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A Quick Shot of Healthcare, Part 3 – The Deep End of the Pool

By Brian | August 12, 2009 | Share on Facebook

I’ve been watching the current healthcare debate with great interest, and have a lot of opinions on various aspects of the matter, but can’t seem to consolidate them all into a single blog post. Instead, I’m queuing up a list of “quick shots” – thoughts on particular aspects of the debate – which I hope will spur some discussion

When Barack Obama was running for President, his campaign was lauded for its ground-breakingly effective use of the Internet to organize and mobilize supporters. Millions of people all over the country not only donated money, but received real-time updated talking points, personalized assignments on where and when to “Get out the Vote,” and requests to participate in local causes, such as the election of a particular Democratic congressman. The Obama campaign made use of online tools, social networks, automated demographic analyses, and other such technologies to turn his supporters into what Glenn Reynolds once called an Army of Davids.

Today, when discussing universal healthcare, one important topic is the way our current healthcare plans are tied to our employer. Insurance companies quote relatively flat, discounted rates to large employers because their employee population is heterogeneous, which allows the healthy employees to implicitly subsidize those with chronic, pre-existing, and/or expensive health conditions. Too many people, the President has told us, are unable or unwilling to leave their jobs because once they leave that group, their pre-existing condition might make them ineligible for new healthcare coverage at a reasonable price somewhere else.

What we need is a way to group people together independent of their place of employment. And yet, the same man who just recently inspired the formation of a multi-million member group and then organized them to elect him President of the United States, cannot think of another way to group self-interested, uninsured or at-risk citizens together other than creating a massive government bureaucracy, mandating that everyone in America join it, and then paying for it by taxing millionaires?

Why do I get the feeling that we aren’t being as creative here as we could be?

Where are the online insurance purchasing collectives? Where are the bureaucracy-free, citizen-created “Facebook Group”-like social networks that pool together people into attractive, insurable groups that the private sector can service, all at reduced rates (due to the lack of overhead and increased homogeneity) and independent of where (or if) they work? If tens of millions of people can come together online to elect a President, surely similar numbers will willingly participate in similar activities to secure stable, cheaper healthcare!

Perhaps the paradigm of large, government-run entitlement programs are a “pre-existing condition” that we, the people, should consider not covering?

Topics: Political Rantings | 4 Comments »

4 Responses to “A Quick Shot of Healthcare, Part 3 – The Deep End of the Pool”

  1. Lisa Rafal says at August 13th, 2009 at 10:28 pm :
    So, the better question, Brian, is where was everyone when this self-aggrandized charlatan was getting elected? Everyone was swooning under the warm wind of his “change” agenda.
    Why wasn’t anyone debating this when we had a chance to stop him from destroying heathcare in our country? He talked openly about this during his campaign. Anyone who was listening heard him lay out his plans to socialize medicine (and other aspects of our culture). It’s a lot harder to stop a train with momentum than it is to stop a train that is first gaining momentum. If we had stoppd this insanity in the primaries or the general election, this debate would be moot.

  2. Brian says at August 13th, 2009 at 10:36 pm :
    At the time, the folks debating him were John McCain and Sarah Palin. And this wasn’t the only issue at hand…

    Here’s the irony: I think we’ll wind up with something that’s relatively tame compared to what’s being kicked around now (like we’re seeing with financial reform, for example). I think it’ll be marginally helpful, cost more than we expect it to, and if we’re lucky, get modified years from now (by this President or the next one) until it actually starts helping (like No Child Left Behind).

    Which is how democracy is supposed to work, after all.

    But we live in a “heat of the moment” world, so everyone has to play to the extremes, and disagreement becomes controversy, and debate becomes shouting matches. Years from now, all of that will be forgotten and only the result will remain…

  3. Lisa Rafal says at August 13th, 2009 at 10:45 pm :
    Respectfully my friend and neighbor, I submit to you that people allowed their emotions and the slight of hand performed by this snake oil salesman, cloud their judgment. And although it was not the only issue at hand, it’s seeming like pretty big deal right about now. Point is, the masses brought this on by electing him and now that he’s doing what he wants to do, people are finally starting to dump the kool aid out of their cups! There were enough of us out here who realized how dangerous this man is and all the idealistic, “oh-but-he’s-gonna-change-everything”, folks who thought he was running against George Bush have placed healthcare in this country into a precarious position.

  4. Brian says at August 13th, 2009 at 10:47 pm :
    Correction: he’s trying to do what he wants to do. It seems obvious at this point that he won’t get everything he wants.

    And, as I said before, that’s how it’s supposed to work…

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