A Will for Health Care

Writer George F. Will, that is.  He wrote yet another, reasoned and rational piece in the Washington Post recently titled A Health ‘Reform’ To Regret.  The very same piece appeared in the Sunday, June 28, Denver Post with the title Don’t make bad health care worse.

From my reading I don’t get that Will is saying health care is bad, but who is surprised the Denver Post would give it that slant.

Some of Will’s insights:

“Most Americans do want different health care: They want 2009 medicine at 1960 prices. Americans spent much less on health care in 1960 (5 percent of GDP as opposed to 18 percent now). They also spent much less — nothing, in fact — on computers, cellphones and cable and satellite television.

Your next car can cost less if you forgo GPS, satellite radio, antilock brakes, power steering, power windows and air conditioning. You can shop for such a car at your local Studebaker, Hudson, Nash, Packard and DeSoto dealers.”  [Touche’, George, and eggs-ZACTly.]

“The Hudson Institute’s Betsy McCaughey, writing in The American Spectator, says that in 1960 the average American household spent 53 percent of its disposable income on food, housing, energy and health care. Today the portion of income consumed by those four has barely changed — 55 percent.

But the health care component has increased while the other three combined have decreased. This is partly because as societies become richer, they spend more on health care — and symphonies, universities, museums, etc.

It is also because health care is increasingly competent. When the first baby boomers, whose aging is driving health care spending, were born in 1946, many American hospitals’ principal expense was clean linen. This was long before MRIs, CAT scans and the rest of the diagnostic and therapeutic arsenal that modern medicine deploys.”  [Hmm.  More diagnostic care, more preventive care.  The idea, as I’ve always understood it, is that it is cheaper to prevent diseases than it is to cure them.]

“Regarding reform, conservatives are accused of being a party of "no." Fine. That is an indispensable word in politics because most new ideas are false and mischievous. Furthermore, the First Amendment’s lovely first five words ("Congress shall make no law") set the negative tone of the Bill of Rights, which is a list of government behaviors, from establishing religion to conducting unreasonable searches, to which the Constitution says: No.”  [I like that one.  What part of NO does the government not understand?]

“The public, its attention riveted by the fiscal train wreck of trillion-dollar deficits for the foreseeable future, may be coming to the conclusion that we should leave bad enough alone.”  [Is Will referring to bad deficits or bad health care?  You decide.]

Read the entire brief piece at the links above.


About JohnRH

Retired, avid winter skier, avid reader, traveler (avidly). :)
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