Home > Health Care > Health-care reform: Let’s make some spaghetti

Health-care reform: Let’s make some spaghetti

Let’s assume we all agree with Washington Post editorial-page editor Fred Hiatt’s health-care moral imperatives, stated in his piece in this morning’s paper:

Expanded access to health care has rightly been a goal for decades. No civilized nation should allow sick people to go untreated.

If everyone in America agreed with Fred — who seems to line up with Democrats on the need for universal health care, provided or protected by the government in some way, shape or form — wouldn’t we have to also agree that a bill that raises premiums, a bill that raises costs to the government, and a bill that increases health care’s overall share of our national economy is a bad bill? Wouldn’t we have to admit that the legislation under consideration is no cure for the disease we all agree must be treated? Fred seems to:

Yet neither should a civilized nation saddle its coming generations with a lower standard of living, a likely effect of U.S. profligacy if unchecked. No civilized nation should leave its government too bankrupt to help the poor.

So, not only is there not universal agreement that the government’s role is to provide health care for its citizens, but you’ve got this bill that doesn’t even successfully address what Hiatt and his ilk want — and what the president promised: budget-neutral reform that provides access to all 305 million Americans while shrinking the overall cost of health care to them, the government, and the American economy. Yet on nearly all counts, and on their own stated terms, the bills being considered in Congress fail miserably. Even reasonable liberals (like Fred Hiatt) seem to be saying, Stop this madness; this reform is not the right kind of reform.

And it confirms what I’ve said for a while now about the Democratic Party: that the idea in their circles isn’t so much to do what works or to solve problems, but is instead to “do something, anything” that makes it look like they’re working and solving problems. Google that if you think I’m wrong; my money says 80% of the politicians who say “we must do something, anything” on a given problem are Democrats. It’s primarily in their lexicon, and not the conservative’s, because it’s a natural outgrowth of their paradigm, not the conservative’s, to do, to act, to fix, to tinker — all, generally, without considering consequences.

The problem is, the outcome of throwing spaghetti on the wall and hoping something sticks is that no one can really say with any surety what “something,” which of all the “anythings,” will be the outcome. When the law of unintended consequences, the concept of tradeoffs, and the interplay of various incentives never really cross their minds as they formulate policy, it’s anyone’s guess how their policy will play out.

What a terrible way to legislate.

Categories: Health Care
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