Solving Health Care & The Toilet
by L. J. Martin
Is it a tax or a penalty? Who gives a damn? It costs you and I (if you’re one of the 51% who actually pay taxes) no matter what it’s called. A rose by any other name….
Chief Justice John Roberts: “It is not our job to protect the people from the consequences of their political choices.” Obamacare is taxation or penalty or what’s the difference?
The single biggest reason Obamacare should be repealed is its failure to address tort reform—not that there are not a hundred other reasons. Of course as over 50% of Congress are attorneys, then tort reform is a difficult if not impossible task. However, our medical costs will NEVER be managed, under control, until tort reform is addressed and resolved. Want to solve the problem? Never vote, Republican or Democrat, for a candidate who has a law license. We have enough of them in the Supreme Court.
Physicians pay over $100,000.00 a year for medical malpractice insurance. How much do you suppose clinics and hospitals pay? ASTRONOMICAL costs, all because of torts and attorneys who are flying their fifty million dollar G5 business jets from city to city to promote suits against physicians and hospitals, many of them frivolous, all of them resulting in higher health care costs and rich liability attorneys.
Now, that said, I believe tort is a valid, necessary, critical part of our legal system. The problem is juries, and I’ll address that in a moment.
The conservatives of this country have a tough task in front of them. How can you look someone in the eye and say you can’t have health care? On the face of it, it seems heartless…the old adage is that the young are liberal because they have a heart, the old are conservative because they have a brain. At the most basic, universal health care should be the entitlement of every citizen of the United States. That said, how is it accomplished? It has to be a two-fold effort. ONE) eliminate much of jury dictated judgments for malpractice and hand that function to a committee of experts. TWO) Get the government out of health care and return to the county hospital system. Why the government out? Is the post office an example of government’s ability to run any enterprise? And the examples go on and on.
The free market will kick the stilts out from under the cost of healthcare given an even playing field and the elimination of insane jury malpractice judgments. The free market always has. Look at the cost of a flat screen TV now as compared to five or six years ago. The free market always rises to the task of lower costs when left alone…and I mean left alone by government. An example of government efficiency is the automatic dish washer. Now it costs twice what it did ten years ago, all thanks to the EPA, and, of course, it no longer actually cleans the dishes due to imposed water use restrictions. Take the toilet as an example. The EPA in their ultimate wisdom forced manufacturers to cut the amount of water flushed from 2.5 gallons to 1.5 gallons per flush…which seldom does the job so one flushes twice, resulting in 3 gallons per flush as opposed to the old 2.5 gallons. That’s the best example I know of government efficiency. And by the way, the EPA would like to hire another 200,000 employees to continue their destruction of the American economy.
Juries are the root of the healthcare cost problem. When a jury faces a young man or woman who’s a quadriplegic and that fact is due to a slip of a surgeon’s knife, and the surgeon was proven to have had five martinis at lunch just before the surgery, then a judgment which will pay for that young man or young woman’s care for the rest of his/her life is understandable. When that same injury was caused by a wait in an emergency room and care not coming immediately because the facility was full of illegals who are there to get a free bottle of Aspirin, and that care is dictated to that facility by an already inefficient and inept government bureaucracy, and those costs are passed on to the company who provides that facility with insurance, then back to the facility in the form of insurance premiums, then back to the consumer in the form of increased health care costs, who’s at fault? Government, that’s who, because they dictated what and who that hospital can treat, must treat, are forced to treat. Still, the poor soul injured must be cared for, but not at the cost of making another attorney rich. There’s a more efficient way.
Emergency rooms must develop a form of triage to treat those who actually need treatment, and allow a nurse to treat those there because they can get ‘free’ stuff, and those instances must be excluded from any malpractice action. My mother in law, God rest her soul, waited 16 hours in a California emergency room to be treated for a broken shoulder and broken hip while a room full of illegals (and legals who wanted to prey on the system) waited their turn to get a free bottle of Aspirin, and I know you have a similar story in your family. We must impose a minimum cost to enter an emergency waiting room, even if it’s only fifteen dollars. Yes, some can’t pay, and will have to be treated, but many, many more will be discouraged from coming into the facility in the first place as that bottle of Aspirin will cost less at the local drug store.
Don’t ever forget that the consumer pays for EVERYTHING in this country. Free stuff from government is never free, government has to take from someone to give to someone else, and take their fat cut in the process…and by its very nature it’s the most inefficient form of the movement of money, of trade, in our system, and it’s always, ALWAYS, destructive, never constructive. Government produces nothing, NOTHING. And the federal government is the answer ONLY to those things enumerated in the Constitution of the United States of America. We’ve strayed far from what made this country great.
Do you recall the old county hospital, like the one in which I was born? They functioned beautifully and no one went without health care, but that was before the time of huge malpractice judgments. It’s time we returned to a simpler system, but we cannot do so with huge malpractice judgments coming from juries unqualified to access the problem. And yes, my mother had to pay for that bottle of Aspirin they provided.
L. J. Martin is the author of 30 book length works of fiction and non-fiction, and of the conservative blog http://fromthepeapatch.com. He lives in Montana with his wife, a bestselling author. For more from L. J. see www.ljmartin.com and www.wolfpackranch.com.