Monday, December 10, 2012

There's more than one "cliff"

We know the cost of insurance is driven upward by the rising cost of medical care.  In a similar way the cost of medical care is driven upward by the growing cultural apathy in America toward personal health care.

That is, more and more Americans are apathetic about taking even simple steps to protect their personal health in the first place.  Result:  a growing need for medical care, driving higher total medical cost and higher insurance cost.

And, keep in mind, health care (as opposed to medical care) is virtually free.

I fear what this means is that a demand-management strategy for America’s medical cost problem thru so-called "wellness" programs has little chance of success.

Why do I "fear" this is true?

Because this cultural apathy toward personal health care plays right into the worst command-and-control instincts of government.

Medical spending – Medicare, Medicaid, VHA, TRICare, etc - is the largest single slice of the national budget. Medical spending is also the largest deficit driver – Obama himself said 3 years ago “nothing else comes close”.

It seems to me that our government even now sees no alternative to hard-rationing controls. Is it so surprising that ObamaCare creates significant new machinery necessary to impose such a system? Or that the regs issued so far create even more such machinery?

In a way, I feel the country is like Wile E. Coyote. We’ve run headlong off a cliff chasing something we don't know how to catch.  Now we are temporarily hanging suspended in  mid-air; after a brief cartoon moment we face the inevitable crash to the desert floor.

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