Monday, March 09, 2009

When should we fix health care?

On CNBC today and the Sunday morning talk shows one of the memes was that President Obama should "slow down" and tackle "social issues like health care" after the current economic crisis.

The problem is that health care is not a social issue, it's an economic issue.  It's a small business issue, a big business issue, a personal finance issue...and it doesn't wait.  Every single day people without insurance are getting care and either flirting with bankruptcy and passing along the expense of that care to paying people.  Really.

We really do not have the luxury of tackling the banking crisis just to make sure the stock portfolios of Newt's "investor class" friends do not suffer any more before we go after the fundamental nuts and bolts issues of this economy.

Health care is a right in this nation whether you like it or not.  If someone gets sick, they get treatment.  If they have chest pain it's usually more cost-effective to have them seen by a physician before they have a grabber that lands them in the ICU on a ventilator, but if they have no insurance they'll take their chances.   

I don't trust that people will make the right decisions about their health and how to pay for it.  Many would rather go without insurance and buy a new flat screen TV with the money, and chance it.  I mean, heck, I'm healthy, what could possibly go wrong? 

Solution: Payroll tax for everyone who doesn't have a private policy, and everyone gets insurance.   Tax the crap out of tobacco and alcohol, too. The unemployed get Medicaid.  The insurance plans cover the gamut of usual and customary care.  Solved.

Newt Gingrich gets his colonoscopy without sedation.

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