+Jeffrey Hamby My distrust is of the marriage between private enterprise and government.
I really wasn't talking about government specifically with regard to the groups you'd mentioned; rather, that it was problematic to have so many different interests in the arena of health care. But I take your point, and I am sorry I misunderstood your concerns. I appreciate your taking the time to explain. I don't believe any services are better managed by government... I can't think of a single example of something the government does more efficiently than private enterprise.
How do you define efficiency? (No, I am seriously asking.) Part of my point is that some things should be done by a government because they are inherently inefficient (at least within themselves, or in the short term) - schoolkids aren't going to provide a return on the investment made in them for years to come, and then, not directly to the school district which educated them. It's an investment made in the long term and for the general good. Likewise, while good preventive health care should be less
expensive overall than urgent care alone would be, it's still (in the case of a governmentally-managed care system) an outlay of money that has no direct
benefit to the health care system itself. The benefit is to the society as a whole, in keeping the general populace (and therefore the workforce) healthier. I do agree with you on the point of elections being won by those who spend money, I do actually believe the electoral college is a good system.
I have some frustrations with the Electoral College (mostly because it means the election's already over by the time the polls close in my state), but that's not what I was talking about. Rather, I think we need to increase voter involvement and restore trust in elected officials - which I believe can only happen with increased voter involvement. As it is now, a significant proportion of voters think "all politicians are crooks", which becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, which then further drives down voter turnout. Personally, I think a vast improvement would be made by instituting governmentally-sponsored campaign funding (national, state and municipal/county/burough levels) and outlawing
any other spending on political materials. That would be a hard, hard sell politically but would go a long way toward making elections about what the candidates say and how many people actually support them rather than about how much money they could raise. framers of our Constitution believed a democracy would lead to tyranny of the many. The old analogies about 51% of the people voting to pee in the cerial of the remaining 49%, or the monkeys learning they can vote for free bananas, etc.
On the one hand, yes, it's not right to let two wolves and a sheep vote on what's for dinner... but on the other hand, those free bananas sure don't seem to be materializing. Where some of those ideas might work would be at the state level, which is why we have the 10th Amendment.
So I got to thinking about this. On the one hand, it makes sense, especially since many of our states are the size of many of the countries where socialized medicine is most effective. It would certainly be (at least theoretically) easier to implement such programs on a state-by-state basis. But on the other hand, in a nation where people often move from state to state for work, school, or family, that approach would also cause complications. Imagine a national company that needs to have different health insurance policies for each state in which it has employees. And what of a student looking at college? Would the healthcare system of the state affect her decision about where to go to school? While the market might help propel states to implement health care as an incentive to business, it doesn't seem to have been happening so far - and since there are so many who argue that X or Y group don't deserve
coverage for whatever reason, it seems likely to me that economic competitiveness would be insufficient incentive - not to mention the fact that some states are more solvent than others. It still seems to me that a national plan is a more sensible approach.
I look forward to your responses - I'm enjoying our discussion!