Thursday, May 14, 2009

On Government Run Health Care

I'm routinely convinced that logic and facts rarely prevail when confronted by pure emotions.
This health care debate seems to be another prime example.

It seems to me that logic such as government inefficiency, '02 and '03 satisfaction surveys, and further degradation toward a complete welfare state; are as beneficial as telling your wife, "No dear the jeans don't make you look fat, it's your fat that makes you look fat." I'm certain that facts won't benefit anyone in a situation like that.

So, it seems to me that all we are doing is angering the opposition when we highlight facts and logic. Sad, but true.

Perhaps we need an emotional response that resembles, "Dear you'd look beautiful to me in a potato sack". Maybe something like, "Yes government run health care can help allotta people and that's good, But let's not throw out the incentive for medical advances that the world reaps from OUR current system."

The impact on the emotions of OUR medical advances that save LIVES, just may be what the public needs to hear. How much incentive will there be with a single payer, Universal system?
Do you want to bet your pancreas on it?

But I could be wrong. I often am.


  1. There are many problems with your theory. The fact is that a great deal of basic drug research is funded by the government. Drug companies are invited in for the later stages of “product development,” which means the formulation and marketing of new drugs. So the "incentive" would still be there.

    The ideas for new technologies are not thrown out with a for-profit health care system. Just look at the advances we got from countries that have a free system of health care: Laparoscopic gallbladder removal from Canada, the CT scan from England, the treatment for juvenile diabetes by transplanting pancreatic cells from Canada. So you see, there are "incentives" in places where there is a free public health system.

    Plus, it appears that the increasing commercialization of research is beginning to slow innovation because the companies make minor variations of old drugs to keep the patent life high.

    Now let's move on to the POSITIVES of single payer health care (NOT SOCIALIZED MEDICINE!!!). Everyone gets covered regardless of employment status, increased competitiveness around the world for American products, less overhead, you can see any doctor you want to, and the choice will ACTUALLY be between you and your doctor, not you and some HMO and the doctor. Just get rid of the middle man.

    OK I have laid out my findings and opinions. And, to answer your question, yes, I would bet my pancreas on the idea that a single payer health care system would work better than the system that we have now. I hope you respond.

    Eric Breit-Nicholson

  2. Of course I'll respond: Wrong bet. Would you bet your pancreas on incentives sticking around?

  3. Wow. You seem to prove once again that logic is no match for emotions.

    Do you realize that profit will be removed from health care with a single payer system? (A simple yes or no will suffice.)

  4. rich, you seem to forget that logic is not something that is the same for every person. What one may find logical another may find silly. Just by saying that the republican point of view is based on logic implies that the democratic point of view is based on something completely illogical. The bottom line is that there are three sides to every political issue, the left, the right and the center. The center seems to be where most people reside. From what I have read most people do think that there needs to be far reaching improvements in health care in this country. I could be wrong as I often am, but I'm pretty sure on this one I am safe to say many, many people are now struggling with the idea of being uninsured.
    Just over 30% of adult Americans are willing to pay more taxes for universal health care. The divide between republicans and democrats is quite wide on this issue as reflected in the Rasmussen poll. However, had they polled the same group and asked if they wanted universal health care paid for with taxes already being collected for something else, like say that Alaskan bridge that went no where or investigating the breeding habits of white rabbits........well, you get the idea, I think the results would have been much different. Sadly, I have never seen a poll that asked if people were willing to pay the same in taxes with the money simply being moved around to pay for health care.
    BTW, kudos for having the coexist sign up! Are you sure you're not a closet liberal? ;)

  5. I should not have implied that opposing views were completely illogical. My bad :(

    I fact, in my post I admit that "Yes government run health care can help allotta people and that's good...." So I get that logic.

    I'm just opposed to elimnating ALL Profit (aka incentives) out of future health care. IMHO we all benefit from profit driven research.

    As for a closet liberal? Ummm, in some ways yes, as in Liberty and Justice, but in many ways no.

  6. Rich, you are correct about emotions trumping logic and facts. Conservatives need to add some emotional liquid to the often dry facts and logic to win policy battles.

    Kay, having been booted for the second time from BR (for quoting Thomas Mann!*), I guess this is one of the few forums that I can gently try to correct misconceptions you might have about logic. Logic is the same for everyone. Period. The reason groups of seemingly logical people can come to different conclusions is a function of their conflicting premises.

    *I grant that my comment before the Thomas Mann quote may have had a bit too little subtlety and to pinch too much frankness. I loved the mini-Rush thing though! Verne Troyer rocks and what can I say about Rush (He adds that bit of emotion (usually humor) to the dry facts).

  7. Well, one of the incentives for doctors that was noted in a PBS special on health care in countries that have one type of universal health care or another was in Great Briton. There the doctors receive big bonuses for getting patients to quit smoking, lose weight, control their diabetes, etc etc. In the particular examples I gave it may seem like *not that big a deal* issues, however, all those things translate into less costs in medical care in the long run.
    The incentives for big pharma and even start up pharmas (which is a whole topic I would love to cover someday) could be access to tax funded labs such as those at universities or the CDC. Personally I've yet to figure out why pharmas feel the need to advertise their products that are not over the counter. Those TV ads had convinced me, back when I paid attention to them, that I had all sorts of diseases and medical conditions! That makes some people run to the doctor for what often times turns out to be just plain old aches and pains. Just about every doctor I know, and boy do I know a lot for someone not in that field, complain about those ads for the reason I gave above.

  8. "There the doctors receive big bonuses..."

    Seems to me that maybe you agree that incentives/profit should not be completely eliminated. If so, :)