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Selling universal healthcare

By Jack Ward
web posted June 29, 2009 

We have been told that the current financial crisis was caused by the default of sub-prime home loans and we have been told that the way out of the crisis is to create universal government health care. The plan will add 47 to 50 million people to the health care program – and we are told that it will be a cost savings. The cost savings goals seem dubious. It is understandable that this fuzzy math confuses the public since it is hard to find a cost effective government program. Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid all cost significantly more than originally promised. These programs and other entitlements have made our debt and deficits unsustainable. David Walker, the former Comptroller of the United States and head of the Government Accountability Office (GAO), warned that our unfunded liabilities and future obligations exceed $53 trillion. (a trillion is a million times a million)  These are staggering numbers that few fully understand. But it is evident that the fiscal problems and lack of confidence in our politicians has made selling the universal health care plan difficult.

To sell universal health care the politicians should learn from successful inventors. Why inventors? Inventors do something unique. They create something from an idea. Inventors go through a step by step thought process from idea through development to successful production. For example, an inventor will have an idea. From the idea, the inventor will prove the idea by developing a prototype and subject it to necessary tests. Once proofed the marketability and the most cost effective way to produce the product will be determined. If all goes well the idea will turn into a useful product. Even successful inventors will tell you that not all ideas turn into successful products.

Our politicians want to jump from the idea of providing a universal government health care program to a fully implemented program. Our politicians need to take a step back and learn. The concept of a universal government health care program has not been tested. No one knows what universal health care will cost or if it will be effective. No country has a successful universal health care program that we could copy.

Therefore is seems prudent to test the program with a small group before going nationwide. I suggest that the test be conducted on a test sample of 535 people – all the members of Congress. After a successful test period, adjustments could be made. Once these adjustments are made, the test sample could be expanded to include all federal employees. When these tests are complete, the cost effectiveness and marketability of a universal government health care program can be determined.      

Some may question why use the Congress as the initial test sample? I would ask why not? Congress works for us. They are not the elitists that they think they are. They have showered themselves with fabulous benefits, guaranteed salary, and excluded themselves from some of the onerous laws that they foist on us. Congress has already planned to exempt themselves from any universal health care plan. So, before congress imposes a costly universal government health care plan on us, they should test it on themselves first. ESR

© 2009 Jack Ward


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