Echinacea or Cone Flower has been used as an herbal remedy for hundreds of years. Learn more at our local herbalist Greenwood Herbals at http://www.greenwoodherbals.com/newsletters/2009/Jan09Newsletter.pdf.
I have a vision for an ideal society. We all do, right? And I bet your vision and my vision are remarkably similar. We’d like to see everyone employed in the work he/she finds most rewarding, an educated population, healthcare available for everyone, every citizen fed and clothed and housed. We probably wouldn’t demand complete equality of lifestyles; however, we’d like to see less disparity in lifestyles. We both long to see a productive, happy, empowered population of citizens.
Since we share a vision, why is is so darn difficult to agree on a solution? As rational human beings, shouldn’t we be able to look at facts and see what works?
Ideally, yes, we should. Realistically, social issues are complicated.
Which brings me to the healthcare question. Healthcare in the United States is screwed up. We all know this. We know it shouldn’t cost so much for insurance. We know doctors and hospitals and drug companies are charging too much to the insurance companies. We know some people chose not to purchase insurance or can’t afford to purchase insurance, and we know they get healthcare anyway. And we know those costs get passed on to those of us who have insurance or to our employers who then find other ways to save money–like laying off workers or paying less wages. We know doctors and hospitals charge so much because they have to cover the cost of the freebies and the paperwork and the malpractice insurance. We know the drug companies charge so much because research and development is extremely expensive and a gamble. When something does work, it has to compensate for all the experiments that didn’t work.
And all that is gross oversimplification.
Yes, I want everyone to have access to healthcare. What I’m no longer sure about is whether or not a taxpayer-sponsored healthcare plan in a heavily-flawed, crony capitalist political/economic system will actually do it.
So, for the sake of argument, here is a blog post outlining why some people think that government healthcare is a bad idea. http://objectivismforintellectuals.wordpress.com/2013/09/20/why-healthcare-in-the-us-is-so-expensive-and-what-can-be-done-about-it/
To provide counterpoint to that article, here is one that outlines pretty honestly, I think, as an advocate, what the Affordable Health Care Act will look like in upcoming months. http://mykeystrokes.com/2013/09/21/the-obamacare-is-falling-the-obamacare-is-falling-here-are-the-reasons-you-shouldnt-believe-any-of-it/
Even proponents admit they don’t really know what is going to happen; at least they are trying something. Libertarians want to try something just as bold, but they probably won’t get that same chance. We are looking at either “more of the same” or “something different but who knows if it will be better or worse.”
Yeah, what a choice. I’m so wicked excited. Not.
What I wonder is if we’d be better off doing things to old-fashioned way. Localista Healthcare. You have local doctors in the community. You may even have a local, privately-owned hospital. You get sick, you go to the doctor, she gives you a bill, you pay it. No insurance paperwork. If you don’t have all the money, your doctor works out a payment plan with you. If you are poor, maybe the doctor gives you free care. The hospital does the same. Local community members support the hospital and create charitable foundations for caring for the less able. If you want to go to an herbalist, that’s your call. If you want to try acupuncture instead of antibiotics, it’s your dollar.
I’m wondering if this would allow for more competition, more reasonable pricing, and yes—more affordable healthcare for all. Of course, when we look at history–back to the good ol’ days of less government, do we see less income disparity? Do we see affordable healthcare for all? No. What we see are poor people dying like flies and rich people getting the best care possible. Why? I’d love some Libertarian to explain to me why, if free market capitalism works so well, why we had that situation. And then I’d like some Progressive to explain to me why the Soviet Union healthcare system wasn’t the absolute best in the world if socialized medicine is so great.
Thanks for getting back to me and clearing it all up;)