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Choices and consequences

We can’t afford universal health care. It’s too expensive.
Actually, that’s not true. We just choose to spend our dollars on other things. For example, medical care and indemnity payments to American troops hurt in the Iraqi war. The latest projections have the long-term expense of caring for Iraqi war veterans totaling 1/3 to 2/3 of a trillion dollars.
So far.
We sure do make interesting choices. Why just the other day Congress voted enough money to fund the war effort for another few months. That expenditure could have provided every uninsured American with health insurance for a year.
Sometimes all you can do is shake your head…

7 thoughts on “Choices and consequences”

  1. Can you find out if the state of WV has a law that states that a person has a right to be pain free. I am 100% totally disabled due to back surguries and chronic pain.

  2. Joe, I’m sure the 100+ children that were freed from the Iraqi prison back in 2003 (some of which were held in solitude and tortured for 5+ years) would not agree with your assessment.
    Just as in WWII – some things we do because it is the RIGHT thing to do, not because it makes sense financially.
    Universal Health Care will never be the answer to our healthcare ills. Anytime the government gets involved in “fixing matters” it only makes things worse. THAT much we can count on! Universal Healthcare will be brought to you by the people that brought us FEMA. No thanks!

  3. Dorrence – the debate over the rightness of the Iraqi war is something we will have to take offline.
    Your point re every time the government gets involved in something it makes it worse is subject to discussion and debate. I strongly disagree.
    Sticking with health care, we can start with the FDA before Bush II, the CDC, and the VA before it was overburdened and underfunded over the last four years. Yes there are many examples of governmental screwups – eg the FDA under Bush, the VA under Bush, Part D, but your sweeping generalization is not correct.

  4. Joe,
    With all due respect it wasn’t Dorrence that inserted the Iraqi war into this discussion. Off-line we can cuss and discuss as to who is “right”, but when the moderator brings a subject to the fore it becomes fair game I believe.
    Best regards,

  5. Mike – thanks for the comment.
    It is my turn to respectfully disagree. My point in the original post was to illustrate political decision making and priority setting, and financial repercussions of those processes. It was not to enter into a debate over whether the war was right or wrong. The purpose was to note that when we can make decisions to go to war, but for some reason cannot, or to date have not, made the decision to cover all citizens. The “debate”, if there is to be one, should focus on that issue.

  6. Joe, you are correct – the question of whether the war is “right” or “wrong” is subject to debate and best handled in separate forums. My point was, even if you disagree with the war, some good has come from it.
    Just like the government’s intervention into healthcare (at whatever level we consider) there are both good and bad outcomes. The VA, CDC and FDA generally have been good (of course barring the abuses recently reported at VA facilities, or the slow approval timeframes for the FDA, or the CDC’s inability to accurately predict what flu strain is coming one year to the next). Further examples might be the bad legislation passed in 1996 that supposedly “protects us” under HIPAA (which in reality is just a “right” that most patients have to sign away in order to be treated).
    I will always contend it is best to let the market develop the solutions and not the government mandating them. However, I thank you for the forum to discuss this.

  7. Not to take it further off track, but it’s remarkable to see someone in favor of our actions in Iraq turn around and say the government can’t do anything right. If anything would prove that theory, Iraq is it, so you’re going to need a new reason why government-sponsored healthcare is a bad idea if you want to remain consistent.

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Joe Paduda is the principal of Health Strategy Associates



A national consulting firm specializing in managed care for workers’ compensation, group health and auto, and health care cost containment. We serve insurers, employers and health care providers.



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