Townhall.com | Ann Coulter | July 21, 2009
All the problems with the American health care system come from government intervention, so naturally the Democrats’ idea for fixing it is more government intervention. This is like trying to sober up by having another drink.
The reason seeing a doctor is already more like going to the DMV, and less like going to the Apple “Genius Bar,” is that the government decided health care was too important to be left to the free market. Yes — the same free market that has produced such a cornucopia of inexpensive goods and services that, today, even poor people have cell phones and flat-screen TVs.
As a result, it’s easier to get your computer fixed than your health. Thanks, government!
We already have near-universal health coverage in the form of Medicare, Medicaid, veterans’ hospitals, emergency rooms and tax-deductible employer-provided health care — all government creations.
So now, everyone expects doctors to be free. People who pay $200 for a haircut are indignant if it costs more than a $20 co-pay to see a doctor.
The government also “helped” us by mandating that insurance companies cover all sorts of medical services, both ordinary — which you ought to pay for yourself — and exotic, such as shrinks, in vitro fertilization and child-development assessments — which no normal person would voluntarily pay to insure against.
This would be like requiring all car insurance to cover the cost of gasoline, oil and tire changes — as well as professional car detailing, iPod docks, and leather seats and those neon chaser lights I have all along the underbody of my chopped, lowrider ’57 Chevy.
But politicians are more interested in pleasing lobbyists for acupuncturists, midwives and marriage counselors than they are in pleasing recent college graduates who only want to insure against the possibility that they’ll be hit by a truck. So politicians at both the state and federal level keep passing boatloads of insurance mandates requiring that all insurance plans cover a raft of non-emergency conditions that are expensive to treat — but whose practitioners have high-priced lobbyists.
As a result, a young, healthy person has a choice of buying artificially expensive health insurance that, by law, covers a smorgasbord of medical services of no interest to him … or going uninsured. People who aren’t planning on giving birth to a slew of children with restless leg syndrome in the near future forgo insurance — and then politicians tell us we have a national emergency because some people don’t have health insurance.
The whole idea of insurance is to insure against catastrophes: You buy insurance in case your house burns down — not so you can force other people in your plan to pay for your maid. You buy car insurance in case you’re in a major accident, not so everyone in the plan shares the cost of gas.
Just as people use vastly different amounts of gasoline, they also use vastly different amounts of medical care — especially when an appointment with a highly trained physician costs less than a manicure.
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