If you've ventured around this site enough you'll probably figure out that I'm not an Obama fan by any stretch of the imagination. While I don't generally talk about politics on this blog, I believe that there is a political topic which overlaps with the general theme of this blog: Universal Health Care Coverage. So far, the plan that Obama has in mind involves taking $634,000,000,000.00 to cover the costs.
Naturally, I don't think this is a good idea at all. I understand that everyone needs health care but that it's expensive and out of reach for millions of families. I don't think that the best approach is to turn the other taxpayers upside down, shake the money out of them, and then write the check. The cost of health care has to come down. This doesn't get solved with the government taking over the show. I barely trust them to build roads and bridges properly and on-budget. Plus, nearly every state that starts up its own health care plan (like Tennesee's "TennCare") go way over-budget. Government take-over or plans to cover the uninsured don't make it affordable.
Too often, I think that the real answers to problems like this are disregarded. I think that the real reason why healh care is so expensive and so unobtainable is very simple: We have far too many overweight and obese people in the United States. Caring for these people drives up the cost of insurance to the heights that we're seeing today.
Presently, only a third of Americans are at a healthy body weight. The other two thirds are either overweight or obese (technically, the obese slightly out-number the overweight). Obviously, when you're at an unhealthy body weight, you're more unhealthy and consume more health care. Does anyone ever think that the cost of this health care has to get paid for somewhere? Do those who advocate universal health care get that the costs don't just disappear into thin air? Does anyone think that the high costs of health care is body repair for those who refuse to do any body maintenance?
The costs are considerable too. I've heard that pharmecutical companies rake in $250,000,000,000.00 a year in sales (I don't remember if this was all in the USA but I wouldn't be surprised if most of it is). If we've got 198,000,000 people overweight/obese and dependant on drugs to function normally, does this really shock anyone that much? I know or knew (some of them died) obese people who go to the doctors at least once a week. I'm sure you know someone like that too. Did you ever think of how much those visits alone cost? Did you ever think about multiplying that cost by 60,000,000-90,000,000?
While we're asking questions, let's think about Obama's solution known as universal health care. If we simply start paying for those who can't afford their health care, do you think that this will get any better? We already know that there are weflare abusers who refuse to do anything in the way of work unless forced to do so. What makes anyone think that these people will get healthier if they have access to health care? They don't have to pay for their eating-induced mistakes. They'll just make up some excuse (such as its so hard to eat healthy) and pass the taxpayers the tab for their doctor visits, insulin, prozac, statins, and joint replacement surgery. It's just a simple fact: people will not do, or pay for, what they don't have to. If they can pass blame, they'll do it. Worst of all, there will someone there to say that it's not their fault.
Ultimately, I see the political issue of universal health care as a non-solution to a problem that we don't really want to awknowledge. If we really wanted health care affordable, we have to stop treating health care like it's a right and that we don't have to pay for it. We also have to shed our collective waist lines. Americans need to eat healther and get more exercise. Otherwise, our health care will continue to be unafffordable, regardless of which sector of the economy that we chose to shift the cost to.