition were enforced via real checks and balances). There would be no threat of cutting off funding if the federal government didn't ever give money to states, for anything, ever; that's an excellent litmus test for if something should not be allowed in a federalist system.

We, the people, need to stop fighting the leaves of the problem, and go after the trunk. There will always be despicable scum like Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, and Ben Nelson in the country, and always be enough gullible and/or idiotic voters for corrupt evil politicians to get elected. We need the system to be better, to limit the damage they, or anyone else, can do to us. We need a return to the ideal of a government formed with the assumption that the people in charge will be hopelessly corrupt, and the more checks against their power, the better it is for the people.

Today is a dark day for the country, and there are more dark days ahead. It looks like we're in for a somber holiday season this year.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Torn on health-care nationalization

I know this will seem strange coming from me, but at times, I find myself conflicted in my opinion on nationalizing the health care system in the US (as Congress is currently debating). I'm strongly of the opinion that it will be bad for our economy, reduce the qualify of care, drive skilled and intelligent people out of the field, raise costs, be horrible for the long-term financial solvency of the country, and contrary to much of what America stands for. On the other hand, though, if ever a business and group of people is so despicable, so intentionally ineffectual, and so malignant as to richly deserve comprehensive summary execution in the business sense, the private medical insurance industry is such a beast, and the not-insignificant silver-lining of a government takeover would be to see all those people cast out like the garbage they collectively are.

Let's look at some anecdotal examples from my life, which has been (thankfully) largely medical-issue free:
- I have always had [good] medical coverage through employer plans, HMO or PPO, I'm the "easy" case
- I had an emergency room visit which took four years, multiple legal threats, and weeks of my time to eventually resolve with the insurance company, the hospital, and multiple collection agencies, which caused untold stress and unfairly damaged my credit rating
- I had a primary care physician facility which I literally could not contact over the phone to do anything (they never picked up or returned calls), and I couldn't schedule anything without going through them due to HMO restrictions
- Over 50% of my medical visits (routine checkups, etc.) have resulting in insurance billing "issues" which I have needed to intervene to resolve
- I can't get prescription drugs covered by my medical plan without manual calls to the company every single time, because their automated system is always wrong (it seems the default is to not pay anything unless the covered patient calls, waits on hold, and corrects the problem every time)
- I dread going to the emergency room, even though I have medical insurance, because I know it's inevitably going to lead to a billing problem, which will be months of work for me
- I have an outstanding bill for "lab work" from six months ago, where the other parts of the visit were billed correctly, but somehow this part cannot be fixed, or the various participants don't want to resolve it, but rather just repeatedly bill the patient
- I can't imagine how much of my time will need to be spent on just dealing with medical insurance problems if/when I have children; given my current experience, it might literally be a part-time job

I'm not harboring any delusions: nationalizing the process is unlikely to make any of these problems better. There would be ways to fix most of them, but they are beyond the Neanderthalic thought-processes of our Congress-scum. Nevertheless, if and when our government destroys private medical insurance in the US, I will not cry for these companies; they are a blight on the country in their current form and operation, and they are the most compelling argument for health-care nationalization.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Health care "debate" begins in Senate... kinda...

So let me begin with a rhetorical question: doesn't Congress have anything important to do? I realize that may sound silly given the thousands of Billions of dollars they are creating semi-annually these days, but as the health care takeover "debate" begins, I'm reminded of just how ludicrously time-wasteful our Congressional process is. For anyone with a hazy crystal ball, let me give you a preview of how the next couple of months are going to go:

- Both parties will make speeches, primarily in the media, about how the nationalization of our health care system is great/horrible for the country (and the Democrats will pay lip-service to the idea that their takeover is not nationalization, and everyone who's not a blind follower will continue to laugh at that aspect of their contentions)
- Various amendments will be offered; some trivial Democrat-sponsored ones will pass, major Democrat-backed ones will fail (both left-wing and conservative), and all Republican-backed ideas/plans will be shot down without a second thought
- Eventually, the Democrats will call for a vote, likely after they have identified the necessary number of thoroughly corrupt and reprehensible enough Senators from both sides who can be purchased with political favors and large handouts, and incorporated those bribes and grand larcenies from taxpayers into the bill
- The bill will pass the Senate easily after being greased by the filibuster threat with billions in new spending bribes, and an empty and laughable promise of being budget neutral
- The house will pass an entirely different, and much more radical left-wing, version
- The two bills will be "reconciled" behind closed doors to form a Socialist wet-dream monstrosity, which will then be enacted into law without anyone reading it, although Republicans will bash the Democrats for this after the fact
- Everyone will position themselves for the next fight, and the 2010/2012 elections, where Republicans will hope to dismantle the entire thing if they can retake Congress and the Presidency (which will largely depend on how contemptible their candidates are)

The only upside of this Kubuki theater procession of events, which is admittedly not insignificant, is that while the Senate is busy "debating" this next Socialist legislative disaster in the making, they are less likely to be enacting any other new laws; which, given recent government actions, is probably a really good thing for the country. Can I vote we settle all Senate debates on the Congressional floor with knife fights, and hold multi-month special elections to replace anyone who is unable to continue at any point? Would a completely non-functional Congress really be worse than what we have now?