While the title of this post is perhaps a bit melodramatic, it does fall within the realm of possibility. You see, despite what the politicians on both sides are saying, actually knowing in advance the long-term effects of the intended changes to our health care system is impossible. Or is it?
I’ve long been a fan of Chaos Theory, or the theory that there are patterns within seemingly random occurrences. Within the realms of Chaos Theory, I’ve been fascinated by The Butterfly Effect, a metaphorical encapsulation of extreme causality (cause and effect). I’d like to approach the proposed Health Care bill with that in mind.
As it stands, approximately 85% of Americans have health insurance. The proposed bill would raise that number to approximately 95%. On the surface, an additional 10% of Americans getting health care appears to be a good thing. However, while it may be the responsibility of a moral society to care for its poor and needy, the welfare of the majority must be taken into account when providing said care.
So, the real question to ask is this: If we pass this bill, will it have a positive effect on the majority, both short and long-term?
I believe the answer is no. What it will likely cause is: “an increase in taxes”, “waiting periods for doctor visits”, “less freedom in choosing your medical provider”, “penalties for people who don’t want the provided insurance”, “decreased spending on medical research”, etc. Those things, in and of themselves, will cause major problems.
For example, an increase in taxes to pay for this bill. Sure, they are saying that it won’t really impact anyone that doesn’t make more than $250,000/yr, but that is flatly untrue. When someone higher up the fiscal chain gets pinched, that pinch trickles down in one way or another.
Along that line of thought, is this even the time to be discussing something like this? We are in the grip of the greatest economic depression since the 1930’s, and we are not even close to seeing the end of it, despite what some might say. The ripple effect of this depression will be strongly evident for years to come. It is just now beginning to hit new industries as the ripples spread outward.
Moving on, ask anyone in a country with socialized medicine (who would have had access to insurance without the Government’s assistance) if they think it is a good thing. Likely answer? Hell no. The 10% of Americans who will benefit from the bill will surely love it, but what about the other 85% who don’t need it and will have to both pay for it and deal with the consequences?
But what about the things that aren’t obvious and immediately apparent? What effects could this bill have that we can’t foresee?
Freakonomics and SuperFreakonomics, two of my favorite books, deal with an area known as Fringe Economics, or the gathering and analysis of hitherto ignored societal data that impacts our economy. They look at things very much outside the box, and in doing so have found some shocking information. I’d like to look at some potential economic effects of this health care reform bill from that perspective, outside the box.
The best way to guesstimate potential negative effects is to start by looking at the 10% of the US population that we will be receiving health insurance from this bill.
We’ll start with two questions: “Should we really be helping this 10%?” and “Is this the best solution?”.
We know that the majority of people impacted by this bill will likely be at or below the poverty line in terms of household income, currently $22,050-$27,570 for a family of 4, depending on what state you live in. We also know, from ample economic studies, that poorer households are likely to produce more criminals, particularly violent criminals.
So what if, by providing these poorer households with better access to hospitals and medical care, we decrease their mortality rate? Is that a good thing? What if by doing that we actually cause an increase in the criminal population 10, 15 or even 20 years down the road?
The guys who wrote Freakonomics found that because of Rowe vs. Wade, crime in the 90’s dropped dramatically. Why? Because a majority of abortions occur within the extremely low-income segment of society, the same segment that produces so many criminals. Crime dropped because a large number of future criminals weren’t born, and thus not around to commit crimes. Shocking, but true.
So what happens if this bill, which increases the health of our poor, while restricting their access to abortions, passes? My hypothesis is that we would see a surge in crime in the not too distant future.
Should we be helping this 10%? Absolutely. Is this the right way to do it? Hell no!
My point, quite simply, is this: Passing this health care bill is statistically likely to cause more economic and societal harm than good, both short and long-term. We may not see a major impact immediately, but thinking short-term is foolhardy at best.
While we may be considered a global superpower, the reality is that our country is weakening, rapidly. Democracy, true democracy, is failing. No country where the wants and demands of a minority, any minority, are put before the rights and good of the majority, can last.
So, why did I choose the title “Why Health Care Reform Could Kill Us All”? This is why:
I believe this health care reform bill represents a deep, pervasive problem within our country. I truly believe that this shift to catering to the wants and needs of the minority, the majority be damned, is going to lead to another civil war.
I believe that things will be further exacerbated by the economy, which I genuinely believe is going to fail completely, partly because of what has already happened, partly because of how Obama has responded, and partly because of the civil war I believe is coming.
When our economy falls far enough, whatever the reason, I believe we will, as a country, default on our debts. China holds almost $1 trillion dollars of US Treasury Notes, and I believe they will respond with a major show of force, perhaps even nuclear force. I expect they will be joined by a few other countries, North Korea perhaps, maybe Russia, probably a few in the Middle East as well. Britain will side with us, as will Canada and a number of other countries.
And I think that will be that. Global war.
Money, Religion, Human Rights. Almost every war ever fought was fought for one or more of those 3 reasons. We are having major issues with all 3 right now, on a global scale.
I am not a fatalist, but my gut tells me things are much, much worse than we think, and we think things are pretty bad. I’m a religious person, and I believe in the Millennium, in the second coming of Christ, and the end of the world. I honestly believe we are very, very close. As a thief in the night and all that…
My prediction? 10 years, maybe 20, tops.
This is what I mean by comparing this to Chaos Theory and The Butterfly Effect: These decisions being made right now regarding our economy, health care reform, gay rights, religion and state, and the environment could literally change the face of our future, not to mention our children’s future. What might seem like little things, temporary setbacks, could be the straws that break the proverbial camel’s back.
This is a kind of dark post for Christmas, but I just couldn’t resist writing it.
I honestly hope I’m wrong, but I’ll close with this:
Hope for the best, prepare for the worst, and settle for anything in between.
Oh yeah, and say HELL NO to health care reform and anything else Obama spouts out 🙂 I’m beginning to think that dude is the Anti-Christ or something…seriously 🙁