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  • user warning: Table './conserva_drupal/cache_filter' is marked as crashed and should be repaired query: UPDATE cache_filter SET data = '<p>HEALTH CARE: March 29, 2017</p>\n<p>President Trump and Paul Ryan tried to improve Obamacare. They failed.<br />\n Trump then tweeted, &ldquo;ObamaCare will explode and we will all get together and piece together a great healthcare plan for THE PEOPLE. Do not worry!&rdquo;<br />\n But I do worry.<br />\n Trump is right when he says that Obamacare will explode.</p>\n<p> THE LAW mandates benefits and offers subsidies to more people. Insurers must cover things like:<br />\n &mdash; Birth control.<br />\n &mdash; Alcohol counseling.<br />\n &mdash; Depression screening.<br />\n &mdash; Diet counseling.<br />\n &mdash; Tobacco use screening.<br />\n &mdash; Breastfeeding counseling.<br />\n Some people want those things, but mandating them for everyone drives up costs. It was folly to pretend it wouldn&rsquo;t.<br />\n Insisting that lots of things be paid for by someone else is a recipe for financial explosion.<br />\n Medicare works that way, too.<br />\n When I first qualified for it, I was amazed to find that no one even mentioned cost. It was just, &ldquo;Have this test!&rdquo; &ldquo;See this doctor!&rdquo;<br />\n I liked it. It&rsquo;s great not to think about costs. But that&rsquo;s why Medicare will explode, too. There&rsquo;s no way that, in its current form, it will be around to fund younger people&rsquo;s care.<br />\n Someone else paying changes our behavior. We don&rsquo;t shop around. We don&rsquo;t ask, &ldquo;Do I really need that test?&rdquo; &ldquo;Is there a place where it&rsquo;s cheaper?&rdquo;<br />\n Hospitals and doctors don&rsquo;t try very hard to do things cheaply.<br />\n Imagine if you had &ldquo;grocery insurance.&rdquo; You&rsquo;d buy expensive foods; supermarkets would never have sales. Everyone would spend more.<br />\n Insurance coverage &mdash; third-party payment &mdash; is revered by the media and socialists (redundant?) but is a terrible way to pay for things.<br />\n Today, 7 in 8 health care dollars are paid by Medicare, Medicaid or private insurance companies. Because there&rsquo;s no real health care market, costs rose 467 percent over the last three decades.<br />\n By contrast, prices fell in the few medical areas not covered by insurance, like plastic surgery and LASIK eye care. Patients shop around, forcing health providers to compete.<br />\n The National Center for Policy Analysis found that from 1999 to 2011 the price of traditional LASIK eye surgery dropped from over $2,100 to about $1,700.<br />\n Obamacare pretended government controls could accomplish the same thing, but they couldn&rsquo;t.</p>\n<p> THE SICKEST people were quickest to sign up. Insurance companies then raised rates to cover their costs. When regulators objected, many insurers just quit Obamacare.<br />\n This month Humana announced it&rsquo;ll leave 11 states.<br />\n Voters will probably blame Republicans.<br />\n Insurance is meant for catastrophic health events, surprises that cost more than most people can afford. That does not include birth control and diet counseling.<br />\n The solution is to reduce, not increase, government&rsquo;s control. We should buy medical care the way we buy cars and computers &mdash; with our own money.<br />\n Our employers don&rsquo;t pay for our food, clothing and shelter; they shouldn&rsquo;t pay for our health care. They certainly shouldn&rsquo;t get a tax break for buying insurance while individuals don&rsquo;t.<br />\n Give tax deductions to people who buy their own high-deductible insurance.<br />\n Give tax benefits to medical savings accounts. (Obamacare penalizes them.)<br />\n Allow insurers to sell across state lines. Current law forbids that, driving up costs and leaving people with fewer choices.<br />\n What about the other &ldquo;solution&rdquo; &mdash; Bernie Sanders&rsquo; proposal of single-payer health care for all? Sanders claims other countries &ldquo;provide universal health care ... while saving money.&rdquo;<br />\n But that&rsquo;s not true.<br />\n Well, other countries do spend less. But they get less.<br />\n What modern health care they do get, they get because they freeload off our innovation. Our free market provides most of the world&rsquo;s new medical devices and medicines.<br />\n Also, &ldquo;single-payer&rdquo; care leads to rationing.<br />\n Here&rsquo;s a headline from Britain&rsquo;s Daily Mail: &ldquo;Another NHS horror story from Wales: Dying elderly cancer patient left &lsquo;screaming in pain&rsquo; ... for nine hours.&rdquo;<br />\n Britain&rsquo;s official goal is to treat people four months after diagnosis. Four months! That&rsquo;s only the &ldquo;goal.&rdquo; They don&rsquo;t even meet that standard.<br />\n Bernie Sanders&rsquo; plan has been tried, and it&rsquo;s no cure.</p>\n<p> IF IT WERE done to meet American expectations, it would be ludicrously expensive. In 2011, clueless progressives in Bernie&rsquo;s home state of Vermont voted in &ldquo;universal care.&rdquo; But they quickly dumped it when they figured out what it would cost. Didn&rsquo;t Bernie notice?<br />\n It&rsquo;s time to have government do less.</p>\n', created = 1575703956, expire = 1575790356, headers = '', serialized = 0 WHERE cid = '2:0a9e140d098bb6c093a5ffe5f3da679e' in /home/conserva/public_html/includes/cache.inc on line 112.
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Free market care: Government should do less

HEALTH CARE: March 29, 2017

Full text and e-editions are available to premium subscribers only. To subscribe to the digital edition, please visit subscription page. If you are already a subscriber, please login to the site. You can also request a free sample by using our request form.