Monday, November 24, 2008

Healthcare: It is the Cost! It is the Cost! It is the Cost!

Governor Phil Bredesen wrote a piece in the Nov 22 Wall Street Journal titled, "What Tennessee Is Doing About Health Insurance." His basic premise is that the government needs to make sure that everyone has a Chevy of a healthplan, rather than a few people having a Caddy and "letting the rest walk."

Aside from the obvious (that the reason there is more than one kind of car on the market is that one size does not fit all), the Governor does himself a major disservice in citing a particular example to make his case. Dottie Landry was uninsured back in 2000. She got sick from a tick bite to the tune of $9,000. She put it on credit cards and paid it off over the next few years. Fast forward to 2007. Dottie was bitten by a dog, the treatment of which cost $4,000. But thankfully, she was on the Governor's healthcare plan: CoverTN. Thus, most of the 4k tab was picked up by the taxpayer.

The temptation is to end the blog entry right here. After all, just as the sky is blue, the problem with healthcare is NOT that many people are sans insurance- it is the cost! Instead of addressing the REAL problem back in 2000 - which is that the $9 grand bill is absurd, the Governor pinned the problem on the fact that Dottie actually had to pay for it herself. A consumer-driven healthcare system in which most participants are responsible for their own healthcare expenses (including major medical insurance) is the only remedy for ridiculously escalating costs. Spreading the bill amongst taxpayers has only served to exacerbate the problem.

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